The investigators we had preparing for baptism are still preparing for baptism. Ozeki-san has a new goal/baptismal date of December 8. Bishop still needs to meet with his father to talk about his son being baptized. Bishop has talked with his father over the phone a few times, but before Ozeki-san is baptized he would like to meet with him face-to-face. Ozeki-san is 20 years old so he doesn't legally need parental permission, but he has some mental problems and it would be good to have his father fully supportive of this change in his son’s life. I've talked with his father over the phone a few times, and he's very welcoming of the church as he's seen a big change in his son for the good since he's begun to meet with us, but because of his son’s mental problems he has some hesitations about his son making big changes in his life. When Bishop is able to meet with his father, Ozeki-san will be baptized.
Suzuki-san received a priesthood blessing and quit smoking for six days, but went out with some of his friends (members of his former church) and began smoking again. He was doing so well! But because he wasn't able to completely quit for good, he's lost a lot of his hope. He doesn't believe that he can quit anymore, but we're working hard with him, meeting about twice a week and talking on the phone a lot. He is beginning to build faith again, and has a baptismal date of December 15th.
The sister missionaries have an investigator who is planning on being baptized on the 2nd of December. And we're actually having Elder Kusume of the Seventy in our ward that day too, so it will be a nice sacrament meeting for her to be confirmed in. We won't have fast and testimony meeting, just Elder Kusume speak. She's 21 and married with a really cute three year old daughter. She became an investigator about two or three weeks ago, and she fits in with the ward perfectly. She and her daughter really seem to love church a lot. Hopefully her husband can begin to learn about the church as well. I'm not really sure about what the situation is with him yet.
Today is actually the first day of another transfer (yes, already another one!!) But Elder Healy and I are still here in Hibarigaoka, thank goodness! I really love it here. And with the new apartment, it's even so much better. I spent a lot of time organizing and continuing to unpack today, and it's really coming together greatly. I'll be sure to take and send some pictures with my letter next week. I have a few, but not many (actually only of the laundry and shower,) pictures of the old house. I'll attach what I have. I'll also attach a picture of a spam and cabbage okonomiyaki (more like pot pie kind of thing) I made the other day. ) One of the Sisters, Sister Stankowsky, transferred, and an Okinawan Sister, Sister Nagamine (same as the Nagamine photo company people on Maui, right?) came in. We're all looking forward to an amazing transfer!
I know Elder Tohara. He's training a new missionary right now too (my companion’s MTC companion,) and I was actually his companion for a few days while we were waiting for our new companions to get into the mission. We're in the same district so I see him about once a week. This is actually his last transfer, then he'll be heading home and going to Snow College in Ephraim.
I'm hoping the best for Keanu and getting into KSM! I'll be praying for him to do well with his interview on Saturday. His reply to you, mom, sounds exactly like what I can imagine him saying.
Is Kauluwehi stressed with finals coming up in a little while?
It sounds like she's having such a good time out there. Does she know a Kat Healy? She's a freshman at the Y, and is my companion's younger sister. She's living in Heritage Halls, Young Hall. And when did you serve in the Okayama Mission, mom? Elder Healy's mom also served in Okayama! She was Sister Abo back then. Did you, (Sister Kam) train Sister Abo? Haha, because that'd be pretty funny. Oh, and did you ever serve in Kurashiki? If so, did you know the Hiramitsu family?
Tell Mikela congratulations with cheer. I'm proud of her and how hard-working and diligent she is; an attribute of Jesus Christ. I'm hoping the best for her and the Y. Be sure that she applies for all the scholarships she can find!
I hope Keawe's foot is doing okay. Tell him he better get amazingly good at Basketball (and Football if he plays) for his senior year, because that's when I'll be back to watch him (I think?) I'll help him get his name out for scholarships, etc. I hope he's working hard with schoolwork. If his grades aren't doing well let him know that two prophets of God, (Dieter F. Uchtdorf and Thomas S. Monson) have said, "For members of the Church, education is not merely a good idea—it's a commandment. We are to learn 'of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad' (see D&C 88:79–80)," and, “In academic preparation, I have found it a good practice to read a text with the idea that I will be asked to explain that which the author wrote and its application to the subject it covered. Also, I have tried to be attentive in any lecture in the classroom and to pretend that I would be called upon to present the same lecture to others. While this practice is very hard work, it certainly helps during test week!” If his grades are doing good, congratulate him for me and say お疲れ様です(O tsukare sama desu: basically, way to be such a hard worker.)
Are both Mikela and Keawe going to seminary every morning? I'm not trunky (with this talk of going home) but when I get home I plan on going to seminary with the students every morning. I wasn't the best example for them before my mission... but I can be after.
I'm glad to hear Elder Hee is doing well. It's beginning to get cold here in the Tokyo area, so I'm sure it's already pretty cold up there. Good luck with the garage sales and cleaning things out a little.
I remember you writing about the Amian family! That's so great that they were able to go to the temple and be sealed. They sound really great and I look forward to meeting them sometime.
Thanksgiving is coming up. We'll be going (along with about 6 other missionaries, I believe) to a member's home for dinner. This family are members of one of the English speaking wards, but lives in one of the areas next to ours and has invited us over for Thanksgiving dinner. The rest of the missionaries in our zone who don't already have another appointment, will be going onto the U.S. base nearby and having dinner with individual families that live there.
It sounds like you had great Sunday meetings. Is it funny having Brother Wunder in the ward every Sunday? He was stake president for nine years, right? I'm glad Amber Carvalho and her mom are doing well. I'm sure the ward is all doing great. What are Hoku's plans now?
Did you know that you can get a copy of Mama's patriarchal blessing? If you go to lds.org you can find the form for it under sign in/tools. If you do get a copy of it, would you be able to send me one?
We have a decent pool of investigators we're working with now, but we're always in need of building it. The ward and area are amazing, and we're having a great time. We just compiled statistics for last transfer (it's all about the people behind the numbers) and we taught 47 lessons (and 4 mogi lessons) last transfer. I don't think that's too bad for white-washing in, but we have a lot of work to do, and we can do so much more! I love Jesus Christ and I love His gospel. We can always do so much more, and work so much harder, to share and help others accept it and receive the blessings that come along.
I love you so, so much! This work is amazing, and I hope you can each find more opportunities to share the gospel, especially with those you care about most. It is happiness. Take care and have a great week!