Week 108 - November 5, 2013
I was able to go on two exchanges this week, one with the Machida zone leaders and another with the elders in Takao. They both went well. With my exchange to Takao I’ve been to every area in the mission but one, a place called Yamato. It doesn’t look like I’ll be getting out there but I guess it’s okay to leave at least one thing undone.
In Machida the zone leaders are Elder Newsom and Elder Larson and they’re training a new elder, Elder Hadlock. They’re all doing very well together. Elder Hadlock is the elder who played guitar at our concert recently. They're obedient and diligent and have a lot of fun as they enjoy each other's company.
Elder Etchu and Elder Mak are the elders in Takao and they’re doing well too. Elder Etchu is Japanese and Elder Mak is American. They’re both very young missionaries with Elder Etchu being transfer three and Elder Mak transfer two. They work very hard to communicate with each other as both don't speak each other's language too well yet. Elder Mak is working very hard to learn Japanese and Elder Etchu is doing the same with English. I was very impressed by both of their language skills as well as their patience with each other as they talk. Elder Mak is completely fearless and will talk with anyone. Not just walking down the street, but walking into a store, train, or other building he’ll always strike up a conversation right away. He'll easily talk with many, many people a day. Elder Etchu is a little shy, more typical of Japanese elders, but he and Elder Mak are a great combination. They both have a great desire to be the missionaries the Lord would have them be.
I've been trying to teach missionaries how to fish versus fishing for them. I feel like it's gone really well with the past few exchanges I've been on. I feel like the missionaries really gain skills and confidence.
On Halloween we had training for most of the district leaders. It didn’t include all of the district leaders and some other missionaries who aren’t district leaders were asked to participate as well. It was a day full of what we call ‘mogi’. Mogi in English is role-play, so it was a day full of practicing. There is information training and there is skill training. Thursday was almost all skill training, trying to pass teaching skills on to the missionaries.
We had an English Speech Contest held here in Kichijoji on Saturday for the top 15 high school representatives from throughout Japan. The speeches were very good and you could tell that there was a great amount of effort put into them. The winner received a trip to Hawaii to stay with a family there for a little more than a week. The contest is put on every year by BYU-Hawaii and open to all high school students in Japan.
This past Sunday Elder Medeiros and I taught a PMG study class to two YSA’s planning on going on missions, Yoza Masaaki, a member of Kichijoji ward, and Ikezaki Kenzo, a member of Urawa ward. Later that evening we went to the Saito Family home for dinner with Masaaki and Kenzo and had a nice discussion on missionary work. Apparently they wanted to have a good talk about mission work with me before I go home. We had a great time.
So it’s about two weeks from today that I’ll be heading home. I’ll see you on the 19th of November. I’ll write once more before then, probably on the 12th. I hope everyone’s doing great. I’m remaining focused on the work here, but I do have many goals and plans for when I return home. I was wondering who will be at the airport that day? I guess I’ll arrive in the early afternoon. If it’s alright I want to go straight home from there.
I love you so much. Thank you for everything. Have a great week!