WHAT A WEEK! We had all kinds of stuff going on, once typhoon clean up was over we got back to the grind. It was a holiday called o-Bon (pronounced oh-bone) this week, which is comparative to Christmas in America. Families get together for 3 days and eat at the ginormous graves here in Ishigaki, they believe the spirits of their ancestors come and eat with them, it was cool to experience as well as see more of the Japanese culture. Ancestors are very important here, and it made missionary work very fun as we were able to relate everything back to ancestors and eternal families, a lot of people thought it was a good idea but since it was o-Bon they just said come back after so hopefully we will get to meet with them soon!
Wednesday was a good day of dendo(missionary work), we were supposed to have a lesson in the afternoon but it cancelled because o-Bon started that day which was a bummer, she is a lady named Catherine she is Japanese, speaks English, and catholic! She has been taught the lessons before, but we were able to meet another one of her friends from the Catholic Church while knocking doors, who just so happens to be the grandma of some of the kids we play basketball with a lot, so all kinds of neat connections there, and that grandma really wanted to study with us and with Catherine! But we are meeting on Tuesday so hakuna Matata! Then English class that night, fun as always! We had a cool miracle when a less active from Tokyo came to our English class, he had served in the Fukuoka mission 10 years ago, and was just visiting Okinawa for fun, it was a neat experience to hear about his mission I hope we were able to help him grow some desires to return to church again.
Thursday was a fun weekly planning, I really enjoy working with Elder Quinn and am grateful to be able to learn more again from an older missionary! We were able to plan effectively for next week and are really getting the vibe for Ishigaki. #Vibe #Radical then we dendoed all night long! It was way cool, way cool.
Friday we got to go to a legit festival type thing for o-Bon with a member, it was fun and really interesting... I will try to send videos later Japan has a pretty rocking culture, I love it. We were also able to meet hitomi, aka super prepared awesome nice grandma. She already has almost all of the same beliefs as us and when she hears the lessons she accepts it all. But entering into the church through baptism is hard for her because she has had bad experiences in the past with churches. But we are working to help her overcome that as she feels and learns from the spirit more!
Saturday was splits with my main man elder Haoka we have gone together a few times before so it is fun to get to work more with him. As a Japanese person his Japanese is pretty dang good so it was fun to learn a lot there and refine a lot of the things we say a lot, so that it sounds more natural. We were able to see a lot of miracles, and find a few new people for him and Elder Allen to teach! We ate at A&W for dinner which is always delish, in Japan no restaurants have free refills, not even McDonald's...which is really hard for me. But A&W has all you can drink root beer, so I usually use it to my advantage and drink a lot...🏻️it is cool to have seen Elder Haoka change a lot over these last 3 transfers, we came in to Ishigaki together and he was a brand new missionary and he is a completely different person now. He has so much confidence and is just happier! I hope I have been able to change that much, I needed it a lot more than he did when he started his mission.
Sunday was stake conference! Whooooooooooooooot! We were able to teach a lesson with our branch president before church to an investigator named Yuki. Dude is a stud. 30, super talented at music and drawing, just an all around awesome guy, we taught the restoration and he seemed to really like it and was excited about the idea of prayer. Our branch president said it was a great lesson so that was really good to hear from him. Elder Quinn and I are starting to really get in a rhythm of teaching. #Blessings we had all kinds of other lessons and were way busy with those. At the end of the night one lesson fell through and we had a little extra time, we felt like we should go visit a couple people who had said we could come back In a nearby apartment, and met with one! An awesome lady from Indonesia, she is catholic but has stopped going, she really wants to strengthen her relationship with God so she took the Book of Mormon and wants to meet again soon! #Miracles
I feel so blessed to be in such an amazing area! The Lords hand is in everything, I have recently been thinking about how much we have to truly rely on the Lord in every aspect of our lives. There is no way people would agree to meet with us unless the Lord was touching their hearts, I often think about what I would do if two Asians showed up at my door in America and in broken English told me they want to teach me more about God and Jesus Christ. First I laugh, but then I realize that that is exactly what it is like for these people, and they say YES. There is a power in this message and it is only as we rely on the savior that this work can truly roll forth. I love the Lord. I have enjoyed psalm 23 this week about the Lord being our Shepherd. It has given me a lot of comfort that he will guide us, especially when life gets harder.
I love you all so much!