Monday, May 20, 2013

The Blessings of Inviting our Friends

Well the first week of the Transfer is over and Elder Gallacher and I are just as tired as we thought we would be! It was a good week! It started a little slowly and our hayfever is running us down, but we were able to see a lot of Miracles. 
This past Saturday was a really great day for us. Every Saturday morning we do a free English Conversation Class. The turnout is usually pretty good, we have between 15 and 20 people coming regularly. One of the members in the ward Sister Tomoi invited a friend, who had interest in the church, to English class and then to meet with us afterward. We we're excited for the opportunity to teach a “referral.” We've really been focusing on working the with members to teach more of their friends. Sister Tomoi's friend Ami-chan came and brought her boyfriend Tsubasa-Kun with her. They both participated at Eikaiwa and had a blast! We became friends with them really quickly and they both said they want to come again next week.That was a good indicator for us that if we taught well then we'd be able to teach them again the next week. Following Eikaiwa we all went with another member and Sister Tomoi into a classroom and were able to introduce them to the Church and teach a lesson about the Restoration of the Gospel. Ami was already really interested. She trusts Sister Tomoi and wants to know about the church. We were worried that her boyfriend wouldn't have much interest, but by the end of the lesson he was just as excited as Ami, if not more so. He actually said the words “I'm really interested.” It was amazing to watch his eyes light up as they both learned for the first time that God is their loving Heavenly Father. As we always do we invited them to be baptized when they learn for themselves that the message we share with them is true. They both readily agreed that if they feel it's true then they do want to join the church. When we gave them each a Book of Mormon they were so excited. We even suggested that they study together. Tsubasa-Kun gave the closing prayer and prayed for the first time. It was an incredible experience. Tsubasa and Ami are both really great people and they have a strong relationship with Sister Tomoi who is really outgoing and will be able to support them as they Study and Learn. We excited for them. 
After that the day continued to get better. We were treated to lunch by another member who we had a mogi lesson with. Following lunch we had time to go and proselyte but rather than do just housing or streeting we decided to try an idea I got from my cousin (Ryan Zebley). We took plastic signs and wrote on them in big letters: “Free church tours!”, “Free English Class!” and “I'm a Mormon”.( I'm proud of myself, I personally wrote everything on the signs. They look pretty good.) We then went and waved them around on the street in front of the church the way the little ceasars pizza guy's dance with their signs. 

It worked. We got everyone's attention. No Japanese person would stand and dance for hours with a sign, they just don't do that. We became a spectacle as everyone who rode or drove past pointed at the crazy white guys. So awesome. We had some great laughs and talked to a lot of great people. No one came for a tour but we answered a lot of other questions and a lot more people now know that the building is a church building. (Seriously it's like one of the biggest/prettiest buildings in Okegawa and no one has noticed it.) We're hoping to do it a few more times in different places this week so people can get to know the church building, that way when we are streeting people will remember seeing it. It was honestly a blast. That night we had dinner with the bishop's family. 

We ate Takoyaki(batter fried octopus) and okonomiyaki, hiroshima style. It was so good! It's days like Saturday that really make me love being a missionary.
That's all the time I have for this week. But I love you all!  I challenge you all to think of someone who could use the gospel in their life and invite them to do something. Inviting is success in missionary work.
Have a great week everyone!
Love from Okegawa!

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