Monday, April 4, 2016

Islands, Miracles, Japanese Flower Festivals and Very Drunk People 島、 奇跡、日本の花見祭りと酔っ払いの人々

Date: 4/4/2016
Area: Aichi Ken Kariya City
Companion: Elder Bradshaw

日付: 2016年4月4日
赴任地: 愛知県刈谷市

March 30

Hmm. I haven't written anything in a long time! So I will quickly go
over the highlights.
And it came to pass that Brother Hyodo decided to be awesome and took
us out to go play on an island for our P-day! It was incredible! He
drove us down to the bottom of  the peninsula, we hopped on a little
ferry boat and we went to the island. The island is called Shinojima
and is extremely small, only a few hundred yards wide in some places,
and it was beautiful! We rode around on rented bikes (super rusty,
sketchy mamacharis. It was awesome) and then went on a short hike! We
also got to eat to eat some fresh, raw sashimi and it was amazing. We
played around in some tide pools and also went to the beach (it was
freezing cold so no one was in the water haha).
It was an amazing trip!

Recently we have been blessed with some really cool lessons. Our
friend, Moriyama, came with us to Institute in Nagoya last week! It
was super cool! All of the peoples there did an excellent job of
making him feel welcomed. All of the institute kids have very strong
testimonies and testified hardcore to Moriyama.  The Spirit was
definitely there. I hope Moriyama didn't feel overwhelmed by it all.
But he made a lot of great new friends!



And then we rode off into the sunset

Also the other day, we hung out with Jun! Jun is a high school kid and
speaks perfect Japanese, Chinese and English! So we went and played
ping pong at his house (Elder Bradshaw DESTROYED us both) and then we
went to Brother Hyodo's for Family Home Evening! We had a quick
Spiritual Message on why we should follow Jesus Christ. Jun had some
really good questions and he seemed very sincere. It was a great


Two days later we went and played basketball and soccer at a park near
Jun's house and we got to meet a bunch of his friends! They were super
cool! Then we went over to Suzuki Shimai's for dinner and a lesson! We
had a really great discussion and the Spirit was definitely there.

Unfortunately, Spring break ended and Jun had to re enter the
torturous rigors of the Japanese High School system. Also he goes to a
boarding School on the far side of Okazaki's area.... So we probably
can't see him for a while :(. He is not allowed off campus and can't
even use his cell phone on weekdays. Hopefully we can see him again
sometime during Golden Week.
Anyways we love Jun and we will miss him!



Ishikawa san took us and the shimai out to a castle to go see the
sakura (Cherry blossoms). The cherry blossoms were incredible but
unfortunately the castle had burned to the ground just a few weeks
ago. Yep. That's awkward. Anyway, afterwards Elder Bradshaw and I
decided to go try to contact people as they looked at the flowers.
I looked out the window and what did I see? Drunk people. LOTS AND
LOTS of them! 


This matsuri is seriously one of the coolest things I have ever expereinced!

The Japanese cherry blossoms are a wonder to behold.
They only last for about a week and a half or two weeks usually. This
year, we had a rainstorm so Sakura season only lasted for about four
or five days. Which meant that there was only one weekend for everyone
in Kariya to go see the flowers and get drunk off their faces. So we
asked Suzuki Shimai for recommendations on good places to go see the
sakura. She told us that Kijou Park was a really good one so we hopped
on our bikes and headed over there. The place was PACKED. The entire
park was teeming with people! It was a full out matsuri! So we walked
around and talked to people and made a ton of friends! As night time
approached, more and more people got drunk and the party escalated.
Which meant that it was easier to make friends but also that we got
mooned by this one guy. We passed out a ton of English class fliers
and got a handful of phone numbers and saw a lot of success!


A miracle happened as we were getting onto our bikes to go home. As
soon as we had gotten our helmets on, this brazilian guy comes up and
starts talking to us. Turns out he was a member and had been baptized
back in Brazil but had been looking for a church since he moved to
Japan! His name is Brother Makishi and he has been looking for a long
time. His wife and 3 kids are not members. So we talked to him for a
little bit and exchanged contact info. HE CAME TO CHURCH YESTERDAY!
It's been so long since we have had an investigator in sacrament
meeting, let alone an entire family! Our beloved Yakushiji and Silva
Shimai taught them after sacrament meeting and made them feel super
welcome! The wife us super receptive and accepted a Book of Mormon!
I'm so so excited for this family! Man I better start learning
Portuguese. Only Brother Makishi can speak Japanese!


I likes flowers 桜 大好き

I love Sakura

I'm so grateful that God let us see a miracle and that He is blessing
the lives of the Makishi family through us. It's incredible that we
would even run into each other!
I have been Spiritually preparing a lot this transfer and have seen a
lot of change in myself and I can see it starting to affect the kind
of missionary that I am and how I do missionary work. My goal is to
just be worthy to do God's work and let Him work through me.
A mission is an incredible experience. The purpose of life is to
change, to become the best person we can possibly be, and I have had
no greater changing experience in my life than these last eight
months. Through the good times and the bad times, I have learned so
much. I'm grateful for all of my friends' and family's support from
back home.
I love you guys

Elder Johnson





Us missionaries and our new friends! 花見祭り伝道!

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