Monday, August 13, 2012

a hipster Buddha we found while out tracting

My scripture box that I made.
Well, hello again everybody! It's been quite the exciting week this last week here in Japan. Things are still hot and humid, but it's cooled down a little bit this week, so that's good. I'm hoping it stays that way. First interesting story of the week, a guy named Jun called and asked for me on tuesday. He said that he met me at the Yamato Station last week, but I couldn't remember who he was, or that I had even talked to him. Hardly surprising, considering we talk to dozens of people every week. Anyway, we set up a meeting with him for this past saturday. We found out that he had apparently met with the missionaries years ago before losing contact with them. We asked him who the first misionaries he met with were, and he said it was someone from Utah named Elder Lowe. Well, Guess who shows up at church the next day with his wife and kid? Elder Lowe, who went home 8 years ago, that's who. This was his first time coming back to Japan after he went home from his mission. Is it a coincidence that this guy just magically shows up the very first sunday after we find his old contact? I think not! I'm excited to see where this one goes.
So, backtracking a bit to Friday the 10th now. We had an all mission conference, which was really cool. We learned alot of great stuff, and it was really cool to see all the missionaries that I hadn't met yet. During the course of the conference, I was asked on two seperate occasions if I was half Japanese. Success! It probably helps that since we've been outside for several hours a day every day for the last month, I'm starting to get back my Arizona tan and I'm now about the same tone as most Japanese. So that was pretty funny. I also got to meet some of Elder Christensen's old companions, as well as all the missionaries I knew from the MTC.
After the conference as we were riding back to our area on the train, I saw this young woman, probably about 25, who clearly wasn't Japanese. I got this strong impression to talk to her, so I struck up a casual conversation. I found out that she was actualy from Romania, and was in Japan for a year long internship for mechanical engineering. Her internship was actually at its end, so she was being sent to the phillipines and Korea for a few days each (I can't remember what exactly for though). She was actually supposed to leave that day, but had been 6 minutes late for check in and they refused to allow her to board the plane. She told me that she didn't really believe in fate or anything, but she had this feeling that there must have been some reason she just wasn't supposed to go to the phillipines that day. Inside I immediately though "Yes! There is a reason! This is why! You stayed in Japan for one more day so we could find you!" I then taught her about the restoration, and we were able to give her a Book of Mormon (Elder Christensen had an english one with him). She seemed genuinely interested, but seeing as how she's already left the country I doubt I'll ever find out if anything comes of it. But! We shall see! Stranger things have happened.
Those are some of the highlights for this week. It's been great so far. I'm really excited to see what kind of stuff happens this week. More later!
     Radical Righteousness Rasberry,
       Elder Blake

Haha! I think I'll make you all wait a week before I explain that signature up there XD

Monday, August 6, 2012

One of the garage doors I talked about last week
100% free banana split! Inherited ice cream & nutella from last
elders and bananas were a gift

Hey, sorry everyone, but this week's email is gonna have to be a short one. I went with Elder Christensen to Yokohama today for p-day, and we ended up getting back later than planned, so now I'm writing this real quick after our daily planning. So! That being said, here are some highlights for you all. The work is going fairly well here in Yamato. The members are great, and are always very helpful. Elder Christensen and I are working hard trying to find some new investigators, and are still working with our current investigators who are for the most part progressing, but only slowly. The other day, we actually streeted an older gentleman who was riding his bike, and we had an almost 15 minute conversation with him. During the course of that conversation, we found out he was 82. I was impressed. how many 82 year olds do you know that can still ride a bike around town? Crazy. So yesterday, Sunday, one of the members (Brother Honda, the brother of Elder Honda who I became friends with at the MTC) shared his testimony during sacrament meeting, and related the gospel to Kung Fu Panda. It was probably my favorite testimony of the day. It was about the part when Master Ugway is talking about the peach, and how even if we can decide when to harvest the fruit or where to plant the seed, nothing we can do will change the fact that it will grow into another peach tree. Elder Christensen and I also got to go to primary for the 3rd block of church. That was way awesome. The primary in Yamato ward is full of some really great kids. I had a great time, and it really reminded me alot of teaching primary back home. Today for p-day, like I said Elder Christensen and I went to Yokohama. We went to a place called landmark tower, which has an enourmous mall on the bottom 5 floors. We went to the pokemon center, which is a store dedicated to pokemon and pokemon merchendise. As you could probably expect, since we're in japan after all, the place was packed, and the customers were literally all ages, from stroller aged kids to 30+. We then went to the Shonan Jump store, which carries merchandise for alot of the more well known and popular anime series in Japan. We then went to China Town just a few blocks away, and explored over there for a while. Oh. and while we were grocery shopping, I managed to find a pineapple. I'm excited for that, especially since fruit tends to be pretty expensive in Japan and I got it for a good price.

That's about it for now! like I said, I don't have a whole lot of time since Elder Christensen and I got back late. I'll try to get a more complete email to you all next week! Love you, and it was good to hear from you all!

      Elder Blake



 (oops! Sorry that it's sideways)

Arrival in Japan

Everyone with President Budge and his wife

My and my companion