Tuesday, February 24, 2015

February 16, 2015

Mom and Dad,
Last week we were going to have another half-English, half-Gospel lesson with some friends of the daughters of a family whose father we're trying to reactivate. Yes, the one that lives on the exact opposite side of the area. Does that make sense? Hope it does! We've been doing it for a while, but then the last couple of weeks we haven't been able to do it because everyone keeps getting sick. Finally she invited us over again, but nobody could pick us up at the eki. So, we took the train and rented some mamachari's from a shop next door and rode the last 5km to their house. No matter how bad the mamachari I used to be riding in this area was, it's sooo much better than the ones we rented. By the time we finished the 5k I felt like we had done 20! Anywho, we went into the house and the mother let us know that the moms of her daughters' friends just contacted her and said they're still feeling kind of bad so they wouldn't be coming. We ended up having the lesson with the 3 daughters and the baby. The daughters aren't interested in learning English, so they basically just asked a lot of questions and want me to take them to Tokyo Disneyland after my mission. I don't know how that happened?

THEN: I woke up sick the next day... pretty gnarly head cold. Being around sick kids for an hour or so, then biking in the cold on an awful bike probably didn't help any; however, after sitting down so much last week, I wasn't going to let that stop us from dendo'ing. The main thing we did that day was meet for the first time in a very long while with our shigansha! He's finished his first year of college and is on break 'til April, so he has time again. We taught him about the Sacrament and the importance of striving to go to church every week to help him see why he should come even if he is pretty busy on the weekends. Now that he's on break, though, there's not much stopping him.

Then came Thursday. The best day this week. I usually don't like Thursdays much because we have the 3-hour or more weekly planning session. This Thursday, though, we went to Kobe (again!) for the taikai with the Aoyagi's! I mentioned that they were at Stake Taikai, right? He and his wife are both sooo funny! The first to talk was our mission president and he spoke kind of sternly about obedience because there are a few people in the mission that thought a change of mission presidents meant a change of rules. After him Aoyagi Choro spoke, and he was super genki and interactive, and he shared with us some really great stuff. Later in the taikai, Aoyagi Shimai spoke and became my absolutely most favorite person in the whole world! I probably can't describe sufficiently all that she did (or made us do)--nor would you believe it supposing someone had videotaped it--but it was the best. I promise. Basically she had a really funny voice, talks really brightly, had the assistants do several mogi's (role-plays) for us--which contained plenty of inside jokes from around the mission--and made us dance while singing "Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel".

The next day, the LA man that has been sick and busy--after having cancelled another appointment on Wednesday--called us up randomly to tell us he was in Ako and ask if we could meet. As fast as we could we dropped everything else we were doing and went to where he was. He was apparently in a store when we arrived so we looked all around the building and couldn't find him. We figured he was going to take a train back to Aioi so we waited in front of the ticket gate for him to come by, but still nothing. We went back to the other building (adjacent to the eki) and found him just chilling at a table we passed at least 6 times. We were so disappointed at first, then so overjoyed once we found him. We had a great discussion with him for a couple hours. He's doing well but is in a tough spot in his life.

The next day we went to town! Early in the afternoon we met up with the branch president at one of the eki's and he drove us out to Mitsu to teach our kinjin. Again: a fantastic lesson! He understood everything perfectly and said several times that he wants to go to the Celestial Kingdom, and expressed his volition to do good things in this life to be able to go. Probably the best part, though, was that the branch president was with us. He got to see for himself how incredibly this man is and the need to get him to church and get him baptized. The next day at church, he probably brought up this one investigator several times throughout the 3 hours! After teaching the lesson, he and we went around that part of the area to visit several LA's who are hard to visit because they live so far away. We got to meet all but one (so 2 out of 3), but we met the wife of that one. They were all really friendly and grateful to have us visit and said they'd try to come to church. Granted they live over 20km away, so it's not easy circumstances to come, but we helped them come a little closer to Christ.

On the way home, the branch president dropped us off at the house of the man who'd always take us out to eat just so we could see how he's doing and thank him. He's still not interested in continuing the discussions, but was happy we came. We talked with him for a little bit, then walked to another LA whom we visited a few weeks ago, but she wasn't home then. We got to meet her this time, and found out that one of the members whom she's never met sends her letters every so often and that she still prayers pretty regularly. She gave us her phone number so we could set up a time to drop by with that member that writes her occasionally, so it ended up being a really productive contact!

So, that was my week in a nutshell! It was a pretty good one, though I was sick for a couple days!
Alright, that's all for this week. Everything is going well here in Ako, so hopefully it's all doing well over there. I only have 2 transfers left and I've been here for 4, so I imagine I'll be transferring. Then again, that's what I was saying 6 weeks ago!


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