This past week so much has gone on I don't know if I will be able to write it all down. If I can't please stay tuned for next week's email (by then i will forget).
First off, big deal. I TRANSFERED!!! Wooo. Actually I really loved my last area so I'm a little bummed. But, I love this new area too and I am super stoked to work with my new companion Elder Kemp. We are working in a place called Takasu, which is a little West of main Hiroshima. I have always wanted to go to Hiroshima, so I am super excited. It is a lot colder here, though, so that will take some getting used to. But the Ward is super nice and although it's small (about 30 people) our church building is the stake center. Maybe we can start to build up the area so our church building is filled up again. Elder Kemp is super buff and could probably crush my head between his fingers. However, he is super nice and between the faith of the two of us I think we will learn a lot and see many miracles.
In fact we saw one . I have been told multiple times on my mission that nihonjin don't understand the Atonement so we need to wait to explain it to them (because they won't understand). However, I have taught it on the street multiple times and last Sunday we saw a huge miracle. We talked to this guy who didn't seem all that interested but listened. He told us he had talked to missionaries before but didn't know much about the church or anything. Well, we felt prompted to teach about the Atonement and told him how Christ had felt the pains and sins of everyone in the world. We told him everyone who lives now, everyone who has ever lived, and everyone who will ever lived, Christ could feel their pains and their sufferings. He could feel their sins, their mistakes, their failures and their weakness. He knows all of us perfectly. And more than that, Jesus Christ took that all away, so if we use Him, and His Atonement, we don't have to feel any of those things anymore. When I asked him what it would mean to him if that was true, he didn't respond. I waited, thinking maybe he didn't understand the question or didn't have enough interest to care or something. But as we waited and watched, the man started sniffling and his lip quivered a little. "okay, it's cold, that's reasonable". But I soon came to understand, hecouldn't respond. We never got an answer to the question, but as we testified to the truth of the Atonement we could tell it was affecting him and the Spirit came in strong. He was busy this week (he spent a few minutes looking through his work schedule trying to find a time to meet; PS nobody does that) but in the end we just settled on calling him to set up an appointment. He was super cool and I was so happy we were able to be in tune enough with the Spirit to be able to have that opportunity to change his life. We don't know what will happen or if he will be able to continue to learn but I really hope he will be able to come and feel the power of the Atonement at this time in his life.
Next, yes, we had an awesome Thanksgiving dinner with the Koberstien's; the Couple Missionaries in Kumamoto. They were very gracious in allowing us and some of our investigators to come and eat in their home. It was very traditional and we had a ton of food. I was very happy.
Then, , we had a special training by a Brother Heaton, who is a administrator in the MTC. He is also doing a lot of training in Japan and decided to come to our mission especially because his daughter (Sister Heaton) just finished serving her mission here. What's more, he served in the Fukuoka mission 40 years ago and actually served in Yanai (my favorite area) too. It was only one day, so Honbu brought everyone in the mission (except Okinawa) to Fukuoka. Practically the WHOLE mission. There were around 200ish missionaries all in the Fukuoka church building (overall around 240 missionaries in the Japan Fukuoka Mission right now). It was huge. And crowded.
It was super good. He talked about success as missionaries and how people's hearts are changed. He focused a lot on how it isn't our work, or our gathering of Israel, but God's work. He will bring it to pass no matter what, but in His own way and time.
I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be serving right now. It is such an awesome experience. The mission is too short and I am trying really hard to be careful not to waste any more time. I want to help people to come to understand the power of the Atonement and help someone change their life.
Thanks so much. I love you guys. If Grandma or someone wants to send me anything, I would love some warm socks, my feet are freezing.
Sorry I can't send any photos (no time). Will send next week. Love you,