Saturday, August 4, 2012

August 4, 2012

I just realized that I haven't really taken many pictures this week so I just snapped a couple a few minutes ago. I think I've sent pictures of this before. There's two fridges in the apartment.

 We just went shopping and as you can see, the one on the left is just filled with drinks, mostly milk.

It's August.

It hasn't been too long. I'm sure there are a bunch of things that I could think of to write about.

We've been pretty busy upstairs in the office. Zone Leader council was this week and there's lots of preparation for that. Now we're getting ready for zone conferences at the end of the transfer. We've also had lots of new investigators coming through. We taught a guy right after zone leader council finished (which was really stressful time-wise; the zone leaders come upstairs and want to buy supplies at that time). He was a really smile-y happy guy, seemed really cool when we first met him. We took him to the church, he was still smiling, really happy, but rejected absolutely everything we said. He'd listen, but immediately explain to us how he thinks that we're wrong...all while smiling. I don't know what motivates people like him to meet with us. He said it was just because we seemed to be good people. It's really important to establish expectations with people early. I felt like we did that well, maybe he just ignored that part.

We played a big game of "Do you love your neighbor?" at 英会話 (English Class) this week. Do you know it? You sit in a big circle and somebody is in the middle. The person in the middle chooses another person and asks them if they love their neighbors. If they answer yes, the people on either side of them must switch seats. If they answer no, they must say that they love people with a certain characteristic (ex: white shirts), then everyone with that characteristic must switch seats. The person in the middle's goal is to get a seat. The goal is to stay out of the middle, sort of like musical chairs. The zone leaders picked up an investigator from the sister's area book and she showed up. She's very interesting. She played the game while wearing a shoulder bag and fanning herself with a sensu (folding fan). There was one other person in the circle using an uchiwa (traditional fan). She was asked if she loved her neighbors and she stared into space for about 10 seconds with her mouth open. Then she said "uchiwa." Of course everyone in the circle went "huh?" and the guy in the middle asked her again, and again, and again....she simply replied "uchiwa" every time. Finally the guy in the middle asked "do you love uchiwa を持っている人?" (people who hold fans?) and she nodded her head. Then the lady holding the uchiwa stood up, the guy in the middle took that seat, and she stood up, still staring into space, fanning herself with her sensu. We've been laughing about it ever since. I can't even hold an uchiwa without laughing.

We've had to split with the zone leaders a lot lately because either they've been double-booked or we have in the evenings. It's been fun. I got to teach one of the zone leader's investigators named John from Uganda. It was one of my favorite teaching experiences yet. A couple weeks ago there was video of Elder Holland in Africa. He talked about how the people of that continent have taken hold of the Gospel so quickly because they are just a naturally spiritual people. They know that materical goods won't make them happy, so the Gospel just makes sense to them. I felt like what Elder Holland narrates in those videos played out in that lesson. John said that he knows God exists and that he's prayed night and day for as long as he can remember. He said when he started high school, he knew he would study abroad in Japan. He didn't know why, he just knew that he would. He was very poor and said that he went to the worst school in his area. His mother lost her job so he had to take a year off of high school to work and pay for his school expenses. He said throughout the entire thing he prayed for help to be able to somehow get to Japan. After taking a year off and going back to school, he got to the top of his class and then studied really hard for the entrance exams for his foreign exchange program. He's now attending Kobe University with a scholarship. We taught him the Plan of Salvation. He'd heard the Restoration several weeks earlier. He said that he really loved hearing about the Revelation because he also feels like he doesn't know what church to go to. He said every church in his country was just a business trying to swindle people out of money but he feels really good about ours. I just couldn't believe how prepared and instinctively spiritual he was. I'm sure the work on that continent is remarkable. I felt like I was floating after that lesson.

Normally the office elders translate the mission training plan but we were told there was no need to this month. We found a language training plan that was just in English and figured that this month's training plan was just about learning Japanese which we thought was a really bold move. It turns out that that was just a little langauge training supplement (I don't know what to call it) and there is no new training plan this month, we're just using last month's. That probably sounds either really confusing or really boring, but it had us really worked up.

Yesterday we weren't in the office at all because between the zone leaders and us, there were teaching appointments to keep us busy for the entire day. That was pretty cool. I taught a recent convert. He's really great.  He's 27, still in school and not sure what to do with his life so he didn't feel like he had time to go to church when he should be thinking about his future. The missionary (Saito 長老, 100% Japanese, born and raised in Provo, Utah) who baptized him left last month and visited with him with his family and helped him. That was really neat, I thought.

I then taught S gain. He's still not putting things into his heart. We tried to teach him the Word of Wisdom. He committed to keep it, but we had to really try hard. He needs to get to church.

 Any questions?

I just found a bunch of pictures and video that other missionaries put on the computer from when I was here in this apartment a year and a half ago. It's sooooo 懐かしい

This pictures are from December, 2010, in Kobe

I can't believe these.

I was so fat.

All of the rest of these missionaries returned home long ago.

With President and Sister McIntyre.

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