Hope you all are enjoying the cooled down weather as I am over here! I'm way lucky so far with the locations I've been assigned. I've been in a middle-north city for spring, a northern city for summer and now a southern city for winter. Getting the mildest of seasons I can manage which is nice while the luck lasts.
I'm in my new area with my new bean Elder Walker Murakami. SUCH A STUD. Like already way fly at Japanese, he knows most all the terms and the do's and don'ts of missionary work and all the other stuff you learn much later as a missionary. Second transfer missionaries don't usually know as much as he does so I'm way impressed with how well he's killing it. Loving working with him, its the same as working with a 4th or 5th transfer missionary- way easy and smooth.
Kamisugi (downtown Sendai) is way awesome! People everywhere always available to talk to, the environment is easier to work in and there's always effective things to do! Im in my first actual "ward" as a missionary here in Japan which is so different from what I've had up until now. In Misawa there was a branch about 22 members at church each week, in Akita, a branch about 45 and here, a ward of 100. Its awesome. Church yesterday was a blast. The YSA (young single adults, basically the college students who aren't married) are so funny and active and awesome. The other members are the same. Just a bunch of fun loving people. They all have what we call "dendo fire" - means they are all-in for growing the kingdom, getting involved, being behind the missionaries 100% and they themselves inviting their friends to Come unto Christ. Its an awe inspiring enthusiasm.
I was put here at an incredible time period as well. The ward mission leader and bishop have been working on this ward mission plan for what seems like the last couple years all designed to have an amazing impact on the ward members and the missionary work here. From it, they expect to see tons of new members and growth for the area. It should boost success through the roof. Way exciting. They're calling it a "dendo (missionwork) explosion" and they're launching it in December, which, assuming Ill be here for another transfer or 2, will be in the heart of my time here. I am definitley blessed but also very unqualified to be here at such an awesome time but I am so pumped! This area is awesome, full of energy, and full of focused fun.
This week we met with one of our investigators named Aratani san. 86 year old, fluent in English through teaching himself and loves reading, sleeping and meeting with missionaries. He's been meeting with missionaries for like 20 years or something crazy like that, has met with nearly 100 different missionaries, has a huge stack full of their business cards, its nuts. So, my first time meeting with this guy who's had tons and tons of lessons but not budging on baptism, was a wayyyy spiritual one. We were able to dig right to the core of what his hangup, his concern is with getting baptized. From this lesson, I found an answer to a personal question I've had recently which is "why is having a testimony in Joseph Smiths experience and the restoration of this gospel so crucial for conversion?" I learned personally the power and importance of this very thing from this man. The thing this sweet man is lacking is an open heart to accept answers from God, whatever they may be, and to realize that someone has had the same exact questions of "why are there so many religions, especially within Christianity, and which one is true!?" that person being Joseph Smith. Joseph acted on his question and received an answer! That answer is answered in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. That's it in a nutshell. And my purpose right now is to share that with as many people as possible. Its why its called the gospel- it is the good news! Knowing that Joseph Smith established Christs church again here on the earth is key to progression towards Christ. Thats how it works out in my head of why having a testimony in the Restoration of the gospel is important!
Being back in a 4 man apartment is awesome, always getting to interact with more people than just one. My zone leaders are way sweet. My companion is an awesome missionary. The ward and people are awesome. Loving the city life so far.
Until next week, know that I love you all and pray for your growth and safety!
|a beautiful Old lady in the new ward who found success bobbing for them apples!|