Monday, August 19, 2013

August 19th, 2013 email

Mom and Dad,

Last Monday evening, after P-day, I had the dendo fire--the missionary work fire--big time. Having almost hit all the Standards of Excellence last week, I reeeally wanted to hit them this week. So, when we went out to knock doors at an apartment complex that night, I was praying in my heart that we'd say something that would interest at least one person to ask us to come back since part of the Standards is 3 new investigators each week. Long story short, that night we didn't find anyone new; however, we did end up having 3 at church  yesterday, so we again almost hit all Standards. This week is looking good with new investigators, and having 3 go to church.

On Monday, we went to visit the investigator of ours I think I've mentioned before, who's Methodist, and gave him a lesson. He lives way out in the boonies. He doesn't live as far away as the one who bought us McDonald's and other stuff last week, but at least that trip has shade. The bike to the Methodist investigator is through flat plains with nothing by the road to offer shade. That day was also particularly hot, probably almost 100 degrees! We made it to his house and he offered us popsicles. What I wasn't expecting was the flavor of popsicle. I already knew in Japan that anko--sweet beans--are popular, but I'd never imagine they'd make anko popsicles with pieces of anko in it. It wasn't the most satisfying thing I've tasted, but at least the lesson went well and he's getting more and more interested in the Gospel. He even comes to church regularly and is amazed by what he learns.

There's another guy, he's just a potential investigator right now, but our story with him demonstrates an important principle. This man lived in Utah for a while with his family, so naturally he was exposed to the church. When we initially contacted him, he said he wasn't interested and he knew about the Mormons. Well, Bogedahl長老 mentioned how he grew up in Utah and struck a conversation from that. After all that, he reconsidered and said we could visit him again and teach a message. It goes to show that many people are closed off to the Gospel because they don't know what the members are like. But, when you're friendly to them, they open up and start to realize that the Gospel can be something incredible.

We got a referral from the branch president for a man he started doing business with. This guy--he's actually a really cool guy and grew up around a Mormon family--owns a restaurant and lives in a small wood cabin next to the restaurant. Apparently, when there was a tsunami a while ago, he had a dream a number of months beforehand that there'd be a tsunami. Well, a little over three months ago, he had a dream where he was visited by two missionaries, one with golden hair, the other with black hair (FYI, being half-Asian, Bogedahl has black hair). When we first met with him, his wife reminded him of the dream, so he's been really excited to meet with us every week even though he's super busy with his restaurant. The Lord really does prepare people to receive the Gospel.

We also had a companion exchange this Friday and Saturday with the other companionship in the district. The funny part was they arranged the two first-transfer missionaries to serve together, and the two veterans to serve together. So, Crook長老 and I had some exciting adventures trying to communicate with people in Japanese. We even had a couple lessons planned for that day that the two of us had to handle. It actually went really well. Bogedahl長老 says miracles always happen on kokans, especially when it's the two newbies together. I'd say some miracles did happen.

I'll need to bring the notes from Zone Conference next time to share the most inspirational thing Zinke会長 said.
The AC isn't in the bedroom. It's in the study room, so we have to cool the bedroom down with normal fans anyway.
Part of the tall, white guy attention is probably from the fact that there are maybe 50,000 people in this city and adjacent cities, so hakujin's are a rare sighting.

That's all for this week. As always, give everyone my best! Also remember to help out the missionaries and try to get involved in dendo. Members really do make a huge difference in the work. That's one of the things they stressed most at the MTC, especially during in-field orientation.


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