Monday, September 10, 2012

Week 49 – Sept 10, 2012

Aloha Mom and Family, 
Our week here in Urawa was good. The area and ward are amazing. Our eikaiwa  averages around 20 people a week, with a beginner and an advanced class. It seems like all of the recent new students haven't heard shokai (introduction) lessons about the church, so I really want to get that going.  I've been able to find a lot of really good investigators that way.

Elder Kim is a great guy and  a good missionary. He has a strong testimony and a lot of faith. He speaks pretty good English and Japanese, but sometimes there's  still small communication problems.  Here's 
a conversation from the other night while we were planning, it was pretty funny:

(Alternating between Elder Kim and I, me first)
"I wish we could use the computer in the clerk's office."
"Clerk?  What is that?  Kent Clerk?"
"No, that's Clark.  Clerk!"
"Yeah, clerk!"
"What is that?!"
"Ah, I don't know what clerk is in Japanese."
"What is that clerk thing?"
"Ok, I'll look it up... ok, this (showing computer screen)"
"Put it in Korean!!!"
"Oh! What? I thought you read kanji?!"
"I don't understand that!"
"Ok, ok. Here (pointing again.)"
"Ohh, that is clerk. Ok, ok."
"Man, you make my head hurt."
"Oh dear (forehead slap.)"

Elder Kim has been struggling a little because he feels like he's becoming not Korean. He has almost no opportunities to speak Korean, so he says that speaking Korean is becoming really difficult. He can read out loud and understand when he hears it, but speaking Korean is hard. He's a hard worker though, and I'm sure that he can't get too far from being  Korean, he did grow up there his entire life.

The above conversation comes from a daily miracle and funnies page that each  companionship in the zone has been keeping. We write down a miracle and something funny for each day,  then send it to the zone leaders at the end of each week. The zone leaders send a weekly  shokan (newsletter) and include a few of them. I'll attach it each week for you all to read. You might not understand some of the things, but it might still be fun to see each week.

Before transferring here to Urawa I gave a box to a member in Sagamihara to send from the US base.  I'm not sure if it's been sent yet, but in it was:

All of my slacks (because I've gotten skinny and they're too big now!)
Some  souveniers that I've been given from members, etc.
Japanese hymn book
Japanese triple combination scriptures
A bunch of letters I've received, mostly from the MTC

So that should be there within a few weeks, or maybe even months, depending on how it's shipped.  It's not urgent or anything though.

Thank you for getting the deodorant, I really appreciate it. The stores here don't even sell actual deodorant, just Axe spray, etc., but I'll be able to get by fine for now. I still have a few things of toothpaste,  I don't know how I've gotten this one to last for so long. But if you're going to buy and send some then I have no preference, you can choose. As far as other things to send, I don't really have a need for anything else, so don't spend a lot of money or time with it.

Oh and before I forget, could you send me Kauluwehi's  mailing address at BYU?

The apartment here is pretty decently sized. We have a normal sized tatami room where we sleep (which is definitely big enough for two futons. It could probably get four in there if they were all right next to each other,) our study room, along with another room that we aren't using, and a good sized kitchen. The kitchen has the stove, sink, and table on one side of the room, then we have a small table in the middle.

I'm glad the ward and boy scouts are doing well. How will the mini triathlon up in the crater work with swimming? How has everyone liked the new Athletic Director at KSM? Hopefully Mikela can work hard with applying for a lot of scholarships. There's  never enough students that realize the importance and blessing of them. It's free money for school!  I'm sure she's working hard and a little nervous for upcoming states. They should do great as always. I hope Keanu does well with the test and interview for KSM in November. I just realized that  that's the test and interview I took to get in for sixth grade... time has flown by. Tell him that I say good luck, I'm proud of him, and that he's awesome. I'm really glad Kauluwehi did well with her two classes. That  BYU vs. HAWAII  game should be a lot of fun.

That is really scary to hear about Doug Birch. I'm glad they were able to find it early. I will keep him and his family, as well as Uncle John Kaiawe and Uncle Charles in my prayers. I hope that their families are doing okay. It's sad to see earthly lives start to wind down, but we're all here as part of a big Plan of Salvation, and we can and should all still continue to grow and progress after this life.

It's nice to hear that you've gotten some rain recently. The weather here has been starting to cool down. It's still pretty hot, especially around 1-4pm, but it's not as bad as it was a few weeks ago. Urawa is in Saitama prefecture, which is a pretty hot area, maybe the hottest  area of our mission. But we're doing good, and it's not too hot to not work.

This past week I held two companionship exchanges with elders in my district. Elder Norman is a fourth transfer missionary from Utah, and we had a great time together. We met a really nice guy named Ken on the street, whose father is a Protestant pastor. We talked with him for a little over an hour, and he was overjoyed to hear about and receive the Book of Mormon. We'll call him later tonight to see if we can't get him out to our sports night, which we hold every Tuesday evening.  Elder Devries has just started his mission as a first transfer missionary. During my exchange with him I interviewed one of their investigators for baptism, and she is really prepared and ready to receive it. We also had a mogi lesson with a recently re-activated member of their ward. We also went out to eat dinner with him after, and were able to talk a lot about missionary work. He's 21 years old, was less-active for five years, came back to church three months ago, and is thinking about a mission! It's so good to see a child of God be baptized and enjoy the fullness of the gospel, but to see a young man return to church activity and leave for a mission, just imagining all of the souls that will be touched because of that, is really so amazing as well.

I love you so much. Thank you for your love, your support, and your prayers. I truly appreciate it. I know that this gospel is happiness. That is so true, and I want all of you to truly and more fully understand that as each day goes by. Thank you for your testimonies.  Please always continue to strengthen them!

Elder Rindlisbacher

P.S. Also attached is a picture of my name in Korean!

 Here's a picture with myself, Elder Prince and Elder Nitta, my zone leaders. We went out to lunch after my district meeting this past week.

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