Dear Family and Friends,
My companion and I went to this really wonderful park with a battleship, and we sat looking out into the ocean, and my companion turns to me and asks, "Did you ever want to be a pirate?" :)
That's where the title of this email comes from. So, I guess this is my last email. Haha. I don't feel like I'm leaving yet, although plans have been made, the flights been scheduled, I said goodbye to the church members yesterday, and I'm just having my last Pday.. maybe it'll finally hit me when I get to the Mission Home, or maybe when I'm on the plane, or it might just have to wait until my release... who knows.
I wouldn't mind staying here until the day I die. ^.^ Except that my family is far away. That would be hard.
But you know, Ammon was a good missionary, and he told the King, in the Book of Mormon, "Yea, I desire to dwell among this people for a time; yea, and perhaps until the day I die." :) That's been a theme scripture for my mission. I loved all the wards I've been in, even the short ones. Each one marked a part of the road.
For those who don't know my email, though, I think the one I'll use after my mission is email@example.com
Well, this week has been pretty awesome. I got to experience teaching a less active who is working on coming back to church, and we taught repentance. It was a very good lesson, and I totally felt the Spirit as we went through the process together. I love feeling like I have good ideas, but then, I just realized, That's not me, that's the Spirit. I had another lesson this week, when I didn't know what to say, so I messed up a lot, and everything was just lacking. So I really got to learn the difference.
So many baptisms happening this week in the mission, it's amazing! Many miracle stories. There was one I liked, so I thought I would share. I don't remember the area this family lives in, but I heard their story. There were two children, and they wanted to get baptized. The Mother was a less active member who decided it was time to go back to church. The father, however, was against the baptism of his children. It was hard for him to let them get baptized. But, the mother and her children fasted and prayed hard for the dad to change his mind. And he did. Then, the Sisters asked why he changed his mind. It turns out, he was an investigator himself, years ago. I just thought it was a cool story. I wish them the best from here out too!
There were Companion Exchanges this last week, too. I got to go on Splits with Sister Watanabe! It was awesome! She is so sweet! She helped me understand a little more what I should be like. So kind. I want to be like her!
Then, We had a crazy day, with getting back to our area, andthen having district meeting, and then a dinner appointment with a family working on the base, and then having a lesson with a newer investigator, all in one night! What a crazy day! and it rained, so we were pedaling everywhere on our bikes. ^.^ Oh how fun.
The lesson went so well! The new investigator set up our lesson so that we could meet her daughter. Her daughter is also awesome! We hada great lesson about prayer and God. In Japanese, there is a phrase that says, "Kurushii toki Kami danomi" and it means "Calling on God is a time of suffering." And when they are in trouble, they call out for God, or something, anything, to help them. It's very common. But it meas that they know prayer. It was a sweet and simple lesson.
Then we did Weekly Planning, and Had Eikaiwa (English Class) on Thursday, and on Friday, we had Zone Meeting at the place where all the missionary work in Japan began--Yamate. That's where it was all dedicated. What a cool experience. It was raining pretty hard that day, so we decided to have Zone Meeting inside the church building instead of outside at the park near the dedicatory spot. but still good. It stopped raining by the end. :)
That night, we did a out of the blue showing of Meet the Mormons, and thanks to the help of all the members here it all worked out. We were worried for a bit about it, but everything worked out and we had a few people there. Including our progressing investigator.
We also got to meet an older woman, around 82 years old, who loves to chat. We went to visit her for the last time before I leave, so that I would say goodbye. She said it would be hard for her to change religions, but that the missionaries could come back and share a message. That's all I can hope for. Though I do wish that she can accept at least a little bit of what they have to say.
We also had a lesson outside at a park in Miura with our investigator. She's so nice. I'm sad to leave. We're good friends.
We're meeting with her again tonight! Hooray! :) Yesterday, I had a wonderful day at church. Our friend Hotaru came! She was a little excited that we allowed her to take the sacrament. :) I guess in the Catholic church if you're not a member, they don't allow you to. They just pray over you. But in our missionary stuff it says nothing should be done to prevent investigators from taking the sacrament. So it was a good experience for her, I think.
Anyhow I better wrap up.
Yesterday, everything went well. And we got through it all. I'm excited for the stuff coming up. It'll be strange not to watch General Conference a week later. :) It was nice because I could read along.
It'll be strange to be in America. I think I'll have a terrible culture shock and just never go outside for a long time. haha just kidding.
I hope that the end of my mission is just a continuation of all the wonderful things I've had in my life up til now.
See you on the flip side,
Love you all,
"You are hereby called to serve in the Japan Tokyo South Mission."