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)!
If you are wondering why this email is a bit late, here is the reason:
We usually use the computers at the library to email (because our church building does not have computers for missionaries to use). However, on preparation day (Monday) we received word from other missionaries that the library was closed, and therefore the computers we usually use were inaccessible. After hearing that we rode around the city for an hour or so trying to find an open library (we aren’t aloud to use internet cafes), but all the other libraries we tried were being remodeled and therefore were also closed! Oh, well. We got permission to email today instead.
Elder Gonzalez and I saw a cool miracle last week. About two weeks ago we entered an apartment building and were met by an old man in the front lobby. He was curious to see two Americans and asked what we were doing there. After we informed him he said that there aren’t any foreigners living there, and therefore nobody would be interested in our message, and then suggested that we try somewhere else (and waited for us to leave). So, we did not tract that apartment on that day. However, we did not leave it at that. We returned to that apartment last week, determined to tract there (despite the man’s claim that nobody would have interest). At the very first door we knocked on we met a college student with whom we shared a short lesson, gave a Book of Mormon, and then when we asked if we could return again he said, ”ぜんぜんだいじょうぶ！” (literally "completely fine!") so we set up an appointment and got a new investigator! (Apparently not everybody in that apartment is uninterested.) We did not have time to continue tracting there, as it was time to return home, but we will continue there and see what other miracles may proceed from that apartment!
We had a special training from President Gustafson and his Assistants (Elders Chung and Coelho). The training was primarily focused on how to use technology in our missionary work (no, we did not get iPads yet). The Assistants had prepared a DVD for each area with various videos to use in our lessons (or, rather, we could show the videos if the DVD worked properly, but they are working on fixing that and will send out a new DVD). They also showed us how to use the QR Codes in the flyers that we hand out (we have two flyers that we generally use, "I’m a Mormon" and "Free English Class"). If you don’t know what a QR Code is, it’s kind of like a bar code (but different) that, when "scanned" (kind of; you essentially take a picture of it using your smartphone or tablet) sends you to a website.
Elder Gonzalez and I actually were able to implement the training that night when we shared a brief message with one of our investigators, Daichi. We asked if he had a smartphone (he does, of course; first, he’s young and Japanese, so of course he has a smartphone), showed him the QR Code on the "I’m a Mormon" flyer, and then had him scan it with his phone, which brought up mormon.org, had him play a video on his phone, and then taught from a message in the video. It was very simple, and yet very engaging. I love technology, so I am very excited to use it more in missionary work! I think I shared the video "Because of Him" sometime around Easter, but it was one of the videos they showed at our training, and it is so good! I love this video a lot. It is a powerful testimony of Christ (and a great testament to how technologically-savvy the Church has become).
I am so grateful to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I know that this is the Lord’s church, that we are led by prophets and apostles that are inspired by Him, and therefore He is leading this work. I know that this work cannot be stopped. It is hastening, and I am so excited to be a part of it!
I love you all!
p.s. We heard this week from three different people over this past week that America is in another war. Interesting.
p.p.s. Still can’t send pictures, which is rather unfortunate because we went to a beautiful garden. There will probably be a large email of pictures sometime in the future.