Monday, August 22, 2016

Miracle Summer - Goodbye Inuyama

Date: 8/22/2016
Place: Inuyama, Aichi
Companion: Elder Gubbay



Yesterday we had a cool one. We were out delivering cookies to people
all day. We were able to meet Miyata San's mom and she was super nice
and talked to us for a while and gave us a ton of fresh vegetables out
of her garden! I love her! 

Then we biked up to the top of this
mountain on the border of Kakamigahara and Unuma and went hunting for
Kawaguchi San. Her dog died recently and so we felt like she needed
cookies. But we rode around and around and couldn't find her house!
(House numbers are not a thing in Japan) We saw this random elderly
couple out on a stroll at night in the dark so we went and asked them
if they knew our friend, Kawaguchi. Now keep in mind that Kawaguchi is
a SUPER common name in Japan so chances of them even knowing the right
Kawaguchi were near zero. But they asked a couple of clarifying
questions as to who she was and it turns out that THEY ACTUALLY KNEW
HER! Turns out there's not a lot of Kawaguchis in the area who can
hula dance. Anyway they took us to her house, which was nowhere near
where google maps sent us, and we dropped off a batch of cookies for
her. She loved it! Anyway that was a cool miracle.

Then today we had another big miracle! We were teaching Bruna's mom
(in Portuguese of course, so I couldn't fully participate in the
lesson but I tried) when Elder Gubbay felt impressed to invite her to
baptism! And she accepted!!! YEAH!! This is the second time in my
mission that I've seen someone accept the invitation to be baptized!!!
This is such a big event for her and for Bruna too! I'm so excited for


We had a koukan on Friday with Ichinomiya so I got to go with Elder
Daniels. It was fun! I love Elder Daniels. We had a jam session with
some of the members that night and it ended up being a sort of band
reunion! Some of the members had gotten together and formed a band a
long time ago and had long since stopped playing music and then at the
jam session they were able to get back together and play again! It was
really cool to see them come back together and have fun. One of them
was a member that hasn't let his face be seen for a long long time. He
finally came out and started seeing people again last week and then he
got to meet his old band at the jam session! He got to reconnect with
his old church friends (and also shred on an electric guitar that he
brought). It was a huge miracle! I'm so happy for him! We didn't plan
any of that, it just happened! God works in mysterious, wonderful
ways. Isshiki Kyoudai wrote a song so we spent most of the time
practicing that, then we ended the jam session off with the primary
song Families can be Together Forever. It was awesome!

I'm going to Shizuoka with Elder Wilson! Elder Arscott will be
followup training Elder Gubbay (I LOVE ELDER ARSCOTT). Elder Daniels
and Leiendecker are staying in Ichinomiya, Sister Lyman and Jensen
will be staying and becoming a 3人 with sister Henderson! Elder Warren
will be replacing Elder Despain as Zone Leader in 福徳 and Sister
Tsujimoto is coming to Shizuoka! Sister Tsujimoto will be replaced by
Sister Talbot, who will followup train Sister Imamiya.
Oh and also they made me a Zone Leader. That's way scary!
I'm super excited for Shizuoka and I'm way stoked to be with Elder Wilson!
But I'm also so so sad to leave behind Inuyama. I know it sounds all
poetic and gross but this area owns my heart. I've developed a
connection with this place and with these people that I never thought
possible. It's going to be so hard to leave these people! We've had
some tearful goodbyes, we'll have some more today and tomorrow morning
and then I'll be on a train out to Shizuoka. But since we didn't have
normal Sunday meetings yesterday, most of them I won't get to say
goodbye to.
It's been a really good two transfers with Elder Gubbay. I'm going to
miss him a lot. He's going to be an awesome missionary. He and Elder
Arscott are going to do wonders here in Inuyama. I'm already seeing a
surge of potential success coming out of the woodwork here. In the
next few weeks this place is going to explode.

This week was so full of miracles that I don't have time to write them
all but I will just write down the best one real quick. 

On Saturday night, we met with my grandparents and President and Sister Ishii at
the Komaki Meitetsu hotel. It was such an incredible opportunity! And
it was so cool to see my grandparents becoming friends with President
and Sister Ishii. In their conversation, I came to realize just how
awesome my grandparents are and just how much they love me. It makes
me want to do everything I can to be a better missionary and a better
grandson. My grandparents are truly awesome and I've come to
appreciate them a lot more these past couple of transfers.
Hey guys, grandparents are awesome. Go call your grandparents or mail
them or something and tell them that you love them :)

I'm extremely grateful for the incredible three transfers that I have
had here in Inuyama. I feel incredibly blessed to have been sent to
this mission, out of all the missions in the world, and then to get
sent to Inuyama, of all places. I will never forget this summer that I
got to spend in Inuyama and the effect that it has had on me. It's
been a dream come true and an experience that has changed me. I love
this place, I love these people and I love the God that sent me here.
This whole summer has been nothing short of a miracle.

I love you guys!
You're awesome. Never forget that.

Elder Johnson

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