Monday, May 30, 2016

Through the Weak and Simple

It was fun to get Alex's letter today and funny to read some of the things he writes in English now that he's been speaking Japanese for more than a year and a half now. Like this: 

"I would also like to learn Spanish, because I feel like it's long time I figured out that language."

I shouldn't laugh because I know how it is when you are immersed in another language and it affects how you think and speak in your own language. 

I was happy to see that they have an investigator with a baptism date who they are working with. It's the last Saturday of that transfer so I'm kinda hoping Alex doesn't get transferred somewhere else so he can stay and continue to fellowship him as a new member. I'm sure it's hard for someone who gets baptized and then his missionaries who he knows leave. 

This week was really special, because we had the privilege of spending
two hours with Elder Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve, Elder Gong
of the Seventy, and Elder Yamashita of the Asia North Area Presidency.
What love these men, and their wives, have for not only us, but also
all of God's children. Being a member of the Church for my entire
life, I've always grown up seeing the general authorities on the TV,
and thinking that they were so much different than us. One of the
things I really learned from this meeting was that Elder Stevenson is
a normal man with a special calling. God can do anything through
anyone, no matter how weak, even through me.
Scripture of the week is Exodus 19:5-6, "Now therefore, if ye will
obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a
peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.
These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of
Kanji of the week is: 秋田犬 pronounced "ah-key-tah-ee-new," and is the
special breed of dog that was born in Odate and the surround area.
Fried rice that Elder S made
Monday was good, relaxing, and refreshing. In the evening we met with an investigator who is so close to figuring out everything for himself, but is afraid that if he prays that the Spirit will come to him and tell him something he doesn't want to hear. He says that he'll eventually get baptized once he figures things out for himself though. The rest of the night was just housing. Tuesday was service, and that was fun again. The people we work with are so nice! After that we went to go visit a less active, but he was busy, so we couldn't meet. After that we tried to talk with people on the streets, but there weren't too many people. We then met with a member for family home evening. He's a great man, and really funny. We then also met with two other less active members, and they are both nice.
Wednesday we woke up early to catch a bus to Sendai. Then, we spent two hours with Elder Stevenson, Elder Gong, and Elder Yamashita, and their wives. As my companion so well put it, "as soon as the meeting started, it was like general conference." Only this conference was directed to 100 missionaries. Elder Gong, speaking of Elder Stevenson, said that as an Apostle, he loves all people, and desires all of their salvation; from the way he talked and instructed us, you could tell it was true. Elder Stevenson Served in Fukuoka as a full time missionary, Nagoya as a mission president, and in the Asia North Presidency, which includes Japan. He also had a business that dealt a lot with Japan. Needless to say, his Japanese is great, and what a unique experience we were able to have in hearing one of the Twelve bear testimony in Japanese (although most of his talk was in English). I could say so much more about what I learned, and a bunch of stuff. But this email is too long already.
Chocolate that I got for my birthday. I got it Wednesday, because an
investigator in Furukawa hear when my birthday was, and decided to buy
me a present. I left before my birthday, but she gave it to the elders
to give to me. I am so glad they didn't eat it!
Thrusday was spent mostly coming back to Odate and weekly planning. We also had a lesson with an investigator and his friend, who became an investigator. Friday was great, and the part that I would really like to say is that because of the things we were able to learn from Elder Stevenson, we got a new baptismal date (June 18). He was so happy to hear of the great blessings of comfort and relief from guilt that baptism brings. And we're happy to help him get to that point. Saturday was great, and we had lots of fun talking with lots of people. Sunday we were going around and were following up on someone we talked to two weeks ago. We didn't know if he had too much interest, but followed up just because that's what we do. He ended up having lots of interest, asked us about our beliefs, and the Book of Mormon. When we had talked a bit, he then asked us how he could know for himself. It was a great lesson, and things are looking even better than they were before (not that it was bad before). This week has been great, and I am looking forward to having an even better time this next week. I love you all! Love, Elder 長老
McDonald's Loco Moco burger, a Hawaiian burger here for a limited time in Japan. 


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