Sunday, June 28, 2015

Weekly Okinawa Mail

So adjusting to life in Okinawa City has been fantastic so far. It's my biggest area yet, and my companion Elder Richards and I white-washed in as Zone Leaders over Ginowan, the north Okinawa zone.
For those of you that don't know what white-wash means, it's when both members of the companionship transfer into a new area together. On top of that, we are over two wards; an American and a Japanese, as there is an American base close by. That means two sets of Bishopric & ward council. It's no worries because I've learnt that more than anything trust in Heavenly Father is not only necessary but it's what makes the difference.

Actually, when I got the call from our President telling me about what I'd be doing next, the first thing I thought of was my dear trainer Elder Rogers. His family are with the military so I knew that he was returning to Okinawa after his mission which ended last week. Sunday was quite the reunion, now BROTHER Rogers is in my ward which I'll be attending every week. It was really funny seeing people ask him, along with me of course, where we're from and how much left we have on our missions, assuming we were the new missionaries to the ward.

I'll be honest, I've been quite nervous about the whole speaking-English-to-Americans thing, especially in finding. It'll take a while but for now I'm the most awkward person I've met. Felt right at home during our second sacrament meeting (the Japanese one, after attending the American one) as we started singing the opening hymn in a language I'm actually used to singing it. It'll take some time but don't worry I'll get there. It's like reverse-culture-shock.

Well I'm loving it so far, super humid and super hot, no investigators yet but we've already seen some of the fruits of the two of us hitting the ground running since Thursday.

Photos are of me leaving Nakatsu, with my new companion Elder Richards, and with my papa Brother Rogers.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Weekly Nakatsu Sayounara Mail

Well the time has come - I've been in Nakatsu (north Kyushu) since December and I am transferring to Okinawa City, Okinawa Island. Really excited to be returning to Okinawa prefecture which my first area Ishigaki island was a part of. I'm headed to the Ginowan zone. Bit unsure about the amount of Americans there, that'll be a worry.

Been great, learnt a lot. My district was super rad, too. Included photos are our last District photo (eating Chinese. In Japan), a little Dendo adventure, one with Takeda who we had been teaching since March who I've mentioned a bit in these emails, and with the Yoshimatsu couple.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Weekly Kaigoroshi Janai Mail

Ate okonomiyaki again. This time we made it for an activity with a few people we teach English to every second week (outside of our regular English Conversation class).

Had interviews with our Kaicho and the training we have been getting has been so applicable and we have seen such great results from it! We continued working super hard and met a bunch of new people who we have return appointments with. In terms of numbers, it's the most we've ever met in one week!

We returned to a few that we met last week and taught 3 lessons to people other than our usual people, and my companion Elder Reed and I have really gotten good at teaching in unity and even though he's only second transfer so doesn't understand a whole lot of Japanese, I feel like he is much more involved, prepared and switched on than when I was in my first area a year and a half ago.

Finding by the Spirit is a thing, a real thing. Last night we finally went to a neighborhood we had been eyeing off and planning to go to for the last two weeks and were able to teach lots of people, everyone was really humble and receptive, and made a number of return appointments for this coming week. We were both filled with joy and so much Dendo Fire the whole night. I know this work is the true work of God.

Photos: okonomiyaki party, random (what are these things called in
English) we found on a street, and a shot of what our area looks like.

I'm scrambling for photos, forgot to take any as you can tell.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Weekly Yahata Mail

We had many more miracles that strengthened my faith this week. I guess I don't really mention it in my weekly emails but over my mission my faith has grown so much. At the beginning I thought I had faith, but I didn't believe that we could go outside and actually find people or rather go out and be led to people who were prepared. Not sure why I didn't believe that, but now it's a different story, and we see miracles and blessings every day, it's incredible. I know this work is the work of The Lord and that it's possible through our Saviour Jesus Christ.

This week we also went to the city of Kita Kyushu (Yahata) which is an hour and a half by train away, and went on companion exchanges. I went with Elder Vance who was in Ishigaki with me in my first transfer. In the photo I'm wearing a Jinbei - old Japanese man pajamas.

Lastly, I held my first District Meeting this last week, and it was pretty good! That sums it up I think.

Weekly Bamboo & Stamina Mail

June will be a great month.

Had the sickest zone training meeting, which brought out all out Dendo Fire. I went on companion exchanges with Elder Whisenant and aside from posing next to dekai bamboo trees and knocking on uninhabited doors we rode out to a place we decided on and the second & third people we talked to were both young mums who accepted a Book of Mormon, the invitation to read a passage and a return appointment for next week. We had a really good few minutes with them each, and I've come to find that it's easier to turn situations rom awkward to super funny in Japanese than English (still working on my English skills, that's for sure). His companionship will take those two appointments but it was really fun to be a part of that, and really enjoy the day because we both had a lot of faith, confidence and a good attitude from when we got out the door.

At another point, with my companion Elder Reed, we were housing and talked to a woman through the inter phone and we talked for a little about the Book of Mormon and then she asked us to put a pamphlet in her letter box, so we happily did, then went on our way. We were standing at the doorstep of a house across the street when we both felt like we needed to go back and see if we could schedule an appointment because for some reason it just slipped my mind after she asked for the pamphlet! I spent a few seconds thinking about what'd happen if we went back and it was totally awkward and didn't work out & how much courage it's actually take, and then I thought about if it worked out... So we did it, said, "hey I know we were just talking, but.." and as simply as that, set an appointment for this week.

Doesn't sound like a terribly great thing but for us missionaries in Nakatsu trying to find someone who will let us come back to teach them, we think it's a pretty great miracle!

Enjoy the photos of our beloved branch president taking us out to all-you-can-eat-cook-your-own-meat appropriately titled 'Stamina,'
some Dendo adventures, and my bean-chan with his tie on backwards.

Mata ne.