It’s been a challenging week for Charlie Choro. Welcome to the world of missionary work! Not to say that it isn’t rewarding or worthwhile, just challenging. And sometimes frustrating. Missionary work is not for the fainthearted. In Japan where the Christian population is less than .01%, it can be especially difficult. As a missionary in Hokkaido, my companion and I used to joke that for every door slammed in our faces in Japan, someone was being baptized in South America. So we kept on knocking! (And really, the Japanese don’t slam doors very often–they very politely ask you to go away, please. That’s their version of slamming.) But back to Charlie. You can’t keep him down for long. He always finds the silver lining. His theme for this week: blessings through sacrifice.
It has been an interesting week. It has been a rather disappointing week. Every single one of our investigators cancelled on us. We taught zero lessons to investigators. And despite all the people we invited to General Conference, none of them came. Osei ended up going to church but not to ours! (He doesn’t quite yet understand the differences between all of the Christian churches.) We visited and called everyone in our area book who has met with the missionaries before and had no success. One guy even answered and said “denwa shinaide kudasai!” [“please don’t call me!”] and hung up. We did streeting and knocked on lots of doors and handed out tons of pamphlets. It’s been very humbling. The Lord is certainly trying to grow my patience this week. I don’t have the power to change the heart of a man, or find people to teach. But God does. I just need to work on being worthy of receiving that power.
I have learned that serving the Lord has to be your highest priority. I’ve been a missionary for not even half a year and I’ve gained five years of experience in every way. My testimony has grown, my work ethic has grown, and I exercise my social/people skills every day by talking to people. I’ve learned more of a language in less than one semester of time than I could probably learn in two years of college. And I haven’t even been trying to do any of these things. These are blessings the Lord provides from sacrifices.
I didn’t take too many pictures this week, but while we were streeting we decided to stand on top of a bridge and look like we were calling repentance unto everybody. That’s what the prophets of old would have done! Maybe I’ll try it for real sometime.
Hmm…this looks vaguely familiar. In fact, it brings to mind another picture of Charlie standing on the roof of his high school, calling his fellow classmates to repentance. (He never could resist a seminary dare.) Fortunately, no fiery darts or stones were hurled in his direction–only strange glances.