Konnichiwa! I didnt get a chance to email everyone last week so for those of you who I couldnt get to, Im in Ishigaki which is a small island about an hours flight from Okinawa, its closer to Taiwan than to mainland Japan, with a population of 48,000 amazing people and you can get to pretty much any populated area within an hour or less bike ride. Its already pretty hot here already, but the food is amazing and the people are so polite. Everyone will talk to you and only rarely do people not listen to our message or allow us to introduce ourselves, every school kid ever tries to talk to us in English, and there isnt much of a city here, its more just like a big town without a central hub with lots of rural suburbia. My companion Elder Rogers is from Texas and he is the coolest and most patient person ever (he has to be if he is training me haha), and we have two other Elders in this area, and we have the whole island to ourselves! I was really hoping I would get called to an island some point in my mission and the fact that its my first area is so cool! I dont want to waste a single second here. Unless its p-day.
We have already seen wonderful blessings since being here. Here are the highlights of the week
Tuesday we were let into a guys house and he asked us about evolution, fire worshipping and obama.. so we gave him a book of mormon. Friday we got our first bible bash! someone read to us interesting scriptures from the bible and took them out of context.. so we shared the message of the restoration with him, oh and got some candy from a random guy who smiled at us then walked off. Saturday we met a guy who first said he was Usain Bolt, then after we shared a little bit about the gospel with him, he said he was Jesus before walking off. But! We had three lessons that day (which is a lot here) and invited two investigators (also a lot) to be baptised, and continued to work with our third investigator who is absolutely loving church and loving what he learns from the scriptures and the gospel, and loves the peaceful feelings he has when he prays, reads the scriptures, and lives Gods commandments. His baptisimal date is later in March, and the baptisimal font here is the beach which is cool! Church yesterday was awesome, we had 19 people there, including 2 investigators! our numbers really are increasing, which is awesome.
I love Ishigaki and I love serving this mission. Ive only been out for a week and a half but already my testimony on dilligence and hard work has increased. Last night when we were talking to people, sharing the gospel, we werent seeming to find anyone who was ready to hear it, until the last two people we visited who were happy to set up appointments and accept a book of mormon each, and we made two new investigators and I fully believe its because we kept pressing on with faith even though we werent finding success at the time. the blessing comes after the trial of faith.
Life is beautiful. Love you all,