Monday, April 28, 2014

Japan week #38

Hello everyone!! 
 This week has been a BLAST! And SO healing. Last week was a bit of a rough one for me, and I was working hard to get over that, and we had a couple really cool things that happened to help me. We only had one dendo miracle this week, and I REALLY hope it goes somewhere. On Wednesday we were housing and housing and housing, and our scheduled lesson for that day got canceled, so we had NOTHING else to do, but more housing. We were tired, hungry, and did NOT want to keep housing, but we figured that we'd been given this extra finding time for a purpose, so we said a prayer asking for guidance, and went out to go do more finding. We ended up biking a bit, and then on our VERY first contact after we stopped, was a young dad. At first he said that he was sokugakai (buddhisms jehova's witnesses) And that he had no interest in what we had to say. And I was like DAAAAANG IT!!!! But I didn't let it stop at that, I just felt like I needed to keep talking to him, so I did. And we ended up talking about his family, and I don't how it got to the point where he was willing to share this, but he told me that he worries a  lot about his family, especially his two children. He says he doesn't like what's gonna happen in this world, and he's very concerned about how to raise his children in a way that they'll be prepared for it. And I testified hard core right there, and we were able to make a return appointment. :D :D That hardly EVER happens! :D Especially with the young people! :) 
  And this week Elder Aoyagi of the 70 came and visited the mission! :D We had a zone conference, and he did some training, which was amazing. It was all about faith and hope, and producing miracles to baptize. And it was SO AMAZING. With everything that's happened the last transfer or so, it was EXACTLY what I needed, and he also promised us that if we ask HF what he wants us to do in our areas, and even ask a specific question as how many people do I need to help this transfer, that we'll be given the answers. And so Elder Horne and I took that very seriously. We got home from Sapporo, and we sat down, and prayed. Felt the Spirit really strongly, and we wrote down how many people we felt that we needed to reach, and we both felt three. And then proceeded to feel the Spirit even stronger. So. We have 3 peeps that need us this transfer. Whether they're members, less actives, old investigators, people we still haven't found, or someone we've already found, I don't know. But there are 3 people we need to help. Revelation is SO REAL. And I really really learned that this week. :)
 Also got to go to the beach today! About an hour drive south of us. A member drove us out there because I wanted to go way bad, and it was a blast! :D 
      Can't wait to hear from you all soon!
 Love ya!


Monday, April 21, 2014

Japan week #37

Hey!! I actually just got the easter package TODAY as we were leaving to go do emails! :D Made me as giddy as a little Japanese school girl. I thought the mission office might be holding it to give to me at zone conference this week, and if that was the case I would NOT have been happy. But, I saw the mail man drive up, and so we waited in the apartment to see if he had anything for us, and he did!! :D It was kinda funny, he couldn't really read the English on the package our on our name plate, so he just pings the door and asks. Made me laugh, spent a solid five minutes comparing the names. I would know cuz I watched him through the peep hole on the door. ;) I might've been just a TAD too excited for it. :P
  This week has been another rough one. We lost our investigator this week. He doesn't believe that any of this is true, says he's never felt anything or seen any influence at all from reading, praying, coming to church, talking to us, nothing, and he said he doesn't really want to do this anymore. So that's been hard. Otofuke has turned out to be quite the hard area for me. I've seen some great things, but it's also crushed my heart, multiple times. That was the big thing that happened this week. That happened on Saturday, and all that day we just couldn't do anything. NOTHING was happening. No one to visit, REALLY rude people, we were pretty crushed and discouraged. But then we were blessed with a tender mercy of the Lord. We had stopped at a park to sit down and take a break, and just think. Pretty soon a crowd of 7 kids or so, all between the ages of 5 and 12 came and were playing on the playground. They weren't talking to us, but they were talking about us, asking each other if we were american, and what we were doing, not expecting us to be able to speak Japanese. And so I look and say, 'da yo ne!' After one of them had guessed that we were americans. Which just means like, yep! You bet we are! And they were all way excited that we could speak, and they ran to us and started just bombarding us with questions. And then they asked us if we wanted to play tag with them. And you know what, we played tag and hide and go seek with a bunch of kids for thirty minutes. And it was the most sweet tender miracle I've seen in a while. They made us feel so much better, and it was exactly what Elder Horne and I need.
  So now our investigator situation has really kind of tanked, but that's ok. We can't control people and take their agency, and we can only do so much. So now we're back to square one. Time to hit the streets, and find people to talk to. Thanks for all your love and support every week! I always love hearing about all your adventures! :) Talk to you all soon!

 Love, Mike

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Japan week #36

Hey everyone!!
     This week was a blast! :) Elder Horne and I are having a TON of fun. It's hard to believe that it's already been a transfer since I've gotten him!! This has been SOOO FAAST. Like, Elder Lee and mine transfer fast. It's been NUTS. We've had some cool miracles, and some heartcrushing disappointments. It's so true that missions are just experiences, and lots of ups and downs. ;) But it's the best!
   Having conference this week killed a lot of our dendo time, so we weren't able to visit some of our investigators, but we were still able to do some good finding, and made some solid appointments for next week, so that's really exciting! :D
  Riku Kun is coming along. He's not as close to baptism as I once thought, but he's coming along. He thinks too much, and doesn't feel enough I think. He came to general conference though, the Sunday sessions, so that was epic! Said he really enjoyed it, which is awesome! :D
  This week Elder Horne and I decided to try what we call, Sanpo Dendo. Walking dendo, like, taking a walk dendo. It's WAY normal here for people to go out on walks in the mornings, and just enjoy the mornings. So we threw on some regular clothes and went 'for a walk'. ;) There's SO MANY PEOPLE out, and japanese people are all morning people, so they're all way happy and chill to talk. Turns out that it was pretty dang effective. Got to talk to all sorts of people, so we're thinking about making it a regular thing. :)
  So this week is transfers. If all goes according to plan, I'll stay and finish training Elder Horne. But, you never REALLY know, right? :P Six months in Otofuke....crazy to think about it like that! Seems like I just got here with Elder Kozuma just last week!
  Aside from that, this week was very normal. Like nothing crazy happened. :P Nothing really to write about! :P I'll get ya some more epic stories for next week. Love you all so much! Thanks for all you do!! :D

 Love, Mike

Monday, April 7, 2014

Pictures February and March

Mike's new companion, Elder Horne

Japan week #35

This week was a blast. :) Nothing really super crazy happened, but it was just a solid week. It was a nice week to recover from Sato San. :P So, I am VERY short on time, kinda forgot about that this week, so this will have to be short, gomenne!! The big news this week is Riku Kun. He is bascially a stud, and REALLY wants to know if this is true, and we had a GREAT lesson with him yesterday. We had the other elders team up with us, and it was basically four missionaries bearing hard core testimony to him, and we taught the Spirit. And he probably for the first time, recognized that he was feeling the spirit. So that was AMAZING! :) Now we're very excited for what happens when he reads and prays because he kind of knows how he feels it now. So we're INCREDIBLY excited to see some good things from him coming soon. :) He's still got some work, but we're optimistic. :) We also met a TON of nice people this week, and a new investigator of ours that we've met twice surprise fed us dinner when we went to go visit them yesterday, so that was EPIC! Elder Horne and I are finding so many very nice people, and we're very excited to see if we can't get any of them progressing. :) Loving the work, and I'm loving every second of my being here. :) 

      Love you all, can't wait to hear from ya!
 Love, Mike