03 January 2011

Letter from Matlock – 30 December 2010

Dear (Family in Japanese characters),                         20 December 2010
Well its election time around here.  I can’t tell you how much I hate election time!  In place of putting signs and posters in everyone’s yards they drive around in cars with megaphones on top blasting their propaganda everywhere.  Then in the morning they stand outside the train station (which is right next to our apartment) and scream into their megaphones for a good hour or so.  This is at the exact time that we are quietly trying to study the scriptures!  I was about to go down there and smash some things!  If I were a citizen here these people would be getting negative votes.  Absolutely ridiculous.
The good news is we found a new investigator!  He lived in Australia for three years and he wants to keep up his English.  He came to church and afterwards when we talked to him he went into a lot of deep psychological stuff and I had no idea what he was talking about but as far as I could gather he wants to find more happiness in life.  I’ve found that people will not have interest unless they’ve thought about things before…anything like God, church, meaning of life, happiness, afterlife, or even morals.  Most of the people here don’t give a second thought to any of these things.  I guess that’s what I’m here for…
I just realized that we’re 5 days away from Christmas.  That really pounced on me.  I guess that it doesn’t help that only half of the population celebrates half-heartedly.  Togane ward however takes good care of its missionaries!  They put out 2 big boxes labeled Elder Wyman’s Christmas presents, and Elder (my companion)’s Christmas presents.  I was pretty surprised!  I’ve never had someone put out a collection box for me!  It feels weird because I don’t think I’m getting anything for anyone this year besides Book of Mormon’s and free lessons on how to find happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come.
We have started emailing our investigators every night now (via phone).  This is something we learned from a conference.  So we tell them to read every day and we read the same chapters and tell them what stood out to us, what to look for etc.  It’s yielded fantastic results!  They both came to church this Sunday which makes one of them eligible for baptism next week!  And the other is eagerly working towards her baptism next year.
Who didn’t come to church this Sunday however was our brother investigator!  He called later in the afternoon and said he was up all night at a farewell party and was too tired to come to church.  Aaaaaaand – he was talking with his friend who told him a bunch of nonsense about Mormonism that we’re not true Christians, super weird, different living standards, different scripture and even told him his Aunt and Grandma would be mad at him if he told them he was baptized Mormon!  Now we’ve met with this friend, so we gave him a Book of Mormon and he actually introduced us to another investigator.  Apparently he went on the internet and found a bunch of rubbish.  So our brother investigator was fretting a bit so we told him to meet us at the church and we sorted through his concerns.  Mainly his problem was that there are other sincere Christians out there, who are not of this church how do they play into everything etc, etc.  We basically went over the restoration and told him that he other churches have “small pieces” from the big complete puzzle of the gospel.  Then God gave us a new puzzle, so there are still scattered pieces everywhere.  It went well, we knew he’d be just fine and afterwards he gave a great prayer where he really rededicated and committed himself to following the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  I’m really glad that happened because it will be a lot harder to shake his faith now!  He’ll be able to stand up to Mormon haters now.
(Elder Wyman in Japanese characters)

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