Sunday, January 10, 2016

Off With a Bang

Good Morning Ladies and Germs,

There goes the first full week of the two thousandth and sixteenth
year since the coming of our Lord. It's been pretty busy and there's
been a bit of travel happening here. We had two exchanges and a ZTM
this week along with our normal missionary efforts. It's been a good,
full week. I like weeks like this; working makes everything

To start this off I went to 名東 (Meito) on Tuesday to go on an exchange
there with Elder Blanscet and had a great day working together. We
were able to find this 15 year old kid who told us that his family has
been visited by another Christian religion and has read some stuff
from the Bible. As we got talking he got more and more cool (and
seemingly prepared for our message). He is a basketball team captain
and likes English as well. We shared a little about the Book of Mormon
and gave him one and invited him to come to the church before 英会話
(Eikaiwa) next week to learn more. When we started talking about where
the church was he said he knew the place and said he has passed it
many a time. He seems like he has a ton of good potential. I hope to
hear more about him next week. It was nice to work with Elder
Blanscet. He is fearless. He may not have the best Japanese or
contacting tactics, but he has absolutely no fear to go out and talk to
people and work. I wish that I could have been more like that as a
younger missionary and he showed forth a good example that I want to
help myself in my current state to be better. I get to work with such
good missionaries.

On Wednesday we were able to meet with our Canadian friend Dave and do
some more service at his house. Almost every time we go over there now
and work with him he likes to have a BBQ on his roof with us. As we
were eating and talking he brought up the Christmas lesson that we had
a couple of weeks ago and said that he really liked it and liked
having his kids learn about Christmas. Dave also said that by having
us come over and do the Christmas lesson and by working with him his
wife (who is Japanese) is warming up to Christianity. It's amazing
what the power of service can do to change hearts. We've been able to
leave such a good impression on Dave and his family and have plans to
help them continue to keep progressing to the restored gospel of Jesus

One more story from Wednesday that kind of impacted me happended after
英会話. Recently a Brazilian named Alex has been coming pretty much every
week and about two weeks ago he had been asking me questions about the
church so I explained about the church a little bit and gave him a
pamphlet that explains the restoration of the church and the Book of
Mormon. He speaks fluent Japanese and can read it as well so teaching
is really easy with him. Anyways, he came this week and I really
wanted to give him a Book of Mormon. So after 英会話 I went up to talk to
him and see if he read the pamphlet and he said yes and that he had
looked up some stuff about the church on the Internet as well. I told
him that I wanted to give him a Book of Mormon and asked if that was
ok and he said he'd like one. I asked what language he'd like and he
said Portuguese so as I am going to grab a O Livro de Mórmon for him I
asked him how his New Year's was and he told me that it wasn't super
good and  I asked why and he explained to me that a close family
friend had been killed barely a week ago. I kind of didn't know what
to do. I was thinking to myself as I held a Book of Mormon in my hand,
"What can I do to comfort this man? What can I share that will help
him?" I expressed my sympathy and told him that death is not the end
and that the Book of Mormon explains that God has created a plan for
us. I quickly reviewed that the Book of Mormon is like the Bible and was
written by prophets and flipped open to Alma 40 where the prophet Alma
writes about the Plan of Salvation and what happens to us after death.
I marked the chapter for him and recommended that he read it and to
ask questions about it next week. He said that he would definitely
read it and seemed to be a little better when he left. I have faith
that the power of the Book of Mormon will answer Alex's questions and
will help him and that he will want to learn more next week.

I had another exchange on Thursday with a missionary I know rather
well here in 野並. I was with Elder Johnson who is from my MTC district
and it was great to be able to work with him for the first time in the
field. He is currently one of our District Leaders in 瀬戸(Seto) and he
is doing awesome. We were able to catch up a lot and see how his
mission has been up to this point and we shared some of our
frustrations, experiences, and miracles that we have seen and
experienced in our past year and a half. He has become such a solid DL
and missionary and it was cool to talk with him about how the mission
has changed and shaped us and what we plan to do once we go home. We
were able to work with a member and try to go visit less active
members and some investigators and it was a great day to work.

Friday was ZTM in 名東. It went really well and it was really great to
see everyone in the zone. One the books it looks like our zone is
pretty big, but we are actually the smallest zone of actively
proselyting missionaries. So I switched from what was the smallest
zone to the smallest zone and I like it. There's such a family feel
right now and everyone is working so well together.

This week's email has been an epistle. A lot of good things have
happened and we are looking forward to see the results and miracles
that are in the future. I hope all is well for all of you and that
your new year has started off as equally busy and exciting as mine. I
love you all and best of luck this next week!




Pic 1- Mighty Meito Zone
Pic 2- Summiting Mt. Fuji
Pic 3- Looking out over the city... Again

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