Monday, February 04, 2013

   Hey there everyone! It's been a great week over here in Japan this last week. The weather warmed up some, we got work done, and nobody is dead. It's great! Although, the weather is cooling off again. Friday and saturday were warm enough that just wearing the suit jacket was plenty, but then yesterday it dropped again and wearing a coat was definitely a must. I've been told that there's a possibility it will snow again this week. If it does, it won't stick very long. The snow so far has all melted off less than a week after it falls.
Scavenger Hunt: Find a giant, yellow duck
   So last Monday we had zone p-day. We went to Lake Town, which the zone leaders claimed is the biggest mall in Japan, and we had a picture scavenger hunt. That was pretty fun, and there were quite a few funny pictures that everyone managed to get. The mall was actually pretty big. Well, actually, it was two malls that were right next to each other, and connected with a sky-bridge. Regardless, it was big.
   So not much happened on Tuesday, but Wednesday was pretty good. We had district meeting that afternoon, and Elder Taylor said something I really liked. We were talking about repentance, and how when we repent the Lord promises to remember our sins no more. We are not promised, however, that we won't remember our own sins. This is something that comes up in Sunday school quite a bit. Many people wonder if they are really forgiven if they can still remember their sins. What Elder Taylor said to help explain this is really simple, and I think it's actually really helpful. He said, "that's why we sometimes have scars: so that we can be reminded not to do the same thing again". When we first get a scar it can be painful sometimes, but over time the pain goes away. It stops hurting, but it's always there as a reminder of how we got it so that we can avoid making the same mistake again.
Everyone who came to zone p-day
   Thursday and Friday we went on splits with the zone leaders. I went to Abiko with Elder Hansen. That guy is a beast! He is easily the best missionary I have ever worked with. He's dedicated, he's diligent, he's super nice, he knows what he's doing, and he's just good at being a missionary. I don't know how he does it, but when he talks with people on the street, he can get almost everyone to stop and talk with us for a few minutes. Most of the time, as soon as people find out we're not lost tourists they head off on their merry way. Not this guy though. He gets nearly everyone to stop and talk for a little bit. I definitely have a new standard to try and reach. It was a way fun split though. We played soccer with one of their 14 year old investigators. By the time we got to Abiko, we didn't have time to go back to the apartment and change, so we ended up playing in our suits. That was really fun... I guess. haha! No, it was way fun, but my shoes sure got pretty scuffed up. I had just shined them too. Haha! We also taught a lesson with a recent convert. She actually has a pretty cool story. She's in her 70's, and her husband was baptized 9 years ago. She was meeting with the missionaries for a long time, but she has Alzheimer's (spelling?), which makes it hard for her to progress. Some days she would decide that she liked the church, and then the next day she would forget and decide she didn't like it. After a while, she got to a point where she decided she wanted to be baptized, and she passed her baptismal interview and everything, but before she was actually baptized she forgot that she wanted to be baptized and decided that she didn't like the church again. The way Elder Hansen said it, is after that they just kept the font filled up 24/7 waiting for her to decide she wanted to be baptized. A week or two later, she did, and they got her down to the church that day and baptized her. Ever since then she's never forgotten that she was baptized, and she's never gone back to not liking the church. Crazy. It's amazing what the Holy Ghost can do.
More from the scavenger hunt
   Saturday was also a pretty awesome day. We had our first lesson with our new family of investigators, the Comba family. They're from Brazil, and they are the ones that came to church last week with the less active family we've been trying to work with. We went to the Comba's house on Saturday night for dinner and a lesson, and the Mitake family (the less active family) was also there. When we got there, the Comba family was actually not home. The Mitake's let us in, but the Combas were out shopping, so it was just us and the Mitake's for about an hour waiting for the Comba's to get back. By the time they Comba's finally got back and we could start the lesson, it was pretty late. But, the lesson went great though. The Comba family is awesome. The husband speaks passable English, but neither of them speak Japanese. Sister Mitake is completely fluent in Japanese, but her English is kinda weak. So, how the lesson ended up going is we would teach in a mixture of English and Japanese and then wait for it to be translated into Portuguese for the rest of the family. All in all, despite the set backs, it went really well. They all have baptismal dates, and we're going to be meeting with them again next Saturday. I'm way excited to work with this family.
    That's about it for now! More to come next week!

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