I cannot believe that my third transfer here as a missionary is sooncoming to a close! Time is moving much to fast, I don't want it to go any faster or I'll miss too much! Unfortunately time cannot be stopped, slowed, or delayed. It is up to me to make the best use of my time to accomplish the most good possible. I guess that this is what is meant when we talk about working Smart, Hard, and Inspired. If were not working smart, hard, and inspired then we will miss those of us who have been prepared and they will lose the chance to hear the gospel! I'm beginning to internalize that as a missionary.
This week started off pretty rough for Elder Ford and myself. We didn't see much success both Monday and Tuesdays As much as we reached out to people and tried to talk to them about the gospel, nobody seemed to want to talk to us. But as we tried our best to be obedient and open our mouths, we began to see more and more success throughout the week. Monday and Tuesday were just small trails of our faith. We finished the week off strong with over 90 Meaningful contacts.
We haven't had anyone agree to hearing the lessons yet, but I know that as we keep asking and keep inviting people to various 'Seven-days-of-conversion' events that people will begin to see how being a member of this church is different than being a member of another church as well as how much joy and happiness we have as members. I have faith that in due time Fussa, as well as the whole mission will begin to see more and more success as we continue being diligent! We however have found a lot of Potential investigators. It's just turning them from potential investigators into actual investigators is the next step!
I was privileged this week to go on splits with my wonderful district leader, Elder Merrill. He and I were able to proselyte around the Fussa area together. It was interesting being with my old companion again. He is a really good missionary and tries his absolute best. Our goal for the day was to get 35+ meaningful contacts. We didn't reach our goal but learned that if we had been smarter and taken just 10 more solid minutes to plan better we would have easily surpassed our goal for that day. It just goes to show that working hard isn't just it. I learned that my Japanese is much better than I've been giving myself credit for and that I should be pushing myself a lot more in the language than I have been.
On Monday we got our transfer calls! Elder Ford and Elder Soto are now Companions, Elder Merrill is training a new missionary straight out from the MTC and I am going to Kamakura. Its a shame that I have to leave all of my friends and fellow missionaries here in Fussa, but I am really really excited to labor in the Kamakura area with Elders Christensen and Elder Barker. They both were in my district in the MTC so I know them both really well. They're both very hardworking missionaries and really smart. It's going to be interesting being companions with two other very young missionaries, but i am really really excited to see what kinds of miracles are coming our way in Kamakura. I don't know how to read kanji so the hour and a half train ride to the other side of the mission will be very very interesting. I need to learn "I'm lost, help!" in Japanese. The ones I know in Japanese that I rather enjoy are, "Excuse me, where is the bathroom?" And also the ever favorite, "Excuse me, where can I find the free food" Those two phrases have never let me down!
The craziest things happened this week. Along with the 60+ degree weather we had on Monday, it snowed all day on Saturday. It snowed over 12 inches in twenty four hurs. It snowed so much that both sets of church were closed and all of Fussa (including the trains) was shut down. After our morning studies in the apartment, Elder Ford and I trudged through the icy storm to the church. It took us about a half hour to get there. We got the snow removing equipment as well as some brooms and set on our way. From about 1230 until 2130 we helped people clear off their cars, get cars unstuck, as well as shovel snow from driveways, walkways, and even streets. We were soaked and cold by the end of the day. We were so tired that we didn't even change out of our clothes. We just passed out on our futons. The following day the snow had stopped and we got up and left the house as soon as we were up and our shoes dry. We shoveled snow until about 1630 that evening. Lots and lots of snow shoveling. I was so sore on Monday. The temperature has warmed up a bit and now almost all the snow has been melted away. It's mind knowing how quick all this snow came and how quickly it all went away!
It's been a hectic week here in Fussa and it's sad that I'm leaving on Thursday. I am however really excited to start a new adventure in Kamakura Japan!
Elder J. Alan Farr
Me and take the Fussa mascot, me on a bridge freezing, me on a bridge freezing, me freezing, abandoned bikes in a huge pile