It’s springtime in Japan, and that means the sakura, or cherry blossoms, are in bloom everywhere. What a sight to behold! Only a bloomin’ fool wouldn’t be out and about enjoying the cherry blossoms this time of year. (That pun was for Charlie.) Bahr Choro and his companion are taking full advantage of the season:
I’m doing great. The weather has been good, and the sakura are beautiful! Yesterday Marquez Choro and I went to a beautiful park to talk to people, and all the sakura were in full bloom. They’ll be falling from here on out, but it has been gorgeous.
Missionary work changes people. It changes the lives of the people who are taught, but it also changes the missionaries themselves. We see this change in Charlie. He’s always been a positive, upbeat person, but in his letters we now hear the voice of someone who is out and about on the Lord’s errand: his focus is entirely on serving others. (Except, of course, when it comes to Japanese food!)
Well, interesting things are happening in the Japan Kobe Mission right now. Big changes are happening. From now on, sister missionaries are focusing only on reactivating less active members. This is the Mission President’s counsel. We got the news on Friday and already sisters are finding tons of new investigators from the friends and family of less active members. President Zinke is a very inspired man. Anything is possible with God. We as the Japan Kobe missionaries just have to learn to rely on him and work our tails off. I think this year this mission will astonish the world. You know, I think people have a bad impression of missionary work in Japan. They think we don’t get a lot of baptisms. Sometimes missionaries here can get discouraged because it’s so hard to share the message with people. It’s true, not a lot of Japanese people are willing to hear the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. But through revelation we know that there are people who are elect, right now, prepared and ready, to listen and receive baptism. When we’re going out tracting or streeting, we’re not looking for just anyone. We’re looking for THEM! If we’re being obedient and working hard, God will lead us to them. Ordinary men, especially 18-year-old young men who can’t speak Japanese yet, are not able to find the elect. We physically cannot gather Israel. But God can. We have to learn to rely on Him, because this is His work and not ours!
And now let’s talk about food.
I had the opportunity to go to a sushi restaurant with the Kosugi family in the ward. It was the best ever. I was gobbling down everything. And you know which sushi I liked the best? The ika sushi. Yep, the squid. I’m becoming a real nihonjin [native Japanese]. I’m really trying to do everything I can to get good at Japanese. I wake up at 6 every day to have extra time to study it. I’m making progress but am far from pera pera [fluent] quite yet.
You’ll get there, Charlie! And now a few more pictures of the beautiful sakura.