It's already been 7 months?! I can't believe it!
Mom and Dad,
Time doesn't go slow on your mission. You two probably already knew that, though. Let's see what happened this week...
We were able to meet with the investigator who's daughter just turned 8-years-old and is very tired because of his hard work. We didn't actually have an appointment so I wasn't sure he would be able to meet with us--some members picked us up and drove us there--but, he let us in. We had a really great lesson. He's starting to understand repentance and feels better little by little and I feel we're making some great progress with him. We even were able to set up an appointment for today, and he said he'll come to church next week. It's wonderful to see what a difference it makes when you treat a person the way the Savior would treat them. He's been opening up and sharing things with us, and that makes it way easier to help him.
Tuesday wasn't very special. We had our normal weekly appointment with one of our investigators. He had forgotten about it and couldn't meet with us. I concerned about him since it's been a couple weeks since we've met with him. Other than that, I taught the word 'flabbergasting' to the eikaiwa students.
Wednesday had us biking out to Najio (that really far-away, hilly place we went to last Sunday) to find the other PI's around there. We ended up meeting quite a few interesting people, including one really chill guy who grew up in Nishiwaki and is a huge car enthusiast. He has some pretty awesome cars at his house. Going down one hill, however, the brakes on Pace Choro's bike went out and he hit the guard rail on the side and ended up tearing a small hole in his suit slacks. The front tire on the bike also got kind of bent. He's okay, though, so don't worry.
On Thursday we went out again to a really distant place (farther than Najio) Kashiwagi. There was a really solid-looking former investigator out there and I wanted to house the area since it had likely been a while. To our pleasure--and later, our displeasure--the ride there was almost all downhill. You can imagine coming back was a nightmare: 5 or 6 straight kilometers of going uphill... Anywho, the former investigator was way nice, but wasn't interested. We also found out that that neighborhood is very affluent--it is a secluded neighborhood on top of a hill. Every single house was HUGE--even by American standards--and each look completely unique. One looked like the Lincoln Memorial, one looked like a big concrete wall, one looked like the Hawaii temple, and one even looked like a yacht!
Friday was District Meeting, so nothing out of the ordinary. We also managed to find 3 PI's while housing, though 2 ended up turning us down. One of them is still a possibility to teach! We also dropped by the JW to have another discussion. We wanted to sit down with him and give him a lesson, but he is not ready to. He gave us a little piece of paper with some scriptures on it in English to explain what he was saying.
Saturday we had planned to be really busy with four lesson appointments. However, the family for one appointment wasn't home and another was a PI from the previous night. We ended up with two. One was with the Filipino who is way awesome and is getting even better. We taught lesson three and he understood it completely. The other was with the really smart GC investigator. I'm very glad to say that he's doing great. He's learned a lot of the lessons, since he has met almost every week with missionaries for almost a year now. We make lessons from scratch that are designed to help him gain that witness that everything is true. I think it's going great!
Sunday, as we were putting fliers for the ward Christmas party in the post of all the houses around the church, we came across two JW's that were doing some dendo themselves. The crazy part: while we didn't actually stop and talk with them, we're pretty certain one of them is the JW we've been visiting every week! But anyway, after that we went to a Christmas party the Ward Mission Leader hosted at his house. It was sooo fun! We participated in the gift exchange which everyone brought something $5 or less and swapped them around 'til they said 'stop'. I brought a homemade stocking with a Santa hat, beard, and Halloween garland stuffed in it. They loved it! I got a (small) pink blanket with a hood that has pink bear ears on it. I'm honestly pretty satisfied with it; it keeps my head and shoulders warm! That was pretty much my week! The home teachers shared a message, as did the missionaries. The message I came up with to share was from 1 Nephi 11:21-22. The angel showing Nephi his father's dream asks earlier if he understands what the fruit means. Upon responding 'no', the angel shows him the birth of Christ, and Nephi says how he then understood that the fruit is a symbol of God's love. I made the connection that the angel showed Christ to explain love because not only does Christ love everyone unconditionally, but He Himself is the single greatest, purest symbol for love as shown by what He did during His ministry. I then made the normal reminder that Christmas is really about Christ, though we may all like singing and eating and getting presents. It was kind of hard in Japanese.
よし is spelled in English as 'yoshi', yes, but it's more of an exclamation like 'woohoo!'
I got the package today! It actually came yesterday, but we were at the Christmas party, so I got a slip telling me to call and inform them when we'd be home. I haven't opened anything yet; the box is sitting on my desk.
We actually don't skype for the Christmas call. You call us through our area cell phones since we have no other way of making international calls. The calls are supposed to be on Christmas day for you, so the 26th for me, and should only be 59 minutes. Those were the instruction we received in the weekly mission email today.
That pretty much wraps up my email for this week. You'll get another next week, and of course we'll be talking a couple days after that. Give my best!