So transfers did come and go and it turns out my new companion is none other than Elder Rees! The missionary I came to Japan and rode the bus down to Sasebo and served alongside in Sasebo my first transfer! When our president told me I was so surprised, "Wait....really Elder Rees? What!? Yeaahhh!!" I was so so excited! There are few other missionaries I would have picked to be companions with if I had a choice. I can already tell this is going to be the best transfer yet! We work so well together, and we're really trying to focus on helping the people we have, always thinking of them planning for them and trying to figure out what would be best for them, and we've already seen tons of miracles!
But it was sad saying goodbye to Elder Bloomfield who I served 4.5 months with here in Saijo. We had to wake up way early and take him down to the Hiroshima station where he took a bullet train to his new area. And had our final goodbye and hug, I knew he'll do great down in Kagoshima!
There were a lot of interesting, good, amazing, bad and miraculous things that happened this week, but it was so great!
The other day we were teaching a young father on the street, when a white european rode by on a bike, looked at us and said, "Elders" and nodded his head. "What did he just say?" And then later he rode by and while we were still teaching he said, "Oh Sumimasen" (excuse me) and handed both of us Reeses chocolate cups, then just rode off exclaiming, "Keep doing God's work!" We were stunned and didn't know what to do, and then we realized, "Dang, he could be a member or just way prepared and doesnt even know we have a church in Saijo, we have to find him!" So we raced in the direction he went, but he was gone. We have no idea who he was, but it seemed like he must live in Saijo as he had a bike. We are praying everyday that if it is God's will we can find him again, and he can join us in this work here in Saijo.
Earlier this week we went to a member in Hikari named the Tanaka family, and also there was Brother Nakamura and his wife, a hikari member. His wife actually has an Im a mormon video where she talks about how much she loves music. And actually one of their daughters is serving in the same apartment as my friend Sister Tosha Kohler! Small world huh? I took a picture with them and sent it to her. Those two families are some of my favorite families though. They are so full of love for us and for everyone around them and always have a huge smile!
But the coolest miracles this week have been in the lives of the families we have begun and been helping, it is crazy the work God is doing here.
Morita Family: Brother Shutto also a young father, was able to come and joint with us and he was so good! We really sought to find out what they think about this message what it can mean for their family, and what it means to us. By the end of the lesson I really think they saw how they wanted this in their life, and they told us they don't know yet it God is real but they said "kamisama ga itte hoshii" (We want him to be real) . They want God to be real and they want to know, and when they do they said they want to be baptized! So we set up a date, and then they even told us they would come to church that Sunday. Unfortunately though their baby got sick so the couldn't come, but they really were planning on it, and are coming next time, they are progressing so much!
Gary and his family: Our chinese college student who has been ready to be baptized for so long named Gary had an amazing miracle in his life. We have never known his address or been able to meet him there or get his wife to meet any members really, but this week they are moving apartments. And here is the miracle. There new apartment is actually in the same building that the senior couple the lambs live, but not only the same building but the exact same floor. Tell me that is not an amazing miracle from God, because I know it is and I know that he really is working to help his precious Gary be able to come unto him.
Lee Family: We were able to meet the chinese family we helped move in, the Lees. And it was really good! It is hard for them because they have been told their whole life that God is not real, but especially the wife, bing bing really wants to know if God is real. The husband doesn't have a huge desire yet, but he is okay with us coming over on Sunday to share the message with his family and he said, "Maybe when she finds the God I will want to too." As he feels the spirit and sees the change in her life he will begin to have that desire too I know.
So if all goes well in this upcoming week or two, we may very well be teaching 3 families! What a miracle! That is not common, I think, almost anywhere and especially not in Japan. God truly does have people and families everywhere in the world, and definitely here in Saijo prepared to hear the gospel. It is truly amazing! I'm so grateful to be a part of it.
I have been seeing myself get closer and closer to what Christ teaches about "he who loses his life shall save it" in losing myself in the work. My last thought before I fall asleep is about how I can help the people I teach, and my first thought in the morning is how I can touch their hearts. At night I am so full of gratitude and love for this people that I am overwhelmed with emotion. I'm getting closer and closer to the edge, letting go entirely of me, and giving it all to him, and I've never been happier in my life.
I love you all. Keep searching to come closer to God, and you will find how much he is there and loves you.
Your Son, Brother, Family, Friend,
Saijo, Hiroshima Japan
Me and The Nakamura's who have an im a mormon video about music.
Elder Bloomfield and our beloved new members Haishan and Shunka
Sho our recent convert teaching Haishan an even newer convert how to tie a tie after church. This was a precious moment all the missionares loved it.
A slightly crazy member in Takasu who came to Stake conference with a fake gun whip, hat and all telling everyone he was Indiana Jones.
Haishan and Shunka's Baptism!
Me and Elder Bloomfield right before he boarded his bullet train out
Me and Elder Rees!
Our eikaiwa class.