Monday, October 10, 2016

2016.10.2 洲本交換が当たり(Sumoto exchange, etc.)


So this week had some rough patches, Imma be honest. There were some really high points and a couple of low points. There was some exhausting bike rides that we did, a couple of companion exchanges, and a visit from a former missionary. Let me get to the details.

Because of rescheduling issues we had two companion exchanges. One was on Wednesday and it was with Sumoto! We decided to wake up around 5:00 to take the 5:40 ferry over to Iwaya, the northernmost settlement on the island of Awaji. We got there a little before 6:00. Now, I have biked from Iwaya to Sumoto (or vice versa) about 10 times so I should be super used to it, right? However, probably because I haven't done it in a couple of months, it wiped me out. There was also a strong head-wind. We got into Sumoto at 7:25. We were soaked in sweat when we got to the apartment. Everything was super nostalgic on the exchange, especially being Hancock Chōrō's companion again. I saw several members and investigators which made me supper happy! One of them honored me with a mega-deep bow and super honorific language which nearly made me cry. すごくうれしかった (it was way awesome)! We met a potential investigator who has a 140 year-old house which was way cool to see. She doesn't have interest but told us to stop by again. We found a man who said he will come to Eikaiwa and bring his girlfriend. Overall, it was a good exchange.

We woke up at normal time the next morning and got dressed to ride (sports clothes). But before we left we attended a missionary meeting with the senior couple and one of the members and we studied from chapter one of Preach My Gospel. The member is absolutely on 🔥 now, it's amazing!!! After that we left for our area. He videos I sent were of us traveling back to our area (except for the one where it's dark outside, that was on the way over). We got back to our apartment around 1:30 and had to rest because we were about to die. After that we tried to do some weekly planning, tried to meet with a new investigator but hat fell through, then sped over to the other end of our area to meet with a member. By the time we returned to our apartment we were so tired. I'm sure I fell asleep as soon as my head hit my pillow.

Our other exchange was on Friday after zone training meeting. Which was awesome by the way. My  companion, Jones Chōrō, gave some great training on finding new investigators. Takeaways from him were: 1) teach to find, not just to mark a lesson and 2) observe how the person you are talking to reacts to the Holy Ghost. Even with having talked to me before about what he wanted to say I learned new things.

Anyway, the exchange. I was walking with my exchange companion while my companion was with the other elder. We were eating dinner early so we could switch off the bikes when we got a call from my companion.  Apparently, someone got in an accident and did a spectacular swan-dive into the middle of the road. It's ok, no one was hurt. However, my bike was. Then, soon after, that same elder slipped on my bike and busted my bike light. He felt way bad and apologized and I have nothing against him. It was raining very heavily at the time and it was dark. It just means I have about 100 dollars in repair costs this week...yay... I have to get a new rear tire and new light.

My companion bought me Baskin Robins which was way sweet of him. We got Holloween flavors!!!  #Halloweenisthebest 👻 🎃 🍭 🍦

Then came the hard hit of the week. A former missionary came on Sunday to visit our ward. And we had some less-active members come and the sister missionaries had an investigator come so all four of us missionaries had to split with members of her ward to cover everything. I was assigned to teach Gospel Principles for a new convert. I decided to focus the lesson on The Book of Mormon. And my Japanese is nowhere near perfect so I was struggling a little bit, but he former missionary, and his wife, were there and they helped me out a little. After that lesson we went to priesthood. And right before it started the former missionary came to me and said that I speak Japanese like a child. He said that as soon as I start speaking like an adult people will take me seriously. He told me that everyone will just think of me as the cute little foreigner who is trying but can't speak. Needless to say I got way ticked off. And that was all I could thing of the rest of the day. He also told my  companion how to do dendou here in Akashi. I'm sure he wasn't trying to make us feel incompetent. It just got us both riled up. After that we were able to eventually cool down and work just fine. But boy was it hard for me not to blow up in his face.

In other news: we got a new rice cooker. It's awesome!

Aside from that things have been fine. My companion and I are trying hard to find new investigators. When we contact people we try to set up a second appointment but no one has yet. We are focusing our teaching so that we can find those who will want to learn more. Also, we are trying to use short, powerful statements that explain our purpose and promise blessings at the same time. And we are doing much better at sharing speaking time. About half the people we contact are willing to stop and talk. But of the people who stop and talk, none of them have been willing to meet again. We will keep doing our best though.

There is a section in Preach My Gospel that I keep coming back to again and again. It's in chapter one and it's the section called "A Successful Missionary". I have read it a few times throughout the week. None of us are perfect, we aren't supposed to be. That's why we need to rely on Christ and the power of His atonement. The section "A Successful Missionary" describes the things I need to do so I can have the confidence that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. Some days we feel like we can take on the world, other days we are down in he dumps. Some days we are under house arrest because we are sick, and other days we feel like we can reach lift-off on our bikes. After the visiting former missionary episode on Sunday I read this section and was reminded of what I need to focus on now. I want you all to read this section.

So, anyways, that was my week in a nutshell. I'm sorry there was a lot of not good news. I'm doing fine. My health his good, no worries there. My companion is awesome. The weather is definitely cooling down which is nice. The rain is nice too. I'm learning. I love you all! Fight the good fight and never give up, yeah? I'll do the same 😀あいしてるわ (love ya)!

Elder 孔雀


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