Monday, September 19, 2016

Sneaky Photography

Hello friends and family! This week went by really fast and was pretty good. If you're wondering what the title of this email is, it will make sense once you read the story at the end of my email haha. But anywhoser, on to my week! This week was a lot better than last to be honest and I got out of the slump I was in last week. Not having much success lately has been hard on my companion and I but we had some good dendo and meeting with our mission president for interviews helped out a lot. 

On their way to interviews with Kaicho! 
During the beginning of the week we met with a woman named Mitsuko in the Branch. She is like a grandma to the missionaries. She was baptized just 2 years ago (2 weeks before I was actually) and knows everything about every single missionary that has ever served in Nakatsu since then. She absolutely loves the missionaries and always invites us to her home for meals. So we went to her home with one of her friends who isn't a member and had a way fun time with her! 

Funny guy they met on the street. He rapped in English 
Next we went to Fukuoka to have interviews with the mission president and his wife. The training we received from the assistants was really beneficial and helped me out a lot. The main focus of the training was finding new investigators, something we could use a lot of help on haha. They shared some tips and that was good, during the training I got to meet with President and Sister Egan and it was so good! I felt so much love and support from Sister Egan. Then as I met with Kaicho he gave me some really good advice on a couple questions I had and told me to "call down the powers of heaven" on Nakatsu. He said he believed in us seeing a baptism in Nakatsu, and asked us to have the faith and willingness to see it happen. I really want to see success here so I've decided I need to change some things to see it happen.

Cleaning up after Eikaiwa

Just last Saturday night we made an awesome return appointment with a new person! My companion went out to dendo while it was raining pretty hard and there was this huge festival in Nakatsu. I literally thing every young person in the city was there, it was the most people I have ever seen in Nakatsu! We went to the festival and talked to lots of people and handed out lots of English class flyers. I think my favorite dendo is talking to young people, they seem to be a lot more open to our message than others, and on top of that they are always so much fun to talk too! But anyways, on to the return appointment we got. After we talked to people at the festival we did some dendo on a near by apartment and found this really nice woman named Kudou. She had met missionaries once before about a year ago but never heard the lessons. This time as we taught her a short lesson at the door she accepted our invitation to baptism, a Book of Mormon, and was willing to meet again in a couple days! It was one of the best totsuzen lessons I've had in a while. My companion and I are pretty stoked for her and we feel she could really progress into a solid investigator. 

There's lots of other little things that happened during the week but that's all the main stuff for now! Sorry I don't have to much time, but to end I want to share a funny story and explain the meaning behind my email's subject name. The other day like I said my companion and I were in Fukuoka for interviews with the mission president. On our way back home we had to take a subway from the church to the main train station in Fukuoka. As we got on the subway it was pretty packed as it usually is. Standing right next to my companion and I were two college age Japanese girls. My companion and I were facing each other and they were off to the right side of my companion, so I could see them but my companion couldn't. I noticed them kind of staring at us but didn't think much of it because most people stare at gaijin (foreigners) in Japan. My attention was brought back to them however when I noticed one of the girls trying to nonchalantly lift up her phone to sneak a picture of us. Before I could tell my companion so he could see it too ....*SNAP* yep, she forgot that her sound was on haha. So my companion turns around and looks at them while I just start to quietly laugh. They both try to play it off and hide their laughter at their failed attempt to sneak a picture. My companion and I resume talking and I see in the corner of my eye she lifts up her phone again to take another picture! This time I figured I'd play along so as I continue to talk with my companion I throw up a peace sign to let them know I see them taking pictures. This goes on for about the next few minutes as they continue to try and sneak pictures until we arrive at the main station in Fukuoka. As we leave the subway I turn around and say to them, "issho ni shashin wo toritai desu ka?" They both look at me a little surprised that I just spoke Japanese to them and then of course say yes. They asked who we were and what we were doing in Japan so we were able to tell them about who we are and our purpose as missionaries. After we took the picture my companion and I said bye and left on our way. As I thought about it later I was thinking if I shouldn't have talked to them since I didn't get to share any kind of spiritual message with them. But then I thought that not everyone we come in contact with needs to have a message forced on them. I think some people just need to be reassured that we as missionaries are normal people who just want to help others. The image of missionaries isn't the best in Japan but if through these kind of small encounters we have with people help them get a better image of missionaries maybe someday down the road they will be more willing to listen to a pair of missionaries that stop them or knock on their door just because they have met us before and remember us being friendly. Anyways, hopefully we can continue to help people not be afraid or apprehensive about missionaries. 

Even though it's been difficult here and there while I've been working in 中津 I really do love the area, the members, and my companion. It really has been a lot of fun to serve here and I hope I stay here for longer (transfers are somehow coming up soon again!) thank you everyone for all your support and love! Have a great week! 


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