Friday, October 31, 2014

Weston - Happy Halloween From Elder Lamoreaux #3

So you know how in that movie, The Best Two Years when they're getting mail? He's reading the names of the missionaries who got mail, and all of the letters are for Elder Van Pelt? Well, that was me. Elder Lamoreaux, Elder Lamoreaux, Elder Lamoreaux, Elder Lamoreaux, Elder Lamoreaux. I received 19 letters this week! That's crazy! I love it so much! Its so nice to hear about daily life back at home... I mean two miles away:) I leave Monday Morning for Detroit. We leave at 3:30 in the morning. I'm not sure how the phone calls work. If I can call more than one person, how long, and I don't even know when I can make the call so just be ready by your phone:) 
 The time here at the MTC has flown by. I wish I could tell you about every single experience but I just don't have the time. Heavenly Father has blessed me with incredible things every day that I've been here. I have felt the spirit so strong like never before in my life. Sometimes I'll just start speaking and have no idea why, but the words just come to me and I say incredible spiritual things that help inspire the missionaries in our zone that Elder Oviatt and I are responsible for. My companion and I have been told that we are leaders by both are fellow missionaries, and our teachers. Elder Oviatt is very good at connecting to people. He leads our conversations with our role play investigators. When he gets stuck is when I come in. I'm still very quiet but when I talk I say something short, simple, and profound. I discovered that's what I'm good at, finding scriptures and life stories and other things and connecting them all together. I know that we teach with the spirit. I can feel it so strongly when I talk to investigators, and we try to get them to feel that as well. In my patriarchal blessing it tells me that I learn quickly and easily, not just once but twice. I've never really understood why because I haven't ever learned anything quickly and easily. That was until I came to the MTC. That blessing has been fulfilled. I can pick things up so fast since I've been here. That is just one of many amazing blessings I've felt here. This morning I was able to go to the temple and do endowments:) We love to play Frisbee on the field in front of the MTC. I've been looking for people that I know and I think I saw Grandpa Lamoreaux in his Chevy:) Thank you all so much for all of the letters and the care package! the Elders in my district loved it:) I have felt your prayers for me in abundance. Thank you so much. I love you all so much
Elder Lamoreaux

Monday, October 27, 2014

JT - First Email from Japan!

October 27, 2014

Konnichiwa from Japan!

I hope everyone is doing great! So I`m in Japan! Our first couple of days here, were spent in the misson home to be trained and to know the mission President, President Welch. I really like him a lot. he is fun, powerful and gets things done at the same time. It`s great. 

The first night, we just ate and slept because we were all so tired. Oh yeah, on the plane ride, I slept the whole time, except for when they brought food. Anyway, next morning, we played ultimate frisbee at a nearby park.

Japanese Park
Japan is so beautiful. The streets are insanely narrow. I mean a two lane road here is barely enough space to fit both cars. Some streets look like a one way road, but is two lanes. Anyway, we ate Costco pizza for lunch. They have Costco in Japan! I thought that was crazy. Then we had interviews with the Mission President. then we had dinner with chopsticks. Let me just say that I suck at using chopsticks. this is going to be an adventure. Then we had one last testimony meeting with all the Kobe Missionaries, which by the way is 24 of us. The next morning we ran up the mountain near by and was able to see the whole city which was super beautiful.
The view from the mountain we ran up

Then we found out where we were going and met our trainers/new companions. My companion is Elder Harris from Provo. He has been on his mission for about a year and a half and I am so so grateful for him. I`ll tell more about him in a bit. I am serving in a city called Nishiwaki. It's about two hours north of Kobe by bus. It is such a beautiful area. Mountains everywhere, green everywhere, beautiful houses and architecture, I was blown away.

Scenery while biking

Beautiful architecture.

Awesome river while crossing a bridge

I don't understand Japanese. MTC and the field are two completely different places. I thought I knew some Japanese but it's crazy hard. I`m so grateful for my companion because he knows it! He understands all that is said to him and helps translate to me things I don't understand. It will take patience, but I pray everyday for the Spirit to be with me and and to understand the Language. My companion is awesome. He is very patient with me and he is a great example of what a missionary does and should be. I'm so grateful for him.

So on Saturday, my first real day in the field, we went out. My bike already had problems. The tire exploded. It was a very old bike and it was just garbage. We had to go to the bike shop to get it fixed. My first encounter with a Japanese person was with the bike shop owner. I didn`t understand anything except for the word for tire. which is Taiya.
We went housing. Knocking on doors. Harris Choro did the first few houses and then let me have a turn. I froze, I had no idea what to do.That's another reason why Harris Choro is there. I'm learning so much already. Japanese houses have sort of like an intercom system. Most of the time, they only talk through the intercom and rarely open the door. Anyway, that day, we weren`t able to teach a lesson. The next day was Sunday.
Blown up tire on the first day.
Sunday, we went to Ward Mission Council. The branch I`m in only has about 40 active members. The church is tiny. but we actually have a building which is guess is rare. We have about 20 investigators. I didn't participate much in the meeting except for the prayer because 1, I don`t know the investigators yet and 2, I don't understand what their saying.
Anyway, all the members here are so nice. I can pick up some basic things of what they say. They all like the fact that I`m half filipino. I gave a talk to kind of introduce myself. It was about 3 minutes long but as I looked at the members, they were all smiling at me and that made me happy. Japanese people are so nice, not just the members. We had an investigator come for his first time. he is 73 and he talks a lot. We taught him after sacrament meeting, my first lesson. I shared a simple experience, which is about all I can do right now. That day, we also sat in on a Home teaching lesson and taught another person who showed up for his first time.
After that, we went housing again. This time, we taught two lessons to people who might be interested. We'll go over there again to teach them more and hopefully they`ll accept it.
I love riding my bike around Japan and looking for people to teach the gospel to. Japan is beautiful, hopefully you'll be able to see some of it through the pictures. The language is hard, but I`ll get it eventually if I keep working hard and praying. I love all of you and your support. I miss you but this is what I`m supposed to do right now. I love you and will email again next week!

Elder Lamoreaux

In Japan on the short train to customs. Elder Iverson, Sister Johnson and Sister Poelman

Elders Otani, Bateman and Ross

On the bus to the mission home

Trying to get good pictures on the bus, kinda not very good pictures sorry

At the church by the mission home

 Me with the view

The Kobe Missionaries.

My new nametag

Me and Elder Harris on the way to Nishiwaki.

My Appartment

First meal and first time cooking in Japan

Japanese Cemetary
Views and sceneries.
More Japan beauty

JT - Pictures from the MTC

Funny pic with some of the zone

`I don`t know what to do with my hands`

Selfie while selfie-ing

Last Temple walk

Elder Bateman and Elder Madruga

Last view of my mountains for two years
My incredible district. I love each and every one of them.

Last picture with the branch presidency and their wives

The district. (We`re matching btw)

The elders

Last day of class with our senseis


Gregory Kyodai

Huefner Kyodai

Sheehan Kyodai

2:30 in the morning on the way to the airport

Friday, October 24, 2014

Weston - I'm FINALLY HERE!!!!

I'm FINALLY HERE!!!!! A lot has happened in the past few days and I have a ton to say with not much time. I was rushed away into the MTC. On the way in I was able to see Elder Racker, the missionary I met while going through the temple for the first time, who is going on the same mission as JT. I met my companion before we knew we were companions. I was asked where I was going on my mission and I told the sister who I was talking to,"Detroit!" and I heard a voice behind me say, "Well how about that! I am too!" His name is elder Oviatt, from Spokane Washington, and I'm getting along with him great. He's a hard worker and has a very strong testimony. I had to get a flu shot my second day here. The lady who gave me the shot has family in Detroit. She told me that they are active in the church and have fallen in hard times. She started to cry and wrote down the name of her family members. She told me, if I have the chance, to give them a message of hope and of happiness. Our Heavenly Father sure does work in mysterious ways. I feel so blessed to have met this sister. Elder Oviatt and I were given fake investigators and we pray to know how to help teach them of the gospel. We've been doing very well and seem to work good together. We were able to meet our branch presidents and we all fell in love with them. They gave us great inspiring messages. Elder Oviatt and I were called to be zone leaders. The responsibilities are great but im so glad for the experience. I hoped to be pushed hard while I was here and I am. Some of the sister missionaries in our district are really struggling. Elder Oviatt and I almost gave them a blessing, since we are now zone leaders in training, but the other more experienced, zone leaders were found so we weren't needed. I'm sure the opportunity will arise when we need to give priesthood blessings sometime before we leave the MTC. When we're done with emails were going to go consecrate oil. I was able to buy a whole vial at the MTC bookstore. I'm really excited for that. If you are wondering I am super happy and I am constantly feeling the spirit in all that we do throughout the day. I am being tested but I feel each and every one of your prayers and I thank you so much for all of your support. I love you all so much and I miss you a great deal. I am so glad I am here though and I often feel the spirit telling me that this is the correct path for me. This is where our Heavenly Father needs me to be.
Elder Lamoreaux number 3 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

JT - I'm in Japan!!

October 23, 2014

Konnichiwa from Japan!

I survived the long flight and I am here in Japan finally. It's 3:30 P.M. on the 23rd. I'm staying in the mission home for a couple of days and tomorrow I'm going to meet my trainer and will go to my first area. This place is so cool, the flight was fun (mostly sleeping which is nice) and my mission president is awesome. I like him a lot already. I'm excited to figure out which area I will go to first. The humidity is kind of killing me already, but I will hopefully get the hang of it. This is just a short email saying I'm alive! Pictures will come on Monday here so Sunday at Orem. Thanks for the prayers and love. Thank you so much.

Elder Lamoreaux
In Kobe