Ok, well I guess I should first tell you that even though I`m writing this email from Wakayama, I am still working in Shingu. My new companion is Elder Schramm from Midvale, Utah. He is also half-Japanese. He is fluent in Japanese though, he spoke before he came on his mission. We are in Wakayama because Elder Schramm is going to Kobe this week for President McIntyre`s final leadership training and we have to come early in order to get there on time since Shingu is so far away. I will be spending the next three days in Sennan with a second transfer missionary from Brazil named Elder Cardoso. I`ve heard he`s a pretty fiery, new missionary. it will be interesting to work with him.
To be honest, I am pretty dissappointed that I wasn`t asked to go to leadership training. President McIntyre leaves at the end of June so this was my last chance to go during his presidency. I think I will get to see him one last time before he goes home. At least that`s what I`ve heard. Who knows.
So transfers weren`t much of a surprise. Elder Nishio transferred to Tsuyama, his hometown for his last transfter. He came to the Kobe mission before it combined with the Hiroshima mission, but when the two missions consolidated, his hometown became part of the mission and he`s wanted to serve there ever since then. On top of that, while he`s been on his mission, his parents moved to Amagasaki, the ward right next to Kobe in the Kobe stake.
Because Shingu is such a small community, the members get all up in the missionaries business. They come to the station to wave goodbye when missionaries transfer. Now that I`m the area senpai, I`ve been answering the phone everyday. They don`t hesitate to call at all. It`s beena little bit of a patience exercise.
Within in just two hours of being in Shingu, Elder Schramm and I taught a lesson to Bisunu from Nepal who works at the Jusco. He can speak a little bit of Japanese and little bit of English, but dispite that, we were able to commit him to a baptismal date. It will be an adventure, but he looks pretty good and definitely teachable so we`re excited to see what happens with him.
IT`s been raining like crazy since Friday and in fact, there has been a typhoon going on since yesterday. Right before church, the city made an announcement over the loud speaker (yes, it is small enough in order for them to make announcements to the entire city over a loud speaker) to stay inside and watch your TV for warnings.
On Saturday, it was raining like crazy. Being outside was like jumping in a pool. It was one of those days where I thought: "what`s the point?" There was nobody outside and even if somebody was somebody to talk to, they obviously wanted to get inside quickly. We visited a member and had to go to the apartment of one of our investigators to reschedule our appointment with him. As we were riding our bikes, I thought "yeah, this sucks but we really don`t have a choice, do we?" AS I was riding, it was incredible how quickly and how clearly I was able to feel as though I was doing what I was meant to be doing. It was almost like I could feel the Lord put his hands on me and hear him say "thank you." It was a cool feeling and I`m glad that I had that experience even though everything in my bag got completely drenched and all of my clothes are still soaking wet. The visit with the member went really well. We got them to really bear testimony to us, when I thought all last transfer that they were on the verge of going in-active. All it took was showing them a little bit of love and sharing a gospel message. They were really thankful that we took the time to come and see them, even in the rain.
We figured no one would show up to church since there was a typhoon. It wasn`t a surprise when we walked in 30 minutes early, everything was set-up and Tsuboi Kyodai was writing on his board for his sunday school elsson. The three of us planned on just taking the sacrament and going home when Iwamoto Kyodai and his five year old son showed up. We did sacrament meeting regularly and the members we visited the day beofre (the Wada`s) showed up as well and we were able to do the full two hour program. We took off right after on our way to Wakayama.
Have a great week!I`m a 1/3 done with my mission!