Monday, September 28, 2015

Transfer 15: My Very Young Apprentice

"Elder McArthur, the Lord has called you to serve in the
Toyohashi Ward of the Nagoya East Stake. Your first companion will be
Elder Cullen Watkins from Conway, South Carolina!"

Bean chan!!!!!! Wow this was a dramatic week! So many things and every
second was awesome and exciting and just crazy!

On Tuesday we went to the gold clock, the first person I saw was my
trainer, Elder TuAkoi, who finishes his mission this transfer. I've
been thinking about him a lot and how he changed my life so much and
taught me so many things and now I would be that to someone else. He
was way excited to go back to Nagano.

I saw many other of my dear friends and I realized this would be my
last chance to see many of them. These elders and sisters are such
great examples to me. There were some surprise faces there too, my
doki sisters who recently finished their mission, Aso shimai and
Nakamura Shimai were there exploring the mission. Way cool to see them
again. Then I took off with the 21 other trainers to Meito ward for
trainers training.
My dad!

   It was a fun and spiritual training, the current trainers and
trainees gave talks and demonstrations to us. All of them, except for
one companionship were sisters, it felt like a relief society or young
women's meeting, but it was really good, haha.

  Then I had to spend the night, but I had to look for a new place to
stay. I then had an option of staying at two of my past areas that
were close to the honbu, Seto or Nonami. I haven't been to Seto in a
year and would've loved to go back, but I, for some reason, felt like
I should return to Nonami. Recently Nomami went back to just two
elders, and now my friend from Toyama and fellow trainer, Elder Eadie
were going to be reopening the second set of elders there, that I
originally started.

  Boy what a feeling as I came up from the subway on those streets.
It was like traveling back in time. It seems like a lifetime ago when
I was walking these very streets with Elder Tallent and Elder
Laumatia. When really its only been 6 months. We ate at the indo
curry restaurant that we always went to, and the workers remembered
me! The Nonami elders had an appointment with the Filipino members, so
I had a chance to go with them and see them all again. They remembered
me as well and it was so good to see them again. They also had some
investigator friends their and I got to bare my testimony of the
Savior with Elder Eadie and Elder Mahony. It was a good experience.
Mitchell sama

  We were staying in the Nonami 1 apartment, but we needed more
pillows so we dropped my old apartment to get some. Talk about
nostalgic. It was clean but otherwise everything was as I left it. I
sat at my old desk and thought how I was a different missionary now
than back then. And now Elder Eadie and his bean were in my shoes
opening it back up. How exciting, they will do well.

The next day back at Meito chapel we waited anxiously for two hours
for our beans to come in. We practiced the mission song and stuff. We
were all nervous, what kind of bean would we get? Would he be
Japanese? Brazilian? Canadian? Will they be prideful or really shy?
Can we be good trainers? What if I mess up? What do I even say to
them? I think we all caught a small glimpse of what it's like to be a
soon to be parent. Then the moment came and 21 brand new green bean
missionaries stepped in the room. We sang the mission version of
"Armies of Helaman" to welcome them in.
Elder Gifford and his trainer

President Ishii began the announcement of the new areas and trainers
for the beans. One by one they met their trainers with a hug. I
remembered meeting Elder TuAkoi in this fashion, so long ago. Then the
words: "Elder McArthur, the Lord has called you to serve in the
Toyohashi Ward of the Nagoya East Stake. Your first companion will be
Elder Cullen Watkins from Conway, South Carolina!" What a great moment
meeting my companion! Elder Jared McArthur from Utah! Indeed all of
the new missionaries are really bright and have such desire, they have
no idea the great things that are ahead of them. So exciting!

 When they found out who I was, the beans said "it's him! The legend,
Elder Watkins!" What!? Apparently all of them had followed and read my
blog prior to coming out. Two of them were being assigned to my past
areas. That was pretty cool and funny as well, haha.
My bros Elder Nakamoto and Mitchell are companions!

 So now I'm with Elder McArthur and he's really cool. I've been
teaching him just what I know and we are having fun. His Japanese is
probably about as good as mine was when I came out, maybe better then
mine actually. He has a lot of faith. He's way cool. He's also way
tired from the trip and the new adventure life, but he also loves
japan and sharing this gospel. How blessed I am as we enter these last
days, because my last two transfers are his first two transfers, and
we are going to make them the best two transfers.

Please pray for Elder McArthur as well as Elder Miranda and Elder
Gifford as we work in Toyohashi. And give thanks for all the
missionaries around the world, especially the 157 that I have the
privilege of working with in the Japan Nagoya Mission.

12 weeks left, let's get em!

Elder Watdawg Watkins
Last time to see Elder Mueller

Esplin and Smith reunion!

My first follow up trainee, Elder Laumatia!

Going to miss this gathering

Going to miss this gathering

My family

Aso Shimai came back!

And Nakamura Shimai!

Oh no, Elder Tanner's driving!

We're back!

Elders Mahony and Johnson
They made a better map!

A return to Nonami

This street corner
Elder Day

Indo curry!

Filipino party!

My old apartment!

This map saved lives.

The trainers!

Song practice

Mihara Choro!

Hey look who turned up in Meito! Hayashi kyoudai from Takaoka! Soo good to see him again!

Commander Tanner at his station

Our team!

Suzuki choro's birthday cake

Elder McArthur


First supa coopa!

First housing

Our crew, all of whom have been my companion

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

I... Have a Son?

Transfer calls!

Elder Gifford and I are both staying in Toyohashi. But we are not
companions anymore! Elder Gifford's new companion is my old companion,
Elder Miranda! Woo! I'm way excited for that.

My new companion is currently in the MTC, I will be training a brand
new missionary. Bean chan!!! I've waited so long for this!

There are a lot of beans coming in this time, over 20 in fact! That's
the most I've seen my whole mission! So a ton of people are training,
even some of the Zone Leaders are training! And a lot of places are
becoming 4nin again, like us in Toyohashi.

Also my trainer, Elder TuAkoi is going back to our bean area, Nagano,
for his last transfer! Jealous haha, but I'm glad he got what he
wished for.

A ton of stuff happened this week. I went on two Kokans two days in a
row. I didn't even go back to Toyohashi in between. I went to Okazaki
on Wednesday with our Zone Leader, Elder Larson. We were in the mtc
together but have never worked together our whole mission. It was
great to share experiences we've had out here. There are a lot of
hills in Okazaki, and it was rainy, but we taught some cool lessons to
less actives and investigators. We also had Eikaiwa. There are six
missionaries in Okazaki, 4 elders and 2 sisters. That's a lot, it was
a fun English class. One of the elders, Elder Foy, reminds me of
Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory TV comedy. He's so funny!

 On Thursday I kokaned with Elder Lenning, our district leader in
Kariya. That was way fun, and also way rainy. The first person we saw
was one of their old investigators, we talked to him and he agreed to
come to church this Sunday. It was awesome. We also surprise visited a
member family, the Mizutas, and they invited us in for dinner and
family home evening! It was way fun, and they helped me make my name
in Kanji. Such a nice family, the dad is in the bishopric, and the mom
is in primary, just like my parents!

Friday we met one of our investigators and invited him to the ward
family history activity the next day. On Saturday he came and brought
a chart of his genealogy with him. He also had expressed his desire to
give up smoking and we challenged him to live the word of wisdom. He
indicated that it was hard and a member who had in the past struggled
with the word of wisdom talked to him about what could help. It was

We also visited the Bishop and his wife this past week. They are both
young and full of dendo fire. We talked a lot about how we could help
the Ward and had some good food.

Well this next week will be very busy with the bean chan. I'm going to
stay the night in Toyota tomorrow and we will meet our beans on
Wednesday. It's very exciting, but I'm also nervous because I don't
know who he is or what he's like and I'm worried about messing up. So
I'm praying that we will be good friends. And with this being his
first two transfers, and my last two transfers, we are gonna go hard
in the paint and see miracles and baptisms. Give us the waters of
Mormon! Im thankful for this opportunity to train, for the trust of
the Lord, and for blessing of His work.

Please pray for all four of us!

Love you a ton!
Elder Cullen Watkins

"When I Met you I was but a learner, now I am the master!"
Indo curry!

District Activity!


Sister Thompson photobomb haha

Shimai tachi!

Suzuki Choro being a pro!


Kariya district!

Don't blink

My companion and the foxes

Toyokawa inari

King size

Can we do it

Gyudon at Sukiya

Bigger than my face!

Quote from my buddy Elder Nakamoto who beaned here

There he is!
View from the balcony. One of the coolest apartments I've seen.

Elder Foy taking a selfie on my iPad.

Elder Larson!

The Mizutas! They rock!

Elder Lenning and those other two guys
Can see the church from there

The entire Nonami area is on the map!

Nonami church!

Eikaiwa in Okazaki

Elder Foy reading a funny story

Shot through the heart, and you're to blame