Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Hello Everyone. Here are some excerpts from Joseph's companion's blog. Elder Everett included a lot more detail about the flat tire on the bike as well as some good news about where Joseph is in his ability to do missionary work in Japanese.
Wow, this was a busy week, and with what's been happening around here recently, it looks to only get busier from here! Sunday was fast Sunday, right, and we had a mission wide fast so that people around and in the mission boundaries would open their hearts to be more receptive to the Gospel... well, I'm pretty sure it's working!
Monday we visited a less active member who painted a portrait of me a couple of weeks ago and wanted to paint one of Elder Gandy too. So we went and picked up my portrait and we have it sitting next to our study desks.... it's only a little creepy.... and Elder Gandy's should be done in the next couple of days.
Tuesday rolls around and we decided that we wanted to go and visit some members that are a little further out and see how they are doing. Little did we know but there's one family that lives out there that is cursed for missionaries to go and visit. As we make our way over there (it's a good hour or so bike ride out there) we kept getting turned around and lost because it's in the middle of nowhere with nothing but fields of rice EVERYWHERE. So we keep going and we run into this history museum in the middle of these fields and I start hearing this strange sound coming from my front tire, but I decided to ignore it because I was pretty sure I had just run over a leaf or something and it was rubbing up against it weirdly. Well, we took a bathroom break at the museum and as we go to leave I hop on my bike and notice that the front tire is entirely flat! That weird sound I heard was a tack going into my tire and the tube rubbing against the rim! So now we were in the middle of nowhere, a good hour or so out by bike, and 20 minutes from the next closest bike shop. I couldn't very well roll my bike on the rim, so I ended up having to pick up my bike and carry it up over the mountain to the next closest shop. As we were walking we got stopped by this old man who saw our predicament and decided to help us out. He pointed us toward the bike shop and walked us half way there (at least as far as his own house). That was really helpful. So we get to the shop and there's this old guy sitting there in his shop, and it's probably the ghetto-est bike shop I think I've ever seen. Odd parts and rusted tools lying on top of each other all over the shop and bike odds and ends scattered everywhere. So he goes and starts fixing the hole in the tire and ends up finding another hole, and tries to patch both. The old man seemed about to collapse half of the time he was working on my bike, but somehow he got it up and running, and we were able to get off riding again.
Wednesday we had our meeting with our new investigator before we left for Kumamoto for Zone Conference again. We met her at her hospital and she took out her copy of the Book of Mormon, and we saw that it was covered in sticky-notes and highlighted all over the place! She had spent every night since the first time we met searching through the Book of Mormon, finding everything she could find online from members, reading journals, insights, and anything she could get her hand on in the meantime. She even came across a good number of anti-mormon literature but scolded them for not doing proper research and seeing how the real members of the church are. To be frank, Elder Gandy and I were blown away. She's scheduled to be baptized the 26th of this month! The only problem we have is figuring out how we're going to perform the baptism for somebody in a wheelchair, but I think that's a problem that I would much rather have to figure out.
Friday we were back in the land of Oita. After a good bout of planning we went to take our bikes to where we were going to go housing and lo and behold, the front tire was entirely flat! Turns out that the man back at the sketchy bike-shop had a little bit of difficulty in getting it fixed and, well, I ended up having to get a brand new tube. But it's all good, the bike works perfectly now (well, once I tighten the brakes). We ended up bumping into the member that we were originally going to meet when I got a flat tire, and learned that I'm the 3rd or 4th Elder who that's happened to, who all then went to the same old man, and all had another flat tire 2 days later. I'm now part of the legend! :D
The rest of the week was just filled with us having great success while going out to go find people to teach. We ran into a member while housing and had him help us go house; found a great new place to talk to people with families willing to talk and listen; and Elder Gandy can even do a whole contact, with a lesson on his own now in Japanese! It's been a good week, and with the appointments that have come out of the woodwork this past 2 days, next week is going to be awesome as well!