Monday, August 19, 2013

Hello Everyone!

   Sorry again about the short email last week. We had zone p-day, and it ended up taking more time than we had planned on. Long story short, by the time we got back to our apartment, changed, got shopping and cleaning done, p-day was over.
   I hope everyone is doing well! We've had quite a few fun experiences these last two weeks. I'm a little pressed for time today too, so I'm going to have to (attempt) to be brief.
   We had our first lesson with the Shinomoto family last Sunday. We ended up going over to the Bishop's house and had dinner with them as well. It went really well! The Bishop and the Shinomoto's both have 3 kids, and they're all about the same age. The kids all got along great, and had a fun time playing after dinner. We did a family home evening together, and then we shared a simple message. The Shinomoto family is open to hearing more, and they're building some great friendships in the church. I'm really excited about this family.
Everyone who went on our zone hike
So on Monday, as I already said, we had zone p-day. We went and climbed mount Takao, which was really fun. We planned on meeting at 7 in the morning so that we could beat the heat, but wouldn't you know it, there were some sisters that ended up being 30 minutes late. I guess we can forgive them. They were all really young missionaries and still don't know the train system that well. It ended up being really fun though! Lots of time to talk and just do something fun with everyone. After we got back to the bottom, there were some missionaries that wanted to go check out a nearby trick art musuem. Elder Fernelius and I ended up going along. That was pretty cool. It's basically just a bunch of huge paintings that create optical illusions when you take pictures of them. If you've ever seen the 3-D street chalk art on the internet, it's kinda like that.
   That night, we had plans to go out streeting, and when we left the apartment, it was pretty cloudy and windy. Not good signs. We grabbed our umbrellas to take with us. That ended up being a really good thing. Before we could even make it to the train station, it started dumping buckets and buckets of rain. The wind was blowing hard enough that our umbrellas didn't help much. We still got pretty wet. There ended up being lots of thunder also, so we took shelter under an overpass bridge. We ended up spending about an hour under the bridge with 8 or so other Japanese people, waiting for the storm to calm down enough that we could get back out again. Yay for unexpected summer storms!
   This last week I went on splits with the Elders in Fussa. Elder Medeiros has been going running every day for over a month, and forgot to tell me to bring my running shoes. Well, that's not a problem. In the MTC, Clark Sensei always talked about how great barefoot running is. He runs nearly 8-10 miles every day, barefoot. He always said that once you try barefoot, you never go back. I was planning on trying it when I got home, but figured this would be a good chance to try now. Didn't turn out too well. I failed to realize until afterwards that asphalt is much more rough than paved sidewalks. In Japan, paved sidewalks are rare, unless you're in a commercial district. A majority of sidewalks are just asphalt with a curb in between them and the road. My blistered feet weren't too happy with me for a few days.
Elder Fernelius decided to use a shishkabob for a
toothpick while out at dinner since there were none.
Everything's bigger in Texas, right?
   Recently there have been quite a few experiences that have really reminded me that this is the Lord's work, and I'm just a tool in his hands. The other night, we were handing out flyers at the train station. Those are always great opportunities to find investigators, because there are tons of people, and usually you can get quite a few to stop and talk. Anyways, this guy just walks up to me, and starts talking with me. The conversation of course led to who I am and why I'm here. I invited him to hear the lessons, and he said yes, just like that. I couldn't help but think that it was too easy. Of all the people that I talk with every day, and I try so hard to get them to hear even just one lesson, and they all say no, but this one guy just says yes without me even doing anything. It's just another evidence to me that the Lord is preparing people out there for us, and I just need to be in the right place at the right time.
   Here are a few other quick stories on that same thing: we had decided to take a small gift to the Shinomoto family to say thank you for coming to dinner last Sunday. We were trying to figure out what to get for them, when the phone rings. It was one of the ward members, and he told us that he had just finished shopping at Costco and bought some cookies for us. He left them in the church, and said we can go pick them up whenever was convenient. Perfect! We'll just give them some Costco cookies! That same day, when we went to drop them off, as we were biking along, I saw Mr Shinomoto walking. We stopped and walked with him towards his house. Turns out that his wife was actually out of town with the kids, and he was on his way to a party with some co-workers. I was puzzled, and pointed out that he was walking in the opposite direction of the train station. He said that he had already gone to the station once, and when he got there he realized he had forgotten his wallet, so he was going home to get it and then go back. If we didn't see him between the station and his home, we would have missed them. If he didn't forget his wallet, we still would have missed them. Cool stuff.
    That's about it for now!  So much for being brief. Haha!

Elder Blake

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