Monday, September 30, 2013

Hey Everyone! How's it going with all of you?

   It's been a relatively quiet week over here. Just enough to keep busy, but not enough that we're going crazy.
There's a pretty cool older couple that we're working with right now. Their daughter is married to an American, and living in America. She was baptized several years ago, and she sent her parents' info to us through email so we could start teaching them. They're really nice, and really grateful to the church for the help and the change it's brought in their daughter's life. They want to learn more about the church because their daughter was baptized, but they aren't quite ready yet to actually make any changes. Or so they say. In our first lesson with them when we invited them to read the Book of Mormon, they said that they weren't ruling anything out yet, but they weren't quite ready to "abandon their ancestors" or change their Buddhist ways. Then when we went back for our next lesson the husband starts out by saying, "So I read a little from the Book of Mormon. It's pretty interesting." Haha! People can be pretty funny sometimes. I'm so excited to keep working with this family.
Match! Reflesh yourself!
   Saturday was a pretty interesting day. We went out to the East side of our area for the afternoon to try visiting some people the Bishop had asked us to go see. On our way back, as we were riding along we got to a section of road where I saw quite a few police officers. I thought it was kinda weird, but didn't think too much about it. Then we come up to an intersection with lots of police officers. Now I'm thinking maybe there was an accident or something. Then this guy in a suit steps in front of me and tells me to stop and get off my bike. He says that the car will be coming soon, so to just wait a minute. Ok, so maybe it's a funeral procession or something, I thought. But then I noticed that this guy in a suit had an ear piece in. And there were several men in suits on each of the corners, and they all had ear pieces in. So now we all know that there's something going on. There was one woman who I overheard asking a man in a suit why were all asked to stop. He dodged the question, but I couldn't help thinking to myself “cops everywhere, men in suits with earpieces, and they're blocking the intersection for a car that they say is coming in just a minute, and you still have to ask what they're doing? Clearly there's a VIP coming down this way.” Well, the car finally arrives with a full police escort. It had at least a dozen antennas on it and had tinted windows, but the back window was down, and wouldn't you know it, the Emperor of Japan rolled on past and was waving at everyone. Yeah, I'd say he's a pretty important person. So that's kinda cool I guess. I got to see an emperor.
   The day after (Sunday), I was talking with one of the members about how I saw the emperor of Japan. He shared something pretty interesting with me. But first, you have to know the basic background about the Japanese Emperor. Back in the day it was believed that the Emperor is the literal descendant of the sun goddess, and he's essentially the top guy in the Japan's native religion (Shinto). There are many times in Japanese history that the Emperor didn't have ultimate political control, but even still he's always been the figure head for the country. When Japan lost in WWII they were forced to renounce that the Emperor was a deity, so now he's just a figure head like the Queen of England. Anyways, what this member shared with me is the kanji for Emperor. The kanji mean "White Sun God". One of the most important events recorded in the Book of Mormon is that Jesus Christ, after he was resurrected and ascended to heaven, appeared to the people living on the American continent and preached his gospel to them as well. He taught them that when he had told his disciples in Jerusalem that he had "other sheep not of this fold" (John 10:16)  he was referring to the people on the American continent. He then continued to explain that there were even more lost sheep he must go to visit that were not in Jerusalem or in the American continent. There are quite a few theories already around about how one of the lost 10 tribes of Israel ended up in Japan. If that's the case, and Jesus Christ appeared to them too, I could easily see how over time the authorized leader of the "White Sun God's" church and his successors could erroneously come to be considered a deity themselves. Interesting...
   Well, that's about it for this week. Hope you all have a good one! Write you all later!

Elder Blake

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