Tuesday, March 18, 2014

March 17, 2014 email

Mom and Dad,

Yep, I'm almost done with my 6th transfer. I've almost hit the year mark for my mission! It's crazy: I don't feel like I've been out that long!

We had district meeting on Friday. I was kind of nervous for this one as well because it was only my second one. We haven't had one since my first because there have been tons of other taikais and training going on. Well, right before we started, I sent a quick text to one of our investigators to see if we could meet sometime. He mistook it as an invitation to come to the church right then. We tried to tell him not to come right then, but he was already on his way. Right in the middle of district meeting--which we told him we had--he arrived. Calder Choro and I had to step out to have him sit down and read the Liahona while I finished the meeting. I had to leave out a bunch of stuff because there was no longer time for it.

Following district meeting I went on an exchange with Page Choro back to Kurayoshi. Before we set off I told Calder Choro and Thomas Choro to try and get a lesson with the guy. Apparently he talked with them for 15 minutes or so then ran out saying he was going to miss the train that would pass through a half hour after he left. Yeha, Tottori is pretty fun.

In Kurayoshi, we met with their yakushokusha. He's a pretty cool high school student that's all for being baptized, but his parents won't let him because he's not an adult. That's one of the biggest challenges in this mission: parents not letting their adult children be baptized. The other biggest problem is people wanting to be baptized, but won't because one person in their family is opposed to it. Following that lesson we waited for the Kurayoshi Shimai to finish their lesson with their yakusokusha because I had to do a baptismal interview. Yeah, you read that right: baptismal interview! I was very excited since it was my first baptismal interview.

Sunday was another interesting day this week. I had ANOTHER baptismal interview. This time with the Tottori Shimai's yaskusokusha. I also would've had one with the Kurayoshi one, but since his parents are opposed to it, there's no need to interview him. Also, the two people I interviewed asked me to actually perform the baptism, so this week will be pretty incredible. One of them wants to get baptized in a nearby lake! She almost chose the ocean, but a lake is almost as cool.

We did, however, finally have a lesson with our investigator that showed up during district meeting. It was with these two other seishinbyo guys that are best friends and really funny. Love 'em. The doseki for the lesson was a less-active guy that's also their friend but sometime preaches incorrect doctrine during the lesson. I think I already told you about him.

WAIT! There was an earthquake! I don't know where it was centered, but we felt it in Tottori! I woke up at 2 in the morning to my body being shaken back and forth, feeling like I was in a big washing machine. After the tremor stopped I rolled over to look at Calder Choro, and he was sitting up a bit. The following ensued:

Wilson Choro: "Was that an earthquake?"
Calder Choro: "Ya!"
Wilson Choro: "Cool!...well, goodnight."
Calder Choro: "Goodnight."

I'm thinking of writing a movie called "My First Earthquake." I also had a quick thought of "hmm, I wonder if a tsunami's coming?" Nah, we're fine! even though we're next to the Sea of Japan.


Monday, March 3, 2014

March 3, 2014 email

Mom and Dad,

Not much time to dendo with all the travelling.

Last Monday we had a lesson with the most recent convert in the branch (he's only been a member for a month). This guy is awesome. He's very strong in the church, way cool, and he was taught by two other elders in my doki. We're doing the AB lessons for him since there are only 20 or so people in the branch--a handful of which are youth and quite a few that are younger than this convert (and he's only 31)--and everyone lives kind of far away. We live almost in the same block as he does.

Tuesday--Before our Eikaiwa class, we were streeting on the main road in front of the church, inviting people to come. We got a random call from our social security investigator. He said he was on his way to the church and was expecting a lesson right after Eikaiwa. So, after the class we grabbed the recent convert to be the doseki for the lesson. The convert empathizes really well with this investigator. After we said the closing prayer, the new member asked if he could pray too. He prayed really fervently for the investigator. He got a little emotional as well. After the lesson, as we were biking home together--he's recently been coming to church and stuff on a bike rather than in his car, since he really wants a missionary experience--he said he was going to go to the eki to wait with the investigator and talk with him before the train came. He's so awesome with missionary work!

Wednesday we, the Tottori shimai, and the Kurayoshi choro and shimai all went down to the Okayama area for the conference with Elder Whiting that was on Thursday (we had to spend the night there since it's so far). I brought a bunch of the candy from my Christmas/New Years/Birthday/transfer presents, and the eight of us as a district 'pigged out' on it on the bus to Okayama.

Thursday morning we had the taikai with Elder Whiting. He's in the Asia-North Area Seventy Presidency. He talked about a lot of really great things, several of which had a big impact on me. Conference wasn't exactly like what Zinke Kaicho said it'd be like. After reading this weeks mission email, it was that way because Elder Whiting was so impressed with our mission. Usually the GA comes and inspects the mission as he goes around it. Well, after the very first day of his tour here, he was very impressed! Japan Kobe Mission's #1!

That same day, it was kind of a crazy process deciding how to get home. There was a bus back from Okayama to Tottori 20 minutes after the closing prayer, so we wouldn't have been able to catch it. The next bus would've left 5 hours later, putting us in our apartment at midnight. After searching several different ways, we found a bus leaving for Yonago at 5. So, after the bus got to Yonago at 8, we took a two hour train back to Tottori. That train had the 8 of us from the district again, so I passed around the candy some more. Towards the end there was one college student that we talked with a lot who seems to be very interested in Eikaiwa and taking the lessons.

After arriving in Tottori, the recent convert picked us up and drove us to our bikes. We were kind of scared that they'd be towed because we parked at a mall since it was pay to park at the eki. Luckily, we found our bikes untouched. I decided on parking in front of a 24-hour McDonald's that's part of a 24-hour shopping mall. It was then a 15-20 minute bike ride back to the apartment, so we got home at 11. not very usual for missionaries, but from all the recent travel I've had a couple late nights in the last few weeks.

Saturday we went out and dendo'd with the recent convert! Seeing how much he seems to want to have missionary experiences, we asked if he'd like to come with us and he accepted. He seemed to really enjoy it! He said it wasn't scary at all! We streeted around the church for 2 straight hours. That actually isn't that long compared to some days we've had where we did nothing but finding. But, for a member, especially one of one month, that's probably a big deal. We found this really cool Vietnamese guy who speaks English, but not Japanese, and his friend who can speak Japanese, but not English.

My last story this week was on Sunday. It was Fast and Testimony Meeting. He got up towards the end and testified of the help he got from the missionaries and the members before his baptism, then went on to talk about how the one investigator needs the same help. He then said he wand to pray for the investigator, so he said a prayer right then with everyone. Not a very common thing to happen in F&T Meeting, huh? I thought it was a pretty awesome and Christ-like thing for him to do, personally.

So yeah, there's my week!

I've talked in kilos for a while actually; after all, I'm an engineering student; I think America should change to the metric system.

Oh, a letter from the Tanaka's from my last area! You can open it and if it's in English you can type it up and send it as an email. If it's in Japanese, maybe taking a picture and sending that.

That's just about all I have for this week. I'm still trying to find a package the correct size to send to you guys.