Week 86 - June 3, 2013
I hope you've all had a great week! Congratulations Mikela!
I've been feeling a little of the pressure of being an assistant and needing to be 'perfect' (not really, but as close as I can get!) But it's great here in the mission home and I'm so grateful for all of the opportunities I'm given to love and serve. I have great leaders and people to work with in this amazing cause!
This past Monday we were supposed to meet with Arvin and go to a Family Home Evening activity the YSA hold each week (there are about 30-40 YSA in Nakano ward!) Well, Arvin had stayed up all night and ended up waking up just before we were supposed to meet at 6:30pm. He said he wouldn't be able to come so Elder Olson and I went and met him at the station nearest where he lives. We sat down and talked in a donut shop. He said he had watched some of the 'Mormon Messages' and 'I'm a Mormon' videos. We had shown him the site a few days earlier. He said they were really good and he liked them, however some Anti-Mormon videos and websites came up after the videos ended. There were some entitled, 'I used to be Mormon.' and he was wondering why someone would become Mormon and then decide they didn't want to be Mormon anymore. We had a really good talk with him about it. We ended up teaching him the 10 commandments and Law of Chastity. The more commandments he keeps, the more he'll be blessed. It was a great meeting with him.
This past Tuesday Elder Hamada, Elder Olson, and I went to the temple for an endowment session because a convert of Elder Hamada's from his first area was going through for her first time. She was very prepared and felt the spirit strongly. She was so happy to see Elder Hamada in the Celestial Room. It was great. It was nice to be in the temple on a day other than our normal temple day with the mission.
Later that evening, we had a birthday for party for Elder Hamada as it was his birthday that day. It was a takoyaki party at the church. We had probably about 20 people in attendance, including four Vietnamese people Elder Olson and Elder Hamada met last week while I was on exchange in Kofu. One of them had the same birthday as Elder Hamada so it was a party for the two of them. It was great fun. At the end, we all went into the chapel and Sister Wright sang “I Know My Redeemer Lives" while Sister Nakamura played the piano. It was beautiful and the spirit was strong. Sister Wright and Sister Nakamura are serving here in Nakano with us. Sister Wright is 19 years old and has been here for a little over two months now and Sister Nakamura is 22 and has been here for just about a month. We've had a bunch of new sisters come in recently so there are some really young sister companionships right now.
Wednesday we had a 'New Missionary Conference' for all of the second transfer missionaries and their companions. There were about 42 missionaries, not including President Budge and the three of us, so it was a pretty good-sized conference. We did really short interviews with each missionary in the morning and continued with training. I like to take a lot of time to prepare for training, but it looks like I'll have to get used to not being able to as that's how it seems it will be here in the mission home. We don't have much time to plan or prepare for things in advance too much. Anyway, we basically based the day off of the interviews that morning - what we heard from the missionaries and what we felt they needed. It was a really good conference.
The next day we had a Mission Leadership Council with all of the zone leaders and sister training leaders. That was almost a full day of discussion and it went really well. A lot of great ideas were brought forth and discussed. Elder Olson went on exchange with a zone leader companionship that afternoon after the conference ended, so Elder Hamada and I taught Arvin that night. He really needs and wants to come to church on Sundays, we just need to help him work with his boss to get Sundays off. That has been and probably will be his biggest challenge keeping him from being baptized.
This weekend we had stake conference here for the Tokyo Stake and Elder Ringwood of the Area Presidency presided and spoke. He will actually be touring our mission this week Wednesday to Friday and holding three three-zone conferences. I'm really excited to learn from him and the spirit. I'll be conducting the first of the three conferences so I'll need to practice and prepare for that. We'll also probably have a chance to go to dinner with him and his wife along with President and Sister Budge one night as well. It should be great.
Yesterday, Sunday, one of the sister's (Wright and Nakamura) investigators was baptized. She's 23 years old with an eight-month-old daughter and married to a member who is less-active. It was a great service. Hopefully she will be able to help her less-active husband return to activity and they can be sealed for eternity. That is the gospel. The missionaries sang, “Families Can Be Together Forever” at the baptismal service and the spirit was really strong.
We had three Vietnamese friends with us at stake conference and the baptismal service on Sunday and they had a good time. They said they'd love to participate in Family Home Evening tonight with us!
Things are great here and they're looking great for the near future. Only about four weeks until the South Mission will open, so we'll be working as hard as we can here in Nakano until then!
I love you all so, so much!! Take care!!