Monday, November 14, 2011

November 14, 2011

I`ll just get to business as fast as possible.
On Tuesday we visited K兄弟 again (he started coming to church after we started visiting him regularly) and he made a temple recommend interview and should be going on the third!
We also visited the H`s during the week. I don`t think I wrote about it last week, but the mother bore her testimony last Sunday and I wanted to go see her and say that I enjoyed it. H姉妹 is from Italy and came to Japan 12 years ago as a foreign exchange student. She now has three young kids and she talked about how people criticize her because they can only speak Japanese. I told her about my family and she said to tell my mom that she understands.
A guy that we see all the time when we go to our email place stopped us on the street during the week and we went into Mister Donuts with him and sat down to teach him a lesson. He is one of those guys that ran into missionaries 30 years ago and stops them whenever he sees them. He knows all about church history and quite a bit of the teachings. He was really fascinated by my companion and how he is 100% Japanese, but had never been to Japan nor heard a word of Japanese before. He wasn`t interested enough to make another appointment with us or come to church, but I`m sure we`ll run into him again.
So this is what a shoyu (Soy Sauce and Seaweed) doughnut looks like. Yes, they taste good.

Mister Donuts is doing a Snoopy promotion right now. I nearly felt guilty throwing this box away. My companion said one of his addictions is point cards. He now has a Misdo point card so we`re going to have to be careful or we may gain a ton of weight this winter.
On Thursday we had an interesting experience. We had been hesitating to visit the O family for a really long time. The wife is in her 60`s but has some health problems. She`s really frail and has to walk with a rolling walker and at church she basically has to be carried around. I always thought that if we went, we`d be a big bother. We decided to go anyway and it was like they were waiting for us. They had just returned from the temple a couple hours before we got there. O姉妹 was baptized at 30 and served a mission a year later. O兄弟 was baptized at 26 and served a year and a half mission at 29 with special permission. O兄弟 served in Sapporo in 1982 and he served in Wakkanai. Do you know him? Anyway, they let us in, fed us a bunch of snacks, told us mission stories and then showed us a slide show that they used on their missions. It was about a mother that dies and touches on the plan of salvation. It was really great. We then shared a message and left. It all timed out to be exactly one hour, like they had a perfect program set for us, even though they didn`t know we were coming.
That night, on our way back, we didn`t have much time or really any good plan. We decided we were going to park at the church and then just house the apartment complex next door. When we went into the underground parking lot, there was somebody else down there in the pitch dark and it was kind of scary. The person immediately said 久しぶり ("It's been a long time") and lo and behold, it was M! We haven`t seen or been able to make contact with him for nearly two months!! He was as nice, mature, and spiritual as ever. His parents strictly advised him to stay away from the church until he is finished with juken (entrance exams) in March. Respecting his parents, he strictly follows their wishes and said he honestly doesn`t really feel a desire to come to church anymore, school is more important. The reason we haven`t been able to contact him is because he stopped using his cell-phone. He wants to study that hard. Nobody can make contact with him. He said he still prays and reads his Book of Mormon daily. I know someday he`ll come along. I really hope so at least. He was and is so ready. He just needs a little bit more freedom and stability to make the choice himself. It`s such a hard thing to know that there is nothing left that I can do. It was really good to see him again though. I didn`t know if I ever would.
Sean-kun took his TOEFL test on Saturday so on Friday night for Eikaiwa (English Class), Nukaya 長老 taught him one on one. I can`t explain how much I just naturally love that kid. As the class finished I went to encourage him and wish him luck on his test and he said he really wants to go to BYU and see me there. I get emotional just thinking about that. I want to be there for him as just a normal friend. My missionary badge limits me a little bit. I`m thinking that if he gets in, I may move down to Provo during fall semester, find work, audition for a show....something....just so I can be there for him and help him out. He really needs it. I think there are reasons that I`m meeting him now that extend beyond my mission. He is an amazing kid. He`s been through everything and just keeps moving forward. I really hope and pray that he`ll get into BYU. It will do so much good for him.
Ok, you know the 新本`s are completely less-active, right? Like, haven`t been to church in years. Do you have pictures or anything? I need to go see them again. That is just too much to be coincidence. I can`t believe that.
For my birthday, it was a pretty normal day. I don`t know if you`ve ever heard of Irie 兄弟 before, but he`s somewhat of a celebrity among Japanese members. He makes Japanese gospel CD`s with Janice Kapp Perry. We went to his concert on Saturday because the zone leaders said I needed to go since it was my birthday. He has the missionaries sing with him at every concert he has so we sang. It was at the Higashi Osaka church, his home ward only about a half hour train ride from Nara.
Church was good yesterday. I was afraid I might get sick of this place since I`ve been here now longer than I`ve been anywhere else on my mission. It`s quite the opposite. I feel like I`m too attached to some of the members. Like I want to just have a normal calling and be their friend and just be spending time with them all the time. Who knows, I may come back here to visit in the future.
Fujita 兄弟 also asked me to ask you to think about sending some sort of Christmas greeting from our ward to the Nara members. It can be something really simple. He doesn`t want to be a burden. It can be a simple thing. I suppose using the primary could be the easiest. Just like a sort of "Merry Christmas from one member to another" deal. Remember, simple. Really simple. Please don`t overdo it. He`s preparing something for a Christmas activity.
Gosh, I`m already out of time. I hope you all have a good week. Have a good rest of the run, Randy!
So we once more went to Nara Park, this time with the district before transfers. It was fun. I don`t really get sick of the place. It`s fascinating just watching people interact with the deer.

We entered Todaiji right before it closed so we were nearly the last group of people to go through and it was awesome. It feels much more mystical in the dark. Since there were so few people, everyone wanted to try to fit through the hole in the pole (ha, rhyme) that is the size of Buddha`s nostril. My companion and Elder Tsushima from Sapporo were able to get through. 


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