Also, my companion baptized Kendorian Martinito! It was a good day.
Monday, November 20, 2017
Sunday, November 12, 2017
Things in Tsu last week wrapped up to about three people
Our apartment leaks during typhoons, and the commisarian called a guy to come fix it. The guy came last Tuesday. I don’t know what we were expecting, but it was actually a good thing that our apartment leaks!
Several surprises. So Koji, the handyman, isn’t a member. He's actually a local shop that came for the repairs. Koji made the business himself.
When Koji walked in to looks at our sliding doors, he looked over at the bookshelf in plain view to the left. His first comment was something like, “You have a lot of BOM's in here!”
And then he had something to keep conversation going, and kept referring back to something connected to BOM. Thus, he kept asking about us, our job, our beliefs, and such as he worked. No problem from us there.
Well, it turns out that Koji also loves Jesus Christ! He wouldn’t call himself Christian, but he reads the Bible everyday and even has seminars for Japanese people on it. He has been to Jerusalem 18 times, and proofed it with several magnets and pictures which he kindly gave to us. Koji is what you would call a saint.
And before he left, we asked if he knew anything about Christ's ministry in the America’s, and he replied no, but was curious about it, so we ended on a gift exchange of magnets for one of the nice BOM he first saw.
Koji generously fixed a giant pothole in the parking lot on the way out, without saying a word to anyone or asking for any thing. He is seriously the most interesting, generous man I know.
We have a new couple moving into our Branch boundaries. The brother is Danish, and his wife Japanese. They bought a traditional, 100+ year old Japanese house for free and were told that the only thing they were responsible for was the possible renovation costs. This house was literally built before WW1!
Well, we got a nice tour of the spacious grounds (it was a RICH house) and there are a lot of mistakes made over the years of the people who “upkept” it. The water isn’t draining, the grounds are flooded, neglected holes in the roof of the secondary house threaten the bearing beam, the neighbors are encroaching on the property, the porcelain outhouse just isn’t doing it for the wife, the animal stalls and silkworm farms are nice but old fashioned, the traditional garden's sculptured boulders are positioned perfectly too close to the house and are hindering... etc.
But, anything that the last grandma left behind are their inheritance! Lots of old treasures, and nice bedding included.
We are helping them move in, but it may be a bigger project than just moving a piano and fridge. On the upside,
I learned all about traditional Japanese house construction, and that was cool!
This week we were all around getting things prepared for this lady's baptism next Sunday. It’s been a long time, and many people have forgotten all the protocols that go behind a baptism. There's a lot of work to be done!
But I had the opportunity to interview her this morning, and I cannot deny that she is prepared and fully willing to take upon Christ's name. What a wonderful woman.
Posted by Linnea at 8:00 PM
Sunday, November 5, 2017
Another week in Tsu:
There’s a family here who recently made a huge comeback in returning to church, and they are all fired up for helping us. We meet with them often, and they take us around to visit members, investigators, and focus people. They’ve fellowshipped the newest baptismal candidate beautifully, and are taking a lot of proactive thought into planning for the candidate's wellbeing. It’s so great!
Maybe the guy I went to in Utah was old school, or maybe the technology in Japan has just skyrocketed, but whatever the case the clinic I went to to get my eyes checked beyond anything I’ve experienced. It was a sensation. Like, the waiting room was the hardest part because there were so many people crowding inside, wanting a minute with the doctor, that we needed to sit down for almost an hour in plush, stuffed armchairs for our own turn. How terrible.
When I was finally ushered inside, the doctor sat me down at one small eye machine for twenty seconds, and then another. In the first, I looked at a small hot air balloon going in and out of focus for a bit. At the second, a small blinking green light grabbed my attention, and then I was slightly startled when a puff of air was blown into my eye. It was like somebody had blown a bit of frosty breath into my face, Puff.
I was almost relieved when I sat down in the third chair and across from me was a traditional screen that I could tell was for the classic ABC test. I wasn’t sure I was getting my money's worth from the first couple tests. Doctor had me read the letters once with, and once without my glasses. Except, I wasn’t reading letters (not even in Japanese), but pointing up, down, left, or right where the C was open. The C just got smaller which each answer. What is this magic!
And then I was told my results. That was it. It was over in less than five minutes.
Brother Brian K. Ashton and his wife visited our mission last Thursday as part of their tour of Japan. What's funny is that the introductory speaker gave an eloquent speech on how we would cover Teaching, using the Spirit, and asking Inspired Questions today (as part of retaining investigators), and then Sister Ashton got up and announced that she felt a much different direction was needed.
We had a wonderful conference on faith, finding, and the commandments of the Lord in relation to our efforts that day. See D&C 82:10.
My faith in Member missionary work has redoubled recently due to a couple experiences from the last week.
We were asked to accompany a couple members in visiting a coworker who recently had a baby girl. The coworker warmly welcomed us all in, we had a nice time chatting and admiring the baby, and before we left the members looked to me expecting that I give an invitation of some sort to hear the missionary lessons. Well, it wasn’t the most beautiful invitation I’ve given, but because of the nice environment and the friendly encouragement we had backing us up, the lady warmly accepted and we are welcome to come back next week.
The members, happy with our success, took us over to visit someone who recently hasn’t been coming to church. That someone wasn’t there, but we knock on his neighbor's door and were received into another small family's home for a bit. Complete strangers. Again, this probably would never happen if we weren’t out with friendly members. We all sat down in the small living room, and my companion and I taught the Restoration lesson on the spot. It was great! A very spiritual experience.
And so we continue to see great improvement in the general well-being of Tsu.
Maegawa is the one closest to me. To her right are Sister and Brother Imai
Hey, happy birthday Claire!!
Hey, happy birthday Claire!!
Just to inform you, I celebrated out here by buying a new coat! At the secondhand shop, I found a wool jacket for about $15. And, a new wool tie for 3. It was quite the bargain! I absolutely love it.
Posted by Linnea at 7:13 PM
Sunday, October 29, 2017
In Tsu with Elder Miole:
We have a new Service Activity—a dope weaving place! I guess some lady reinvented the loom so that even a child can learn to use it. Right now, this place hires Handicaps and funny old guys to make things like jackets, hats, mufflers, socks, and even wallets. A member, Sister Okubo, referred the place to us. It was way cool!
On our way out, we each received a cat coin purse. I Will buy a muffler before the end of this.
Zone Conference was last Thursday, and it was held at a ward super far away, so we had to stay the night at a checkpoint apartment with the Elders in Yokkaichi. The Ise Elders also joined us, so we had eight elders sleeping squished on the floor with a single mat and blanket each. Great fun!
On the trains up there in the morning, we all had to fight the Morning Rush crowds with our overnight bags and such. Not so much fun. Funny thing though, on a transfer to a subway line the crowd was so bad that the conductors were sectioning off people and then jamming them into the trains which came every five minutes. Our group just happened to land at the end of a section. We all go in pushing for that extra centimeter of space, but then Ise Elder Mossman was left remaining on the platform. No more room, but his companion was on the train, so something had to happen. He decided to hop aboard.
Remember, this is a big, Hawaiian football player plus his size-able overnight backpack. I distinctly remember hearing several gasps as peoples' feet left the floor.
Japan train crowds. Real thing, not as fun as they’re hyped up to be.
This week we also had a fantastic Halloween Party! We actually were put in charge of a game and the drinks, so we decided on a toilet paper mummy-wrapping race and a huge cauldron of root beer. People loved it! Except the root beer. Well, it was split: Love-hate thing, kinda like natto. The small four oz bottle I had made 5 gallons, so...
well, in the end we split the remains between people that wanted it, and gave away approximately 10 liters. I think it was still worth it.
This lady who we called “Wonder Woman” last transfer (because she didn’t give us her name the first time we knocked on her door) is actually quite the wonder woman.
Maegawa is just the best.
She came to church for the first time yesterday. The sisters have been working with her for a couple weeks now, and you can tell that she’s been completely prepared by the Lord. She asked about giving up any specific foods, teas, or anything before the sisters had even taught their third lesson. We got another call from Temple Square asking about her, and they practically squealed when I reported that Maegawa had accepted a BOM, come to church, and set a baptism date for 11/19 (which was set on her first lesson).
Everything is perfectly fine, and she’s completely on track to receive baptism on that date. She’s been fellowshipped nicely, and is so accepting of everything. She actually came up to me after the Gospel Principles class yesterday and inquired about receiving a personal copy of the Triple I had let her borrow for church. Wow!
Looking forward to the day we all go up to the baptismal font next month!
Monday, October 23, 2017
Sunday, October 22, 2017
This week in Tsu:
I actually had to go with Reis up to his new area for two reasons: 1) I had no available tachiai (temporary member companion) for like 6 hours and 2) my new companion had not only sprained his right wrist, but also broken his Samsung Tablet by default when he forgot his password, and thus needed a new tablet from HQ.
But that was good because I got to see Elder Wesemann, the mission’s Recorder! #MTC comp
It was an Adventure. We went way out to Toyota first, met an Elder Cutler, then I picked up a quick guitar tune and then we took a fancy tram back into Nagoya, where we walked to HQ and met an Elder Ilg on the way (a new missionary from Brazil who didn’t know his trainer yet. He’s actually from the same, countryside place as Elder Reis so they had a good time catching up. Elder Reis thought for sure that he would train this guy ..but the Lord works in other ways).
Elder Miole's tablet was broken, and HQ couldn’t fix it. They couldn’t give him a new one, either. So
we had to get an iPad! Oh, Man.. so disappointing! ;) ..we set it up, got out, arrived at the station and then realized that he had forgotten the charger. To add to that, Elder Miole forgot his iPad password already, somehow, and we had to go reset his iPad again!
But back on our feet, first week in Tsu, one afternoon we were headed out to a service project referred to us by a member. Ooh, service! Ok!
We got lost amidst the Inaka (countryside) highways and barely made it slightly late ...to the wrong place. Wow. We must’ve biked 14 Km to that place! But it’s ok! It has potential for the future. We checked out the new place and it seems to be opening up a neighborhood Eikaiwa class soon that they would love to have native speakers to volunteer at. No efforts wasted.
Later this week, we were hit by a typhoon. It rained buckets for three days. But, you can’t let a spot of water hold you back from work, so we headed out as normal to find some new investigators. We wanted three in one night. Miraculously, we were blessed with that.
It kinda happened like this. We walked down a ways from the station towards a LA whom I’ve never met before, tried to meet them but only got the answering service of their 10 year old daughter. Then, we decided to just knock on all the doors of the apartment complex in which they live. It’s a huge complex. There must have been about 20 gigantic buildings there.
That night, on the hunt for 3 People, we were expecting to find a lot of people from the Philippines because it seemed to be that type of foreigner's place. But after getting rejected by some, and only receiving sketchy appointments from others, we finally came across one Philippine lady who showed solid interest in the Book of Mormon. There's one!
Go a little further and there’s this one older Japanese lady who opens up to us. We shared a message about Family History, something the Mission has been trying to push for a while now but nobody has a clue what to do for, and the lady actually showed interest! She gave us all her contact information, asked us to come back next week, and then politely wished us safety home. There’s the second one!
I wasn’t settling for the earlier, sketchy appointment as an actual investigator, so we go on again until a door opens up to a young, high-school aged Japanese lady. She was chill! Way prepared. I have no idea what approach to use for these kind of people, but just by opening my mouth I sensed that it was filled with the words she needed to hear. I talked about Christ and why he is known around the world. My companion gave excellent support, and the lady said we could come back next week. Even amidst the rain, when you don’t feel like much, the Lord will bless you with guidance towards your goals!
Loving this area. The members are all fired up now that Elder Miole, a Philippine missionary, has come. He’s probably the first, maybe the only, Philippine missionary that I know. How lucky I am to work with him here! The Member missionary work is going to explode this transfer. I’ll probably get some very interesting tastes of Philippine culture along the way. Anyone ever heard of Balut?
Posted by Linnea at 9:01 PM