Mom and Dad,
So, the end of transfers means the two shimai and I are staying, but Hiratsuka (who's been here for three transfers) is going to Tsuyama to work with a Choro who was in my MTC district, and to be a DL. My new companion as of this next Thursday will be Pace Choro. I have no idea who he is, but he must be younger in the field than I am because it says I'll be senior companion. Crazy! He's coming here from Yonago, which has had a great success, so I'm hoping he's willing to work the extra mile--mainly uphill.
Alright, so on Monday we visited the family that Hiratsuka Choro and the Choro that he exchanged with found. Close by there was also a PI we found that said we should come back when it was bright out (it was 7:30 and pitch black when we housed them). Unfortunately, nothing came of it. BUT, we'll still try.
Tuesday: We had kids' eikaiwa and regular eikaiwa. I taught the students hippopotomonstrosesquipidaliophobia. The week before was antidisestablishmentarianism. Other than that, we taught the investigator I mentioned in the previous email. He's doing a lot better with remembering what we teach, as well as saying his prayers. We invited him to be baptized on 1/11, but he feels he needs more time.
Wednesday: Hiratsuka's bike has been having some small issues with the front shifter and the parts needed to replace it finally came in. We made the 40 minute ride to the bike shop and waited while they repaired it. After that we housed a bit in the area Carver Choro and I went last week; the one with all the brand new houses and young families. We then had to hurry back for a lesson at 7 with the GC investigator. We planned out a way good lesson and mogi'd it tons, and it ended up going really well. We invited him to be baptized on 12/28. He shot it down but he feels he's not ready to be baptized. After that lesson we had to go to an eki to give the contact info of a returned missionary to a PI that he found way back in February. That guy ended up not coming and said he'd drop by the church on Sunday to get the info. WELL, on the ride back from the apartment, at 8:50-ish, the left pedal on Hiratsuka's bike fell off. It just fell off. That bike shop honestly has to be the worst bike shop in the world because they keep "fixing" things that end up creating "new" ones to be fixed.
Friday: District Meeting, and companion exchanges with the ZL's. The two of them both came to Kitarokko and left their companions to work together in Nishinomiya. I worked with Carter Choro, who was also trained by Bogedahl Choro, and Hiratsuka worked with Aono Choro, who's probably the most entertaining Nihonjin in the world. Right as the four of us left the apartment, there was a guy walking by that Aono Choro immediately approached. He's actually Filipino. He doesn't know much Japanese. He teaches English at the nearby middle school. It was cool talking with him and he even said he'd come to church on Sunday! Afterwards, as I was working with Carter Choro, I was using Hiratsuka's bike which meant I had to keep getting off and tightening the bolt that hold the pedal on. Well, eventually, the bolt simply just stripped. Don't worry, the bike is older (4 years old).
Saturday: We went hiking with one of our investigators and a member of the ward. We hiked to the top of Mt. Rokko and ate lunch together up there. It ended up taking way longer than we expected, so there wasn't much time afterwards. That extra time was spent getting a ride from a member to the bike shop who happened to be taking his son's bike in for repairs. We left Hiratsuka's bike there--which will soon be Pace Choro's bike--while they fix it, he's borrowing one from a member. After that the Bishop and his wife had us over for dinner. I shared a message about faith and enduring trials, using the Mormon Message video from President Eyring's "Mountains to Climb" talk, D&C122:5-8 and 2Ne12:2 (The house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains). Pretty much I talked about how trials (mountains) are there for our benefit and growth, and through the Atonement and Christ's power we can endure anything. Then I ended by saying how climbing those mountains not only makes us stronger but brings us closer to God (his house is established at the top). The Bishop and Hiratsuka both said it was a really good message.
Sunday: The Filipino guy came to church! He had a lot of questions about the service. We also made an appointment with him this Saturday to answer more questions. After church, we housed more in the area with all the new houses and such. Lastly, we had dinner at the Naganuma family's house. It was way fun and the four of us missionaries shared the message we planned using Elder Holland's "Lord, I Believe" talk to strengthen the resolve of the 22-year-old son and 19-year-old daughter to serve missions.
Yes, we heard about the typhoon in the Philippines from the members. The family of the Filipino guy is also fine since they're living in the northern part of the Philippines. He said the news is saying it's probably the biggest storm ever recorded in human history. He also remarked that there are lots of people like us (Mormons) from Japan and the Southeast Asia area helping out.
That's all I have for this week. For now, give everyone my best, as always.