Monday, April 11, 2016

2nd week in Japan -- 1st area

Hello Again!

I loved General Conference.  We finished it on Saturday.  Elder Uchtdorf's talk and Elder Holland's talks were the best!!!! They are my favorite!  Elder Eyring's was pretty good too. Elder Holland is my most favorite speaker though. 

"The greatest part about the gospel is that you get credit for trying."

How is missionary work going here so far?  

Well, We were talking to a lady on the train today who is in the religion like Takai or something. They believe everyone is the same level and they worship at Fuji.  She was really sweet, we talked about how we too believe everyone is the same in our religion and we are all children of God.  She was kind of like "oh hmm nice, that's cool." Many people aren't interested, but some are. Mostly everyone here is very nice and will talk to you. It's funny getting rejected to hear about the gospel in Japan compared to other places.  They are considerate and will just say "no thank you, I'm not interested."  They'll give funny excuses when we go housing or streeting asking if they would like to hear about a message of Jesus Christ. The responses of rejection we get are pretty reasonable. They'll say something like, 

It's cold, sorry.
I'm holding my dog.
I have a baby.
It's dark outside.
I don't understand.
I'm in a rush.
I'm inside my house.
I'm Japanese.
I'm Buddhist. .. Us: "Oh great! What's your favorite thing about Buddhism?" *person walks away*
Sorry, I live in Japan.
I don't speak English.

This is literally the worst rejection I could get in Japan.. So far.  Being a missionary is great!  I've seen so many things and my love for these people keeps growing.  I know I need to be patient with finding investigators, as the Lord is patient with me and my mistake-full self.

Constantly, my companion and I are looking for people to teach who are looking for truth in their life, those who are ready to learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Some questions we approach people with are like if they're interested in what we have to say or have any interest in hearing more about Jesus Christ, our religion, etc. 

We are going to reach out to youth more. Our mission is a pilot program and are going to start teaching a tutoring English class.  In order to get into high school, students have to take an English conversation and interactive test (Eiken). Our mission president believes this will really build the church up, it will keep the church alive, since there are many older people here in Japan.

Kodomo eikawa. English class for kids. They're so cute!! Today was my first. It was hard to take a picture with all of them.
Asian people were originally Christian I believe. Japanese and Koreans both incorporate Chinese characters in their writing. The kanji appeared about 4000BC or something?  Many of their characters point to the Laws of Moses and Jesus Christ and prophesies. 禁じる (kinjiru) is the verb to prohibit. If you see these two symbols 木, this means Ki or tree, but can also represent a person ( 2 people). 示す (shimesu) means to show.  Both of these kanji (示 and 木) make this 禁.. This meaning relates to God and Jesus Christ appearing to Joseph Smith in a forest, revealing and showing to him the truth, prohibiting him to join none of the other churches, as a marvelous work was about to come forth.

We had a busy day today. There was some visiting members on Sunday, a family of Americans, who we spent the day with today.  We were riding the train for a while and we tried on kimonos!

We did a lot of sightseeing today! Lots of walking and I tried Japanese ramen today, hand-made noodles.  Still can't believe how delicious the food is here and simple!  So the food isn't too expensive, it's only some fresh foods that are overpriced, we make curry often, and it has apples, eggplants, radish, potato, sweet potato, something green I think, onions, and meat. The fruit is kind of expensive but we just buy the apples in bulk and the bananas aren't too expensive. We ate strawberries and melon at a members house.  I asked my companion if we could ask some people with home gardens to buy food from them and she says we could probably do that.  Maybe we could find a farmers market too! That would be cool. They have really good candy here, too.  Ha,ha, there's this chocolate called Black thunder. It's like a Twix, Kit Kat, and a chocolate biscuit in one.

So they eat a lot of raw eggs here and they are orange. You can actually eat Japanese raw eggs and not get sick. I eat it with Nato (fermented beans). It's super healthy. And these eggs taste soooo good. It's like there's melted cheese inside of them.

Here's another picture of something we saw on our P-Day outing to Kawagoiya.  [I'm not sure what it is, but it looks interesting.]

Love, Parker Shimai

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