We had a solid lesson with S san—at first when we went over he was having a hard time focusing and the conversation kept going into random topics, so I said a quick prayer in my mind, asking God to give my something I could use to bring it back to the gospel. He started talking a little bit about math, and I said, “I have an interesting math problem for you...can I draw it out for you?” (We always meet in his garage, and the floor works as a chalkboard, so he always has chalk). I drew out a graph with our life on the x axis, and a scale from 0 to perfection on the y axis. I borrowed an idea from Brad Wilcox and asked him how close to perfect he thought we had to be to be able to be saved by Christ’s grace. Does it reach halfway down? A quarter? He put his guess at around 25% of the way down from perfection, then we explained to him that Christ’s Atonement covers the whole
thing—100%. Even a perfectly evil, terrible person, has had all of his sins paid for by Jesus Christ. We taught him the doctrine of Jesus Christ and how we can choose to follow Christ to obtain this forgiveness of sins—that we can’t save ourselves through good works, but we can use our agency to exercise faith and choose to follow Christ—and thus have access to Christ’s saving power.
He stayed engaged, and asked questions about life after death and heaven, and to answer his questions we drew parts of the plan of salvation in chalk. He kept asking so many good questions, by the end I had drawn the entire plan on his basement floor. He understood it well, but he said that the Celestial Kingdom just seems too good for someone like him—that he has done too many bad things, and that those are his burden to carry. Even if Christ has the power to forgive his sins, he said he would feel better just keeping his sins and going to a lower kingdom. That was pretty crushing for me, haha, but we made some huge progress, and he agreed to read 2 Nephi 2 and ponder about what he thinks God would want him to do. I think he’ll come through :)
Our mission president initiated the “BLT” (bring lots of tomodachi) Challenge—our goal is to do simple activities with friends, and ask them to bring friends, then make friends with our friends’ friends and do more activities where our friends’ friends bring their friends. Hence the lots of tomodachi. The winner is the companionship who gets the deepest “generation” of friends—we are having trouble getting past the 3rd generation but it has been a lot of fun.
One cool miracle from this activity has been with M san—she is an English class student and we invited her and her family to make tacos for family home evening with us! We had a fun time there, then the next night she came to English class and brought us a DVD of the movie “Heaven is for Real.” She wanted us to borrow it and watch it so we had to tell her that missionaries can’t watch movies, but we asked why she watched the movie and what she liked about it. She surprised us by sharing a ton of stuff about her life growing up and family problems, and talked about she loved the family in the movie and how they were so united and loving. The next day (Wednesday) we were out knocking doors in the rain, and while we were talking to a lady at her front door, when suddenly I felt a little hand spank me right on the rear end. Weirdly enough, it didn't really faze me, but I turned around to see M san’s 5 year old son Y! M san and her daughter also came up to us, apparently they were driving home and saw us so they decided to come say hi! We had a nice conversation and she asked a little bit about Christianity and what we believe.
The next day (Thursday) we were on our way to the bus stop to go to Hachinohe for DTM and she was selling Tempura for a fundraiser and she wanted to give us some! She sent us a LINE and we met up and got some delicious tempura and an umbrella too because I didn't have one (it got stolen a little bit ago when we were inside a store...)! The bus we were planning on taking wasn't running that day so she offered to drive us all the way to Hachinohe! We were able to just take a different bus and then a train instead (we wouldn’t have been able to go with just her anyway), but she was so nice to offer. The next day (Friday) she wanted to take us to an Aviation Museum in Misawa! We went there for a BLT activity and gave her a tour of the Misawa church as well.
The next day (Saturdat) we were out finding and she had let us know earlier that she was with her kids playing at this community center. We ended up biking right by it so we decided to stop by and say hi, and as we were talking she unexpectedly started crying and shared with us some struggles and worries she has been having recently. She recovered quickly because she didn't want her kids to see her crying, but we invited her to church the next day and she gladly accepted! At church (at a member’s house) it was just 5 people including us and her, but it was a nice, spiritual meeting—it was a first Sunday, so it was fast & testimony meeting, and I was conducting so I got to bear my testimony first. Just a few minutes into mine, M san just started crying, and the tears kept flowing though the rest of mine and Mateaki Choro’s testimonies. After the meeting we talked for a while, and she cried again! I have seen more tears this week than I have probably my whole mission up until now haha. That night we watched the Restoration video together and taught her about Joseph Smith!
And that brings us to today, haha. This morning we pulled weeds at the member whose house we use for church, and M san wanted to come help so we pulled weeds with the 4 of us and had a good time. Basically we have met every single day this last week, for various random reasons and coincidences, and she likes coming to church and is starting to take lessons! Pray that M san will continue to let the Gospel into her life :)
Anyway those are the highlights!! It’s great to be a missionary! Please pray for us, and for M san and her family!
1-2--King-size gyuudon at Sukiya (my comp only puked once)
3-5 Aviation museum in Misawa, ft. Y-kun and R-chan