We`ve been enduring the cold of Yonezawa and seeing miracles! If the snow would stop, this would be one of the best places to serve in, but we hear that there`s a full month left of blizzards. We`ve had to spend quite a bit on the bus, but we`ll make it out of winter pretty well, I think!
The work has been going pretty well. We were able to meet with almost all of our investigators this week, which meant we actually had a decent number of lessons. I`ll do a kind of summary of each investigator quickly.
"T"-san: Came to Sacrament Meeting! Wanted to test the importance of the Sacrament. He thinks that our church is true, unlike the Jehovah`s Witnesses.
"S"-san: Finally met! Her son got an answer to prayer again! She said she`s still not sure about baptism. She has not been smoking and is reducing her alcohol intake.
"H"-san: Studied that 10 Commandments. She`s still doing awesome. We`ll try meeting twice a week from now on.
"K"-kun: He`s doing pretty well, but he`s still kind of bad at doing what we ask him to do. Reading and praying is pretty slow, but we`ll keep working on him.
"S"-san: Had a decent lesson for once. He has a pretty sad story with his son that we`ve been hearing about, but hopefully he can overcome it.
"O"-san: Couldn`t meet, sadly.
We`ve been using the finding technique, known as `Sendai Stake Chirashi Posting`, recommended by our mission president. Basically what we do is leave a lot of pamphlets about our church specially produced for Tohoku in people`s postboxes. A week later, we come back and see if the read them and try to talk about it. Well, last week a woman named Iwai-san said that we could come back and discuss more, which we followed up on Saturday. It turns out that both she and her husband have a long history with missionaries, including getting lessons as a family nearly thirty years ago. Despite living less than ten minutes away from our apartment, they apparently hadn`t been visited in that long of a time. They are Buddhist but very friendly and willing to chat, so the other elders will practice teaching lessons with them.
We also gave a Book of Mormon to a man who didn`t really seem all that interested at first. He said that he had never really thought about God, but he let us talk for about half an hour. As he looked through the Book of Mormon, he said `ちょっと興味がある`, which means `I`m kind of interested`! We`ll follow up and see how that goes. We also had perfect timing running into the landlord of the apartment complex. We asked her what her purpose of life is, and she told us that she thinks that her purpose is to feel happy by helping others. We talked for a bit and managed to make a return appointment for tomorrow. She`s Buddhist as well, but I have high hopes for her!
This weekend was the famous Snow Lantern Festival here in Yonezawa. We made a lantern near the Shinto shrine with the YIRA group, so I`ll be sure to send a picture as well. The other gaijin are really weird. It`s going to be hard to readjust to American life. However, one of the women is really good at shuwa, so she`ll get me books and stuff to help me continue studying.
Finally, I got the dreaded `trunky letter`. The mission president sends it in one`s third to last transfer. The point is to keep missionaries from feeling trunky, but it is a stark reminder that the remaining time here in Japan is severely limited. I`m still focused on the mission, but I`m excited to come back to Utah and apply what I learned out here!
Thanks for all you do!