This is what I did this week. Sorry it's kind of long, Pday was all funky last week. Luckily it's all fixed today! Enjoy!
Thursday was interesting after waking up and kind of working out we all quickly had to get dressed and eat and out the door in order to catch the train that would take us to Yamato in time for our transfer Zone conference. Zone conference was about three hours long. We did a lot of trainings and a lot of different things as a a zone such as reading from the Book of Mormon together and talking about how we can help the people of Japan better. Elder Christensen and I demonstrated how to teach the first half of the 'Gospel of Jesus Christ' pamphlet in Japanese to the whole zone. Considering how little time we had to practice teaching together, it was amazing to see just how well we were able to teach through the guidance of the spirit! In the middle we took a quick five minute break. I took that as an opportunity to play the piano to ensure that everyone was able to retain the spirit that was present in the meeting as well as keep quiet. It's amazing how well music is able to impact people! The training as a whole was really good. The Zone leaders clearly put a lot of time and effort into preparing the meeting and making sure that it was a success. I was glad that I was able to help out with just a small portion. After the meeting, on our way out we passed by the relief society sisters who were making some Melon Pan. It was AMAZING. Melon pan is definitely my favorite pastry that I've had here in Japan. It's definitely something that I want to learn how to make and continue to make after the mission. On our way to the Train station we decided that we were going to have lunch in Yamato. We went to an Udon noodle shop. I couldn't read any of the signs. So I just pointed at something. Turns out I make a good guess. It was udon thankfully. After lunch we went to Ofuna to proselyte. There in the station we met a couple who were members visiting from Atlanta. The wife served,in Japan back when she was a missionary and they were visiting her old mission areas. They were really nice. ElderTerry and I decided that we wanted to be more effective with our proselyting than normal so we changed our streeting tactics slightly. The results were amazing. People were much more readily available to talk and converse about religion and the Gospel. We were able to give out a Book of Mormon and even set up an appointment to meet with another man on Saturday! Our afternoon was filled with Miracles. We then came home, had dinner and then went to the church in order to plan for next week. In all, it was an amazing day!
Friday was a good day. We went to the church after lunch to watch the first District using the church's wifi. After watching it we went out and hit the streets to talk to everyone! We decided that since it was nice out that we needed to go to the beach. We stopped by the bank to withdraw some money. While waiting we talked to these toe people from Texas. They were really cool. They were part of some English Tour of Kamakura however they must have gotten lost because there was no tour in sight. We then walked over to the beach and talked to a group of college sophomores. I think they might have been on a group date to Kamakura. But oh wells. They received us well and we talked a lot about college and Kamakura and Japan. I'm still amazed about how well people speak English in this country. It's really a blessing for me and even more so for Elder Terry who is still struggling with the language. I'm still struggling with Japanese, but on a whole completely different level of confusing. We walked some more down the beach and found a group of middle school students. They were really cool. They wanted to take a photo. So naturally we all had to jump. We took several photos until we had a good one where everyone successfully had accomplished the jump. We then talked to our friend Merrick from Poland for about 40 min about various things. We talked mostly about Russia and Life as a missionary. He says that it would be hard to be a Mormon Missionary and thus he could never ever join the a church. I think that he is a little bit too old to be a regularly proselyting missionary anyways. He is really really cool. I would definitely come back and hang out with him on the beach after the mission. After we finished talking to Merrick on the beach we doubled back and walked down the beach some more. We called the day before Brother Kamei to see if we could come and visit him a little bit and share a quick message. He drew us a map last Sunday so between the map and the GPS on our iPads we were eventually able to find the house of Brother Kamei. We stopped by, shared a quick message about being member missionaries and headed back home for dinner. The walk back seemed so very long. We must have walked at least 6+ miles between going to the beach, going to Brother Kamei's house and then going home. It was nice that Elder Busteed and Christensen had already made dinner because we didn't have to spend the whole time cooking and could relax for a little bit. After dinner we spent the rest of the night inviting investigators and potential investigators to the "Lets spring night!" Activity that we were planning on having on Saturday. A lot of them said that they would come so it should be a really really good turnout!
Saturday was a lot of fun. We woke up and watched the entire district for both personal and 12-week study. I think that it would be odd being a missionary and being filmed while doing normal missionary work. I don't think that I would enjoy it at all. After language study in the afternoon, we walked outside and saw that the weather was really nice. We had planned the night before to walk to the Big Buddah and return for spring night, but as we passed the beach we saw a ton of carp kites flying over the beach some took a detour and decided to see what has happening over by the kites. Turns out Kamakura has a kite flying club. We hung out with the kite makers and our friend Merrick. We didn't have to go around seeking to find people to talk to. People came to us and it led to natural conversations about the church and why there were two white guys flying giant Carp-kites on Kamakura Beach in Japan. It was a lot of fun and we got some cool pictures from it too! The only downside was the obnoxious amount of sand in my shoes from walking around the beach. I didn't get it all out until I returned home with Elder Terry. We were running low on time so we had to leave and start walking to the church to help set up "Let's spring night" We got there and decided that we really wanted to print off a copy of "The Questions of the Soul" Paper that we use in conjunction wih the Book of Mormon in English for Tai when he came to church for "Let's spring night" but as it was printing, the printer became jammed and it no longer worked. Elder Terry and I spent about 15 min trying to figure out where the paper disappeared to. We finally found a secret lever that exposed the innards of the printer to us. We finally fixed the printer and went down to the room where we were going to spring the night. Katsu and Ookubo showed up. However Tai and Alexandru never showed up. The spring night was a blast, people did a lot lf things for the talent show such as singing or playing some sort of instrument. We sang Scatter Sunshine as missionaries in Japanese and in English. I'm glad that we weren't being judged. We also split into two teams and had cake making competitions. It was 'who can make a cake as fast as you can without making a gigantic mess in the church' type of contest. I think they announced the winner, but it was in Japanese so unfortunately, I didn't really understand. At the end we had some soup and some snacks. It was a great experience for all who attended.
Sunday was a whole lot more normal than last weeks' Sunday. We woke up, did a little studying and went to church to have DCS with the Ward mission leader and one of the Ward mission leaders. We talked about our investigators and the success of the "let's spring night" event on Saturday and talked about the possibility of having other events like it in the near future. Church was really good. During sacrament meeting, the speakers talked about how the atonement of the savior has influenced their lives. The sacrament meting was really well done. The Kanagawa sisters came for sacrament meeting and brought Ykiko, a 19 year old girl who lives in our area but came to introduce us to her. Her English is really really good. The entire Ward thought the Kanagawa sisters were the new Kamakura sisters. I guess Kamakura Ward really wants sisters. They weren't this excited when they got four elders. Oh wells. I guess I'll never understand. But Yukiko is super cool. We traded numbers and she is coming to English class early so we can get to know her a bit before we start meeting with her and talk about the church and teach her. She seems pretty keen on learning about such things so it should be a fun experience. After church, we went to the apartment and ate some mochi mostly because we ran out of food Saturday morning and didn't plan accordingly. Luckily we had enough food to sustain us until Monday morning! Thank goodness for food storage and pasta! Once lunch was over we walked over to a park that we found on the area map in hopes to find people interested in the gospel. We got pretty lost and nothing really came out of us walking over. Although we were successful in talking to people along the way. Some man stopped his moped to come over and talk to us. Apparently he used to be a student of our English Class and wants to come back. Maybe we were supposed to be close to that park to meet him. You can never know! We walked back home, then had dinner and wrote our weekly emails to the president.
Well that's a week in the life of Elder J. Alan Farr. I hope you enjoyed reading!
Pics: koi kite, regular kite, me with one of the koi for size reference, Katsu our crazy English student and the cake we made in ten min.