Hello, everybody! How are you doing in your various locations? I am doing quite well here in Shimonoseki, Japan!
This week has been quite superb! Tanaka continues to progress wonderfully. We had two lessons in which we reviewed Joseph Smith’s experience and taught more about modern prophets, and also read the Book of Mormon with him and had him take notes on three things: theme (of what we read), what he learned, and how to apply it. He took very good notes as we read in Moroni 7. We invited him to do the same with his daily reading, and the next day during church he showed me the paper that he had taken notes on. We also set a new baptismal date (November 28), and I definitely believe he will be very well prepared by then.
We also had two lessons with our new investigator, Uehara, who also came to our soccer activity this past Tuesday as well as church yesterday! Unfortunately, he is planning on moving to Tokyo next spring, but we will do all we can to help him become converted by then! He is awesome.
We were going to have a lesson with Nishimura this week, but unfortunately he was unable to come. However, he did come to Sacrament Meeting yesterday and seemed to enjoy himself there. He is always very entertaining. I need to take a picture with him sometime; it would be much more effective than explaining him with words. I often think that he would fit very well riding a chopper in a motorcycle gang. He is always very fun to teach. It is usually a good exercise in keeping things on track.
Sister Fukatani is doing very well after her baptism. She definitely looks much brighter and happier!
Elder Colton is also doing great! I am so grateful for this
opportunity to be serving with him, and continue to learn so much from him! Lately as a mission we have been focusing on visits with members, and Elder Colton came up with an idea that we have decided to implement. Most members have a genuine desire to share the gospel and help the missionaries, and whenever missionaries visit they usually invite members to do something, but oftentimes there is little follow-through or follow-up. So, as he thought about his own experience as a member missionary Elder Colton realized that if the missionaries had given him something physical to help with with whatever commitment they were inviting him to keep it would have helped him keep the commitment. So, he decided to write out a template for members on which they can write the name of the person they think of, three ideas for specifically sharing the gospel with that person (i.e. give Book of Mormon, pass-along-card, etc.), three other ideas (such as inviting to sports night, Christmas party, etc.), and a “due date” for completing each item. We plan to give each member a copy of the paper, invite them to pray about the person and write down ideas, and then we will follow-up with them about a week or so later, during which time we will see what they have written and then ask if they would like our help accomplishing any of their tasks. Yesterday we had a follow-up appointment with a member during which we did a practice with them for both inviting a friend to the upcoming Christmas party and also for giving a Book of Mormon to a friend. It was very good!
I am excited to be serving the Lord’s children here in Japan at this time. I know this is the Lord’s work. It is wonderful!
I hope that you all have a wonderful day, a superb week, and a fantastic year!
p.s. I forgot to mention that we had transfers last week (which is why I emailed on Tuesday), but I stayed here in Shimonoseki with Elder Colton. In fact, the only person that left from our district was Sister Akuta (who finished her mission and is now home). It is very strange to realize that I was at both her first district meeting (in Miyazaki District 1 1/2 years ago) and her last (here in Shimonoseki District)! Time really does fly by.