Monday, March 19, 2012

Week 24 - March 19, 2012
  • Sagamihara
This first week here in Sagamihara went well. Elder Richmond and I ended up staying in the apartment Monday, Tuesday, and most of Wednesday cleaning. The apartment feels a lot better now though. And because it's clean, it seems like the other elders have picked up pretty well on keeping it this way. After getting the apartment cleaner we were able to get outside and talk with a lot of people. I've had a few days to familiarize myself with the area as well as a few investigators, and it's been really good. Elder Richmond is a really good person. He's always got a smile on.

Wednesday's eikaiwa was a lot of fun. Elder Piland (the elder from my MTC group) and I taught the advanced class while Elder Igarashi, Elder Richmond, and a member taught the beginner class. In total there were about 15 students in attendance. Because the theme of the night was families, we had a talk out of the Liahona printed in Japanese for them to take home and read.

Thursday we had a zone meeting and district meeting. Our zone theme for this transfer is "Others" (scripture reference Matthew 7:12 - golden rule.)

Friday night we had dinner with the bishop and his family. He has three sons ages 12, 10, and 7. He's been bishop of Sagamihara Ward for about two years now. Elder Igarashi and I shared a message about temples. We took a bunch of Tokyo temple pass-along cards and a few pairs of scissors. We asked them to cut a card so that they could fit it around themselves/enter the temple. The oldest son, Seima, knew exactly how, so he had it done pretty quickly. We had a list of 21 things that we had made beforehand, outlining things that the boys need to do so that they can enter the temple. It took on average about 21 cuts to get the card to expand big enough, so we went over that list and just talked with them about doing all of the things. We also had the edition of the Liahona that's all about temples for them to look through to see all of the pictures. We had a fun time. The bishop's openness with communicating with us will be a huge help with the work.

Dendo chosei shuukai (missonary coordination meeting) was good. It was Elder Igarashi and I's first time meeting the ward mission leader. Our church meetings with Sagamihara Ward were great. The ward is great. Elder Igarashi and I introduced ourselves and one of the members speaking after us started her talk with, "Aloooha." There were 139 people in attendance. There are so many single adults. There was just over 20 in church yesterday, seven out on missions, and three others with calls. It'll be really good if we can work a lot with them. After church, Elder Igarashi and I were able to talk a lot with many of the members because there was a shokujikai (lunch) with all of the ward.

Last night we may have seen the start of a wonderful miracle. Because it was a little cold and wet there weren't too many people out on the streets, so Elder Richmond and I were housing a little. In a little apartment-type place (only one floor, but all connected,) we met a father and his son. His son is eleven years old and has seen the church before. The father was very nice, but didn't seem very interested at all. He said, however, that it would be good if his kids went to church. So we'll have to work with a few members to see if we can't get all of them to church this next Sunday. He has eight kids. We haven't met them all yet so we aren't sure how old they are. But it may be the start of something really great.

How was Kona, mom? It sounds like it was probably a really great time. The Costco membership was 4,200 yen for two gold star membership cards, so only 2,100 yen each. With the exchange rate that's about $25.00. There's a good amount of shops around. As far as I've seen, a little more than in Inage, but not a whole lot more. I think that 3 Nephi 5:13 would be a scripture I'd like on the plaque: "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life."

All in all, it's the start of a transfer with a lot of potential. I'm excited to work hard and rely on the Lord. Let me know how all of you have been, and have a great week!

Gambarimasu. Ai shite iru yo.

Elder Rindlisbacher

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