I`ve had a lot of time for reflection these past few days.
Last Tuesday, we had a great lesson with a new investigator, Ko-san. It was an hour bike ride to his house in the pouring rain (typhoon season), but totally worth it. The lesson was definitely presided over by the Spirit. We taught him more about the Restoration and the Prophet Joseph Smith`s First Vision. Right now, K-san believes that our message and the Book of Mormon are true, but he has difficulty wrapping his head around Jesus Christ and the Atonement. We`ll be focusing on that with him. Great guy. Took us out to eat some Japanese-Italian food after the lesson (super delicious).
We visited Fu-san and Fi-san twice this week to help clean his house. It`s kinda a weird situation because they`re not married, but she`s moving in with him, and we`re basically helping him clean his house so she can move in.....but we couldn`t really say no when he asked us to help! We kinda can`t teach the Law of Chastity yet until we've taught about God and Jesus Christ first. We`ll get there. They`re wonderful!
We had a very spiritual lesson with the Y-sans last night. Elder A and I taught with real unity, and the words just kept coming. I felt for the first time like I could say anything I wanted in fluent Japanese. The gift of tongues is very real. We talked all about families, baptism, and faith. They`re starting to progress slowly. Truly wonderful and kind people.
We also had a lesson with N-san this week. I`m not sure what to think right now. The lesson was going great, and flowing very smoothly....but things kind of went downhill when we came back to talking about baptism. Clearly there`s something going on right now in his life that he is struggling with, but he won`t tell us. We`re not going to pressure him....we need to give him a little space for now. We`re always praying for him. We`ll see how things go with him this week.
We`ve had some really spiritual experiences!
First of all, this past Friday, we decided to focus on finding new people to teach. Turns out when you really knuckle down and focus on something, miracles really do occur. We found 6 new people!! Two very nice older ladies who live in the houses next to a less-active church member that we were visiting, a SUPER nice and friendly Vietnamese couple standing outside a convenience store, a man standing outside that same convenience store who actually talked to us first (turns out he was actually the owner of that particular store), and also a wonderful 19-year old dude that we started talking to outside the main Ichinomiya train station. This young man`s name is S-kun, and he was the most interested out of all these people we found. We ended up walking and talking with him for about 30 minutes, just building a friendship. Super awesome dude. He wants us to teach him English, and we got his contact info and are going to try to meet with him this week. AWESOME.
Second of all, just this morning we got the impression to visit a church member who we didn`t see at church yesterday, Brother T. So we decided to postpone our email time this morning and go visit him. Turns out this visit was a direct answer to his prayers. He was awfully sick and needed someone to talk to and help him out. He needs us to come by again this week and help him around the house. He was really struggling when we came to see him, and it was hard to see...but I was so grateful that our Heavenly Father trusted us enough to be the means by which this humble brother`s prayers could be answered. It was humbling. It is amazing how meticulously and carefully our Father in Heaven watches over His children.
Do you remember several weeks ago when I told about that young man--David--from Ecuador who I met at the mall after performing at a concert there? He was a member of the church and came running up to us to say hi. WELLLLL, just this morning we ran into him again, and this time with all his other Ecuadorian buddies!! I can`t explain how happy we were to see him!! The coolest part is that he doesn`t even live in Ichinomiya, he is only visiting here for the day...We stopped and chatted with him and his friends, and they all speak pretty good English. Elder A happened to have some church pamphlets in Spanish, which we got to give to David`s friends before saying goodbye. Who would`ve thought we`d be giving out Spanish church materials in Japan?? Legit.
|David from Ecuador. The sequel.|
Lots of other amazing happenings this week. The Ichinomiya Ward had an EPIC Halloween Party this past Saturday. We did a Halloween show for the last 45 minutes of the party, in which I got another opportunity to rock the guitar up on the stage in front of everybody as we taught simple American songs to the kids."Itsy-Bitsy Spider," "If You`re Happy and You Know It," "London Bridges," and "Ring Around the Rosie". We also read some children`s books to them, and played games. Super fun. Got lots of pictures. Best part of the party? 56 non-members came!!! Loads of people to talk to. It was awesome.
|I love Halloween|
This past Saturday we also got to play ping-pong with another potential investigator, Ko-san. He will probably start investigating the church soon. We`ll see how this week goes.
Lots of miracles here in Japan land. I miss you all, but I am truly happy here. I`m starting to get more confident with the language, and I can speak and understand much better than I ever would have thought before. Crazy. The Lord is blessing me immensely here.
I love this work, I love all of you, and I love Japan!! Stay classy, folks!!
Elder Matt Naylor
"Saraba tomo yo".....an ancient way of saying "Farewell," often used by the Samurai warriors.