01 February 2012

Email from Matlock 23 January 2012

Dear 家族

Teaching English class got a lot better this week. I tried making a worksheet type thing to give to the students so they could follow what I was doing better. I lost about half the class the last few times talking about the most basic of things and was even wondering if I needed to go over the alphabet with a few of them. This helped out a ton and the students loved it. I'm trying to make my English class as fun and educational as possible because it’s a long painful hour and a half to spend each week if you’re not enjoying it. Things are looking good and I may have figured it out how to make it better just in time to switch classes again. Apparently there is a student in the Sister Missionary’s class who likes to take over and teach the class. If a taller stricter male English teacher with strong competency in Japanese comes and teaches that may put an end to all the problems in that class. It’s just speculation right now but things may change again. Anyways, there’s another story that goes along with the worksheet.
      I wanted to make the worksheet but we couldn't find paper anywhere for the life of us. So we started going through all the cupboards in the hallway trying to find where the paper was stashed. We found the paper but before that we found boxes and boxes of small pocket sized tissue packs with English class fliers in them. These were super, super old English class fliers mind you, back before the missionaries had cell phones. If you’re passing out fliers at a train station tissue packs are pure gold! If you want to get anything out in mass quantities all you need to do is stick a pack of tissues onto them. Elder Turley and I spent some time pulling out the old fliers and put in the newer more colorful ones with our phone number, email, all the church websites and everything. Then we went to a station and passed them out. We blew through those tissues! 269 packs in about an hour. Compared to about 40-60 in one hour. Smokes! We'll see how effective it is on Wednesday. There’s still a lot more tissues left so we're going to blow through those as well and try to get rid of all of them before the next eikaiwa to see how many people it can get us. Surely there is some formula to measure the ratio between runny noses wiped and new students coming to English class.
     We had a huge conference on Thursday which a member of the area presidency paid a visit. It was a really spiritual conference. He was pretty long winded and had a really dry sense of humor and his Japanese was hard to listen to but it was a fantastic conference! Afterwards I almost felt like I wouldn't mind serving another two year mission. Almost being the key word there. Maybe if I could get transferred to Brazil that would be a possibility. It was a good conference though. I, being the missionary in Kichijoji area ended up being in charge of getting bento's for the whole mission during the lunch break of the conference. We tried Hotto Motto this time instead of Orinjinaru bento hoping that they would be bigger and tastier. Ordering from Hotto Motto was such a hassle and in the end they wouldn't even deliver the bento's! I swore that I would never go back there until we actually ate them and then I decided to reconsider. But hey the next time these things need to be ordered I'm going to be far, far away. So it don't matter.
     After that conference the weather got really crummy. I don't mean cookie crum crummy, I mean just barely not cold enough so it the rain doesn't become snow crummy. Ended up spending a considerable amount of time not doing normal streeting. This is when we passed out 269 tissues. Can you imagine why they went so fast? When we were back in the apartment, after having called a bunch of investigators and potential investigators I had the impression to call this buy. He just comes to basketball and we were pretty sure that he had no interest in the gospel especially since half of what he says is "hey man, that’s good man, hey dude, yeah man...." I felt like I should call and see if he was going to come that night. He did and after catching up I asked when he was going to become a Christian. He said that he was actually 70% Christian and 30% Buddhist and he loved the book I gave him. That book was the Da Vinci Code. That was a joke. It was the Book of Mormon. Apparently he has more interest than I thought! Always good to know God's got my back on these things.
     Next day we were able to go out to eat with another investigator. He's been super busy so we haven't been able to meet but he says he still has a lot of interest and wants to learn more about the Book of Mormon. We agreed to tell him about it more on Skype because we're technologically savvy like that. I'm really excited. He's not going to New York anymore though he's going to Wisconsin which is quite unfortunate more for him than anyone else. He'll experience first-hand what it really means to live in the countryside.
     On Sunday we got our new Ward Mission Leader. He's really cool. He works for Microsoft here in Japan so he's really computer savvy just like us. It seems that every time I talk to him he tries to talk me into working for Microsoft in Japan in the future. Now that he’s the ward mission leader I may have to start considering it...
      All for this month.
Love you all!
--Elder Wyman

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