Monday, June 9, 2014

The path is simple and the adventure is rewarding

We started off the week well! We went to T san with a member and talked about how to feel the spirit when we go to church. It was interesting to see how she has changed. When we first met she said she won't change churches but based off of one church visit she was different. Coming to church changes people. She likes how everything was modern. It wasn't people talking about how old men from 2000 years ago did things. It was about how we can do things. She really liked that, yet she didn't "feel" the spirit. But we want to explain that sometimes the spirit comes as good thoughts.

The funny thing about that lesson, is that a lady from down stairs heard our conversation at the door step. So she walked up stairs. All old people that want trouble have the same kind of walk. I have seen it many times. So when this old woman came upstairs, she started to walk, I thought, "oh things are about to get interesting" and they did. She came over trying to seem innocent but she said "oh, what are you guys talking about? Christ? Hmmm have you ever hear about soka gakkai?" Interestingly enough, both the member and T were former soka gakkai members so they did a little fu fu fu fu fu laugh and said that they didn't receive answers to their questions and they found those answers in Christianity.  The funny thing about the whole situation is that a lot of it was lead by T san. She united with us as Christians and started to have the old lady be taken aback.  I asked the old lady if she has every received an answer to prayer. She said no (because soka gakkai members pray, but they all have said they haven't felt anything from it) and I invited her to listen. The old woman went into Japanese mode and made an excuse of why she couldn't do it. Every other old person says they have a messed up head so they couldn't possibly do it. Yet they are full fledged in another religion. Honestly I have come across many cases this week that are slightly ironic. She walked away saying to spend time looking into her church. I said to her, "okay, will do, but also please spend some time listening to our message."

Tuesday and Wednesday I hit some kind of slump. We went to a different area which we think a lot of missionaries haven't hit up all that much. Man we walked into the rich families of Iizuka area. These houses were huge. What was interesting was that everyone was young too. We met a 20 year old man who was fishing. He contently sat there and listened to us. He kept asking awesome questions but it derailed the contact and became really mixed up. We gave him our number and he asked up if he could call us so hopefully he will call soon. But anyways, these rich people... I have no idea what to say to them. They had a completely different feel to them. They also haven't ever seen missionaries before. Lucky us, but they felt like different Iizuka people. A people I had no idea how to teach. It was really weird but hopefully the Lord will prepare the ones we did talk to.
Wednesday I was in the slump of the previous day so I was always double guessing everything. Which made Wednesday hard but we pushed through it.

On Wednesday night, we talked to a former investigator who is an English student. We asked her what she thought about the church. she felt from previous missionaries they were trying to force her into baptism and make her believe so she had a feeling or a wanting to stop. But she said we can talk about it. She's fine with that but she is not really interested in converting.

On Thursday we went finding the last part of the night. We found some really awesome people but they didn't become potential investigators or anything of that sort. One lady we started to talk about the 3 life questions: where did I come from, life purpose, and where will I go. We asked her has she thought of these before? She said yes! I about freaked out because most Japanese people live such a lifestyle that doesn't create a concern for their life. Like one college student said his life purpose was to laugh and die. Nothing else. iI was kinda funny but still not very directed. We met this 16 year old high school student (whose high school is within view of the church) and we asked her what she thought she was meant to do in life. She said to help people so she wants to become a nurse. (Usually we don't do much with the teens her age because they usually pass anything right over to their parents but in her case her mom passed the conversation to her. She was very outgoing.) We said we want to help her find that goal, a way to help people. We asked her to meet up before English class on Wednesday.

Friday. Very long day. We met with a less active who loves Jesus, loves the bible. loves everything about Christianity. He has like 893489572 scriptures memorized. But what is the thing missing? We are trying to find that out.

We met with W again. This was our fault the lesson went so long. It was 2 hours and 15 minutes. Most of our lessons are 30 minutes max. The man kept saying since there was so much suffering in the world there is no God. We explained how this world was a test for him, if he passed he can live in happiness forever. He kept making all kinds of examples of people suffering. That's why the lesson went long. I eventually told him, "look all these people suffer, it's really sad. We don't like it. But can you answer with your beliefs and you reasoning why this world has suffering?" He said no. Then I said "then why is it so hard not to think of this time as a test? If we pass it we can always be happy?" Again he just brought up because why would a God have so much suffering. Needless to say, we did explain it many times. We had a member there who explained it as well. At the end of it Elder Knighton gave him a Book of Mormon and told him to read 2 Nephi 2. The man said yes and we went on our way.

Saturday. We had eikaiwa again. Some random girl came in this time. She said she received a chirashi about 3 years ago and wanted to come in. She was very interesting. I asked her age and if she was a high school student. She told me my questions had no relation to English. Since we only have 2 missionaries here, trying to prep for 3 classes is impossible. I prepped for intermediate. This girl had no idea what English was, didnt' know how to read it or write it. At the end of it she sat in the class room and I was cleaning up. She said when everyone left. "you are a terrible teacher. This wasn't fun at all. I didn't learn anything. Now. Teach me English" I was confused so I sat down with her and taught her good morning, afternoon, evening, hello, goodbye, thank you, and I'm sorry. By the end of the next hour she had a perfect accent in all of these words. It was amazing. Completely amazing.

Afterwards we went to a college student we met last week. He became an investigator with a Book of Mormon. He seems pretty cool with trying to know if God is alive. We got on pretty gopd terms with him too. We are going to hang out and play baseball sometime.

We went to another college student and we wanted to go eat ice cream with him. I received gift cards to Baskin n Robins. His dad was home and he said "yeah come next week. We will totally go."

Sunday. T came to church! She listens to the things so intently. She also has a pretty sweet alto voice. She can rock those low notes. We went housing after church. Apparently we went to an area that was really mean. One man came out of his house, trying his best to be polite but you could tell he was in a rage. He kept telling us we were loud when he was the one yelling at us. Another ironic thing, as we turned away to go to a different place, he came back outside called us back just to tell us to go away. I looked at him weird and said "I'm sorry, we were just leaving." There is a high chance he was drunk. Either on beer or on anger. But there were so many cases of people who after hearing our message, saying something along the lines of wanting part of it, said they were good. This one college student said his parents were Catholic but he doesn't know if any religion is true. He wants to receive forgiveness. He said "I want the weight off me." I explained he could have that, so we wanted to come back to explain that. He did the usual Asian head tilt to one side and inhaled making that shhhhhhhh sound. Then responded with, his time is strict. In other words, that is just another Asian way of saying no, politely.

I don't understand why so many people see the blessings of the gospel, want it, but aren't willing to take the step towards it. We are offering it at a free price. The path is simple and the adventure is rewarding. We present it to them and they said they would like something like that, but then say they can't do it because they are Japanese. I am frankly so tired of hearing that excuse. "Because I'm like this I can't do it." I wish there was some way to help them see that they aren't limited to what society forms them to be. It is hard to break the views of society. We are going to try our best to change that.

Elder Jameson

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