#65

11:50 PM

December 2, 2013


Okay, kids. A lot of super supes cool stuff happened this week.

1. MLC. So last P-Day, we had to interrupt our day and hurry to get on a bus to Fukuoka because President was going to start our Missionary Leadership Council early the next Tuesday. This MLC was the most powerful MLC I have yet attended. Seriously, it was amazing. It was very different from anything else. Basically President and Sister Gustafson had just gotten back from their Mission President's Conference in Korea and they relayed to us puny leaders the message that the Prophet had delivered to them through their Area President. Here are just a few things that I learned about our work in Japan.

-We need to work as if everything depends all on US.
-We need to ASTONISH the members.
-Japan CAN baptize. Not only that, but we NEED to baptize
-We need to TEACH well, and we need to speak JAPANESE well.
-We need to work SMART
-If we don't expect miracles, we might as well forget it. We need to plan and stick with it.
-The missionaries need to become self-reliant. They can't just depend on their leaders to come and fix their problems.

My favorite quote of the day: ''We need to become fearless, faithful, tenacious, hardworking missionaries.'' After that, we realized that, well, we're pretty crappy missionaries. We haven't been doing too much astonishing lately. Basically, I just want to be like my home boy Ammon in the Book of Mormon. Ammon is my favorite character. And, well, he was a boss. He was such an ASTONISHING missionary. We need to act in such a way that the members immediately recognize us as disciples of Christ - just how King Lamoni immediately recognize Ammon as the Lord's servant. Then there COULD be a change in this struggling little country. None of us really have any idea what we can do to see a change here, but I learned that it needs to start with us. We need to be astonishing.
Anyway. President was really serious about his message. So serious, in fact, that he called all of us AGAIN the next day to remind us that we need to tell all of the other missionaries EXACTLY what he told us before. AKA there was a lot of pressure on US to get it RIGHT in our Zone Training Meeting a couple of days later. It was a really stressful week since Buhler Shimai and I had to do training in two different zones.

2. ZTM. Zone Training Meeting. Two zones - long hours preparing. Both went well. Buhler Shimai and I did training on how to act around members and also about the 12 Days of Christmas activity that the mission is doing. Our members training went real well. We showed funny examples of missionaries acting poorly around members and falling asleep and stuff. It was good. 

So the 12 Days of Christmas program. Last year the mission did it as well. But, well, I didn't really speak Japanese, and Hinode Shimai and I had a big miscommunication over it. So we basically did nothing. So I didn't get a whole lot out of Christmas last year - but this year now that I'm with a companion who speaks the same language as me - we can ACTUALLY plan what we want to do. So basically during the first two weeks of December, President wants us all to find a new investigator that can progress and, well, eventually be baptized. Then, during the 12 days up until Christmas, we do some kind of daily contact with them either through service or through gifts or whatever to help them feel the Christmas spirit. Lastly, we give them this ''Joy to the World'' DVD. So we just need to give it our all right now - find tons of new investigators, and then get a baptismal date out of it. We're pumped! Anyway, being a missionary at Christmas is the best. Seriously. I love Christmas. I LOVE CHRISTMAS. And it's not FREEZING. Which is nice.


Okay.

3. Thanksgiving. On Wednesday, we at pancakes at some weird Hawaiian restaurant where the Japanese people greet you by saying, ''arahaaaa'' (meaning aloha but it sounds funny) and there are really fattening pancakes and avocado burgers. So we at that. Then on Thursday... we at corn dogs on a bus. While going to Kagoshima. It's fine, I'm over it. We only missed the whole Kumamoto Zone going out to Thanksgiving Dinner together. I'm not bitter. Nope, Mom, we didn't actually get to cook. :(

4. Baird Shimai is in Kagoshima Zone now! And she's training so I got to meet my granddaughter! It was SOOOO good to see Baird Shimai. It seems crazy that it was, like 6 transfers ago that we were companions.

5. Seguchi-san. She's the woman who came to church last week. So she came again this week. And, well, she's got a baptism date now! We don't really know what's happening, and I'm pretty sure that Seguchi-san also has no idea what is going on.. but whatever! She said she'd be baptized! It's crazy - so Yamamoto Shimai (the last woman who got baptized in September) lives in our neighborhood. Seguchi-san ALSO lives in our neighborhood. Basically Yamamoto Shimai is doing a great job of convincing Seguchi-san that this is all a big miracle that all of us live in the same neighborhood and that she should be baptized. It's great. I'm cool with it.

6. Evangeline. So this woman is a Filipino that the Elders found for us a few weeks ago. She is literally the most prepared woman that I have ever met in my whole life. I quote: ''I just want to know the truth.'' ''I'm HUNGRY to know which church is true.'' ''When I pray, I thank God for my blessings. I ask Him for help. And I repent of my sins. I just want to be clean!'' Holy cow, who is this woman? Well, seriously, our lesson with her was probably one of the best on my whole mission. We taught her the Restoration. And she is so ready.

MIRACLES ARE EVERYWHERE AND IT'S TOTALLY COOL.

7. The BoM challenge is going great. It's really fun to read the Book of Mormon so fast.
Well, I love you all! Thanks for your support!

Love,
スミス

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