Monday, November 04, 2013

Hey Everyone!  

It's been another good week for us out here in Japan. Lots of fun stuff going on.
   So to start with, Elder Otsuka and I found a new investigator earlier on in the week. He's in college, and when we stopped him on the street, you could tell he was super nervous. Our conversation wasn't really going anywhere, and despite declining to trade numbers or set up a lesson he still wanted to talk. On a whim I asked him about his hobbies, and he said he likes taking pictures. I asked him if he had any pictures with him, and he pulls out a small album. It was full of pictures of trains. Just trains. Well you know who that made me think of? My Grandpa. He loves trains. That's his hobby. So, I pulled out my photo album with pictures from home that I carry around, and showed him the pictures in there of my Grandpa and his train. That got him to come out of his shell at last. As we kept talking and he looked through the rest of my pictures he realized that we're actually really nice guys, traded numbers with us and told us that when we first stopped him he thought we were going to kidnap him or something. Sister Swainstan's advice (more like a command really) way back in my first transfer to carry my pictures with me everywhere every day finally paid off. I'm pretty sure he would have been gone if I didn't have those on me to show him. We then also found out that apparently he gets bullied a lot at school (that would explain why he was so nervous when we called out to him). We met up with him again for a second lesson later in the week, and he starts telling us about how at school something of his got stolen, but when he reported it nobody believed him. I could see that. I mean, it is Japan after all. Crime is rare enough as it is, let alone petty theft in a classroom. I asked him what got stolen, and he told me that it was his eraser... now I really know why nobody believed him. XD Poor guy. He really needs some friends.
  Later in the week on Thursday (Halloween) Elder Otsuka and I were riding the train back home in the evening and I started talking with this guy sitting next to me. He wasn't very talkative, until I asked him if he was doing anything for Halloween. He said he wasn't doing anything for Halloween, but he was going around looking for smiley face pins that night. Turns out he collects Smiley face pins. He had one pinned to his bag, and I asked him if he had any others with him right then. He pulled out a little box with about a dozen pins in it. He started talking to me for about 5 minutes about just smiley face pins. I never knew that they could be so interesting. Haha! He said that in his collection he has 380 pins, and they're all different. I didn't even know that you could make 380 different types of smiley faces. But, anyways, he's a way nice guy, and after I got him talking a bit, I was able to slip in the gospel and gave him a Book of Mormon. He gave me his number, and a smiley face pin to boot. What a nice guy! It's great to know that the Lord will put these people in our paths, and if we're just being our friendly selves, opportunities to share the gospel will arise.
   Oh, this one's really short but I got a good laugh out of it. Elder Otsuka and I were out and about doing our thing one night, when we walked by this group of old retired bums that are always hanging out near the Fuchu train station. I overheard them talking to each other, and one of them says, "Hey, I have a job!" (it doesn't translate into English, but the way he said it in Japanese implies that he's telling brand new information to the listener, almost defensively). Another says, "really? What is it?" "Drinking booze." Then his friend replied with something to the effect of "you're an idiot." I got a pretty good laugh out of it. Elder Otsuka didn't think it was so funny. Something must be wrong with the kid.
   Well, that's about all for now. I hope you all have a great week! Take care!

Elder Blake

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