I pretty much just rolled up my responses to all of your emails into one. Here you go.
So first off, this weekend was fantastic. Not that other weekends aren`t good, but this weekend the Zone Leaders came (rode an all night boat from Kagoshima). And I may have forgotten to tell you, but my trainer left Naze to become the Zone Leader. So Mukaitani Choro came back to Naze; triumphant return after being gone for a whole three weeks. They arrived on the dock at five am (ish) and came back to our apartment and slept until. It was funny because I woke up in the middle of the night to see them walk in and then fell back asleep five seconds later. So I just have the image of two dark figures walking into our room. Way funny. So we had a fun time and while they were here. So the Zone Leaders split up to work with each companionship, so Robinson choro and I went out with beloved Mukaitani choro; we switched , so Robinson and I went out with McConnell choro (other Zone Leader). They also did some training which everyone else in our zone had gotten already, but because we`re an island... It was way fun to work with them. They are both very experienced and I learned a lot (and had lots of fun with my trainer). They left after church.
Our investigators are doing well. With on of them it seems each week we learn more and more about him and we are starting to understand how to help him progress (at least we think we are). Still lots of work to do. The other loves the Book of Mormon and pretty much reads whatever we ask her to. She has some misconceptions about prayer though, which will take some work. Hopefully she will start to understand better as we keep praying with her. If we can get a member present for one of our next lessons we will be able to explain it better and that would help a bunch. For Japanese people prayer (at least the way we do it) is just a completely foreign concept and it is hard to help them get over that barrier. They pray to their parents at their alter (pretty much every Japanese person has an alter in their house) but it`s completely different from the way we do it.
I actually haven`t really ever felt uncomfortable with Japan so far. It took me maybe a few weeks to adjust, but now it`s just life, has been for a couple months now. What was hard to adjust to was being a missionary everyday and having that desire to talk to everyone and share. I hated not understanding their responses, so contacting (most of what we do) wasn`t fun. But now I love it. As I have been able to understand more and not have that same fear, I have been able to hear the Spirit at each turn and know where to take the conversation. It is a wonderful miracle to see people as you astonish them with the gospel. I have come to decide that when people hear our message they should either think we`re crazy, or this is something amazing. Or they just shut the door after hearing that we`re Christian. That happens a lot too.
Still suck at basketball.
The weather on Naze has been nice. It really only gets cold at night, when the sun goes down. But in other places it`s freezing cold, even if it`s not below 32F (humidity and wind chill).
For Christmas we are going to get up, eat and come down to the Church. We will be skyping fromplus another hour later in the day. But then we want to spend the afternoon on the beach. There is a very nice beach that is reasonably close by. Then we have to do shopping and clean and stuff. Maybe play some shogi.
I really want a baptismal date. That`s the only thing I really want for Christmas. Don`t have anything else I could use (`cause I`m a missionary). Sorry that`s probably not the answer you wanted Wyatt.
My favorite about Japan thing is probably the culture. It is something you can`t really understand unless you speak the language and talk to the people. The language and the culture are just so interconnected, it is just such a cool thing to grow to understand. Of course it takes a long time of frustration and not understanding to get there. The places are really cool too. One thing that I never understood about culture is how the location and language affect the culture, how the people act and feel. It`s just fascinating. You can really start to understand where anime/manga comes from and why it is that way.
I really wanted to serve because we have been blessed so much. So many people won`t have the same blessings we have unless they have the gospel. So I want to share the gospel and share the blessings. Think of all the cool stuff we`ve done. Most of those are because we have the gospel in our lives. Don`t other people deserve the same? But now that I`m here the reason has changed. It`s taken time, but slowly my desire has grown to wanting to share the gospel because of the joy it brings. It is an amazing feeling to share the gospel with someone and just be able to really teach it to them and help them really understand why it`s important and how it helps them (especially when there is this language/cultural barrier). It just brings the Spirit and just an overwhelming happiness. Hard to describe. Love it.
Love you guys, hope your Christmas prep goes well. Have fun.