Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Our zone: amazing and hardworking missionaries

Hello everyone!

Elder Ch is a great companion. He is from Colorado and has a background in building robots and stuff. Way smart guy. We have been seeing some great things together here in Okazaki. Being a zone leader is so busy but so fun. We are constantly on exchanges to go help out other areas in the zone. 

The other day we had to go on an emergency trip up to Toyota right after our zone training to talk with their investigator who had just called the Elders during the training and cancelled his upcoming baptism. We had a long talk with him but unfortunately he really was not ready, so his baptism has been postponed until he can work through his problems. It was way sad, but I am definitely glad we went. 

We have three districts in our zone divided over four areas (Toyota, Okazaki, Kariya, and Toyohashi) and 18 missionaries (this is the smallest zone in the mission). Putting together the training for our zone was way hectic this past week, very busy and somewhat stressful, but also quite rewarding. It was a special zone training that President Yamashita also attended, and it had to be 3 hours long, so Elder Ch and I worked our eyes out to make sure it was an uplifting and motivating experience for the whole zone. I think it was a big success, we have already been seeing some changes in the zone to make things more effective. Our zone currently has about half of the baptismal prospects in the mission, despite being the smallest zone, so I am naturally so impressed and happy to be once again working with such amazing and hardworking missionaries. Our goal now is making sure that all of these investigators actually follow through with their baptismal commitments and, even more important, progress smoothly through the Gospel after their baptism. Our big focus right now is true conversion. 

We are seeing some great miracles.....for example, one companionship in Kariya has a Chinese investigator who was scheduled to be baptized on the 24th of this month, but then he had to fly back home to China and would be there for quite some time, thus postponing his baptism and putting it in jeopardy. But then through the faith and hard work of those missionaries, he actually called them to say that he would return home way earlier than expected so that he could receive baptism on the scheduled date and be able to stay and go to church after that. It was fabulous news!

We also have a new investigator from Armenia! His name is Mike and he speaks fluent English, French, German, Russian, and Ukrainian (no Japanese, haha). He is only 28 years old but he is a crazy smart physics researcher working for Toyota. His specialty is lasers. He is currently helping develop a new system of ignition for cars using lasers to replace electric spark plugs, which supposedly is safer and more effective. He described it to us and I didn`t understand at all (way too smart for me)....it was rather humbling to see that his English was better than mine, despite it not being his first language, hahaha. He is a way solid investigator though, and has a lot of great questions. He said that he is a scientist, and therefore has to doubt everything (I bet you would get a kick out of that, Dad, hahaha) but he is still way interested. He asks deep questions about our doctrine, but you can tell that he is not trying to poke at or offend us, but he actually wants to learn. We looked forward to seeing him at church yesterday but the typhoon kinda got in the way of everything.
we get some crazy weather here

The typhoon hit pretty hard, caused a lot of damage and flooding. The wind was blowing so hard that it literally shook the church building during sacrament meeting, and so they sent everyone home after the meeting was over (only 1 hour of church), haha. Lucky for us missionaries, we ride our bikes to church, so that was probably the wettest, windiest, and funnest bike ride of my life, haha. Pretty intense seeing all the tree branches flying everywhere and almost getting knocked off our bikes. We were just fine in the end. We never got the command from the mission headquarters to stay inside though, so Elder Charlton and I decided to stay out and work after church that afternoon and evening. It was legit because we met some great people. The storm calmed down a bit so we were just fine. Last night we had an amazing conversation with a man who had parked his car right in front of the church and was just sitting there taking a break, ended up getting his contact info and everything. It was a nice end to the evening.

it will wait for me!
You went to see Godzilla without me? I am SO offended. Hahaha. "With a horrible grimace and a terrible smell he pulls the city high-tension wires down..." (name that song, I know you know it). I have seen the ads for it all over the place here in Japan (to be expected) and even tried to read some of them (reading Japanese is still rather difficult). I couldn`t understand everything perfectly, but one of the phrases expressed more or less: "GODZILLA IS RETURNING TO JAPAN!!!" I thought it was funny.

This past week was great. I love you guys, thank you so much for everything. You are the best. This is all so true, and I love this work so much.

Peace and love,


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