Sunday, November 22, 2015

The "West Armpit"

(On a Bridge In Nishiwaki)

西脇 (Nishiwaki) -"West armpit" is the direct translation of our area's kanji!

Konnichiwa Minasan! 今日は みなさん!

This week went by pretty quick! Though it was a tougher one, but I had some great experiences! Last week on P-Day, my companion and I went to a sushi restaurant where sushi comes by on a conveyor belt and every plate you take is 1 dollar! It was a fun restaurant with some really good sushi! We didn't teach as many lessons as we wanted to. We taught a total of 13 lessons, but it didn't feel like we taught that much. We had lots of lessons planned, but most of them bailed on us. (Which is pretty usual) We didn't have anyone to teach this week so we ended up doing A LOT of housing. Housing isn't very affective, and we maybe found 1 person that we can teach, but we still aren't even sure about them. This last Friday, I was able to travel up to Fukuchiyama and do some dendo (mission work) up there. Friday was our kokon (splits with our district leader) so my companion and the district leader went to Nishiwaki and I stayed in Fukuchiyama and my companion was OLSEN CHORO! (Who I went to high school with) For kokons, you usual spend 24 hours with that other missionary. Fukuchiyama is also where my MTC companion is serving right now, so it was good to spend some time with him, and also be able to do some dendo with him as well. 
We decided that Olsen 長老 (Choro),Sedrick 長老 (Anthony 長老's trainer), Anthony 長老, and I were going to try something a little different. Sedrick 長老 knows how to play hymns on his guitar, so we decided to walk up around the city and sing hymns and try and do some streeting. It was so affective!! There were points where both companionship were teaching two different people right next to each other! We handed out so many flyers and were able to have a lot of fun losing ourselves in the lords work. After we did that, Olsen 長老 and I split off from the other two missionaries and had a fun idea to make our bad Japanese even worse as a way to try and talk to people on the street. We would walk up to people and tell them that we were studying Japanese and had a question for them. We would then ask them what the word "quote" was in Japanese. They would have no idea what we were talking about so we would pull a quote from President Monson out of our pocket and hand it to them. Usually they would read it, and then again we would ask what the word "quote" is. Some of them were really helpful and tried to help us with our question, and then after they answered, we would start trying to talk to them about what we do and why we are in Japan. The first time we did it we walked up to a guy and asked him the question. After a minute of confusion about our question, we pulled out the quote. He really seemed like he wanted to help us. He read the quote, took off his glasses, and said in broken English..."I understand what you are trying to do, and I don't have time for this" and then he turned and walked away. We were caught. We couldn't help but laugh, because we were busted. But it ended up being a fun time using that to talk to people. The rest of the night we tried to find people, and were able to talk to lots, and share a little bit about the gospel. We made it fun while we were housing, because we decided we couldn't use the same approach that we had used at houses before. It was a bit of a challenge, but it made for some fun!
The next day, we got up and rode our bikes a ways a way to the branch presidents house because he needed help moving a fridge. So all four of us were able to go, and after helping him, we were able to share a message with him and all of us got to pitch in. I had an amazing time in Fukuchiyama with some amazing people. Olsen 長老 got to Japan 1 transfer before me, and I swear he could be a trainer already! His Japanese is amazing!!! We are so lucky to, not only be serving in the same mission in Japan, but also be in the same zone, and the same district, and have the opportunity every once in a while to serve together! 
Missionary work in the city is completely different than where I am at. I am in inaka (farm land) so it is a lot harder to find people. But the people in farm land usually have time to talk, and in the city people don't have time to talk. So there are pros and cons to both areas. 
In my area, we have 2 progressing investigators right now, and another investigator with a baptism date. So I am so excited for these people to learn and grow in the gospel! We were able to teach the two progressing investigators this weekend and it looks like they want to be baptized in the near future! 
This week was definitely a challenge for me, but it was joined with the most fun that I have had on my mission so far. I have learned a lot this week. About the gospel, and the language and the culture. But I've learned the most about myself this week. One think that is funny in Japan (well there are a lot of funny things because it is a completely different culture) is that the doorways are really small. I have hit my head so many times! It's fun being a tall read head in Japan! Im constantly being stared at and people love telling me how tall I am haha. One person that we were teaching told me that I look like an American celebrity. So that sure made me laugh! 
I hope everyone has a happy thanksgiving! Because I am serving in Inaka, it has been hard for me. I need to count my blessing because I have so much here that other missionaries and other people dont have. Have an amazing week and be safe! Thank you all for you support. I hope my rambling made a little sense haha! 愛していますみなさん! (Love you all)
エバンズ 長老

Hanging out with Elder Olsen, Elder Anthony and Elder Sedrick in Fukuchiyama

In a Park in Nishiwaki

Celebrating their investigator's birthday

More Food

His apartment 

Outside his apartment.  The red bike is his.

The cool conveyor belt sushi restaurant.

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