Week 53 - October 15, 2012
Before telling you about my new area, Hibarigaoka, the stove-top lasagna I made in Urawa turned out really good! It was a little greasy because I didn't drain the oil from the meat, but it tasted really good. I'll attach a picture.
Things are going great here in Hibarigaoka. We started things off right, with a lesson straight from the station when we first got here. I was able to contact one of the investigators the previous elders were teaching and have it set up for that time. We kept the good going with finding a new investigator Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. We've contacted the investigators the previous elders were teaching, and found three new investigators so far, making a pretty solid half-week. And going into this week we have a bunch of lessons scheduled so far. We still have some area book dendo to do, and I'm sure we'll be able to find more people to teach through that.
We were able to get one investigator to conference yesterday. Conference was great. You guys have all had a full week to think about it
My new companion is Elder Healy. He was born in Northern California where he lived for a little over a year, moved to Hawai'i (Aiea) for eight years, then back to California (this time L.A. area,) then American Fork for seven years. So he tells people he's from American Fork. His mom is Japanese, so he's half, but she was born and raised on O'ahu. She served in Japan, but never spoke Japanese in the home, so Elder Healy doesn't speak any. His father is from California. All in all, Elder Healy's doing really good. He's a little shy when it comes to finding (talking to people on the street, etc.,) but he's packed full of faith, which is already more than I can ask! He's especially fired up to work closely with members.
Some extra goals for this week, besides our normal key indicators (which you can learn about if you read PMG,) are for Elder Healy to be more confident with stopping people (I'll encourage him and give him more opportunities.) As a companionship, to never turn down an opportunity to serve. And for myself, I would like to smile more. I know that if I have a smile on wherever I go and whenever I talk to people, notice will be taken and I'll be a better representative of Jesus Christ.
Training Elder Healy, just for this past six days, has been an adventure. Especially white-washing into this area, not knowing anyone or where anything is (even the house or church at first,) is fun. It's great asking people on the street for directions. The people are extremely helpful and nice.
The bishopric and ward leadership here are absolutely amazing. They are young and fired up to work with us. I've felt their trust from day one. And the ward is filled with faith. We were able to meet with the ward leadership this past Saturday morning to go over their vision and goals for this year. I am so excited to work with them. It seems like they all just returned from their missions (they probably average around 30 years old) and are fired up to continue building the ward.
Yesterday evening we went to our Dendo Shunin’s (Ward Mission Leader,) house for dinner. They are the Ishimine family, just a husband and wife recently married, (I think) with no children. Brother Ishimine (Dendo Shunin) served in Hawai'i about three years ago.
We had a lesson with an investigator named Ozeki this morning. He's 20 years old. We started with reading the Book of Mormon with him, where he's at now (Helaman 7.) We taught the Gospel of Christ (PMG lesson 3) using a footprint tatoebanashi (example/object lesson, I guess you could say in English.) I drew and cut out 5 footprints, then wrote on and cut out a nice 'Heaven' piece of paper. We put the 'Heaven' paper at one end of the table, then introduced and explained the first principle of the gospel, Faith in Jesus Christ, and wrote it on one side of one of the footprints. On the other side of the footprint we listed how to build and strengthen faith (read scriptures, pray, go to church, etc.) Then we introduced, explained, and wrote on another footprint the second principle, Repentance. On the other side of that footprint we wrote the steps of repentence - recognize the sin, feel sorrow, confess and pray for forgiveness, fix any wrong that you made, promise to not make the same mistake again. That was followed by baptism, which we committed him to receive on the tenth of next month! So we wrote his baptismal date on the back of that footprint and continued with the next two, The Gift of the Holy Ghost and Enduring to the End. To explain enduring to the end, we showed that through following the gospel up until then we had made a lot of progress towards heaven, but there was still a lot of space to go. To make up the space, we took the faith footprint and put it at the top, followed by repentance, baptism (sacrament.) holy ghost (keeping commandments and being worthy,) and enduring to the end (temple ordinances, family history, etc.) By then we were at Heaven. The final testimony, one of the most important things every investigator has to understand, was that all of the principles of the gospel were centered on and possible because of Christ's Atonement. The footprints example made it really easy for him to visualize and understand. We'll be meeting with him again tomorrow morning for another lesson.
We were able to get a bike for Elder Healy today. I think it's really nice, I'll attach a picture of it too. And by the way, thank you for sending pictures, mom. :)
All in all, things are going really great. I really appreciate all of your love and support. I'm so grateful for all of your faith! Take care and have a great week. I love you so much!!!!
P.S. Also attached are a picture of the four Urawa missionaries at Bishop Uchida's home (the Sunday before I left Urawa,) and a picture of me at a boxing activity we had with the Urawa Elders Quorum, last Saturday. Biney Martin, from Nigeria and a member of the Urawa Elders Quorum, was the best in Japan at one time, so he taught us a little.