Saturday, September 23, 2017

September 18, 2017--Mensetsu (interview) Dendou

Journal time; waiting outside the church, parts 1, 2, 3:



Mensetsu dendou 1 and 2:



September 18, 2017--Things have been so good here!

Things have been so good here! Our investigator K was taught the word of Wisdom and he had some concerns about it. His faith and desire to be baptized aren't quite strong enough yet to be able to accept the Word of Wisdom, but we are working with. And now that we have a brand new recent convert we are going to try and have her help us teach and share her experiences with giving up her favorite drink, green tea. 

F san is doing so much better! He is out of his rut of discouragement. He gave us his alcohol and is starting to really buckle down and work on smoking. I wrote him a "prescription" to pray and read daily, go to church weekly, and serve others daily. We promised him that by following the prescription he would be able to quit smoking!

Thanks for your thoughts about the talks, and for the update in the family! Glad to hear everyone is doing well! 

Always praying for you!

Elder Paskett

PS please like and share my Facebook stuff!

Splits in Miyako! Pictures courtesy of Fatoma Shimai (an
Indonesian member)

Yokote senkyoushi

M chan's baptism

F's whiskey

Adventures in Basketball:


Tofu-natto-raw egg...stew?!?


September 11, 2017--It's been a fantastic week!

Ramen in Morioka

It's been a fantastic week!

We finally made contact with F san again--after feeling guilty about some various personal problems, he decided he wasn't worthy to associate with the good people of our church and sent us a text saying that he gave up. We replied and tried to reassure and encourage him, but he stopped responding to texts, answering his phone, and even stopped coming to the door.

Of course, that's not enough to keep the missionaries away--the next p-day we coincidentally ran into him at the grocery store! Through just that little God-sent miracle, we were able to talk and ease some of his concerns while spending way too much money on natto and tofu. This week we were able to visit him again and teach him a lesson--we just sat and talked with him like normal people for a while, and just shared a simple message of God's love. He wasn't able to come to church this week but agreed to come again next week! We have had so many road-blocks and speed bumps with F san, I am amazed by his faith and perseverance!

I san also didn't make it to church this week--he slept in, again. Haha. But he asked if we could meet up Monday night instead, and of course we agreed. That was one of the best lessons I have ever been a part of--he has such a sincere desire to learn and find answers. He told us he didn't really know if God exists or not, but he is willing to study and work to find out. We taught him about prayer and the Holy Ghost, and he even took notes during the lesson! I was able to share with him an experience of how I know God exists--I had the same question he had, so I prayed to know for myself, and I felt the spirit so strongly that I can never deny the fact that God is real. I know it! And I was honored to be able to share that testimony with I, and he was surprised to find out that even missionaries have doubts and questions, that even church members need to seek out answers from God. The spirit was there the entire time guiding our conversation, 100% due to I's sincerity and desire to learn. He agreed to pray every day, and ask God if He is really there. We were able to use what we have been learning from Sekiguchi Kaicho about promising specific blessings and giving people a real reason to keep commitments. We promised him that he would be able to know for certain, for himself. And he is way excited about it!

I love being a missionary and I love being here in Kitakami!

Elder Paskett

Cool kids read the Morumon Sho! (Book of Mormon)

Coming home from b-ball with I san

Video Journal:

September 11, 2017--MLC and Zone Conf pix

Mission Leadership Conference and Zone Conference:

September 4, 2017--Videos: journal & Mexican tofu steak

Video Journal pt 1:

Mexican Tofu Steak:

Video Journal pt 2:


August 28, 2017--Video Journal, video and pics of hike

Video Journal:


Hike pics:

Hike Video:


Monday, September 18, 2017

August 28, 2017--reply to Kara Indonesia, Mouichido

Glad you are having a good time in Indonesia!! Sounds so fun! That is crazy you were able to have a conversation with some Indonesians in Japanese. So funny!

The ZL gig is going well, nothing too exciting. I just feel a little pressure because every time I go on splits I'm self-conscious about being a really good example and trying to make sure it is a good experience. We also found out we only have to give one short training at zone conference, we have 15 minutes and the conference is 7 hours
long, so our job is way easy. I thought we would be running it a lot more but it sounds like it is mostly the APs and mission president that run it.

We had an interesting experience on Friday with a guy named S--he likes talking, and really likes to ask us weird questions that are pretty irrational but he kind of just wants to prove us wrong. Which isn't bad necessarily, the problem is that he doesn't really like to listen to our answers to his questions. He asked us some questions about why God would let big fish eat little fish--if he cares about all His creations, why wouldn't he protect the little
fish? And if we claim to love and accept all people, why would we defend ourselves from someone attacking us? Stuff like that that is really just silly. But, he had a couple questions that were actually really good--like, why is there so much suffering in this life? If God's desire is for us to be happy, why would he let us suffer? I pulled out a Book of Mormon to answer his question, and right away he said, "no, no, I don't need your book. I'm good." I continued to
pull it out but he insisted that he had no interest in the Book. Elder Strate just said simply, "we can't answer your question without using this book." So he agreed to let us read to him from it. We read about the Fall of Adam and men having joy, and opposition in all things. After we finished reading, the conversation was just quiet, a stark
contrast to the previous 10 minutes of debating and arguing. The spirit was there, and touched his heart. Unfortunately, he still didn't want a copy of the Book of Mormon. But, that lesson made me realize that sometimes, the only reasons we don't get answers to our questions are because we don't really want to hear
them. Sometimes we are prone to think that God isn't answering our prayers, but in reality it may be just that we are not listening. For S san, his answer was in the Book of Mormon. But at first, he was reluctant to even let us open it. It wasn't until after he listened that he realized it was the answer he was looking for. I hope I always have the patience to listen for my answers!

I know God answers prayers! I love God and I love these people here in Kitakami. Livin' the dream :)

Thanks for all you do! Love you so so so so so much!!!
Elder Paskett

My personal glamor team ft. Elders Satou, Paskett, Mimaki, Dance, and Miyagi

halfway through my eyebrow makeover

Birthday breakfast for Garaycochea Choro

splits with Elder Strate

a random costume parade...

August 21, 2017--New Transfer! +pics +last natto video


This week was the start of a new transfer! Holdaway Choro left me which was way sad. We were having a grand old time, but now the Lord needs him over in Tsuruoka. Luckily I got to stay in Kitakami! I am here with Elder Pratt, and we are now the Zone Leaders of the Morioka Zone...that was really surprising because the ZLs have always been in Morioka before, this is the first time having them anywhere else. Starting this transfer, there are 4 APs, 2 down in Sendai (for the southern half of the mission) and 2 in Morioka (for the northern half of the mission). Learning how to be a ZL hasn't been too bad, so far life actually isn't too different. We just have kind of a crazy transfer planned because we have to attend each district's DTM once and do splits with the APs and with each DL (including twice with our DL) and each companionship with a new missionary as well...that plus 2 zone-wide conferences and 2 baptisms in our branch so far means our transfer is already packed pretty tight. But, it's wonderful and I definitely can't complain!

F has been doing great--we have been reviewing the lessons and trying to better gauge his understanding, there has been a lot that we have taught but that he didn't really remember or didn't really understand. But now he has a solid foundation and is learning pretty quickly, and he is just eating up the Book of Mormon! His date was in October but this week he told us he would be ok with being baptized sooner, so we moved it up a month. He sent us a pretty funny text during the week, basically telling us he had finally made a firm decision that he would spend the short time remaining in his life becoming a Mormon and not a Jehovah's Witness. When we came over to visit, he showed us that he sent a similar text to one of his JW friends that he took lessons from. He was so excited about it too, it was pretty cute haha. We found out this week there is no font in Kitakami at all, so all baptisms are done in Morioka (about 45 minutes north). One of F's concerns with baptism was that he didn't want to be baptized in a big church with lots of people like the one in Morioka. He wants it to be small and if possible wants 4 or 5 others to be baptized with him haha. And, I mean, we would like that too, but we are trying to help him overcome that fear because we can't promise him that he won't be the only one getting baptized at his service. So if we can overcome that fear and his smoking addiction, he should be good for his date on September 16th!

We have a new-ish investigator K who we were able to set a baptismal date with as well! September 30th. He said he still isn't sure if he believes in God or not, but he committed to be baptized if he gets an answer to his prayers that what we teach is true. He is 24 and looking for a full-time job right now, so we are trying to take advantage of the time we have right now before he finds a job and gets a lot more busy. He is doing great and we are taking him on a tour of the church this week since he was kind of nervous about the idea of attending church on Sunday. Hopefully that will help ease his concerns!

We had a cool miracle with M chan (the sisters' investigator who is in high school)--she got permission for her dad to be baptized! Before he had told her no, and then eventually he changed his mind to "ok but wait until you're 20," but then this weekend he gave her permission to be baptized now! So she will be getting baptized sometime in the next few weeks and we are so excited for her!

This last week we ran into so many awesome people--we kept trying to visit different PIs, and didn't really have much success with the people we were actually trying to contact, but we had a lot of success with unexpected people placed in our path. We ran into a college student one morning who was hitchhiking around Kitakami trying to get to Sendai--he lives in Akita and has actually met missionaries before who invited him to English class. We were able to talk a little bit about why missionaries are actually here, and he actually shared an experience where he was almost hit by a car but was protected by God. We taught him more about God and he was excited to take a Book of Mormon! Another time we were running late to a lesson when we passed by a young guy that I felt like we should talk to--he was so open and friendly and just happened to love English. He is a semmon gakkou student and he said he always prays to God when he is sad or when he needs help on tests and such. We asked him if he learned to pray from his parents, he said that no one has ever taught him about that kind of thing, but he just felt for some reason that it would be good to pray to God in those times of need. We gave him a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and hopefully will be seeing him again soon!

We taught F san yesterday, and as we left, we saw 2 young guys parked right outside his house taking a smoke break. We had barely gotten out the door when one of them noticed we were gaijin and called out to us in English. We talked about English class, but they didn't really seem like the type of guys who would be interested in religion. So we left it at that, then said as we were starting to walk away, "let us know if you ever have interest in God or Jesus Christ." And one of them was just like, "oh yeah I have interest in that." So we quickly stepped back, and had an awesome conversation. He had studied a lot of different religions but hadn't really heard about Mormons. We explained the restoration and the Book of Mormon to him and he thought it was the coolest thing--he lives in Morioka, so he asked if he could get his own copy of the book from the Morioka church. We told him we had one for him right there, for free! He was so stoked.

Kitakami is the best! I love being a missionary.

Hope you are doing well and having fun in Indonesia! Love you so much!

Elder Paskett


Some new homies we met on the street

the new district...ft. Sisters Ishikawa and Mitsuyama, and
Elders Paskett, Pratt, Strate, and Garaycochea 
This is what happens when you live next to a tanbo


August 15, 2017--More Natto...good times! (13-15)

Natto #13, includes a close-up of natto:


Natto #14, w/ NO SAUCE, in which Holdaway loses it:


Natto #15, big beans again: