I asked more questions to the ward to try to figure out some of the problem that is here. I can say I'm full of excuses when hard things come around. They appear to have done the same. The ward has a lot of less active children that are in their late 20's and 30's who I've never met. All the members of these children (granted the have probably tried before) say that they are too busy. It just feels like they gave up. But ill talk about that more in a bit.
Monday we had a great meet with A. We met her at general conference way back when and we were finally able to sit down with her and teach her a lesson. She accepted a Book of Mormon and said she will try to read it.
Wednesday we were able to meet E!!!!! I love that woman so much! She said that she prayed a couple of times over the week asking if this message was true. She said she re-read the pamphlet we gave her. She said "when I pray it says the Holy Ghost will speak to me in a quite voice..... I dont know what that is." We rejoiced and we were able to explain that more. Then the member asked her to come to our open house on Saturday.
On Thursday we had a junkai with Elder Vance and Inagaki. I went with Inagaki. He expressed many concerns with being a better missionary. I mean I'm not a great one but at least I knew some basic things that I could help him with. We were super blessed. We taught English to a group of kids going to America for a week. It was super fun and they said they wanted to come to our English class now. Afterwards we went and did some housing. Elder Inagaki said "I've never really handed out a Book of Mormon before." I said that's okay, let's do it right now. The next door we were blessed and gave out a copy of the Book of Mormon. The next door I said "now you try." He did and we gave out another one! It was super awesome! I haven't given out 2 copies on the same day for a long time. We did it back to back. Elder Vance and Knighton went to visit S. He was super awesome and prayed at the end of the lesson.
Friday we didn't have much going because we had zone training and we had to fix Elder Knighton's bike.
Saturday we had our open house. Before that we had eikaiwa where one of the students from Thursday came to our class!!! It was super cool to see her there. One of our new students has a half black baby that is super cute. Every time I would high five a student, she would go and high five them as well.
But the open house was okay. It was not planned out as well as it could have been. I mean we did prepare the missionary things but the members fell apart when the Branch President couldn't come to the open house. We did have 3 investigators come! They said they liked it. E came! She really enjoyed it.
On Sunday it was a bit of a downer again. The members just keep rejecting chances to help. Awhile back we had a family home evening with T. She enjoyed it. She liked it so much she said she would do it again but didn't want to change her religion. That's totally okay with me. At least we don't drop you. I went up to the sister who has helped us with her for all this time and asked if we can do a family home evening. She said "I can't" Stunned I asked "why?" She said "why do you ask why? She said she won't change." I just looked at her and said "she said she still wanted to do this. She may not change now but I still think she can." She just looked at me and said "I can't." SOOOOOOOOO frustrating. Why? The ward has done this a couple of times. They just drop people when they think they can't change. If that's the case, we wouldn't have any investigators. But people change slowly and sometimes it takes a really long time. If you don't understand that people can change, then frankly you don't understand why Jesus suffered for us, so that we can change. Change from worldly to Godly. The atonement is the source of change. Use it.
Later that day we met this really nice lady who said she loves her family and wants them to accomplish their dreams. I said, "that's exactly what God wants for you. He knows family is important so he made it possible for you to live with them forever." We are able to come back when she has time.
Monday. People seemed to not enjoy our conversation all that much. This man got really angry with us telling us we needed to study Japanese more because he was using words we didn't know. Those words were special to his religious sect of Buddhism. Sooooo a little out of our hands there. All in all people just didn't grab the concept of eternity. Granted it's impossible to do so. It seems that anything that requires them to produce any kind of deep thinking, especially religious, they try to avoid it. They don't try to apply it. Its rough because they don't understand the eternal consequences of rejecting Christ. Recently I've been trying to relate how similar the religions can be. But because of that they say "oh these are kind of the same. I don't see why I need this." Then I bring in the eternal family perspective, then they shut down and try not to think about it. How can we make it more simple so they don't have to think as hard, so they can recognize the richness of the gospel?
We later went with Nakamura to visit his aunt. The same could happened with her but something different happened. With the testimony of someone she knew, she took it a little differently. At the end she said "so all you are saying is I need to read this book and pray about it?" Yes. That's all you need to do. Well you need to have the desire to know and willingness to act on the answer but that's all you need to do. She said, "I'll try my best" What was the difference? The member. The friend. The family. That gives a side of trust. Giving the investigator a better understanding. We need more member help. It's the only way. In my opinion, Japan will start to change quickly. We can have many great works. We can have faith. Still that won't open peoples hearts sometimes. There is a promise from the prophet that Japan will expand only on the efforts of the members. I was able to see a slight portion of that blessing yesterday.
Have a great week!