Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas 2014

Okay So I will probably only review everything that has happened up until Monday. There has been a lot that has happened and my poor memory is failing me. Please forgive me if I leave things out.

This past week has been a repetitive cycle of visiting all of the same investigators. It has helped a lot and it helped us figure out more of their needs.

On Monday we had p-day and it was packed with things. It seems like our p-days don't really allow us to rest. Anyways, we got a lot done and started to teach our investigators.

It would be best if I just review the things that we did over the entire week.

Met H M. He was doing really good. We talked to him about the spirit, what it feels like, and it seems he really took it in. Over the week he has started to say more heart felt prayers. Not exactly asking the things we asked him to say but he is becoming more sincere. Towards Friday we brought a member with us to a lesson it went super good. He is understanding the plan of salvation. Recently since S hasn't been understanding the lessons all that well, we have been making follow up questions that teach and test their knowledge at the same time. M has shown some great progress with this.

S. Man this guy is up and down. It seems like we have to start over with each lesson. So we started to teach a different way. Granted we should have probably started teaching this way in the first place - setting up questions for him to teach us what he knows. That really drives home. We teach him by drawing pictures and when we ask him to explain it, He starts to draw the same picture. We were able to cover prophets and Christ right before he came to church on Sunday. He wants to change but he doesn't really have a motive. This past week we worked hard trying to find out what his motives were and it was a stressful progress. He wanted to quit smoking and drinking but after he got in the hospital, he thought that it was still okay. Since his personal beliefs don't require any personal commitment to obtain a greater happiness, he doesn't care. We testified that there was something more to life and that the prophets taught it. It hit home and he is starting to open up more. It was a really hard thing to figure out.

We have been so blessed this week. We have prayed of when we should visit S each day. Everytime we go he either has just left the hospital or just went back in. He keeps saying "How do you keep meeting me? This is crazy." We respond "because we prayed to know when to come. God is watching you S." He responds,"oh you guys are dangerous." Then he laughs. I love this man so much.

M. Oh dear. He basically dropped because he was drinking and smoking all the time. The story becomes better though. We met him on the street and he said that he can't join because of the attendance fee or every week he has to pay. We told him that wasn't the case and we were able to reset a baptismal date for the 31st of Jan. Also he referred his friend and this coming Friday we will teach them both.

C. We visited her and prayed with her quite a bit. We set up an appointment but she called an hour before with sudden change of plans. She did this 2 days in a row. She is such a great person but meeting her is soooooo difficult. If we were able to meet her and get her to church, she would progress so much. She is praying everyday. Since her sister has gotten better from cancer, her testimony of prayer has gone up. She always asks us to pray and she said she would pray for us.

W. This week was a pain. The lesson was really hard. On the other hand we decided just to teach her the doctrines for now and lay off on the commitments. We have been teaching her for about 3 months now and she hasn't really heard much of the lessons because we have taught so much about prayer and reading. The 23rd we taught her part of plan of salvation and she thought it was interesting. She asked "why do you believe something like this?" Well its simple, we have been talking about prayer for quite a while. We prayed to know if this was true and we felt peace and comfort telling us it was. She responded "that sounds too easy". This message isn't supposed to be hard. Its actually quite simple. All we need to do is act and have a sincere heart and pray. The rest comes.

Y. This is sad. He dropped but he had great progress. We taught him about the restoration and he said that he thought it was true. The next lesson came around and he didn't really seem all that happy. We taught him prayer and invited him. (He is pretty tight on time. He said he only had 15 minutes so at 12 minutes we asked him to pray.) He sat there for 3 minutes and said "well I don't have any time." We asked if we could meet again. He said "I'm pretty busy." As we all know by this point, when a Japanese person says they are busy, there are 2 things that are possible. They are really busy or he doesn't want to meet.  Y doesn't have a job, friends, or hobbies. He goes to a park and sits there all day. He isn't busy. Hopefully our paths will cross again.

Eikaiwa! Man our eikaiwa is exploding. We split into 3 classes and we are preparing more and look what happened. The class went from 5 to about 18-20. We have a pretty cool story and miracle about that.

About 4 weeks ago I talked about his guy named K. He recently moved here and he met missionaries in his other area. Well he came to eikaiwa and his English is basically fluent. During eikaiwa, some of the students in the advanced class started to ask church questions. So it turned into a church discussion. It turns out that K is actually a less active. He said it was good to hear the gospel again. He was baptized 3 years ago and went less active. Now he wants to come back! Miracles!

Our Christmas Skype
D and K. Wow. Well we learned again that its best not to let people talk about sins. He doesn't even give us a warning. He says "hey I have something to tell you." Then bam. Well.... Lets say he has some bad things in his life. The good thing is that he wants to turn away from that. BUT the situation is really difficult. Because of his past sins he was cast out of his church. Now he has some pretty strong feelings against that church. Every time we bring up the gospel he always avoids it. He can talk about stories from the bible all day long. But when you try to apply it to life he turns and says "man you guys need to loosen up." Pops a can of beer and lights up some smokes. He is obviously hurt and Satan is pulling him hard away. On the other hand, K is ready to progress. She basically said that she wants J and her to be baptized. Of course she wants to study it first but for her experience from our church (coming to the Christmas party) and others, she really likes our church. J loves us for some reason. We see him playing outside all the time. He yells for us and says "MISSIONARIES WAIT!" Runs and gives us high fives. K is holding strong for the family and knows that it is because of the beer and smokes that D is turning bad. She wants him to stop but she admits she lashes out at him too. She said she would try better at that this next week.

Elder Olsen and Elder Jameson
She said she really wants to go to church with D. Again D isn't seeming like he is budging anytime soon with his standpoint. So we we are going to go at it from a different angle. We are still planning that but we hope it will go well.

Church. S and T came to church. The other Elders had one investigator come. An old investigator came as well. 4 people at church. No one really came to say hello. There are lots of things the Branch needs help doing. We are going to do a dendo fireside this next Sunday. Hopefully that will change things up a bit. Over all the work is going well and I'm excited for everything to progress.

Listening to his RM sister challenge him to finish strong!

We LOVE these Elders!!

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