Sunday, February 16, 2014

With God

Hey everyone!  Happy Valentines day! (I am not quite sure if that is how you spell that) This week has been crazy busy-I am so exhausted.  Since transfers, we have just had so much to do because we are working with so many people now.  The most exciting thing that happened this week was probably that our investigator Manuel came to church!  He said he enjoyed it, but there were a lot of words and things he didn't understand which is as expected.  It is really interesting, but because Japan hasn't grown up with a Christian background, there are a lot of church words that nobody understands because they are simply not used here, where as in America most people are familiar with Christianity and the words associated with it.  One other cool thing that happened this week was that me and my companion gave a blessing to one of our investigators who may have had a minor stroke.  He is still fairly young so it won't affect him too much, but it was amazing that he had the opportunity to see the priesthood authority of God being exercised.  This week we got two new investigators through our free English classes we teach. Both of them are starting to do our other 30 30 program where we teach them one on one English for 30 minutes and then a Gospel message for 30 minutes.  Well, today I am going to have to cut this email a little short, but one thing I have been studying lately is what are the most important parts of missionary work.  I have learned through last transfer especially that the most important part of the work is the Lord God.  This is His work and He will hasten it in His own time D&C 88:73.  Without God, there would be no missionary work to be done because it is His purpose. We are merely God's tools, but He will cause success to happen.  We have to do our best, but no matter what it is in Their Hands, Moses 1:39, Ezekiel 34:11-13, Mathew 4:19.  The Lord is causing miracles to happen, and I am so happy to be serving in Japan right now!  I love you all so much, stay well!

Me, my first companion and a member at Sushiro which is a way sick sushi place.

Ping Pong dendou - ping pong missionary work

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Short and Sweet

     Hey everyone!  I hope you are well.  Sorry this week I don't have very much time, so my email will be short, but I love you guys so much. This week flew by way fast. It is still way cold. We had transfer calls Saturday, and I didn't get transferred, but I am getting a new companion, so that is exciting-ish :D  One quick funny story: so I was on a companion exchange with Elder Emery from my ward back home, and we wanted to give some Eikaiwa fliers to various popular businesses so they would set them and people could take them.  We ended up going to this super hipster place called Swan's Cafe, and we walk in and get super nervous. The reason being that when we walked in there were only women there and it was way full.  As soon as we walked in they all started staring at us, and we thought it was lady's night or something (even though it was lunch time :D) We awkwardly communicated with the waitress who came up to us and asked if we could leave these here. Neither of us actually knew how to say that in Japanese, but we managed to do it.  The waitress actually made it fairly easy, but anyways that was my laugh for the week.  Ether 4:15 is a great verse I read the other day.  God has promised to help us in any and every aspect of our life, if we will simply believe and ask in humility.  God loves us and desires our happiness.  Similarly I love all of you! So if there is ever anything I can do for you even while I am in Japan let me know!
     Elder Bedard

Thursday, February 6, 2014

That Kind of Faith and Courage

Hey everyone!! I love you guys!! Thanks so much for all the support!!  This week was pretty awesome, partly because I got to play tennis for the first time in 5 months, and we used that to teach the Gospel as well.  Last P day, we went to Inuyama castle,which was way sick; it is one of the most original castles in Japan, they haven't redone like any of it.  Japanese culture is really amazing, and I can't wait to come back after my mission to tour all of it.  On Tuesday we taught our first full lesson to Imanuel, and wow what a special experience it was to do that.  He is one of those golden investigators that has been prepared by the Lord and there is no doubt about it.  He has some family in Peru that are members so he already knew a little about the church and the Book of Mormon.  Wow, what great faith he has. I just can't explain it, but I feel like he should be a missionary :D On Wednesday, we went and did missionary work in the pouring rain all day.  It also happened to be a companion exchange, so I was with my district leader.  Anyways, we went and had lunch with an awesome member.  Kato kyodai is his name, and he has one of the coolest hobbies ever-he makes guitars and plays them.  There are so many cool people here, when you actually get to know them.  I guess it is like that everywhere in the world.  You never know who someone really is until you spend some quality time with them.  Which reminds me I am very ready for transfers, only one week left yay!  The tennis courts we played on the other day were way funky and it was almost like astro turf mixed with sand... super slippery. It was way fun, and we got to spend some time with a woman who will hopefully become an investigator soon.  There were also two families and some other people from the ward there so it was a blast for everyone.  I spent the first half teaching everyone the basics and how to play and the second half playing with everyone.  Everyone enjoyed it so much that the ward mission leader is going to make it a monthly ward activity.  It is amazing how we are able to do missionary work through almost anything.  Recently I have been reading about the 2000 stripling warriors in Alma and I have been able to learn a lot about their faith that has really inspired me. Alma 57:26-27 talks about the result of their exceeding faith.  I truly want to have that kind of faith and courage.  I believe we all can develop it through the help of our Savior Jesus Christ.  We need to be warriors against the devil and his angels in order to win this war of the eternities, and we will win because we have Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ on our side.  With them there is nothing that we can not do.  I love you all so much, take care!
Me and my tennis group, they are all so fun and awesome,
a couple of them are actually pretty good at tennis too :D

     Elder Bedard

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Trains, Transfers, and Teaching

     Hey everyone!! How are you all doing? I feel like the weeks are going by faster and faster even though they are all the exact same amount of time :D  This week was super fantastic.  People are amazing.  This week I realized something kind of interesting.  When I am on the trains, I see people and want to talk to them, but for some reason people in Japan look like they are in a bad mood and slightly intimidating, especially when they are sitting by themselves, (which is more often then not) like they will yell at me if I talk to them.  However, on quite the contrary, as soon as I start talking to them, most Nihonjin will just start smiling and look really nice. I think as a foreigner, I just look kinda funny. Anyways it is always  fun talking to them.  I get to meet so many interesting people.  Before I forget, I want to thank everyone who has written me any emails or letter. I always seem to get them right when I need them, so thank you everyone for all of your support. I love you guys!  Haha So I have been studying a little Spanish, because I speak to a lot of Spanish and/or Portuguese speakers. But I had my first interview with the mission president the other day, and he decided it probably wasn't a good idea, so I am going to have to slow down on my Spanish ideas, maybe just on P day or something.  I am excited for transfers coming up in a couple of week, a change could be really nice. I have some pretty great missionaries in my District/zone, but I want to see some new things, but then I remember there is so much work that need to be done in Inuyama :D  One of our investigators committed to following the Word of Wisdom today so that was way exciting. She is progressing really well, basically the main thing holding her back is her husband.  We have been trying to teach her that her kids can grow up with a good influence if she will get them involved in the Gospel because she has told us that she doesn't want her kids to grow up like her husband. It just made me think about how grateful I am to have had the opportunity to grow up in this amazing Gospel.  It has turned me into such a better person than I ever could have been without it.  So the other day I learned a very important lesson about missionary work.  We had a full day planned with several appointments scheduled, but then that morning everything began falling through.  I was a little annoyed, but we went out and worked hard anyways, and that night after a lot of housing we finally find a guy named Imanuel.  He is from Peru and has been prepared by the Lord for us teach. This is the Lord's work and he will lead us to the people we need to help, it just might not always be in the way expect. I know that Imanuel is going to get baptized.  He was taught a little before he moved to Japan, and I am super excited for him!  Today I read Alma 37:33-37 in my personal study, and I was reminded that turning to the Lord in all things is essential if we are to become who he needs us to be.  Well, I love all of you and I hope you are doing well. I miss you guys.

Love Elder Bedard

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Hope In Action

Hey everyone!!! How are you all doing??? This week was way difficult and awesome! My arm and leg are pretty much all healed, and something awesome happened this week, but I will get to that in a little bit.  At the beginning of the week I was thinking about how much left I have of my mission, and if I could really do this.  I have a lot of time left, I still can't understand as much Japanese as I need to, it is freezing every single night, and very few people actually take the time to listen to anything at all.  Missionary work is difficult.  Then I realized how selfish I was being.  I need to do this. I want to do this, and because Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ want me to do this, they will prepare a way for me to serve an effective mission that I will enjoy and love.  I am so grateful for the Atonement. The strength I receive from it every day is so essential. I think we did probably more bike riding and housing this week than we ever have before because almost all of our appointments fell through.  We found a lot of potential investigators.  Also, there are some more Spanish speaking people who started coming to our English class. Hopefully we can start teaching them the Gospel soon :)  Probably the most exciting thing that happened this week is that we met a guy named Eik from Thailand!  He actually just saw our name tags and walked up to us.  He then pointed to a picture of a book of Mormon on an LDS pass-a-long card and said, "Do you have this book?"  I smiled at hearing those words.  I gave a Japanese one that I had bought in America a long time ago because we have actually been out at our apartment. Anyways, he was taught by some sisters in Thailand and came to Japan for 3 weeks.  (He leaves this Wednesday)  We actually went and did missionary work with him that same day, and then he took us to his apartment and made some Thai food for us.  It was way spicy but way amazing. He also came to church the next day and did more stuff with us last night.  I was just thinking though how amazing it is that as members of this church, we can be almost anywhere around the world and have an instant friend, just because we have the same beliefs. Eik actually told us that as soon as he started talking to us it felt like he had known us his whole life.  That whole experience just made my week.  This week I have been studying about Charity and trying to develop that Christlike attribute.  Moroni 7:45-48 are quite amazing and I love the definition it gives in the Bible dictionary-the first line is amazing :) I actually don't have more time, but I love you all so very much and I appreciate all of you so very much!!
They are doing construction on our church!!!!
Bedard 長老

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Lessons Learned: the Coat, the Accident, and the Investigators

Well, I am just going to say that this was a little unexpected :D  To start the week off, last P day afternoon, I was cleaning the apartment and I pulled back my chair with my nice Adrian`s coat on it so that I could sweep under my desk.  However, I didn't realize that our open space heater was on just behind.  I went into the other room, and then I hear my companion say, "Elder Bedard.... you are not going to like this..."  The heater had burned a whole right through my coat-some of the coat had even melted onto the heater.  But wait there is more, after that we went to a store so I could buy a smaller shoulder bag because mine started tearing, is a little annoying to take everywhere because of how big it is, and I don't really need that much room.  Anyways, on the way there, the craziest thing happened... I got hit by a car on my bicycle!!! I was going down a hill alongside a highway and at a blind corner, a car suddenly came out of a small ally, and I saw it when it was about two feet away from me. I thought to myself, "Oh crap there is nothing I can do..."  Then we collided.  Good thing missionaries are required to wear bicycle helmets 'cause I flew off my bike and my arm and head made contact with the ground first.  We went into the hospital and I got X-rays this week, and nothing is wrong with my bones, so that made me happy.  I still can't use my arm very much though.  It is scraped up pretty bad and has some internal bruising, so I can't use it to pick up things or put pressure on it (which means no push ups in the morning :(  Other then that, there are some giant bruises on my leg.  However, please don't worry about me because I am fine, recovering fast, and I still get to do missionary work every day yay!!! That was probably the craziest thing that happened this week, but I have some more positive news.  We got two new investigators this week!  They speak Portuguese and a little bit of Japanese, so we had our atachiai (member at the lesson) translate for us, which was really nice.  Also, the other day on the train, I talked to a guy who I swear was a perfect Japanese version of Harry Potter. He was even wearing his school uniform, so all he needed was a robe and a wand :D  He is going to come to our next English class hopefully, and maybe become an investigator and get baptized.  Moroni 7:13, Alma 5:38, Mosiah 26:18- Missionary work is such a special blessing and opportunity. I feel the Lord's protection and guidance in my life every day.  I am lucky enough to help people receive the Lord's message and come unto Him.  We can all be diligently looking for opportunities to share the Gospel with others, and as we do so we become more like Christ.  I love you all so very much and I hope you are doing well! 

-Elder Bedard

From Lis: Abe really would love to hear from ya'll in letter format, which is so much more personal! It only takes 3 stamps to send a letter to Japan simply from your own mailbox so take just a lil bit of time to write and warm our Elder Bedard's heart with a letter from home! Thanks so much for supporting Abe :D

My coat that had a hole melted through it
 Me, my companion and our zone leader
He is freaking awesome, but this is his last transfer.

My arm after the accident, while my nerves were still in shock so I couldn't really feel much.
It didn't look too bad that night :) I love being protected by the Lord!!

Last Week's Email

Lis: Sorry I got behind on the email updates! This is what Abe sent last week. Enjoy!

Hey how is everyone doing?! So the first week of my second transfer was pretty good I would have to say, especially considering I got to celebrate Shogatsu in Japan, but I will talk about that in a little bit.  On Tuesday we went to the mission home to have a mission conference, which is called trainers' training, and it was really good.  A fun time and I got to see everyone from my doki (people who came here from the MTC with me) so that was really nice.  I enjoyed it a lot.  I found out that one of the Elders who was on the 2 week MTC program because he was already fluent in Japanese will be training after this transfer, which is crazy fast, but then again a lot of sisters have to do that because of how many are coming in to the field compared to how many are here.  We spent a lot of time on the train that day, and I loved it because I have told you before that train dendou (missionary work) is my favorite.  I realized also that my Japanese is beginning to get pretty decent because I was able to carry on conversations with those people on the train the whole ride-some of them were a half an hour and some 40 minutes. But I just love talking to people in Japanese because it is so fun.  I actually met a  kid  who is really into tennis like myself, and we're going to invite his  family to the next church event we have.  I can't really play tennis with him yet because he is only 15 and his parents don't know me and I am a 19 year-old gaijin :D That night we spent New Year's Eve at a member's family, which was really really awesome.  The Members in Inuyama are just the best.  Whenever we get an investigator to come to church, everyone greets them and are just  super friendly.  We don't have to ask any one person to be a fellow shipper.  Then New Year's Day, we spent with ward members because we're not really suppose to proselyte, and even if we could it would be really ineffective.  So these past couple of days have been a little slower, but we did get a new investigator named Daisuke.  He is fourteen I think and really awesome.  I am super excited to work with him.  Oh yeah, I have been using some Spanish from the book my sister gave me.  In our gospel principles class at church yesterday, we had to have a translator go from Japanese to Spanish for some of the people in the class, and the translator didn't know the word for Spirit World, and randomly I'm just like "Oh its el mundo de los espiritus."  My companion was like you have the gift of tongues.  We laughed about it for a while afterwards, but anyways before I go I want to share I scripture I read recently. Mosiah 2:41 It talks about the happy state of those who keep the commandments, and towards the end it talks about what we can have if we endure to the end.  "Never-ending happiness."  Through Christ we have the opportunity to partake of some of that never-ending happiness every day.  The are many ways we can feel that happiness and all of them come from good: sports, music, friends, food, but one of my favorites is that we get to have ETERNAL FAMILIES.  What a special blessing that is. Speaking of families, I love you guys so much and I hope you are well.  Happy New years!
Me at a Shrine. Don't I look look such a missionary ninja ;D

Elder  Bedard
ベダード 長老

The entrance to the shrine a couple days after new years. That line of cars went back forever-every Japanese person has to get in their shrine visit before shogatsu ends. Some things they might do is burn last year's good luck charm and buy a new one, or cleanse themselves with holy water from a fountain. It was a really unique and cool place.