Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Last Week in Kamakura :(


This is what I did this week:

Tuesday was a really nice day the weather took a turn for the cooler side of things. It was really nice because our five mile run in the morning wasn't as sweaty as it normally could have been. After working out, cooking breakfast and doing our personal studies we went to the church after lunch and did an line course for managing stress as a missionary. Throughout the course, they told us many times that being a missionary is stressful and that we should learn to cope with stress. I think it's a good tool for missionaries especially younger missionaries like Elder Terry. Afterwards. we got a text from one of our investigators, saying that she wanted to play ping pong with us in the evening and since were not female, we needed to find another male to come and hang out with us. We spent 30 min trying to,call different members and see if people would be willing to come and support us. Afterward we decided to spend the afternoon calling old English class students end s and trying to,invite them to meet with us and or come to English class again. We didn't have much success with that. After several hours of that, we went out and walked around the streets of Kamakura for about an hour. We met this Taiwanese woman who,was lost, trying to,get to a certain shrine. We spent about ten minutes trying to help her find her way around. She eventually figured it out. We walked around for a little bit longer until it was time to return home for dinner. We got home and and ate a really quick meal and then headed out for the church so that we could set up for ping pong night. At first it looked as if we were not going to have anyone show up, but exactly at 6:30, people showed up and it turned out to be a lot of fun. We were able to spend some good quality time with our investigators and were able to learn a lot about them too. It was an evening well spent indeed. Afterwards, I wrote some emails for the district, and then We went home for the evening. In all, it was pretty crazy day. Definitely not as normal as most days as a missionary that's for certain!

Wednesday was wet. From our run in he morning to planning in the evening, it was super wet the whole entire day. We spent our afternoon in Totsuka which is maybe a 10-15 train from Kamakura, if that. Tuesday we made a pact to not let a single male-person walk last past us  giving them a chance to hear about the Gospel. We were super duper successful with following our plan. As we reached out to,every single person we were able to more fully feel the influence of the spirit and were able to have a lot more meaningful conversations with people on the street. As we walked around and talked to people, we found that a lot of people were willing to stop regardless of the fact that it was pouring heavily. Elder Terry and I didn't carry umbrellas and relayed on our rain coats to keep us dry. They worked and not having umbrellas helped us to be more up and personal with the people we had interactions with on the street. We walked around Totsuka for a little while and then decided that it might be better for us to try our hand at housing. We walked along his river that cuts the city in half until we found this huge group of apartment buildings. We took the elevator to the tenth floor of one of the big ones and began to knock doors down the apartment We didn't really see much success but we did however, find this Thailand man who lived there and spoke fluent English. He claimed to be a hard-core Buddhist and didn't have any interest in religion, but we talked for a good 15min at his door step about the church and what not he was a really cool, really down to,earth kind of guy.  He worked for Cisco and is marrying a Christian Japanese woman soon. Maybe he'd like to stay married for eternity? Haha. Anyways,matter we finished we turned to go home but took a wrong turn and got lost. We finally made it back to the train station and home by 1720. We ate a quick dinner and headed over to the church for our weekly English class. We only had 5 students because of Golden week but it was a very good one-on-one opportunity for the members of our class to learn how to soak English with us. Fun was had by all. We cleaned up,the church after English class and then ran back to the Kamakura house through the rain. In all, it was a pretty awesome, pretty wet and cold day!

Thursday I went on my last exchange as District Leader for this transfer. (By the way, transfer calls are on Tuesday this week) with Elder Brooksby. It was a lot of fun.  We met up at Yokohama, then came home and had lunch and went to Ofuna station to try and find the prepared. We originally saw a park on our area map and wanted to goatherd but upon reaching said park, we realized that we had to pay 300 yen to get in. We decided against going in and continued walking around in hope of finding people. We talked to several people and had good conversations about the church but no one had really any interest in meeting with us and talking more about the Gospel. We decided to go back to Kamakura and walk to the beach because Elder Brooksby hasn't really been able to see the beach much. We went up and talked to many people. And on the way home for dinner, we met this woman who I have met before and we talked for at least 15 min about being missionaries and what we do and a little bit about our church. She was really cool, hopefully we will meet her again soon! We had dinner, I did a quick inspection of Elder Brooksby's IPad and right before we were about to head out we ended up talking on the phone to this woman about her wanting us to visit her. But unfortunately, we weren't able to make it to her house in the evening like she requested. Then, on our way out, we ran into one of the other missionaries investigators Mr. Nakajima, for about 24 min about who knows what. He talked super duper fast and kept mixing English with it. It was pretty fun trying to figure out what he was trying to say. I did a lot of calling on the phone trying to coordinate district meeting in the evening as well.

In the morning I got up super early and ran to the beach while an in the morning. While we were finishing up our workout, we talked to a guy while doing strides who knew a lot about the church. He was really cool and hopefully well be able to see him soon! Elder Brooksby and I finished splits at district meeting which was a lot of fun. We had district lunch and it was a blast. We had a picnic at the park across from the church. I ate a lot of onigiri for lunch. Coming back to Kamakura was a little bit crazy because we took a train accidentally that took us to Kamakura but was SUUPER LONG. by the time we got to Kamakura we only had an hour or so to talk to people about the gospel. We met this group of four college aged students who were in Kamkura for the day. They were super nice and we talked to them for quite a bit. In all, it was a really good experience. After dinner, we spent the whole night panning

Saturday was really hot. After our morning studies Elder Terry and I decided to bike over to Zushi in order to see if we could find people in this park that we saw on our area map. The trip over was really hard since Kamakura and Zushi are divided by a fairly large hill. I thought either I, or my bike was going to die. Luckily neither of us did. We got to Zushi, parked our bikes, and made our way over to to the park. As we walked towards the park, we met this man from Bangladesh who was really cool. His English wasn't the best, so we conversed in Japanese. It was really weird talking to this man from Bangladesh in Japanese. I guess we get in weird situations as missionaries. We continued on our way to the park. It was a little bit further than we thought. When we got there we realized that it was a really really nice park and that everything was in different buildings and the walking paths were odd. We were able to talk to two kids trying to shoot baskets with soccer balls and their feet. We gave them flyers and then headed out to another park that we saw on the map. The park was on top of this GIANT hill. When we got there, we realized that it was a little kids park and that it was only full of women and their children. We're not allowed to approach women as missionaries for various reasons. Because of this, we quickly left. We continued up the hill until it became flat. At that point we decided to start knocking houses. It was weird housing because just about every house we knocked we were able to have really really good conversations about the church. The last house we knocked had a door plate that read Matsumura. But after knocking, an American woman answered the door. It was super duper weird. Apparently she's renting the house from Matsumura as she works for the Navy as a Jag. She just finished college and her first duty station was Yokosuka. We talked Navy for a little bit while Elder Terry kind of stood around. We said goodbye and left. It was crazy talking to an American. I haven't talked to any non-missionaries Americans while housing in a VERY long time. We walked down the hill, back to Zushi station where we passed out English flyers for about a half hour or so. Then we bought some vegetables for dinner and rode our bikes home. The conclusion of our night was filled with calling our investigators and writing the DCS form. In all, it was a good night.

Sunday was a good day. Unfortunately none of our investigators came to church. The Ward missionary correlation meeting was interesting to say the least. I spent the entire time stumbling with my Japanese. It's was super annoying to say the least. Hopefully my Japanese gets better sooner rather than later. We practiced teaching the first discussion in Japanese during Elders quorum. It was hard. Elder Terry and I struggled through the whole lesson. The members were nice to us despite our poor Japanese. After church we practiced a song that were going to sing in sacrament meeting. Then we left for the train station to take the train to Kita-Kamakura station, one stop away, to see what was in that area. We wandered around a bit, but found it hard to talk to anybody on the street since the roads were so narrow. We decided to go housing a bit. We talked to several people until we got to this one house with this old lady. She talked at us for about fourth minutes. Neither of us understood what the woman said the whole time. It was miserable. I think she thought we were catholic and or Italians. We tried our absolute best to explain things to her. But it was just so hard. Afterwards, we decided to head back home and see if we could find more success in Kamakura. On our way back home, I decided that I really needed to wash my hands in the water fountain. While washing my hands this old man started talking to us and invited us to his house. We followed him and we went into his house. His house was FILLED with pictures of him and other people. Turns out that he used to work for the UN and was some sort of ambassador for Japan. He had pictures of him with Jimmy Carter and others with Kruschev and other famous historical figures. We talked on his back porch a little bit and then he sent us on our way. His English was PERFECT. I'm still amazed at the series of events of the afternoon. He told us to,come back again soon. Were going to try and meet with him at the church sometime this week.

Today isn't over yet. But this morning we got transfer calls! I'm being transferred to Tokorozawa 所沢 to be companions with Elder Connell to be Zone Leader. It will be lots of fun. I'm sure that well see some crazy awesome miracles on the other side of the mission!

Well that's all I did this week. Thanks everyone for being so supportive!

Pics: the group of college students we met. Me with some Japanese Plebes.

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