Sunday, June 26, 2011

June 27, 2011

It rained like crazy a lot at the beginning of this week and then got unbelievably hot by the end. We tried spending all of Tuesday and Wednesday on foot, basically just wandering. It was pretty effective I would say, it guided us to people that we probably would`ve just passed over on our bikes, but it was also ridiculously exhausting.

On Wednesday morning we walked to the ocean and found an old man named Moriharu loading garbage into his car that he had just picked up off of the beach. We had a good conversation with him, he said that his family is everything and he lives to make them happy. We talked about eternal families and he expressed interest. We made an appointment with him and as we were saying goodbye to him, he looked really tired. He said something about having bad knees and it was incredibly hot. As my companion shook his hand to say goodbye, he collapsed.

We were both in shock. He laid down on the ground and looked like he was going to throw up. A jogger came back as we called the police and explained how to get here. Before the police got there, he woke up and said "トイレしたい" ("I need to use the toilet") and then half-crawled, half-waddled over to the bushes to do his business and that`s when the police showed up. They got everyone`s information and everything turned out being just fine. We called him later that night to make sure he was ok. He was fine, and his wife picked up the phone and thanked us for taking care of him.

We`ve been working closely with one of our recent converts. We`ve done lots of service for him which he really likes. We picked weeds and umeboshi off of one of his trees. He lives up in the mountains; it is definitely not fun biking up there. I think if missionaries keep doing that for him, he`ll get the point eventually. 

On Thursday we had our second and last district meeting. The zone leaders came down again and afterwards came back to Shingu with us to do a companion exchange. District meeting was really great and we had amazing okonomiyaki afterwards. 

I don`t know why I look THAT happy to be eating a brownie.

Us eating okonomiyaki afterwards.

The air conditioner in our tatami room broke...and the four of us slept in there. It was つらい (agony). Schramm 長老 and I have been sleeping in our study room since then because it`s too hot to sleep in there without the air conditioner. 

I spent Friday with Burhoe 長老. He`s from American Fork and a  really great misisonary. He`s really good at having fun on his mission. We pulled weeds for Tsuyutani 兄弟 who is living with Nagai 兄弟. The weeds were in front of these storage sheds which are apparently owned by Nagai 兄弟`s boss. I guess it was a favor of sorts. We also went to the retirement home as always on Friday.

Elder Burhoe and I with Tsuyutani kyodai when we went to pick weeds.

I totally wanted to share this story last week but forgot until I saw it in my journal. Anyway, last week at the retirement home they just had us "go fishing" with the patients. They had cut-out fish attached to clothes hangers and the old people would use fake fishing poles to "catch" them from off of the floor. The lady I helped was probably the cutest thing I`ve ever seen. She focused sooo hard trying to catch the fish and would stick her tongue just barely out of the corner of her mouth as she did it. Everytime she would finally catch a fish she would say "釣った!嬉しい!" ("I caught one! I'm so happy!") and then drop the pole to clap her hands. I was talking to another lady afterwards who seemed perfectly healthy. She wasn`t in a wheel chair and could perfectly carry on a conversation...besides one thing: she asked me where she was every 30 seconds. When I would tell her she was always astonished. She asked why we were there and I told her I had no idea. It was so hard not to laugh...she asked about 15 times.

On Saturday, we got a call from Sister McIntyre. She said that she and President McIntyre had decided to spend their last Sunday in Shingu. They said they were thinking about it earlier in the week but they weren`t sure if they could make it, but on Saturday it was official. Three members, the branch president and his wife, and one other person were there. I can`t even begin to expalin how spiritual yesterday was. Both President and Sister McIntyre spoke and I`ve never seen them with so much conviction. In a way, this was almost like their dying act. The Shingu branch entered the Sakai stake in Januray, but before that it was an individual branch that was run by the mission and presided over by President McIntyre. They came just to visit. They really wanted to help after hearing about some of the problems that have come out for the branch this year. I probably can`t write what was said because it was so sacred. I can say that that was the most passionate and bold I`ve ever seen President McIntyre and that`s really saying something...especially considering how small that room is. It was like lighting dynamite in a closet.

Both President and Sister McIntyre addressed specific problems and gave counsel. President McIntyre basically assured everyone that this is Jesus Christ`s church and all of us are to do our best to follow him and try to become like him. It doesn`t work when we`re not willing to serve or forgive others. He said eventually they will come back to Shingu and want to see 20 to 30 people there. Tsuboi 兄弟 sat on the edge of his seat, bowed his head, and said はい ("Yes") as if it were an order.

My name tag. A friend asked me to put that Texas sticker on the back of my name tag back when I was in the MTC and I forgot to take a picture of it until today. Hopefully he`ll see it if it`s on my blog.

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