Sunday, September 27, 2015

Misawa Transfer 5 Week 4

"Howdy howdy"
More miracles and news this week 

Heard yesterday that the boyfriend of the girl in the ward that Elder Erickson and I were teaching a few weeks ago, Zach, is looking at a baptismal date in the next couple weeks over in the states! He's read the Book of Mormon twice through and like anyone else who reads and prays about it with an open and humble heart, he believes it's true! And wants to get baptized. I was thrilled to hear that and I will keep you updated.
Had splits this week on Wednesday. I headed down to Hachinohe and worked with Elder Erickson's bean Elder Brantley. Outstanding missionary already and understands most all Japanese, it's crazy. We had a ton of fun and saw some success that day. Played basketball in our missionary attire for 45 minutes and got nice and sweaty.  Picked up some contact info from the kids we were playing with and gave them all copies of the Book of Mormon. We had a couple lessons and set a baptismal date for one of their investigators. Not sure how solid it is cause the guy is crazy quiet but... Hoping it'll work out! Hachinohe was a blast. Forgot to snag a pic.
On Thursday morning we got a call from one of the adult Japanese service missionaries working in the mission office in Sendai. Maybe the best phone call I've gotten from an older Japanese guy! He gave us what we call a "golden" referral. This guy that lives on the north hook of Japan in a city called Mutsu had been talking with a church member all the way down in Morioka and long story short, we were told he wants to take the lessons and join the church. Ya, its awesome. We have a lesson with him today at 4 and are way excited. The only thing that may be a hold back is the fact that Mutsu is a 2 hour drive both ways.. We'll see what we can do about that but this is nothing short of a blessing straight from Heaven. 
Ryou and his friend Azusa both came to English class this week and said they would come to church on Sunday as well. The next night we met this guy around 8:30PM in a parking lot outside one of our less active visits. He was on his way to his car and stopped and talked with us out of nowhere. He said he's seen our church and has wanted to check it out on several different occasions so we gave him a Book of Mormon, invited him and expected to see him as well at church on Sunday. Well, Sunday rolled around, military Ward ended at 1, ate our lunch and got ready to greet our three expected visitors for the Japanese branch at 2. We were totally pumped and ready to have some new investigators! But time went on and none of the hopeful showed except for the least likely of our pool- Kimura san. Which was a great surprise! But not as exciting to be quite frank with ya. And then our dinner appointment with a family and a potential investigator we had prepared for got postponed a few weeks. A day full of lots of high expectations and great things kinda turned into a day of unfortunate events, but I realize the will of God is different than mine and I need to rely on His timing, not mine. 
I'm continuing to learn as of recent that God works in very mysterious ways. It's almost never the case that you'll get what you want when you want it, even if it's a righteous desire. Usually, it'll be close to the opposite. You'll get what you didn't know you wanted when you least expect it. Sometimes that's great and sometimes it's not as great, but flexibility, back up plans, and the ability to move on are all inevitable and crucial components of being a missionary. 

You're all the best and I really appreciate the support you're all still giving me! Have a killer week full of delight.
Elder Robins

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Misawa Transfer 5 Week 3

Hey everyone : -D,

Miracles this week. On Wednesday, we met with a younger single mother with a member friend. She has been having a hard time in life recently and our member friend, Brother Mahlum, decided it would be a good opportunity to introduce the gospel and tell her of all the hope and guidance it gives you in life. I was on splits that day with my Zone Leader Elder Smith. (Habañero challenge for the 3rd time. Brother Mahlum ordered Ghost peppers for the future but I'm not sure about that...) The lesson with this woman went really well, she had good, solid questions and expressed a willingness to put the Book of Mormon to the test by giving it a read. She's in a bit of a sticky situation right now but we hope things will work out with her and that we could at least lead her on the right path. 

The other night, Elder Bruce and I were doing some night time streeting when we came across a group of younger Japanese guys all about 19 or 20 years old. After inviting them all to Eikaiwa (our weekly english class) there was one that stuck around while the rest of the group walked off. He was looking especially hard at our name tags and trying to read what church we were representing which is something I've never seen before. He then goes on to tell us he's been wanting to go to our church one of these Sundays and check it out...! That never really happens. He said he'll come to church next Sunday so we got his number and gave him a few pass along cards with stuff to learn more before we sent him off with the rest of his friends, but man, we are excited to see what happens with Ryou. That's one thing we do have going for us in Misawa- the church building A) is the biggest in our mission and B) is located right in front of the train station, you can't miss it. Big, white and beautiful. The branch president and us are working on making a display in the front of the church to make it a more open, friendlier feel for people to see what we, as a church, are about. Should be way effective.

Other fun things this week include a Japanese wedding party! A newly wed couple from Hachinohe (20 mins south) came up to Misawa and held a reception in the church building up here. The missionaries were invited. It's funny, missionaries here in Japan aren't nudged off to the side and thought of as a burden to take care of or spend time with like I feel they might be in America sometimes- people love us and want to hang out with us. It's nice. But the wedding was way fun, way different, and full of the unexpected for most any wedding, let alone a Japanese one. 
The bride literally shoveling cake to her husband.

Just remember, when life gets hard, and I mean when it gets to the point where you just want to lay in bed all day and not talk to anyone or do anything- that is exactly the point when God is giving you the opportunity to turn to Him and come to know for yourself the power of Christ in our lives. Here's a quote about how sometimes having those trials and hardships are necessary to become spiritually tuned.
"Sometimes we mistakenly may believe that happiness is the absence of a load. But bearing a load is a necessary and essential part of the plan of happiness. Because our individual load needs to generate spiritual traction, we should be careful to not haul around in our lives so many nice but unnecessary things that we are distracted and diverted from the things that truly matter most." - David A. Bednar. 

Have a good week folks and always remember I love you:),

Elder Robins

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Misawa Transfer 5 Week 2

Greetings from the land of the rising sun and rainbows,

Tokyo and Sendai, Japan experienced a typhoon this past week. It looked at first like it would run it's way all the way up the coast to Misawa and that we would have to stay in all day on Saturday but instead it wheeled off the coast back to the Pacific. Saturday actually turned out to be the most beautiful day I've had here in Japan! Tokyo got it really bad and Sendai got hit pretty nice too. All we witnessed here in Misawa was a whole bunch of rain and clouds and some wind, nothing too bad at all. That, folks, is your weather report for the week.

This week was just full of our normal routine stuff. Lot's of appointments, dinners with families, zone training meeting, food and fun. Yesterday was the Annual Misawa Air Show in which the American base and the Japanese military put together a bunch of static displays with like 50 planes and helicopters and then do an air show with a bunch of cool, fast powerful planes for the whole population to see- they open up the base gate and let everybody in for the day. Usually Misawa's population is around 40 thousand and during this one day, it turns into around 150 thousand- pretty big event. We went with the Mahlums and with one of our Eikaiwa (english class) students. It was awesome to see our eikaiwa student, Japanese, react to the feeling of America as it was his first time on base. We first met up at the Mahlums house, went inside and he was freaking out from the Americanness he found himself in. He was like "I woke up this morning in my bed in Japan and now I'm in America!" way funny. The air show was a cool event and I enjoyed watching air planes fly by fast and make loud noises:) 

Our one solid-ish investigator, Kimura, is at a point where she claims all she needs is her own personal conviction about whether or not Christ is real. She claims to know all about Him, understand Him, know His life and everything He did, but just isn't at the point where she can feel that He is there and exists/that He is real. It's a difficult situation to handle because all we can really do is testify of His reality in our lives and other than that, giver her scriptures to read. All she needs is an open and willing to change heart. 

Decent week, hoping and working to see some miracles this upcoming week! Everyone, enjoy yourselves and love one another.  
I'll have to send pictures later! Forgot my SD card reader.  Love you all so much!!

Elder Dallin Robins
Robinzu Chōrō

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Misawa Transfer 5 Week 1

Hey everyone!

Half my week was spent in Sendai, the other half was spent in Misawa! I got to reunite with my whole MTC district for the first time since getting to Japan in March, that was awesome! I got my bean, Elder Bruce. Cool kid, loves the OKC Thunder. 

Church was awesome as always and we're having a good time today. Played some racquetball and some basketball for the first time in almost 2 months. Fun stuff. 

Here is an excerpt from a conference talk by Marvin J Ashton in 1992. It talks about charity and what it really means/is. Give it a read-

Charity is, perhaps, in many ways a misunderstood word. We often equate charity with visiting the sick, taking in casseroles to those in need, or sharing our excess with those who are less fortunate. But really, true charity is much, much more.
      Real charity is not something you give away; it is something that you acquire and make a part of yourself. And when the virtue of charity becomes implanted in your heart, you are never the same again. It makes the thought of being a basher repulsive.
      Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone’s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn’t handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another’s weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other.

Short and sweet this week. Here's some pictures!

Have a good one and love one another!

Elder Dallin Robins
Robinzu Chōrō

Sendai with Bruce Chourou

Genuine happiness- the reunion. Elder Barr, Morris, and Thompson.