During study today we were planning for a lesson with a group of recent converts. Elder Lloyd wanted to teach "Finding Happiness through the Gospel". I had a bit of a hard time preparing for that because it's not something talked about in PMG and as a result I don't really know the Japanese to teach it. I also had a hard time just thinking about what I would even want to say. I've definitely felt a removal of guilt and a sense of peace and calm through the gospel, but I had a hard time thinking if I've really felt a lot of "joy" through it though. So anyways it was something that was on my mind throughout the day, but I finally decided that I do feel joy, it's just not the joy that most people think of. I'm a calm and quiet person most of the time, but that doesn't mean I'm not happy. I'm not super excited about things, I'm never overcome with positive emotion, but I decided that I can say I'm happy, even if it is just through a consistant feeling of calm. We ended up just watching Legacy during the lesson anyways so I didn't really have to deal with it.
After the lesson we made homemade pizza at the church in preparation for the new sister missionaries arriving. Elder Lloyd and I met them at the train station and brought them straight to the church to eat really quick and then have Eikaiwa.Sister Reusser, one of the sisters that entered the MTC about a week and a half before I left is now being trained here in Koiwa. Her trainer is Sister Nagamine, from Okinawa. They're both pretty cool and it's going to be amazing having 6 missionaries here for the Koiwa ward. It's funny to see 6 missionaries in one ward when at home each companionship belongs to 2 seperate wards. We can definitely use everyone though, we have a big area and there are a lot of people that live here.
After Eikaiwa I called Hori to solidfy our appointment for the next day and I felt surprisingly comfortable on the phone, I was even able to use a few grammar patterns that I haven't been using so far. Apparently I'm learning Japanese after all!
Very busy day today, didn't really get to finish a lot of the things we planned but it turned out pretty well. We went with the new sisters to the Fujita family's house for a lesson in the morning. The whole family was there which was awesome. We taught the Doctrine of Christ and gave the baptismal commitment to sister Fujita and the commitment to receive the priesthood for Brother Fujita. In the past he has been pretty hesitant and wanted to study more, but today he was super excited and positive about setting goals and having challenges. It sounds like their planning to come to church every week and have Sister Fujita be baptized on the 4th of May, and likely the kids would be baptized soon after that but we haven't set up challenges for them yet. 3 of the 4 are older than 8, so that would be 4 baptisms!
After that we did some weekly planning where we set up a follow up list for the next week and talked a bit about who needs to be taught what.
Hori's lesson was not quite as good as the Fujitas'... We ended up pushing his baptismal date back quite a bit and he still doesn't have any sort of testimony about Christ or Prophets, and he doesn't feel like he's repenting or can repent either. He's definitely progressing from where he's been, but it's very slow. Elder Lloyd and I talked about it a bit and we both think it's probably just not his time. We're here for him and helping him how we can, but only time and his own choices will actually bring him to the point he can be baptized.
Another very busy day. We had district meeting, met with Hori, introduced them to the Adachi elders since he's going to be moving there, and then he came with us as we took the sisters to city hall and a bike shop to help with all the random things they have to do. They're both new to the area and don't know where anything is so they appreciated our help. It did take a long time though.
Afterward, we finished our study, ate dinner, and went to a community Japanese conversation class. It was the first friday of the month, which we forgot, so we made food as a group and we had 2 dinners. We made homemade pot stickers which was pretty fun. We met a bunch of chinese people and found a couple people interested in coming to church, and one woman who might want to take lessons. She invited us to play badmitten with her the next day to talk a little more and meet her husband.
Today we went to Yokohama with a big group of investigators, eikaiwa students, and recent converts. We went to an all you can eat mexican restaurant! It was the first time I had ever seen mexican food here in Japan and I loved it so much. Make sure you all take advantage of the variety of food you have in America!
After lunch we went to the Cup Noodle museum and I got to make my very own Cup of Noodle! I got to draw on the cup and decide all the things I wanted included in it. It was super crowded, but pretty fun.
Throughout the visit we talked to Shu, a referral from the sisters who they found while tracting and invited to Yokohama. He's a 23 year old chinese guy, fluent in Japanese, and studying English. He seems pretty cool. I had a chance to get to know him a bit and talk about super heroes, video games, and movies. I did it all in Japanese too! On the train ride back we had a little more of a serious conversation where we told him about the Book of Mormon and gave a brief overview of the different lessons we teach as missionaries.