So we had transfers this week, and it looks like things are gonna change up a little bit. I will be staying in Okazaki, but my companion, Elder A, will be transferring away. I am now together with Elder Ch, the other zone leader (we are no longer a split companionship). The two new missionaries coming into our area are two of my favorite people in the mission: Elder Sh, who has just served as Assistant for the past four transfers and will spend the last six weeks of his mission here, and his new companion, my beloved bean from Fukuroi, ELDER SCH IS COMING TO OKAZAKI!! They can`t keep us apart for long!!! I will really miss Elder A though. We have had some very powerful experiences together and seen some people`s lives completely changed for the better as a result of the amazing Gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm so grateful for the time we have had to serve together.
Our yakusokusha, Fernando, came to church with his family yesterday!!! It was his first time and he LOVED it. I may have mentioned it before, but the Okazaki Ward is large (for Japan), and there is a small group of Brazilians who attend regularly every Sunday and sit in the left front corner of the chapel together while we missionaries provide translation into Portuguese. Elder A and I have sat there every Sunday to translate. I have come to know and love the Brazilian members here so much. It can be hard for them here in Japan, and I admire their diligence in keeping the faith and staying optimistic about difficult lives. Our Brazilian investigators are wonderful. We have three baptisms coming up for Ariana, Alexandro, and probably Fernando on August 17th. Please pray for them!
|with Fernando and his family|
Unfortunately with the new transfer I won`t be privileged to teach my Brazilian investigators much longer. I will be spending the next week with Elder Sch, passing off all the investigators to him and teaching him the area so that he and Elder Sh can take over teaching them. Then I'll be working with Elder Ch and his pool of investigators. It will be sad, but I know Elder Sch (my awesome bean) and Elder Sh (former AP) will take great care of them, especially helping work through the baptisms of Ariana, Alexandro, and Fernando.
It is very hot and humid here. Like swimming in a hot spring.
Dad, to answer your former question, we don`t get cars as zone leaders. Only the assistants have cars. And thank goodness, because I'm terrified to try driving in Japan.....it`s dangerous enough on a bike, haha. Since we travel to other areas several times a week for meetings and exchanges, I have gotten very, very well acquainted with trains. The train system in Japan is good and efficient.
|Okazaki rice field|
I don`t know if I mentioned it but my MTC companion, Elder B, is also leading a zone over in Shizuoka (my last zone before this one!). I love getting to talk to him more often now.
I will finish with a cool story. We were traveling back from Toyota to Okazaki this past week, waiting for our train. One train came that was not the one we were supposed to take, but I suddenly felt like we should take it anyway, instead .... my reasoning was that maybe that train would get us home faster or something, I dunno. The other missionaries said not to get on, it was the wrong train, but we got on anyway, just before the doors closed. Next thing I know, I look up and I'm staring straight at one of my investigators from my last area (Fukuroi), standing there with a big grin. His name is B, and we'd been unable to contact him before I left Fukuroi and came to Okazaki. We greeted each other loudly and after chatting for a bit, he said he hadn`t been able to meet with the missionaries for a while, but he was on his way home (this was a Friday) and he promised me that he would go to church on Sunday and meet with the missionaries again. We had a really nice chat and we were both super surprised and grateful to meet and talk again. Then we had to get off at the next stop and walk home. It was a really cool experience. I was grateful for the subtle but unmistakeable guidance of the Spirit in that encounter. I will also be able to follow up with Elder Sch when he gets here to Okazaki tomorrow :)
|snapped on a Sunday|
I know that this Gospel is true, and I love it with all my heart. I love you all too. Thanks for everything!
Peace and love,
|family night with the Ks|