Sunday, June 29, 2014

Weekly Bijin Letter

This week we took a 2 hour train ride to another city for District Meeting, which apparently we do every week, so our Tuesdays will pretty much naku naru. Also I have been out for 200 days, corr blimey.
I have been showing my photos to every one of the members and our investigators this week, and about 6 or 7 different people said my Mum looked young, most said she looked maybe 30 at the most (she's 40...something..wasurechatta, gomen Mum!). Also most people call my sister and Jen bijin (which means like beautiful person) all the time, but yesterday this one member did this huge gasp and called my Mum a bijin, so that was pretty funny.
Japanese kids are crazy, there was way too much kancho-ing going on at Church yesterday..
It feels good to be out on the streets and sharing the Gospel with people now! It feels like I haven't done it in a long time.
At Church we had about 30 people there, which is huge!! We had a few people from stake so it was really great. I gave a self introduction and a testimony, and it was the first time I had born my testimony to more than 15 people at Church (in Japan of course) before.
And lastly, all our investigators are 19-30 years old so pray for them so they can be baptised and serve missions and be sealed in the Temple! :)

-Train ride to District Meeting

-Lunch with the ward 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Weekly Nobeoka Mail

Last week you were left on a cliffhanger! Well I have been transfered (for the first time) from Ishigaki to Nobeoka, Miyazaki, which is on Kyushu (the big south island of Japan) in the East.

I flew from Ishigaki to Naha, Okinawa (the main land), then to Fukuoka (the mission headquarters), stayed the night at the Zone Leaders apartment, then the next day caught a four and a half hour bus through mountains in to a whole new world in Nobeoka. Seriously, this is literally in the middle of no where which means less people.. which means no crowds! Before my mission I was with Jen in Melbourne, freaking out cause there was this huge sea of asians we had to swim through to get to the other side of the street, and she was all "this is what Japan will be like," but actually, so far so good!

Leaving Ishigaki was so hard! For a whole day we just rode around to a heap of different people's places to take photos and say goodbye, and we had the best Eikaiwa ever! Our branch president bought us some Ishigaki beef, one of the older sisters cried as we left, and a member and the legendary Yonaha couple came to see me off at the airport, along with the Missionary couple! Feels pretty surreal leaving the only place you've known your whole mission, but the members here are really nice and welcoming!

We have about 20 active members in the branch here, including a number of Priesthood holders. From what I have heard Nobeoka is a city (more like a town that is spread out, really) of about 140,000 - it reminds me of a bigger version of Deloraine for those in Tasmania.

My new companion is Elder Culverwell from Nevada and he is really fun and a hard worker! We have made some awesome goals for this transfer so we are both really pumped and excited.

We drove to Kummamoto city yesterday for stake conference (almost 3 hours down, and 3 back) which was pretty great, but the highlight was that I was reunited with my Dad, Elder Rogers, who is in the same zone.

This letter is pretty dry, so here are some stupid photos to make up for how lame this is.


Also, if anyone wants to write to me, the mission home address is:

Elder Jayme Thomas Wheeler
9-16 Hirao-josuimachi
Fukuoka-Shi, Fukuoka


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Weekly Kaere Mail

We had a culture night on Saturday, we had three rooms, Australia, Hawaii and California, and in each room we had a presentation, activity and a food sample. In mine, Australia, my guests were treated to some videos of native Australian animals, horrified when I said we eat Kangaroo, learnt about Australian Football and were able to finally comprehend that it's not like American Football, Soccer or Rugby (such a struggle for people to accept), tried some Vegemite and cheese sandwiches, and each gave a go at a Tim Tam Slam! Cho tanoshikatta. 

It's transfers today and hopefully I don't almost throw up like last transfer calls (they just make me so nervous, you know!), but on Sunday I was talking to our branch president, and I told him how when I got here I couldn't understand a single word he said - because he talks so fast, and that when I got here I said I won't transfer until I could understand him. Well, we had an entire conversation where I was understanding everything he was saying and vice versa... Could it be my time to leave Ishigaki?! Stay tuned.

We went on companion exchange yesterday, for our last non-someone-might-be-transferring-maybe-maybe-not-day of the transfer. Elder Kishihara and I were reunited! This older guy came running to the door, opened it, yelled 'kaere' (command form of, like, return home) and shut it before we could even open our mouths to say hi. That was fun.

Our investigators took us out to eat again, must be a gesture of thanks for converting him to AFL (for real, he loves it).

Oh, and yeah, it's hot. Like, really hot.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Weekly Cockroaches & Charmanders Mail

Alright well it's blazing hot here, I got pitstains worst than you could imagine, it's so humid it feels like a completely different world stepping outside, and there are cockroaches and charmanders everywhere.. but I never want to leave! 

An elderly Missionary couple called the Ishii's came to Ishigaki this week, they will be here for a whole year! They are so fun and inspiring, Elder Ishii served with our Mission President, President Gustafson, during their missions back in the goold ol' days.

The youngest child of the Yonaha family (the best family ever, who are moving to Brazil next week, who make up half our branch) was baptised on Saturday! It was a beautiful experience to see Kei's baptism, performed by her Father who is a great friend of the missionaries. It was in the ocean at this sweet beach, because Ishigaki doesn't have a font.

We had like a million people at Church on Sunday so that was wonderful. We have a very strong spirit in our little branch, I feel such a part of it.

We have pushed Karimata Kyodai's baptism back so he can quit smoking.. right now he is doing 1 cigarette a day, and it's just so hard to give up that last one for him! But he has decided he wants to be baptised the same day as his friend, our other investigator, Nakamichi Kyodai who is an absolute legend! He came to Kei's baptisimal service and he has such a strong desire to be baptised himself because he knows the blessings it will bring him in this life and the next!

Also our main man Horada is a good bloke, he is moving to Nagoya soon so any missionaries in Nagoya, watch out for him! He is pera in English and is muki muki to the max.

Photos (no idea what order):
Yonaha Kyodai and Kei Shimai before the baptism
Eating Mexican food with Horada
Photo of our branch and those who came to Kei's baptism

Arigatouu! Mata!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Weekly Shamisen Shreddin' Mail

Just a quick email from Ishigaki to say konnichiwa! 
This week in review!

Had a Ping Pong activity and that was super fun.

Nakamichi Kyodai is a good bloke. He is our investigator who has been totally prepared for this message, and is progressing like crazy. He always expresses how much he wants to be baptised and has a date for July 5. Missionaries gave him a Book of Mormon years and years ago (seriously, that thing is old!) and when we met him on the street he wasn't interested, but that next time we visited him and he said he had been reading it and wanted to be baptised.. just a testament that no effort is ever wasted! I want to thank those missionaries so much that gave him that Book of Mormon!

Karimata Kyodai is a fair dinkum cobba, too. He has a baptisimal date in a few weeks, has received (almost) all the lessons and is currently trying to quit smoking. He has really found and built his faith over the last 2 months, and now he is down to 2 cigarettes a day, originally from 40. What a champion! The Gospel changes peoples lives to something unachievable without. 

This week's photos! Our investigator Teruya Kyodai (by the way for people that don't know, Kyodai means Brother. Just in case you were wondering why everyone has the same name!) and his wife, who we teach during their down time in their barber shop, shreddin' his Shamisen. It's an instrument originally from the Philippines, I believe, that is really big in Okinawan culture.
Also a photo from our refreshments at the Ping Pong activity.
And we also went to Maccas.

That's all, bai bai!