Monday, January 26, 2015

Zach - One month in the field

So ive been in the field for a month now, woah crazy. Its super coolio out here. ok, not like cool, like weather, cause its freaking hot. But its all in the voice messages. First one is me and Elder andrew's weekly thing. And the second one is about my week and it will be in the next email, and crazy chileans. and pics will be in the next one, or after.. idk how much google will let me put in these emails. love you guys.
Elder Lamoreaux

JT - Very Good Week

Dear Everyone,

I am currently writing this while I am soaking wet. It feels like I just went swimming. It is raining a ton right now and I don't really like it haha.
So this week was really successful. We were able to teach more lessons than our goal which was a first for me. Everyone seemed like they were opening their door. It was pretty insane. So, the teaching pool right now is bigger than it has been for a while and that is good because sometimes, finding becomes monotonous. So It was really fun. It amazes me how much the Lord's hand is in each of our lives. I meet tons of different people everyday and each of them have a completely different story to tell. However, each of those lives have been influenced by God in some way, even if they don't know it. I have found that out this week. God's hand is in everything. There is no way I can deny that.
Things have been going great lately. The weather isn't very cold, my companion is great, Nishiwaki is always so amazing. My companion always says that the field in Nishiwaki is not just white all ready to harvest; the harvest is on the ground and we are just picking it up. Lately it has felt like that, but that doesn't mean we can let up. It's one thing to teach a ton of lessons, but all in all, they have to have a desire to learn more and to keep commitments and to be baptized. Me, as a missionary, cannot control what they do. We are only with them for maybe an hour a week, the rest of the time is them and the Lord. We just have to keep planting seeds and with God's help, it will all work for the best. I love it here in Nishiwaki.
This is a pretty short email. I honestly don't know what else to say... I'll just share my favorite scripture since I've been out on my mission. Isaiah 41:10 and 13. I might have already shared it at some point but it is really good, so I'll share it again. "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee."
No matter what happens in life, Heavenly Father is always there. Friends will come and go, some will stay, but have faith that Heavenly Father will never leave your side. Trust that everything he does will be for your good and for your benefit. With that knowledge, life is happy, no matter what goes on in life, that hope will make you happy. That is the "magic" of this gospel and this is what people in the world are missing. This is why missionary work happens; to bring souls closer to Christ so that they can have hope through the Atonement. (Moroni 7:41) A reassurance that everything will be okay if we endure and do all that we are supposed to do. Heavenly Father loves you.
So, that's it for this week and that's it for January I guess. It's flying by... Have a great week everybody! Love you all!
Elder Lamoreaux

A cool place next to our apartment

After District Meeting at a Ramen place.

Kiki Choro reading and cooking. That's mission life

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

JT - I am so blessed. I haven't done anything to deserve it either.

January 19, 2015 

Dear everyone,
Thank you for the Birthday wishes! I had a great time and everyone was so nice. That day was also transfer day, so I got a new companion for my birthday. That night, we were invited to the Branch President's house for dinner. I thought it was just going to be a regular dinner, you know introducing the two new missionaries to the branch, but they had prepared a birthday dinner for me! They made pizzas because I said on my first week here that pizza was my favorite food. They even had a cake for me. I felt like I was home for a little bit. It was super awesome. 

On my birthday, the Branch President's family had us come over and they had a birthday dinner and cake for me. I had no idea they were going to do that. It was so nice of them and i am so thankful for that.

The thing on the cake. They are too nice.

And the next day, we went to an awesome sushi place for a "birthday dinner". My companion insisted on paying, but I didn't let him. It was super good. I ate 22 plates which stuffed me pretty well. It is super cool, It'S one of those conveyor belt sushi places, where you grab plates of sushi off the conveyor belt as it passes by your table. Super awesome and really good sushi. I loved it. My companion was nice to take me there.
22 plates of sushi. Soooo good!
I ate pineapple! Still really good. I don't know what I was missing out on... (editor's note:  JT did not like pineapple until a few years ago).

Also, Sister Welch called me and had all 30 missionaries she was with to sing Happy Birthday to me through the phone. It was really sweet. There are so many nice people here and I am blessed. It's weird to think that I'm 19 now too haha.

So, we met with a few of our investigators this week to say bye to Harris Choro and to introduce them to Scowcroft Choro. We said bye to the recent convert who always spoils us with food. She is seriously the nicest and most genuine person. She fed us from that restaurant again and as they were saying bye, my eyes started watering. I wasn't even saying bye to her! I am just glad that I am not leaving this branch quite yet. So yes, saying bye to people is not my favorite thing to do. I hate it haha.
Scowcroft Choro is a great guy. he was in the Air Force before the mission. He has been out for about a year and a half. So I am with another guy who knows a lot of Japanese! So grateful for that. He helps me a lot with my Japanese so It is great. I am excited to get to know him better.
Well, I don't know what to write. It's basically the same things that has been happening every week. Recognizing the hand of the Lord in my life throught small and simple means. He blesses me everyday and he blesses you each and everyday. If you look for the tender mercies in life, everything will be better. You will appreciate life more, you will be happier, you will have a desire to serve others, everything will just fall into place. That's my little spiritual thing for the week.
Love you all so much and I miss you all. I hope you are staying strong and that you are getting closer to God in whatever thing you do. Love you!
Elder Lamoreaux

Saw Elder Bateman and Elder Madruga at the transfer point. Fun to see and talk to them for a while.

Weston - Meeting Elder Oaks and The Detroit Car Show!

Sorry I couldn't email yesterday. The library was closed for Martin Luther king day. I got to meet Elder Oaks! All the missionaries got into a long line and we each got to shake hands with him. That was something else:) to shake hands with an apostle was an incredible experience, one I surely won't ever forget. The spirit came over me when I got my first glimpse of him and again when I looked him in the eyes and grabbed his hand.
 He gave a really amazing talk that helped me out a lot. Afterwards he allowed us to ask him questions for him to answer. We had one Elder stand up and ask him how to soften the heart of an investigator. Elder Oaks stepped to one side and told us that he felt inspired to let Elder Kacher answer the question. Elder Kacher stood up and, Not so surprisingly, had a perfect story to answer the missionary's question. It was so cool to see an apostle of the lord receive revelation right on the spot like that!  My testimony was strengthened so much that day.
   I had the opportunity to go to the Detroit Car show yesterday! It was insane. The area we work in is Detroit,but there is a huge difference from Detroit and down town Detroit. Yesterday was the first time I've seen down town. I felt really out of place. Everything is so big! you can't see anything but building everywhere you go! We took the people mover to go from place to place. It's pretty much the subway but suspended above all the roads on tracks instead of underneath. I Didn't feel to comfortable with my fear of heights:) Especially because of all of the sketchy noises the train was making. It sounded like it was falling apart and like it was going to tear right off the tracks on all of the sharp turns. 
   The car show was awesome. I've never seen so many people in my life. They had all of the new 2015 models from each car company there. They had all kinds of cool stuff. I'll send pictures today:) Afterwards we went to the GM headquarters and looked around. It's probably the biggest building I've ever seen in my life. I also got to see Canada across the Detroit river:)
Elder Lamoreaux

 GM Headquarters


Monday, January 19, 2015

Zach - that time of the week agian

Hey guys, so this week wasnt that eventful, stuff is kinda getting normal out in the field. Its super coolio out here though, but not like the weather, cause it is so flipping hot.. But i love it out here. Although, we dont really have many investigators, and people havent been that receptive, i am having a good time, we just need to continue to improve. My spanish is coming along, and im learning so much about how it all works, and becoming a better teacher, and a better missionary. Plus we are getting more support from the ward, so thats awesome.

So the pics:
First is a funky flower we found its nice.
Second is our mission
and third is my ward, its the one like right in the middle, neuvo amanacer. We have half that ward
And 4th is my address that i forgot to send a while ago.... sorry guys 

and voice messages will be in the next one.
I love you guys so much, miss you all, and the Gospel is true
Elder Lamoreaux

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Weston - Old Email

The gun lady is actually one of our more solid investigators:) She's a lot more comfortable with us now:) last time she offered to have us come into here home without the gun:) Our Jamaican investigator is doing really well. She's been to church 8 times in a row and she really enjoys it and feels the spirit strongly there. She watched a baptism two Sundays ago and I think she wants to be baptized now more than ever. 
   This week I had another cool experience with finding new investigators. My companions asked me where we should go trackting. I stopped and let the spirit guide me. I crossed a busy road into a neighborhood. I briefly stopped on a road and one of my companions asked me, here? I told him no and went down to the next road. My companion asked me again, Here? I told him we're going right and we're starting on the right side of the street. We immediately had success. We only knocked about ten houses and we found three new investigators. This was in a place in our area we've never been before. It was amazing to be guided to such a specific area! to even be told which side of the street to start on!
    Have you gotten my other letter yet? it has the He is the gift cards in it? So we moved apartments, my new address is 26580 Berg rd #1411. We're going over to a members home at 2 o'clock and we'll be skyping sometime between 2 to 3 here or 12 to 1 o'clock in provo:)  It'll probably be around 1 though. I'm so excited!!! 
I love you all!
Elder Lamoreaux

No trespassing! 

Monday, January 12, 2015

JT - 2nd transfer is done! Staying in Nishiwaki!!!!

Dear Everyone,
So Kyoto last week was super fun! We went to Kinkaku-ji, "The Golden Pavilion". It is literally made of gold. It was so beautiful. Pictures are going to be attached. We went with the Branch President and a Recent Convert and the sister missionaries. Super fun and a great cultural experience. I am so blessed to be in Japan.

Kinkaku-ji. Gold everywhere, super cool!

Me with the golden pavilion. So beautiful

The top of the temple. It's a phoenix.

All the missionaries and the Recent Convert.

I am holding the sisters' stuff while they are taking pictures... #packmule

This week starts my 3rd Transfer in the field. Crazy how time flies. Harris Choro is leaving because this was his last transfer. So I am getting a new companion. His name is Elder Scowcroft. I don't know who he is yet, but I will soon. I am staying in Nishiwaki though, which I am happy about. This branch is the best and such a blessing to be part of it. It will be interesting and exciting.
This week missionary work wise, was a pretty slow week. We went to Kobe on Wednesday for Harris Choro's last interview before he goes home. So Wednesday, we didn't do much proselyting. Lately, It's been hard to find new investigators and schedule appointments with our current investigators because of various reasons, but we are still working hard everyday. On Friday, we had Zone Training Meeting where we learned a lot about how this is the Lord's work. He is in charge of the people we teach, but we still have to work as hard and efficient as we can in order to gain revelation to help them. We also talked about how we won the war in heaven, but the war is still going on today. We are the "noble and great ones" and if we keep that motivation, we can be successful and win the war against satan again in this life. We know who the winning team is going to be, but we still need to make sure we are on the right side. Make sure you are doing all that you can to help the winning team.
After ZTM, I went on an exchange with Takahashi Choro, one of the Zone Leaders. That was really fun and I learned a lot. I did some streeting and we had some pretty good contacts with some high school students. The next day was the ward's "Mochi Tsuki" Japanese new years tradition where they make Mochi. It was super fun and again pictures will be coming.

The Fukuchiyama zone

 Mochi tsuki at our church!

Me wielding the hammer of Mochi making! It was fun
One of the cute kids in the branch doing the Mochi tsuki

Mochi with Takahashi Choro

Me and an awesome member! Such a cool guy!

On Sunday, all the missionaries were assigned to give talks. So I spent a lot of the week for Language study preparing the talk. I think it went pretty well. 10 minuets using a lot of scripture. It was a good experience. The "rich investigator" came after Sacrament meeting ended. He walked in wearing a green suit and slacks with a HUGE fur coat. If you give him a cane, a big hat, and some bling, the outfit would've been complete. It was so awesome, and crazy outfit, obviously the craziest outfit I've ever seen at church. Anyway, we taught him more about prayer and the Plan of Salvation. He is still way interested and is going to pray and come to church again next week. Then, that night, we had a lesson with another investigator. He is half Thai so we gave him a Book of Mormon in Thai and he is super excited to read it. He was asking questions about how he can better understand it and everything. His Japanese is really good, but Thai was his first language. He is an awesome guy.
So yup, it's my third transfer already. Japanese is getting there. A few more months and work and I will get it. I have the Lord's help everyday. I have a big testimony about the help that Heavenly Father gives each of his children. He always does. Miracles happen everyday if you keep your eyes open to them. Trust in him that everything is for a reason and for your benefit. I know that is true, even in hard times. He gives us hard times to prove ourselves and to grow into those glorified beings we are destined to be. He loves you.
Thank you for all your support. I miss you all so much and I love hearing from you. Continue to be the best you can be, because that is all He asks of us. Love you all!
Elder Lamoreaux

I drew a map at Eikaiwa (English class)

Oshogatsu (Japanese New Year) food at the Branch President's house. Lots of weird looking food, but it all tasted good!

After the Branch President's house, we went to Kiyomizudera; a temple in a nearby city. Very cool. I love Japan
That same day, we ate a ton of food with a Recent Convert at a restaurant. Sushi and Oshogatsu food and later dessert. After that, we went to her house and she fed us more apples and grapefruit and milk and oranges, despite our "complaints". I was so so so so so full.

Beautiful snow

Then the next day, we went to another member's house and had "Sukiyaki" a Japanese style food where they keep piling vegetables and meat in a boiling pot and we eat straight from the pot with rice and egg. Super good and really filling. I am getting fat.....

Santiago Chile Temple from the roof of the MTC.

Two months in.

So two months in, and the mission is pretty swag. Im like starting to get into a groove, and its awesome. Hopefully we can find some more investigators, cause we dont have very many.. Anyway, its in the voice recordings, fun stuff. Pics will be in the next one, you guys are so awesome. Love you all, the gospel is true.
Elder Lamoreaux

Weston - Pictures!

I figured out how to send pictures Finally!!!! Hope you enjoy them:) I started taking a lot of pictures after my SD card got lost so I would have a lot to send to you when I figured it out:) 
   Nothing too crazy happened this week. We're having a really hard time finding investigators that are home. I think we stopped by every investigator at least twice this week to see if they were home for a lesson. It would be so much easier if they all just had cell phones! A lot of our investigators can't afford it. So we have to set appointments after each visit and hope that they remember, which most the time they don't. It wasn't only the investigators that were missing its everyone! We would tract five or six homes and no one would answer the door. Then we would find someone that was home and go like another three or four houses again until the next person. It was pretty frustrating. We tracted for about 11 and a half hours this week and most of that was in 3 degrees our less weather :) Thursday was the coldest. Our car measured it at about 1 degree but that's not including wind chill. With wind chill we were told it was about -20 degrees. 
    That day I wore thermal Garments, Under armor, 2 pairs of regular socks, 2 pairs of wool socks, 2 pairs of pants, my white shirt and tie, 2 sweaters, one large coat, hat and 2 pairs of gloves. I also carried 2 feet warmers and 2 hand warmers. And I was still freezing:) In the least sarcastic way possible I'm here to tell you it was awesome:) It felt good:)
    We may have not met as many people this week but the people who we did meet understood that our message was important because we fought the miserable cold so that we could share our testimonies with them and tell them that the same church Jesus Christ established when he was on the earth was back on the earth Restored through a prophet named Joseph Smith.
Elder Lamoreaux
 Elders Barney, Lamoreaux and Mayberry

 Enroll your child (of God) today!