Week 103 – October 4, 2013 Aloha! Alright, it's been about two and a half weeks since I've sent a decent email. Sorry it's been so long. We've had so many things to do that we haven't taken a decent preparation day where I can email since the last one I sent. But with many things to do there are always so many great experiences. It's hard to know where to begin! And at the same time I don't want to bore everyone with an email that's too long. Two weeks ago Elder Olson and I went o exchange to Shonan. President Wada recommended we go on exchange withthem to help them to find more investigators. We had a great time and I think it was really an inspired exchange. I worked with Elder Allred and Elder Olson worked with Elder Allred's companion, Elder Peters. We talked with many, many people and met some great new potential investigators. I tried my best to give Elder Allredas many opportu- nities as I could to speak and share insights as we were talking to people. Overall the exchange gave a great boost of motivation.
The next day we had a conference for the 13 district leaders in the mission and a few sisters. Conferences are always special. It's great to see the missionaries and to feel of their dedication and faith. Sister Hathaway was invited be- cause we want her to receive some training as she'll probably be asked to serve as a sister training leader sometime in the future. The next Monday we met with the Nagatomo Family and went to a place called Kamakura. the Nagatomo Family is the one with the 12 year-old son and who we went with the father to a baseball game a few weeks ago. Kamakura is a very historical and popular place in Japan. I believe it was the capitol, over 1,000 years ago. We spent a great day with them and they drove us back to Kichijoji that evening. We took them into the chapel and talked about the gospel and taught about the restoration. They cried as they shared how they were feeling. The spirit was strong. I had a great exchange with Elder Larsonand Elder Connell in Tama last week. They are both amazing missionaries and are doing very well. We were able to have many meaningful conversations over the 24 hours as well as teach two lessons. I had so much fun constantly talking with people and enjoying the company of Elder Connell and Elder Larson.
We took brownies to a few member families the Sunday before last. We made them that morning before our meet- ings before church and then delivered them in the evening. We had time to take some to two families The first familywe had planned to take brownies to was our ward mission leader. He's been really busy lately but tries very hard anddoes well with fulfilling his calling. We took his address from our member list and headed over to his apartment... we thought. We got there and knocked and the door. Brother Nishio (not the ward mission leader) came to the door and we asked for Brother Ito (the ward mission leader). Brother Nishio said he wasn't there and we were confused and asked where he was. He said he didn't know and that this was his and his younger brother's apartment. They're both in their 20's. Anyway, there Elder Olson and I were standing in front of Brother Nishio, Elder Olson holding a plate of brownies, and me holding a note for Brother Ito. Elder Olson looked at me and then turned back to Brother Nishio andyelled, "Just kidding!" and handed him the brownies. I just put the note I had in my hand behind myback. We thankedhim for all he's been doing to help us (which is a lot and we would have loved to take him brownies as well) and wished him a good time. We had a good laugh after we got back into the car.
From there we went to the Maritini Family's home. The Maritini's are the ones I had dinner with last Thanksgiving andwho had us over for dinner with Jett recently. We put the brownies in front of their door and I rang it and ran. They live in from the street in the middle of a narrow path about the width of a normal sidewalk. Elder Olson was hiding down the path a ways and it would have been good for me to run to where he was after I rang the doorbell but at the time it was easier for me to head the other way as I ran out of their gate. So I ran down that way and hid.After a few minutes I began to walk quietly down the path to where Elder Olson was so we could head home, but just as I was in front of the Maritini's home their door started to open. I tried to back up quietly and quickly but realized that I wasn't going to get far enough away in time so I turned and sprinted. I waited a few minutes again and then was able to make it to Elder Olson and we had another good laugh in the car. The Maritini's gave us a call just as we got home and thanked us. Also, the Nagatomo's attended church here on Sunday and had a wonderful time.
Last Thursday we went with President Wada to Yamate to prepare for a special mission leadership council that was held this past Thursday. We went there to check the location of what is now a park but was where Elder Heber J. Grant and a few other missionaries dedicated the land of Japan for the preaching of the gospel. After that we had ramen at a place of President Wada's recommendation. President Wada really likes to eat good food (not necessarily expensive food, just good food.) I'll send a picture of the ramen. I had Hokkaido Ramen (North Japan), Elder Olson had Shinshu Ramen (Central Japan), and President Wada had Kyushu Ramen (South Japan.) That white/yellow-ish thing on my ramen is butter. It was delicious. In mine there was also pork slices, corn, and potato wedges along with the vegetables and of course noodles.
This past Monday we met with Angel at a small bread shop. Angel is a man from Venezuela that Elder Olson met in Hachijoji when he was serving there about a year and a half ago. They had a very special moment on the street as they talked and Angel opened his heart and shared feelings that were very personal to him. Elder Olson transferred soon after and Angel didn't want to meet with other missionaries because he said he had had a special experience with Elder Olson and not them. Elder Olson's called him a few times since then just to see how he's been and we wereable to meet with him this past Monday. It was such a great meeting. He is such a good person. We had a great talk and he opened his heart to us. He cried as he talked about the joys of raising a child and he cried as he talked about how he hopes he can live a good enough life to make up for past sins. He said many things that were very touching. One thing he said, through his tears, was "When I was young I thought I was having fun. And I hoped I could live many days so I could have fun. Now I hope I can live many days for redemption." Towards the end of the conversa- tion he said, "This meeting really means a lot to me. It means a lot for the rest of my life." I hope to keep in contact with him and hopefully meet him at least once more before I return home. This past Wednesday we spent some great time with President and Sister Wada. We had lunch at a Thai restaurant and when we walked into the restaurant it felt like we were in Thailand (although I've never been there.) We had a great lunch and got Wendy's frostys afterwards. There aren't many Wendy's in Japan. Then we went to the temple fora 2:00 pm session. It was such a great session. The spirit was strong. Driving home from the temple Sister Wada looked out the window and pointed out a nice big rainbow. She was trying to get a picture of it with her phone when we went around a curve and there was another one. So two big rainbows next to each other. There was special meaning in that for us that I'll explain later in this letter. We held our special mission leadership council this past Thursday. It went great. We held it in Yamate this time instead of Kichijoji in honor of the dedication of Japan and to bless our newly opened mission. This is something President Wada has been talking about and planning with us since he arrived here. We took the missionaries (just over 20 of us) to the area where the dedicatory prayer was given, sang hymns, shared testimony, and prayed. We used the same format for the meeting that the early missionaries used as they held the meeting there for the dedi- cating. We sang 'We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet', had an openingprayer, sang 'Now Let Us Rejoice', had testi- monies shared by each missionary, a special prayer was given by President Wada, we sang 'Come,Come, Ye Saints', and had a closing prayer. That was the morning portion of the council and the afternoon was spent at the chapel therein Yamate. The afternoon went great as we spoke of and trained on the work. Today we've been really busy. This morning at 5:30 am we taught seminary to the Wada boys. That is always great, they're wonderful young men. We made and had breakfast with them after that and they went on their way to school.Elder Olson and I went on a run and found a nice park not far from the church/apartment. Right from finishing our workout we got in the car to go pick up Elder Medeiros. Elder Medeiros is my new companion and the new assistant as Elder Olson returns home next Tuesday. I've spent the last four transfers, just over five months with Elder Olson. We feel like we've been able to unite like no other companionship in the mission, especially as it's unheard of in the mission to have a companion for so long. Elder Olson and I aren't very similar in our personalities beside the fact that we're both very stubborn, so we weren't two that connected right away. But I know that President Budge had a lot of wisdom and inspiration as we were called to be companions and to assist the Wada's in opening the mission. We've grown and learned so much from each other. I'm excited to work with Elder Medeiros over the next six weeks. You might remember but I lived with him in Kanagawa for a transfer. He's from Wahiawa. Today we also met with a member, Masaki Yoza, who's preparing to serve a mission. He's extremely smart and just about as full of love as anyone could ever get. We meet with him occasionally to study from the scriptures and Preach my Gospel. After our meeting today he showed us a short video of Joseph Smith that had very beautiful back- ground music. After the video he said he wanted to do something for Elder Olson before he leaves the mission and that he'd been practicing the music that was on the video and wanted to play it for him. We went into the chapel and were touched by the beautiful music and the love that could be felt through it. Other than everything else that's been going on we've been going to each zone with President and Sister Wada for interviews. Once about every three months each missionary has an interview with President. It was a lot of fun being there and getting to know each missionary better as they waited outside of the room as their companion was being interviewed. We talked with each missionary to see where we have opportunities for future training and strengthen- ing. We'll be compiling the results of that within the next few days. I love you all so much and am so grateful for you. Thank you for your support and examples back home. I have six weeks left in the mission. I'm very grateful for this next six weeks as I wouldn't have them if I wasn't able to extend. I hope to make the best of it and serve as much as I can. I love you! Take care! Love, Elder Rindlisbacher P.S. Sorry if you find the letter long, I wish I could express my feelings and emotions better as I share these experiences with you. I am having the time of my life! I forgot to say that the meaning of the two rainbows was that our decision to have Elder Medeiros come in as the nextassistant was right. That's what we took it to mean because as we left the temple, President said he had had two distinct impressions, one being that Elder Medeiros was to be the next assistant. Everyone in the office is now joking that the two rainbows are the two Hawaiians now in the mission home. Love you!