Friday, June 27, 2014

Okazaki the hillside city


Fantastic week!! I will start off by saying that I love my new area, my new companion, and my new responsibilities. It has been a wonderful experience here in Okazaki.

The Yahagi River in Okazaki
Okazaki is a nice-sized city with two beautiful rivers and some steep hillsides, on the eastern outskirts of Nagoya. Just north of us is Toyota City, home of the car manufacturer. Really tall apartment buildings spring up across the landscape. Our apartment itself is up kinda on a hill, and there is a park across the street with a very beautiful view of the city and the hills. We get that nice view every morning when we exercise at the park. The nearest train station is a two-minute walk away, and the church is a five-minute bike ride (over a steep hill) from the apartment. So far the past week, we have hardly used our bikes at all, but instead take the trains and walk everywhere. I kinda like it this way.

My new companion, Elder A, is a total bro. He is another Brazilian, straight from Sao Paulo, still a new missionary and eager to learn. We have been working well together. I am very impressed with him; he seems much more mature and focused than I was when I was a new missionary. He will become a great leader in this mission. We are already the best of friends. It is still strange and a little complicated to carry out the zone leader responsibilities when the other zone leader is not my companion, but we're making it work. We do companion exchanges several times a week because Elder Ch and I have to travel often to the mission headquarters in Nagoya or to do companion exchanges with the district leaders in our zone. So it looks like this transfer it will be more like having two companions, haha.

my new bro, Elder A from Sao Paulo!
One bit of fantastic news, we will be seeing a baptism soon!! This past week Elder A and I met with a man named Hiro-san, and he is planning to be baptized on July 13th. He is an awesome guy. He loves coming to church (came to stake conference this past weekend) and he has a great desire to follow Jesus Christ and make good choices with his life. I am so impressed with him and excited to see him enter the waters of baptism in the next few weeks.

Elder A is helping me out a lot with Portuguese (my last companion helped me a lot, too) and I am starting to learn the language a little faster now. It`s still hard learning two languages but it`s a nice challenge. I can promise you my Portuguese won`t be anything special when I get home, haha. My Japanese is progressing pretty well, though.

I think it`s very interesting that I have not had a typical mainland American companion since the MTC, haha. So far I've worked with a Korean, a Hawaiian, a Japanese, a Brazilian, and now my second Brazilian companion. I love everything I'm learning from them! It`s been super fun!!

he looks worried
I am just absolutely loving it here. I wish you all could see the wonderful places that I have had an opportunity to serve in, and meet the amazing people I get to work with. Missionary life is just the greatest. It`s not easy, but infinitely rewarding.

Thank you all for everything. 

Peace and love,
Elder Naylor


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