Ai suru tomo yo, Konnichiwa.
I failed to write an email last week, sorry! These past 2 weeks have been nothing short of awesome. Last Friday, we gathered as Aomori (northermost zone) and Morioka (my last zone) zones in Morioka and got to hear very personally from Elder Michael T Ringwood and his wife, who's the daughter of the apostle Russel M Nelson. It was such a cool experience. They were so cool; very personable, they were able to remember our names very quickly in just the couple of hours we were together; and their message was eye opening for me! President Ringwood talked about the 4 parts of faith- desire, belief, hope and action- an awesome topic that I will surely use when teaching my investigators and other lessons. At the conference in Morioka I also got to see my two trainers- Elder Hoskyns and Elder Anderson who will be returning home this transfer- picture attached.
Last Sunday in the Japanese branch I gave a talk. Well, you can call it a "talk" or you can call it 15 minutes of brutal Japanese practice. Either one is accurate. It was super funny- since the branch is so small and not threatening, whenever I didn't know the word I was trying to say I would just ask Elder Erickson over the pulpit, in english, and he would help me out. The talk went okay though despite the language barrier.
So basically our schedule here in Misawa is studies, teaching lessons to investigators or RC's, attend meetings, teach either Japanese class for the americans or english class to the Japanese students (Tues and Wednesday nights) then head to dinner on base at one of the Military members homes. The food is usually succulent and delightsome to the tastebuds. On Sundays we go to the Military ward from 10-1 and then to the Japanese Branch from 2-4.
So, nothing too special happened these last few weeks besides that except for the storm we had yesterday and Saturday, it was insane. It was rain and very strong wind for those two days without end, yet, was not a typhoon. We got pretty wet doing our missionary work, it was exhilarating. As far as I have experienced so far, it makes you feel like a savage missionary when you're out doing the Lord's work in the rain or during a storm late at night and in harsh conditions... I may be speaking too early cause I haven''t experienced northern Japan's winter yet..
I've been able to meet the coolest people these past few weeks and have been blessed from their experiences and wisdom. This past Saturday, Elder Suzuki and I went to help a member move places (a few hundred yards across the street.) Although the wind and rain was crazy during the move we were well covered and it didn't hinder progress. There was a large showing and a lot of support from the ward and afterwards, Brother Hilton, the Colonel of the medical force here in Misawa and in charge of the on base hospital took us out to lunch at this place called Lakeview Grille. It was so. dang. delish! He was so cool tho. Has a family of 6 and currently has a son serving in El Salvador, a year out, and the rest of his family is back in America supporting the birth of his second granddaughter. In a somewhat similar stage of life as my family is right now! He's got 3 more weeks of being away from his family, 6 weeks in total, until he moves out of Japan officially and finds his final destination in Ohio serving Air Force. (There's always families moving in and out during the summer, getting reassigned and moved around.) So he was feeling a bit lonely I think, can't blame the guy! But I mention this because of how impressed I was that even with his high rank and success, he is a man of humility, kindness and genuine demeanor. He loves his family and does the right thing, and I have learned a great deal about the military and all the benefits that come from it. But it impresses me when I find these people with on the move lifestyles and a lot of chaos going on around them but are able to maintain their focus on Christ and the gospel.
On Saturday evening, the Bishop from the military ward texted and asked for a favor- you guessed it, he needed me to give a talk. I didn't have any time on Saturday to sit down and start writing it so I spent an hour and a half on Sunday morning, right before Sacrament meeting, preparing my talk. I spoke about what President Ringwood had taught us about faith and then went on to address the three questions "what is faith, how do we build our faith and why we should care about growing it." God definitely helped me out in the situation cause the talk ended up going rather smoothly despite the mere preparation and showing up to church right at 10 with soaked pants and shoes :)
Well, other than meeting and eating with a lot of new people and a lot of awesome families, these past two weeks have been full of fun and good growth. I love you all, do your personal best this week to think of all of the blessings in your life!