Mailing Address:

Elder Jarron McKay Molen
Japan Tokyo South Mission
1-7-7 Kichijoji, Higashi-cho
Musashino-shi, Tokyo
180-0002 JAPAN

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Week 7 - Jin - Training Spiders - Cockroaches - Escalator Panic


November 8 - So this was a pretty cool week and I'll tell you a little bit about it.  

Tuesday:  So we basically had transfer cleaning all day long. I beat out my futon and all that fun stuff. Cleaned out our gross air vents which was enjoyable. Basically we did that all day and after dinner we went to help one of the sisters take apart her bike for transferring.

Wednesday:  So like last Wednesday we went over to center Minami and went in more parks. We didn't talk to very many people this time cause they didn't really want to, but it was still very enjoyable because the parks here are very pretty. We meet lots of gai Jin (foreigners) and every time we ask them why they are in Japan they say for work. But then we ask what they do and they sort of just round about tell us what they do and it's always shady sounding lol. But after we went through all the parks we were leaving and we ran into a guy who was interested so we taught him the restoration, and he seemed pretty kin Jin (golden investigator). But he wouldn't give us contact info. and said he might call. Sadly he hasn't yet but that's ok.

Then we went to dinner and sort of accidentally stopped an escalator so we were worried cause there was a sign at the top saying "anyone who messes with this escalator we are gonna call the cops on." But we went and ate food and the escalator resumed its movement so it's all ok now.

Then we returned to Kikuna. Oh I almost forgot, we found a baby cockroach on our wall and we also fine a little jumpy spider on our wall so we tried to get them to fight. But they wouldn't, so we stuck them in a jar and they still did nothing. But then an hour later we looked, and the spider was totally vampire, get the thing. We were very happy and now we hope that since he has had a taste of cockroach blood that he will go hunt more. We are training him.

Thursday:  We had studies and then I got my new companion! His name is Elder Phillips and he is way chill and I think we will get along great. We unpacked a few things of his and put his bike together, then we went to the church for weekly planning. After planning we went and got soba and katsudon for dinner which was tasty. We also got melon pan which is pretty amazing. Then we had ekaiwa which was way fun and one of our students quit his job and I want him to become an investigator because he can probably come to church more easily now. We are good friends. He is really nice and cool so I hope he will maybe take lessons.

Friday:  We had lots of studies (as usual) then went to district meeting. We taught a kid part of the restoration on the way there but he had to go sadly so we gave him the pamphlet and invited him to the Christmas party. District meeting went great and then we went back to the apartment for dinner. After that we went to shin Yokohama and started streeting around. We met a lot of interesting people and invited them to church. Most people there are just focused on work so they don't really wanna listen. We did talk to some driving old guys. One kept shaking our hands and the other was just being all weird. They wanted us to have some sake but we said we don't drink it, and they were very surprised. One of them gave us a sen which is equivalent to 10 dollars and told us to go buy some, but we said we didn't need it and tried to give it back. He wouldn't take it no matter how hard we tried so we ended up having to take his money cause he refused to take it back. So that was fun.

Saturday:  We did some studies then went and started housing near a less active's house hoping he would call because we usually have a lesson with him on Saturday.  We didn't have much success and our less active didn't call but that's ok. We then went back and got on the train for Kichijoji. We were going to get free flu shots and I saw a bunch of the other missionaries there. It was a fun reunion and cool to go back to Kichijoji. Then we ate Mcdonalds and went back to our respective areas.

Sunday:  I didn't understand very much still but I think I'm getting better. Sacrament is the bomb everyone, you should love it. A couple of our less actives came to church so that was pretty cool cause it wasn't expected. After church we had choir practice and then we went home teaching with Suzuki Kyodai which was great. We talked about the importance of reading scriptures as a family. After that we went back and ate dinner and the other elders made me eat this disgusting jelly-like seaweed stuff in vinegar. It was horrible and I almost threw up, but I finished it so that's good. Then went did a little bit of housing before we came back.

Monday:  All I have done is studies today but we are going to go to the Mitsubishi Museum and I think it is going to be pretty sick. We are also gonna teach one of our investigators that this is the true church and we are going to lay down the law a little bit because we haven't been talking at all in the last lessons because he has been trying to
teach us. So ya that's today. Thanks for all the emails and I will see you next week.

Week 6, November 1 - Halloween in Japan

They don't really celebrate Halloween here :(
So ya I don't have my timeline of stuff this week but I'll do my best. 

Monday: Our investigator tried to convince us the trinity is correct lol. That was about all that happened on Monday that y'all didn't hear about.

Tuesday:  So we had zone meeting and it was fun. I got to see all the other fun people in my zone and we had some good trainings. We talked about how to combat opposed parents when they don't wanna let their kid get baptized. Jk it's not really combat it's just how to nice them into it. Then we talked about our purpose and had good testimonies.  Then we had some lunch and all the other missionaries went to their own areas. Then we practiced our song for Saturday and that was enjoyable.

























After that we finished details on our pinatas. We made some pretty great pinatas for the Halloween party and we made them look nice and scary. None of the Japanese people know what a piñata is lol.


Elder Gammon's Pinata
My pinata



Then we had a shokuji Kai which is a dinner appointment. We went over to our ward mission leader's house and had awesome food and stuff. We shared some testimonies and it was way fun. Only downside is that we had to ride up so many hills to get there. We call it 'Yokohama thunder thighs' 'cause there are lots of hills in Yokohama. Literally one place is named 'Kamiooka' which means 'up the big hill'


Park 1
Park 2
Wednesday:  This was a super productive day and it was way fun. We had studies and stuff but then we went to center Minami and did park finding. I like parks.  So we went to a less active's apartment but he wasn't there so we went on to the parks and talked to a bunch of people. We got 21 sos's which is where we talk to someone and invite them to church so that was way good. We met some interesting people, and then when we were going to leave we talked to a high school student on the way and we sat down on a nearby retaining wall and taught him the restoration. He wants to learn about the Bible and he was really nice so we also invited him to Ekaiwa. We then went and talked to more people before going home, but we are super happy cause we got a new investigator!


"Ya, there is a Ferris wheel on  that building!"
Park 3
Thursday:  So today we had weekly planning like all day as usual and then we went to Ekaiwa. Our friend who we met last night M---- S---- came! We were way happy and tried to make him feel really welcome. We did a special Halloween themed discussion and it was fun teaching the students about Halloween culture in America. They really seemed to like it and we had a lot of fun. We talked to a lot of people after and it was all in all a great day.

Friday: So we had the usual morning routine and then we went to district meeting. We talked about final plans for the Halloween party and some other stuff. Then we chilled at the church for a while after that 'cause Elder Gammon was finishing some college stuff. So I went through the phone and updated all the stuff and made it all right. After that we went over to the Ito's for dinner. They made us so much freaking food...... It was a struggle to eat it all but it was all very delicious. When we thought they were done, they just kept bringing more food. Anyway we taught them about baptism and stuff. We are trying to get them to the temple cause they haven't really gone
yet and that's our next goal for them. It was a great night and they are totally awesome and nice people.



Halloween:  So we woke up and got ready and went to the church. We got transfer calls at 11! I am staying here in Kohoku area but my new companion will be elder Phillips. Elder Gammon is going to be my district leader now and he's staying here too but just switching to Kohoku A elder instead of B, which does nothing basically.

We set up a bunch of decorations and started getting ready for the party. It was way fun and I dressed up as spider man by just wearing my spider man shirt under my white one and pulling it apart a little and then I would say "shhhhh" and walk away. I won the costume contest for most interesting so that made me happy. I got to do some gymnastics for the talent show so that made me real happy. We had a kid named Francis do some sick dancing but like none of us got a video so that was sad. Then we had trick or treating. They don't get it at all, he he. We sat at the door of rooms in the church and then waited for them to knock and they didn't get the concept of you either get a trick or a treat, so in the end we gave them candy and let them go away confused.



 After that we had the piñata time which was funny cause they were pretty tough and they couldn't break them for a while.  One kid got violent after whacking stuff and started whacking me with his pitchfork. Then we had some food and just chilled the rest of the time. I think everyone had a pretty good time and enjoyed it for the most part. 

Fast Sunday was good and I still didn't understand much but I think I'm getting better! I tried to get what they were saying but they talk in ways I don't see how you can understand.  Sunday was pretty uneventful 'cause after that we went back to the apartment and just chilled after dinner 'cause Elder Gammon is a bit sick again.

Monday:  So today we went to tonkatsu cause it's a sister's birthday, and we are doing the usual p-day stuff, so ya thanks for everything and that is all for this week.  I'll see you next week. 



Week Five (In Japan) - "The Blitz; The real Rock, Paper, Scissors; Arice"

"Jesus Loves You.  I don't know why I used this subject line. 

Monday:  Well, we had an interesting lesson with our friend who we meet on Mondays and he read a conference talk I think, so I hope we can get him to read more. He really tries so hard to be like Christ and we want to build off of that and show him the restored gospel.

"A big building where we did the Blitz"
Tuesday:  So today we had the zone blitz!! It's where the whole zone goes to one area that is usually a shopping area where there are lots of people and we try to give out Books of Mormon and teach people. So we set up a booth near the exit of the train station on the platform. It was a beautiful booth I must say, and we gave out like 5 books, and 3 people said they would come to church! But after a half hour the police showed up and shut us down. 

They said it was ok at first, but they lied 'cause they came back later and stopped us. (The standard of truth has been erected and we will not be silenced!) So we went off the platform and continued on with bringing salvation. I went with one Elder Gonzalez.  He is like transfer 15 and we talked to a few people and gave out a BoM so that was awesome. We had a wonderful time and it was joyous. 

After that I went with Elder Coleman who is part of my
group who came over to Japan with me! So we had two inexperienced missionaries trying to speak the language and it was great! We talked to a few people and invited them to church, gave out a Book of Mormon and it was way fun. We talked to an eighteen year old and we were like "hey we are eighteen too!" And we had a great conversation. And then we had testimony meeting and it was great. Then I figured out after I fixed the second hole in my bike tube that it was flat once more, hurray!! So that wasn't fun.

Wednesday:  So today I went on splits with one Elder Clark and we had a great time. We had studies and then had Indo curry which is just Indian curry, but it's amazing. They give you these big tortilla things called a "naan" and you dip it in curry and it's just delicious. I had 3. Then we went and started streeting over near where we had a lesson appointment and it was pretty great. We met a randomness American who was traveling Japan so that was cool. Then we met these two high school kids and we taught them about the Book of Mormon and asked them to pray with us so we prayed right there on the sidewalk! It was way cool and we gave them each a BoM so I hope they read it. Then we went to our lesson and we sort of just talked and then we gave a member a priesthood blessing, and I think we made her really happy. The brother who who actually gave the blessing was a really cool and kind older man who I think is going to be the president of the Tokyo temple or something like that, so that was awesome. Then we had dinner and streets until the end of the night where we switched, and I went I splits for another day with my zone leader.

Thursday: I went on splits with Elder Livingston today and it was way awesome. So we went to an investigator's house and taught him a little and he struggles with the word of wisdom and doesn't think he can quit some things but we shared Ether 12:27"  

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
"And we told him that we believe in him. Then we went and streeted around a bit and got a call to teach a recent convert at the church, so we went back there. We taught him about being a light and example with President Monson's recent talk. He was a super happy and nice Nepalese man and it was fun. There are lots of Nepalese people in Japan just to let you know.

Friday:  We had studies and weekly planning like all day. We also had district meeting.Then we got some delicious tonkatsu. We have a Halloween party planned and have been inviting people to it all week long so we are hoping people come. That's about it for Friday.
"LOL"

Saturday:  We had the usual morning routine then went to Hiyoshi. We went there to get a new bike tube for me because I think the old one was just bad cause it had 3 holes, so ya. So we got that and on the way talked to a guy who was learning English. We had a nice little conversation and he took a picture with us and we are friends on Facebook. We are hoping more comes from this. Then we made our pinatas for the Halloween party. My paper mache skills still aren't very good, but ya that was fun. 

Then we got some good old McDonald's 'cause we don't have time to eat sometimes. Then we went and read the Book of Mormon with a member and we had a good time talking with him.

Sunday:  So Sunday was a lot of meetings. Then sacrament which is always wonderful. Then we had a food party. A bunch of people brought random Japanese food and we all just chilled and ate. So that was enjoyable. Then we did a bunch of calling and trying to message people we had contact info for. We did that until the end of the night.

Today:  Well, we had more Indo curry today and I still enjoy it so that's good. I put in the new tube and my bike is rocking and ready to go once more. Well that's about all for this week.  I love you all and be good people.

" The real Rock, Paper Scissors"

 Excerpts from other e-mails:

"I forgot to include on Thursday that we went to a park to wait for a person who said he would meet us but he didn't show. But then another guy who loves English showed up and we taught him and he prayed with us so there is the miracle you were hoping for. I'll try to do my best to teach
people and be happy."

Week Four - "Kekko desu"




October 25


"Greetings people of the world.

Tuesday:  Well, we went to the temple and you guys already heard about that.

Wednesday:  So we went and rode pretty far to go visit a less active, but when we got there he said it was a bad time so I was kinda sad. But the ride through Japan is always a joy. Then we went and visited a little ojii San (grandpa) who was interested. He has studied with the Jehova's Witnesses before and his Bible is marked up like crazy. He was kinda hard to understand because he didn't have a lot of teeth but I usually don't understand anyway so ya lol. We gave him a Book of Mormon and we are hoping he studies it. After that we did some housing and got the good ole "kekko desu" which means "I'm good." So then we rode back to the apartment and I discovered my bike tire was flat. So that wasn't good at all. So I patched it all up and now we are all good. Kinda bad luck that I got a hole in the tube that fast.

Thursday:  So we had studies and planned all day as the Thursday always goes you know? It always seems to rain on Thursday. I don't know why. But at the end of the day we had ekaiwa, and that's awesome cause we are starting to get a lot of people coming. They are always super ready to learn and it's way fun teaching them.

Friday: We went to Shonandai for a conference. Elder yamashita in the first quorum of he seventy came and spoke to us. He talked about how to improve our skills a lot and told us to always open our mouths and say something. He really believes in all of us so much and it is way cool to see. I got to see some of the MTC homes there so that was good seeing them again as always. After the wonderful conference we went and got food at "Steak Gusto" which is great cause you get steak and unlimited drink, and rice. Then we went back to our church and had a broadcast from Elder Yamashita and it was in Japanese this time so I didn't really get much but he told us to always smile and be happy."  (Elder Yamashita)

"Saturday:  We had the usual morning routine then went to district meeting which is always wonderful 'cause I have great people in my district. We are having a Halloween party.  I'm happy about that 'cause I love Halloween and parties and people, so ya. So then we went to a members house and he is really cool. He loves nature a whole lot and loves talking about it. Then we had dinner and did some streeting, but most people just pretend you aren't there.

Sunday: So we had a meeting before church about our investigators and planning the Halloween party and we think it will be good and hope people will come. Then We had our nice block of church which I am still attempting to understand but sacrament is always great. Then after that, two eight-year-old girls were getting baptized! That was way fun to watch and it's funny because it's like Christmas with how many gifts they get.

Monday:  So today we talked to a random American at seven eleven ('cause we have wifi there), and he told us about himself and some of his life so we invited him and his son to the Halloween party so we hope he comes. Then we went and had "shabu shabu" which is just all you can eat meat and stuff for an hour and it was way good! I enjoyed it very much. And now I am here. So ya that's the update for the week."
(photo found at:  discover.superco.net/one-hot-pot-multiple-functions)
"P.s. You can write me during the week if you want to, I can read emails but I just can't send any until p-day. Sorry not many pictures this week."

Week Four - Streeting and Housing

October 13

"Hello!  This is what went down this week.

Tuesday:  Okay, so we did some random stuff that I don't really remember.  Mostly I just do the same stuff every day. We go "streeting" to find people a lot but usually they see our name tags and run for it. Oh, I remember what happened. We went on splits and I went with Elder Matsumoto, who is native. We are always super happy and we went around saying that all day. We did some "housing" as well so that was fun. We went and visited an investigator and shared some thoughts about a scripture that we hope helped him. Then we biked around to a spot where we passed out flyers. Most people ignore us but some of them take one every once in a while.


Tonkatsu (photo from iheartjapan.ca)
After that we had some delicious Tonkatsu dinner. It's strips of pork or chicken that are deep fried and way good. 

Then we went to teach a lesson to a recent convert which was interesting cause it was an older guy who I couldn't really understand, and Elder Matsumoto even says it's hard sometimes. But that went well and we ended the split and got back with our real companions.

Wednesday:  I got my bike so that was a wonderful thing cause now I can actually go places. I heard real music again at the bike shop and I almost died. We met 2 really cool guys on the way back to our apartment and one was only in that town for work for 1 day and got off early so he took a walk. It was destiny. He was super nice and we taught him the restoration and gave him a Book of Mormon so that was cool. Riding a bike
through Japan at night is really quite enjoyable, I would recommend it for everyone.

Thursday:  So basically we just planned all day long then
went to Ekaiwa. There were lots of people at ekaiwa so that was awesome. The students are super funny and interactive.

We had a nice talk about physics and the new discoveries
that were made concerning that even though that wasn't the topic.

Friday:  We did a lot of stuff at the church today for a while so that was kinda boring but necessary. I got to see Elder Battaglia and Elder Palomino (my MTC companion) for the training we had. Then we had some awesome lunch together so that was fun as well. Yeah, so was kinda average but that's okay.


Saturday: We had general conference all day. You guys were all watching too I presume? Let's just agree that it was amazing. We can receive so many spiritual answers to questions at general conference and it's awesome because any question you have will be answered by one of the speakers. Can't believe we have three new apostles! Also, my pen broke.

Sunday:  Mostly the same as Saturday, but we went to the Bishop's house for dinner. They are the most funny and awesome people ever! We had like 8 people there and it was way fun.  They had us all put on different wigs and take a picture with them and it was totally hilarious. Then we had our Halloween themed dinner except I got to eat a hamburger. I love glorious American food because it's basically awesome. Japanese food is good too though I don't judge. All had an awesome time sharing the reasons we came on a mission and just eating together like a big family.

Monday:  So there was an autumn festival at the church that we went to and it was way fun. There was food and games and I got to know a lot of the members names better so that was really helpful. We also rode to visit a less active who we hadn't met before and he was pretty nice and is reading the BoM so that's great. After that we had dinner and then went to another investigators house. We talked about a lot of interesting stuff and we gave him a conference talk to read so I hope that he will read it and feel the spirit. So I'm writing this because today is our p-day because we went to the Tokyo temple today!!

So ya it was totally awesome and I got to see an elder from my MTC group, and that's how things are going, sorry it's kinda a lot of the same thing sometimes. Anyway love everyone and sorry for emailing late.

Excerpts from other e-mails to family:

"Tokyo temple celestial room is sick." (meaning awesome, cool, amazing).
"I have felt an earthquake, but it was just small I forgot about it."