Tuesday, September 6, 2011

September 4, 2011

Happy birthday, Dad. I did remember it this morning when I saw the date on the cell-phone.

Well first of all, I`m really excited that Randy has a part in the musical. I don`t remember much about Fiddler on the Roof. I`m sure it will be taped by someone, the trick is getting the copy afterwards. Don`t forget that Randy...I want to see it.

We met with our golden 18 year old investigator again this week, as did the branch mission leader (just the two of them) and it seems like it`s still going to take some time. He told me last night that so long as his parents say no, he has no intention of getting baptized, nor does he have any intention of asking for permission again since it will cause contention. We`ve already met with his mother and we cannot meet his father since he lives and works in Kyushu. We will continue to meet with him and strengthen him. He has decided he is going to BYU though. I think in the end it will all work out how it is supposed to.
Here`s Horyuji, he world`s oldest wooden builing(s) which we visited last week. They were built in 607 AD. 

So yeah, there has been a typhoon this week, but it`s not that bad. It`s rained a ton. We only had to spend about 2 hours in the apartment, other than that, we`ve been able to stay at work.

The branch president has also kept us busy visiting less-actives an part-member families. This area really is like a dream. The members are fulfilling their missionary responsibilities. It makes the work just that much more of a joy. We figured the ward missionaries would report our work to him on Sunday for us, but after church, he came and hunted us down, asked for a report and then gave us more names. Nara was once a "ward" and they are all working together to obtain that title again. I think it will happen soon. Two Melchizedek priesthood holders moved in, plus our convert can be ordained in February at the next stake conference.

As usual, we went to clean the Izumikawa`s bakery again on Saturday. We went up there early and decided to visit Izumikawa 姉妹`s (Sister Izumikawa's) parents, the Morishitas. Holy cow they are amazing. The 兄弟 (Brother) is 81 but he looks 50. They are perhaps the kindest and warmest people I`ve ever met. Not to mention they`re hysterical. Morishita 姉妹 (Sister Morishita) is a fireball. She said that she was a lot thinner when she was young (she`s still extremely thin) and then I said that I thought she was still thin and she said that my eyes were saying "debu" ("fatso"). She had me nearly falling off of the couch. They got up about ten times to retrieve some kind of snack for us. Morishita 兄弟 wanted to eat ビスコ ("Bisco") which is a type of cookie for toddlers. He left the room three times to find them, his wife saying they were in a different place each time. He came back really disappointed that he couldn`t find them. We told him we were fine and didn`t need to be fed but he said "They`re not for you, they`re for me!" As the conversation continued, he lit up and said, "Oh they`re still in the car!" His wife then said that they went shopping a week ago, they just forgot to take them out. We watched him walk out to the car from the living room window and when he opened the trunk of the car and found he cookies, he waved them in the air like he had just won an Oscar. That was priceless.

We talked abour their conversation. 30 years ago they lived in a mountain village called Ikeda in the dead center of Shikoku. They said there were only 6000 people in town and the missionaries were celebrities. They met with the missionaries so often that they`d say お帰り("Welcome Home") when they came over. They`ve served as temple missionaries and have three returned missionary children. They`re amazing. When we shared a quick message, they said, "Our neighbor is interested, let`s go over right now." Morishita 兄弟 then walked us over and we had a lesson with them right there. That was unreal. The members here are simply driven. They get it. The friend met with missionaries about 8 years ago. Not too interested, but the amazing thing is that the Morishita`s had the guts to instantly introduce them to us.

That night when we cleaned the Izumikawa`s pan`ya san (bakery), Izumikawa 姉妹 told me that she went to Westminster college and lived with a family in Centerville. She also said she served in the Sapporo mission about 27 years ago. Do you remember a Morishita 姉妹? She said Low suddenly sounded familiar when I told her you served there.

Once again, they sent us home with more bread than we know what to do with. What I noticed this time was that she does the same thing to her college age employees. She sends them home 15 minutes before closing and keeps shoving bread into their hands. The employees feel guilty receiving so much charity. It`s amazing. The Izumikawa`s are really examples in their community. They exude the light of Christ. When I looked through the old potential investigator records, it looks like the Izumikawa`s have referred all of their employees.

I guess that`s all I really have time for. I hope everything is going well over there. Best of luck with the fall season. I hope everyone enjoys their school situations. Yes, it is September now, but no, I have not quite been on my mission for a year. I don`t want to think about that yet.

Have a good week!
A couple more from Kasuga Taisha and Todaiji last week.

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