19 August 2011

Letter from Matlock – 15 August 2011

Dear 家族

Yep. I got transfered. I am now in Abiko with a new companion. He is transfer 4 and is American though he's been living in the Middle East for quite a while now. He says the Middle East is a pretty safe place to live. I don't know if I believe him. And I don't think he should believe me too- he's under a strong impression that I'm only on transfer 6. In actuality I'm not on 6 but twice that much making 12. We'll see how long that lasts.
       The last week included a trip to Costco. Turned out to not be the best timing. Last transfer when I was struggling to fit everything into my allotted space I told myself that next time it will be easier. Things were just fine before I considered the box of soymilk and maple cream cookies. That’s enough soymilk to last one month and enough cookies to last one day. I'm confident that next time it will actually be easier. Unless there's another Costco nearby...
       Our friend came to church again last Sunday. I feel very confident that he will find a lot of joy in the church. He's about 40, 50 years old, has no family, and works 5 days a week. He's found some good friends already at church which I don't think he's really finding at work. When the teacher talked simply about who God is as written in the Book of Mormon he was captivated and took careful notes. This gospel will fill his life with so much joy and meaning. Now I have to find some people like that here in Abiko!
       I just found out that I'm the new district leader here. Would have been nice if they had told me that a little earlier, like during the transfer call. Should be fun. I've only been a district leader in Tokyo for two weeks and about two months in Nagoya.  
        Alright since I'm lacking a lot of detail in this letter I'll tell a story of this week. My former companion and I decided we wanted to work at a nearby town but it was much too hot and we didn't feel like biking there. So we took the train up, got off and started walking around. We decided we would go to a park that was a bit of a walk away and talk to the people on the way. There wasn't very many people out and I couldn't blame them because it was so darn hot. Upon arriving at the park we start talking to a guy sitting on a bench. Our attempts at sharing the gospel seemed a little less eloquent than usual and I wasn't very confident that he would accept an invitation to hear more. But he did! We set up a date to do a church tour and talk a little bit more about the good, good news. Of course that’s happening tomorrow back in Tokorozawa. Hopefully it goes well!
   Another little tidbit before I wrap up here- I finally worked up the courage to use one of those whitening strips. It indicated on the package that it would be normal to experience some pain or discomfort for a few hours. Apparently a few hours translates into eight hours. Oooowww. That may be a first and a last for that one. Unless I become so vain as to subject myself to that much torment for white shiny teeth. Seeing how fast my hairline is going I think all chances for vanity are out the window...
        Well, wish you all well back in the great U.S. of A.

Letter from Matlock – 8 August 2011

Dear 家族
            Apparently things aren't going so well in other parts of the mission since access to youtube was prohibited due to some missionaries looking up some "very inappropriate videos". What this means for me is, I can't look at Mormon messages anymore. Which is a shame. I'm still trying to figure out what is very inappropriate and how that would compare to extremely inappropriate or just mildly inappropriate. So the computers are in jeopardy of being taken away if missionaries keep doing stupid things like that. I say they're just asking too much from us, not being stupid and such. Lower expectations are always easier to achieve.
Now I'll share the weirdest part of the week, the coolest part of the week, and the most miraculous part.
So we were biking down the street, we had just visited a less active member from Cuba and were on our way to the apartment to finish up study. My companion was ahead and I had to cross on the other side of the street to keep up with him since he went through a yellow light. I was biking along on the opposite side when I see a man collapse on the ground slightly ahead of me. I wasn't paying attention so I only noticed him when he hit the ground and started rolling. That’s not normal so I stopped to help him up and see if he was ok. He sure didn't look ok but he kept insisting that he was just fine. Then he starts talking to me in fluent English! In between labored breaths he assured me that he was fine and didn't need help and I didn't believe him since I was holding him up while he was telling me that. His toenails were about half a foot long, and it seemed as if though the last time he trimmed his toenails was the last time he shaved, changed clothes and took a shower. He absolutely refused any assistance and so I... just kept going and didn't really worry about him.
     Then the cool part was, I got some geta. You may be wondering "what is geta". I will tell you. They are shoes. Really old fashioned Japanese sandals that are made of wood and are amazing. I found out the store owner had a daughter who was Christian so I gave him a pamphlet to him to give to her. Maybe something will happen with that.
      The most miraculous was this- my former companion and I stopped someone on the street about a month and a half ago who didn't really seem that interested in church. We got his number anyways and tried calling but he would never answer so we both stopped worrying about him. Well, he called and said that he wanted to come to church and check it out! It was incredible! He came had a good time and I gave him a Book of Mormon and a pamphlet. It was amazing; I never would have guessed that we would be actually interested in coming to church. Yet he came! Just goes to show you never know what fruits your labors will yield down the road.
      Well that’s this week in a nutshell. Transfers this week so hopefully this next week will find me in a new place.
Love you all!
-Elder Wyman

Letter from Matlock – 1 August 2011

Dear Family,

So since I have this laptop sitting on my desk I figured I would spare myself the pain of handwriting a letter. It just got way too convenient I can't resist anymore.
It’s really interesting having the computers. We can e-mail people we are teaching, members, people we meet on the street... I'm still not sure how to go about using it in the work since it’s just so darn different! It’s interesting for sure. During study I can go look up conference talks and watch Mormon message videos online. Just really weird and crazy.
        Speaking of weird and crazy one of my past companions is getting married! I got a letter from him today and apparently he is engaged. I think that’s the first one of my past companions to get engaged. He just earned himself a special place in the record of my mission.
      Meanwhile back in Japan, it looks like I'll be transferring next time. In two weeks one of us will be gone and it will probably be me.
        So nothing too big this week, just practicing typing in Japanese. I don't know if I told you or not but p-days from now on are on Monday.
        Can you look up something for me? Its lectures on faith given by the Prophet Joseph Smith in the school of the Prophets. It came up in my study but I have no way of looking it up. We have a very limited internet access.
Thank you so much, love you all
--Elder Wyman

18 August 2011

Letter from Matlock – 25 July 2011

Dear Family (in Japanese characters)
            I think I’ll report this week in chronological order since I don’t know how else to go about it.
            Started off with a Typhoon. (In Japanese that’s taif­ū. There’s a vague similarity that I can’t quite put my finger on.) About the time it started raining was when I discovered that my companion absolutely loathes rain.
            From there we had splits. I went with an Elder that also lived in the building across from me in BYUI. Probably the same stake! Go figure!
            It was about this time that my allergies hit. Runny nose, sneezing...Just remember, it all fits in later.
            Following that was zone conference. They asked everyone to leave their shoes in another room the same day I wore multi-colored toe socks. Can you ask for better timing?
After coming back I wasn’t feeling hot so I went to bed early only to roll back out of bed half an hour later with an asthma attack. I thought it was a little odd so we called President and the doctor who told us to go to the nearest hospital. At 10:15. Unfortunately my symptoms had died down by the time they sat down with me to do something about it. I assured them that it was more impressive an hour ago. I was really tired since my body had been ravaged by allergies, we were communicated with words I had looked up on the way to the hospital and it was then past my bedtime. One of those times where you scream serenity now! And crawl back into your futon.
Then P-day happened to be my companion’s birthday. So we played Frisbee all day.  Afterwards a member from Sri Lanka took us out to an authentic Sri Lankan restaurant. It was soooo good! Thank you!
            Now it’s technically not P-day anymore but due to some special circumstances I’m finishing this letter today.
            We got computers today! Tokyo mission is now the only mission in the world to have computers. We can email, go online and other computer related things. And next time I call home- it will be on Skype!
Elder Wyman-(in Japanese characters)

Letter from Matlock – 19 July 2011

Dear (Family in Japanese)
           As you can probably tell I have run out of American paper and envelopes.   I was surprised to find that the paper and the envelopes ran out at the same time after having been using them for about a year and a half.
            We went to Chinese class!  The pronunciation is as ridiculous as you would expect it to be.  Apparently Americans are really good at Chinese pronunciation though.  Who would have guessed?  American’s are the best!
            We spent a lot of time pulling weeds around the church.  It was incredible.  There couldn’t be more weeds even if someone intentionally planted them instead of actual plants.  My companion and I decided that it was a bad enough of an eyesore we needed to buckle down and take care of them.  I’m not sure who won; us, the weeds, or the mosquitoes.
            This week a long lost childhood hobby has been revived!  Origami!  It’s so accessible here I decided to go for it.  It’s come in handy a lot so far in teaching lessons and giving gifts to people.  Good, good, good.
            Had a pretty cool experience the other day.  We went to visit a member at his apartment and afterwards we were just going to head back but I really felt like knocking doors.  Really felt like that was the thing to do.  Specifically an apartment building; kind of tucked in between some houses and other buildings.  We went there walked up to the top floor went to the farthest door and found someone who was pretty interested.  After we were done talking with him we were out of time so we left.  No fail housing system.  AKA: The spirit!  I’m on it!

Elder Wyman -(in Japanese characters)