Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Weekly Straya Mail

Let me tell you about the most miracle-filled day ever.

We made some fantastic goals to help the branch grow this year and have started finding less-active members to work with. Particularly we are focusing on young families. This week we were streeting and (I want to say random, but I know it wasn't random!) housed a young mother, who we started sharing our purpose with, etc, and then eventually she was like "yeah my husband and I were married in the Salt Lake City Temple" and showed us a photo -- so yeah, she's a member! It was really... weird. But super funny, because we had no idea. She said we can come back sometime and meet her husband who is American, so hopefully we can start working with them soon.

Along the same street we met another young mother (not a secretly-LA-member) who we gave a short message about the purpose of life and the Book of Mormon to, gave her a Book of Mormon and marked Alma 34 for her, and made a return appointment for this coming week.

Later that night we had dinner with Tanaka Shimai, a member and her friend who she invited. The way it happened was last week when Elder Powell, the new missionary to this area, came, Tanaka Shimai picked the four of us up to take us to her place for lunch, and on the way we saw her friend who looked puzzled/interested/confused seeing a 80-ish year old Japanese lady with four white 20 year old boys in her car, so she stopped and explained who we were and invited her to dinner a week later. So, we had the dinner and shared a nice message about Temples and the Book of Mormon. She accepted a copy and she said she is really interested, so hopefully we will meet her again this week.

This past weekend was Stake Conference in Fukuoka which was incredible, Elder Ringwood came and talked and it seemed to go right along with the kind of miracles we have seen this week. Right on.

No photos this week. Okay that's boring, let me see what photos my companion took this week.
Okay here I am wearing an Australian hat because today is Australia Day, and also Spiderman. 

And here I am locking my bike. Yeah. But Mum don't upload these to Facebook.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Weekly Jou Life Mail

Third flat tire in two weeks, going for a record.

Went to Nakatsu castle and had a jolly old time. Elder Crawford left and we got a missionary who was at the MTC when I was, Elder Powell.

Still doing a lot of housing. Last night we visited a potential investigator, and older man confined to his home because of a brain fault which he had last year. He is interested in Christianity and Christ because he watched a movie about Jesus Christ (I think it was the Mel Gibson one), so he said we can return next week because he wants to hear. Great blessing. 

Among all our interesting contacts this week, there was one where we met a lady (probably 40s-50s) who was Japanese-Buddhist but her friend is Christian and they talk about Christianity all the time. We shared our message and she really appreciated it and she loves everything she hears about Christ, but because she is her religion by culture she doesn't feel she can let us come back to teach her more, so we gave her our little flyer which we give to everyone, which just has a bunch of questions that have been answered through the Restoration (no answers, just questions). It was a really good contact and I felt super good, and when we gave her the flyer she read it and she said kind of like "you know what, I'm going to take this when I meet my friend this week and I'll talk to her about this because I know she would be interested," and that's kind of where it ended... but yet another tender mercy of the Lord to see that.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Weekly Jitensha ga kirai Mail

Transfer call day, will throw up from nervousness I promise.

This week ai suru District Leader Elder Fender came to Nakatsu and we went on companion exchanges. Our best contact was these two breakdancers that came to the front of the train station just before we started heading home. 

Another time Elder Malaska and I rode out 45 mins to another town, but my tire died as soon as we got there, so we talked to a few people, then walked and hour and 45 mins back and bought a new tire and tube. Then, yesterday, we rode another 45 mins in a different direction to a different town, and I accidentally rode over a screw which went right through my tire, so we spent 2 hours walking that one home. Also a random guy gave us two calendars and some bystanders in a truck laughed as they saw two white people trying to ask this Japanese dude why he's giving them calenders, not speaking any Japanese back because there's no way two white kids know Japanese. 

I guess we are supposed to stay in our own town. Actually, one day we did exactly that (didn't try to escape Nakatsu) and had quite a few interesting experiences. 
One door, a teenage girl answered and we talked a little, then her Dad came out yelling shoo-ing us away, and we just kind of chuckled and went to hand her a flyer but he got pretty aggressive so we just said bye, then as we were walking off we heard him yelling at her, then her crying. Just there in the middle of the street we said a prayer and the fight stopped. Before I felt like I was about to start crying (seriously) but then I felt peace, and hope that she will meet missionaries again some day. 
Another door was an old man, who left us to answer the phone, so we left too. But then I felt like we should go back, so we did and I said I just wanted to give him a flyer and testify, so I did. He seemed to appreciate it, even though he still didn't have any interest. But I felt good that I followed what I recognized was a prompting, and was given an opportunity to testify.
At a different door we gave a Book of Mormon to a young woman, and along the same street we gave a great short message on eternal families to a young father and his three daughters - both of these contacts said we could come back.
Lastly we gave a really great message about God to an older lady who said she can't believe in God because of an acquintance who had a stillborn birth. With all the love, humility and sincerity that I had I bore testimony to her that we all have hard experiences and trials, but that God is there and He does love us and wants to help us. I asked how she felt when we shared those things with her and she said she felt our sincerity and appreciated it.

This transfer is a lot like my first - not a lot of teaching but a whole lot of housing. The difference is now I can recognize the Spirit and miracles so often. It's really changing me, and I am more thankful than ever.

Also this week we did service for Satomi Shimai (who if you have me on Facebook you may have seen her photos), and had a Family History activity after Church. We invited lots of people to Church this week, because we were planning on having a lunch together and also this activity, and four non-members came! A wonderful blessing.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Weekly Jingu Mail

Konnichiwa or something similar

The New Years Resolution my companion and I have made is to not speak a word of English - and if we do, it's a push-up for each word. Get fluent or die trying. 

For New Years Day we went to a famous shrine, and felt strange as two white Christians but we talked to a bunch of people who were really outgoing and friendly to let us know what was happening. A peak into the culture of Japan.

This week we have been just straight finding. In Nobeoka, my last area, we were seeing huge miracles frequently. Here in Nakatsu, I'm learning to recognize less-recognizable miracles.
The other day we housed an old man who let us into his genkan (the area where the door is) and we sat down and talked, he said he had interested and we could come back if we were nearby some day, and when we left we helped him up onto his feet. I felt this absolute surge of love for him and I felt the Spirit for sure. 
We housed a man who fitted the description of someone we planned to find, a middle-aged father of a family, who we taught about the Plan of Salvation and he said we could come back another time.
Last night we had a totsuzen lesson (on the spot at the door quick little lesson) with a lady about the Word of Wisdom, because that is what she knew about the Church! When we asked to return another time, she said 'no that's okay, that is sufficient,' and that was okay, I walked away feeling really good. I felt a lot of hope that some time in the future missionaries would visit her again and share more with her, and maybe that will be sufficient for her then too, but maybe it will be enough for her to want to hear more. Or maybe it will take multiple visits.

But it's just these kinds of daily miracles that make my time here in Nakatsu. We aren't teaching anyone, our one investigator can't meet these days because it's a busy time of year, but we are hoping to visit this week and watch The Restoration together.

Enjoy some photos of the Usa Jinguu (Usa Shrine).
Love, Elder Wheeler

Yoi o toshi o!