Monday, March 24, 2014

Weekly Nihongo Suru Mail

Final week of my first transfer in Ishigaki, Okinawa, Japan! The weather is getting pretty hot, it is only barely Spring, and we are sleeping with the sliding doors open with the air con on and everything (sounds like a stupid idea, but its worth it, trust me). 


We had to drop our main progressing investigator this week because he stopped progressing which means we had to drop our baptisimal date for him, but in goes his progress record in to the area book, for missionaries to find him again sometime later, and I know that since he was enjoying learning and growing closer to God now that he will again when he overcomes the problems he is facing now which stopped him from progressing, or when he remembers how great the Lord's help was, that initial time he aimed for a life in Christ.


We met up with a former investigator who we set a baptisimal date for, and she wants to learn and change which is wonderful, I hope as we continue to teach and testify to her that the Spirit bears witness to her that these things are true and the truthfulness of Christ's Gospel has been restored on the earth in these latter-days.


This week we had a record of 3 people at our weekly English class! We have a lot of fun and this week we had an exercise called 'speak like a ___' so Elder Rogers stood up and taught everyone how to speak like an American by saying 'I hate ___' and 'I love ___.' Then I got up and taught everyone how to speak like an Australian by teaching them 'G'day Mate' and 'Cheers Cobba.' Then for the final one we taught them how to speak like a New Zealander, by getting them to say 'churr ayee boo ayouuwaae!' (I had some NZ friends who used to incorporate weird noises into their sentences which somehow gained meeting, so we were just making fun of them really). And the Japanese people loved it. Hopefully some day when they meet a New Zealander they have an opportunity to use that one. 


We also met a lady who spoke in tongues (scary), and I also told someone in Japanese that Jesus killed their sins.


Fun in Ishigaki! As always I appreciate hearing from all of you, take care.

Love Elder Wheeler


Monday, March 17, 2014

Weekly Language Crisis Mail

Another amazing week in Ishigaki, this week we went to zone conference up in Naha which is on the main island of Okinawa and I got to catch up with one of my MTC companions Elder Inagaki! It's awesome to see just how much we have changed in only a month, I think it's same to say we both have a greater insight of service which I know for myself has in turn boosted my confidence in being bold in sharing what I know to be true. Because how else will people know of this greatness we have if we are too shy to share it? So to every one out there - let's be bold and courageous together!


Another short email this week, I really need to get better at using my email time wisely.

But! Our Stake President came to Ishigaki for the first time this week and he is awesome, couldn't ask for a better President. We have some ideas to try and get the missionary work moving a bit quicker so I am excited to see what we can do this week with hard work and prayer.


While in Naha, Elder Rogers heard some people speaking Chinese, so we walks over to a group of people and says some missionary phrases in Mandarin, and in perfect English one replies 'we are Korean.' Even though we are in Japan, the trick is to not expect people to speak either of the two languages you think they speak. And that's my deep thought for the day!


Love you all! 

Elder Wheeler

Elder Inagaki

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Weekly Cow Tongue Mail

Jen was set apart as a missionary so I spent waaay too much time writing to her saying how proud of her I was, SO, I have just a few minutes left of the clock just to remind everyone that I am still alive and kicking and that Ishigaki is the best place on Earth.


This week has seen the reactivation of a sister in our small yet cosy branch (we average about 17 people every week at church); our investigator being knocked down and has jumped right back up, testifying to us the strength of the atonement and how the desire to change gives strength from our loving God who wants us to do our best; we met a bunch of amazing potential investigators, one of which said in our first meeting with her that she believed our teachings to be true and is super excited to start studying the Book of Mormon for herself; a random man on the street stopped us and bought us lunch one day when I was hungry; we cut grass with scythes; I gave my first cohesive lesson; and we ate at a place called 'Gasto' where I unknowingly ate cow tongue.


This week has brought so many blessings and I have seen some wonderful miracles because of the service to the Lord. No matter what situation we are in or what our beliefs are - service is the greatest thing we can do for anyone, because love is what makes us human.


Love Elder Wheeler


Monday, March 3, 2014


Super short weekly email today! Yesterday we were walking to Church and saw the first gaijin (foreigner) I have seen in a week on the way who was all `I guess Im going the wrong way` which we thought at first he was mocking us, but nope, he was from Idaho, just backpacking and camping his way around asia, from Taiwan to Ishigaki. So this meant that I wasn`t the only one at church that day who didn`t understand everything! He didnt speak Japanese. And to all my friends in Australia, I was looking at him all day wondering who he reminded me of.. then it hit me! He is the doppleganger of James/Clint, the `just waiting for a mate` guy! I almost burst out laughing in priesthood meeting when I realised. 


We visited the coolest family ever who talk to me in crazy Japanese that I may never understand and are cool when I just smile and make bad japanese jokes in bad japanese. I had a few awkward door approach moments when I forgot what I was saying because Im just that much of an awkward guy who forgets what language he is speaking. we met an awesome investigator who has the craziest kid ever who followed us like hundreds of metres away from her house, we were like those ex-millitary guys in movies who get stuck looking after some little kid. but we got her back safe haha.


Elder Rogers my companion is red headed, and you know what that means? It means japanese people asking for photos, makes us feel like superstars! we had this group of kids run after us yelling `photo! photo!` and so we were like `eh what the heck` haha so somewhere on facebook theres probably a photo of a bunch of Japanese kids with two gaijin giving peace signs haha. 


this week in lost in translation, this old dude was saying this long thing while chuckling, and I had no idea what he said so I smiled and said `ahh sugoi` (meaning `cool`) and after an awkward silence my companion whispered in english `no, not sugoi, his family died`


Thanks for reading and thanks for your emails! My awesome girlfriend is going to the MTC next week, serving the temple square mission, so I spent all my email time telling her to find all my friends there haha, which is why this is so short and all over the place! 


Love you all, Elder Wheeler