Thanks for your e-mails! I was a little bit shocked to read about Brother W`s funeral...last time I heard he seemed to be hanging in there pretty well. I guess with that kind of illness things can change pretty rapidly though. It sounds like it was a great service though...reading about all the fishing stories that were shared made me remember the funeral that was held for Kelly.
In answer to your question mom...10x is one of the finding techniques that President Baird introduced to us. When we are visiting a referral, less-active, investigator, pretty much anyone really, we go around in the immediate area and knock on doors until we have been able to share a message with at least 10 people. (hence the 10x) It`s something that has brought out a lot of success in areas all over the mission...lots of new investigators being found through it :)
This week was good! We ended Sunday night with everyone thinking that I was going to be here for another transfer...or even until the end, but the Lord had a different plan in mind. Transfer calls came and I got a call from President Baird saying that after being here in Matsumoto for eleven and a half months, I will be transferring to Nanao! (NAH-NAH-OH) I was pretty shocked, as were all the members. Nanao is the farthest, most remote area in the mission! It has a branch of about 15 people, and the area is a peninsula, stretching out into the Sea of Japan. My new companion is going to be Elder Larkin, another Elder who I was together with for six weeks at the MTC...we were here together in Nagano ken back in last January, and now we are going to be together again as companions in Nanao. :) Elder Larkin is from Las Vegas. I`ve been having a lot of mixed feelings about this transfer...I feel really sad to be leaving matsumoto and all of the absolutely wonderful friends that I have made here, I feel sad that I will be leaving Elder Skankey behind here...it`s been a way fun transfer, and we`ve had some of the best times, but I am also really looking forward to working with Elder Larkin there in Nanao. He is a great Elder and I hear it`s an absolutely beautiful place, and I`m going to be constantly by the ocean...that will be a big change from being surrounded by the snow covered alps here in Nagano! haha. Actually to explain the title of this e-mail...the translation for Nanao (七尾） is actually seven tails. There`s a story about that, but I`ll tell you about it later . I feel like this will probably be my last area, and I`m going to put everything that I have into it, just like I have done here in Matsumoto. Looking forward to it :)
This last week in Matsumoto was really good...we found two more new investigators! Satou shimai is absolutely amazing! There has pretty not been a day that has gone by this past week, that we haven`t gotten a text from her, saying that she has another friend that she wants to introduce to us. She is so full of fire for missionary work right now, and it is so awesome to see her reaching out to all of her friends, inviting all of them to learn about the things that have brought her so much happiness! The first friend that she introduced to us this week was a lady from Ghana, someone who has been living here in Japan for about eight years, and got to know Satou shimai through work. We met with both of them at a library, and had a great lesson with her...after which we gave her the restoration pamphlet to read, and invited her to church. She actually didn`t end up being able to come, but we are looking forward to meeting with her again this week. (I won`t be able to now, but yeah) The second person was actually someone that I may have mentioned this past Monday...a guy from Sri Lanka who is a friend of Satou shimai`s husband. He came to church yesterday and loved it! We had a lesson with him and gave him a copy of the book of mormon in Sinhala, and then committed him to read and pray every day, and come to church next week, which he seemed very happy to accept. There is a small bit of a language barrier with him because neither English or Japanese are fluent for him...but through both of those and trying to connect words for him in Sinhala, we make do. He has a really great desire to learn, and I`m excited for the progress that he is making :)
We had an opportunity to go on exchanges with the Ina elders this week! It was a lot of fun...it was my first chance to be able to work with Elder Dinkel. He is a fifth transfer missionary and is absolutely on fire with enthusiasm for missionary work! He is doing great with Elder Tojo there in Ina. We had a bit of an adventure during the exchanges and then during the next few days though...we`ve been getting by a series of blizzards that just come and go...sometimes they are sleet and sometimes they`re snow. We got caught in one of those on the way back from an appointment towards the end of the exchange and I don`t know if I ever remember being so freezing...we were pretty purple. haha. It was totally fine in the end though once we warmed up in front of the heater...just another memorable mission experience!
I was pretty surprised to hear that you have already received my flight plans...that is intense! No, yeah, I really don`t want to think about that all that much right now, but thanks for letting me know :) I think that I will be getting those around the end of this transfer...and I guess we`ll just have to coordinate how things are going to happen when we call on Mother`s Day.
I`ve got to get going...P-day is about to end, and we are going to have a little bit of a good bye gathering later on tonight. Hope you all have a great week! I love you!