Monday, May 06, 2013

   Hey there everyone! How's it going for all of you in sunny AZ? Over here in Japan it's been pretty good. Rainy season is on its way though. Here in Japan there's about month long period between spring and summer where it rains almost every day. Saturday night we had a pretty good thunder storm (the first I've seen since coming to Japan), and lots of rain. It's been sunny since then, but it's only a matter of time...
   So, first things first, I suppose I should start at the beginning. That would only make sense, right? So we've been spending a lot of time with our ward mission leader this week. They've been placing extra emphasis lately on working with ward mission leaders and coordinating the work with them, asking for help finding members to participate in lessons and other things the ward can do to help investigators. So, we did just that. During our weekly meeting with him, we had our list of investigators, along with all of our scheduled lessons, and we asked him who he would recommend asking to go with us to the lessons. He sits down and looks at it, and offers to go with us to a lesson on Monday  Oh, and since we were going to be together anyway, let's go visit an inactive sister... oh, well we're meeting early enough in the afternoon, we may as well meet an hour earlier than that and have lunch together too! And then he also offers to come with us Wednesday to see an investigator in the hospital. Later in the week, we got in touch with an investigator who recently moved to ushiku from tsukuba, and we were having a first lesson with him (the Tsukuba missionaries have been teaching him for a while, but it was our first lesson with him). We emailed the ward mission leader, described this investigator, and asked who he knew in the ward that would be good to go with us and could be friends with this guy. We get an email back from him a while later that says "The person in the ward that would be a good fit for this investigator is me, right? I'll see you guys tomorrow at 6!". We were just like, uhh... ok. Cool. Don't get me wrong, it's great that he's all fired up, and it's been really fun working with him, but I wonder if he knows that he's allowed to ask other ward members to work with us... Funny stuff.
This is from last Monday when we had yakiniku 
over at the Nakamura family home. 
It was delicious. And it was fun. Good times.
   Later in the week, Elder Miranda and I had a pretty fun adventure. We went to a college that's in our area to do some finding, and we took the train. The train out to the college is pretty small though (only 1 car). We have to get on this one car train at the end of the line, and the college is at the other end of the line (2 stops away). Yeah, this train literally only exists to get people to and from the college from the main train line that goes to Tokyo  Anyways, the train pulls up, we get in, and we have to wait a few minutes for it to go back. I sit on one side of the car, and Elder Miranda sits on the other side, so we're facing each other. Our plan was to talk with people on the train when they came in and sat next to us. People came alright. A group of about 8 Philipinos. They were all in their early 20's except for one lady who was maybe 40, and there was only one guy. They came in and two of them sat on either side of me one space over, and one sat next to Elder Miranda a couple spaces over(he was on the edge of his bench, so he didn't get surrounded). Elder Miranda and I look at each other, and we both had the same thought: this can't be good. The girls actually started talking with us in English  and they were being super flirty. What was funny about it was no matter how many times we would reject them (and not very subtly either), they kept going. Here were some of the highlights: In Japan, having a companion that can speak English is like having a companion you can speak code with. You can say whatever you want, and nobody will understand. After being in Japan for so long, you just get used to that and assume that if you say something to your companion in English  nobody will understand. Early on in this adventure, Elder Miranda looks at me and forgetting that philipinos can speak English  says across the car, "This isn't good." They all started saying "what do you mean this isn't good? What's wrong?" Haha! Later, during the course of the conversation  Elder Miranda asked one of them how to say hello in Tagalog  She said something, and he repeated it back. They all start giggling, and Elder Miranda asks, "wait, what does that really mean?" She says that in means beautiful, and then Elder Miranda just says "oops..." She wasn't too happy about that one. But, they persisted! They asked if they could take a picture with us, and I said, sure, but only if that guy there in your group is in it with us. They get all excited, and one of the girls scoots over to the seat right next to me, an I immediately stand up and go sit next to Elder Miranda, leaving the girl behind. She definitely wasn't expecting that. So now I'm in between Elder Miranda and this other girl, with one space between me and her. I look at the guy in their group, and wave him over, and pat the spot right next to me, telling to sit right next to me. The girl one spot over starts frantically trying to slide over and sit right next to me, telling the guy to sit on the other side of her, but she couldn't actually move over because my hand was on the seat. I finally got the guy to sit next to me, and they took the picture. After all that, I think they finally got the hint because they stopped talking with us. Crazy people. Haha!
   Now, for a more spiritual adventure. We had something pretty cool happen Friday night. We were doing our nightly planning, and the next day (Saturday), we had a lesson planned with the Combas at 7, and the whole family was going to be there (which has been increasingly difficult to have happen lately). We were really excited for this lesson, but then Sheila calls us and says that something came up and said they had to cancel, but maybe we could meet on Sunday. Well that was a bummer, but what can you do? About 15 minutes later, we get a phone call from Mito, telling us that they were just finished a lesson with one of their investigators who had a baptismal date before but didn't make it, and they just set a new date for next week. Well that's good news to hear. Then they tell me that his baptismal interview was scheduled for the next day at 7. That means that I needed to go to Mito to do the interview. Well, I guess it's a good thing the lesson with the Combas got moved to Sunday then, otherwise we would have had to cancel with them! Of all the things I can do, being in two places at once is not one of them quite yet. What appeared to be a setback at first actually turned out to be a blessing. God works in mysterious ways!
  Well, there's more that happened, but this email has already gone on for quite a bit. I'll leave it at that for now. 
More to come next week!

Elder Blake

PS I'm a year old now!

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