清水 (Shimizu)

こんにちは! How is everybody doing in their various locations? I am doing quite well here in 清水、日本 (Shimizu, Japan)! By the way, Shimizu is a section of 熊本市 (Kumamoto City). It is a two-and-a-half-hour bus ride north of Miyakonojo.

This week has been great! It was a bit sad to leave Miyakonojo, but I can definitely see that it is an important change. As missionaries we have so much to learn, and the Lord knows that we may not be able to learn all that we need to in one area or with one companion. Elder Jensen was a great companion – I love him so much! – but some of the things I have learned in the past few days with my new companion, Elder Gonzalez, I probably would not have been able to learn with Elder Jensen, and vice versa. Elder Gonzalez is great! He is definitely different from Elder Jensen in many ways, but he is also similar (for example, they are both "Bronies"). He is from Colorado. As I think back on the past 5 1/2 months with Elder Jensen, it seems both long and short. It has been long with respect to my total mission (about 1/4!), but I have definitely come to realize how short 5 1/2 months – or a year, or two years – really are. There is so little time to accomplish everything that the Lord needs me to do here! However, I know that as I rely upon Him, despite my weaknesses I will be able to accomplish what He needs me to do.

Shimizu is definitely much different than Miyakonojo. Kumamoto City is much larger, and in Miyakonojo Elder Jensen and I did not have the opportunity to do much streeting, as there were usually very few (if any) people walking on the streets. There were only a few instances that I remember stopping to talk to somebody on the street in Miyakonojo. In Shimizu we stop and talk to people everywhere we go! So, this is essentially my first real experience with streeting. I haven’t had much opportunity in just the past few days, but I will certainly have a lot of opportunity for streeting during the rest of this transfer! However, everybody is on the move in the big city, so it is a bit more difficult to actually get people to stop and talk to us here. In Miyakonojo, the few times that we were able to stop people on the street they were usually willing to talk for a little while, but here many people just say no and keep walking.

The other night we housed in an area with a ton of cats. There is a lady that feeds all of them; they shy away from everybody else, but apparently (I have not yet seen for myself), whenever she walks through the neighborhood they flock around her and follow wherever she goes.

On Saturday evening we visited for a few minutes with a relatively new investigator named Daichi. He is currently attending one of the universities here (there are many in Kumamoto). The missionaries met him about a month or so ago, but have only been able to do a few short visits because he is usually only available later at night due to his busy schedule. Anyway, we met with him for a few minutes on Saturday evening, shared a scripture, and invited him to church…and he came! In Shimizu Ward (it’s kind of strange being in a ward and stake again; I’ve been in a branch for the past few months) they have Priesthood/Relief Society first, then Sunday, with Sacrament meeting last. So, we were sitting in Priesthood meeting (learning about eternal marriage), and in walked Daichi! He probably did not understand much of the lesson nor much of the lesson in Gospel Principles (which was about the Church in the time of Christ), but I think he still enjoyed it! Plus, we and the members were on hand to help him out and answer questions (which he had many; it’s so great when investigators actually ask questions!). Hopefully he will come again next week (and hopefully we’ll be able to meet with him more often)!

I know that this is the work of the Lord. He is leading it, and despite our weaknesses as long as we trust in Him we will be able to accomplish what He needs us to do!

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

Love,

マドセン 長老
Elder Madsen

p.s. Sorry, no pictures this week. We email at the library here, and their computers are locked so we cannot access their ports, and therefore cannot send pictures. In order to send pictures we have to go somewhere else. 😦 Oh, well.

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