Wednesday, April 19, 2017

2017.4.2 SAKURA

Hello everyone!

Let me take a minute to explain my subject line. Sakura is one of those times of year the Japanese absolutely treasure. Its a huge symbol of renewal in the Japanese culture. Often times the sides of a street, pond, or park are lined with them so when the time comes there will be an explosion of light pink all around. And the branches of the Sakura trees are loaded with blossoms so it becomes difficult to see the branch. In Japan, the most well-known place for its Sakura is Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan. And it's great that I only live about an hour from the heart of Kyoto. I'll send you pictures in the coming weeks.

So, last week. Was great! We had a solid lesson with one of our investigators who haven't been able to meet for a while. We dropped by just to see how he was doing and he ended up inviting us in. The lesson focus ended up being forgiveness and repentance. We sat down and the first thing he asks is how he can show love to others. And when you have a Japanese person ask that question you take it and run! We went straight to the scriptures and read through a few stories of Christ's personal ministry. All of us can learn A LOT from how Christ taught and served others. And that's what we started with, SERVICE! Then we explained that one shows love when one forgives. We showed the Bible video depiction of forgiving 70x7 times. Oh, I forgot to say that this investigator is decent with English so, yeah, we showed the video in English. Then we read through it from the scriptures in Japanese so he could understand it fully. We let him know that it is available in Japanese on and he said he would look it up. We brought up how we are forgiven of our sins as we follow Christ and keep God's commandments. And when we are baptized we are washed completely clean of guilt and sins. He said he understood. In his own words, "wakatta!", which means a light bulb when off

We had a companion exchange with elders from Toyka. I walked with a young missionary and only spoke Japanese with him which was good. He is really pushing himself to improve which is always inspiring to see.

And it has been absolutely GORGEOUS weather this past week. There was a day that was cold and rainy, but besides that it has been warm. And today is absolutely amazing! The weather forecast says that this entire week is in the 60s so I'm way stoked! I love spring!

We also had a companion exchange with the Assistants. We were able to teach one of their investigators with a member present. I gotta tell ya, I love lessons which investigators when a member is present. It's so cool because the member gets to strengthen their testimony and teaching skills while the investigator can see the results of gospel doctrine and have a new friend. It makes me so happy. I'm gonna be doseki (member-present lesson) master when I return home. I may or may not keep slipping into Japanese as I teach but I will still be all the investigators best friend!

Church is always the best. Especially when you’re with Japanese people. But I may be biased. We met with the stake president and talked about how the zone is doing and the investigators. He then explained to us how a major business magazine had their main article on English programs. And the number one program was that of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. So we basically just got big national publicity as a church. Gotta let your light shine people!

One of the families in our ward is American so they know how to do youth activities. We had a BBQ at their house on Saturday. They let me and my companion grill the meat, i t was so fun. There were SO MANY non-members there that my head was spinning. And they were all so cool. Lots of good food and awesome people.

Last night we had to work on a project as zone leaders so it cut out some of our dend time. But in the middle a package arrived for my companion and he opened it up. It was an Easter package and he opened up all the candy. We basically went ham on the candy and both got sick. Let's just say we were not well all through the night. But now we are better so we are good.

Today we got shopping done, cleaned the apartment, and I got a haircut. Spring cuts are awesome! We are going to meet up with a few members for dinner later on today so I'm excited for that.

Anyway, that's it. General Conference is his weekend for us. Please don't spoil it too much for me, ok guys? Thanks. Have an awesome week.
Love you!

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