Two weeks in one, so this may be a bit long.
Hello. So last week for most of you it must have seemed like I dropped off the face of the earth, because of the lack of communication, but I'm still here. We were just kind of busy, but I'll explain that later. My head is still spinning from all the things that have gone down these past few weeks. So before I forget any more things let's begin.
Monday 9/12 ~ This was a normal p-day as far as I can remember. We went to the big shrines in Ise and did all of our cleaning and shopping and all that great stuff, so yeah. Then after that we had a lesson with a LA (less active) guy named Hamaguchi. He was way cool. We talked and got to know him and it was way fun. We then shared a short spiritual message and afterwards he told us that he still believes and prays and does all of the good things, but he hasn't had time to come to church recently. So a way good guy and it was fun to be with him.
Tuesday 9/13 ~ So we first had service at our favorite day center. We helped out with the games that they were doing and as always it was a good time. After that we came home and changed clothes and ate some food. From there we tried to visit an investigator, but the timing was bad so we didn't get to meet. So we went looking for some LA's (less actives) in the area, and then by chance we saw our investigator while he was biking home. It was way cool and we were then able to set up another time to meet. From there we went to a member’s house so he could go with us to a lesson with the Noro family. The Noro's are a way cool couple. The husband is a member, but was baptized young and quickly went LA (less active). The wife is way cool and has lots of good questions. They are such nice people and we had a good lesson about God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, and what their roles are. It was a pretty solid lesson with the wife asking lots of good questions and the member was really good too. But we ended up leaving their house late and it takes an hour to get home by car so we barely made it to our apartment in time for curfew but we made it because the member took us straight home instead of back to his house to pick up our bikes. It was all good.
Wednesday 9/14 ~ So we took our morning exercise time to go pick up our bikes and once we got there the member's wife started talking to us and then brought us out drinks and then the husband came out and we started talking. We then learned that we needed to at least try and set up the new portable baptismal font that we had just got as an area, so we got on our bikes and ran to the church and he came later in his car. We then took the morning to try and set it up only to learn that we would need an air compressor to make things work, because it is a blowup font. So we decided to come back later, once we had all of the right resources. Then we had a lesson with a member family and it was as always way good. Then we had Hayashi Shimai's lesson right after that and she is so good. We then met with Oota Kyoudai about some stuff and then we went home for dinner and prepped for Eikaiwa. So that was pretty much it.
Thursday 9/15 ~ So we had to go to Yokkaichi in the morning, so we could get our interviews with President Ishii and well each interview is supposed to go for about 15 min and that's about how much time he allots for each missionary, but he is flexible which is nice because my interview was about 45 min long as we talked about what I'm supposed to do as a Branch President and advice he had for me and the other great and wonderful things that come with being called to leadership. He also emphasized that I get regular studies which as of lately have been no problem. I used to prefer to go out and dendo (search for investigators) than sit inside and study, but I've learned my lesson. After my interview we waited for the other elders in our district to finish up so we could start our Kokan (exchanges). We then headed home and I took Elder Takara with me. So following the advice from Ishii we did some studies because I hadn't gotten any for almost two days, not good for a missionary. So we studied, ate some lunch and then hit the streets, but since everyone was hiding inside it seemed we went housing too. Then 7 o'clock rolled around and we went to a Japanese class to help me improve in Japanese. They have decided that I am good enough at talking so they want to improve my reading/grammar skills. As far as talking I'm am cool with grammar. But when it comes to pick which sentence is the best I can't even do that in English correctly so it pretty dang tough in another language. But that was my night.
Friday 9/16 ~ So we had to go to Tsu for a DTM (District Training Meeting) and to end the Kokan (exchange). So we got up and caught a train that left at 7:01 AM, which was a bit rough. But we got there on time. After a way good DTM, where both me and Elder Pope, my comp, felt we needed to simplify things going on in the area and we needed to let go of some of our investigators. But that was yet to come for us. After DTM we rushed home for an appointment and the person wasn't even there, kind of a bummer. Then we went to the church so our investigator Higashimoto could get his third and final Baptismal interview. So it's been a process with him. He's never had any problems passing the interviews it's just showing up for the baptism. So the first one he was supposed to go to he got sick and it rained so he said no go, even though the previous Elder was really pushing for the day. Then last time he was supposed to, but his job sent him to Tokyo and that left him unable to get back. His job is that of carpentry. And not only that he is in a special class of carpenters that make the Japanese shrines and temples and he's one of 5 people who can do it, and to top it off he's the second best out of them. Pretty special, huh? But this time we were pretty sure it was going to be ok because he decided to get baptized on his birthday. So the third time really is the charm for him. After all of that we went to get some dinner and returned to the church for our weekly game night. It was a bit rough so we thought about stopping and just ending game night, but we finished the game night and decided that next week will be the last one for sure. And that was the day.
Saturday 9/17 ~ We planned to meet with an investigator at the church to learn about family history with them and their family, but then the investigator decided that they didn't want anything to do with the church so they decided not to come and left me and Elder Pope to learn about family history and how to do it. It was way interesting, but I'm still not 100% on how or what I'm doing, but it was way cool. From there we went to an investigator lesson, but he wasn't there so we prepped our next lesson with Tou. Tou got baptized this year and we are just beginning to teach the after baptism lessons. The lesson was way good. He actually made us dinner and then we had the lesson and he understands it all. We are just getting him prepped for stuff like patriarchal blessings, temple, and priesthood. You know all the big cool stuff that comes with being a member. But after that we rushed home to end the night.
Sunday 9/18 ~ We had church where I was conducting. Way weird. Anyways, we had good talks and lessons and then we had lunch. And to be 100% honest I don't remember what happened. And I don't have a journal with me so yep I can't remember, anyways, on to the next week.
Monday 9/19 ~ So we were supposed to have a break, but instead we had a baptism. So early in the morning we got up and got everything prepped and ready to go. The blow up font was already prepped and all we had to do was have the baptism meeting and he was in. It was way good and Elder Pope baptized Higashimoto. He is finally done. Then to celebrate we went out to eat Tonkatsu, deep fried pork, which was way good. Then we came back home to shop and clean and do all of our other stuff, but not much time for anything. Oh well, it was a good day.
Tuesday 9/20 ~ So I'm not going say too much about this day, but I will say this; I survived a typhoon and we were put on lock down by the President, so I couldn't do anything.
Wednesday 9/21 ~ So we had a member lesson first thing. Then we returned to the church where we used the computer to make a flyer for our new English Conversation Class that we are going to try to do for youth. It will be separate from regular Eikaiwa (English Conversation Class), so we needed to make a new flyer. It got frustrating but we did it and it looks good and that is what counts. After that we took them to print out about 50 or so more, and then we returned to the church to prep for regular Eikaiwa. And that was our night.
Thursday 9/22 ~ We had area planning and that took a while. Then we had a lesson with a member to help them learn English. He's slowly getting better and he is planning on going to America next year so he wants to be able to at least have a basic conversation so he can survive while in America. It's a pretty good goal. From there we went around town, exercising the “Open Your Mouth” principle. No big takers, and it was kind of rough, but oh well.
Friday 9/23 ~ We had to go to Tsu for DTM (District Training Meeting) early in the morning again. Another good training and after that we rushed home for an appointment. Once at our appointment we attempted to answer our investigator's question about war. She believes that true followers of Christ would never go to war. But we gave her the churches stand point on war and then used scriptural evidence from all over, the Bible, D&C, and Book of Mormon. I am pretty sure we used almost all of the scriptures. But at the end she pretty much looked at us and said that our explanation was good and that it was well prepared and probably right but that she couldn't accept it so she decided it was best that we don't meet again. It was rough, but we agreed and parted ways. Maybe in the future someone will reach out to her and she will come back, who knows. From there we talked to anyone we could and then went to meet our investigator only to get there about 5 minutes before he had to leave, so we set a next appointment and gave him a scripture and he was on his way. Then we went to dinner and met up with our branch mission leader about doing some activities in the branch. He was all for it and thought they were good ideas. After that we hustled to the church to set up for game night. We then announced that it was the last one. We were met with some disappointment, but we both felt like that time could be used for better things than just getting together with people who have all expressed no further interest in the gospel just to play ping pong. So that's how it went. Some were not too happy, but nothing we could do.
Saturday 9/24 ~ We spent time in the early afternoon trying to call old investigators and LA's (less actives) to try to meet with some people, but to no avail. We then went to a lesson with Tetsuya and we had a short message and then sorted out all of his things he's got confused. After that we went housing and found a new investigator, Yuuka. She seems way nice and wants to learn more about God. From there we had to go out and buy some Oreos so we could make some treats for the birthdays happening in the branch. And it was a good night making treats.
Sunday 9/25 ~ As always church is good and we actually almost didn't have enough room for everyone that came. Some member’s family came to visit, and we had all 3 recent concerts there, and an old missionary that had served in Ise. So it was a packed house. Needless to say I choked when it was my turn to stand at the pulpit and man was it pretty funny. After my terrible Japanese the meeting proceeded with church. After that we had branch council for 2 hours, where we discussed pretty much everything possible. After that we stuck around to see if anyone would come to the new youth English class. We weren't expecting anyone because it was kind of sudden but next week there will be people. After that we went home to get out of our suits and then went to Matsuda Mie's house where she surprised us by having two guests over during the lesson. Those two were way accepting of the message and we may meet with them again. Matsuda is still stubborn and doesn't see the need for the Book of Mormon or the restoration, but hey we are working on it. And that was our day, and our week
And that also wraps up our two weeks. Sorry for the length.
Called to Serve in the Japan Nagoya Mission..