Mom and Dad,
So, I've been in Kyoto for a transfer now and last week was the first preparation day where we just took it easy and relaxed. We wanted to go to the Abeno Harukasu--the biggest building (not tower) in the world, but the schedule just wouldn't work. So, we planned to just roam around Kawaramachi, the way tokai place in the area, and buy some things we needed.
After preparation day was quite an experience! The shimai gave us a less active's membership record review because they went to find him but he wasn't home. The place he lives in was apparently super sketchy for sister missionarie. That night Mineta Choro and I went, and they weren't kidding about the place at all. It was the strangest apartment building ever! The halls were super narrow and cluttered; there were tons of odd objects and decorations on the walls and doors; the doors were just thin slabs of wood with a handle and a latch; there were random bathrooms and washing machines scattered about; there were also a couple concrete sinks here and there in the hallways, some filled up with someone's "closet"; the halls and plants overgrowing into them; we found two weasels in the hall--no, not some deadbeats, actual weasels!; there was practically no lighting; the whole place was old and falling apart; we found some random plastic, handmade ninja stars and throwing knives upstairs. And that's just all the stuff I can remember off the top of my head. It felt like some weird dwelling place you'd find in Harry Potter or something like that. Point of the story: he wasn't home so we are going to need to go back and find him.
The next three days was my kokan with the zone leaders. It was so fun! I haven't seen that much progress in everyday dendo in a long time; we were on fire! Too bad that most of what we accomplished went to the zone leaders. At least it was a great witness to me what happens when your really do put ALL of your heart, might, mind, and strength into the work. It's easy to let things slip here and there, but when you keep it all up you get to see and do things far out of your own power. Gotta just make sure to keep it all up!
On Saturday we had a lesson with the guy from the street. He was reading in the Book of Mormon since our last visit! Funny thing is he was apparently reading in the Index--seiku gaido (meaning 'scripture guide') in Japanese. He got to the topic of love (愛--"ai") and found the scripture in Romans where it says that nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in the Lord Jesus Christ.We explained it to him. We reviewed with him how God is his Father and no matter what He loves him. One of the few things in this world that will never cease is God's love. He was amazed! He told us how when he moved here to Kyoto and was walking down the street he got to thinking how many people there were and how all of them didn't care about him. He realized that if he just disappeared, none of them would even realize it. When he learned that God loves him no matter what happens or what he really lit up. He's actually going back home until mid-September, so I won't have more updates about him for a while, but I have a good feeling about him.
Now time for a strange story. We went to the Bishop's house last night with all the other missionaries. We elders all went together since only me and one of the zone leaders had a slight idea of where it is. We finally found it and we all piled inside. I was last in. When I turned around to close the door I found this white dude sticking his head in and peeking around! He asked what was going on in there with a goofy chuckle. I said we were meeting with some friends and he said "oh, alright!" and left. Not a single one of the other 7 people in the house saw what happened! I didn't even know what to think of it! Weird!
It sounds like you had quite a vacation in Florida! You think it's hot there?--try riding a bike across Kyoto in the summer! I thought it'd be cooler here because it's away from Toyoka and the very southern parts of Japan, but still near the water. Turns out I was wrong! Ma, iin janai?
Thanks for the emails this week as well as the prayers! I look forward to reading more about your vacation next week! Until then, 聖霊があなた達と共にあるように。