Mom and Dad,
It was kind of a tough week because nothing worked out super well.
Monday was a normal pday.
Tuesday morning, we got a call from our investigator whom we planned to be teaching later that evening. He's really hard to understand in person so he's even harder to understand what he says over the phone. He said he couldn't meet with us that day. I asked about Wednesday, but he said he was on vacation. I told him I'd call just to set a time when we could meet, and he said that'd be fine. That night was eikaiwa again. I've been doing an exercise where I give the students a blank sheet of paper and have them write a few sentences about their week. They give the paper to me so I can correct it, and then I give it back the next week and they do it all over again. There's this one 19-year-old female member in the ward who comes every week, whose parents really want her to go on a mission. Last year, after the age change, I was told she went up during Fast and Testimony Meeting and said there was no way she wouldn't serve a mission. Her parents have been having us four missionaries give her and their 22-year-old son encouragement to serve missions. Well, what she wrote about was how she finally decided she will! よし！ I later found out from her that her brother also decided to serve. Double よし！
On Wednesday afternoon, I called one of our investigators to see if he could meet that day. He said he couldn't. I told him if he had some time free up to give us a call and we'd meet. He didn't give us a call, so we'll meet with him tomorrow as scheduled. Other than that, we went to drop off the "dendo tackle box"--a small box with various items for members to use to dendo people they know. The members also report on any progress to the missionaries. The family that had it the previous week forgot to bring it back to church so this weeks member couldn't take it home. Fortunately, she lives close to the Viking restaurant. More tabehodai yakiniku! Again: よし！ Then we spent the rest of the day housing in that part of town. We found a family from Khazakstan, who were really interested in eikaiwa for their kids. What amazed me most is how they, native Russian-speakers, and us, native English-speakers, communicated through Japanese! There are tons of little things and miracles like that that make me smile every time they happen. Something similar happened a couple transfers ago when I was in Miki with the DL--we talked to two Vietnamese women in Japanese. Awesome!
Now we'll go on to Friday, since Thursday wasn't exciting. We had ZTM in Kobe (again!). I guess the huge influx of missionaries in the mission really complicates Kaicho's schedule. Before the age change, there were about 120 missionaries. Now there are probably around 260! Crazy! Anywho, that Friday night we went again to the JW to talk more with him and hopefully have a lesson with him. We still were only able to talk for 15 minutes or so at his genkan, but maybe next week things will work out.
Saturday afternoon we taught the Filipino guy. It turns out he didn't show up last week because his relative in Osaka got hit by a car and he went to visit him. We taught him the Plan of Salvation since he showed a lot of interest in where we came from, why we're here, where we're going, etc. He understood and loved it all! Especially when we talked and testified about the Atonement and Salvation. He spoke up and commented on how "right" it sounded and how it all made sense. Though he's Catholic, he's never learned in-depth about the Atonement, it's meaning, and how Salvation works.
Later that night we met with the GC investigator. After last week, he was really understanding Christ, His Atonement, and His Sacrifice for us. I even mentioned last week that he said that essentially he's considering being baptized more than he was before. This week, to help him see and understand what baptism means for him and what he can gain through it, we wanted to teach him about eternal life and what that means. He understands the doctrine so the whole lesson became a testimony meeting with us and the members that were there. He also said that he wants to have eternal life, and will be baptized when he comes to learn that it is true.
Sunday. Exhausting. After church we rode out to a part of our area called "Najio". I learned that Najio is full of hills. Really. Long. Hills. The time I estimated it would take to travel around there pretty much doubled. We didn't have much time to dendo around there because of it and because we had a dinner appointment with a member. The member lives kind of far from the apartment: on the opposite side from where Najio is. Once we were at the member's place, she had us take out a huge, wooden dresser from her apartment. Her fourth floor apartment--in a danchi with no elevator and narrow stairwells. Let's just say that I probably ate a very good portion of the food that she prepared. I also slept really well that night.
Our one investigator that has a difficult time remembering is keeping a notebook of our lessons and he writes quite a bit during the lesson. We'll probably need to help him review it. It's also probably a good idea to look at what he writes
In just over two weeks I'll be calling home! I am really looking forward to it!