05 October 2011

Email from Matlock 10/3/2011

Dear Family,
     Konnichiwa! From Adachi! Things are going quite well with my new companion. He is very different from his brother though. Which is probably a good thing in some aspects. They look different too but when I look at him from the right angle in the right light and he makes just the right face he looks just like his brother! I'm continually astounded at how different they are and yet exactly the same at the same time. If that makes any sense.
     When I came in here we had absolutely nothing. Basically what we have are people who have been meeting with the missionaries forever are not progressing and haven't met with them much over the last month. The most promising person was a man who wants to meet for 2 hours to talk about who knows what. And he apparently doesn't like the missionaries that much. So we are starting from scratch here. We went out and tried to find a lot of new people and found a good amount of people with great potential. One kid wanted to be baptized, one man wanted an eternal family, and others wanted to learn more or do a tour of the church. Upon following up with these people we were disappointed to learn that we had found a bunch of liars who gave us false numbers, emails and even blocked our numbers. There are easier ways to get rid of us! So the goal for next week is to have that not happen.
     Yesterday we had an all mission conference where the returning missionaries gave their farewell testimonies. My companion was up there. That was very indicative of how much time he has left. Most of the people bearing testimony were my senpai or the group that’s one senior to me. Which means next time is me.... weird to think about because I still have a ton of time left!
     Oh! On the train on the way back I talked with a new missionary who is absolutely hilarious! He told us the long long story of him and his girlfriend. It’s not a long drama it just simply what he did for her right before he left. So he met this girl fell in love but knew that he would be leaving on a mission soon. He wanted things to work out while he was gone for two years and he also had three months of downtime between school and the MTC. SO- He wrote twenty four letters to her for every month of his mission. For every letter but the first and last one he made a package to go along with it filled with mementos from past dates, mix CD's candy who knows what. He marked and labeled them and has his parents sending them one a month. Then apparently you can write e-mails and text messages and have them be sent a different day so she is also getting an email a month from him as well as random scattered texts throughout the mission. She mentioned that Sundays are lonely for her since both her parents have church responsibilities and SO- he wrote an email to her for every Sunday while he is gone! On top of this he has links to video messages that he recorded that she will receive every month or so I guess. Its oh-so romantic and if things don't work out between them it will be the worst! I have never ever in my life heard a crazier story than this. About 90% of missionaries that I know of have broken things off with their girls. Or got broken off.... This kid is a classic newbie. So funny.
      Speaking of new missionaries there's one in this apartment and he's from Japan. He is so funny! Every night he has been telling us scary ghost stories. These are really funny! Last nights was about two girls staying alone in the house and one was sleeping on a bed while another was sleeping on a futon on the floor. The one on the futon kept trying to get the other girl to go outside with her. She asked her to go to the bathroom together with her, to go out to get a bite to eat together and then to go out stargazing together. Finally the girl consents and once outside asks why did you want me to come with you so bad? She replies, under your bed was a man holding a knife! Then he says OOooh so scary! It’s a blast I really enjoy this apartment.
      Dad- you've eaten Kobe beef?! I want to try that so bad! Apparently the cows they use for Kobe beef they keep in the dark all the time, either feed them sake or bathe them in sake, have them lying down most if not all the time, and the best part- they massage these cows all the time! Now that’s some tender meat. If you want to learn more about the making of Kobe beef you can probably find more at some animal rights activists’ website.
       Thank you everyone, Love you all!
--Elder Wyman

Email from Matlock – 29 September 2011

Dear Family,
      This week we did in fact have transfers.
      You may be wondering what happened with transfers. Despite the usual pattern of things I transfered out of Abiko and went to Adachi. Adachi is Tokyo. I finally made it in! I'm in the city! When I heard Tokyo mission I imagined skyscrapers, kimonos and lots and lots of people. After biking through rice fields and going hours without seeing another human soul I decided that was not so. Now I'm in! My area includes Akihabara, Tokyo skytree, a big zoo, and other busy city like things. It was a bit of a bummer to leave Abiko but it’s also nice to finally break through the barrier and make it into the city.
     My current companion is the younger brother to a companion I had last year. I told President that I was with his brother a while back and asked if I could be with him. It went through! He is on his last transfer which makes this the third person I will have sent home. Since I've killed off three people that makes me a serial killer. A title not many people can claim. I'm really happy things turned out the way they did. We get along really well- we became pretty good friends last year when we were in the same district. At last I won't have any problems with my companion! Finally!
      This last week was fairly eventful in of itself. On Tuesday I went to Matsudo on splits. When I went to use the sink I found it was covered in yellowish slime, the kind that builds up on occasion but really only takes a wiping with a damp sponge to clean up. So I went looking for a damp sponge. I went into a closet and was looking through the drawers when I found a watch. About a year ago, I happened to stay at Matsudo overnight since we had a conference nearby the next day. At that time I left my watch in the apartment. I found that exact same watch in the apartment! Then I found the sponge and cleaned the sink. I also cleaned the mountain of dishes in the sink. It reached the point where you did have room to stick dishes in between the faucet and the mountain of dishes. I think that may be why they didn't get done; there wasn't room to do it so it was near impossible.
      Then the next day when I got out of the shower my companion said "The mission office called we're not to leave the apartment today." Sweet. There was a good reason for it though. That was the same day a massive typhoon swept all of Japan. By the end of the day I was glad I didn't have to go out in that, but disappointed I wasn't allowed to go out and play in it. During our day inside my companion decided to cut his hair. That was mistake number 1. He called me in and asked me to trim up the back a little bit. That was mistake number 2. I went up a little too far and left a nice short spot up the side of his head. Ouch. I was worried he was going to have to walk around looking like a dork for a month or two waiting for it to grow back but he cut it all a little shorter and it ended up ok. He won't make both of those mistakes again!
I'm getting tired of typing so that’s all for this week.
Love you all!
Elder Wyman

Letter from Matlock 9-19-2011

Dear (Japanese characters)

Mom- I completely forgot to tell you what I did the week before last! You’ll be so proud of me- I held a district meeting based on finding people and I gave a whole training on how we should be using family history centers to help find people! I talked about how most of our work should be based on families, all of mankind is one big family, and the gospel blesses families. Then I went on to talk about how most people only practice Buddhism because their ancestors did and many Buddhist sects actually worship their ancestors! The zone leaders promised that they would go find information on the nearest family history centers and get that information to us so we can start inviting people to learn about their ancestors. Despite all evidence to the contrary I am my mother’s son. Who would have guessed?
Now back to this week, I heard some insanely good news just this morning! So missionaries have computers. These computers can use Skype. We can Skype anyone in our area, in Japan, in the Philippines, Brazil, Australia…China! I happen to know some people in China…and I can talk with them over Skype! I don’t have to wait until the end of my mission until I can talk to one of our Chinese investigators again! This is so exciting!
Speaking of exciting 4 new students came to our English class this week! One man is 75years old, has almost fluent English and he loves Mormons. The more I think about him the more I’m convinced that he fell straight from heaven. He found out about this English class in an ad that was for a different location and eventually he was referred to this class. We gave him a Book of Mormon upon learning that he is 1) Interested in learning more about us. 2) lives by himself and all he does is read all day. That’s the formula for success right there.
Another one of those new students, is also looking very promising. She stayed in Australia for a year and at that time started wondering what this whole Christian thing is all about. After our church introduction lesson was over she said she was interested in learning more! Those are words I like to hear.
Also we got in contact with a lady who wants to come to English class and hear the missionary lessons again. I don’t know where all these people are coming from but it’s all right with me!
Next week is transfers. In my interview with the President he strongly hinted that one of us would be transferring. He said, “One of you will be transferring.” So I took that to mean we can expect a transfer. So next week you can all hear about my new installment! I think I may have learned more with this companion than many of my other companions. Because of that I’m hoping I get a companion that I don’t learn as much with. The more I learn the faster my hair line recedes and if I keep learning at this rate I’ll be completely bald by the time I get home.

Love you all
Elder Wyman
(Japanese characters)