Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Nihonjin Switch

Dear Family and Friends,

So when I first got here in Saijo all the way back in ....wow....that
was in October, me and my companion were teaching mostly English
speakers. Foreigners from china or wherever. But now we are actually
teaching mostly Japanese. Which either means our Japanese has
improved, or my English has gotten worse. Probably both to be honest.
But either way it's good :)

Tuesday this week we had a zone conference where President and the
assistants did training and it was way inspiring! I learned a lot. I
also learned that our mission is apparently getting Ipads in the
summer. And the word on the block among missionaries who have already
started the ipad program is that each missionary is given an ipad that
they keep their whole mission and then take home with them. I'm pretty
excited. But not just for myself because they really will be able to
help so much with the work. I'm grateful for all the tools the lord is
providing to do his work!

We have been struggling recently to get appointments with a lot of our
investigators because they are very busy, but there have been some
really cool things happening.

We were finally able to get in contact with the Moritas, which has
been hard recently and got the wifes number now too! Yes! That will
hopefully improve our contact ability by 50%. We will hopefully get a
lesson with them tomorrow.

And Gary and his wife are simply experiencing amazing miracles. It
still blows my mind that they moved in right next to the lambs. They
are having dinner at the lambs tonight so hopefully it goes well!

So Saturday of last week we were returning to our apartment before
dinner and were just about home when we saw a guy rolling a suit case
home. At first I thought "Oh he has a suit case I don't want to bother
him" But I realized of course he needs the gospel too so we stopped
and talked to him. And it was so good! We chatted and laughed for like
20 min on the street, and it turns out he believed God was true and
actually wants to come closer to him, so we set up a new appointment
and he actually invited us to his apartment (something japanese
college students have never done to me before)

And this week we were able to meet and teach him twice after that! His
name is Shohei and he is way interested. He has had experiences where
he has felt God's influence in his life, and wants to know more and
come closer to Him. He is way sincere. He is in Fukuoka for the next 3
weeks, but in April we should be able to meet him regularly!
(Hopefully I don't transfer before then) He is way cool!

This last saturday me and my companion and sister Ito and Williams
went over to Takaki shimai's apartment, the recent convert who was
baptized a few weeks ago, to help her clean her really messy house.
Turns out we were there 6 hours, and there was still a lot left. (she
was quite the hoarder) But it was good! We don't get a whole lot of
opportunities for service so it was really fun! While we were cleaning
though the magnet for my name tag fell off and I couldn't find it, I
was pretty bummed as it is hard to replace and necessary to wear one
of my nametags.

We finally left and went to the store to pick up some snacks for
eikaiwa, and then right as we stop, my companion points down to the
ground. And there laying on the ground was the magnet for my nametag.
"What!? Where did that come from!?" I believe firmly it was a tender
mercy of the Lord. I was way surprised to find it there. Somehow it
must have fallen from me at just the right place and time for us to
find it, and not in the messy apartment or even while we were biking
on the road. I am so thankful for tender mercies!

Sunday we had church and it was pretty scarce on members, just the
missionaries and our chinese recent converts, (Ito shimai represented
as the only Japanese) They were all sick or couldn't come for some
reason. And I gave a talk on Moroni, how difficult it must have been
to see his entire life and family and civilization go to nothing, but
to have seen a vision of our day and kept going, seen 80,000
missionaries and over 140 temples covering the earth, all because of
the work he would do alone on a little book.

I'm so thankful that I got to live in this dispensation and be part of
this great hastening of the work! I love it!

Love you all!
Elder Walton

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English Class Party Game.

The Elders having lunch with recent converts Haishan and Shunka and
soon to be member Riyu deciding who prays with the classic gun game.
Maybe not an entirely appropriate way to decide who prays....

And the trash we removed from Takaki Shimai's apartment

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Week....I don't Remember....

Dear Everyone,

This week was a great week, Elder Rees is really such a great
companion and is helping me so much. We have so much fun together,
maybe sometimes too much.

Earlier this week I realized I had been getting a little bit more
easily irritated, was a little less motivated, and was more anxious
and self critical than normal and wasn't sure why, then I was reading
the "stress booklet" (an amazing book the missionary department
recently came out with to help missionaries) and read all those things
in there and was like, "ahhh I'm stressed, now I see" I hadn't
realized before because I didn't actually stressed really, but I think
finding out my bike needed $100 to fix and just the change to being
the area senior was causing a little stress. After I realized it
though I knew what to do and I feel much better now! I still sometimes
struggle with comparing myself with others and feeling like I'm less
good than all of the other missionaries around me. But I'm trying to
stop comparing and love myself as I also love those around me.

There have been many miracle this week though! The Morita family has
been hard to meet because they are so busy, buy we called them last
night and it was way good! We just talked about prayer and what it
means and he asked some good questions like how often do we pray. We
can tell they really are interested but with both having jobs and a
child they are pretty busy. They said if we call today though we can
probably meet this week! They don't have the same speed of progression
as some investigators, because they are so busy, but they have strong
interest and have been steadily progressing so much.

And the biggest miracle is Gary! Gary has been having so many amazing
miracle in his life I can hardly describe how much I feel God loves
him. He really wants the gospel and to be baptized, but he right now
has a pregnant wife college and 3 part time jobs to pay for all of
that, and its so hard for him to have time for anything, especially to
come to church, but he recently moved to (without knowing it) right
next to the Lamb senior couple! A huge miracle! The lambs have been
able to friendship him and his wife, and even spent an hour with them.
They are also helping him get a good job that he can support his
family with. Sister Lamb is connecting so well to Gary's wife Chiang
it is amazing! God really does have a plan and know why he needs each
missionary where he needs them.

Last night I had a dream where for some reason, a disaster or
something, me and the other missionaries from my group from the MTC
all had to go home at only our 8 month marks. I remember feeling so
incredibly sad. The first thing I asked, was how and what do I need to
do to get back out into the field. To get back out to doing God's
work. I felt so incredibly sad like there was 16 months of precious
experiences and joy that I had missed out on. I woke up and was so
incredibly grateful that I was still here on my mission, being so
close to the spirit and being a part of God's work. I'm thankful for
that dream because I think it helped me to realized and remember what
a precious sweet thing I am apart of right now, and really how much
amazing joy I get to feel from it.

I'm so thankful to still be out here apart of God's work and to have
so much time left here serving the Lord. I love being a missionary! =D

Thank you and Love you all!

Elder Walton

Me and Elder Rees eating too much ice cream

Going on our morning run (it's cold but feels so so good) Barefooting
is only a few weeks away.

How I look when President Utchdorf skypes me and tells me he has a
secret mission for me.

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