Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Mina San!

It was a really good week. First off it's SO HOT here and it's only March. Okay maybe not that hot but after Niigata I'm shocked any time the sun's out. Makes me remember the miserably humid days of August and I'm a little scared. But at least it will be easier this summer because... Drum roll please... We're getting cars!!! It's kind of in a "test phase" like with Facebook and iPads, so probably only leaders will get them at first, but I'm way excited/scared to drive here.

And... Yeah. April fools! Not getting cars. Now or ever. Just me and my hundred-pound bicycle allllll summer long.

We seemed to meet a lot of foreigners this week. One of our investigators is from Nepal, and he has SUCH a strong desire to learn but communication is hard. We also met a family from Thailand whose kids are great but the parents don't speak Japanese. Reminds me of Oyama and all the crazy non-Japanese lessons we taught. Another funny thing was when we met a couple from California currently on vacation, and talked to them on the train, then ran into them AGAIN on a different train an hour later. In the biggest city in the world! It was crazy. The girl was a self-described "agnostic with some Zen Buddhism influence" so it kind of reminded me of home.

The Sakura are finally in full bloom, plus it's spring break, so there have been tons of people at Senzokuike park. A carnival has been set up all week, with food and game booths. I won five chocolate-covered bananas today by pulling the lucky chopstick out of a can, so that was a good time.

We had 2-zone conference this week, which was awesome. It was centered on how to receive revelation and better know our investigators' needs. There were workshops on prayer, study, planning and dendo. Kind of funny to be talking about how to plan or how to pray, because those seem so basic and individual, but the trainings were really insightful. Basically the secret to missionary work is to have your thoughts be centered on the people you teach every day, all the time. Not just the hour when you meet with them or plan their lesson. Every single thing we do should be motivated by our love for these people! I didn't come to Japan to learn more about the scriptures, or sight-see, or miss home, or even learn Japanese. I came to find those people who are looking for something missing in their life so I can help them find it.

So anyway, that's been our mission focus for the last few months. Always, always be thinking about our friends. Which is good because they're so easy to love!

Mary came to church this week with her mom, and we were so happy to see her. She's been really busy this week with extra-curriculars, but we finally got to meet her 19-year-old sister, Yu! Yu is so cute and we got to eat dinner at a member's house with her on Monday, plus lunch together today at an Indo-curry restaurant in Shibuya (all you can eat nan!). We told her about baptism and how it fits in with the plan of salvation, like we're teaching Mary, and she wants to learn more too. How amazing would that be if they could both get baptized and all go to church as a family? Their dad is pretty hardcore Buddhist so that might be tricky, but I believe in miracles.

One miracle that happened this week: we randomly got a call from River, an investigator from a few years ago, who wanted to meet again. Well okay! So we arranged a time and place and met her and she is so, so sweet. She really loves the gospel but says she couldn't really understand it before. But that's okay. She feels the spirit and that's all you need - understanding comes slowly, with time, but faith can change someone's heart in a moment. Also, the member we brought with us had met River before and they were instant best friends, even staying longer to talk after the lesson was over. Awesome.

I'm sure we did more than that this week but I haven't been very good at journal writing lately so I can't remember any more. Met some really funny old people on the street, but that happens just about every day.


Free chocolate-covered bananas won in the lucky chopstick drawing!

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