Monday, April 2, 2012

Week 26 - April 2, 2012
  • Sagamihara
Another week gone by in the Japan Tokyo Mission! Sagamihara is great. I hear Inage is great as well. I saw on the portal (our online mission portal) yesterday that an investigator named Quang has a baptismal date. Elder Coleman and I met him during a companionship exchange last transfer. It's really great to have so many technology resources here in Tokyo.

I'm sure general conference was great. We won't see it here until this upcoming Saturday and Sunday. The talks are all already online, but I think I might try to wait to hear them before reading them.

How was Keanu's birthday? I really hope it was great! Did he end up with a rib dinner like he said earlier?

I forgot last week to write to say thank you for the package. It probably got to me either the same day or day after Sister Saribay sent it from Narita. I've already used a bunch of the recipes. I think the other elders in the apartment really liked the lemon bars. I wrote a letter to Keanu, but be sure he knows I appreciate the Valentine's heart he sent!

We visited the Ando family last Monday night. Their father wasn't home, and their mother asked us to try to visit another time when they were both home. So we'll be heading out their way again sometime this week. It would really be great if they could come to church eventually! After visiting them I stopped a man walking down the street. He was on his phone, so I thought he wasn't going to want to talk, but he had to have a chance to hear the gospel. He stopped and stuck the phone out to me. I asked a few times who he was talking to, and he just kept a straight face. I asked if it was his wife and he nodded his head. I took the phone and was greeted by a pretty angry wife. We testified to the man about the happiness that comes through the Book of Mormon. We told him that we're still young, and haven't been married or anything, but that we know that the Book of Mormon contains what he needs to be happy. While holding a copy of the Book of Mormon he just asked, "Do you believe this?" We told him that it was true, and that we knew it. He ended up taking a copy of the Book of Mormon and our phone number. Hopefully he comes to church or gives us a call sometime. It was definitely an interesting experience.

Tuesday we had a lesson with Okamoto kyoudai. He's continuing to progress, slowly but surely. In the Book of Mormon, he's just starting Mosiah now. Tuesday night we had our Japanese class. It was my first time going, and it was pretty interesting. There were about 15 students total between the two classes. The other two elders over this area had an investigator there.

As always, we had Eikaiwa Wednesday night. It was raining during the day, so not as many students came. But it was still a lot of fun for those that did come. Our topic was "work," with next week’s topic "helping," so for our spiritual message we shared a talk entitled, "What Have I Done For Someone Today?" by Thomas S. Monson.

We taught Okamoto kyoudai again on Thursday. His lessons are normally each Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. He really has a desire to be baptized. I think his biggest problem is his addiction to cigarettes. He doesn't say it too much, but I think almost all of his concerns can be traced back to that problem. I know that the church has an addiction recovery program, so we'll be trying to find it in Japanese for him. Thursday night was our dinner on the nearby U.S. Base. So I actually went to America a few days ago. It was really nice. They have three small children so our message was really geared towards them. They love Star Wars so we used a little object lesson teaching them how to have "the force"/spirit with them.

On Friday we had a five-zone conference in the Kichijouji chapel. There was probably about 100 missionaries there. I really enjoy the big conferences. The spirit is amazing. The assistants shared a talk by a former mission president (I'm not sure where) named Lawrence E. Corbridge entitled "The Fourth Missionary." It's really a very inspiring talk, at least for me as a missionary. It basically outlines four different types of missionaries, and deciding what kind of missionary to choose to be. Essentially, what kind of person to become. If you have a chance, look it up and read it!

Saturday evening we were stuck in the apartment because of a big storm. The mission office emailed us at about 4:00 pm asking us to stay in the apartment because there were gale winds in Kanagawa-ken (prefecture) and Chiba-ken. Sagamihara is in Kanagawa-ken while Inage is in Chiba-ken, so the wind warnings were issued for the two prefectures on each side of the bay. That evening our zone leaders did a check of our apartment. Each zone leader companionship has been going around to each apartment in their zone to see what needs replacing/fixing. President Albrecht is really getting everything perfect for President Budge to come in.

Sunday was a lot of fun as always. Okamoto kyoudai fasted. Our testimony meeting was all youth and Elder Igarashi as the last person to bear testimony. Our stake had youth conference this past weekend, and it apparently really had a huge impact on many of the youth. Probably about 15 of them bore strong testimonies in sacrament meeting.

Today we made another Costco run. It's always interesting trying to get all of our groceries and things back to the apartment by bike. We went to Costco because we wanted to get some nonperishable food for the apartment. We got some crackers, peanut butter, canned fruit/vegetables, etc. to put in a box as storage for the apartment. Today I also got a reply from Elder Nitta! It sounds like he loved his first week in the MTC. I didn't know I would be so excited to see him go on a mission. It's really indescribeable, how much I've come to love my mission and how I know he will too.

This Sunday being Easter Sunday, here's an excerpt from an email the zone leaders sent a few days ago:
"Today (April 1) is the first day of the Passover celebrations! That means it's also the first day of Passion Week. In other words, it's the first day of the last week of Christ's mortal ministry. If we were living 2000 years ago, today Jesus would triumphantly enter Jerusalem hailed and cheered by many. Tomorrow, he will clear the temple of moneychangers and others who defile our Father's house. Tuesday will be spent at the Temple, making final rebuttals against those that oppose Him, and giving final instruction to the people. Wednesday will be spent amongst His Apostles and close friends. On Thursday, he will introduce the Sacrament and give final instruction to His Apostles. From there he will go to Gethsemane and atone for the sins of the whole world. From there, betrayal and trial. On Friday, the Crucifixion. On Saturday, His body will be in the grave, while His spirit will begin the ministration of the dead. Then the glorious Easter Sunday. The bands of death are broken and the resurrected Savior makes it possible to be free from the fiery pit of death and hell.

I'm so grateful for the scriptures as they beautifully portray that one week. The literary beauty and spiritual power is unsurpassed. One cannot read them without feeling like they are with the Savior at the temple, or in the upper room, or in the garden. And one cannot read them with an open heart and not feel a deeper love of, gratitude for, and testimony about Jesus Christ. That's why we would like to invite the zone to read with us this week about the last week of Christ's life. Below we have a day-by-day breakdown with recommended scriptures. As we go through the week, we will also be inviting companionships to send to the zone their testimonies of Jesus Christ, His Gospel, His Atonement, and His Resurrection. We hope you all join us in this opportunity to grow closer to our Savior."

Sunday: Mark 11: 1-11
Monday: Mark 11:12-19
Tuesday: Mark 11:20-33;Mark 12; Joseph Smith Matthew; Matt 25
Wednesday: No Record
Thursday: Matt 26; John13-16
Friday: Matt 27
Saturday: D&C 138:11-37
Sunday: Luke 24

So that's what I'll be doing this week. I challenge all of you to follow along as well! I know that I am so grateful for Jesus Christ. I'm grateful for his gospel and the blessings that I have received as part of a family in the church. Really, one of the main reasons I am on a mission is because I have you, a loving family, and I've seen the Gospel of Christ work to bless and strengthen us. I've felt the love of our Heavenly Father in my life. And I know it's real.

Thank you for your love and support! I love you!! Have a great week!

Elder Rindlisbacher

P.S. I'll attach a few pictures of last week’s Outreach activity with the young single adults. I don't have many of this area, but I'll send some other ones later. In the first picture, my companion, Elder Richmond, is on the far right.

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