Week 35 - June 4, 2012
- · Transfer 5
It's definitely been an eventful week here in Sagamihara! As for transfers, I'm still here, but my companion has transferred. My new companion is Elder Orton from Spanish Fork, Utah. He's Elder Hee's doki (MTC group,) so he came to Japan in the beginning of February this year. Elder Richmond and I caught the train this morning to Shinjuku (biggest train station in the world,) where we met our companions and went to our areas. I'll also be the new district leader, so that's exciting. Including myself, I have six elders and two sisters in my district.
We had an amazing eikaiwa on Wednesday. There were only 20 people total, a little less than we've had lately, but it was still a great night. On Monday night while passing out eikaiwa flyers I talked with a younger (freshman in college age) Chinese guy and gave him a flyer. He actually didn't take a flyer when he first walked past me, but he was hanging around near where I was so I walked up to him to try again to get him to take a flyer. He stared at me for a few seconds, then just told me that he was Chinese (in English.) We had a hard time communicating because he spoke very little English and Japanese, but he ended up taking a flyer and said that he'd call. The next day he called and we set up a time to meet at the station to go to eikaiwa. That was after a bunch of trying to communicate in English, Japanese, and Chinese. He kept just going off in Chinese and mixing all three languages into one, but we managed to communicate a little. I emailed him a short mail about meeting at the station in kanji so he'd understand. But when it came time to meet, we were on the phone with him, both us and he were saying that we were in front of the station, but he was nowhere to be found. We ended up realizing that he was at another station, so we explained as best we could that we'd be there soon, then went straight there, but still had the hardest time finding him. After about 25 more minutes of searching, we found him and began making our way to the church. While walking to the church, trying our best to communicate, he asked what we were doing in Japan, so I pulled out my name tag (which has the church name in Chinese written on the back) and he said that he and all of his family were members! It was hard to believe him at first, because that's pretty rare, and he hadn't recognized us as missionaries, but we were still pretty excited by now. We were eventually able to get him on the phone with a Chinese member in our ward, and long story short, he is a member... and it's a miracle that we found him! I wrote to you last week about our goal to hand out over 1,600 flyers. Well, Monday night was the last night of that goal and those flyers were the very last of our 1,600... If we had chosen to only do 1,000 or 1,300 or even 1,550, all still great numbers, we probably never would have met him. He was completely active in China, attending church each week, but he hadn't known any members or where the church was since he'd arrived in Japan two months ago, so he hadn't been going. It was definitely a miracle that was brought about by so many inspired things. The zone leaders were guided to set our zone theme as building eikaiwa, our goal for flyers for that week was meant to be, and we were supposed to be at that station at that time. It's amazing.
Also after eikaiwa that night, a Brazilian lady who we taught an introduction lesson to last week said that she'd been reading in the Japanese copy of the Book of Mormon we had given her and she wanted to know more. We taught her more about the restoration this past Saturday and she attended all three hours of church yesterday.
On Friday after district meeting my companion (now former companion) Elder Richmond got into a little accident with a taxi. He was just turning a blind corner as we were leaving the church and a taxi was just coming to a stop. So they weren't going too fast, but collided, he went up onto the hood, and came back down on his feet. His front rim was bent up pretty badly, so we've spent some time the past few days getting a new rim and putting that all back together. His body's all fine though. According to Japanese law, the taxi driver's at fault (it's almost always the bigger vehicle,) but Elder Richmond didn't file a report or anything.
Anyway, we had two great lessons on Saturday. Both investigators are doing well. Saturday night we had our weekly outreach activity. We had an 'activity race', consisting of a bunch of small activities (things like dropping a coin into a cup, completing a course with an egg on a spoon, upping a pedometer 40 steps while it's on your forehead with a headstrap, eating a cracker from your forehead without using hands, blowing up balloons, etc.) Pretty much just a bunch of kind of pointless activities, but the last two of the list of activities that needed to be completed were to help someone and to pay someone a compliment. We tried to relate it to the idea of not getting too busy and caught up in things that don't really matter much to give help or pay compliments, etc. Everyone seemed to have a good time.
So it's the beginning of a new transfer! I'm here in Sagamihara as a fifth transfer missionary, working with Elder Orton, a fourth transfer missionary. We're excited and ready to work hard. Thank you for your love and support! I love you! Have a great week!