Sunday, August 7, 2016

08/07/2016 | Transferes

Well we've had a pretty good few weeks. We finally got settled down from the open house, and have had some time to talk about the mission. It was a nice week. The Sisters were able to see a baptism, on the 31st, who I had the privilege of interviewing. She's just a little miracle, and has a really strong testimony. Something that stood out to me in the interview, was that when I would ask her the "Do you believe...?" questions, she wouldn't just say "Yes", but would say "I believe" (it sounds weird in English, but it sounds very normal in Japanese), which was really interesting to me. She really seemed to be telling the truth as she would say it, and it was the feeling, and conformation I needed to say Yes. Aren't those impressions from Heavenly Father just so cool.

Anyway, we had a transfer week come along. I am now on to my final transfer, and sadly had to say good bye to Elder Plummer. He was so much fun to work with, and really easy to get along with these past 1.5 transfers. He headed on up to an area called Takikawa, as the Senior companion for a fairly new Japanese missionary. He should have lots of fun out there. I'm hanging out, and finishing off here in Shinkotoni. It's been such a blessing to come back to an old area, and see what's happened in a year, and be able to help those that are here. I'm really grateful for the chance to work in this wonderful ward, with all the amazing members that are here.

My new companion is.... *drum role commence for last comp* Elder Thompson!!! No not the same one as the MTC, there are actually 2 Elder Thompsons in this mission. He is also part of the same group that came with Elder Pace, and Plummer, and Thurston. Basically other than Elder Bailey, and Elder Vanishi all of my Junior Companions are part of the same group. He's a pretty chill guy, now on his 8th transfer, he had been out here for about 1 year. He is a video game nerd, so we get along pretty well, and he has given me several recommendations for when I get home.

So an interesting experience from this last week. This last Saturday, we had an experience where we really felt as though we had been led by God. So we started off the day by meeting up with the Sisters, to discuss what we wanted to do for Shinkotoni this Transfer. Well unexpected circumstances caused us to be a little late getting there, and then we talked longer than we had planned. I was a little discouraged since our plans were having to change out of the blue like that, but we continued forward. We then took some time to wash the Baptismal font. Kind of an interesting little "ritual" that the sisters did here these last 2 transfers, that helped them see a baptism each transfer, so we decided to do it too.

After we finished with that, I sat down, found the addresses of some people to visit, and then we headed out to go find them. Well we hadn't gone too far, when a voice behind us said "Hello." Now this happens a lot in Japan. You know when you're a kid, and your learning English, but you never get a chance to do it, the second you see a big white guy, you're going to try all of the English you know on them. However what we usually here isn't "Hello," but "Harro." Therefore when we heard a perfect English "Hello" from behind us, we were stunned. We got to talking with her, and it turns out that she got baptized 17 years ago in Shinkotoni. She's had a lot of things happen in her life, she stopped going to church and such, and may have pulled her records from the church, and currently lives in Korea. Well for those that don't know, Koreans HATE Japan. I'm not really sure why, probably something to do with a war several years ago. So she deals with a lot of ridicule there, as well as her kids, and being really concerned for them, she prays every day. She still very much believes in the church, just... various things have happened to her in the past... We were able to give her a Book of Mormon, since she didn't have one anymore, and she was very happy. Then she began asking us if we had any Korean material so she could teach her kids. Well we didn't, but we just happened to be next to the church, so we went over, and used the WiFi to find Korean pamphlets, and emailed them to her. She was extremely happy, as was I.

It's times like these that I really feel successful as a missionary. When even though it seems we are straying from our plan, God knows where he needs us, and helps us to be there. Getting to help this woman, I really felt God working with her through us. He really does love all of his children. Even those few outlier Japanese people that live in Korea. He sends help to all who ask for it. One of the best feelings in the world, is when you find out that you are the answer to someone else's prayer. That's what a mission is like. On a constant basis.

Well I will see you next week I guess. Thanks for keeping up with me this far, only a few weeks left that you have to deal with my emails. I apologize for the few times I have missed. I will try to make sure that I get off a good email every week these last few.

I love you all so much.

Elder Eliot