こんにちわ！Hello, everybody! How is it going in your various locations? I am doing quite well here in Miyakonojo, Japan!
This week has been quite good. We visited Kawauchi san (one of our investigators and Eikaiwa [English class] students, an 81-year-old lady) on Tuesday. She feeds us every time we visit, even though we tell her each time that she doesn’t need to do so. She’s great! We taught more about the Book of Mormon and reviewed the Plan of Salvation a little bit. Since she is older she seems to have a little difficulty remembering everything we teach, so we are going a bit slower than usual with her. However, she was able to come to sacrament meeting on Sunday! The other Elders are also teaching her friend, Tabaru san, who also comes to Eikaiwa; she is 70-something (I think), but also often comes to volleyball, and is very good! I have seen quite a few physically active old people here. Anyway, Kawauchi san gets a ride to places from Tabaru san, and Tabaru san is often busy (climbing mountains), so it was great that they were able to come on Sunday! They are both great.
On Wednesday after Eikaiwa Daisuke-kun (our investigator Miki-chan’s less-active boyfriend) randomly showed up at the church (he was looking for something; I’m not sure what), so we were able to speak with him about having another lesson with Miki-chan. Tentatively we have a general availability set for this Friday/Saturday, so we are hoping to be able to meet with them then, and are planning on setting another baptismal date for Miki-chan.
On Friday we were able to teach another of our investigators, Kuzuguchi-san, and it was fantastic! She had not been taught for a few months (this was my first time teaching her, but I think Elder Jensen taught her once with his previous companion), so we were not exactly sure how it would go. We were able to teach her with a member ("Shinko" shimai, whom I think I ahve mentioned before) what we were planning on teaching. However, as we were reviewing what had been taught a few months ago, Shinko shimai just jumped right in and started teaching about baptism, which is exactly what we had been planning on doing! It was great, because the member ended up essentially teaching our entire lesson for us. All we did was say a few things here and there and then do the baptismal invite at the end. Kuzuguchi san was not yet ready to commit to the date (July 27), but we invited her to pray about it. We also invited her to read Mosiah 18:8-11. That night we followed-up in a C-Mail (text) and reminded her to read and pray, and she soon replied that she had read the scripture and loved it, and that she would remember to pray about the baptismal date. She also said that she wants to meet with us much more often; we currently have another lesson this Friday, but we may also be able to do one Wednesday as well, which would be wonderful. I am very excited for her!
We also had a lesson with another of our investigators, Maeda san. We learned that he is "byoki" (ill) with some disease that we don’t know the translation of (and even if we did we probably still would not know what the English means). We reviewed a bit about prayer, and testified that through prayer we can receive help from God. We also talked more about the importance of church attendance and reading the Book of Mormon. He was unable to come to church this week, but hopefully we will be able to get him there next Sunday.
This past week we were instructed to do a very particular study from Preach My Gospel. Apparently this particular request came from one of the apostles. The study focused on teaching investigators that do not have a Christian background, and had us read various things throughout Preach My Gospel and answer four questions as a companionship: What do we do well? What can we improve? What do we need to change to apply these principles? and How do we know that the investigator is receiving the intended applied principles? I am grateful for the opportunity that this study provided for focusing on a very specific topic in Preach My Gospel. It was a little totsu-zen (impromptu) and we did not have much time to do it, but we were able to complete the study within the allotted time. It was great! It is a good activity for discovering our strengths and then focusing on those areas where we can improve. From that activity Elder Jensen and I have concluded that the primary way that we can improve is by being more bold in testifying of the truth. I know that as we have begun doing this the Spirit has had more opportunity to more powerfully touch the hearts of those to whom we testify.
I’m sorry to hear that Grandpa Koetitz is not doing very well. I am glad that Grandma and Grandpa get to be together, though. I imagine that it is a very trying time for them. I will pray for them!
Ryan! It is great to hear about missionary work in other parts of Asia. It’s awesome that you have been able be a part of the work during your studies in this part of the world. You are a great example of member missionary work! Continue to be awesome!
Lacey, that is quite unfortunate about your car. It is great to have more time to spend together, though, especially since Michael will be out-of-town for a little while. 🙂 God blesses us in ways that we do not often understand. Thank you for being a great example of recognizing those blessings, even when things may not go as planned. It sounds like Adelaide is going to have an adventure in school!
Isaac, I forgot to ask during the Google Hangout on Mother’s Day: when do you finish in the Army? I know it is sometime this year, but I do not remember what month. I hope that you are doing well! I love you!
Mom, I have not yet received the package, but I’ll keep a lookout for it! Also, like Kyle said, if you are able to send Grandma and Grandpa’s mailing addresses in the care center that would be great. I love you!
Dad, keep up the good work! I know that as we just try to do the best we can in doing what God has asked us to do, even though we will not nearly measure up to his expectation by ourselves, through the Savior’s atonement we will measure up. Thank you for being such a wonderful example for me and for our family. I love you!
I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer, and that he leads this work. My testimony of that is strengthened every day when, despite my extremely poor Nihongo and very weak teaching, the Spirit is able to powerfully testify to the people we talk to. I love this work!
Thank you all for your wonderful examples! I love you! Have a super awesome day, a wonderful week, and an astounding year!
p.s. Here are some random pictures. They are the only pictures I have taken for a while, but hopefully I’ll take some more soon.
Yet another example of great English translation. This picture actually just reminded me: I got my first flat tire(s) of the mission! Yay! What fun! Oh, joy. We were riding back to the apartment around 8:50, and the batteries in my headlight apparently needed replaced. I did not see a very large, very 90-degree-angle bump (it was more like a cement step, actually; probably about five or six inches high). Needless to say, my tires did not appreciate their totsu-zen meeting with the "bump". There were two holes in each inner-tube (one on each side the tube where they made contact with the step). Lots of fun!
That’s all, folks!