Konnich- Elder Robins' incorrect abbreviated version of hello!
Been a fast 5 weeks here in Misawa! Holy smokes.. We had a very good week and have been working hard in the heat and humidity. I'll go ahead and update you on my day so far- had our weekly soccer game with the american moms on base this morning, always a good time. Then went to Kappazushi for lunch- conveyer belt sushi place- super tasty. And now I'm here at the church. That's my day.
This week, my testimony of prayer was strengthened as Suzuki chourou and I made some ambitious goals. In order to achieve those goals we knew there was no way to do it without fully relying on the Lord's grace and mercy to lead us to people to talk to. I said personal earnest and fervent prayers for the Lord's guidance, power and courage. The goal we focused on was handing out Books of Mormon. The first day we aimed for 4 during our somewhat small amount of finding time. During that time we were unable to find anyone to talk to and all of a sudden it was 7 PM coming from a dinner appointment. We stopped at a conbini to use the bathroom and there were 4 high school boys there. We were able to start a conversation and relate the gospel to baseball, the sport they all played. We handed them each a copy and a mormon.org card with our number and it was very cool to still be able to reach our goal when it was dark and the day was coming to an end. This then happened a couple of days later with the same goal- we found 4 high school girls at the park. We asked questions and they listened about God then we gave them each their own copy of the Book of Mormon and specific places to read and also gave them our mormon.org cards with our number. Although we didn't get any contact information both times, I believe we helped plant seeds in these young people's lives and I continue to pray that they will read and want to hear more and then be urged to contact us, if not now, sometime down the road.
Although we had some numerical success this week, there was also some points of learning and growing. Working with Elder Suzuki is a great learning experience and its good to be surrounded by Japanese and his very powerful personality, but it isn't easy. Communication and planning sessions has, several times ended in frustration for me this week where all I want to do is talk to someone in English (which is great with Elder Erickson in the apartment). I studied up on patience and am trying to do better to stop him and ask when he's talking too fast or saying words I don't know. That has been helping a lot! Simple, but effective. Overall, good growth and learning experiences for me here, early on the mission, but it's getting harder!
We're currently working with 2 women in their 50's and 60's. Tsumoto struggles with her testimony of God's love for us and doesn't seem very motivated to do her commitments. Our other investigator, Kimura san, struggles with the belief of Jesus Christ. She has great morals and agrees with a lot of our standards but seems a bit too prideful to experiment upon the word and ask God if it's true. We aren't currently teaching any americans but we are working with Recent Converts and Less Actives.
So there's this big wave of missionaries that are about to end their missions here in our Sendai mission- a group of around 25. With them leaving and receiving not nearly as many as are leaving, the mission areas are going to change quite a bit this next transfer- most areas will be going down to 2 man areas.. So, although I've only been in Misawa for 1 transfer, there's still a decent chance I'll get moved around somewhere else... We'll see, stay tuned next week! (I find out on Saturday)
PS: I haven't mentioned this yet but Misawa is known for it's very steep and hilly landscape. The church (the central place to be) happens to be right down in the bottom of the valley, surrounded by huge hills on all sides. We don't have cars in this mission, it's all on bike. And I found out yesterday that professional bikers from all over Japan come here to train on these hills! These hills that we go up and down several times each day in button up shirts and slacks in the wonderful summer heat! Anyway, thought I'd mention that to those complaining about not having AC in their cars :) :)
Love you all, miss you all a bunch, enjoy the summer fun!