Missions change people. They make them stand a little taller, reach a little higher, work a lot harder. They strengthen their testimonies, deepen their understanding of the gospel, and open their eyes to different cultures and experiences. Sometimes they even make it difficult to come home, and do things like…speak English again!
Hello from Kochi! We had a great week, we’ve been teaching lots of lessons and working with lots of less actives. I know there are all kinds of good things going on but it’s hard to…what’s the English word…思いつく？ come up with? I think that’s right… Dang, English is so hard! We are working really hard with the branch right now. We just hit 50 people this week in Sacrament meeting. The branch president was really excited. I’d take pictures of the primary kids for you, but there are no primary kids. I’m dead serious. The only one just turned twelve. There are two nursery children.
That poor Primary President…
Here are a few pictures of Charlie with his district:
As I approach these last two months, I’ve been realizing that I don’t have a lot of time to dendo* left. Which scares me. So every day I’ve been working like a maniac. The dendo is struggling a little bit here in Kochi. A lot of the people we have found are doing well, but the thing is with Japanese people, they’re just too busy. A lot of the cool finding stories I have sadly end up with them being too busy to meet, even though they want to learn. More than Buddhism, for sure, Japanese schools and workplaces are the enemy of missionary work. So many good people who would learn just don’t have enough time to meet a lot. It’s so frustrating! So we’ve been finding a lot of new people, but we’re having a hard time getting them to stick. But basically, my goal for Kochi is to make a ward here. That’s what we’re working for right now!
*dendo–missionary work; to proselyte
Well, setting the depressing discussions of reality aside, it was a truly amazing conference we had this weekend. The apostles and prophets are awesome. Were they always this good? I don’t remember conference being this good when I was a kid. But it probably was always the same, and now I’m just way more in tune with the spirit.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot about the Book of Mormon lately and its power to bring the children of men unto Christ. Every person I’ve seen get baptized on my mission has had a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and has spent some serious time reading and pondering the truths which are contained in that sacred record. Here in Kochi right now we are working with a less active named Uno Kenjirou, a very funny old man, who really has never had a testimony ever since he joined the church. But we started meeting with him every week. At first we tried to teach him the lessons again, but he wasn’t really progressing that way. Then we changed our approach. We started reading the Book of Mormon with him every time we go. We started in 1st Nephi, Chapter 1, and every time we have gone back since we have read with him. We are on chapter 6 with him now. We haven’t gotten super far, but he has already changed and has started to ask more questions and talk about more gospel related things when we meet with him as he has read and pondered with us about the examples of people like Lehi and Nephi. He’s starting to reconvert to the gospel of Christ with the Book of Mormon. I’ve seen other people like him change their lives and feel true happiness through study of the Book of Mormon. The biggest change I have seen is within myself. I know that that book is true. That book has power. When I’ve had questions or doubts, even about my own faith, I can always go back to the foundational testimony that I have that the Book of Mormon is true. If you know that the book is true, all doubts in life or about the faith or anything at all just seem to melt. What greater expression of God’s love could there be than this testament we have of the Savior Jesus Christ? I know of none.