How is everyone doing? This week has been one of the craziest and busiest I have had in a while. Lots of appointments and plans, to the point that we looked at our schedule at the beginning of this week and wondered "how are we going to fit this all in?" It ended up being a lot of fun, and only thanks to the grace of God were we able to actually do everything we needed to.
On Monday we headed up to Kobe in preparation for a meeting with President Welch, and stopped on the way to have lunch with some really good friends. Tuesday was the meeting, and we received so much training, knowledge and strength from President Welch, Sister Welch and the assistants. My favorite takeaway from that meeting was a comment made that these people we meet and teach every day are our brothers and sisters. When we remember that, the difficulty of talking to people, of doing hard things goes away. The motive of our work should always be this love for our fellow man.
After getting back from Kobe, I got to go on a companion exchange with Elder Matsumoto! I can't believe how much has changed since I first met him a hear and a half ago in Kouchi, and I can't believe that he will be going home in just a few short weeks. I again learned so much from his example, he taught me this time about being bold and teaching people what they need to hear, doing so from the scriptures.
A few days later my companion and I got to meet another good friend from way back. Kosaka kyodai, our teacher that helped us learn Japanese before coming to Japan, came and visited us! He almost seemed a little disappointed that he didn't really need to speak English to us anymore, and kept remarking how weird it felt. It was so good to see him again, though, he is one of the best people ever.
After a week full of great meetings and old friends, we were blessed even more to have the baptism of our investigator, Okamoto san. He has progressed so much in the short time we have been meeting with him, and has a strong desire to repent and live the rest of his life following God's commandments. He has such a cool story, I can't even do it justice in one email. Suffice it to say that he came seeking out the missionaries, seeing that he wanted more happiness in his life. He is going to be a devoted member for the rest of his life, and the other members will be such a blessing to him.
I just want to end today with my feelings of gratitude towards all of you, family and friends. Seeing so many old friends this past week has shown me how blessed I have been by the Lord to have come into contact with each one of you, it has forever changed my life and who I am. Love you all so much, talk to you again next week!