This week has been amazing!! I can honestly say that I feel I am in one of the best districts ever...by that, I mean that everyone in this district is full of dendo fire, everyone is working hard, and we are seeing miracles! One of the greatest miracles that I feel we have seen this past week is our new investigator, Yoshiya! We actually came to know his family through a mistaken phone call, and it absolutely amazes me the way that from something so small, we have something like this come from it. Yoshiya`s family is Chinese, they all speak English fluently, and have lived in Japan for most of their lives. They are non-denominational Christian, and all have a strong knowledge of the Bible. The parents and several others of this family (did I mention that there are 13 people in this family?) have a pretty set mindset in their beliefs, and don`t really want to learn about our church...but they had no problem with us talking to Yoshiya. He is 20 years old, a college student,and is pretty much living a party life right now...doing crazy things with his friends, and not really considering where he is going...at least until recently. We called him this past Tuesday, and we asked if we could meet with him and share a message with him about our church. He replied by saying yes, and that recently he has been having a lot of questions about the purpose of life, and how he can lead a life that will bring him happiness! I strongly felt at that moment, that he is being prepared and that we had been guided through something even as random as a mistake call, to someone who needs this gospel. We met with him, had a great lesson, and committed him to read from the book of mormon and pray every day...which he accepted! We are going to meet with him again tomorrow, and are really excited to see how things turn out :)
We have had some great experiences with our other investigators as well...for the first time in a couple weeks, we were able to talk and meet in person with our investigator Abe, and finally able to have a joint lesson with one of our members who is preparing to go on a mission. It was awesome! He has been struggling a lot with having enthusiasm and desire to keep commitments and to progress, but I really feel like that lesson had an impact on him.
Those were most likely the two greatest experiences that we had with investigators this past week, but that was just a small bit of good things that were happening. Elder Numakura and Sister Nishimuro just came in, so we met with President Itou to re-establish our desire to help him, and discuss the plans for dendo in Matsumoto. We had a great discussion, and he identified new people that he would like for us to focus on for To The Rescue, as well as asked for our help on a new list that he has created to bring back all the in-active children of member families here in the branch. Honestly, I love our branch president...he is a ton of fun, and he is really, really enthusiastic about the dendo here in Matsumoto!
It has been a ton of fun to work with Elder Numakura so far...he is great! He is an awesome missionary, full of dendo fire, and he has great ideas for applying the trainings here in Matsumoto. Really looking forward to things that we will be able to accomplish during this transfer! It has been a really intense and busy week, and it has honestly been a really weird experience to get used to being the gaijin district leader of soon to be five Japanese missionaries. Honestly I must have changed a lot or something, because while we were meeting with President Itou, he was talking about how if you`re a gaijin you can use that factor as a good dendo tool...and he was like "It`s a pity that we don`t have any gaijin in Matsumoto anymore...Oh! Well except for Elder Voss...but you don`t really seem like a gaijin though!" Haha, we laughed quite a bit over that one.
We had some great lessons with in-actives, have been making plans for our halloween and other activites, and preparing to welcome in the couple missionaries on Wednesday! The work is going absolutely great! I have been able to feel the joy of the gospel so much throughout this week...I love the people here so much, and I love learning about the gospel and growing with them. There is something so special about Japan...there difficulties for sure, but the people are so amazing :) The gospel is true!
I love you all! As usual, have a wonderful week, I`ll look forward to hearing from you next week!
P.S The pictures that I`m sending are of our district after district meeting, and Elder Numakura and I outside of our apartment...we walked out the other morning to find that festival rope strung all over the buildings...there was a matsuri at the shrine that is next to our apartment. Don`t ask why we are eating it...we don`t know either :P