Monday, February 28, 2011

February 28, 2011

Good morning.


My second transfer officially ended yesterday. Transfer calls will go out tomorrow morning which means I might just find out tonight or today sometime. I'm about 90% sure I'm leaving this time. The number of missionaries is going way down this transfer so a few areas have to inevitably close, and this will be the first one to go I assume. The transfer after this one has 21 new missionaries coming in, so they also have to put trainers and new leaders into place.

So last week's tabehodai (all you can eat) with President and Sister McIntyre in Osaka was incredible. They had all you could eat crab, that was the main thing. It costed 2,500 yen, but I felt like I ate more than that in just crab. They also had basically any other kind of food you could imagine: steak, sushi, chinese food, french fries, gyoza, everything.

Tuesday night was James McIntyre's birthday and that was probably the funnest night we've had so far. Sister McIntyre was hilarious. Elder Bowman was asking her if Japanese people ever use saracasm (because she was being sarcastic with James in English) and then she started smacking him and said "Bowman Choro kakkoii na!" ("Elder Bowman, you're so cool")  Also, by Shields Shimai's recommendation, we all improved lyrics to Hallelujah for James's birthday. It was pretty hilarious.

It is to the point now where nearly every single person we talk to assumes that I am Japanese. One guy asked me to translate for Bowman Choro this week. It's really difficult. I still don't feel like my language ability has improved at all, it's so hard to gauge.

We've found a lot of new investigators this week. We've done a lot of church tours and Outreach and Eikaiwa (English lessons) are really full every week. We've worked really hard to get those programs moving and I think it's really starting to pay off now.

On Thursday we met with three English speaking investigators and they were completely awesome. Johnson Choro came with us because Osaka Choro was fulfilling his commisarian duties, moving missionary apartments around. It was really bizarre to teach in English, but it went really well.

On Friday we had a really bad experience, probably the worst I've felt on my mission. One of our Chinese investigators, Yo, took us to his school where his friend Chin was waiting for us. It was a Japanese language school for Chinese students that need to pass the language exam in order to get into the university. We've had lots of investigators that attend that school. We sat down in a room that had a glass wall and was completely visible from the hallway. Really bad idea. When we started talking with the two of them, I knew we shouldn't be there. Everyone walking through the hallway would stop and look at us. Within a few minutes, the guy in charge busted in and told us we needed to leave immediately. Yo and Chin felt really sorry and tried to explain as we walked out the door, and it seemed like the guy wasn't happy with them. We should've been more careful. We felt absolutely disgusting as we walked back to our apartment. It's not fun when you know you've left a really bad impression on a place with a lot of influence on investigators. The guy saw my Book of Mormon and we heard him say "Morumon Kyo" as we walked out.

We had KyoKyo, the Sister's Chinese investigator make Chinese food for Outreach on Friday and the turnout was huge. We had investigators and less-actives there mingling with members and it was great. Two of the investigators there were getting baptized that Sunday.

We had a surprise birthday party for McLaws Choro that night. You'd think that maybe missionaries are put in Kobe based on when their birthdays are...

An 80 year old man approached me and said he knew that God exists and knew that we were teaching about truth. He would only speak in broken English (he was Japanese, but wouldn't speak it) and we couldn't really make an appointment with him. It seems like he wasn't really interested in meeting with us anyway. It was a very interesting experience. I thought a lot about his salvation.

Yesterday was Lee, the AP's investigator's baptism. It took two whole transfers for this district to come up with one, but it happened. It was great. He said in his testimony that he has known his whole life that God exists and his dream is to go back to China and teach people about it. He got baptized to open his eyes. He had a "why not?" attitude about it. He knew it was necessary and wants to learn as much as he can now.
I guess that's all. I hope everything is well at home. Have a good week!

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