Monday, June 30, 2014

Travels Through Tambos

Hello!

This week Elder B and I went with our investigators, the M...zawas, to eat sushi and to see the fireflies at a really famous place here in Ueda. 

They have these places here called Kaitensushi which I think means "conveyor belt sushi." Next to your table, they have a conveyor belt with plates of sushi on them. And if you want something specific that you don't see on the conveyor belt, they have a little computer menu, and after you send in your order, they send it out to you on a train. It's about 100 yen for one plate, so the plates stack up pretty high. Especially if someone else is paying for it. M, the dad of the family told us that we could eat as much as we wanted. My companion is a pretty big guy, so he ate 23 plates before stopping. But he could have eaten more. He just had mercy on M's wallet.

Then we went to go see fireflies, they were really pretty. And we played with their crazy kids.

Here are some pictures from Sunday.


Getting ready to practice the hand bell choir


Our investigator, M...ami-chan
We are teaching M...ami's whole family English and the Gospel, but because her parents are stubborn and don't want to listen to us, we are focusing on her. She has a lot of interest in the Gospel. She is really curious I think. And because we are such good friends with her parents, she might be able to be baptized in a couple months.

That's all I have time for this week. I hope you're all doing well.

-Elder Mueller

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

District Conference

Hello,

We had a District Conference in Matsumoto this week for all the branches in Nagano. And I went to the adult session of a conference for the first time. That was a bit strange. But Elder B and I were half an hour late because we had to take the train there, and we got lost while we were trying to get to the church. We were there for most of the meeting though. 
     It was really good. They talked about member missionary work a lot. I don't know how things are in America right now in the church, but they have been focusing a lot on member missionary work in Japan. President Yamashita spoke as well.
     That night, all of the Elders stayed in the Matsumoto missionaries apartment. All twelve of us. It was really crowded. And I didn't sleep very well, because there wasn't much room. But it was really fun to get the chance to talk to people for a while.
     On Sunday we watched a broadcast that I think the showed in all the Stakes and districts in Japan. Elder Christofferson spoke, and Bishop Stevenson of the Presiding Bishopric also spoke. 
     This coming Saturday, our investigators, the M...zawas are going to take us to see the fireflies in the evening. It's going to be really amazing! Elder B and I saw just one at the church on Tuesday, and just the one was really amazing. They look like tiny electric lights floating in the air.
      As for pictures, I will try to remember to take more pictures of everything. Especially the people I meet. But here are a few.
      

This is a picture I took of the train map so that I could learn it better. The trains in Nagano are ridiculously complicated.

M...zumi-kun, our investigator, works at a watch store, so I bought a new watch band from him.


This is the Ueda branch chapel. That's all the stand. On the left is the sacrament table. and on the right is our electric piano. Since there are only 12 active members, half the ward sits on the stand during sacrament meeting.

This is one of the many strange bugs I've seen in Japan. And my shoe. It had HUGE antennae.

Okay. That's all for this week. I hope you're all well. You should e-mail me :D

-Elder Mueller

Monday, June 16, 2014

Work, Work, Work, Work Work

Hello,

Elder B and I have been very, very busy this week. Last night we even had to go on a split with two members because we had two appointments at the same time. And so we are really tired all the time. We have a lot of investigators and we are working really hard to help them progress. 

We had transfer calls this last Saturday and. . . . .Elder B and I are both staying in Ueda. Hooray! I could not have handled being area senpai right now, nor could I have handled transferring to a new area, so I'm pretty happy about that.

Here are some pictures!


A picture of my companion and I


Ueda市

Rice fields and mountains. Two things which are very abundant here.

上田の山

More mountains

The view east from the bridge we have to cross every day. That other bridge is a train track.

The view west from the bridge. As you can see, the clouds are really pretty here. Especially with the mountains.
Daisies I found.



This transfer we have a talent show the day before Branch Conference, and, among other things, I am conducting a bell choir in playing "Scarborough Fair" and maybe "I am a Child of God." God has given me lots and lots of opportunities to use my musical talents ever since I got here and I'm really grateful for that. I will take a video in a few weeks when the talent show happens.

Okay! Have a good week, everybody!


-Elder Mueller

Monday, June 9, 2014

We Need Your Prayers!

Hello!

So, something amazing happened this week. We have an investigator with a baptism date!!!! He's the first one in this area for about a year and a half. 

His name is Mor...-kun. He was an investigator a few years ago when he was in high school, but his parents didn't let him get baptized, and then he went away to college. But he saw us and called us a couple weeks ago, and we picked him back up as an investigator. He still wants to be baptized and he loves the church and he is really good friends with one of the members. And we played ping pong with him and then asked him to be baptized. But he really needs your prayers, because he still would like his parent's approval, and he also has to work on Sundays right now, so he can't come to church. So please pray for him! This Saturday we are playing ping pong again, and sometimes we visit him while he's working. Right now, his date is July 19th, but we are going to try to do it sooner than that if we can. 

This could be amazing!!

Have a good week,

-Alex

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Another Week Past

Hello,

We've been seeing lots of miracles this week in Ueda. We have this family of investigators, but they haven't been really progressing. But we decided to focus more on the daughter, since she's 20 and will actually listen to us. And we invited her to come to a Family Home Evening at the church, and she came! And she brought a friend. And after we played some Uno (And I won every single round), we shared a message about prayer and she was really really focused on it. And we visited their house yesterday and moved their electric piano and ate food and invited her again and she was super excited to come! 

Also, our progressing investigators, the M---was, almost had a baptismal date when we invited them last Saturday, and they said that they would want to be baptized if they know it's true, but they aren't sure yet. But I might see my first baptism here, and it might be theirs. 

Also, Zone Conference was last week. The Mission Home people kind of swing back and forth between saying 'stats are really important, we need to get better stats' and saying 'stats aren't directly tied to your success  as a missionary.' And this time they were on the 'stats are important' side. It was a pretty good Zone Conference. The two Assistants to the President are really great right now. And I can tell that it really helps Zone Conferences be good.

Unfortunately, and this is definitely not a miracle, my quality of sleep has been really really low these last few weeks. It may have something to do with the sun already being bright by 5:30. I really need to find a solution, because it's really bad to be tired all the time.

Also, the weather is getting pretty hot which means it's pretty much summer. Just like when it's cold, it's kind of hard to do missionary work when it's really hot. And my companion gets hot really easily, so he hasn't been very happy with the weather lately.

Hope everything is going well,

-Elder Mueller 

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