"Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever." -Alma 26:12

Monday, October 5, 2015

Veteran missionary! - 10/5/2015

Hello everyone!

     Now that I've been in Japan for almost two weeks now, I'm starting to feel like a veteran! (Just kidding, I still don't know anything). One of the elders in my apartment is going home in December, and we figured out that if we put both our missions together, we would make a whole mission. It really put my mission into perspective, both how much I have left, and how short it really is. All I can do is just try to enjoy it as much as I can.
     I did a lot of that today, and I got to try so many new things. My companion and one of the other elders in our apartment wanted to take a nap today, so Bahr choro took me out to see more of Kochi city. We went to the shotengai first (kind of like an outdoor shopping mall), and had Indo curry. It was way good, I'll attach a picture of it. They give us a bowl of curry and start us out with a huge piece of bread/scone-type thing to dip in the curry. The best part is that the bread was all-you-can-eat, and Bahr choro and I both ate five pieces.
     Then we went to Kochi castle, which was even cooler. Japanese castles are amazing, Bahr choro explained a lot about how they would defend their castles in ancient times, and it sounded way effective. I know I would never have tried to attack one of those castles.
     While seeing the castle was really cool, it couldn't even begin to compare to the people we have been able to help and teach. We are making a big effort to strengthen the members of the church, and even though it's only been a week and a half, I already feel like they are growing in their faith. With six missionaries in one area, it feels like Kochi is being prepared for something big. There are so many people that we have found that have never learned about our church, but have been prepared by God to hear our message. A lot of young people seem to be especially receptive of the spirit. Our most solid investigator is still Okada San, the 15 year old boy that is an absolute genius. He talks about really complex ideas he has had during our lessons, and he already seems to have figured out a lot of the stuff we teach him.
     We are also trying to help a lot of less-active members. We haven't started our efforts yet, but I'm excited to help them return to the covenants they have made to follow God and Jesus Christ. Our teaching pool is still small, but growing every day. One of the most amazing things I saw this week came as we were out housing. We hadn't planned to go housing, but on our way to visit a less-active member, my companion felt we should go knock on some other doors. He made me do the contacting for every other door we went to, and I was pretty nervous. I could barely say more than a few simple phrases about who we were and that we wanted to share a message, but we found a lot of success. In about an hour we had found seven new potential investigators to teach. It was an amazing experience, and it helped my confidence a lot. I learned that it doesn't matter whether we can speak well, as long as we try our best the spirit will do all the important work.
     There were so many other awesome experiences I had this week, but I don't have time to write them all. I am having an awesome time in Japan, it's changing me so much and I am learning lots about myself, this gospel, and my Father in Heaven. I love my mission and this area, and I am so lucky to be here. Thank you everyone for your love, emails, and prayers!

-Elder Winegar

Kochi castle

statues of samurai next to train station

Indo curry

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