Monday, November 18, 2013

October 20, 2013

First off, I promised a less-active to ask you guys for an American Waffle recipe, so before I forget, could you send me one please.  Preferably homemade and from a reliable source.  

This week has been fun.  We spent a lot of time visiting less-active members this week and feel they are progressing.  We are trying to build a relationship with them (which for me is hard because of the language barrier)  and I think it is going well for the most part.  But we run into some problems when they live far away.  First off it is hard for them to come to church if they live an hour away and second it is hard for us to visit them if we are a 2-3 hour bike ride away from them.  Sometimes they have bad relationships with the members here, which is terribly frustrating because there is absolutely nothing we can do about that.  It is so hard sometimes.  You just want to help so badly but there is almost nothing you can do except keep visiting and trying to strengthen their faith.  

I think it is so cool we have four missionaries now (in our home ward).  That is so exciting.  I only hope the members make use of them and help out with the work.  One of the biggest things I have learned on my mission (something I think I have said before and will probably say again) is that this work is nigh on impossible, without the members.  I didn`t realize how bad a member I was before.  I didn`t break any commandments or anything, but I didn`t help out in the ward very much and I definetly was not participating in building the Kingdom of God.  I have realized there is such a huge difference between being an active member and being a pro-active member.  I hope I can be a real pro-active member when I get back.  It can be scary and/or hard at times, but pro-active members are what build up God`s Kingdom more than anything else (even missionaries).  

That being said, being a missionary is awesome.  I love Japan and I love the people I get to meet and serve with.  The people here are so cool, as long as you understand what's going on.  Now that I am starting to understand what is being said (I understand the flow of the conversation usually, the general topics and how I can add input) it is becoming much more exciting and I am having a much more enjoyable time.  You just have to wait out the first six weeks I guess.  I still need to learn a lot more vocabulary (a whole language of vocab.) but it is getting better.  Sometimes I still run into people where I am totally lost and I just stand awkwardly there trying to hear a recognizable word.  One of our investigators is a really deep thinker and uses a ton of vocab that no one else uses (he used the word torinashi, which means intercessor, in our last lesson).  He`s a great guy and I really like teaching him, I just have no idea what`s going on most of the time.  I actually play him shogi every friday.  

Well, I don`t know how else to describe our zone conference.   That`s the name of the city, Kumamoto, sooo...  We are in the Kagoshima zone/district (district is the same as a stake except smaller) and that is the Kumamoto zone/stake.  I would think it would be on the map, but I am not sure.  You found my island alright though, right?  We actually fly out Sunday evening and spend the night at the stake center (I think) and then zone conference is the next day (by the way, this is a double zone, zone conference).  We spend that night at our zone leaders house, then the next day we have a zone party/luau thing.  We finally take a boat back the next morning and arrive at about six oclock when we will then go proselyte for a couple hours and finish our day.  We might have p-day thursday, but we also have to prepare for our Halloween party.  We will be busy for the next week.  

One of the rules for our mission is that from Oct. 1st to April 1st we have to wear suits.  Luckily I am on an island where it doesn`t get cold and that rule does not apply to us.  But if I were to transfer, for 1: I probably would be fine with just my suit jacket 2: I don`t think it would be cold enough to need a sweater anyway and 3: there are some places that sell some pretty inexpensive clothes that I think would work just fine. 
If it becomes a problem though, I will let you know.  I think I will be fine though.  I will reconsider next month though and see.  

Love you all so much.  Have fun with your days off.  I wish I could hang out with you, but I will see you guys again soon.  I have finally reached the point where I know that I would not want to be anywhere but here.  I love this work so much.  It is so important.  Please keep writing to me, I love to hear what`s going on.  I am glad you finished the computer project.  Please take time in the evenings to relax.  I know your life is stressful, but when you`re at home you really should try to relax a little bit more.  

Love you, have fun.  

Love, Iain

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