Monday, January 7, 2013

Week 65 - January 7, 2013
Aloha family!  
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!

Elder Rindlisbacher

P.S. Pictures!

 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.
 Elder Tohara likes Spam!
 District Brunch
 The Hibarigaoka Missionaries as of Dec. 28, 2012,
Myself, Elder Healy, Sis. Nagamine, Sis. Walbeck.
 Tokorozawa Outreach, Elder Tohara's last.
 Ishimine Kyodai (Ward Mission Leader) making Okinawa Soba Noodles Dec. 30, 2012.
 Ishimine Kyodai and Shimai after dinner, he enjoys doing magic tricks.
 Dinner with the Touma Family Dec. 31, 2012.
 Dinner at Bishop Uemura's Home Jan. 2, 2013. The Sisters and one of Bishop's daughters playing a game called 'Fukuwarai.'
Lunch with the Aoki Family Jan. 2, 2013.

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