Monday, August 31, 2015

There is a Pattern in Everything

Part of Alex's letter to me:
(I said that I hoped the soldiers they taught were polite to them.) The military was not rude, but they didn't really pay too much attention to us while we were in the base. Mostly just the host family even looked at us. I guess that's what happens when you're an American in an American military base.

(I asked whether he thought housing or streeting was more difficult or scary.) I think that streeting is more difficult, because you have to stop someone, and quickly think of reasons to talk to people, but I think that streeting is a lot more fruitful than housing. Especially in Japan where mostly everyone has a intercom doorbell, so they don't even need to show their face to reject us. But even then they don't reject us rudely.

This is where I usually put his first photo of the week, but he didn't send any. None. So I'm using some pics I found online of Morioka, Japan.


Alex's letter to everyone:

So, with this next week, we'll be starting a new transfer. It marks my
7th transfer on my mission, and at the end of it I will have been on a
mission for an entire year. That is really weird to think about. That
being said, there is a pattern that has come up in my mission so far
that I'd like to share: I move to an area, stay with a companion for
two transfers, get a new companion for one transfer, and then move to
a new area and get a new companion. Not sure how long this patter will
last, but that's how it's been so far! In following with that pattern,
I am moving to Morioka this transfer, and will be getting a new
companion, Elder M.. We both haven't been to Morioka before,
something most people call whitewashing out here (I don't know if they
call it that anywhere else). It will be a fun transfer, as the area is
going from two elders to four, and we are the new companionship.

The kanji of the week is: 盛岡 pronounced "morioka," and is the new area
I'm going to. It means prosperous hill.

Monday was just as always. We emailed, shopped, and relaxed. At night,
we waited for people to show up at Family Home Evening, but no one
showed up, so we went home and did stuff there.

Tuesday we went to do service with a group called Angel House. The
missionaries have been going for a long time, but with the downsizing
of Hachinohe, neither me or my companion remembered about it until
they contacted us last week. So, we went and helped them out. We got
to do yoga, and badminton and basketball with them. I found out that I
love yoga, and I'm sad I won't get another change to work with them.
We also went and did some street contacting for a bit. No actual
results from that, but it was a learning experience. In the evening we
called members to set up appointments with them, and we got five set
up, all miraculously on Friday at different times.

Wednesday, we had companion exchanges, and I got to work with Elder
E., who was in the MTC at the same time as me, in Hachinohe. It
was fun, and although we didn't get too much time to go around because
of studying, but we did get to pass out a Book of Mormon. In the
evening was English class, and that was fun, but nothing new or too
exciting to report.

Thursday Elder T. and I got back together from exchanges, and
the rest of the day was spent studying and weekly planning after a
district meeting and district lunch. It was a good planning session
though, so I'm glad we got that in.

Friday was the day of all the member appointments. We spent literally
the entire day there, with the exception of going out to a nearby
bakery for lunch. They were all good appointments, as all but one of
them were practice lessons, and one of them was home teaching. The
last one we had for the day was with a deaf member, and he helped us
learn some tips on teaching deaf people, and explaining church signs
to those who don't know them. We also heard some of his conversion
story, and his testimony. I say "heard," but I mean we saw it.

Saturday we went and prepared for English class right after studies,
and after that went to go streeting. We took a break at a nearby
convenience store, and while we were there we got a text from a less
active member who lives too far for us to visit saying that he was
near the church and could talk with us for a bit if we had the time.
So, we rushed over, and got to talk to him. We had gotten the transfer
call the previous night (a bit earlier than normal), and so we told
him that unfortunately both of us were transferring (but Elder
E. is transferring to Hachinohe, so that's good). So, he was
kind enough to take us out to eat quickly at McDonalds. We then went
to the church again, and had English class. The students were
understandably surprised at both of us leaving at once, and after
class some of them took pictures with us.

Sunday, we had a normal sacrament meeting, save the fact that all the
missionaries gave talks that day. Three of the four missionaries in
Hachinohe are leaving, but two of them already had talks planned
because the branch presidency had asked them to. So, all of us gave
talks. The rest of church was great too, and I felt the love of the
branch as they wished me luck in my new area (it's kind of close to
Hachinohe, by the way). After church we had sign language class,  and
that was a quick lesson followed by the missionaries sharing their
testimonies in sign language to the deaf members. It was a good
experience. We then had the rest of our studies followed by dinner at
a members house. It was fun, and we got to share a simple message to
the friends of the families kids who were all young.

That's my week! I hope all your weeks have been good, and that you
have seen the Lord's hand in your lives. I love you all! My prayers
are constantly extended to you.

Love,
Elder _______
長老


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