Monday, December 14, 2015

Another Week, Another Improvement

While it's snowing like crazy here in Utah, Alex hasn't had any yet. But I'm sure he'll end up with more than we will as winter progresses. Here are a few paragraphs from his letter to me:

We still don't have any snow. It's been a blessing this winter though, because my boots broke (the zipper came apart), and I had sent it in last week to see how much it would cost. Seeing it would be well over $100, I figured I would just get new boots, but today is the first time I have the chance to do so. So it will probably snow after today or so. I bet. 

We are down to zero investigators now, because one won't answer his phone, and the other isn't that interested in listening and the ward has advised us not to meet with them for now. But that means we have lots of time to find new people, and I love doing that! It's so much fun!

For example, we were going around walking one day, and there was this one man who started walking next to me as he walked out of the train station. I started talking to him, and getting to know him, and we had a great conversation together. He asked me why I was in Japan, and I told him why and introduced the Book of Mormon to him. I got his email address, so we'll try and meet with him soon and get to know him some more, and teach him. It's so fun meeting new people. 

I sent Alex's Christmas package on Monday, November 30 and he got it the following Wednesday on December 9. I sure appreciate Japan's good mail system! He did pour out his stocking contents, but actually said he'll wait until Christmas to open his gifts this year. Last year, he opened them early. 

To Everyone:

I really improve so much from day to day, but weeks are a lot easier
to notice differences. I am surprised how much one can grow in just
the space of seven days. I supposed when you're being worked on by a
Being who created an entire world in only six days, it must be easy to
chance someone who's willing in a seven day period.

My scripture of the week is Genesis 48:11 "And Israel said unto
Joseph, I had not thought to see thy face: and, lo, God hath shewed me
also thy seed." I chose this one, because I want to remember that God
blesses us more than we ever thought possible, just as Jacob never
thought that he would ever see Joseph's face again, but was able to
live and see Joseph's children as well. 

The kanji of the week is: 霊的な巨人 pronounced "ray-techy-nah-kyo-jean"
and means spiritual giant. Haven't heard that one used in church
before, but it's a literal translation, and correct as far as grammar

Monday we went to an internet cafe to email, so that we wouldn't have to spend that much time both using one iPad or trying to figure out some other way. Then we shopped a bit, and I also sent a package home (hopefully it gets to them in time for Christmas). In the evening, we had family home evening with the branch president, his wife, and one other member. It's the only one we're going to have this transfer, because the branch president is going to be busy for the rest of the year (not in town for most of it either). 

Tuesday we went and tried to find a new investigator. Sadly, no luck.
We also got some service opportunities planned out. Towards the end of
the evening, after it had been dark for a while, we called some people
who used to meet with the missionaries before, but none of them wanted
to meet either. 

Wednesday we had splits with the Assistants. It was kind of last
second (they called on Monday to warn us), but it ended up being
really well. It was a good "hump day" for us, because after that split
our week just kept getting better and better. I learned a lot from the
assistant I went with, and my companion learned a lot from the other
one. We met with a member, and had a good time going around and
talking to people, and finding. English Class in the evening was good
as usual, but there have only been the same three students coming the
last few weeks. 

Thursday we went back to Sendai, met up with our actual companions,
and then Elder A. and I returned to Furukawa. We tried to visit
some less active members, but none were available to meet. We also
went and talked to people for a while on the streets, and were able to
talk to lots of people about the gospel. We still had some studies to
do, so the last parts of the night was spent doing that. 

 Friday we went up to district meeting, and had a great time there.
There are eight people in our district, and the zone leaders came as
well, so it was a big party. A meeting party, but a party nonetheless.
We learned a lot and were able to have a very spiritual time. It was
raining that day, so we walked over to a less actives house, invited
her to a Christmas party we're having, and shared a message with her.
We also went to and street contacted a lot. It's so fun to do, and it
gets you a great opportunity to truly preach to every creature the
message we have to share with the world. 

 Saturday we started to house right of the bat, but after only a short
time of that, we both felt like no one was home because it was such a
nice day, so we went back to street contact. On the way back to our
bikes, we saw this family playing tag outside, so we went over and
invited them to our christmas party. We talked to lots of people after
that, the highlight being when we went to a park, and met a really
cute family. They had a nice and cute baby, and they were open to us.
The father had lived in America for a while for college, and even went
to a Christian church every week. The mother had moved from China, and
talked a bit in Chinese with my companion. The Father also had really
good English. The mother said she wants to come to English class, and
they might also start up the "free family English program" with us
(half english lesson, and half Japanese/gospel). 

Sunday was great at church, and we practiced for a bit after church
for our Christmas party skit we have planned as a ward. We also ate
lunch together, which was fried rice and sushi provided by one of the
members. Very delicious. We went out and tried to visit some less
actives after that, but didn't get to see any (at least we think we
didn't see any, but that's a long story), and we also visited a member
who was near the area. We then visited the branch president, who had a
friend from a different ward visiting their family, and shared a quick
message with them. It was probably the last time we could meet with
the branch president this year, so it was nice. 
Elder A. eating some Australian beef someone made them. I don't know what the ingredients are, but it looks good. 

They work and study, even when they're eating

That's our week! Lots of fun, and I enjoy every minute of being in
Japan (even if I sometimes think it's hard). I hope that all of your
weeks were great, and that you can see God's hand in your lives. Love
you all from the bottom of my heart! 

 Elder               長老

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