Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Similar Interests

From Alex's letter to me:  Yesterday was quite chilly and windy, but other than that it's been nice cool fall weather. I am in the Furukawa closer to Sendai. What's unique? It's the first area I've served in that doesn't have a college, or at least a major college or branch location.

(He only sent 2 photos so I grabbed some of Japan from the internet just for fun.)

One thing that I am always grateful for is having something in common with a companion, and I have always been able to find at least one, and to be honest more, in every companion I've had so far. I am especially glad that all except one of my companions have liked playing piano, especially since they bring the lovely sound of hymns and primary songs into my life. For example, my companion is playing piano right now, and it's really good (he's been playing since middle school).
My ponderizing scripture this week is: John 15:2 "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." I chose this scripture, because it reminds me that when you are doing good in the sight of God, you are purged, given a chance to grow more, so that you can do more good.
The kanji of the week is: 冬 pronounced "phoo-you" and means winter.
 Monday: We got all the stuff we needed to do done, and most of the day was just relaxing, and my companion playing the piano. In the evening we had family home evening with the branch president and his family.
Tuesday: We went and had lunch with an investigator and her friend. We had a good talk about the purpose of missionaries, the church, an what we believe. After that we went to go visit a less active that lives far away. There was no one home when we first got there, but as we were walking away, she showed up, and we introduced ourselves to her and shared a quick scripture with her. After that we went to go visit another family, but they weren't home. Again, as we were leaving, one of the son's came and so we invited him to our halloween party we'll have this week. That's a good over view of that day,although we did do some planning for the party, and finding as well.
Taco rice that Alex's companion made for lunch. Does Alex ever cook????
Wednesday: we did quite a few things that day, although not much happened from them. We went to go find a place that we might be able to find people to talk to, but couldn't find the place. Eventually we found it, but since we didn't have any information on it, we didn't know that it wasn't happening that day. We also went asking about service, and found we can clean up a park near our apartment anytime we want, so we might do that soon. We tried to visit some people, but no one was home. We also had English class.
Thursday: Because of a Zone Conference the next day, we did weekly planning on this day. It was a really good weekly planning, and I look forward to this week. I think we also got closer as a companionship through it. We then had a lesson with our investigator Brother Chiba. It was a good lesson/meeting. We talked about how he came in contact with the missionaries, and why he still meets with missionaries. It was a really good talk, and we got to hear lots about his faith, and about his testimony. I look forward to working with him further. After that we went to Sendai for the Zone Conference the next day.

Friday: The meeting was long, but went by super quickly, and I learned a lot from it. I won't put any notes from it here, because there are too many, but I assure you that it was great. We also had a great lunch prepared by the local relief society, and afterwards to thank them sang "I am a Child of God" to them. I haven't had the chance to use sign language in a while, so I signed the song, and as I did a member noticed me and started signing along. After the song, she came up to me and talked for just a few moments about sign language, and it was a really cool experience. Other than that, the rest of the day was studies and travel.
Saturday: We went after studies to a festival they were having near a mall, but when we arrived, it wasn't what we expected. Arriving at the same time as us was an ambulance, and as we got to the event, we saw a man laying on the stage with paramedics doing CPR on him. They had a cover some people were holding to shield the scene from the children's eyes, but from where we were, we could see it. The man was apparently in an eating contest when we collapsed, but I don't know what caused
it. I pray that he's doing well now, or that he is accepting the gospel in the next life if that was God's will. It was not a very pleasant experience, and we didn't find anyone from there. We also went to lunch with a member, who payed for us. It was a really delicious restaurant, and I am very blessed to have liked the majority of food that I have tried since coming to Japan (except umeboshi, a pickled Japanese apricot). We also had a lesson with a less active, and at the same time a surprise visit from a different less active. It was a good lesson with both of them. After that we went around to a few places, and also made a pumpkin pie for the Halloween party.
Sunday: Sacrament is always great, and I love being able to partake of it every week. We also were able to have a good talk by the stake president, and great classes in the other two hours. After that we had lunch and then went to institute. We went over some of the Book of Mormon, and it was cool to study with members (namely the branch president and his wife). The rest of the day was studies and reporting on the week.
I hope you all had a great week, and that you enjoy your time here on Earth. It truly is a blessing! I love you all, and think of you often!
Elder ______

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