Sunday, August 31, 2014

Weekly Energetic! Mail

Survived an Earthquake!

Met Chad Brad, the cobba I sat next to all those years ago at the MTC, the bloke who got his last name from the first name store, at Mission President Interviews/Training! My douki is the best!
Mission President is super happy with us and our area, and he said to remember a lot of the joy comes from the journey, not just the end result! Our Kaicho is the best!

The mother of our investigator family, has taken us back and now we are best buds again! She let us pray with her and said it was okay to start sharing messages again! Also! She gave us each a photo frame with a collage of photos we have all taken together! Our investigators are the best!

We went on companion exchanges, and Elder Cope and I found ourselves surrounded by a group of 6 kids, so we started preaching - Alma style - and they sat down in front of us listening, so we invited them all to be baptised but they started stoning us so we escaped! But before we were attacked by rocks (yeah that bit wasn't a joke) they proselyted with us, and took us to the doors in the neighbourhood that had people behind them! It must have been a strange sight for someone to open the door and see two white people and a bunch of kids around them, talking to them about Jesus! Our dendo is the best!

Our progressing investigator Umeda came to Church again! But it is really hard for her, she has trouble in social situations but we are making sure everyone is her friend! Our branch members are the best!

What is even cooler is that after so many times of inviting her, she finally accepted the invitation to be baptised on September 20! We set it as a goal and she has a few things she wants to overcome, but she is reading and praying and putting in that effort so I know the Lord will help her!

This month our Mission President set at goal for each companionship to have 2 baptisimal dates by the end of the month! As those of you who have been following my emails know we were close to smashing that goal, but nek minute! (I know that was never cool, but I will have you all know I still use it in my daily speech. Feel free to bring me up to date on what teenagers say now) So! We finally got that one with Umeda this weekend, then we had one day left! We had two appointments where we were planning on setting a baptisimal date with those people, but they fell through - we had 2 and a half hours so we hit the streets! I don't think I have ever dendo'd that hard before but incredibly enough we met someone along the street who not only accepted the invitation to be baptised, not only accepted the invitation to be baptised on October 11, not only asked us to exchange numbers, but also let us know all his days off and set up an appointment with us this week! What a miracle!

And I will end it there!

Photos - The same photo I sent last week, but this time with more people because the Stake Leaders came

Missionaries with our investigator Umeda (left) and Sister Kuroki, our Ward Mission Leader's wife

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Weekly Wabi-Sabi Mail

This week we were able to pick up one of our investigators who we thought 'fizzed out,' and taught her twice! We spent a lesson teaching her about the Atonement, which I have really been feeling is something we need to focus more on. In return, I have learnt more specifically what the Atonement means to me which has been a great blessing!
It is really amazing how much you can learn about yourself, and benefit yourself, from not even focusing on yourself - but on these beautiful children of God who we are working with!

Our investigator Umeda who we have been teaching for a month and a half who has been just a little to shy to come to Church came this week. She overcame a huge wall this week. Her friend who is less-active came also, it was wonderful sitting with them in the congregation!

Went out to dinner (which we don't actually do all that much, but it brings a good photo taking opportunity, so that's why all my photos are at restaurants haha) with our member who we have been working with recently, Shoko Shimai! And she brought a friend who we were able to meet and hope to meet again soon :). She also taught us what wabi-sabi means.

The other photo attached is how I look every day when I dendo.
Okay but really, that isn't even a tie. It's one of those belts you buy to put on your suitcase so you know which one is yours after a flight when it comes out on a conveyer belt. It is too trunky-mitai to be used outside of the apartment for now though so don't worry about that.

Hey thanks for reading, please write back. I have no friends.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Weekly byouki Mail

Hey this week we got sick, but then we got better, then an RM who served this mission (in this area) came back with his friend so we spent some time with him and his old invesitgators, then we had a party at the Church and lots of people came, so that was sick.

I'm about to get all maji up in here so watch out.

Hard week with our investigator. She hasn't been reading or praying and therefore has been crumbling, for lack of a better word, from all these new ideas and feelings she's been getting, so last night it all came out. We have been praying and working so very hard for her, and after everything was all said and done, all we could do was express our Heavenly Father's love for her. Basically, she was close to dropping us; she has so many different views and ideas and has had so many hardships and trials and disappointments.. but she still feels something! Not sure how this will turn out but this week has been pretty hard for us, but above all else, I feel that my relationship with Christ and with Heavenly Father has been strengthened so much. I need thee every hour. I certainly feel like our recent experiences with her have been, particularly for me, to make me rely on the Lord more. So although it was hard accepting the turn of events with her, this week I have gained such a greater love for the Lord.

Enos 1:26-27 brought me so much peace as I read it while feeling a little sad about this week,
"...having been wrought upon by the power of God that I must preach and prophesy unto this people, and declare the word according to the truth which is in Christ. And I have declared it in all my days, and have rejoiced in it above that of the world.
"And I soon go to the place of my rest, which is with my Redeemer; for I know that in him I shall rest. And I rejoice in the day when my mortal shall put on imortality, and shall stand before him; then shall I see his face with pleasure, and he will say unto me: Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father. Amen"

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Weekly Watakushi Mail

Yasuyo, the mother of the family we are teaching, is progressing really well and we have spent a lot of time with her and her family this week, including eating tacos for lunch and playing basketball - and she is really beginning to feel like the Church and our message is true. Yesterday she came to Church and is really bonding with the members (her second time to Church). I know she will be baptised!
Unfortunately our goal for 5 baptisms in August doesn't seem very likely with the investigators we have now but two of them in particular are really progressing. Umeda is recognising the Spirit and is absolutely loving the Book of Mormon. I know that she will be baptised too.
This week I have really been focusing on, more than ever, praying, reading and pondering to really know what direction we need to go with these wonderful people and.. we're really getting there! More than ever I have needed what we have learnt recently at zone conference - going by the Spirit.
I will be honest, up until now I have never worried so much about what exactly they need to strengthen their small but evidentally existant conviction that this is what they need. But little by little, the Lord is showing us the way for that to happen. I have never felt God's love for someone so strongly as I have these past few weeks. So there's that!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Weekly Transferred to China Mail

Transfer news: They're opening mainland China and I have been selected from a number of Asian missions to open it, yo.

I added a few more people to my weekly email list so if you are on here but don't want weekly emails please reply and let me know!

Ferreal Transfer news: all four of us are staying in Nobeoka! We're all (legitimately, not just pretending to be) way excited for this transfer. Nobeoka is the beeest.

My prayers have been answered so greatly this past week, we were finally able to meet with three of our progressing investigators (all 2 of who we haven't been able to meet with for almost 2 weeks), one (Miku) with a baptisimal date on Aug 23. I'll be honest, I'm a terrible teacher, and the Spirit is so incredibly necessary! My testimony of that has grown so strong this last week.
I have prayed so hard that the Lord will prepare a way for them to meet with us, and they were all able to do that, and are able to meet this coming week!

One investigator, Umeda, is progressing really well, is feeling the Spirit whenever we meet, and has commited to meeting us three times a week. She hasn't accepted a baptismal date yet but she is so very close - she reads and prays, but is just a little nervous to come to Church! We are really hoping to work well with the branch this week to have joints in our lessons with her to really befriend her and have them help her feel welcome.

Yasuyo, the mother of our favourite Nobeokan family (she's separated), is progressing too. She hasn't accepted a baptismal date but I absolutely KNOW that this is the week that she finally will. Last night we taught a lesson about faith with her family, on Alma 32 which she read beforehand. It was the first time we were able to meet with the family together, we gave Book of Mormons with our testimonies in them to the teenagers, set up a return appointment (which has been next to impossible over the last few weeks - but like I said, our prayers are really being answered!) but the biggest event in the lesson was when we asked Yasuyo to explain faith, explain what we had been sharing, with her kids in her own words. And during this time, it was like she really finally got it, and, in a way, caught herself realising that faith leads to stability and direction - something that she wants and needs. (taken from her own words)

Definitely the best meeting with her so far, she is progressing for sure. Extending the baptisimal date (again) tomorrow night as we teach the Restoration to her family (which we already taught her).

I love them! Here are some photos with them. Also Yuto, the eldest, has Neon Genesis Evangelion manga so he is number 1 forever.
Also Elder Keikyu likes his new seat cover.

We had a game night with a bunch of people that came so that was fun.