Friday, September 13, 2013
I'm starting to get the hang of it....kind of. It's really hard to understand the Japanese of some of the people here. Frequently we'll talk to someone and then when we leave I'll ask my native Japanese trainer what they said, and he'll say "I didn't understand a word they said." So that tells you a bit about how thick some of the dialects people speak with here....but I'm actually starting to understand the members a decent amount so that's great!
In the Book of Moses there's that part where Enoch gets called by God to preach the Gospel and he's like, "I'm but a lad and all the people hate me and I'm slow of speech." I honestly never felt like that while in the MTC. I was like sure missionary work is hard, but I can do it! And then when I got here in the field, I understood EXACTLY what Enoch was talking about. I don't think I've ever been humbled my whole life. But it really has forced me to rely on God in a way I don't think I ever have in my whole life so that's a blessing.
I love the members here! We have both an american military branch and a Nihonjin branch so I get to actually speak a language I know while doing missionary work sometimes! Yay! We actually have dinner tonight with the American Branch president so that's great! They really are some astounding branches. I learn new things every sunday with both of them. (We get to have 8 hours of church every sunday back to back. It's actually pretty awesome! But my blood flow isn't happy by the end haha."
One awesome member is named Brother Nakagawauchi. He's blind and mostly deaf and like 70 years old (he has a hearing aid though) every week the missionaries go visit him, because he's actually pretty lonely. The first time we went to visit him we walk up to his house and we just hear this ukele being played inside. And we walk in and here's this boss old Japanese grandpa strumming away on his ukelele. It was so awesome! And on Sunday he blessed the sacrament. He did it like he was calling down thunder from the heavens in this booming Japanese voice. It was so cool!
Also one member from the American branch named brother Graham took us fench/sword fighting for p-day (don't worry it was quite safe) we got all suited up in armor and had sword duels like pirates and a few big battles. It was awesome! I'll have to get some pictures next time!
Sometimes things are so hard I'm not sure what to do. But through relying on God I've always made it through to the sunshine on the end. Just keep praying!
Love you all!
Monday, September 2, 2013
I am now indeed in Japan. And the area I'm in (Sasebo) is about an hour and half away from Nagasaki (it's in the nagasaki zone) and I'm pretty sure when Adam and Eve were taken from the Garden of Eden it was moved to Sasebo. Everytime we take through the countryside I basically die from how beautiful it is. There are all these rolling hills that are so green they are basically just giant bushes, and then in each valley there's all these beautiful Japanese style houses with gorgeous rice fields around them. It's so crazy awesome!
The first few days here were pretty hard. Let me tell you, walking around miles looking for a bike, with 3 and a half hours of sleep and having forgotten to bring water was not quite what I was expecting when I got to Japan. Also I'm not sure I thought about the natural rejection that comes from being a missionary. So it was really tough. But through it I really learned to rely on the Lord. Because I knew there wasn't anyway I was getting through those days without his help.
But after those two days It's been so great! I really do love the people here! Even though there are those people that won't even talk to us. There's also people here who despite not wanting to hear our message, still give us a smile and say (gambatte kudasai!) which means basically "good luck!" And the members here are so amazing! We had a district conference yesterday, and really the faith of the members here brought tears to my eyes a few times. It's amazing! It provides such a reason for why I'm here. Why I'm tracting through what feels like a waterfall and still ending up drenched from my own sweat even with a raincoat.
Me and my companion Elder Kameta (who is really an awesome missionary) are both new in this area (Sasebo previously only had two elders) so we don't have any investigators yet. But we do have one that has several miracles attached to them which I really want to share!
At the end of our second day we decided to go housing, the only thing is it was kind of dark and really POURING rain. It was a wicked storm with thunder and everything. But we threw on our raincoats and went out, (in turned out dendo (missionary work) in the rain was to me the funnest thing ever) but anyways, we're our doing dendo and not having much success when I realize, "hey we never actually prayed" so we went right there and prayed. We continued onward.
Now we really wanted to find a nice big apartment building, but most of them have locks at the bottom so we can't get in. 5 min after we prayed I saw a massive one and said, "let's go there!" And so we went. And finally we found someone who wanted to listen! We taught her about the Book of Mormon and gave her one, and she said she likes reading books so she'd read it. It was great! So we did a little more and then went home. Which was a miracle we found our way back, because we were so dang lost that whole time. (The streets where we live are crazy and the address system is impossible. It's a little difficult haha) But we got back home and we were like, "shoot! We have no idea where that apartment building is! Or even which apartment she was in!" And we were mad at ourselves for not remembering.
The next day we decided to go visit a member. We went down and after 10 minutes of searching and asking actually found which house was hers (again the addresses are kind of really difficult) But she wasn't home. So we looked down the street and said, hey let's doing some contacting down there. We walked down 2 blocks and lo and behold right in front of us was that very same apartment building from yesterday! We had had no idea where we were so it was quite a surprise. But we still had no idea which of all of them were hers.
So we started walking up and just stopped on one of the floors. We were going to see if we could just find the right horizontal one and then try all the floors. So we find one we think might be it and we knock. Sure enough there she was! We were so surprised we weren't quite sure what to say! She said she hadn't read the book of Mormon yet, but was still planning on it. And we gave her a pamphlet and headed out, but this time we made sure we knew where it was. It was really a testimony that God really is leading us and helping us, because there isn't anyway in the crazy streets of Sasebo we could have done that on our own!
Thanks for all your support everyone! Love you!