Sunday, December 8, 2013

They said Yamato, now they say Nihon

Hey hey hey!!

Fun fact/Japanese/History lesson for you: Japan was originally called Yamato 大和--"great peace," or the Land of Great Peace. Now it is known as Nihon 日本--"sun`s origin," or Land of the Rising Sun. I`ve been studying a lot of kanji lately, which really has helped broaden my understanding of the language. It pretty cool. Still have like a billion things to learn though!

But those words ring true....this is a land of great peace, and it is truly an awesome sight to wake up to that sunrise every morning.

Anyway, now the important stuff. Elder Ahuna and I found a new investigator this week! Actually it would be more accurate to say that HE found US. It was a classic example of the Spirit leading us. As we were returning back to our apartment,, we decided to stop in at the 100 yen store close by (the Daiso) to buy some treats for a lesson at the church. 

While we were inside looking around, a young man came up and started talking to us in English, asking if we were college students. We happily replied that we are actually missionaries, and we came to Japan to teach people about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and help people find greater happiness and peace in their lives. 

He was truly interested in us, and super friendly. Asked us a lot of questions, and then, once again breaking the normal routine of typical missionary encounters, HE asked US if we could meet again sometime. It was all pretty much too good to be true, haha. We are meeting him at a family restaurant close by later tonight. His name is Kosu-ke, about 24 years old, and he`s a total bro. Can`t wait to see him again.
this isn't really Kosu-ke! the guard at Nagoya Castle
We were also happy to have Fu-san and Fi-san back in town this week! They have been away on business trip in Kobe, so we have been unable to meet with them since the end of October. We stopped by to welcome them back last night, and taught them again about prayer. Stoked.

No-san is doing great. We meet with him every week, and he is always reading and praying. We are encouraging and helping him to recognize answers to his prayers, which he is still struggling with. But it will come with time. 

We've found that most Japanese people really like to take their time and ease into things slowly.....they don`t tend toward quick or sudden changes. That`s why we see a lot of people who have been investigating the church for quite some time. But everyone is different, of course.

Elder A and I spent a lot of time knocking on doors this week, since we haven`t done much housing lately. Close to 200 houses/apartments this week....we found a huge apartment complex with like 12 enormous apartment buildings, ready for us to conquer, haha. We really want to find some more people to teach.

Nagoya Castle Door Approach:
Hello, Sensei? We couldn't help but admire your home.
We have a message to share with you . . . and then we'd like to schedule the LDS Area Christmas Party.
Right now I`m putting my map skills to good use. We have this giant map of our area in our apartment, and I`ve been working on it for past month and a half or so to locate all of the active church members, investigators, and less active church members in our area. The map is dominated by less active members, and it`s been really useful in our planning sessions to go out and find people and bring them back to church. 

The main success with less active members that we have seen has been with the O family, whose daughter S is one of our investigators. They all came to our English class (Eikaiwa) last week, and it was great to see them. Sister O is from Thailand, and doesn`t speak much Japanese (and no English), but she`s taught us some cool stuff in Thai. I`m learning random words from tons of different languages on my mission so far....Portugese, Thai, Tagolog, Vietnamese,`s legit.

I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for all the awesome mail I have been receiving lately. I`ve gotten some wonderful letters and packages from people, and I can't express how grateful I am for all of you. Thank you so much!! I am definitely feeling the love!!

I leave you with the words of Isaiah the prophet, which book I just finished this morning:

"For thus saith the high and lofty One 
that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; 

I dwell in the high and holy place, 
with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, 
to revive the spirit of the humble, 
and to revive the heart of the contrite ones."

May we ever remember to humble ourselves and reach out to those whose spirits are in need of reviving, whether it be to comfort a struggling friend or show kindness to a complete stranger. 

If we all unite in purpose to lift up lost souls and shine our light into the cavities scattered across this broken world, imagine the change we could see. Imagine the glory of such a change. Imagine such peace. It all starts with the individual who lights up the darkness.

I love you all! Stay classy, folks!!

Peace and love,
Elder Naylor

ネイラー 長老
we found this great park in Ichinomiya

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