Tuesday, March 12, 2013

March 11, 2013

Hello everyone! Here's my weekly high detail recap. Don't get too excited though, this week was a pretty smooth ride with not a lot of cool stories. I enjoyed it though.
Monday: After doing the to-do list of Pday with cleaning, shopping, and emailing, we were able to go bowling with one of our good Eikaiwa friends, Shohei, at his brother's work. My best game I bowled a 149, which I was happy with. Elder Lloyd got a 156 one game though so I wasn't quite the winner. After dinner we went to ping pong night and I tried to talk to some of the bilingual members and have them teach me more Japanese.
Tuesday: After studying we had a lesson with Hori. We used to just teach him short messages from the Liahona since he wants to learn english and wasn't ever really willing to take the discussions, but that lesson was much more of an actual lesson. We taught the Doctrine of Christ lesson, which includes the path we need to take in this life (Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End). We really tried to emphasize baptism. He said he feels like he has Faith and he tries to repent every day, but he still isn't quite ready to take that next step. He did say, "Maybe I'll call you tomorrow and say I want to be baptized, but as for now I don't want to." That really surprised me and made me realize that he really has come a long way, I'm sure we'll get him sooner or later. We streeted for a while and met a chinese man that we set up an appointment with, so I'll tell you how that goes next week. During dinner we watched the new CES devotional from Elder Bednar. Everything he said made a lot of sense to me and was something I had thought about in the MTC. What I really took away from it is that we need to truly submit ourselves to the Lord's will, even if its contrary to what we think is best for us. When we have faith, He will bless us, but we also need to recognize that He has His own plan for us and that somehow its for our benefit in the long run. If you haven't seen the devotional yet I recommend you watch it.
Wednesday: Pretty normal day. I feel like I'm being more effective during my study times, and I feel that I am able to understand more Japanese, but my speaking is still about the same. The increase of understanding is encouraging though. We taught a group of recent converts from last year about the temple and urged them to go do baptisms for the dead and even try and bring their own family names. Did some uneventful dendo (proselyting), had dinner, and had Eikawa. The first hour of Eikaiwa is pretty slow and tedious, especially in the beginner class where I co-teach with a very stuborn older ward member, so it's hard for me to try and change things up and make it more fun. The last 30 minutes is always a game of all classes combined and its a blast. This week we wrote the letters A-Z on the whiteboard, one team started at A, the other team started at Z. You go in a line writing a simple english word for the letter your team is at, and when both teams meet in the middle they Rock, Paper, Scissors. The losing team erases some of their words (First loss you erase everything, 2nd you erase 10, and 3rd and later you erase 5). First team to get to the other teams starting place wins. It took the full half hour but finally the other team ended up winning.
Thursday: Studied, had 3 hours of weekly planning, met with Brother Kawachi (a recent convert) and just kind of talked for 45 minutes. He's a pretty amazing guy who's had a lot of trials lately, so he likes to see us a lot. Then we went to Shohei's house and made dinner with him and his family.
Friday: Started the day handing out flyers for Eikaiwa at the train station to people on their way to work. It's kind of awkward since I've always been annoyed by people like that and now I'm one of them. I'm getting used to it though. We had a district meeting at our church and practiced testifying as a companionship. Later we did our study and some more uneventful dendo on the streets. After dinner we went to the Japanese class we went to last week. Right away there was a chinese guy (fluent in english) who asked us if he could come to our church. Of course we said yes, gave him an Eikaiwa flyer with a map to the church, and told him what time it was. He wasn't able to come yesterday but said he'll come next week. After the class we walked back to the train station with one of the teachers and talked about what we do as missionaries a bit. We exchanged numbers and might meet this week. Because she's a girl though we have a lot of rules to follow in order to teach her. There should be sister missionaries coming next transfer to this area and maybe we'll just keep her number to give to them.
Saturday: Most of the day was spent taking Hori to a baptism in Elder Bingham's old area (He's one of the tech missionaries we share our appartment with. He actually started his mission November 16th last year, the day I was supposed to report if I had gone to Nagoya). It was the first baptism I've attended in Japan so that was a cool experience. I think Hori liked it too, but it's hard for me to get a good read because I'm such a novice here. We'll try and ask more direct questions this week to see how he actually feels about everything, or if he just likes hanging out with us. We did a bit of dendo and went to a members house for dinner. The couple both served missions in America, and they invited another couple from the ward including a Nigerian man and his Japanese wife. He doesn't know Japanese yet, but is a pretty awesome guy. We got to teach our message in English so that was fun. I like being able to use English since I regain my confidence, but at the same time I'm afraid the amount of english in my ward will hinder my ablitily to learn.
Sunday: Church stuff, we had a 24 year old Nepali guy, Aman, come to sacrament with us but he left after. It was his first experience with christian churches but he said he enjoyed it. He doesn't really know Japanese so the brother we ate with on saturday night sat with us and translated. We did another recent convert lesson with a 13 year old girl and had Sunday Eikaiwa. For dinner we made some pretty sweet burgers. We had to mix the beef with tofu, but we added chopped onions to the meat and a special ingredient that I threw in just for fun. Rootbeer concentrate! It was actually pretty good. We didn't have any bread and they don't have burger buns here so we just cut up the patties and ate them with rice and a ketchup and soysauce blend. I played around on Familysearch.org and found a direct line from our family back to Adam, you guys should see if you can find it too.
Today: Studied, cleaned, went grocery shopping, emailed! I got one of the 7/11 waffle ice creams that dad told me about. It was pretty good.
One of the things I really thought about his week was how huge and impactful the Plan of Salvation is. Our time on Earth, while it seems long while we're here, is nothing in the grand scheme of things. We develop relationships and families, learn to love, experience trials, and then it's over. I thought a lot about temple work and the timing for people to receive the gospel. The more I thought of it and talked about things with the other missionaries the more I realized that everything that's meant to happen will happen. In the end, everyone who is meant to inherit the Celestial Kingdom will inherit it. Everything is done in the Lord's time. I used to think that a mission is a responsibility to help those people to receive it, but even if I wasn't here they would receive it eventually if they would now. However, that doesn't mean we shouldn't be here. We're still allowing them to receive those blessings earlier, and it is actually mostly an opportunity for us to show Heavenly Father our willingness to do whatever he asks of us and receive the blessings for ourselves that he has planned for us. I don't mean for this to sound selfish or anything, so please don't take it that way. But it's reassuring for those who don't have the opportunity or ability to accept the gospel now. We need to trust God and His timing, but still try and help anyway we can, as small as we may be in the grand scheme.

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