下関 (Shimonoseki)

Hello, everybody! How are you all doing in your various locations? I am doing quite well here in Shimonoseki, Japan!

This week has been fantastic! I was a bit sad to be leaving Kumamoto and Elder Yanagida, but I am happy to be here in Shimonoseki with Elder Klein! As I mentioned last week, he is currently on his second transfer (he has been in Japan for about 6 weeks now), and he is such a hard worker. I definitely feel like he is training me instead of me training him! We didn’t have many investigators when I got here (they had one strong family but decided to have the other elders teach them), but because of Elder Klein’s hard work over the past few days we have been able to find five new investigators and also set up an appointment with one of the investigators that they did have from before. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be working with him, and I am learning so much! The branch here is also great! Everybody is extremely nice and are great at helping the missionaries.

One of the little miracles we were privileged to witness this week happened yesterday. It was with a college student named Kazu. In the afternoon, just after we had gone out to work, I realized that I had accidentally left the cell phone in our apartment. Fortunately we were not too far from the apartment, so we decided to return to retrieve it. On the way back a college student approached us and asked, “Are you missionaries?” We were a bit taken aback, but replied in the affirmative. He then told us that he had just recently returned from America, where he had studied for nine months at the University of Utah. While there he had some LDS friends who talked with him about the church (one of whom is actually going to Kobe this year to serve a mission), attended church once while he was there. As we talked with Kazu he said that he didn’t have a religion, and that because he had talked a lot with his friends about the church he didn’t feel like he needed to talk more about it with us. However, we gave him a Book of Mormon, which he eagerly accepted. At the end of this month he will be going to Tokyo for college (studying linguistics), so we will definitely refer him to the mission there!

Yesterday as we were housing we also met a 50- or
60-something-year-old grandmother named Uchida, who said that she had been coming to our English class about two years ago. We weren’t able to talk very long because she had her daughter and grandson over for dinner, but we set up an appointment to meet with her again this Wednesday. In the same apartment block we also met a high school student named Fujita to whom we gave a copy of the Book of Mormon and then set up an appointment, and a really nice young mother named Mami you appeared excited about our free English class. Hopefully she will come with her family. While we were housing one of the apartments there, Elder Klein noticed that there was a guy watching us from the third floor of another apartment, so when we finished with the first apartment we decided to go directly to the third floor of his apartment and see if he was interested. He said that he didn’t practice religion and wasn’t really interested in our message, but he was interested in our free English class, so hopefully he will come as well!

I love the Savior, and am grateful to be serving Him and God’s children!

Have a wonderful day, a superb week, and a spectacular year (I can hardly believe it’s almost half over)!

Love,

Elder Madsen

p.s. Here is a not-too-great picture of Shimonoseki. I’ll try to get a better view of the city and send some more pictures next week.

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