姉妹達!40-Day Fast! 金人!

こんにちは! How is everybody doing in their various locations? I am doing quite well here in 都城、日本 (Miyakonojo, Japan)!

I am glad to be staying in 都城 (Miyakonojo) for this transfer, and am even happier to continue with Jensen 長老 (Elder) as my companion! I think we work very well together. He is a great missionary. We work hard every day, and work every day to become better. I hope to be as good for my future companions as Jensen 長老 has been for me!

I am also grateful for our incredible Zone Leaders. Bloomfield 長老 and Sasaki 長老 (our zone leaders) are wonderful! Last Zone Training Meeting they challenged (and had each of us commit) to do a "40-day fast", beginning on fast Sunday this month (yesterday). You may already know what a 40-day fast is, but if not I will explain: it is not a fast from food and water, but instead a fast from worldly thoughts/desires/etc. in an effort to sanctify ourselves and draw nearer to the Lord. There are various things that I have been wanting to change, but did not have a concrete idea of how I might go about doing so. I believe that the Zone Leaders inviting us to do this 40-day fast was inspired, and I also believe that by doing this I can come nearer to the Lord. I do not think I will stop at just 40 days! I plan on continually doing a 40-day fast every 40 days (or every 42, since that is the length of each transfer). I am quite imperfect, and therefore will always have something that I want to change throughout my mortal journey, and a 40-day fast seems like a great way to do it!

Well, this week has been slightly different since we have been helping the 姉妹達 (Sisters) in getting their new apartment ready. However, we did most of that today and last Saturday, so the rest of this past week turned out to be surprisingly normal. We had anticipated a fairly hectic week – especially since we had anticipated that one of us would be transferring – but we gratefully were able to get some good work done. Sometime last week (I don’t remember which day – they all start to blend together!) we were housing along and not seeing much "success" – success in tracting is fairly difficult to define, since we never know what may come from a chirashi placed in a mailbox – but anyway, very few people were answering their door. We came to a house that had a few garbage bags piled in front of it and appeared quite vacant, but we went ahead and knocked on the door. The young man (20-something) who answered – 木脇さん (Kiwaki san)- probably would not be considered the typical ”金人” (lit. "golden person") investigator at first glance – shirtless, shorts riding low, and smoking who-knows-what (I’m not sure that it was just a cigarette…) – but he had some great questions. He was very interested in our message, eagerly accepted a モルモン書、and asked what he should think about/how he should prepare to go to church! Unfortunately he said he would not be able to come this 日曜日(Sunday), but he did commit to coming the following week (this coming 日曜日)! It was a wonderful 突然 (impromptu) lesson, and I am excited to see 木脇さん progress. He is great!

I know that this is the work of the Lord. I love it!

I love you all! Have a great day, a wonderful week, and a fantastic year!

愛していますよ!

Love,

マドセン 長老
Elder Madsen

Here is a random picture. It is a visual representation of the strength of our 同僚関係 (companion relationship), which we update weekly during the "Companionship Inventory" portion of our weekly planning. It is difficult to explain – kind of like abstract art – so I will leave it to your interpration. 🙂

This is a picture of a picture, but Elder Jensen and I just thought it was so great! The little girl on the left is Karina chan, the man is Fukumoto 兄弟 (Brother), and the other girl is Misaki chan – his niece and one of our investigators.

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