Yeah I still haven't gotten my package yet. Its a bummer but I mean, that's not what Christmas is about. (We have tracked the package to Japan. They attempted to deliver it twice. USPS suggests that someone from the office go to the post office and see if they can retrieve it. They do not believe a 3rd attempt will be made. After 30 days, it will be sent back to sender.)
So this week was really fast and crammed with a bunch of stuff. Well that's how the past 3 weeks have been. Elder Olsen and I haven't had time really to do weekly planning these past 3 weeks. Not only that I haven't had a good language study. Its been pretty busy. But that;s a good sign at the same time. We are trying super hard to set more time aside to get more finding done and fill up our teaching pool more.
Monday we visited M, and he was super happy to see us. We cleared up some of his worries and set another baptismal date for the 31st of Jan. He isn't going to stop drinking by himself. That is a huge problem. On Tuesday and yesterday he gave us 2 different referrals of his best friend, K who wants to become more healthy, and his son who studies the Book of Mormon with him. Hopefully they they have interest and they will help us help M.
Later that day we met a 27 year old man named U.T. He said that he wanted to believe in God because he thought he could get a girlfriend with that. That's not exactly the right reason but he said he wanted to learn to pray.
Then we met with this guy named H. He is a 19 year old boy that has a lot of interest in religion. He is super busy though. He might come to a upcoming activity and he said he will come to church when he has time.
I would like to do a quick review of S. He might have some kind of memory problem. He can't remember anything to save his life. We just have to teach him simply and have him reteach us what he was taught. Eventually he will get it. We may have to change the baptismal date with him. He doesn't really have a motive to life right now so we are trying to remind him of baptism so that he can have a reason to live and drop smoking and drinking. We got through all the first lesson and hopefully we can move past that.
Tuesday, we had a pretty good lesson with W. I said most of what happened on my last email. We got through the first part of the plan of salvation. Its weird. We already taught that and yet she completely forgot it. I don't understand how so many of our investigators forget so quickly. I guess that means we are doing a bad job of reviewing. So anyways we reviewed and she liked it. Something was different. She kept asking, "how could you believe something like this? How did you come to know this?" Simply put - study and prayer.
Later we had a gyoza party. A lot of people came and it was really fun. The members got to know our investigators a little better and their relationships are building.
Wednesday. so I'll review over H. M. It turns out that he has been baptized before into a different church of course. On the other hand he says that the restoration is true, that God exists, and that he loves Him. But there is something missing. He still doesn't know if he should be baptized. He said that he needed to pray in order to know. That's a good step. Next week we will talk about what kind of answer he needs to look for.
On Wednesday we met T. He came to church! He is progressing. He is into second Nephi already. He prays before the reading assignments. He understands the reason of prayer without us even teaching it. We actually haven't taught him much. He just reads the pamphlets and learns by himself. We can't meet him often so this is a great trade-off. He loved church and he wants to go again. He is looking really good right now.
We went caroling as a branch. It was super good. We met so many people and got to share the Christmas spirit. I look back and not a lot of Japanese people know what Christmas is about. Being able to share a little of that through song makes me happy.
Christmas day was wonderful. I didn't have a great Christmas with regards to presents or material things. The meals we had were by ourselves. But I did get to see my family. I got to see S in the hospital and spend some time with him. We gave directions to a man from Kyoto. We went bowling with an investigator. It was simple but fun.
Friday. We had a lot planned but somehow it all fell through. Probably the best thing was D though. We visited his family on the 24th for caroling and it was awesome. They were so happy. In fact, this time when we visited D, he wasn't drunk. He was completely sober. We told him that K wanted to change, learn the gospel, and have her and J be baptized. He took it really well. He was all for it. We asked him to be a part of the lessons as well so it would be a family thing. He agreed and said that was a good idea. Things are looking great with them.
Other than that we filled the gaps with finding and planning.
Saturday. Good day. M was completely blasted out of his mind. He wouldn't come to the door. But his friend K came by. As we started to talk to him, M came out. The friend turns to M (as he was smoking) and told him to stop. He said that is was lame. The friend really wants to come to church and learn more. He seems like he has his head on tight. He can be a good help to M.
Later we happen to find S on the street. Okay this is probably the most ridiculous situation. So he goes into the hospital to drop smoking and drinking, but the hospital allows them to go outside for at max 3 hours of time without supervision. So S goes out and smokes. They don't stop him. Anyways, we found him, walked with him and taught him. It turned out pretty good. He might progress if we can get into that motive of baptism. He seems to forget it often. But he does say that he wants it.
Later we met T. He is super funny. He said he is a Christian during Christmas. We invited him to church and he said he would come. We taught him quickly what prayer was and headed on our own way.
Sunday, We had planned for K, J, a members mom named H K, M, K, T, and S to come. Well K had a headache, K disappeared, M and K weren't home when we went to pick them up. On the other hand, S and T came!!!!! poor T. We didn't tell him what to wear so he came to church wearing a Santa suit. Poor guy. It turned out good, A lot of the members came up and said merry Christmas because of that. We were able to sit down and teach a lesson. We asked him if he had questions. He has been to a church before so he knew most of what was happening. He wanted to know what the bread and water were. (He to the church right as the sacrament started so we didn't have time to explain it.) It led into baptism and forgiveness. We asked him if he would like that and he said yes. At the same time he said, "but I don't think it is that easy to receive forgiveness." Then we taught the rest of lesson 3. We were able to set a baptismal date for Feb 14th. He is such a good kid.
The sacrament meeting was super great! They basically had all the youth give the talks. The talks were all so simple but yet great. The speaker system was back in and everything was heard clearly. Yokatta ne.
We later went to K. The man she drinks and smokes with was there. He was being the devil on her shoulder. We would ask her things and he would feed her things to say. Last time we were there he lied and told us he was her brother and that she was sick. Well no relationship and she was completely fine last time. I really hope that this friend would not come back to this house. We will try to come by later in the week to talk to her.
Other than that this has been a great week. With new years coming up I wonder how busy some of our investigators will be. I remember back to last year and it was really hard to meet everyone. But we will put our faith into and try our hardest.