奇跡!大きいクモ!(Miracles! Big Spider!)

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)!

Yet another week has come and gone. I have now been in 日本 for five months! I can hardly believe how swiftly time passes by, especially since my oldest sister and her husband are celebrating their fifth anniversary! What?! Where have the past five years gone?

Anyway, this week has been splendid! We saw a great miracle on Saturday evening. We were tracting along and nearing curfew, but decided to do one last small apartment building. The only person who answered her door was a 25-year-old girl, Sato さん, and she is a 金人 (golden person)! As we introduced ourselves she said that she had attended a Christian school when she was younger (and apparently met a lot of 外人 there [foreigners]); they studied from the Bible in school, so even though she’s 仏教 (Buddhist), she is interested in learning about イエス・キリスト (Jesus Christ). By the way, in 日本 everybody is 仏教; we always receive the response, ”仏教です!” (I’m Buddhist!) However, I digress. …We were able to set a lesson for 火曜日 (Tuesday), which was a bit surprising. Usually people say that they’re really busy and don’t know when they would be able to meet, and then we try ask about a specific day but they continue waffling. Sato さん just said (essentially), "Well, I’m busy with work in the afternoon. But I am usually available in the evenings." and we were able to set up a time from there. Then, at the end of our meeting she confirmed the appointment with us. If only all of them were so easy!

(By the way, we were still able to make it home on time, so no worries there!)

This week 永友兄弟 (Brother Nagatomo, our 伝道主任 [{Branch} Mission Leader]), and his wife drove us around to meet with some of their referrals. A kind of funny story in relation to that: a couple weeks ago 永友兄弟 mentioned during our Missionary Coordination Meeting (I think that’s what it’s called in English) that he had a referral for us. During that conversation Jensen 長老 and I heard him say "ima beppu." There is a city in our mission called Beppu, and the word ima means "now" or "currently", so we assumed he was saying that the referral was currently in the city of Beppu. This week when we went with them to visit their referrals, as we arrived at one of them we read the nameplate next to the gate: Imabeppu. Jensen 長老 and I had quite the ”なるほど” ("Ahhh…" or "Oh, I see") moment when we saw that sign.

Speaking of that, the Imabeppu couple are great! The husband’s 英語 (English) is quite good, and he lived in Mexico for a while so he apparently is fluent in スペイン語 (Spanish). Their granddaughter was also visiting, and she and her family recently moved back to 日本 from New York City, so her 英語 is perfect (although she was very shy, so we didn’t receive much response, despite her grandfather’s encouragement).

I am very excited for the future of the work 都城, and for the future of the work in 日本 in general! I see great 奇跡 (miracles) happen every day. I know that this is the Lord’s work, and can see it hastening at incredible velocity. I am so grateful to be a 宣教師 (missionary) at this time! Prior to my mission I did not have any preference for where I wanted to go ("wherever the Lord sends me" was my typical response), and while that is still true – I would still go wherever the Lord needs me to go – I am grateful that He called me to serve in 日本, and know this is where I need to be at this time.

Thank you all for your prayers! You are all wonderful examples to me!

愛しています!

Love,

マドセン 長老
Elder Madsen

Pictures!

First: A massive spider that we saw. (Of course there are bigger spiders elsewhere, but this is the largest I have seen in 日本 so far). It was at least the size of the palm of my hand. 😦

Second: 素麺 (a thin Japanese noodle, apparently like vermicelli) Party with the 子供たち (children)! In this activity you have a long piece of bamboo (cut in half) which you essentially turn into a water slide, and then drop 素麺 noodles down the slide while everybody tries to grab some with お箸 (chopsticks) as it slides down. Quite enjoyable! (And the most interesting way to eat 素麺.)

This man has great form (this brings me to another point: we have a 外人 in our Branch! His name is Hamilton 兄弟. He is オーストラリア人 [Australian], and is working in 都城 for the next year). He served in Tokyo about ten years ago.

Lastly, our District again! (You may notice that most of one person may be missing, to the right. Oh, well):

That’s all for this week!

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