Monday, May 18, 2015

May 18, 2015 Last email as a missionary in the Japan Kobe mission

So, I'm sixteen transfers down and only 5 more to go--five days, that is.

Mom and Dad,

This week was pretty unlike a lot of the other weeks of my mission, but that
was to be expected.

Last prep day we went to see the Naruto Whirlpools with some
investigators. There was supposed to be one rather large whirlpool,
but apparently there was a typhoon coming, so the winds messed with the
currents a bit and it wouldn't form; just several small whirlpools,
but the wind was nice and strong! About 60 mph! That made up for it!
We also went through a little exhibit they have nearby about the
whirlpools and went out for sushi afterwards. I finally had blowfish! It's one of
the items on my mission bucket list! It actually tastes pretty good!
Probably my new favorite fish! Smiling face with Sunglasses

Tuesday we had the mensetsu for our baptism on Saturday. She passed!
But that was expected: she's waaay solid! It was also a pretty rainy
day, so it was nice to get soaked through my kapa while out dendo'ing.

Wednesday we went out to the genki LA and had a lesson with him. He
said he'd come to church this week because he wanted to hear my talk
and final akashi. We also met with the other member out there who
we've been visiting lately and had a small message for him. He's got
to the point where he asks if we're coming over rather than us asking
if we can, so I think he really appreciates it!

Friday was my last district meeting and it was cool to be able to
teach it. The zone leaders also came to our's rather than their
district, so the pressure was on. Afterwards we went to Tokushima
Ramen, which is the best ramen in Japan, and it was pretty crazy
delicious! We'll have to go if we ever come to here in the future.

Saturday was one of the craziest days of my mission! We met up with a
member to head out to another member's place in the mountains for
a shokuji. One of the other choro's, Page Choro, gets carsick. and he
didn't take anything, so he ended up puking on the way over. We got to
the house, and we first had a lesson with the wife of the member who
drove us. She's wanting to be baptized, too, but her husband's mom is
hantai and won't let her. We discussed how we can overcome that
barrier. After the shokuji and a couple games, we went over to the
ocean for the  baptism! The water was pretty cold! It was kind of interesting
having it at the ocean because the members wanted to play afterwards and had come
in normal clothes--even the branch president--so only the missionaries
were really wearing dress clothes!

After returning from that we biked out to the kid we were finally able
to meet a couple weeks ago for the appointment we made. Since he wasn't
home, we went on over to another person's home we've been trying to
contact and finally were able to meet him. We set up an appointment
for Tuesday! Saturday was a pretty great day!

Yesterday, I had my final talk in Japan. I was pretty nervous, and I
also had just confirmed our convert, so I was still a little shaken
from that. My talk could've gone a little better but it went fine.
The LA did, in fact, come, as well as the  couple we went to the
whirlpools with! I had also arranged a kōkan with Iverson Choro for
that day, so during Sunday School we had a lesson with one of their
investigators who wants to be baptized. He wants to first make sure
he's ready and solid before being baptized. He's way solid, too, and
hopefully can make the decision to follow his Savior soon.

Our investigator wanted an on-the-down-low baptism, so only one of the
other companionship's investigators, the convert's best friend, and a
couple of members came to it. Last week, though, at the kid's baptism,
our investigator who has studied many religions came, so that was
great. He was glad to be invited.

Okay, that's all I got for now! See you soon! :)


Monday, May 11, 2015


Happy Mother's Day: It's officially YOUR Mother's Day now!

Mom and Dad,

I'll probably make this a short one because of the plans we have today and because you know about the biggest part of what happened this week (baptism) from skyping. Did I mention I'll be baptizing her in the ocean?

Last preparation day, the reason I didn't have much time was because we went to Asutamu Land. It's similar to OMSI. It's a bunch of science exhibits and simple, interactive science projects and even a Planetarium. It's mainly meant for kids but there were plenty of adults playing around outside on the science-themed play structures and the projects indoors. It was pretty fun!

We went to Kazura Bashi: that means "Vine Bridge." It's an actual vine bridge in the mountains on the other side of the prefecture. We went with the recent convert we're doing AB lessons for and one of their friends from work, and the guy in the branch who's super fun and organizes activities randomly. He decided everyone was going to hike the mountain and drove us. We talked a bunch about spiritual stuff in the car with the friend of the recent convert because it was a 2.5 hour ride out. Those discussions and then getting to walk across a vine bridge made the day pretty awesome, but once we got back we had a lesson with the truth seeker. I've determined for certain that we have to help him focus on the right things-- not the little, itty-bitty stuff. The lesson went kind of difficult because he wants to focus on the little, itty-bitty stuff and not the whole.

On Thursday I kokan'ed with Page Choro. I was also his district leader last year, so it was cool to see how far we had both come in the last year. We tried visiting a LA that he's only visited once, and whose actual address has apparently changed. It ended up taking a little while to find and then the LA wasn't even home. Later we had a lesson with an investigator they picked up from the shimai who they've been trying to meet with this whole transfer, but she keeps not showing up. She finally showed up! It was a first lesson deal where we get to know each other and what her knowledge and beliefs about religion are. Then, after that, we had a lesson with the recent convert they're teaching, which also went pretty well.

Friday we had to go to Takamatsu for ZTM. They had me bear my bye-bye akashi. The first thing I said was that I get to use Facebook before all of them! They all had a good laugh. Usually those akashi's are only done in Zone Taikai's, but this last one the returning missionaries weren't called up to do it, so I thought I wouldn't have to give one. I was wrong. I went back to Tokushima after the meeting with one of the zone leaders--the same one who was in my last district. We had a good kokan. We had game night later, at which the whole process of this baptismal decision began to transpire.

Then there was Sunday. You know the gist of that already through Skype. We managed to make it though all three lessons. The first was with the girl going to be baptized, and we had a couple members to help sort out all the details. The next was with the guy who's studied a lot of religions. He had his friend over, so we kind of focused on him more since he was new. He was just there this once and won't be continuing discussions, unfortunately. The third was with the guy who was going to move to Canada but in the end didn't. It was a simple lesson because a chunk of time was used to discuss this service he might have for the missionaries to help out with.

Sooo yeah! That was my week!

I guess I'll leave it at that because I don't have anything else to write about, and time is just a little short. I'll email you again next week. Maybe!


Monday, May 4, 2015

May 4, 2015

Mom and Dad,

So it's Golden Week here in Japan. That's basically a whole week of successive holidays that a lot of people have off work. It also means a lot of people are out of town and/or relax during the whole week because it's the only real break anybody gets. It makes things slow down quite a bit.
So, this is obviously pretty late. We went out and did cool stuff at cool places, so I don't have much time to write anything. I'll explain about what we did in next week's email.

Tuesday we had TTT--Trainer/Trainee Training--in Kobe, so that took up basically the whole day. It was a pretty good training, but it was focused a lot on iPads and how to use them for more effective teaching and study, and the other half was normal how to be good trainers/trainees. Fun stuff!

The next day we went to the older genki LA for a lesson. We took the visit to get to know him better such as his conversion story and other big events in his life. We think we can take what we learned to help him progress further and start coming regularly to church again. We also were asked to visit another active member that's having a hard time, so we stopped by his place on the way back and shared a message with him, for which he was really grateful.

Saturday was pretty crazy because we went out to contact one of the shimai's investigators we haven't met with yet, and we actually found her at her shop and exchanged contact info! Then, on the way back towards town, we dropped by two referrals we received from people long ago, but have never been able to meet them since they'd never be home. Well, we found BOTH of them, so we felt pretty blessed!
But yeah, that's what I had this week.