Thanks for all your e-mails! It was great to read about everything that was happening for Melody`s birthday! Dad gave hints at the awesome dinner that Emily prepared for everyone...but wouldn`t describe it...which in normal circumstances, would make me fear that it involved macaroni salad, but it must`ve been something even better this time...I have no idea how that`s possible though. :P In other news I think I`m starting to remember birthdays better...maybe the dendo veil is cutting me some slack.
This week was awesome! Still a little low on the amount of teaching appointments that we were able to make...but really, really good :) Our branch president`s son was still in town for this week, and we were able to do a lot of things with his help. He just has absolutely awesome dendo fire, and had us call him up every time we scheduled a lesson so that he could help out. We went out on Tuesday to visit one of the PI filipino families that we found last week, and not only did that family become new investigators, also through our conversation the subject came up that was a family of their friends living in the apartment above them, and that it would be fine if we went to visit them too! We did, with the result that we taught for about 20 minutes right there off of the door approach, and they became new investigators too! :) They absolutely loved that we emphasized families in our church, and we spent those twenty minutes getting to know them better and teaching them about some of the ways that we can be blessed and strengthened through the gospel. Before we left, they also accepted a lesson one pamphlet and a book of mormon. Way excited for them!
We were also able to meet with Abe, for the first time in about a month or so! We went out to a restaurant to meet, and were able to talk more about the way he is feeling about the church right now...and where he wants to progress from here. He was saying that he feels like church is really important too, but that his job has just been sucking up all of his time lately. We`re really hoping that from now on we can maybe start meeting a little more regularly, but we`ll see how things turn out.
We had a great branch activity on Friday! We went up to the mountains for a campfire activity, and Jeewan was able to come too! It turned out to be a huge success...a fair amount of people showed up, we all helped out preparing and then cooking the dinner of yakisoba and other things over the campfire...and then had a blast talking and playing a few different games around the campfire. I also had my first opportunity to cut bamboo! Yeah I know, random right? Before the campfire started, we went into a bamboo forest that was nearby with one of the brothers in the branch, and cut a bunch of bamboo shoots for the campfire :) Totally didn`t know it before, but when you cut it dry and then stick it in a fire, it explodes...kind of like fireworks, but less expensive. ;) After the campfire we all went up onto a big observation tower and looked out over the Matsumoto City lights...it was soo beautiful! Basically, we really feel that through that activity everyone was able to be strengthened as a branch, and also Jeewan was able to make stronger friendships with them. When we were heading home, he told us that he really feels like he needs to meet more with us so that he learn more about church things...I think that increased desire came a lot from seeing the family that this branch is turning into :)
Things are sometimes such a myriad of different emotions out here...there are days when I feel like I`m struggling to keep going and then other days right after that when I feel so strongly the wonder and power of this work that I feel like I could keep going forever without stopping for a breath. Every single one of those rough times though, brings with it the undeniable sense that I am be supported, that I`m being helped, that I am being lifted along to meet the task...and from every one of those experiences I feel like my testimony of this gospel, of the fact that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live and love us, and that they lift and support us through our times of need, is being strengthened. Thank you for all of the support and love that you show to me too, both family and all the others reading this. I am so grateful for that, and love each one of you.
My time is out, I`ve got to go...have a wonderful week, and again, I love you! :)