Monday, March 23, 2015

New Companion

I was happy to get the photo of the four elders in their birthday ties that I mentioned in Alex's last letter. 4 good looking, hard working, happy guys!
In my letter to him, I sent Alex this quote below with some of my thoughts. This is what he had to say about it.
I like that quote, It's been a recurring theme in my studies as of late, and it's a good reminder that God expects us to try to use what he's given us before he gives us more.
Here's Alex's letter from this week:

So many wonderful things have happened this week. The spirit has been really strong, and I have learned so much. I have grown stronger in my testimony and conviction of the sacrifice Christ made for us, and I am so glad that I can be cleansed through him.

This weeks kanji of the week is: 教会 This means Church, and is pronounced kyokai.

And here's this weeks summary!
Monday: We had a normal morning and right after emailing, we went to go get our hair cuts. I barely know how to say what I like for my hair in English, let alone Japanese, but it turned out well. We then went back home and Elder O. packed while I made everyone chocolate banana cake. 

(When Alex first got to Japan, he wrote and said that they only have a microwave and a rice cooker, no oven or stovetop. He asked for recipes he could make. I sent him the recipe for this really good chocolate microwave cake that I've made for years. )

When Elder O. finished, we went and visited a friend who I've now met three times. Her name is Noriko, but I can never remember what her last name is. We spent the evening talking with them, and they gave us pizza. It had some weird toppings (although normal here) like, shrimp, and shell fish. 

Tuesday: We had English lunch at YIRA. This was Debbie's last time going, because they're moving to Malaysia, so she talked about some of her experiences here in Yonezawa. They used to live by us, so we saw her every now and then as we walked/biked around. In the evening we went over to a member family's house and had dinner. At the Endo family's house we also did an activity where we each drew part of someone's face and then passed it to the next person, and wrote things we liked about them on the back. It was a fun activity.

Wednesday: We had DCS this day, and after that we went to say good bye to the Iwai family. They were nice and let us in for a short visit, and they gave us some really good french chocolate. We then went and stopped at Brother Seino's house/work and talked to him for a short bit. After him we went to Sister Taira's house and talked to her for a while. She gave us some food, and drink, which was unexpected. She's really a really nice woman. In the evening we had English class, and there wasn't too much to mention from that.
Great timing for a pic

Thursday: This was the day that Elder O. left Yonezawa with Elder P.  It left Elder E. and I alone in Yonezawa, and we went to visit a 95 year old member here: Sister Ochikochi. After that we went and tried knocking on peoples doors, and although everyone was nice, we didn't get more than a "sorry I don't have any interest." After that, we had a quick dinner and a lesson with the one of the other companionship's investigators: Sister Suzuki. She is a fun person, and she asked some really good questions that we were able to answer and help build her knowledge and testimony of the gospel with.

Friday: We met a man who lives on the far north of town before heading of to Sendai. He used to meet with the missionaries, but had stopped for one reason or another. He said that we could come back anytime and talk, so we will. After that, we got our stuff from the apartment and took a two hour bus ride up to Sendai. Once we got to sendai, we had a quick dinner, and then went to one of the missionaries apartments in Sendai and slept for the night. I got to say hi to some of the people I knew from the from the MTC, and catch up with them. One of them was a Japanese Elder who only speaks Japanese. It was cool to see how much more I could speak to him in just these short three months than I could back then.

Saturday: We had a mission-wide meeting with Elder Evans of the Quorum of the Seventy to get training for the iPads we'll be getting soon. It was fun, and very spiritual. I loved learning so much from Elder Evans and the others who talked. I grew in my testimony of the love Christ has for all of us, and the power His atonement has for each of us if we just do as he asks. I got to sit next to my new companion, Elder F., and he's been great so far. We then got on a bus back to Yonezawa. When we got back we quickly dropped off our stuff and then biked to one of our investigator's houses: Brother Ito. He and his mother are still doing really well, and they read quite a bit from the Book of Mormon. It was really cool to see they did that. We shared a short message about prayer, and then left. 
Elder F., Alex's new companion (Half-American, Half-Japanese) in the goofy glasses I sent in Alex's birthday package
Sunday: We had gotten a call the previous night asking us if we could go to the Fukushima ward, so that we did. We got there and had a great five hours with the members in Fukushima. Surprisingly some of the members recognized me and remembered my name. The members down there are so nice, and I love them all. They are so happy when the Missionaries come on Sundays. We then took a train back to Yonezawa, and since we hadn't done any of our studies for the day yet, we went back to the apartment and did that. 
A crazy schedule for sure, but I love being here. I love the people, and love the chance I have to serve them. I love this gospel, and how much I grow as I learn and live it. I challenge you all to find something about the Gospel, whether it is the atonement, God, the book of Mormon, prophets, etc., and learn more about it. I promise you that you will grow and become a better person if you live what you learn. 
I love you all so much.

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