- Last Monday we had an FHE Birthday party for Fujii Shimai's mom, she was so cute! She turned 85 and during dinner was telling us all about the old American movies she's seen and then after we taught Plan of Salvation very simply and gave her a visual to help remember, as a birthday present :) Then right as we were starting to commit her she stood up went to the bathroom then said she was too tired and going to bed...:( 残念 BUT came out at the end when we were leaving after talking with her daughter (Recent Convert), got to talk a little more- asked her what she thought about baptism, extended commitment and she said no but she's still learning and really warming up to this message! Then after met finding and found a big apartment complex that we felt really good about- did a whole building and 1 lady talked to us but wasn't that interest but 4th Floor Last Door! And sometimes it takes a little more, like a few buildings but there has to be someone there waiting.
- Tuesday biked out to an area, met some less actives and intended to be really short but they both like to talk...hopefully listening was what they needed! Then finding in that area and met a cute high school student who had learned a little about Jesus Christ in school, willing to hear more plus she's in a drama club so she was fun to talk with! In the evening backs o same apartment complex from before (we probably went like every other night this week, 1 building a night) and this time a lot more people talked to us. 1 experience I liked was a lady who at first said that she has no religious affiliation and isn't interested but we just told her why we decided to come here- yes we volunteered to be here, we don't do anything else right now and it's because this makes us so happy. We basically just got to watch her heart soften and she talked to us longer. She still didn't say she wants to learn more but interested in Eikaiwa and looks like there's a lot more potential for the Spirit to open her heart! Truly the Spirit converts, we just open our mouths.
- Wednesday was recent convert day and it was sooo good. One guy was being pretty quiet in his lesson but looked like he wanted to speak so finally just asked him, what questions do you have and he was able to truly express a trial right now with his family being opposed. Then later we have a weekly appt with a less active and recent convert and a member who comes to help and we read the BOM. They are just the cutest ladies, especially recent convert, she's 80ish and is hilarious! The less active expressed that she wanted to go to the temple and Yamanaka Shimai (RC) who just went for baptisms this month yells out「行ってください!」"Please go!" then as we were committing them to choose something to stop doing and something to continue doing and she says, "Wait so I should stop reading the BOM?" Also sometimes we can't tell when she's joking or not, but love her so much- she makes life so much more interesting. We were busy from appt to appt, plus Eikaiwa coordinator bought us Subway for dinner- my first time having subway in Japan, mine was salmon! Also foot-longs don't exist. Then lesson with a former shigansha (used to have a baptismal date investigator) but various problems popped up and she's not ready but still met with us and member came and connected with her really well, then kind of took over and decided to do her own thing and that was, interesting...but trust that God is in charge and can work through all of our weaknesses and flaws.
- was weekly planning, then visited Yamanaka Shimai who worked way hard this week in reading the BOM and read like 5 chapters in a few days! (Huge deal for her, reading is hard). We shared Elder Stevenson's talk with her from last conference and honestly what he said is so true- everyone can gain a testimony of the BOM and also if you don't understand, just keep going, maybe skip ahead a little bit- understanding will come slowly but more important than that is the feeling, the confirmation that's it's true will come. Evening met with Bishops wife and a daughter (everyone else was busy) but talked about BOM with them and cool to see how an experience Stoneman a Shimai shared about her mom always texting a scripture when she didn't live at home and Kiyotani Shimai loved that idea and immediately had us choose a scripture to put on their family group message!
- District Meeting in Fushimi and then went for ramen- it was ginormous and really good! Then back in Joyo we dropped by an investigator who hasn't met for a long time- kind of the final, do you have interest type of visit and we started talking then an earthquake happened- that was cool. Definitely saw and felt it but wasn't very strong. Evening was Game Night and some members showed up this week! So grateful for member support.
- DCS (missionary coordination meeting) and seriously it was potentially the best of my mission- it was focused on people and Katayama Kyoudai gave us clear direction and advice and were able to align with the Ward and his vision. Then Takara Shimai took us to lunch, visit a member in the hospital and then another member for her birthday- amazing people. I could probably talk about her forever- she and her husband have served 3 missions together also found out her husband baptized the amazing dendo shunin back in Sakai who then turned into a mission President, etc and it's just incredible to see the influence even just 1 person has.
- we sang together in church, then after had Ward Council and again best of my mission- focused on people and no wasted time. After church helped set up Halloween decorations for party next week. Went back to the apartment to eat lunch and just both ended up crashing and taking a nap almost the whole time anyways. Very needed! Then got up and had the best evening- a lady Stoneman Shimai found before from Peru didn't have a ton of interest before but totally changed this time and we'll bring her a Spanish BOM this week. Thankfully she speaks enough Japanese because about the only things I could say were hello and Libro de Mormon. Housed some other apartments and felt prompted to stop at a building and met a guy who went to a Christian college and gave him a BOM, then miracles don't stop there! Next was Cambodians! K- stop here for a quick update on Joyo- at the beginning of the year elder's found a Cambodian girl here for work and invited her to Eikaiwa, she came and from there was introduced to the gospel and started teaching and inviting all her friends. Because the area was getting so successful they emergency transferred in sister missionaries as well. A few friends were baptized but then original girl went back to Cambodia (work arrangement is only a year at a time) but now her family's getting baptized and she's preparing for a mission! Back in Joyo the Cambodian phase died a little but Stoneman Shimai stills knows where they live and that there are a few people left that probably know the one girl- a lot of people live in one apartment complex but they are super busy with work and hard to meet. Tonight we kept ringing the doorbell and waiting and a girl came out and talked to us- kind of spoke English but not enough to really communicate so we used a church language app on our iPad (very grateful for technology) and tried to teach about God and at the end asked if we could come again and she said yes! She was so sweet. Then next apartment and a girl immediately invited us in, had talked to missionaries before. She could speak basic Japanese so taught her and she said from before this message is still confusing to her and she's busy, but then she really softened up when we talked about family- communicationwas hard but I just showed a picture of my family and said I love them and she showed her family picture and we have the same family arrangement (? Is that the right word? Same number of people, etc). The Spirit overcomes any language barrier and it was really special to experience that.
For P-day today we went to the Monkey Park in Kyoto and besides that it was just a really pretty area with shops and bamboo forest and lots of stuff!
This is such a special place to be and such a special time to get to share the gospel- a message of joy that can be understood by everyone. EVERYONE will find greater peace and happiness by coming closer unto Christ. He extends the simple invitation to come follow Him and walk with Him.
Sent from my iPad
Look at this cute couple taking wedding/announcement pictures!
Love you guys- good luck back at school and work after the break! Excited to see the basement, sounds cool- is it fully underground?