21 March 2011

Letter from Matlock – 18 March 2011

 Dear (Family in Japanese characters),                                     8 March 2011
 I just finished eating a spam and egg pizza.  Please, anyone who’s seen Monty Python have a little laugh with me.
A lot happened this week!  My former companion came with his parents to a church activity on Thursday.  That was crazy.  It was pretty cool to meet them.  How many times do you get to meet your companion’s parents on your mission?  (So far the answer is twice.  (Or should I say twice this week?)  We also went to a temple marriage for my current companion’s older brother.  That’s the first time I’ve been to a temple marriage and I’m afraid to say I think I understood less than half of it.  The cool thing was, I knew the bride and her family!  She and Her family were in my first area, and her brother and his family were in my second area!  Also the bishopric from Sakado was there!  I knew everyone!  I’m glad that was the case because I would have felt so weird going to someone’s wedding and not knowing a single person on top of not knowing the language!
Then on the way back we ran into the bishopric from Oyama ward!  It was crazy!  Afterwards I talked to my companion about that was the first kiss I’ve seen since becoming a missionary.  In Japan, no one kisses!  No one!  He didn’t believe me when I told him people do it all the time in America.  They teach that it’s against the law of chastity here and you have to get interviewed by the bishop if you do it!  I normally wouldn’t be writing a lot about kissing in a missionary letter but it’s so ridiculous!  Just bear with me here.  I had him go talk to the Brazilian Elders during a training we had and they told him the scoop on Brazil.  You get interviewed by the Bishop if you’re not out kissing girls.  My companion can still hardly believe it.
Ok, Moving on.
            Things have been going really well with my new companion!  We’re both working hard on following the rules.  In fact I think I’m more obedient now than I’ve ever been…we’ve really been seeing the results from it too.  On Sunday we went to visit a member after church.  We visited, shared a short message then asked her to pray with us before we went out and housed everyone in her neighborhood.  Then we went out and knocked doors for a few hours.  We found a family!  We talked to a man and he’s actually thought a lot about God before!  I’ve never met a Japanese person like this before!  He said he’s thought about the earth, and humans and thought, well there must be a God, how else could all of this be?  He invited us back to talk to his family!  One awesome thing about that was, when I rang his doorbell and talked to him through the intercom box my Japanese flowed smoother than it ever has.  I didn’t stumble over words or mess up the pronunciation or anything.  Just incredible.  Made me think about how I do have the gift of tongues and about how it’s made manifest when it really counts!  After we finished the neighborhood we told the member we had visited after church about how it went and said another prayer with her.  It was fantastic.
            Afterwards we still had some time before when we had planned to break our fast so we called up a recent convert and asked if we could meet with him and do a mock lesson.  He said yes and we went and prepared for that.  The spirit was so strong during that lesson.  He definitely felt it.  He told us he was going to go home and pray about Joseph Smith again to strengthen his own testimony.  We gave him a Book of Mormon, a church DVD and a postcard of the Tokyo Temple along with our written testimony to him and challenged him to use those items and bear his testimony to someone therefore strengthening his own testimony.  He was overjoyed and even invited us to his house right then for dinner!  So we went and ended our fast at about 8:30.  I felt the spirit so much that day I wasn’t even hungry.
            The best part is we’ve only just begun this transfer.  It’s going to get a lot better!
Elder Wyman

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