So Golden Week is basically everyone's favorite holiday here. In the first week of May a lot of people get about a week of work off. Not quite everyone, but a ton of people. So a lot of people are home which is great for us missionaries! It's been great!
After all of our Preparation Day stuff we tried to visit a progressing investigator, but she wasn't home so that didn't happen. Then we visited our shigansha (investigator with a baptismal date) to teach him about the Word of Wisdom. He doesn't really have any problems with it...except coffee. We knew this, that's why we taught it. He said he will read the pamphlet we gave him and that he will do his best. After that we came home to end our day.
We woke up Tuesday to some wild wind. The clouds were big and dark, moving fast. There wasn't a lot of rain. We started our proselyting time by visiting a couple of our investigators. One didn't have time and another one wasn't home so that worked well XD We visited our shigansha (investigator with a baptismal date) and taught him the Law of Chastity. The Law of Chastity is always fun to teach, right ;) He doesn't have any problems with it, and he agrees that pornography is bad. He said that basically half of anime, manga, music, and movies are all porn. So yeah, he really doesn't like it. After that discussion we visited one of our less-active families. They actually live quite close but they are very busy and their schedule is all skiwampus so it's hard for them to say when we can come over. We were able to talk with the father who is an American so I got to speak English (YAY). It's a delicate situation but it was a good talk. After that we came back to the apartment for dinner then headed off to Eikaiwa. By this time the wind had really grown in strength. We weren't sure if anyone would come to Eikaiwa, and, sure enough, no one came. While we were at the church building our phone set off and a carrier-wide weather warning was broadcasted. Strong winds, be careful...really now (yes, lots of sarcasm)!? When we headed home the wind was pushing so hard against our bikes and the rain was really smoking down now. That was pretty fun XD I woke up a few times to the wind howling which I liked.
However, we woke up Wednesday morning to absolutely, perfectly, 100% clear skies. Blue, sun, clear, yus. We went out to visit our shigansha win one of the members. We wanted to go over church, prayer, and reading but the whole plan just went out the window because the member and the shigansha just got talking. The member tried to redirect the conversation multiple times, but it just wasn't working. So, basically, they just talked about random stuff and I didn't understand half of it. So yeah, we will try to meet him to actually do our lesson later. After him we tried to visit a few investigators but none of them were home because of Golden Week. Right now I don't like Golden Week because people are gone. I'm sure I would really like it if I wasn't a missionary, but right now I'm a missionary, so I really don't like it. We were able to teach the Plan of Salvation to our next-door neighbor and we left her a copy of The Book of Mormon. After that we had game night. Again, no one came. So we ended up playing piano/violin, watching Mormon Messages, language study, and a little bit of ping-pong. After that we came home, had dinner, and ended our day.
Thursday morning I woke up sick. Yay. The previous day I was feeling unusually low on energy, and that was probably why. Stuffy nose, head cold, no coughing though. But, it was a very sunny day so that helped lift my spirits a bit. We headed to the church after our study to do our weekly planning. We were only able to do a couple of hours at first because we had an appointment with a member. We studied The Book of Mormon with her then helped her with some things around the house. She has a pretty garden and we sometimes help her pull weeds from the garden. After that we headed back to the church, but by this time I was way low on energy and really needed to rest so we stopped by the church to do iPad inventory then went to the apartment. Yamamoto Chōrō made me rest for the remainder of the day XD I took some NyQuil and conked out pretty fast.
The next morning I woke up feeling a little bit better, but still sick. We had Zone Training Meeting that day so we woke up and headed to the mission home in Kobe where we have all of our zone meetings. After business we talked about the Atonement of Christ and charity. For me, the Atonement of Christ is the perfect example of charity. If you take five or ten minutes to think about what our elder brother did for us it can really impress upon you the love He has for us. I am very grateful that He did what He did. Then we discussed how we should think of ourselves, first and foremost, as children of God. When we see ourselves, and others, in this light, the whole world changes. We treat everyone differently, including ourselves. After the meeting I bought a few items from the mission home: Skippy peanut butter, Quaker granola cereal, and a couple of boxes of Kraft mac'n'cheese. After that a few of us had lunch together. We went to Sukiya which is well known for its gyudon. There is an off-menu option called "king size" and it is basically like what McDonalds used to do with supersize. I got their king-size cheese gyudon and it was soooooo good and sooooooooooooooooo much. The king-size gyudon from Sukiya is kind of like a rite of passage for missionaries in Japan. And since I hadn't done it yet it was about time XD After that we headed back to Sumoto. We finished the day with the rest of our weekly planning.
We wanted to do ‘heart attacks’ on Saturday since Sunday was Mother’s Day. There were three people we wanted to do it to which included investigators and members. We got red, pink, and off-pink paper for the hearts. I would say we cut out about 30-40 hearts per door we were planning on doing. After cutting out the hearts we went to Japanese Class were we met with one of our investigators. We weren't able to teach a lesson but he told us he was going to come to church so that's awesome! Then we visited an investigator and set up an appointment with him to meet outside of his clock shop so we can actually teach him lessons without customers interrupting us. After him we went to another investigator, but she wasn't home. So we visited our shigansha. Honestly, some lessons with him just feel like he is intentionally being impossible. He changes topics like nobody's business and he asks the most random questions in the middle of explaining a question he just asked. I can feel Yamamoto Chōrō trying not to explode on this guy XD I definitely don't blame him. But we were just following up on his commitments so it wasn't a principle or doctrine we were trying to teach. After him we went to the church for branch presidency meeting. I don't really take part in it because I'm not a member of the presidency. But I listen and give input once in a while when it is needed. After that we came home, had dinner, and hit the hay.
On Sunday we had the Kobe stake president come and visit which was great for us! He brought his son who had finished his mission in Tokyo South just a couple of months before. We had one of our investigators come which was awesome. He is Philippino and is here for work so he is studying Japanese. He likes the missionaries, and so does his wife, so he comes to church as after as he can. It's just hard to meet with him because he is so busy with work. After church we went to visit an investigator and we taught her the importance of The Book of Mormon. She is reading each day, but it is difficult for her to understand sometimes. After her we went to the senior missionary's apartment to clean it because they have been out of town for a little more than a month. We were there for about an hour. Their apartment is way newer than ours and they have a couch so we were saying the whole time that we need to get that apartment XD Totally kidding though. After that we filled out our shigansha report and then went to do heart attacks because we weren't able to on Saturday. It was great, hard to see, and we were very sneaky. I think they underestimated the sneakiness ;) after that we came home and ended our day.
Today we studied, cleaned, and did awesome laundry. Today I am FaceTiming you guys [immediate family] so I am WAAAAAAAAAAYY looking forward to that. DEFINITELY the highlight of my day/week/month/transfer. After FaceTime we are going to drop our suits off to get dry-cleaned for the Elder Stevenson conference in a couple of weeks. Then we will do grocery shopping and I will send my voting ballot in the mail on the fastest delivery service. I hope it will get there in time. After that we are just planning on being around the apartment relaxing. I will probably be thinking about you guys all day, and probably for a few days after. But, of course, you guys are never far from my thoughts. After that we will visit with our shigansha to teach about the Holy Ghost and the Law of Chastity. Good stuff. We are pretty sure that lesson will take time so that will be the end of our day. It's been raining continuously since last night, but it is warm. The next week should be mostly rainy with a little sun. I'm pretty sure we are entering rainy season here in Japan so that's great. I'm an Oregonian, bring it on!
Yep, it's been a good week. From here on out we will be out of our area for about half of the remainder of the transfer. With exchanges, district and zone meetings/conferences, the Elder Stevenson conference, and some stake leadership meetings that Elder Yamamoto has to attend because he is a member of the branch presidency, we will be gone a lot. That will make it difficult to work with our investigators and planning for them, but we will do our best. Next Monday we are planning on biking the whole of Awaji Island. We will get up early and be biking the ENTIRE day! It should be fun. Please pray for our safety XD あいしてるよ!
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