Monday, March 30, 2015

Need Not Have Any Fear

I was pretty disappointed this week to only get one photo from Alex. BooHoo! I'm really glad to read that he's doing well and keeping busy. Unfortunately, they are still having snow storms here and there. In his letter to me he mentioned, "Time really has been flying. I have been fine, and haven't gotten sick since coming out here, but I don't want to jinx it, because the other two elders (Elder P. and Elder S.) got sick this last week." I do hope the two of them are feeling better already.
Alex and his companion Elder F.

Here's his letter:

I decided to title this weeks email as "need not have any fear" because it is something that has come up as of late. Don't worry, I haven't been wanting to go home or depressed or anything like that. I just have come to realize that as I go through the trials that have here, and anywhere else in my life, I won't need to fear anything if I follow Christ and do as he commands. For He has promised that all who follow Him shall be well off in the end.

The Kanji of the week is: 信仰 which means faith.

And here's the overview of the week:

Monday: Monday was really relaxing and we took full advantage of the "preparation" part of our preparation day by really laying back. In the evening we went over our weekly schedule since Elder F. hadn't known any of it, and also didn't know anything about the area.

Tuesday: As usual we had DCS in the morning (I found out is the Japanese abbreviation for Mission coordination meeting), and then after that we went to Brother Seino's. We made a cross by folding a paper four times and then ripping it. It was pretty cool. From there we went to the city hall to find out about some things they have here, and they sent to to YIRA for one of them. Brother Gessell was at YIRA, and we talked to him for a while. We were back on foot again that day because of a random snow storm, so that was all we were really able to get in for the day.

Wednesday: After a usual morning of personal and companion studies, and language study, we went to a local community center. We found out some information out about a sign language circle, and then went to the very far north of town to visit a Mr. Takahashi. He wasn't home, but as we started to leave we got a call. While I was talking to the Zone leaders on the phone, Mr. Takahashi drove by, so we went back and visited him for a bit.
After that we rode to the train station. I took a turn earlier than I meant to (it would have gotten us there either way), but we were able to run into Brother Goto because of it. We talked to him about what time we would go visit them on Saturday and then left on our way. At the Station, we wanted to find an address of a potential investigator, but we accidentally forgot to write it down, so we decided to go visit some less active members. None of them were home though.
We then quickly planned and set up for english class, and had a regular english class.

Thursday: We had a district meeting in the morning, and that was fun and very spiritual. We went over the material we got to prepare us for how to use the iPads when we get them (we will be getting them next week), and it was very spiritually oriented. After that we took a train up to Akayu, a neighboring town. We tried to find a person from our area book that only had the address, name, and the fact that he/she was deaf, but it ended up that that person didn't live there. We then walked for a while until we got to Sisiter Tase's work to try and meet her. She was really busy, and didn't have time to talk to us, but we stayed there for a while just in case she had a few moments to talk. She didn't, and we had a train to catch, so we left and went back home.
Alex in the back left with the other missionaries in Yonezawa and some guys they played basketball with -- thanks to Elder F. for sending it to his mom and to her for posting it!

Friday: We had a lot of planning to do that day, so we spent the majority of the day inside for that. We then went and tried to visit one of our investigators, Brother Ito. He wasn't home, but we happened to bump into him before we actually got to his house, and we had a good talk with him there. We then tried to talk to a different potential investigator family, but the parents weren't there. Two of the kids answered the door (middle school and younger aged), and talked to them for a few minutes. We then went and knocked on doors for the rest of the night. No one accepted a visit, but they were all super nice to us.

Saturday: In the morning we went over to the sign language circle group. We watched a quick video that showed some signs, and we practiced that for a bit. Then a deaf man came and talked for the rest of the time (I don't think it was planned). It was good though.
We then went to the Goto couple's house and talked to them. We talked about sign language for a bit and then shared a quick message with the paper cross thing I mentioned earlier. From there we went to Sister Taira's house. She was really good as always, and we had a good talk with her. We shared a quick message, and then left back to the apartment.
When we got back to the apartment, we quickly changed into clothes to play basketball in, and then went to the activity center to play basketball with the boys we played with earlier. We had a lot of fun, and apparently I did really well. We then went with them to a restaurant called Tonpachi to eat dinner, and then headed to the apartment to close the day off.

Sunday: We had a pretty normal day yesterday. We had one of our investigators, Sister Wagatsuma come to church, and we also had a visitor from America. She is on homestay in Yonezawa right now, and she is also a member. And 14. She came with her uncle who isn't a member, but they both had a fun time. Her uncle speaks pretty good Japanese. After that we went back to the apartment and finished our planning for the week because we didn't get it all in, and then we went and tried to visit some people in the evening. We didn't get to meet anyone, but we had a good bike ride.

I hope, as always, that you're all doing well, and that the upcoming week is a good one! I love you all, and truly mean it. 
Elder ____
Alex with his former companion Elder O. (I got this from another missionary mom!)

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