18 January 2012

Letter from Matlock - 12-19-2011

Dear Family (in Japanese Characters),
            This week, the last week of the transfer, was the pinnacle week. Everything led up to this week and I’ll tell you – it was crazy.  We’ll take it day by day.
Monday: P-day.  We did our normal shopping and I got a futon beater.  This comes into play on Saturday. 
Tuesday: The day we wake up and take my companion to the hospital for some tests.
Wednesday: Took it easy this day considering what we had all been through.  The doctor had a look at my companion’s test results.  We didn’t do anything asides from English class that night.  About noon time we got a call from President Albrecht telling my companion that they would have a plane ticket booked for Tuesday of next week.  Say what - ?  His mission is over!  Hit the road!  I am his first and last!  The author and finisher of his mission!  I brought him into this mission and I will take him out of it!  This means I’ve been a “last companion” 4 times and 2 times in a row.  Wow.  So he started packing.
            Before English class we had some lessons with our college student friend and taught the restoration.  Then we talked with the old man from Scotland.  We were trying to get a sense of where he was and found out he believes in Buddah and God.  We didn’t have time to break it to him that those two don’t quite support each other but now we know where we need to start.  God is our loving Heavenly Father.  If you don’t get the basics down you won’t get anywhere.
Thursday:  The all mission Christmas Party.  So fun.  Way too much fun.  The Christmas skits were hilarious; our skit starred Elder “the tank” lifting me above his head while I was juggling.  You better believe it was good.  The white elephants were…interesting.  I gave the bible picture book we received from the Jehovah’s Witnesses.  One of the best “Secret Santa” gifts a missionary can get right?  My companion also made a surprise appearance and bore his “final testimony” to the mission.   He wasn’t expecting that and had actually planned on going quietly.  The sister missionaries in Kichijoji didn’t know since he didn’t want to tell them all that was going down.  Surprise!
Friday: The follow up appointment with the doctor was scheduled for mid January but given the sudden turn of events we needed those results and we needed them now!  We arranged to get them Friday which meant another trip to the hospital.  Before that we got a call from the Assistants telling us that they would be in Kichijoji and could come pick up the luggage.  They would be there at 8:00.  District meeting was from 4:30-6:00.  It takes 30 minutes to walk luggage all the way to the church.  Tight…They ended up coming straight to the apartment and just in time to catch us at the end of a packing frenzy.
Saturday: Cleaning day. This is where the futon beater comes in.  I beat enough dust out of those futons to pass for someone’s crematory remains.  My lungs didn’t thank me for that.  Much cleaning happened.  Then we had dinner with the ward mission leader and his wife.  We had a blast at dinner together.  That was a lot of fun.
Sunday: Had church, afterwards helped give a blessing to one of the members.  The blessing was beautiful and you could see a renewal of confidence in him right after.  That was almost the last spiritual thing that happened that day.  We were told by the mission home that a certain Ogawa San and his friend Yanno wanted to learn about God and to meet here at this time.  We went and there was no Ogawa just Yanno and his friend (girl) Yasumura.  They take us to a car and we all get in and drive off.  Already this is turning out a little different then we’re expecting.  When we first got the call my immediate thought was “oh, they want to argue, bash our religion and convert us to Buddhism.”  Unfortunately I gave them the benefit of the doubt.  They take us to this normal looking house, down the driveway and through an ominous looking side door.  There was a huge entryway operators on the phone, piles of literature wrapped in brown paper and now more than ever we are wondering – where are we?  Then they take us into a room with three “sections” with dividers between three tables, we sit down with Yanno and this random old lady.  I can only describe her as Big Witch.  Just witch for short.  She starts asking us questions about our religion and we still have no idea who these people are.  Finally find out they are buddist-nichiren shoshu.  They keep asking questions and asking questions and when we answered Mrs. Witch answered with “Well that’s just a little strange don’t you think?” or “That doesn’t cut it at all!”  She was asking completely ridiculous questions too, like “What are the names of God’s parents?” What? Who even thinks about that?  “Do you have a statue of Christ or God that you worship?” What? No!  “Then you don’t worship anything!  If there’s no statue then you don’t have a God!”  Uh! Baka! Baka, Baka, Baka!!! It became very clear that they didn’t invite us over to learn about God.  They lied, brought us to their place under false presences and started to bash us and make a mockery of our beliefs!  I have absolutely no respect for nichiren shshu.  They are on my hit list.  Elder Jack was about to start using some choice words and I was trying to calm things down so we could leave.  I handed them all the pamphlets in my bag and told them if they really wanted to learn they’d better start with that and that we were done today.  She still tried to throw fuel on the fire but I just told her “read those – we are done today.”  They insisted we take their little pamphlet and so I did.  The cover read –
About the benefits of Nichiren Shoshu
Recommendation to renounce other teachings and embrace Buddism
Wow.  Just – Wow.  This whole “religion” is just trying to tear down all other religions.  That’s all they do.  Reading the thing it made a lot more sense why they asked some of the completely ridiculous and out there questions they did.  Cause they’re Baka.
            Later that night however I was chatting with a member friend on Skype (cause we can do that!)  We hadn’t been able to follow up at all with him on the Book of Mormon and everything.  He said on Skype thought that he felt peace when he reads the Book of Mormon and he really appreciates us and the book.  Music to my ears.  That’s what I want, more than arguing with religious fanatics I want to help the stressed college student feel peace through reading the Book of Mormon and learning about his Father in Heaven, his Savior Jesus Christ and the Plan for his Salvation.  That’s where the peace is, that’s where the truth is and it will never change!  That’s how it is and I will never say differently.  Transfers happened and I will be training for the next two transfers until I come home.  Get my new companion Wednesday.

Glory to God!
Matlock Wyman (& other things all in Japanese characters)

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