Sunday, March 29, 2015

Akita Week 2 Transfer 1


What a fabulous week! Not a whole lot of time to write but 2 people to tell you about and a few other things.

1. Another week of not knowing much (which is an improvement over 'anything') of what anyone is saying but I still do the best I can with what I know. We did some flyer handouts at a train station for this free english class we teach every week and I got laughed at by a group of mean japanese teens for what I assume was my foreignness and bad japanese. Oh well:) its good to laugh at myself.

2. Had my first bowl of real ramen this week! It was sooo much food and greasy meat but it was delish.

3. Kenjiro- this hilarious investigator we have that refuses to speak japanese with us and only uses his slow, but pretty decent english. he loves loves loves the bible, the band U2, maroon 5, and katy perry. He can almost never focus so this week I kinda layed down the law with him on focusing and that was fun. He keeps us entertained.

4. Jerry- korean guy that called us on friday that wants to meet with us every week. He's golden! Love teaching him english and the gospel. he soaks it up. More to come next week.

But it has been a fun and awesome week here in Akita! The moment I feel most like a missionary is when we're on our bikes, suits on, shoulder bags swaying around, its raining outside, and we have our dorky little helmets on. So awesome I love it.

Everyone, please have a great week. This Friday night should be a good one!

Elder Robins

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Akita Week 1 Transfer 1

Hey ! 

Made it to Japan! I LOVE IT
I really dont know where to begin! We woke up to leave Provo at 2:30AM and after a few busses and trains we made it to SLC from there we flew to the Portland airport for my first layover, where I had a very random but awesome moment seeing a good friend from high school (Daniel Paulus, shoutout) It was really great seeing him and for sure a sweet surprise! From Portland was our 10 hour flight to Tokyo and then another layover before our final flight to Sendai. We woke up at 2:30AM Provo time on Thursday and went to sleep at 10:45 PM Japan time on Friday. Nutty time change, they say I`ll have jet lag for another week or so... SO TIRED but genki :]

Anyway, the events started the next morning at 5AM. Headed over to downtown sendai from the "mission home" where we had a conference in which the whole Sendai mission, all the missionaries in northern Japan basically, gathered together in one chapel to hear a training on how to effectively use the iPads we will receive soon. Apparently big meetings like that neverhappen so it was cool to have one on my very first day here! The meeting was sooo good, kinda long being 4 hours but good and I learned a lot. Ok now that I run the rest of what`s happened so far through my head, I see I've gotta kinda highlight things.

First off, whatever they taught me in the MTC was great and all but I can not for the life of me understand what these people are saying! went to church yesterday and all three meetings were great!, but I honestly couldn't tell you what they were about. Haha its been a lot of fun tho and the people are so nice! The Akita branch of 50 people are all amazingly genki, positive and nice! Plus, they are way focused on missionary efforts so its really a great place to begin the mission. I love it already!

My trainer, Elder Hoskyns, is the man. A big white friendly giant, super nice, super chill, fun and definitely a solid missionary. All the people at the big mission conference said I was the luckiest "bean" (brand new missionary) of the group for getting Elder Hoskyns as my trainer. For the next 6 weeks he'll be teaching me the ropes of missionary work here in Japan, leading me, guiding me and most importantly, translating for me;) I live in a small apartment with my companion and one other companionship, Elder's Erickson and Mailes- who are also awesome. 

The weirdest food I've eaten so far hasn't been very weird at all. It was last night when an old japanese man wanted us to come over and eat with him. On the way over, Elder Hoskyns kinda warned me about some of the food this man gives missionaries and how gross it can be ie. the pickled insides of a squid. LUCKILY, I didn't have to eat anything close to that, what I did eat was a pastry type thing with what I thought was a big thick block of chocolate in the middle, delish! but it was actually a slab of red bean paste. So ya, not too weird or too gross, but different!

I was thinking the other night about what a crazy adventure this is. Kinda reminded me about the things I used to do back home when my friends and I would decide to go some random place, check it out and aimlessly explore no matter how much we didn't know about the area. In a way it's a similar experience here/ But the differences are big. This is by far more foreign than anywhere I've ever been- the food is different, I can't read much on the signs or stores, everyone is japanese, and I don't know my way around, but the main thing is, I have a purpose here. I'm not here to aimlessly explore and have a relaxing, fun time. I'm here for others, to help people be happier and to tell them about the amazing plan God has for us.

Alright this email is long enough but I want yall to know Im safe, Japan is so so so awesome, this is an amazing adventure and I am blessed. 

Look up Akita on google maps。Northwest city in Japan. 

Love you all so much and hope you have a great week,

Elder Robins

Thursday, March 12, 2015

8- Almost There!


We got our flight plans last Friday! and found out that one district is leaving on Monday the 16th while our district along with a few other northern-Japan-bound missionaries are leaving on the following Thursday the 19th. It was definitely a bit of a buzz kill at first since we were so hyped to finally be able to head out but once I saw that we were leaving on the 19th I realized that God was looking out for me! The reason being, the hematoma I got a week and a half ago has still been a major obstacle this past week. Going to physical therapy almost every other day and have been working on reactivating my quad muscles so that my leg can start to function normally again. Currently can not lift it off the ground with a straight leg, very strange feeling. Anyway, I believe God knew beforehand I would need those extra 3 days of PT to better prepare for traveling and being self dependent. Luckily the other Elders have been very kind in helping me do things I can't do normally and I am so grateful for all of them... its not fun being a burden:/ The lesson I've learned from this is you never know what you got til its gone; in this case, a healthy body:)

All is good though! Been making a lot of progress and I'm now off the crutches so that's good. Cool story that will make all other missionaries a tad jealous- you are not allowed to swim as a missionary, ever. Pretty basic rule. But guess who got to swim as a missionary? Me:) (for therapeutic purposes of course) My branch president who's literally the man is also my physical therapist. Yesterday, he brought me a swimsuit and had me do some exercises in the pool while Elder Morris had to stand on the side of the pool in his suit and tie and just watch me swim with seraphic, relaxing motions. While he was suffering, I was in heaven. It was pretty sick.

Thank y'all for everything, seriously I appreciate it so much. All of your kind notes and letters have been so encouraging for me while here at the MTC. These past 9 weeks have been awesome and I've never felt any happier about this gospel and the message I will be spreading in Japan. Love and miss you all, have an awesome week! See you on the flip side in Japan!

Elder Dallin Robins

PS: For anyone that was planning on sending any last packages or physical mail (bless your hearts first of all) , you will want to send it out by today or early tomorrow. I head out very early Thursday morning so any mail that arrives after Wednesday I will not receive. Cool thanks!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Week 7 Review 8^)

Hello friends and fam!!

Another amazing week its been here in Provo- beautiful snow, we built a quite disgusting but beautiful and charismatic snowman, we are now 10 sunrises away (yes, we're counting by sunrises) from heading to Japan, and I got a nice fat hematoma on my left thigh! sooo much of fun being on crutches (sarcasm:))

This lead to my companion and I being granted to go on a field trip to a medical center yesterday! It was a blast, just me, my companion and our wonderful Mexican driver cruising through Provo enjoying the scenery of the outside world. It's funny how weird it was to be in a car and outside campus in the real world for the first time in 2 months. Such an exciting time in my life and we really made the most of the experience. The good news is i get to do it 4 more times before I head out to do physical therapy. Woohoo! 

In other news, our lessons to our investigators have been getting better and better and our teaching skills as a companionship have really improved. It's a tad more exciting than it sounds, getting better at teaching is what I need for the next two years!

The most exciting part of the MTC experience comes tomorrow when we get our FLIGHT PLANS. Flight plans are exactly what they sound like so I don't feel I need to explain but it's honestly so exciting to have made it to the final week here at the MTC. We will be leaving along with 3 other districts, 2 of which got here this past Tuesday. They're Japanese and already know how to speak the language so they only spend two weeks in the MTC and head out with us. Crazy how fast this time has gone and how much I've been able to learn and grow. Got a lot of packing and organizing to do in the upcoming week! :)

Other than that, another fun (except for being hurt:( ) and exciting week here with my Elders and Sisters, Choro and Shimai, Teachers and friends. 

Love and miss all yall!
Have a splendid week full of joy and wonderment!

Elder Robins

My favorite Japanese people ever. Hecka funny people
Sorry, it only lets me send one pic at a time, more next week!