Sunday, July 28, 2013

July 29th, 2013 email

Mom and Dad,

We're not opening an area back up or starting a new one; this area's actually been around for a while. They decided to transfer the two Japanese missionaries out and put the two of us in. The last baptism was October 2012, so it's been a while since the sheep counter has been changed. But yeah, there's a lot of area to cover. If you look at the mission map, it's a bit north of the Kobe area, and it's the BIG one labeled 'Nishiwaki'. Earlier this week we actually biked out about 14 miles to visit a progressing investigator. I'll also add that this isn't the most flat part of Japan. Anyways we visited them, and they were so shocked we biked all that way that they took us to dinner in an AMAZING yakiniku--Asian barbecue--restaurant where they put a pile of raw meat at your table and you cook it right there on a gas burner. The only down side was that I was a big person in a restaurant for small people, crammed into the table and stooping under doorways. After that they even put our bikes in their truck and drove us home since it was dark and they didn't want us biking all the way back. We didn't actually get the chance to teach a lesson though.

We're eating just fine. We bought plenty of food last P-day to last us the week. We just didn't have a lot last week since there wasn't much left from the previous missionaries.

It's been a long time since I've seen "The Other Side of Heaven". The only part I actually remember is when the rats chew on his feet during the night, but he fights through and continues to serve.
Grandpa is right about the people being kind. We haven't had any excessively rude rejections: the worst have been them just assertively interrupting us, saying their not interested, and shutting the door or continuing to walk/bike down the road. Houses and apartments here, along with peepholes, have microphones that connect whoever's at the door with whomever's home at the time, with the doorbell essentially being that. Some of them even have cameras so they can see you as you speak. Some houses have the microphone set up right outside the front gate.

Last week you asked if there had been rain and I said there hadn't been. Well, we stepped outside to head to a store and we heard a thunderstorm in the distance, but it was still close. We hurried to the store to shop. While shopping, the storm hit us and we could hear the rain pounding, as well as the thunder. We prepared to get soaked but as we went outside the rain almost stopped completely. We got back and it picked up again, then not long before we were planning to head out and work it stopped again. Awesome, right? The next day it rained some, but not a whole lot. We worked out in it but hadn't brought covering since it was a light rain. That ended up being a bad choice because I was wearing my really silky, bright red tie and it bled into my shirt. No worries! I got the color out of my shirt! Also on Tuesday, as we were coming home for the night there was an occasional crack of lightning. The way trash works here is you put specific types of trash out in the designated trash area each day and it gets picked up. The area is just three concrete barriers, maybe 2 feet high and 4 feet on a side, that make a bin area. For whatever reason there are also two large cement boulders right next to it, on the inside of the turn-in to enter the complex parking lot. I mention this because the area and boulders are tough to see in the dark. Well, as I was turning into the lot in the dark, lightning flashed just in time for me to see the concrete walls and chunks, and slam on my breaks. I still rammed into it, and my front wheel was misaligned from the impact, but had I seen it any later, I would have easily flipped over the handle bars and hit the concrete hard, likely breaking a few bones. But, other than that, it hasn't rained, right up until today when a small rainstorm passed overhead.

We were looking through the area book and found a potential investigator named Yamamoto. We decided to visit her sometime soon. We didn't look much at her information just that she was a potential. One day we were tracting and decided to go through one of the MANY apartment complexes. At one of the doors, we spoke only through the speaker, the woman inside said we could come back. We went back a couple days later and gave her a lesson on her doorstep. Her name is Yamamoto, but since that's a common name Bogedahl and I just figured it was a cool coincidence. Keep in mind this was one of my first days. Well it turns out that it was, in fact, the same Yamamoto that we stumbled across and discovered on Saturday. There also happens to be a Yamamoto under 'former investigators' that we visited and she also seems really interested in learning the Gospel.

The first investigator, that we had a lesson with, works in a HUGE toy shop. He's also really busy every day working in that toy shop. So, long story short, we taught him a lesson in the toy shop. Not many missionaries can say their first lesson ever was in a toy shop? Regardless, it went well and we meet with him about once a week.

We also found a guy of about 25 years on the street who we stopped and talked to.We talked with him about God and counseled him, and hope that we can continue to help him. That was a couple days ago, but he hasn't called us, so right now we're praying for the best.


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