This has been a good week. Elder Ford and I have been doing our best to work both Hard, smart and most importantly inspired. The fruits of the "Questions of the Soul Seminar" that happened here in Fussa are beginning to be seen. At least from my perspective, the work of salvation definitely seems to be hastened here in Fussa. The members are awesome and are especially willing to help Elder Ford and I with mogi lessons as well as with the work. It seems that by working hard, smart, and inspired as missionaries; the members have begun to feel that "Dendo Fire" that missionaries are always talking about.
Elder Ford and I have been working our very best to be the best missionaries that we can be. We're constantly working at our language as well as. Whenever Elder Ford and I have a few seconds to spare, such as right before bedtime, we study our new vocabulary words. Hopefully our diligence and our faith will help us to recover the gift of tongues and eventually figure out how the Japanese language works.
The new additions of IPads here in the mission also has had an impact on Dendo. Thursday nights we hold a Ping-Pong night here in Fussa. One of our 英会話 students came and I played some ping pong with him for a little bit. Afterwards, we sat down and talked about random things. I pulled out my ring of 日本語 vocabulary and asked if I could check the definitions with the student. As we went through the list, I asked him to see if I was using them properly. He complimented me on my Japanese and said that it was really good. I asked him how I could get better at Japanese and he suggested that I read the tabloids or Manga. I explained to him that I could not read those as a missionary and that I was using the Book of Mormon to help me learn both Japanese and a little bit of Kanji. I showed him it on the IPad and he seemed interested. I read a little bit and he said that he wanted a copy of his own to "study" on his own. I quickly pulled out one and gave it to him. He was really grateful for having received one. I am so excited to see what new sorts of avenues these mobile devices will open up.
On Saturday I was privileged to go on splits with Elder Merrill's companion, Elder Soto. Elder Soto is a very diligent young missionary. He really wants to excel in all aspects of Missionary work. He does however suffer with a "this is boring I'll just tune out for a bit" problem. I tried my best to help him understand that the mundane and repetitive tasks of being a missionary might not be the best, but can be enjoyable nonetheless. I think that he tends to tune out people when he can't understand. Regardless of his faults with proselyting, I think that in time, and as soon as he understands Japanese he will be a missionary powerhouse and help to drive the work forward. I have no doubts that he will be a major player here in japan in the months to come
During the splits, Elder Ford and Elder Merrill were able to meet up with a Chinese man named Yuval who came to the "Questions of the soul seminar" a while back. He didn't really want to meet and talk about church so Elders Merrill and Ford gave him a church tour and when they got to the sacrament room he said that he wanted to come on Sunday! they had a mini-English class and invited him to keep meeting with us! He accepted! After all the many rejections by Potential investigators and others, it makes it all worthwhile being able to see someone progress towards that eternal, happy end state.
Elder Ford and I love to run each morning. I feel like it helps us become a better, more unified companionship it's pretty nice beating able to get up and hit the ground running every morning. I am a big fan of the early morning runs it's a shame that I cannot convince him to get up earlier than 6:30 because I would LOVE to run for even longer! I still think that Elder Ford would benefit from a training/follow up training leadership role. I hope that if given that chance next transfer that he will step up to the challenge and becomethe amazing missionary that I know he can be.
That's all I have for this week. Pretty eventful compared to the last couple of weeks here in 福生, I am just super excited that I have the chance to be a part of those who are riding the wave that is the Gospel moving forward here in Japan.
Elder J. Alan Farr
Pics: Elder Merrill relaxing, -昭島市, Fussa city, me in a park at
sunset, delicious ramen. Also an English story.