Wow I'm not even sure what to say about this week it has just been amazing! We had everything from crazy spiritual experiences, nice fun moments, miracles and everything in between! I feel so lucky to be here. Hopefully I'll have time to share just some of the stuff that has been happening.
First off, "The kids"
Last P-day we were all chilling in the apartment, ( I was watching some 17 miracles) when some kids (2nd and 3rd graders) walk by our window, they see it open and then start talking to us. Before we know it they have a dodge ball and said to us, "asobimasen ka?" Meaning "won't you play with us?" So of course we got ready and went out to go play with them! (picture of Fukka holding the door waiting for us) so we went out and became instant best friends with all of them, Their names are Makki, Fukka, Masato, Ruuto, and Mizuke. And they are just the local gang of kids! We went out and they taught us this intense form of dodgeball. Then we played tag, freeze tag and cops and robbers for a total of like 2 hours. They are absolutely adorable! It was so much fun! One of the best moments of my mission! Then even later in the week they came while we were weekly planning again calling our intercom, "Hey it's masato!" We go and answer the door, "asobimasenka?" We had to tell them sorry not today, but that we could on monday, so we're playing with them again today! They are awesome!
Then another crazy experience was the Less Active Muslim,
We met him on the street his name is Hasin, he was raised muslim, but doesn't really believe or follow it. We managed to get an appointment and met him at the church. Turns out not only is he like a less active muslim, actually because of many bad experiences with religion in his country in Turkey, he actually really hates religion and missionary work in general. He was polite about it, but he made it very clear that he thought that what we were doing was a bad thing, that these people are happy and don't need us pressuring them to do anything. He said he use to do the same thing when he was young, but then he realized it was all for power and money. We listened with love, and then testified that all though other churches or people may do that, that this is God's church that was restored, and that we are here because we love God and that God loves him. In fact I have never ever had the spirit work in or speak through me so powerfully in my life before. It was not contentious or angry, I felt love for him. But I was filled with fire and boldness in testimony of the truth. I felt like Elder Holland. There was powerful testimony fire of the spirit coming out. I don't even know how to describe it. He was so anti to religion, yet that lesson I felt the spirit so strong and knew how much God loved his somewhat wayward son. It was one of my most powerful experiences in being a witness of God.
Counting Yasin I taught 4 different muslims this week. The one who hates religion and missionary work. One who loves missionaries and is about to be baptized, and has asked multiple times if he could call our president and tell him not to transfer us. and then two others we met that I think may have been trying to convert us, but were quite nice and are open to listening about our message. So that's quite a week for Saijo Japan.
Zaima is doing amazing though! Despite having a cold he came to church yesterday. He looked pretty not well before church, but then after sacrament meeting he looked much better! He told us that after the ordinance of the sacrament he felt much better! Also we taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ this last week. Before we prayed I had an impression to ask him how he felt when he prayed if the Book of Mormon was true. He said he prayed and when he prayed he felt something powerfully and a tear came to his eye, and he believed this was an answer from God and this message was true! Right after that for the rest of the lesson the spirit was so incredibly strong. It was so amazing! He is so prepared we really didn't do anything. He came pre converted I think. He is on track to be baptized in 2 weeks.
We have no idea what's been happening, but we have been teaching and finding so many investigators, it's absolutely crazy. We're not really doing anything different, but just that God is using us for his purposes to bring joy to his children, it's amazing!
And none of it is from us, it's really all God helping us and guiding us through the spirit to find the people he has already prepared. The coolest miracle was on Saturday this week: Me and my companion decided during planning for some reason to go out and house near a mazda tower some what near our apartment, with not a whole lot of time we went out and talked to people on the way and tracted several hours. With only 40 minutes left till we had to go to another appointment we went to a street corner and prayed. We asked the Lord to simply lead us to that one prepared person he had for us out here. We finished, looked up and felt, "we need to go that direction" Then we went out trusting that he was guiding us, as we were biking we saw a house on our left that we felt we should house. We pulled over and set our bikes aside. At first we weren't even sure it was a house, but we rung the bell. No answer. But then I felt a slight prompting to just put a pamphlet in the mailbox, which we almost never do, but thought, "Hey why not?" So we did, then left leaving our bikes there while we housed some other houses. We came back, and another car had come into the driveway. "Should we try again I asked?" Not really sure. My companion thought for a moment, then said, "Yes, I feel like we really need to." We housed it again. Again, no answer. A little bummed we went back to our bikes, put on our helmet and were about to go when a man walks down the street to the house. We go up to talk to him and though he didn't understand us very well, he did say that his family (wife and 3 kids) were struggling right now. We testified that this message was from God and could help his family. And he said we could come back! The spirit led us in so many ways that night to find this, the Kubo family. And since that night we have been able to meet all the family, become friends and have an appointment when all the family will be home we can teach them! God really does guide his servants to those families and people he has prepared!
Sometimes it doesn't feel like we are doing that much, and sometimes we feel like we are. But it doesn't matter how it appears on the outside. I have felt both. It's all about how feel on the inside. Like an apostle recently said, "Let us not look around to how others see us, but up to how God sees us."
-Ping Pong with Zaima
-Housing out in the Mountains
-Our favorite ward mission leader Brother Tohma
-The local gang of kids that we love so much!