Monday, October 13, 2014


Hello everyone,

Another good week in Chosei. Of course I knew it would be, because of General Conference! I loved every second of the 9.5 hours of talks, even the women's session that I use to make fun of. I wonder if this adoration will continue even when I'm not a missionary anymore, or if this is a once-in-a-lifetime ability to focus and not fall asleep. I only sort of nodded off once, when someone turned the AC off and it got super warm in the room.

For conference everyone met in the Chiba stake center (about an hour away by train) and they had special rooms set up for English, Portuguese and maybe one other language. All the missionaries in our stake, plus a few foreign members and investigators, watched together. Every conference seems to have different "themes" and this time I especially noticed people talking about prophets, the sacrament, charity/tolerance, and the importance of strengthening our own testimonies. Even as a missionary, when my faith is higher than its ever been, I felt an urge to not get satisfied and stop seeking to constantly learn and understand and believe more.

Going back and forth from Chiba gave us the chance to talk to lots of people on the train, and we ran into a lady who Sister Jones had met and talked to a week earlier with her daughter! We also saw her daughter at 7-11, where she works... So in total three encounters within a week. Missionaries don't believe in coincidences, so we found out more about her beliefs and asked if she had any interest in learning about the church. Turns out she used to study the Bible with Jehovah's Witness missionaries (we run into them a lot here, actually) and wants to get closer to God! So that was way cool and hopefully we'll meet her again soon. I believe her desire is sincere.

We met another lady this week who acted all excited to come to church and learn, but then never showed up to her appointment or answered our calls. But for some reason I sort of knew she'd do that before it even happened - I remember making backup plans in my head while biking over to the church to meet her.

Funny random things that happened:
  • When we taught Su the word of wisdom, she asked "but didn't Jesus drink wine?" I was shocked a Japanese lady who claims to know nothing about Christianity would even know that. She's also the first person here to ever comment on how church seems to be "run by men." I guess these are the kinds of questions missionaries in other countries deal with a lot.
  • During zone meeting, we had a silly "unity-building" relay race of sorts, and one of the Elders' investigators showed up early to a lesson just in time to watch us pass a ping-pong ball in between spoons. Probably wondering what he's gotten himself into.
  • Three separate members bringing lunch for us to conference, even though we were fasting. Sorry! They seemed shocked we would do such a thing.
Heart-warming moment of the week:  We had dinner at a member's house, and Ami Shimai came too. She said she was so grateful she'd come back to church, and it just made me so happy. Witnessing her re-conversation has been a huge privilege and a blessing.

Useful Japanese words I learned this week:
  • matsurikomu = to place an obnoxious person in an out-of-the-way post to be rid of him
  • benjomeshi = having lunch in a toilet cubicle to avoid others
  • tsujigiri = killing a passerby in order to test a new sword
Our friends took us to a local art museum today, and it was pretty cool. A lot of the local pottery artists were there and explained their pieces to us, and we also saw an exhibit on the progression of the rice cooker throughout the last 100 years! You'll notice the model in the very middle is the exact same kind mom uses at home. Maybe it's time for an upgrade.

Love you all!

At the art museum in Chosei

Chosei art museum exhibit on the history of the rice cooker

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