Dear Family and Friends,
Well, we had transfer calls, and -drumroll- I'm staying in Kofu! "Of
course!"is what the Elder who gave me my transfer call told me. With
Sister Imano on her last transfer, of course I wasn't going to go
So now I'm here with my new companion, Sister Clark! And! There are
now 8 missionaries here in Kofu! 6 Elders, 2 Sisters! Needless to say,
the members were surprised! Actually, one of the Elders is named Elder
Clark! But they aren't even related at all! It's hilarious. Also, her
name, said with Japanese pronunciation means "dark". "Even though she
really has a bright personality!" I would tell the members. So now
they have two American Sister Missionaries, for the first time in a
few years. Kofu usually has at least one, if not both Japanese
Sisters, but this transfer, it's just me, and Sister Clark.
Our district leader, Elder Huntsman has transferred back here to Kofu.
He served here in Kofu as a first transfer missionary one whole year
ago. The ward is happy to have him back.
So, about the Halloween party. I hadn't really thought about what it
would really turn into, but it ended up being very interesting and
fun! Well, I made a stark realization that night- I was area Senpai. I
knew the most about what was going on for the Halloween Party, and I
had been in Kofu the longest our of the eight missionaries. All the
ward members were coming to me for set up, and what was going on, and
everything! And, the sister who was going to be our MC suddenly came
down with a fever, and so I had a talk with a brother in the ward, who
is over the YSA, and he told me that out of the people we had, I
should MC. WHAT! I thought, but it ended up being a three-way MC
effort between Kazuhiro Kyoudai, Takahashi Chourou, and me. But it all
worked out in the end.
SO MANY PEOPLE CAME, and we saw so many miracles, which continued into Sunday.
Many of our English class students came, including the Oda family! We
have only met them twice, but they decided to come since we invited
them! And! A sister that got baptized a year ago, who's had a harder
time coming back to church came! Her son made many great fun friends,
and then came back on Sunday, too! He didn't want to go home both
times! Another boy, who lives in the same apartment building as we do,
always comes to our pingpong night when he can, he also came! He
helped out a lot! So much! Usually his mom doesn't let him stay at our
activities, or eat dinner at our activities when there is a meal, but
this time, he went home, and came back, saying his mom gave him
permission! He stayed until later, ate a little curry, and played with
the kids after the trunk or treat.
So, the trunk or treat was super interesting! Instead of sitting in
cars, we actually stood outside with bags of candy, and if the kids
came to us and said trick or treat, we gave them candy until the candy
was all gone. One Brother sat in his car and waited and waited, but
the children never came to find him. When I noticed him sitting over
there in his car alone, in his vampire costume, I grabbed my
companion, and we stood over by him, and announced to the children
that there was still a lot of candy, and he had it! They flocked over
to him quickly, and all went well.
Probably the most eventful part of the evening was when I talked to
our investigator who came. Here in Japan, as missionaries, sometimes
we set up a six-week half English, half Gospel lesson with families.
With her, we had that kind of lesson set up, but suddenly the family
got busy, and they couldn't meet. She came to English Class, but
because I was in Takao that night, with the Takao Sisters, I wasn't
there to meet her!
So we talked with her, and I began telling her about some of the
members. She then told me that she had talked with her husband about
the church, and he's against her joining. She is very faithful, and
wants to keep learning, but it takes time. A little bit at a time. For
now, she's coming to English Class every week, and she'll continue
reading the Book of Mormon, and if she has questions, she will ask
over text messages. :) I love her! She is amazing!
Church was great too! Our ward mission leader's mother has begun
coming to church. She is so sweet, and she has a big heart. She wasn't
there his last week, and so our ward mission leader called a sudden
"strategy meeting" and we discussed how we could help her best. I can
tell you that feeling trust from the members is he best feeling in the
world as a missionary, second to feeling the love of God through the
We had two experiences yesterday that really gave me the chance to
feel that love of the members. One was the strategy meeting, and the
other was when another member invited us to come over and teach his
mother. She received lessons before, but she lives a little far away,
about 50 minutes by bike, and some other things happened, and we
weren't able to really meet with her. But we met her last night, and
she is amazing, and kind. We invited her to take the lessons one more
time, to try to do the things we ask her to, and as she does, as she
comes to know that what we teach is true, to be baptized. Elder
Bednar's talk from General Conference was so helpful. She is so strong
in what she believes, but I'm grateful that instead of feeling
hopeless, and unable to lovingly invite her to find out about truth
for herself, I was able to explain to her that we think it is so
amazing that she is such a faithful person to what she believes, and
how important we think that is. We love her, and her son loves her,
and that is why we have decided to share what we know with her. We
want her family to be eternal.
So here are some pictures to tide you over until next week, but I hope
you will see that I love my mission. That God is strengthening me, and
protecting my family, and that I know that I don't have to worry about
it. God has everything, He will take care of what we can't handle. He
knows us, and we know that He loves us. I testify that the Book of
Mormon is true. It is for us now, and we can draw closer to God by
reading and abiding by the precepts written in the Book of Mormon. Of
this I testify, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
1- Sister Clark
2- she was chosen as the "oni" (demon- basically, the person who is
"it") for our group. We won first place!
3- there we are, Sister Clark, Sister Blake, and what's that in the
background? Could it be? It's Mount Fuji!
"You are hereby called to serve in the Japan Tokyo South Mission."