|Dinner with Tugs, our sumo wrestler investigator!|
It sounds like everyone is doing way good this week! That makes me way happy, and I'm so stoked to hear about all of the missionary work our family is doing!! Seriously, way to go Whitney, Alexa, and Mom. The Lord really needs all his faithful servants to go forward and spread the Gospel with all of those that he is preparing everyday. Know that I'm with you in spirit as you share this awesome message everyday! Man, I really just want to say thank you so much for all that you do for me. :) We met this AMAZING new investigator named jimmy who is from china this week, and his big dream and desire is to have a family of his own one day, and it just got me thinking about how amazing my own family is. Just want to say thank you so much for all that you do, and always being so patient with me. Thanks so much. :)
Just doing some housing
I can't believe this transfer is already coming to an end soon! The time is really starting to pick up, and it's seriously so crazy! I feel like yesterday I was dropped off at the MTC, and started learning this language. So Saturday night Elder Dunbar and I were asked to give 5 to 10 minute talks in sacrament meeting, and we didn't have any time to prepare, but I did it! It was such an awesome feeling going up to the pulpit, and talking about the temples, Bree getting married there, and other blessings I've seen from the temple all in Japanese with no notes. When I finished I just thought about that first day in the mtc, and it made me feel so thankful to The Lord. I feel that that is one of the most awesome and faith strengthening gifts He's given me. Japanese is not an easy language by any means, and I still have such a long way to go, but The Lord has blessed me so much, and I'm so thankful for that. The gift of tongues is truly so real!
A cool Italian restaurant
Another really awesome miracle we saw this week was a man named Kiyo! So elder Dunbar and I were walking down this super endless road with no body on it, and it reminded me of a way awesome miracle elder tu'ua and I saw the transfer before. We were in that kind of situation before, and we ended up finding an investigator at the end of thatstretch of the road. So I'm telling elder Dunbar this story, and all of a sudden at the end of the road, this man starts walking down it! We instantly walk over and talk to him, and he ended becoming a new investigator! We got some lunch with him, and when we gave him a Book of Mormon, he just says, "oh I already read it! My old friend once introduced me to two other guys like you once, and I read it!" It was so awesome, and it really showed us how much the preparing to hear the gospel everyday. He's actually moving to Mexico soon, but we're meeting with him again, and hopefully he'll go and find those missionaries down in Guadalahara. Kiyo is a major miracle though!
Another awesome miracle is Jimmy! So he came to church, and had such an awesome time. The Tsukuba ward is seriously amazing, and probably one of the best wards I've been in here in Japan. The bishop is such an awesome man, and there is so much diversity in the ward. There are many Philippino, African, Utahn, American, and Chinese! It's such a fun ward to serve in, and Jimmy just loved it. After church we had a lesson with him and our ward mission leader, who was baptized only 4 years ago. Yeah, he was baptized, and then served a mission in Sendai, and is now married and expecting his first child soon! He's such an awesome guy, and he testified so powerfully about how this gospel can truly change lives. It was such a powerful lesson, and then jimmy accepted the baptismal invitation! He didn't set a specific date, but he said he really wants to receive baptism soon. He's such a prepared guy, and we're so stoked for him. He wants so badly to have his own family, and we were so blessed to be able to show him how this gospel can help him achieve that dream.
That has probably been the coolest thing that I've seen here in Japan. The church is still pretty young, and most of the ward leaders are converts themselves, and it's been the most awesome, faith strengthening thing ever to hear their stories, and see how The Lord has completely changed and blessed their lives so much. Especially when I look at our ward mission leader, he's just such an awesome guy, and only 4 years ago, he had no idea who Mormon's were. It just has shown me how much God loves all of his children, and is so aware of all of their thoughts, desires, and prayers. He listens to us so carefully, and he loves us more than we know. I that that is true, and it's something I'm seriously so thankful for. It's something that has changed my life, and makes me want to do all I can to be better person everyday of my life. Man... I'm really thankful to be a missionary. It's completely changed my life, and I'm just way thankful to all it has given me.
Another seriously awesome experience this week was going to mission leadership council! It's a meeting down in Tokyo at the mission home where all the zone leaders and sister training leaders go, and we just receive training. But, I got to see both of my trainers and it was just so awesome. I just gotta write, I love Elder Burgin and Elder Howard. They are the nicest guys ever, and I really was so, so, so blessed with the trainers I had. Elder Burgin and I got to work together a bit on the train on the ride back, and we talked to this way cool teenager on the train. Elder Burgin just was super nice, saying how much I've grown, and he said some really awesome things that I really needed to hear. Just gotta say, the people The Lord places in our lives is not by chance by any means. They've been our friends and life shapers way longer than we can remember. Elder Burgin and Elder Howard have been that for me, and they've really blessed my life so much. :) love those guy.
But all in all, it's just been a really amazing week. The mission is kind of mellowing out with the crazy growth, and President Budge is just super excited and full of faith in seeing where the mission goes next. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. Yeah it's far from easy, and there are some days I wish I could just run home and sleep for a bit, but the blessings I've received here make up for all of those little things. It's really not a sacrifice, it's an opportunity to reach you full potential. It's an opportunity to see the lord's hand more fully than you've seen it before. It's an opportunity to see lives changed, and yours included. It's an opportunity to change and follow Christ. It's an opportunity to walk away from who you used to be, and be more of who the Savior wants you to be. It's just awesome. That's about allI can say :) I just love it with all my heart, and I'm so excited for the time I have left! It's not always easy, and I know that it won't be a peace of cake, but I love it so much, and I'm so thankful to be in a country as awesome as Japan. I love being a Tokyo missionary! I love you guys so much, and i pray for you every night and day by name. I love you guys more than I can say, and I just want to say thanks for all that you do. Have an awesome week!! I'll try to send more photos soon. ;)
P.S. Other awesome things this week.
1: Sister Budge said I'm the smiliest, happiest missionary in the mission and told me she really appreciates the smiles.
2: went to Costco and ate pizza again!
3: my bike died! But I got an old bike from a missionary who just went home, and it's awesome!! It's a road bike.
4: my family is amazing.
5: only thought about the office 1 time this week. Boom roasted.
6: it's getting closer to cherry blossom season!
7: made a HUGE pot of spicy curry and fed 8 missionaries. Gnarly. I'm a curry fiend.
8: taught a skateboarder about the gospel and heard the most interesting life story ever. Businessman to skater in a week.
9: figured out sarcasm in Japanese!
10: life is awesome.