This was a pretty good week. Let me tell you about some of the investigators that we have been working with.
We have an investigator who has been investigating since he was 14 years old. He is now 47 years old... He works with his family in the "Toy Temple". It is a crazy toy store that looks like a castle. He is pretty good at English because he has been with missionaries for a long long time. He reads the English Book of Mormon because he thinks it is a lot easier than the Japanese one. We recently found him in the area book so this week, we decided to pay him a visit. He has missed the missionaries and we were able to introduce ourselves and we set up an appointment for tomorrow. he says he will probably be baptized some day, but isn't because he respects his family so much. His family is Bukkyo (Buddhist) and has been for generations, so he is a little skeptical about being baptized, but the desire is there, and we can work with that.
We had another investigator who came to church last week. At church, we taught him a lesson about the nature of God and about prayer. He answered our questions perfectly and we had very high expectations for him. He seemed so very golden. We planned to meet with him again before the Volleyball activity we had on Saturday and we were going to give him a Baptism Date. But, he texted us a very disturbing text the night before. He talked about how he thinks Jr. High School girls are attractive and other very sketchy things of that nature. There was no way we could take him to the activity (he is 37 and the activity was held at the Jr. High School). He eventually got mad at us because we said "you shouldn't be saying things like that" and he said he didn't want to see us again. Very scary things, but it turned out being okay. I learned, again, that people have some problems that they can't fix by themselves. Sometimes it is a mental problem (there are a lot of people with these kind of problems in the boonies of Japan) and in some situations it is best not to have them join the church. It is kinda sad, but the Atonement already covers them and they will be fine. The Atonement is perfect and God's plan is perfect. Everything will work out.
Another investigator is one who has had a very hard life. He is about 40 ish(not really sure) and he has had bad experiences with religion. In his past, he was approached by some "missionaries" from one of the sects of Buddhism. They gave him a book and other things that he didn't like and they were very aggressive with him. Apparently the book had some kind of demonic feel and since then he has never trusted any kind of religion and especially their books. So, he will not accept the Book of Mormon yet, but we are helping him out little by little and he has made a lot of progress so far. He will eventually warm up to the Book of Mormon and he has a lot of potential.
We found (from the Sisters) a couple of Filipino investigators. They are young (18 and 23) and they have very great beliefs. So fun to be around. They speak fluent English and Tagalog (I still can't speak Tagalog... I wish I could..) and a little bit of Japanese. They have strong Catholic beliefs. They have a great idea about who God is and about Jesus Christ. We have yet to have a proper lesson with them, but I think they will go far, if they can have faith to find out if our church is true. And, hopefully some day, I can get some Filipino food from them. (I miss that so much!)
So for the general feel of our teaching pool, we have many very unique people. It is very hard to get any of them to progress in the gospel. We don't have anybody on baptism date right now, but that is a goal that my companion and I have this transfer. We want to get all of our investigators progressing, so that they can fully experience the blessings that this gospel brings to their lives.
A big push in the mission right now is member-missionary relationship. So, we have been trying to meet with the members to develop trust in us and for the members to have more "Dendo Fire!" (Excitement about Missionary Work). It has been fun so far to meet with the incredible members in this branch. I want to testify about the power that you, members of the church, have in missionary work. Every member of the church has people that they interact with that are not members of the church, or who are less active members. You have many missionary opportunities in your everyday lives. You could make the missionaries' work so much easier and much more effective if you plant seeds. We as a mission and as a district in the Church are trying to have the members be the main source of the missionaries finding. 70% of the missionaries' time is spent tracting, knocking on doors or streeting, trying to find people who would even listen to what we have to say. The vision for the district is that the missionaries use all their time teaching people. Imagine if the missionaries could teach someone every hour of every day. That would be so incredible, and, with the help of the members, it could happen. It is hard I know, but it can happen if we have faith and Christlike love. Moroni 8:16 says "I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear." If you have love for the people you interact with, the gospel topics will come up naturally. We can all do missionary work, not just the full time missionaries. We can do it!
So, I am still learning a lot, trying to teach, testify and baptize, trying to bring others to Christ. I know that by small and simple things, great things come to pass. Every little act of kindness we do will be noticed by God, and will eventually bring to pass great and marvelous things. We can all experience the joy of missionary work by doing the little things everyday. God's plan is perfect. I love you all! 愛しています！
日本神戸伝道部 西脇市 (Japan Kobe Mission- Nishiwaki City)
末日聖徒イエスキリスト教会 (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)
|Yup. I gave myself a haircut! Looks decent right?|
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