My companion’s name is Hutchings. He is from Cali. (I don’t know if people actually call it Cali but I decided to) The Canadian is now with a missionary from Brazil/England. I haven’t met with Yuki yet. He was a referral from another area, and right now he is still meeting with the other area’s people I think. Also we still meet with Ogaki. He is not an investigator, but we still help him get to know some of the stuff in the church. Ogaki wants to go to the temple to do the ordinances for his wife (she killed herself about 23 years ago, and since then he has been way sad and it’s been pretty hard on him) The other day he asked us if he can go to the celestial kingdom with his wife still. And we were able to talk to him about the temple and baptism for the dead and the real purpose of the plan of salvation and the real purpose for pretty much everything in the church: eternal families. We told him that even though his wife is dead, she is waiting in the spirit world, and we can do the work for her here, and when he dies he can still be with his wife in the celestial kingdom forever, and then Ogaki said, “That’s good, I think she would like that”. Anyways, that dude is way happy. His life is really changed because of the church and his baptism.
So, Japan is not okay. Right now it is freakishly hot and humid here. The other day it was like 40 degrees Celsius (I am not sure what that is in Fariengheight (I know that is spelled wrong, leave me alone), but I am pretty sure it’s probably 150 degrees or something like that.) and the humidity was 90%. So that is not fun.
But other than that, everything is actually pretty sweet. Right now, my companion’s Elder “H” from California. He is a noob. The other day, he had an earwax overload and couldn’t hear anything so we had to go to the otolaryngologist . . . so that was crazy.
Since I have come to Japan, I have seen some pretty strange things here- like spiders the size of monkeys and people answering doors with what appears to be almost no clothes. But I guess I have seen some pretty cool stuff, too. Right now there is this old guy we are working with named “O”. This dude wants to be baptized way bad. And when I asked him why, he started to tell me about the mistakes that he has made and the weight and guilt that he feels from his mistakes. He says that he is tired of carrying that weight, and he knows that Christ will take that weight from him. He knows that Christ has suffered for his sins and because of that, he doesn’t need to carry the weight alone. He knows that through believing in Christ, he can receive remission of his sins and rejoice with an “exceedingly great joy” (Mosiah 3:13). I am way thankful for the chance that I have gotten to meet him, someone who understands the Atonement far better than I do, and to see him use that Atonement. It’s incredible seeing the atonement beginning to change someone’s life. “O” is a boss.
Well I am not sure what else to say, so I am going to go.
I went to a summer festival and danced with the asian people doing some weird super asian dance thing and then some japanese girls wanted to take a pictures with us because we are awesome white people. That is a good story from this week. Another story, I don’t like pleated pants. They make me look fat. And then I feel bad about myself and I eat more food to make those feelings go away . . . and then I get fatter.
I made french toast. I called it, caramalized french toast and apples with a brown sugar apple syrup.
So things over here are pretty good. Yamamura san is doing good. We think he does understand some of the stuff super well. His whole conversion process was pretty quick, and I think for him everything felt good and right so he never questioned anything. But a couple weeks ago, after church, we were talking with him and we asked him what he was doing after church, and he told us that he is going to get his hair cut and then go to the dentist . . . so I think we may have to teach him the commandments again.
Another one of our investigators is named Keisou. He is Chinese and he is the only investigator that was here before I got to Hachioji (I think they had a couple of baptism a couple months before I got there). Anyways he is going to get baptized this Saturday. Teaching him has been super interesting. First of all, I just started to teach him maybe about a month ago. Every other time that he was taught it was always on splits. But since I have started to teach Keisou, he seemed to improve very fast. When Elder Kerr first met him, he said that he was wondering if they should just drop Keisou and not even worry about teaching him. But now, Keisou is awesome. He is so happy to be joining the church. Whenever I talk to him about joining the Church, there is such relief in his voice. He doesn’t speak Japanese very well, but it doesn’t matter you can tell that he has been looking for something his whole life. For the most part that is the super exciting stuff that is going on with my investigators.
The rest are pushing along (some faster than others). I will tell you about one more investigator. His name is Wei. He is also Chinese, but speaks perfect Chinese, Japanese and English. He studied Law at Boston College so he is a smart cookie. Teaching him is hard and exhausting. His problem is that he just doesn’t want to change. His heart is hard and is not willing to trust that there is more happiness out there if he just has faith. So we are trying to crush is heart so it becomes soft.
One cool thing we did today was we went to a disaster center type place, and they talked about the super big earthquake. They had some videos from it, and they talked about the danger of earthquakes and of tsunamis. It was pretty cool, actually. The earthquake was a much bigger deal than I thought it was. It messed up basically the entire East coast of Japan. I think they said that 20,000 people were either killed or injured from the earthquake. And I think they said one of the most destructive parts was the tsunami. The place that got hit the worst apparently gets hit a lot, so they had the most cutting edge tsunami protection stuff. Apparently the tsunami was so big that the protection did nothing. The wave height was also so big that it maxed out their measuring scale (the scale maxed out at 9.5 meters, I think) so the tsunami was higher than that. The tsunami just destroyed everything. They had a sweet/scary video of one place when the tsunami first hit land. It was moving with so much force that when it hit land, there was like an explosion. You just saw a “normal” cliff type thing by the water. And then it looked like the cliffs exploded into a huge white cloud. It was sweet and super scary too. Apparently there is going to be another big earth quake within the next four years called the Todai earthquake that will make the last 2011 quake look like a little baby quake.
A lot of missionaries try to get baptismal dates in the beginning, and they try to get them ready for baptism and focus on that. I don’t focus on that–I don’t know if this is a good thing or not. But I try to focus on helping them realize how much God loves them. I try to help them understand that they have a Heavenly Father who loves them and is waiting for them to talk to Him, to pray to Him. One of the greatest moments of missionary work to me is being there for someone’s first prayer. Its so amazing to think that for the first time in their life, they are talking with their Heavenly Father. For the first time in their life, God is hearing their voice talk to Him. I love teaching about the love of God, it saved my life and has made everything sick! His love is evident in everything that we have in this church and it is da bomb!
I didn’t do this, but I have the pictures. 100 hamburgers. Some missionaries ordered 100 hamburgers. It is elegant. The people who worked there wanted to take pictures with the missionaries. Apparently they have never seen somebody order 100 before. The missionary who gave me the pictures said the people who worked there first assumed that the missionary who ordered the burgers didn’t speak Japanese so they were making a mistake. Then they kept repeating it over and over and finally the worker, said, “Let me talk to the manager.” They went over, the manager came over to make sure this was real, and then he said, “It will take 25 minutes.” That would have been an epic thing to see.
Sometimes, I miss school and the beautiful mountains of Utah. I look around at Japan and just think to my self, “Shoot, there are a lot of Asians here.” And then I remember that I am living in Japan. So that is always a good awakening.
Anyways, one of our investigator is named Keisho and he speaks Chinese so I am not even sure how much he understands about the church, but that man loves Jesus. So he his getting baptized next Sunday, I think. Hopefully he gets baptized before he realizes what tithing and fast offerings are. (that was a joke–don’t worry, he gets the church)