|A random toy we found in a park and goofed around on for a while. I promise we`re working hard....|
This week was unbelievable!! Our prayers on Mt. Shimofuri were definitely answered!
A mother of three we met about five weeks ago housing became an investigator! We went to her house several times but every time she asked us to come back at a different time because she was busy. We were starting to think she just didn`t want to meet with us until on Monday night she finally answered the door and let us teach her! We talked about how families can live together past the grave, taught her how to pray, and gave her a church parenting book. She listened super intently and seemed really enthusiastic about our message. Her husband is a professor at Yamaguchi medical school and is never home, so she told us she is pretty lonely. We`re so excited to teach her!
|Mine sans English class. Hes the one with the beard and his adorable wife is in red|
Ok, one bit of bad news is that ever since last week when we challenge the Nishimura family to follow the Word of Wisdom we haven`t been able to contact them. We are thinking either something happened that we don`t know about (like their grandma died), they weren`t able to follow it so they`re embarrassed to meet us, or they just decided to stop studying with us. We`re not sure, BUT because of that the biggest miracle happened! We went to their house at a random time of day to see if they might be home and as we were writing them a note I saw this woman walking slowly towards us down the street from far away. While Ito shimai finished writing the note I went over to talk to her and we ended up standing there for an hour and a half! She is a TOTAL KINJIN (`golden`)!!! Her name is Komeda san. We shared about the restoration standing there on the street and I wish you could have seen how excited she got. She kept saying, `I have just been searching and searching, but its so hard to know which religion is right! I`m so happy I met you!` I almost started crying I was so happy. When we offered her a Book of Mormon her eyes got super wide and she said, `Really?! I can have this??` and she took everything we gave her. We prayed with her and then she said, `Is it OK if I come to church on Sunday?` Ummmmm, YES!? Pahahaah. You can probably tell that this sort of thing happens like, um, once on my entire mission probably!! Sorry Im using so many exclamation marks but seriously, we are so happy. She called us on Saturday and said, `Im going to attend your church meeting tomorrow. Is it possible for me to become Christian?` The answer to that was definitely a big huge `YES` and we explained a little about baptism. She came to church on Sunday an HOUR EARLY and had page markers in her BOM of parts she had read and questions she had. Sister Ito and I taught the gospel principles class yesterday so we decided to teach the Plan of Salvation with an emphasis on baptism and she was just loving it. Afterward she exclaimed, `This place is just so wonderful! Everyone is so kind and I think each person here came over and shook my hand and welcomed me before church even started!` The speakers in sacrament meeting were also perfect because they talked about how this gospel is truly the way to become like Christ, how their lives have changed since being baptized, etc. I just seriously could not believe what was happening yesterday, haha. Definitely a first. We made an appointment to teach her on Friday, so please pray that all goes well!
|A picture we took after our Kinjin called us asking to come to church. We had to document the moment.|
Once again, my testimony of finding has be re-affirmed. Though there are many struggles being a missionary, I do know that there ARE people prepared to receive the gospel and if we just TALK TO EVERYONE we can find them, even if its 1/100000 its worth it to feel this feeling. Wahoooo!
|This is our apt elevator. Ever other week or so SOMEBODY wipes a disgusting giant piece of snot on the wall in the same EXACT spot. We removed it once but then the other day a new one was there!!! Ito Shimai is so horrified about it, its hilarious.|
My last piece of news is that we met the most awesome man in the entire world. His name is Mine (mee-nay) san. He is 80 years old but looks about 60 and he called out to us in a parking lot with a perfect English accent. He said, `Hello, are you from America?` I was so shocked but started to talk to him. Apparently he moved to Pittsburgh in the 1950`s and learned English there. He speaks with kind of a weird british-like accent so Im guessing there was some kind of British influence there around then? He said he had called out to me because I reminded him of the conservative women in America in the 1950`s with the way I dressed and did my hair. How cool is that!? He attended Lincoln University (the famous all-black University?) and got his masters degree in Theology. He was an acquaintance of Martin Luther King Jr. (I`m not kidding) and was there for either the `I have a dream` speach or one of his other famous speaches. He has the most charming stories about the time he spent in America, including entering a cafe and having a brawny-tatooed WWII Vet slap him on the back and say, `Its on the house for this man!` after hearing he was Japanese. He had people in a all-black diner (where he decided to enter because he decided he was more colored than white) hand around their hats, putting money in for him so he could survive. He also talked about a time his son was very sick in the hospital and he couldn`t pay the bill. When he went to pay it the lady said, `Mr. Its already been paid! Someone came in this morning and paid in full...` He never knew who did that. At the end of each story he said....`THAT`S America..` and then would continue on. It was seriously one of the best times I`ve had just listening to him. I don`t know what it is but I love old Japanese people SO much! He told us about ten other stories that were equally as amazing but I`ll save those for another time. His English is so perfect that he teaches free English classes in his home thre times a week so this past Thursday we were invited to take up the entire hour and a half giving a presentation about our beliefs to one of his classes! They loved it and one woman took a BOM. Its so crazy how there are so many fun and interesting ways to do missionary work. Unfortunately, this man has studied up like crazy about `Mormonism` and decided its not for him...but maybe we can crack him ;). I love things like this!
Alright, my time is up! I love you all so much and pray for you everyday. I love this work and I`m having an absolute blast with Ito Shimai ripping it up in Ube. Have a great week!
Love, Tingey Shimai