Week 28 - April 17, 2012
Hello from Sagamihara!!
I hope you're all doing great! It's hard to believe it's already April. It feels more like February! Time is flying. We just got back to the apartment. It's the last week of the transfer so we were able to go do an endowment session in the Tokyo Temple. We got to the temple around 9:00 am, so we were in the 10:00 am session. It was great, of course. After the session, we went over to the little distribution center next to the temple and I was able to get a new gappon (Japanese triple combo) because I gave mine to Okamoto kyoudai last week. Then we went out to Akihabara so that my companion could get a new electronic dictionary and camera. It's now about 5:00 pm and we'll leave the apartment to work at 6:00 pm.
Anyway, this week has been great. The sakura trees all got a little more full in the beginning of the week, but now they're pretty much done. They just come and go, only lasting about a week.
On Saturday we held a 'mini sports night' outreach activity. We had fufu ping-pong (blowing ping-pong), paper basketball, and mini bowling. It was a lot of fun. I'll attach a few pictures of it. With blowing ping-pong we basically just put five people on each side of a normal ping-pong table with no net (poles, but no net), put the ball in the middle, and nobody was allowed to lean on or touch the table with their hands. If the ball fell off the table on your team’s side, it was the other team’s point. Like normal ping pong, we went up to 11 points. For paper basketball, each team had two small garbage cans that they had to fill to the top with paper balls. There was a line of tape that the teams couldn't cross. Each team was allowed one person to sit by the garbage cans to throw paper balls back so the teams wouldn't run out from missing too much. With bowling we set 50 small pins up at the end of one of the church hallways and each team had one roll per team member. The winning team was the team with the least pins still up after all team members had rolled.
Our bishop’s son was baptized on Sunday after church. It's so great seeing baptisms, whether they're eight year-old member baptisms or convert baptisms. Seeing a child of God making the commitments and receiving ordinances that are needed in order to enter the Celestial Kingdom is great! After that, we got on our bikes and rode out to the Machida church as quickly as we could because Kent Derricot was speaking. His daughter is in my district, serving in Machida. We weren't planning on going out, but there was an investigator who we found out was there, so we had to get there. We were able to see the last 30 minutes of him speaking.
Yesterday, Monday, I had a companionship exchange with Elder Piland. He's one of the other elders over Sagamihara area. His companion, Elder Igarashi, is our district leader so he's supposed to split with as many missionaries in the district as he can. We went out to an area I've never dendo'd in. It's a really nice area, I'll probably attach a few pictures from there as well. It took us a little over two hours to get there, stopping to talk to everyone along the way. We housed for about an hour and half, then started on our way back. We were planning on finishing up some housing in a huge apartment building near the church, but it took us about four hours to get back, because there were so many great people along the way. Overall we ended up meeting six new people to teach. An amazing number for one day! One 19 year old boy we talked to is already married with a young child, so that would be seven to teach if we can work with them more. So many miracles are seen on companion exchanges! Elder Piland is my doki (MTC group) so we were just two missionaries finishing up our third transfer. We're still pretty young in the mission, and can't speak great Japanese, but I have a testimony of God's guidance in the work! I know that if I do what I am supposed to do, think what I am supposed to think, and work together with my companion, the Lord will place people in our path and miracles will happen. Elder Piland gave an analogy that I like. He said that his father has a really nice knife that is always clean, sharp, and well cared for. He takes it with him whenever he goes camping or anywhere he'll happen to need a knife. He also has a knife that he's had for a while, but it is rusted and dull. He basically just keeps it because he's had it for a while and he likes it, but it gets no use. It's the same with us. The Lord will use the missionary, or member, who is the sharpest and cleanest. He still likes the dull knife, but it doesn't get used nearly as much. And when we're a tool in the Lord's hand, we are blessed!! It's a win-win situation. You are doing what is right and makes you feel better, and the Lord blesses you!
So it's already almost halfway through the last week of this transfer. We'll get transfer calls this Saturday to see if we're going anywhere new and if anyone new is coming here. It's exciting. The work is great. The gospel is the plan for our happiness. Jesus is the Christ, our Savior and Redeemer. And I know that that is true. I have felt his love in my life and I am so thankful for my opportunity to serve him full-time. Thank you for all of your love and support! Have a great week!