Tuesday, September 20, 2011

This week's letter, September 20, 2011

Hey everyone!

        Wow, well I feel like this is happening a lot lately...but we ended up having to do e-mail today, instead of Monday. We got on yesterday to do it, but ran out of time before we could do anything more than read what we had received. Yesterday, was a holiday here...so our investigators were actually able to meet, and we felt like that was a good sacrifice to make. Anyway though...on to the week!
        This one was a pretty tough week all in all...the busy life of Japan got to everybody again, and despite all that we did to schedule and keep appointments with our investigators, we weren`t able to meet with any of them. We also had a really unfortunate happening with Kasamatsu. This whole week we wanted to meet with him, and we finally got in touch with him on Saturday...but the reply that he gave us when he picked up the phone, was that he was still very depressed, wasn`t in the state of mind to meet or go to church, and that from now he is going to stop meeting with us. Yeah...that was a pretty big downer. Seeing the progress that he was able to make from that first Sunday that he walked into church, throughout the lessons and meetings that we had...and then seeing him walk away from it, was probably one of the saddest things that I have experienced on my mission so far. Seeing someone who had been brought down to the lowest and unhappiest of circumstances in his life, and then seeing them throw away the one life preserver that they`ve been given...I don`t know, this experience in particular hit me hard. I guess I could just see so clearly the ways that it was helping and boosting him up...bringing him out of the unhappiness that he was trying to escape from. On the other hand, I really strongly feel that he was guided to walk into the church that Sunday for a very specific reason...and I don`t think it was just to learn about the gospel and then turn away from it. I think that it might be a little while, but that he will be brought about to realize that this is what he needs.
         In other news from this week...we were able to have some good activities! We had a Taco Rice party on Saturday, for members and investigators which was a lot of fun...and we had the opportunity to go fishing, for the first time on my mission! A member in the branch set up an appointment with a friend of his, who apparently used to take the lessons...and is an avid fisherman :) We all went out to a reservoir and spent a couple hours fishing and getting to know each other. We didn`t any fish except for a little bass...but we became friends with the guy, and he wants to meet up with us again :) So that was a lot of fun. We also had the baptism on Sunday for the shimai`s investigator! It was a REALLY great experience...Kanade was so happy, and so was everyone else in the branch :) The spirit was there so strongly during her baptism, and the four of us missionaries had the opportunity to sing a song for Kanade before she was baptized, and Sister Shimoji gave a great talk too. President and Sister Baird actually came for the baptism as well, and so it was great to have them here again too. Actually, speaking of talks and President Baird and all that stuff...a speaker that was assigned to speak in Sacrament Meeting suddenly canceled, and so late Saturday night we were called and I was given the talk! haha, this is like the third time in a row that that has happened here...kind of funny. Anyway, I was pretty nervous due to the fact that I had so little time to prepare, and also that President and Sister Baird were going to be sitting like three feet behind me the whole time...but it turned out really well :) I had felt prompted when I was preparing, to talk about an article that I had read in the Liahona..."Am I A Child of God?" and I hadn`t even been thinking about Kanade`s baptism, but it turned out to fit perfectly with the talks that had been given there.
       In answer to a question that was asked a few weeks ago(sorry for the delay), for shopping we generally buy as many fruits and vegetables as we can...they are way expensive here, but we both like eating healthy. We also typically get eggs, chicken, yakisoba, sometimes gyouza, juice, milk, bread, cheese, spaghetti, tuna...that kind of thing.
       Another question that was asked...what do I want for Christmas? Haha, it seems so odd to think about that right now...but I guess it really is going to be just in a couple more months :P I`m not sure if things will change between now and then...but I`m thinking that when it comes to clothes, the only thing that I might really need is maybe another pair of shoes. The pair that I have right now are still in really good condition, but I don`t know whether that will be able to last all the till next June. I`m sure that other things will come to my mind in the next little while...but for now that is what comes to mind :)
       Kind of crazy, but this week is the last one of transfers...we have calls next Monday! We`re looking forward to seeing what happens with everything! Gotta go, but thank you for all your e-mails, and have a good week! I love you!

                                                                                           -Elder Voss

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