Monday, July 15, 2013

Hey Everyone!

   How's it going for all of you? Are you having a good time? I Hope so. Things have really started to heat up over here in the last week or so. This (exactly) the same time of year that I came to Japan last year, and I remember it being super hot and humid. I was starting to wonder if my memory was exaggerated, or if the hot weather just hadn't come yet. Turns out that it just hadn't come yet. It's not even that hot really (compared to Phoenix), but it's so humid that there's nothing you can do to stop yourself from sweating. Yay!
   So there was actually some pretty cool stuff that happened last week. We've been planning a game night with the ward so that we could have a fun activity to invite investigators and less active members to, and that finally happened this last week. Elder Hoshino and I went all out to make sure this would be a really fun activity that everyone would enjoy. Invited the whole ward, all of our investigators, and all of the people in the neighborhood around the church. We arranged snacks, we made sure there were card games and board games, we planned some fun group games, and we even bought a rubber ball and set up a four square court in the corner. We were really excited. 7 o'clock rolls around (the time it was supposed to start), and the bishop, the ward mission leader, one other member, and one investigator were the only people there. We waited a little bit, hoping that everyone was just running late. By the time it was all said and done, only 1 other person ending up coming late. Well that was slightly underwhelming. It ended up being good though. Even though we didn't get to do all of the activities we had planned, or use all of the games we had prepared, our investigator that came still had a chance to meet some of the ward members and become friends with them. I even ended up teaching them all Egyptian Rat Screw. They loved it.
   That was a bit of a bummer. Now it's time for a story with a happy ending! Yay! On Sunday, we were having the DCS before church as usual (...I can't remember what that's called in English... Ward mission coordination meeting or something like that? DCS is the acronym for its name in Japanese. Anyways...). One of the ward missionaries tells us about a friend of hers that she invited to come to church, and he was planning on going that day. His name is James, so we knew he wasn't Japanese, but she wasn't sure where he was from. After DCS we went to go meet him at the train station and walk him to the church. Turns out James is from Ghana. It also turns out that this ward missionary and James were really more just acquaintances. They met at the Chuo Rinkan train station two weeks ago, and a conversation somehow started up. She asked if he was Christian, and he said he was but he was looking for a new church because the one he had been attending moved locations and it's now too far away. She told him about our church, and invited him to come. And he did! Now he's an investigator. Cool stuff, huh? How's that for member missionary work? Haha! I'll admit, I was really surprised when I found out how that all happened. Member referrals are rare enough (sadly), but she literally just met this guy on the street and invited him to church. Way to go!
   Funny story! Elder Hoshino and I tried visiting this less active family last week. They weren't home, so Elder Hoshino pulls out his wallet to get a little note card to write a message on. A fly starts buzzing around him, and he swats at it with his wallet. Several of his debit cards, his ID card, and a few other things fly out of his wallet, and hit the neighboring apartment's front door. It was pretty loud. That was embarrassing. And we know the neighbors were home too, because we could hear people walking around inside.
   That's about it for now. This week is a new transfer already. I mentioned it a few weeks ago, but to help the MTC deal with the increased numbers of missionaries, they've staggered the Japan missions' transfer cycles, so half of them are 3 weeks off of the other half. To match this schedule, the Tokyo South mission had a 3 week transfer this last transfer. However, I won't be able to let you know until next week if I have a new companion or if I go to a new area. President Wada changed transfers up a little bit, so now transfer calls are on Tuesday (tomorrow), and transfer day (if you're transferred) is Thursday. I guess it was something that President Budge was already planning to implement anyway. Something about making it easier to coordinate picking up new missionaries and dropping of returning ones at the airport. So yeah. Anyways, next week I'll let you know what happens!

Take care!
Elder Blake

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