23 November 2010

Letter from Matlock – 9 November 2010 (arrived the 20th)

Receiving mail from him in his new area continues to be a challenge - many letters we are not receiving, and those that arrive are usually more than a week in transit.

Dear (Family in Japanese characters),
Wow.  So much has happened this week I hardly know where to start.  Maybe I’ll just summarize it and talk about the big things.
We’ve been teaching our investigator which is always interesting.  Since he’s a strong Christian we wanted to get him rooted in the Book of Mormon.  To be honest he’s helped my teaching skills so much.  Everyone else we teach from China or Japan doesn’t have any background on any of this so they just accept what you’re telling them.  So we hit a little rut with Jesus Christ as a prophet as well as Savior and Redeemer and I didn’t have any scripture references prepared.  Yikes!  Then we watched the movie the Restoration which illustrates pretty well about the whole Joseph Smith experience.  That didn’t end well…  Apparently before he read about angel Moroni and the handing over of the plates and thought that was what the movie was depicting.  In short he was a little upset that it didn’t match exactly what had happened. We met again Saturday and I had a list of bible scriptures this time!  Basically we just cleared up last time.  When we closed the lesson he asked what kind of confirmation or ordinance we had to do to become a member.  Apparently that’s all he wanted to know the whole time.  Well, next day after church we sat down with him, I challenged him to baptism and he accepted.  That will be Nov. 28th.  So my first baptism as a missionary in Japan will be with a brother from Africa.  Of course.  It’s only logical right?
After that we went out finding since my companion really wanted to find some Japanese investigators.  Basically everyone we are teaching right now is from anywhere but Japan, mainly China.  Honestly, If China opened up and allowed the church in throughout more than Hong Kong area it would blossom and flourish.  Right now the church is spreading underground through faithful members in China.  Anyways – we go out to find some Japanese people.  We housed one apartment and the upper floor yields nothing.  Then on the bottom floor we met a guy who is a college student from…..China!  We talk to him for quite a while, traded phone numbers, gave a Book of Mormon, set up a time to meet and were about to leave when he stepped out and took us to meet all of his friends that were living in that apartment building!  He took us up and housed all his friends that we had already talked to, then back down and housed all his friends that we hadn’t talked to yet!  If only our members were this gung-ho about missionary work as this guy we just met!  Incredible!  We got invited in to one of his friend’s apartments and we talked to the both of them a little longer.  So – we still can’t find a Japanese investigator.
Back a few weeks ago we had interviews with the president and he told me I had grown a lot since coming into the mission and that I was a lot more outgoing and happier.  I said something along the lines of “oh that’s good” and shrugged it off.  But we were visiting a member this week and when she and her fiancé asked about our mission experience as a whole.  I said it was terrible at first but I gained more of a testimony and it got much better.  Then she said, yea I can see that your quite (Japanese characters).  Roughly translated (Japanese characters) would be bright, cheerful/sunny, or radiating as my dictionary puts it.  Then my companion said, Yea, I knew him when he first came to Japan and when I met him again I hardly recognized him – changed completely.  So if it’s from the mouth of three or more witnesses I can’t deny it can I?  I’ll just add it to my list of reasons why the church is true. The list is getting quite long yet most of the people I talk to everyday still don’t believe me…
Well, I’ve gone onto three pages but I don’t have anything more to say.
Love to you all!
(Elder Wyman in Japanese characters)

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