I tried using some kanji and I hope they are correct XD The first one is 'love' and the second set is 'family'. That is what it is supposed to be anyway XD So, this past week also had a lot of travel. After emailing on Monday we shopped, packed, and headed to Osaka. The elders were out of town but they left their keys so we were able to use their apartment. We woke up a little earlier Tuesday morning so we would have time to get to the US Consulate on time. We actually had to get to an Internet cafe first to get some last minute things done first. We got everything done in time for Tsuchia Chōrō's appointment; which only took half an hour. This was a pleasant surprise as we thought the appointment was going to take a couple of hours. We were able to change the time of our bus ticket to an earlier time so we could get back in time for Eikaiwa. We got lunch before the bus. Once we got to Matsue we taught Eikaiwa at the church building and ended the day.
We had to travel on Wednesday as well because we had Zone Conference on Thursday. We were able to visit an investigator before we left for Okayama. We taught him about Jesus Christ. One of his concerns right now is that he doesn't think he knows Christ very well so we are trying to help him with that. We felt that the lesson went well. We taught very evenly sharing teaching time.We wanted to visit two but one wasn't home. We took the 3:55 bus and got to the elder's apartment around 7:30.
We started Zone Conference at 10:00. Welch Kaicho spoke about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. That Christ's Atonement is the most important doctrine we need to understand. Thus, the Atonement of Christ is our new study challenge. There were multiple things I was impressed with during that meeting. We ended around 2:45. Tsuchia Chōrō had his last interview with President Welch then we headed out. We had tickets for the 6:40 bus. We were walking towards the densha eki when we got a phone call from one of the other elders saying the train to the bus was coming in less than five minutes. And we were still about ten minutes out...so we started running. We passed Welch Kaicho on the way and I saw him laughing at us XD We were getting our tickets when the train pulled up. We were running across the overpass to the other side and I was running down the stairs as the bus was pulling away. You know those scenes were the man stands dejectedly at the side of the train after he fails to reach his loved one in time (or something like that). Yeah, that is what I looked like. We looked up the next time for the train and it was to arrive at 6:30. Remember, our bus was scheduled to depart at 6:40. So we said a prayer and got on the 6:30 train. It got to the bus station at 6:38. We RAN through that train station to get to the busses. We got there as the driver was getting on the bus. We were yelling and waiving our hands to get his attention. We did and we were able to make the bus. It was way close! We got home around 9:45.
We had kokans with the Izumo Elders on Friday. Tsuchia Chōrō went with one elder and Vui Chōrō and I went with another. We were able to teach a couple who were on their way to the buses. They had just completed an important exam when we met them. The awesome thing is they were the ones who stopped us! Their English was way good. We talked about what they were doing and what we were doing as missionaries. They really really liked what we were doing. We exchanged emails and they said they wanted to attend our church! They also told us to pray for them! It was so good! Shortly after that couple we met a college student. He was respectful and attentive. We taught about Jesus Christ and prayer. We actually prayed for him during the contact! He was nice. We then tried to meet a couple of possible investigators but none of them were home. On the way back we stopped at a golf thrift store. We tried their practice swing area. They had Callaways, Taylor Mades, Adams, Cobras, etc. it was cool to see and hold clubs again. I don't think I have told you guys, but Vui Chōrō played golf for Nebraska. He is the number one golfer in Samoa. His dad is number two and his little brother is in the top ten as well. Awesome right!? XD So yeah, my swing was pretty rusty. But Vui Chōrō was able to drive it 335 yards according to the simulator! Before going into the store we made the deal with ourselves that we had to dendo in the store. And we were able to! We told the man who we were and what we did. I asked him about the golf course in Matsue and he said it was small and short. But we might try to hit a driving range on Preparation Day XD After the golf shop we had dinner and headed home.
On Saturday we were only able to do weekly planning before we had to go to Yonago for a concert. It was a concert that we participated in. It featured a man who is a member and a well-known singer. He has come out with many popular songs among members. I don't know his standing in all of Japan, but he was really good! It was a good concert. We were able to get a ride home from the Matsumoto family. And we had just watched their "I Am A Mormon" video earlier so it was cool to talk to them about their experience with that. It was about three years ago now.
Sunday was Valentine’s Day! I had some chocolate for breakfast which was fun! Oh, I forgot to tell you guys, I got my first talk assignment! Finally!! Since I entered the MTC I haven't given a talk, until now. I was assigned to speak on what I did for my missionary preparation and what I am learning right now as a missionary. With the help of my companions I was able to write a talk that was understandable. I didn't feel super nervous which was nice. I was able to speak at a good pace and in a way that the members could understand. It went well. We had a man come that was in Japan to work on nuclear reactors. He is an American and I was able to talk to him about his work. I got his email because I would like to talk to him. Anyway, he has some cool stories! After church we held mission prep class and had ward council. Then, after dinner, we met with another member who has been going through some difficult challenges. But we also have a new investigator who seems very receptive to the gospel. He wants to join the church! So awesome! After that we ended our day.
Today has been fun so far. We wanted to go to the beach this morning so we got up at 5:00 XD We were about a minute out when it started snowing with hard wind. Yeah, we called it quits because we knew it would be like that on the coast. We will try again another time. We want to try to do some fun things before Tsuchia Chōrō goes home, which is in only two weeks! Crazy right!? Anyway. We got back home but didn't go back to sleep because it wouldn't have been for very long. We might try to nap later. We have a lunch appointment with a less-active member today so that will be fun. After lunch we will try to go shopping and get everything done. Yeah, good stuff. I'm going to try to treat my companions today. We will see how well that goes XD We are planning on meeting with a less-active and an investigator tonight. We feel pretty good about the investigator. She really likes coming to church so that's good!
So yeah, that was my week. The language is getting better. I'm starting to speak a little faster which is nice. And my listening comprehension is really improving. Even if I don't know the words I am able to listen, separate, and remember them so I can look them up later. I was able to do a lot of the talk myself which was nice to see. There were only a few phrases I needed help on. It definitely wasn't an exact translation, but it was good.
My companions are good. Tsuchia Chōrō isn't trunky which is nice. Vui Chōrō is enjoying being with us. He has told us multiple times how is is learning from us. I'm glad. All of us have good health. I'm still exercising twice a day. And biking is helping too. Right now I am trying to eat a little better. Not that I'm eating bad, I'm just going to try to do a little better. I'm going to try and find cottage cheese at the store today. I don't know if cottage cheese is something common in Japan, but I'm going to find out XD I'm also trying to eat more veggies. They are just more expensive than the other food! XD I set aside some of the birthday money for emergency travel. My money is holding out fine. Usually my monthly fund is sufficient.
I want to bear the simple testimony I have of this Church. I bear testimony that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. Jesus Christ is the head of this Church. It is led by a modern-day prophet named Thomas S. Monson. I know this is true.
I think about you guys every day. Thank you for your good example to me and your love. EVERY DAY, EVERY PRAYER!
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