Week 25 - March 26, 2012
How is everyone doing? I hope you've all had a great week and a great Sunday!
Be sure Keanu knows that I say, “Happy Birthday!” I'll have a letter in the mail soon for him. I hope he has a really great one.
I sent an email out to Nalu Nitta in the MTC. I sent it to firstname.lastname@example.org, so I'm hoping that's the right one. I'm really excited for him. He should actually be leaving the MTC soon, right? Since he's only there for three weeks.
This past week has gone well. Sagamihara is a great area. I've realized it's definitely pretty urban the more I've been able to get out and around it. Elder Richmond is a good missionary. He's different from Elder Casey and we're learning a lot from each other. I'm really grateful for him as my companion.
Let's see... this past Tuesday we had a lesson with Okamoto kyoudai. He was actually a referral from the honbu (mission office) around last November. He's been progressing, slowly but surely, since then. When the missionaries first made contact with him he wouldn't go in the church. Eventually they got him in the church for a quick tour, then to church on Sunday where he sat in the foyer during sacrament meeting, then actually in sacrament meetings. The first Sunday of the last transfer he came with his hair cut and wearing a suit (instead of a jersey/shirt.) And now he's just starting Mosiah in the Book of Mormon. He's a great guy. He loves all of the little kids in the ward. He's about 40 and lives about a one minute bike ride from the church. He has studied with a few different religions, but it seems like he's getting into this church more than he has with any other. He has said that he wants to be baptized. But he has a problem with smoking and he wants to finish the Book of Mormon first.
The Ando family of eight children that I wrote about last week may be able to come to church this next Sunday. We stopped by to visit them this past Wednesday and were met by the wife of the man we met the night we housed into them. She asked us to stop by again so that we can speak with her husband about having the kids attend church. We'll be going there tonight.
Wednesday night we had eikaiwa as usual. Because our topic for the night was 'friends and forgiveness,' during our short message time we shared a little from a talk entitled “Hidden Wedges” by Thomas S. Monson. Some of you probably remember it from a conference a while ago. It's a great one, I really like it. Our game at the end of the night was 'Jeopardy.' So we just had a few categories with a bunch of fun, easy questions/answers like, “A typical breakfast meal usually eaten in a bowl with milk” (cereal) or “A land often called Down Under” (Australia) for them to answer.
Thursday we had another lesson with Okamoto kyoudai. We had a member who's been back from his mission for about a month and half joint with us. He served in the Japan Fukuoka Mission. After our lesson, we got on the bikes and went out to the Machida church (an area next to ours) for district meeting. It was only about a 30 min. bike ride, not too bad for going out into another area. After district meeting the zone leaders spoke with us about a bunch of things that President Albrecht is having the mission do. He's going to be finishing his mission at the end of June, so he's been having the mission do a bunch of things. This past week the zone leaders talked to us about making sure that each apartment is completely clean and emergency prepared, so we've been making sure that we have enough water, etc. in case of an emergency.
On Friday we dendo'd (proselyted) for about two hours with Kanda kyoudai, a 19 year old member who will be entering the MTC next week. That was a lot of fun. He will be a great missionary. He's going to the Japan Nagoya Mission.
Saturday night we held an 'Outreach' activity. A bunch of the single adults came, along with Okamoto kyoudai.We had a scavenger hunt, using scriptures. So we split into three groups of about four, each team with a set of the standard works. They were all given a scripture and had to find in the scripture what they were supposed to bring us in order to get the next scripture. Some of the items weren't tangible, and the last item (number 13) required a little more than the others. We also hid a few marbles around the church as a bonus. If they found a marble they got an extra prize. I'll write the list of scriptures we used, and send the answers in another email. Maybe you can use it for a little family home evening. We got some of the scriptures from a scavenger hunt activity on lds.org.
1. Matthew 7:25
2. Psalm 102:11
3. Jeremiah 8:8
4. Doctrine and Covenants 45:37
5. Mark 10:38
6. Ezekiel 37:16–17
7. Matthew 25:15
8. Exodus 3:5
9. Moses 1:41
10. Doctrine and Covenants 25:11
11. Doctrine and Covenants 46:24
12. Micah 4:1-2; 2 Nephi 5:16
13. Mosiah 2:17-18
Sunday we had ward council, so we talked with the ward leaders about improving our member book, starting a ‘Preach My Gospel’ class since we have so many single adults preparing for missions, and starting an additional eikaiwa class. Right now we only have a beginner and an advanced class, but a few of our students would benefit a lot more from an intermediate class. We'll need to get more people to come out each week before we can really get that going though.
Last, we met a man named Shibuya san while housing. He ended up bringing an older looking Book of Mormon out to us. It seemed as though he had studied it as it had markings and notes. He said that he received it 15 years ago and really likes what's written in it. We're planning on visiting him again this upcoming Friday night. We were only able to meet with him briefly, but he seems like a really great guy. We are really excited to see how we can help him progress more.
This upcoming Thursday we'll be going out to the U.S. Army base for a shokuji (meal) with one of our members.
I finished the Book of Mormon this morning. I really like Moroni. It's a great book. And to think he hadn't even planned on writing it.
“and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear.”
Perfect love is charity, the pure love of Christ... and with that love, with charity, we have nothing to fear.
I love you all! Have a great week!
“Happy Birthday!!” again, Keanu.
Until next week, take care.