Ok so here's the low down on what happened last Monday. Because there are so many new sisters coming to this mission and other missions, three sister leaders are being called to help train and counsel them. Elders cannot counsel sisters and so a lot of sisters are carrying around some struggles that they can't talk about. Having sister leaders allows them to talk about it and recieve advice. Sister Rogers is one of those leaders and one of the two Nagano sisters (the sisters that came to our apartment on Mon) is another of those. As of now, not everything is clear on who has what responsibilities and such, but more information is supposed to be coming from higher up. I'm pretty sure this is a world wide change, not just for us, but I could be wrong. Another piece of news: missionaries are now allowed to e-mail anyone. Our e-mail time is limited to one hour on P-day, but in that time we can e-mail family, friends, aquaintences, and missionaries serving in other missions. This is in an effort to share the gospel through modern technology. Obvoiusly it has some risks and this could be abused, but it seems to me that it will be more of a help than harm. I am now going to give you both last week and this weeks reports since last week was pretty sub-standard.
We went to an English teaching appointment with a member in one of the furthest parts of our area. After we taught, the member brought up fasting and suddenly the conversation turned into something spiritual and gospel related. One of the students got teary-eyed when I said that world wide we fasted for Japan after the earthquake and tsunami in 2011. We went up to her afterward and asked her if she would like to hear more. She agreed so we went to the member's house and taught a little bit of all over. I was feeling the Spirit strongly, but she said at the end of the lesson she wasn't interested in meeting another time. She said conversations like that were interesting and fine, but anything more was too much for her schedule. We went to visit the investigator that was in the hospital. The person in the neighboring bed joined in the conversation and when we shared a scripture, we gave her a Book of Mormon too. She said "oh I think like this too!" We said could we come and talk again and she said yes. We had a cello/violin/piano mini-recital at a member's house. It went well but we got home a little late.
Because we got home late, we had to go back in the morning to grab our bikes. Unfortunately, I forgot the key for my chain lock so we had to carry my bike all the way back to the apartment. We met with the lady from the Phillipenes that we met in the 100 Yen store. She agreed to be baptised, but I'm not sure how much she understands. Her English and her Japanese aren't that great. Apparantly the elders also ran into her when they were housing. I think the Lord really wanted her to come to this gospel. The lady at the hospital read up to page 18 of the Book of Mormon in one day!
One of our investigators took us to a SUPER good tofu retaurant. It had like 9 courses, but they were all tiny portions. I still walked away full to the brim. There is a road that follows a river in our area that we travel along often. All along the banks of the river are sakura trees. Imagine a mile long straight of cherry blossoms. It was so beautiful. We talked to a lady at a bus stop and said "hey, we're teaching a free English class. Wanna come?" She pulled out her phone and said "Yeah let's swap numbers!" Wow.
In District Meeting, we did a role play about asking someone to pray. One of the elders came up with an entire backstory for this role play. It was basically like a soap opera with a kinapped child, drug lord, romance, marriage trouble, and a soccer player. We made a cake for the investigator that took us out to tofu and tried to ding dong ditch the cake, but she opened the door right away so we failed in our ding donging.
When we tried to plan for this day's activities, we both got this strange "stay in the apartment" feel. So we stayed inside and cleaned the apartment, got our records and map caught up and up to date and studied. It turns out that that day a large typhoon like rainstorm came in the afternoon and flooded many streets. Glad we stayed dry. One of our investigators told us that if you double the liquids in a recipe and put it in the rice cooker that it would turn out like if you had put it in an oven. Well it turned into Christmas pudding type stuff. It was still good though.
We had two investigators at church! One of them was the lady from the Phillipenes. She asked me if I could translate into English. I tried but I didn't do a good job.
We went out to eat with the sisters from another district (we got permission). We passed a toy shop with rubber chickens prominantly displayed. Sister Rogers said "Oh I love those things!" Since it is her birthday on Wed, I got the other sisters to distract Sister Rogers while I bought one for her. Unfortunatley, it kept honking as we were walking. I think she's forgotten about it by now though. In the middle of the day we got a call from the APs saying "Could two to four sisters come and sleep at your apartment tonight and can you come to the honbu tomorrow?" We said we have enough space but not enough futons. So after we said goodbye to the other sisters we went to a store and bought futons, blankets, and pillow. It wasn't heavy, but very bulky. Many people gave us strange looks as we were walking around. It was truly Heavenly Father's Plan that we stayed in the apartment on Saturday because if we hadn't in the apartment on Saturday because if we hadn't cleaned and cooked and such we wouldn't have had time on Monday. As we were walking the Nagano sisters back from the station to our apartment I lost my footing and scratched my leg pretty well. It's a lovely color now.
I did missionary work with a native Japanese speaker because Sis Rogers and the other sister had to go to the honbu. Sister Katsuta couldn't figure out Sister Rogers' bike lock so we took the train to our appointment and walked around the rest of the day. At that appointment, a member just came, just popped up. I was grateful for him being there to share his testimony.
One of our less active people that we've been working with has kept the Word of Wisdom and has dramatically improved spiritually. Hopefully this keeps progressing. We aslo had interviews with President Baird and the AP's and ZL's. Apparantly we are doing the best in the mission. The interview was an uplifting and a helpful one. The handle of my scripture case broke, boo. That night one of our most promising investigators called and said she wanted to stop. She said very finally "good bye." We were both sad, but I felt like we had to respect her agency and just let it sit for a while and not push.
We met an 83 year old woman who is just fantastic. We were riding our bikes and both of us thought she's old so she probably won't listen, but we said hello and she asked us where we were going. She said that if we had time, she'd like to walk with us to her house. She believes in God. She paints in watercolors and she says that she can feel God when she paints, especially the color yellow. We gave her a Book of Mormon and are going back next week. Our recent convert Udaka kyodai did animal impressions for us and we busted up laughing. We played badminton with an 8 year old who we hope will become an investigator.
We made shepherd's pie for an investigator who used to live in Australia who is going through a hard time right now. We dropped by the lady in the hospital and found out that she lives in the Tokyo Mission boundaries, so we can't teach her once she leaves. Referral!
At 5:30 in the morning, our phone started making the most annoying sound ever. We look at the text and it said "prepare for earthquake." Just as we figured out that the kanji said earthquake, the apartment started shaking. I thought it was fun but Rogers Shimai was a bit freaked out. Then we went back to sleep. Conference was AMAZING! Also, I think I was in the Church World Report. I'll have to check.
Again, Conference amazing. The New Testament was the most quoted by a landslide. We seem to be finding just as many investigators as we lose. The come and go and come and go.
Lots of love