Monday, March 6, 2017

2017.1.8 Happy New Years!

Hello everyone!

I know I'm a week late on it, but I hope everyone had an awesome New Years Day! Last week we were running around between members the whole day which is why my weekly update was so short (sorry about that). But
today we aren't nearly as busy so I'll give you all the full scoop

I'll start off by saying that we had a VERY interesting lesson with one of our English class students. Technically, he is one of the sister's students, but he wanted to meet with us. He is a good guy but a little eccentric so I wasn't quite sure where the lesson was going to go. We made sure that we had a member with us so we wouldn't be lacking in Japanese. And, sure enough, the conversation went deep fast.

We started off by trying to address a question he had asked us before: what is the difference between this church and other Christian churches? The member jumped right in and started the Restoration lesson. We pulled out the pamphlet so he could have something to hold and it was going well. I'll tell you right now, he was good about not interrupting which was nice. But, when e member finished, he went into what he had learned by research. He got up on the whiteboard and started in the upper-right corner by writing "space consciousness’s".
Me and my companion were both like, "oh boy, here it goes". And from there I understood maybe 20% of what they were saying. The end result was that he connected the roots of the main Japanese religions, Buddhism and Shinto, to Christianity. The member said he didn't believe in anything wrong, he just really likes learning about religion...and he is eccentric to begin with
๐Ÿคฃ We invited the  investigator to read the Restoration pamphlet and to continue reading the copy of The Book of Mormon that the sisters gave him. He accepted
and said he would be back to church soon. Even though I didn't understand all of the conversation, it felt relaxed and fun. We all learned something.

We had the first after baptism lesson with Furukawa Kyลdai on Friday. We had one of the youth sit in on the lesson. We showed the 20-minute Restoration video because we knew we needed to teach about Joseph
Smith again. He paid attention to the video and understood just fine. I gotta tell ya, I REALLY appreciate the audio-visual materials that the church produces. We are able to engage the attention of others and it makes understanding so much smoother. We just had a Christmas season where we used the #LighttheWorld video heavily and it was great. People really respond to high-quality stuff. Wether it's a street-contact or an after baptism lesson, I am grateful for the effort he church puts into making materials that teachers can use.

Anyway, back to the lesson. After the video was over we focused on The Book of Mormon. He wants to learn about prophets in both the Bible and The Book of Mormon which is awesome! Hopefully we can get a member who understands the Bible in depth on the next lesson. By the end he committed to read one chapter from The Book of Mormon every day so as to start him on the path of strengthening his testimony of that wonderful little blue book.

This transfer we are focusing on improving as teachers. That means chapter 10 of Preach My Gospel! Yeah, we can all use this. As a full-time-missionary or as parents, this chapter can help us teach simply, clearly, and powerfully. My plan is to practice a lot in English first before moving on to Japanese. I hope I can smooth
everything out.

Last week we tried to meet with a lot of less-actives to establish contact. We are on good terms with almost all of them, but there are some that are a ways away so it's a challenge to meet them on a regular basis. But we visited one a couple of days ago who used to be the bishop of the Akashi ward. He was way nice and it was the first time I had ever met him. Found out that he has a faithful home teacher who keeps him up to date on everything going on in the ward. But, it was interesting, it seemed like he was forgetting some things about
the church. For example, he asked how long Elders and Sisters serve missions for. Maybe it's just me. It could also be partly because he has been less-active for 15+ years. Either way, we will definitely be making the 90 minute trip out there again. Especially since we found a new potential investigator while trying to find his house

On Sunday the stake president told us that he wants to see another baptism this month so we described what our investigators look like right now. There is one that looks like he could be baptized in the next month or so. But he is one where we really, really, need to have a member join us because he has studied with another religion for 20+ years. He told us himself that his mind has become that religion's mind, even though he is not a member of hat religion. Even if he wanted to become a member of that religion, they wouldn't let him get baptized.

We also have a new investigator who seems nice but we have had two fall-throughs with him. We are going through out phone right now to clean out the phone book. Hopefully something will turn up form that.

The weather is cold, some days bitterly so. The clouds are hanging around, and yesterday they poured on us. No snow yet though *fingers crossed*. Even with the cold I am keeping warm. I have fully recovered from the cold I had a couple of weeks ago. There are a few families that are home bound because they are all sick. Apparently there is a specific virus going around Japan. I dunno.

I think I'm remembering all the highlights...

Today we have something called mochitsuki with is an event where you have a big, wooden hammer and you pound rice into mochi. I'm excited, I didn't get to do it last year in Matsue. You can definitely find videos on You Tube. But I'll send you one when I do it. After that we are going to shop and relax. Gotta love down time.

The best from the east,
Elder Peacock

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