Monday, May 25, 2015

Weekly Gold Snapback Comeback Mail

Let me tell you about this week!
We went finding a lot, we got transfer news and I'm staying with Elder Reed in Nakatsu for my 5th transfer here, we had a party after our English class that went from a farewell to a "no one is transferring" party, had sukiyaki - cooked meat dipped in raw egg with rice & vegetables - at The Tanaka's (Tanaka Shimai is a member & her husband is our investigator), had companion exchange with everyone's favourite Elder Malaska, ate lunch at a dodgy place that served us free raw meat, had a few lessons with our main man Takeda who is up to Mormon in his Book of Mormon speed reading adventures who we are helping to pray so that he can receive his own answer from God that it's true, played Basketball (made a few shots, pretty impressive), went home teaching with the Ogura's at the Kai's, watched some fireflies, climbed a mountain with Tanaka Shimai (She's 74!) and ate okonomiyaki.
Also the gold snapback made a comeback.

Pretty good, right?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Weekly Udon Mail

Ferociously fantastic week.
So here's the sitch. In this area we don't have many investigators so we spend most of our time finding people who will receive us or who have been prepared to meet us, by housing or streeting. We have finding goals to push us to talk to more people and to be more focused in our finding. Usually we don't meet our goals because Nakatsu is very rural and doesn't have many people, but this past week Elder Reed and I were super pumped and determined to reach our goals. We have been working way hard this transfer but we felt if we did all we could to reach our goals, to talk to as many of God's children as we could, that He would trust & bless us with those people who are ready to meet the missionaries & hear our message.
As a result of that, not only did we see so many miracles, but we also reached our goals and met a number of new investigators who we are teaching this week!

It doesn't sound like a big deal, but it is :P. Felt super good & happy all week, it was a really joyful experience.

We also met with Takeda-San, our main investigator, and taught him for the first time in 3 weeks (though we have been keeping contact through just calls and short visits), and he has been "speed reading" the Book of Mormon and is up to Mormon. He believes if he reads and prays that he can know it's true and so our meeting got him back on track because he has only been doing the reading part of the reading-and-praying promise, so! Things are looking great with him. It's way cool that we have become such great friends since we first found him while housing
3 months ago. Even though we weren't teaching him these last few weeks he'd call to see what's up and how we're doing.

This week we also went to see the BYU Wind Symphony concert, had Indo-curry one too many times and had an Udon party with Nakatsu branch for Family Home Evening.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Weekly kyuudoosha wo mitsukeru tochuu Mail

This week we spent a lot of time with members and finding new people to teach. All of the people we have found in the last few weeks we haven't been able to follow up with because they haven't been home when we've visited, but all week we worked hard and showed our faith and then last night at about 8:30 we met two people back-to-back who accepted a Book of Mormon, an invitation to read 3 Nephi 11, and a return appointment on Tuesday. We felt really happy afterwards!

Last Thursday we yet again when to Fukuoka where we got training from The McLane Train and even got a few minutes to do some street contacting in the city. I'm sure a lot of you back home think of Japan as huge cities with thousands of people everywhere, and that's true for the most part, but my areas have been country-side towns so contacting people on the streets of Fukuoka was a big change to what I'm used to (which is door-knocking traditional Japanese style homes), and I don't want to admit it but I was glad to be back home in Nakatsu that night :P. Perhaps I should expect a change like that for my next area.

Well here are some photos, on of our family home evening activity and one of my family.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Weekly Malaska Mail

We went to Kita Kyushu and had district meeting, then Elder Reed and I stayed and did companion exchanges with our district leader and his companion. Elder Reed went with our district leader's companion - so it was two first transfer Americans hitting up the big city talking to people on the street - and I went with our beloved district leader. Elder Malaska. My companion for 3 months, 2 months ago. Reunited again! 

Our time together was super fun, and actually we met this older man on the street who had totally been prepared. He joined the Catholic Church a year ago but as we started talking he told us he wanted to read the Book of Mormon, before we even really mentioned anything about it, and it just so happened that we were carrying one on us (such a rarity for missionaries to be doing that, right). We swapped numbers and left super grateful. Up until now every companion exchange has been in my own area, so it's been me who has followed up with the people we find, but it was interesting to be a part of the other side - I doubt I will meet that man again but that simple experience really strengthened my faith that there are prepared people who we can find in such big cities like Kita Kyushu, etc.

We were riding towards this enormous intersection and Elder Malaska turns and says, "This is called the blitz, ride fast or you'll get hit." I had never been more scared in my year and a five months of being a missionary, nor had I ever rode a bike that fast. Guess it makes up for all the times we got separated when we were companions because I could never keep up with him (yeah that happened).

Later in the week Elder Reed and I rode out to Usa-shi again and went to meet our new investigator Fujita-san, but she wasn't there so we just went finding and met a woman who was really interested in the Book of Mormon and we scheduled an appointment with her for this week. So something that may have been disappointing at first turned out to be really special.

Among other things Umeda and Wakamori from Nobeoka came to Nakatsu and we had a really fun time at the Nakatsu castle, and it was incredible catching up with them after five months! And two of our English class friends took Elder Reed and I to a Wysteria garden complete with killer bees!
Enjoy some photos: