Monday, September 9, 2013

September 9th, 2013

Mom and Dad,

This week went pretty well. We achieved the first of our zone goals--have zero 0's by 9/8. Zero 0's mean that all of our person-oriented key indicators (people with baptismal dates, progressing investigators, people who attend sacrament meeting, and new investigators) for the week were greater than zero. Yes, that means we have a person committed to a baptismal date--a yakusokusha! Her name's Shindo, and her baptism is scheduled for 10/6. We talked with her yesterday during church. She said she prayed about it and had a calm, reassuring feeling that it's the right date.

Last Monday, I got my first haircut in Japan. Yes, it's been 8 weeks since having it cut. We went to the shop of a lady in the branch and she gave us a discount--only 15 bucks. Haircuts are super pricey in Japan. There are also salons and barbers EVERYWHERE. When I first got here, I just figured that a lot of businesses had barber poles since I saw so many of them. My trainer informed that they're all, in fact, barber shops. There are probably 10 barber shops within a 5 minute bike ride of the apartment.

Wednesday was the lesson where we extended the baptismal invitation to Shindo san. We had a really great lesson about eternal life and the Doctrine of Christ: we even drew a diagram on the whiteboard that depicts baptism as the gate to the path that is enduring, which leads to the sun-- representing eternal life. She was a little hesitant at first, but she said she'd commit to the date. The only issue is her father-in-law is hantai, but the husband is perfectly fine with it.

That same day we also had a lesson with the investigator who is Methodist. He really does seem to be trying to change Christianity in Japan. He does like learning about the Gospel because it answers questions he's always wondered about. He also loves coming to church. From this week on, he'll be walking 4km to a bus stop to take a bus to Nishiwaki and come to church--and he committed to this himself. We also gave him a copy of the Restoration movie that's 20 minutes long for him to watch at home. He ended up watching it 5 times because he liked it so much (he also watched it in English twice, but re-watched it in Japanese right after since the English was too hard).

On Thursday we had a lesson with the investigator who's everywhere (and yes, we've seen him around here and there). We showed him the video called "Did You Know" that gives a simple background of the Church and leaders. He seemed to like it but I'm not sure if he's any closer to accepting the Gospel.

On Friday we had Zone Training Meeting, my first one of my mission. It went pretty well, though it wasn't quite as exciting as Zone大会. We got to know all the people in the zone. One of the girls from my MTC district just got transferred to the zone and we have two brand new missionaries.
We've had a lot of thunderstorms around here, but not many right over us. Also, since typhoon season is starting we've had some crazy rain storms. There's a dinky little river that runs through Nishiwaki, and even though it's small, with a relatively big bridge spanning it, I've always wondered why. Well, we crossed over that bridge during a rain storm. The river had risen probably 50 feet and expanded another 30 feet because of all the rain runoff from the land is directed to the river. We also had a typhoon almost hit but it died down and redirected before coming too close to Nishiwaki. The weather was cooling down from all the clouds blocking the sun and the evaporating rain, but today it got back up to the high temperatures.

I mentioned earlier we have one yakusokusha. We have 14 investigators total, with 6 of them progressing (down from 7 because we haven't been able to meet with one for a number of weeks now). There are still a couple that we feel are ready and we're going to invite to baptism.

That's all I have for this week. I look forward to reading your emails next week. As usual, give everyone my best!


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