Monday, September 9, 2013

Week 99 – September 3, 2013

I hope everyone's been great. Everything's going great here.

We had the new missionaries come in late Tuesday night. They were supposed to fly into Narita around 2:00 pm but their flight was cancelled and they ended up coming into Haneda around 11:30 pm like they have in the past. They found out their flight was cancelled after getting to the airport in Salt Lake early in the morning so waited until the afternoon flight. We had 10 new missionaries come in, seven elders and three sisters. Three of the elders are Japanese. They're a great group and we had a good time training and being with them until Thursday afternoon. We were able to get outside and talk to people with them and everyone had a good time. The new missionaries are always the best because they're so ready to just work hard. They don't really know how to do things, but they're ready to give all they can. The first time getting them outside for them is always humbling, but very motivating. We have a testimony meeting after and it's always great.

We're continuing to meet with Jett. He's working a lot with President Wada and the church offices to get a big dance/concert type event going at the church here. We're excited. He says he welcomes the day when the spirit prompts him to be baptized, so we're working with him to further understand and seek after confirmation that what we're teaching is true and that he needs to be baptized.

We had a ward natsumatsuri (Summer Festival) on Saturday and had a great turnout. Almost or maybe even more than half of the people in attendance were nonmembers. The members invited and brought many of their friends and the missionaries did a great job of bringing people as well. Elder Olson and I had a bunch of friends come including Jett and his family. We called everyone we could think of and had a lot more people come than we had planned. It was a lot of fun.

Elder Olson and I went with President and Sister Wada to Yamate on Sunday. Yamate is where missionary work began in Japan, on Fast Sunday September 1, 1901. There was a meeting held from 6:30 am to 7:30 am, so we left the mission home at 5:00 am to get there on time. The meeting was great and consisted of reading a portion of Alma O. Taylor (one of the four elders present at the time of the dedicating)'s journal and a testimony meeting. The hymns were arranged the same as the ones sung on that morning in 1901.

This is the journal entry that was read:
"This being fast day we ate no breakfast, but went out into the woods about eleven o'clock to hold a prayer meeting. After about a twenty minute walk from our rooms, we came to a secluded spot in a small grove situated on the south slope of one of the rolling hills lying to the south of Yokohama and about mid-way between the foreign residences on the Bluff and the bay. Sitting down in a circle on the ground, we opened our meeting by singing, "We thank Thee O God for a Prophet." Bro. Grant offered the opening prayer which was followed with another prayer by Bro. Kelsch. Sang, "Now Let Us Rejoice in The Day of Salvation", after which Bro. Ensign continued in prayer and without changing from our kneeling position our supplication was continued, myself being mouth. The principal features of our prayers were expressions of thanksgiving and praise to God; invocations for strength to preform the duties that rested upon us as missionaries in this land; and also that the Spirit of God would rest upon Apostle Grant to the extent that he would be able to offer up an acceptable dedicatory prayer: for the main object of our going into the woods was to dedicate this land unto the Lord for the proclamation of the Gospel. After the four prayers had been offered up, we sang, "Come Come Ye Saints." We again knelt in a circle and Bro. Grant offered up the dedicatory prayer. After this dedicatory prayer had been offered up, we sang, "The Time is Far Spent.""

Following the early morning meeting we had a meeting with the Yamate ward bishopric, ward auxiliaries, and Yokohama Stake President, followed by dendou chousei shuukai (missionary coordination meeting.) Then we attended the meetings there and were priviledged to have a member from Kanagawa ward (my former area and neighbor to Yamate) tour us around the city. We went around to places like where Elder Grant stayed when he was in Japan and where the dedicatory prayer was offered. We're planning a special mission leadership council in October there in Yamate. This week we're busy getting ready for mission leadership council to be held here in Kichijoji on Friday.

Elder Olson returns home in about five weeks so that means I have just 11. It's hard to believe that time's gone by so quickly. This transfer there will be a few days when both Elder Olson and I have been missionaries for two years, but it doesn't feel that long. We're busy and striving to be more productive servants in the Lord's vineyard. We'll continue to give all we can.

Have a great week! I love you!

Elder Rindlisbacher

P.S. Attached is a picture of missionaries in Tokyo in 1902 (Louis A. Kelsch, Horace Ensign, Heber J. Grant, and Alma O. Taylor.)

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