zondag 23 november 2014

LOVE koukans

Hello there, peeps!
Can I start by saying that I absolutely LOVE koukans? Because I absolutely LOVE them. This time I went on a koukan with Mizuguchi chourou, an Okayama Nishi Zone Leader -- it was on a Wednesday. Before then, I'd been feeling kind of lost. Our investigator pool is sukunai (with old investigators being dropped here and there), and our finding efforts seemed vain and useless. I was starting to lose hope. But then, during that koukan, I learned a lot from Mizuguchi chourou's example, about being more active and, here it comes, BOLD. It seems I keep forgetting that I need to be BOLD. Mizuguchi chourou made me take the lead in some teaching opportunities. Even though I kept claiming that I can't speak Japanese well enough, he insisted that I actually could and that I should have a little confidence. Just do your best and be an active missionary, instead of a passive one. I left Okayama reinvigorated, with a roaring fire in my heart to preach the Gospel again! WHOOHOO!
We also had the baptism and confirmation of a 9-year-old kid we'd been teaching for a while. It was amazing. And we also managed to get his itsumo isogashii mother (who is a less active member) to come see both the baptism and the confirmation of her son. Finally, after pushing back many baptismal dates and facing diverse complications and problems, we did it!! Take that, Satan!
District meeting was awesome. Learned a lot from it. I'm also really looking forward to the Zone Conference this week.
Time is short, gotta go.
Thank you so much for reading! Have a great week!

woensdag 12 november 2014

Lost and found in Misushima

Hello, tomodachies.
This week has been very good. (I feel like I'm starting to get the hang of having a Japanese companion, hahaha!)
We finally had the baptismal mensetsu done for our shigansha. Our district leader, Sourensen chourou, did a koukan with one of the Kurashiki yonnin in order to get this done. There was no time to waste -- our schedule was really tight, so we had to go at turbo-speed, especially because our shigansha lives about 40 minutes away from Kurashiki eki. Sorensen chourou and James chourou, the district leader's companion, deserve props for their extreme efforts to make it in time. A lot of weight fell off of my shoulders and I could rest easy again; I was actually really worried we wouldn't make it in time and whether our shigansha would pass the mensetsu or not. The night before I prayed about this matter, hoping that my mind could be at rest once I did. The day of the mensetsu was hectic, but it went extremely well. I'm really grateful that everything went right. God really listens to our prayers!
Also; getting lost is good! Wait, what? Let me explain: one day, we had a lot of time on our hands. We decided we wanted to visit some old potential investigators in Mizushima. "I got this", Santos chourou said to himself while he lead the way to Mizusima. And totally got lost. But in being lost, we we're able to do finding in areas we had not been to before. And we found someone with genuine interest in the gospel -- he even wanted to meet up at our church to talk about what we share. Isn't that just marvelous?

And then there's kaki. You know kaki? I know kaki. I imagine it's the closest you'll ever come to tasting of the fruit of the Tree of Life.
Yes. I like it that much. And guess what? It rained kaki this week. Too hard to believe? Let me tell you the story of how we received kaki from members of the church, random people we don't really know and vague acquaintances. That's... the story. There's still a lot of kaki in our fridge. My companion was wondering if kakibread would be as tasty as it's banana-ey counterpart. Yatte miyou ka?
One thing that I've learned this week is to have confidence. A zoneleader told me the exact same thing. Even though I thought that our shigansha's mensetsu would fail or that I would never find that place in Mizushima, it all worked out. The Lord's got my back, after all. It's best if we don't forget that.
(Don't have pictures, so sorry, busybusybusy.)
Thank you so much for reading. Have a nice week!

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zondag 2 november 2014

Yamaguchi in Kurashiki

Hello there, friends of mine!

Another week has passed and I'm exhausted. Which is both good and slightly less good (but mostly good, so don't you worry).

We've seen old investigators of ours rise from the dead and people whom we've met with before reemerge and have interest in meeting with us. Having a new companion truly is a blessing. Every time you transfer to another area you bring knowledge and a different perspective of でんど with you. Yamaguchi長老's arrival in Kurashiki was really refreshing and it offers me a total new way to look at the Lord's work. Plus, he speaks Japanese fluently, which makes phone calls and visits to people much more effective. Nice!

We've also been part of the confirmation of our Chinese investigator, who was baptized last week, as an official member of our Church. He also immediately received the Aaronic Priesthood! How cool is that! I truly believe that he is laying down the path to true happiness for himself and may to follow. I'm happy!

And now... the slightly less good stuff. (But still good... only slightly less.)

My new companion and I are still trying to find the "balance". We get along very well with each other, but preparing and teaching lessons is still a work in progress. The language barrier is probably one of the bigger reasons.Contacting people has also leveled up in difficulty. Since there's now a 日本人 they can talk to, they've ceased to speak  "かんたん語" and have switched back to normal 日本語. Following conversations between Yamaguchi長老 and someone else has become a little bit VERY HARD. If my Japanese won't skyrocket while working with Yamaguchi長老... well, that'd stink.

I have received some wonderful advice from the district leader and zone leaders concerning the sudden change of responsibility and companion. Whenever I get advice I can follow clearly I feel much more secure: I have a better perspective on how to become better in different ways. So I'm really looking forward to the coming week!

Sorry for the lack of pictures. Emailing times have been halved because of problems with the computers.

Thank you so much for reading! See you all next week!