September 5, 2016: Week 97Area: Izumi
Companion: Bruce Choro
Hey everybody! Good to hear from all of you! Sounds like it was kind of a crazy week. I was way caught off guard to hear about Uncle Phil. He definitely will be missed.
My week was pretty solid and busy. It feels like it flew right by. For those of you wondering about last week's typhoon, it completely missed Sendai pretty much. I was so pumped to get to see my first typhoon, but apparently the course of the storm changed and all we got was some heavy rain. It was actually a good thing though that it didn't hit us because I had planned to do splits with the Furukawa elders that day and we just did them regardless of the typhoon. So Elder Robb and I had a good time housing in the pouring rain for like 5 hours. (We had zero appointments because we canceled them all thinking that we'd get slammed by a typhoon.) Nevertheless, it felt good to get out in the pouring rain and work and show God that we were trying to do our best. No one listened to us; they all were like "what the heck are you doing out here?! Don't you know a typhoon is coming?! You'd better go home before it gets here! Be careful and be safe!!". That was the gist of most of our conversations with people that day. But yeah, no one was interested, but we were satisfied with our efforts and people were really nice to us so it was a pretty solid day!
On Thursday I had my last interview (before the exit interview) with President Smith. It was a pretty good one and I was able to learn a lot from his counsel and advice. Its weird to think that was basically my last interview. I will definitely miss sitting in the waiting room with Sister Smith; she is a riot. She says the funniest stuff.
Friday was pretty solid too. We had zone training meeting in downtown Sendai and it was a good time. We talked a lot about counting our blessings and things like that. That's one thing I've been studying a lot on recently. Obviously, we always have trials and hard times and things we can complain about, but if we open our eyes to the ways God is blessing us, it can make the world a lot brighter. I've really been trying to apply that recently especially with how hard Izumi has been and it's really helped. After the meeting, the Izumi elders and the Tagajo elders went to Dominoes and bought pizza, it was delish.
Saturday was probably the highlight day of the week. Elder Uehara and I went on splits and we were able to see more success than usual. It was way nice to work with Elder Uehara, He is so good at talking to people and making people feel comfortable. He is a really good missionary. We went finding most of the day, streeting and housing. We were able to hand out 5 Books of Mormon that day which was super solid. We also went housing and actually got let into a house! That never happens! We knocked and the guy told us to open the door and we told him we were talking about God and stuff and he was like, "sweet! I love talking about God and stuff!" So he let us into his kitchen and we talked for a bit. His wife was way confused, not really happy at the fact there were two random dudes in shirts and ties in her house. She asked her husband, "who are these people?! Why are they here?!" and he answered,"we are talking about God, I like talking about God!". Then she asked, "Since when did you like God?" Then he answered sarcastically, "I hate God!" It was pretty funny. But we talked to him for a bit and gave him a Book of Mormon and stuff. We aren't quite sure if he is super interested or not, he might just be really nice. Elder Uehara thought he might have been drunk, so I don't know, but it was a cool experience.
Something pretty crazy happened when we were housing as well. We knock on this pretty old looking house and this really old, rough looking man came out. When he was about to talk, he held this weird vibrating hand device to his neck and started to speak. Apparently he was a heavy smoker or something so he used this device because there was a huge hole in the front of his throat. It was a little creepy. He sounded just like a robot. I hope I didn't offend him 'cause when I saw the hole and heard his "voice," I kind of jumped and let out an audible "Whoaa". It was pretty nuts. He wasn't interested and we left. Check that one off the list of a weird experiences to be had.
Then later that night, Yoichi San, an investigator/Eikaiwa student took us out for dinner with his Vietnamese girlfriend. I guess he just got a bonus at work and was feeling rich so he took us to some way expensive yaki niku. We had some really good stuff. He also had me try some interesting food. I ate an entire, massive shrimp (eyes, outer shell, everything) in one bite, which was pretty good. Then we had pig feet. That wasn't too good. They eat it cold here, which was way gross. We also has some of the best gyutan or cow tongue I've ever had. It was such a good dinner and I'm pretty sure Yoichi San dropped about 150 bucks or more on it.
Now I want to end with telling you a pretty cool little miracle I experienced last night. So it was around 7:00ish and I was still fasting so I was like dying. I felt light-headed, weak, and tired. I had absolutely no energy. We had already tried visiting a few less actives and no one was home. I was about to just go back to the apartment early to get some food 'cause I felt super no bueno, but we decided to house just one more apartment. So we housed the top floor of an apartment and no one was there. Then we went to the bottom floor to house that. The first door I knocked at a woman came out and I told her we were teaching about God and families and straight up asked her if she was interested in religion and learning about God and she was like, "actually yeah".
I was so surprised! Usually at that point, I'm being told to go away. She said she believed in God, but wasn't quite sure because she said there is so much inequality and unfairness in the world... wars, and the tsunami five years ago. I didn't know what exactly to tell her, but I said that God gives us these hard times to teach us to trust in Him and that they are given to refine us and help us grow and improve as people. She seemed to accept that and I gave her a Book of Mormon. She said she might try to come to church later on and hear about the Book of Mormon and stuff. I was so blown away; that just never happens, like ever! It was a small miracle that helped me realize that God blesses us when we push to the end, even if it is really hard while you are doing it. It helped me realize that He is still aware of the work and has His hand in it. It was awesome. And after experiencing that small miracle, compared to before, I had plenty of renewed energy to climb the hills back to the apartment to do reporting. It was an awesome experience. I'm grateful for this mission experience so I can learn on the job how God is aware of us and is always assisting us. Even when it is hard and may not seem like it at the time, He is always aware.
Well, this week is the last week of the transfer and then I will be onto transfer 16, my last six weeks in the field. I guess we will see where I will end my mission by next pday. I hope you all have a swell week! I love you guys and will talk to you next week!
Love, Elder Nathan