I hope you've all had a great first week of the new
year. The ward here was thrilled to have us in their homes for the New Year
(O-shogatsu), and we had 10 meal appointments with member families this
past week, not to mention ending the week before this one off with meal appointments
each night as well. Almost every person in Japan has the first week of the
year off of work. Elder Call knew much of the ward before attending the
church meetings yesterday.
We had lunch with the Aoki family on Wednesday and
helped to translate their family mission statement. It was a really special
experience, being able to help them with something that they will use for
many years to come. They are planning on memorizing it as well as making wristbands
for their two daughters when they're a little older.
Yesterday night at dinner with the Nagata family we
shared a message based on acting on faith. The father expressed feelings of
wanting to help less-active members who had been active with him when he
was a child. We asked him to imagine he and them in white clothes, in the celestial
room of the temple. He closed his eyes, and the spirit was strong. They
committed to bring 8 friends to an upcoming mochi-tsuki taikai. Maybe you
remember some pictures I sent home from the mochi-tsuki I had in Inage. We
don't have records or statistics that directly measure building
relationships with members, nor for feeling and being led by the spirit.
But if there were, I'm sure Hibarigaoka would have broken records this
week. The ward is absolutely amazing, and the missionaries have an amazing
relationship with the members. Dendo fire is through the roof. This is the
most 'at-home', loved, and supported I've felt by a ward since I've been on
my mission. I love it in Hibarigaoka.
I was asked Saturday night to teach the Gospel Doctrines
class. The lesson was on 'The Gathering of the House of Israel' - a topic
that can be confusing to teach in English, making Japanese pretty difficult.
I've been gaining a lot more interest in history and the Old Testament lately
though, so it was a fun lesson.
Elder Call is a great missionary. I've really enjoyed
working with him this past week. He knows how to laugh and enjoy the little
moments in each day. I'm excited to work with and learn more from him in
the coming weeks! He's the youngest of 10 in his family, his oldest brother
is 38 years old. His father and two oldest brothers are mechanics and
that's what he did for work before his mission. He's a pretty big guy at
about 6ft. 2in. and 250lbs.
I did meet Kazuko Mateaki's aunty in Urawa. As soon as I
introduced myself to her and told her I was from Maui she was asking me
about the Mateaki's. And it's cold here now, but probably nothing like
Sapporo. On a warm day it'll hit about 13 degrees celcius. But it's
normally around 0-5. That's awesome that President Reinhardt's mom was baptized.
I'm sure he's been working and
praying really hard for her for many years.
We have many investigators we need to work with to get
progressing more, along with a few newly found potential investigators that
we'll be trying to begin meeting with. We've been seeing many miracles lately,
and with our recently extra-strengthened relationship we have
with the ward, we are expecting many more amazing
miracles in the coming week and beyond!
I love you all so much! Thank you for your love and
support! Take care!
Christmas Conference Dec. 24, 2012.
Elder Barino from Hanapepe, Kauai. He will be going home soon.
President Budge (Santa) and I.
Spam! Preparing our district brunch Dec. 25, 2012.