Monday, August 15, 2011

Japan - Week 12

Ohaiyo gozaimasu!! (good morning)
How is everyone doing this week?? Things here in Japan are great!! We have felt a few little earthquakes here and there but nothing bad. 
Anyways yesterday was transfers.. . . .and . . . . I transfered again HAHA. I am now in an area called Ushiku. It is North of Tokyo. And pretty flat and nothing big about it. We call it the inaka, which means middle of nowhere pretty much. So I went from the biggest city with tons of people to a place where old people are and live in small houses. We probably live in the only tall building for miles. It is the only apartment complex that I can see. It is pretty darn empty here. Anyways, thanks for the video guys!! I will for sure visit Camille and Colton when I get back. And will eat a bread thing that Jared had from Connie hahaha. He is still crazy as usually. So they are going to be living at Provo?? I could stop by when we go up for school or something. haha
I think I kind of like the big city more. There is just so much more to do. It seems pretty boring out in the suburb. But I can't say much yet about it. I have only been here for one day haha. My bike was doing great last week. Finally got it back but got a flat tire and fixed that. But then had to take it apart so that we can ship in a bag to my new area. HAHA so yeah. We ride pretty much everywhere. Just cause it is faster and you don't get as sweaty. In Shibuya, the train could be faster but it does get expensive pretty fast.
Our investigators hopefully will keep doing well. We hope that people don't get lost or forgotten about. That's what is hard about transfers is making sure all the info is there. And since we are reopening this area in Ushiku ever since the earthquake. We are not sure where people stand in terms of investigators. There happen to be three people coming to church that last few weeks, which is way good. Hopefully we can help out. Pres Albrecht told us not to take over what the members have done and are doing. He just wants us to help out with them. Cause if they do it themselves more chances the investigators will feel comfortable coming and want to be baptized with their friends. Members are the key for converts.
That is crazy Bryan is coming home soon. He seemed like he just left. Victor Sine is close to being done too. I am pretty sure at least. And Doug I think is at his year mark or close to it.  Crazy stuff!!!
Ohh cool!! I don't know where I will be in November yet haha. I could be transferred twice by then hahah. I haven't stayed in an area more than one transfer yet. We will see how long I will keep this trend up. HAHA
My shirt size is like 15 1/2 I think but I don't want to make you ship something that big over here. Too expensive. We will have to find someplace close by.
My testimony has really grown at the MTC and on mission. I didn't really have a strong testimony at all before I left. I just knew going on a mission was the right thing to do. But I know there is a reason for me coming at this time. Still trying to figure it out though. Anyways My new companion is Elder Bates and is from Denver Colorado area. He loves musicals and stuff and is loud and funny. We should be fine together. haha
Well thats all this week nothing to exciting happened. And get to start up missionary work here in Ushiku. hah the name is so funny
Love you all!! I pray for your safety and comfort! <3 Stay safe. Keep writing everyone!!
Love you, Elder McKinney
Here are a couple of pictures of Nathan and his companion with Jonathan Sugata's (one of Nate's friends) grandparents and mom.  They ran into him at the train station in Tokyo.  What are the odds of that, huh?! :)


Monday, August 8, 2011

Japan - Week 11

How is everyone doing this last week? Things here in Shibuya are great. We are starting to see more people interested in coming to activities. We have had so many cool things to do. This week we tried to do different types of contacting. Like walking the streets, going to the park and talking to people and so on. We had some success with those in talking to people but no one seemed to be interested in the gospel very much.

Also, I finally get my bike back. It got a new derailer and chain for about $40 so not too bad. I thought it was going to be way worse than that.  Also on Wednesday, we had a miracle happen. We were walking around to find a place that looked good to eat and a lady came over to us and stopped us. She started talking to us and everything. (In Japan that almost never happens) She really wanted to learn English but couldn't always make it to our class on Wednesday because she has meetings so we ate dinner with her and helped her practice English. It is so surprising how many people know some English here. I feel like i'm in America still just everything is in Japanese!! HAHA

Anyways we taught a guy this week that was an investigator before but just got super busy with work and he still reads the Book of Mormon sometimes and has read all the pamphlets from before. He really wants to learn more. He just loves learning new types of things. He owns like 3 businesses and works for 3 or 4 more. All he does is work. People work so much here its so crazy!! We also had a less active call with the Branch President of the English branch out of the blue, and said he wants to come back to church. The last time he went to church was when he was 16!! Super crazy so he came yesterday to church and seemed excited to be back there but doesnt remember very much about what we do anymore. So we might have to teach him lessons too just as a refresher. That was the sum of our week. Staying pretty busy and sweating a ton. It is so hot here right now. You walk out and five mins later you are sweating from head to toe. Crazy weather.
To answer some of your questions, I like to get both emails and letters. Letters are fun just cause we have more time to read it but email is fine too. The four pictures I sent were just randomly selected because I can't view them as I choose, sorry about that. But two are from a photo museum that we went to and showed how the lighting changes the mood. Stuff like that.   Our apartment is on the 4th floor. And I don't really know the people very much because we don't go out when most other people go out. We dont really want to attract attention from our neighbors because investigators aren't supposed to know where we live. I think most members work in Tokyo or Shibuya. We live in a suburb called Ebisu. We get an occasional referral. Mostly they want us to help the members do the missionary work and get them to share the gospel themselves. We take the subway and trains a lot because it is faster than anything else. Our area is way bigger than back in Irvine. We visit members super far away and it takes about an hour by bike if we go super fast.  Here are a few more pictures:
Picture 1: Last area view from our back patio on the 5th floor.

Picture 2: Emperor Palace in Tokyo
Picture 3: This is the view from the Tokyo Tower. ALL SKYSCRAPERS!!
Picture 4: Rainbow Bridge in Odaiba (still our area)

Picture 5: Tokyo Disneyland, cant go there as missionary :(

Picture 6: Aquarium (penguins being fed)

Picture 7: My bike before it was fixed

I hope those give an insight to things we do here haha Love you all!! Stay safe! and The Gospel is true. Peace out A-town
Love you all! HUGG!!!
Elder McKinney

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Japan - Week 10

Hello everyone!! 
Sorry about last week's letter, we had so many things going on with our new laptops and we went to visit some places and such that we just ran out of time to email. Sorry. So I will try to answer your questions and report on stuff from the last few weeks. Sounds like everyone is keeping pretty busy with the summer time now. We have seen alot of white people here in Shibuya these last few weeks. Its a little strange to see so many. And we have had a fun experience at an army base last saturday. We got to have some REAL TACO BELL!! on the Air Force Base in Yoyokata I think it was called. One of the members of the English branches works and lives on there. So we got the chance to play soft ball with people from the ward and eat normal American food. It was awesome!! :D Ohh I also forgot to tell you our P-Days are switched to Mondays now like the rest of the world. We only had it on Tuesdays because that was when the temple session was. But now we can go any other Tuesday we want to. We went to a innovative museum and it had some robots and old ones they tested and stuff. Way cool!! We havent really been finding people prepared yet but we did have 6 NEW people come to and since it is free, we kind of have a catch that we have to do an intro lesson. Which is pretty much a normal lesson. So maybe we can find people from that. Hopefully it all works out. We also are working with a guy who is really ready to be baptized and has heard all the lessons but just has no motive to do it. So we are working with him and slowing getting him more and more active with things. Like he came to the softball at the base and really loved it. He is Japanese but speaks pretty good English. We teach him in English. It is really cool.
Ohh Elder Abraham said his mom sent him an email about you two chatting too. HAHA Parents are so funny!! hahah Regarding shirts we can find some probably some where cheap just don't know how long they will last. But we can do it. Also my bike is supposed to be done this week. So we will have to pay for the charges whenever we go.
I never did go on the Pioneer Trek. I think I was working when they did it and couldn't get time off.
None of the names you sent me sounded familiar but I don't know. Its so hard to remember Japanese names, they just sound like normal words when people say them. Plus they say it super fast.
Well today we played football with some other missionaries and was way fun!! I think we are just going to relax after that haha! Well I love you all!! Keep sending letters and emails! I love hearing from all of you. And if you any questions please ask I would love to answer some. I don't know what kind of things you would like to hear. Stay safe and do what is right!! 
<3<3 Elder McKinney