So on Monday, last p-day, as we were on our way back from grocery shopping, we ran into Kazuma, our 17 year old investigator who we unfortunately had an awkward lesson with last week. We committed him to pray then and he found us right in front of the church and told us he got an answer to his prayer. He prayed that he could see his father whom he hadn`t seen in over a year and the father showed up at their apartment, unexpected that night. He was super excited about it. He said "神様しか思っていない。”(Only God could have known.) It was a really, really cool experience. That was probably the most concrete answer to a prayer that I`ve ever seen with an investigator.
So we visited Nakamura 兄弟 from Brazil this week. It turns out he just needs a friend. It was great talking to him and helping him get groceries. I really feel for people that are stuck out here. He works construction and it sounds pretty rough.
On Wednesday we had district meeting in Tanabe. I don`t know if I told you but there are sisters in Tanabe. Tanabe is the area next to Shingu (three hour train ride) and is open about half the time, depending on whether or not there are enough missionaries to fill it. This transfer, President McIntyre got really gutsy and white-washed two sisters into it. Sato 姉妹 and Kadekaru 姉妹 are there. Our zone leaders from Wakayama came as well. It went really well. I didn`t have a district meeting at all last transfer so it was good to talk to other missionaries. Sato 姉妹 had a lot to say about Ilch 姉妹. She said she absolutely loved her transfer with her in Kurayoshi and talked about how she was in contact with my family. Just so you know, she said that Ilch 姉妹 was 大事にしている (keeping/taking care of) with everything you sent her. Sato 姉妹 said someday, the two of them want to visit Utah and meet mom. I know I`ve told you about how awesome Sato 姉妹`s convert testimony is; she was in charge of the もぎ (devotional) for district meeting and had us all simply bear an honest testimony of prayer. She said the missionary that taught her was a greenbeanchan. During lessons, she would look at her planner, then look up, then look at her planner again, then try to say something, then mess up and get frustrated. However, she said she could feel something special in her effort and the one thing she could clearly express was 祈って下さい. ("Please pray"). Sato 姉妹 said she didn`t get an answer but that young sister missionary just came telling her 祈ってください。She didn`t want to pray, but got her answer because the young missionary was persistent. Really cool story, I thought.
Picture from the train. That train ride is basically three hours of views like this and the ocean.
We met a really nice lady while housing this week. She told us that she knows her familiy can be eternal and that she is willing to learn anything there is to learn if she can make sure of that. It was really cool. She was hard to make an appointment with because of her family`s schedule but she said we`re welcome to drop by anytime.
We spent all day at church yesterday. It turns out that Schramm 長老 has a lot of studying to do in order to be the ward clerk. Typically a Japanese missionary has the calling, but they called him because he is fluent. We`re a little pressed for time here. Besides the branch president, wife, and visitor,only two members showed up in sacrament meeting. A high counselor from the stake came with the branch president and his wife and he was absolutely awesome. Very enthusiastic and counseled the members (more showed up after sunday school...they kind of just show up when it`s convenient...that really needs to change) on going to the temple and spreading the gospel. He wasn`t shy about it either. These members, really do need to get to the temple. He also talked about how many people assume the Japanese people are a lost tribe of Israel because of all of the parallel`s between Japanese Buddhism & Shintoism to Judaism. It`s true, there are a ton. I can`t name them all but they are there...namely how much they use things that look like the arc of the covenant. Sister Enomoto shared how the work got started here. 20 years ago, the two of them were called to home teach a member out in Kushimoto. That member got baptized because her son in Tokyo was a member. From there, the Enomoto`s have always felt like the gospel needed to be spread here. The area is famous for three grand shrines...and all three of them focus on 12 gods...many people say has relations to the 12 disciples. The Enomoto`s then served in the Nagoya mission and spent their time establishing the Shingu branch. Missionaries have been here ever since. It`s amazing how this branch is their life`s work. I wish they could live out here so they could be more accessible to the branch. They`re only able to come every other week because they live in Tanabe.
Schramm 長老 looking at Shingu from the Shingu castle ruins.
It looks like you had a ton of fun in Disneyland. I`m extremely jealous. I know I`ll get to go again eventually. I`m glad you had a good time. I basically drooled reading about the two new rides, even though I don`t really like Star Tours that much. It sounds awesome.
I guess that`s all for this week. Have a good one!
Nishio 長老 and I at Kushimoto
A better picture of Kushimoto that I stole from Nishio 長老`s camera.
Nishio 長老 and I at Shingu station, right as he left for transfer.
Us and the zone leaders at Tsuboi 兄弟`s house for Family Home Evening last transfer.
An abandoned house behind the Iwamoto family`s house in Mie-ken (technically the Nagoya mission). It is insane how old they are and how it really is just a jungle back there. I thought Totoro could jump out any second.
The next is a little place we found housing that seriously resembled a concentration camp...no? Yes, there are people living in those things.