Monday, July 6, 2015

JT - It's like coming back home...


Dear Everyone,

Transfers happened and I am now in Maizuru! First, I'll give an overview of my past week.

Monday I found out that I was transferring, so that day was filled with packing and saying goodbye to some of the people in Kitarokko. Tuesday and Wednesday was much of the same. Saying goodbye to the people in Kitarokko wasn't as hard as it was when I left Nishiwaki, but I still hate goodbyes. I am grateful for Facebook though because now I can be connected with these wonderful people even though I am not with them. Technology is great!



Last time teaching this Less Active member. He is super awesome!

Here is a video of my Eikaiwa (English class) student
video.
Yeah...... He is so funny and so innocent.





So Thursday was transfer day. We did something different for transfers this time because the bike policy for the mission has changed. We now have to take our bike with us wherever we transfer, because the bike that we have now is now our bike for our whole mission. So, going throughout the trains and the crowds of people in Japan while carrying your bike in a bike bag was めちゃたいへん!! (very uncomfortable, annoying, terrible? Is that the translation?) anyways, I was able to talk to all my missionary buddies, which is always great. After that, I met my new companion and we headed on our way to Maizuru. We went with the Nishiwaki missionaries because to get to Maizuru, we go through Nishiwaki. So, I was able to go back to my bean area!! It was super weird. It felt like I never even left. It felt like my last two and a half months was a dream. We got to the trainstation in Nishiwaki and had to wait another hour for our train to leave. A couple Nishiwaki members came to the trainstation to pick up their missionaries and I was able to talk to them for a little while! Man, I didn't know how much I missed Nishiwaki. They (the members) said that my Japanese got really good. ( I don't believe them but...) after that, we still had time before our train left, so we walked to a nearby Ramen shop where I would eat all the time (the one with all the fried chicken in my prior pictures). I was so thankful for that tender mercy of coming back to Nishiwaki. I needed it, and it reminded me that this mission is supposed to feel like that. It is hard to describe the feelings, but I just love that place so much and being able to be there for just one hour was a miracle. Truly a tender mercy. It was super crazy to go through places that I thought I would never go through again, for example the Nishiwaki train, the Ramen shop, the Fukuchiyama trainstation. It feels like I never even left. Kitarokko was just a weird dream it feels like haha.


I went back to Nishiwaki
 We eventually got to Maizuru and it was dark, so I got settled in to my new apartment. The next day, we went to the church to do weekly planning. The church...... When I saw it, I was shocked. It is located on the 2nd floor of an apartment building! It has two rooms, one for sacrament, one for classes. Wow. I think it is so awesome. This branch averages around 15-20 members at church every week. Only one primary kid, a recent convert who I will talk about later. No youth. So, so different than anything I have experienced before. I'll talk about my experience with church in a little bit. First off is our weekly planning session. This area used to have two companionships, but this transfer, they dropped the other elders, so we inherited their investigators. We now have 15 progressing investigators! Wow, I thought. Most of them seem like they have a lot of potential. A few of them have been taught most of the lessons and are just needing more desire and more belief.

So more on the investigators. It seems like there are quite a few families who are being taught. I am so excited for that! I have never taught a family before, so this is really exciting for me. Let's get back to those recent converts. The father was baptized in January and his daughter was baptized when she turned 8 in March I think. Their mother isn't baptized yet, but will totally be baptized soon. She just needs a little bit more desire to be baptized. She already goes to church and everyone loves her, she is basically a member already, but just needs to get in the water still. What makes things even better is that she (the mom) is Filipino!!! Their 8 year old daughter is like me, half Filipino! We already have that kind of bond! This is an awesome family. At church yesterday, the 8 year old was leading the music! She loves church! Also, it was fast and testimony meeting and there were, including the missionaries, 17 people total. Surprisingly, there wasn't any silences in the Testimony meeting. However, after the closing prayer, the 8 year old was crying. I was thinking "Oh no, why is she crying? That's not good." Apparently she was crying because she didn't have time to go up and bear her testimony. What in the world? Who is this angel? I am blown away by her. The first thing she said to me when I talked to her and introduced myself was "I am 1/2 Filipino too! I got baptized when I turned 8!" It was so awesome. I wish I had this kind of testimony that she has. I am truly excited to get to know these people better. I am confident that her mom will get baptized really soon.

At church yesterday, a member from Nishiwaki came and visited and it was so great to be able to talk to her again. I am home. I truly feel like this is the best place for me to be in. I don't know why, but I feel so much love for this Fukuchiyama District! I feel like I just woke up from a weird dream called Kitarokko. I feel like I never even left this place. It is really weird!!

Anyway, that was the bulk of my week. Be sure to look at the pictures I sent too. I will close with a scripture that I have shared before, but looking back at my stay in Kitarokko, I think it is the biggest thing I learned. It is 2 Nephi 4:34. "O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm." Trust in the Lord in all things. If you do that, everything will work out. The blessings will come.  Sometimes Heavenly Father needs us to wait and learn from our experiences and our trials. Eventually, if we do it well and always trust in God, he will form us into someone who we can't even imagine. I know that is true. Have a great week everyone!

Love,
Elder Lamoreaux
ラムロー長老





The Church in Maizuru (what that's not a church!) yes, yes it is...






The beauty of Maizuru.  So green everywhere!
(Click on picture to enlarge) 


  












Here's my 4th of July



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