On Monday we heard that there would be a Typhoon and that it would begin on Wednesday and then go into Thursday. On Tuesday all of our investigators started canceling lessons because Tokushima was supposed to be hit pretty badly. (Our mission president called the zone leaders and told them to keep an eye on us...because we would be hit pretty hard). And then on Wednesday everything seemed fine so we went and biked to Naruto (about two hours away) and visited some less actives. We prayed that we would be protected from the storm, which we were, and it started raining on our way back...but we made it home fine. And then for the remainder of the week everyone canceled appointments due to the Typhoon! On Thursday, our Zone Leaders called Tokushima in a frenzy because apparently half of Tokushima was flooded and there was a storm cloud covering all of Japan....and it was perfectly sunny and there was zero water anywhere and we were out dendo-ing and basically the entire country was very confused about this Typhoon. So that was an adventure. We were hearing all sorts of stuff about how the Typhoon was coming from Osaka, and then going to Tokushima, and then it would jump over to Okayama and then it would go back up to Tokyo. I am doing a rather poor job of explaining this...but basically it was the most confusing thing ever and everyone was going crazy... we were supposed to have been flooded and everyone was canceling on us...when in reality everything was fine! But, it gave us a lot of time to go visit lots of less actives and meet people all over Tokushima and it was a really eventful full week :)
We had some amazing lessons this week and one of our investigators who is going to be baptized has the strongest desire of anyone I have ever met in my entire life to go to the temple, and she is the cutest person ever and I love her so much. And she just really desires eternal life and understands that commandments come from Go. She is willing to live them without a problem because she has the strongest faith ever and she wants to share the gospel with the entire world. She also thought that we stay missionaries for our entire lives and that we are never normal people. So when we explained that we are not, she got really sad because she couldn't imagine anything better than sharing the gospel and she was also sad that we would not be in Japan forever with her...but basically she is amazing and there is a lot to learn from her example.
1. She has to completely change her life to join the church. But she knows that it is true. Her testimony development is the most solid thing ever and even though there are things that are hard to give up, she knows that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God, she knows that the Book of Mormon is true. She knows that she needs to be baptized. She knows that Jesus is the Christ and that He died for her. She is so solid that she will do anything because she knows in a deeper way, than anyone could deny, that this church is true. She was truly converted by the spirit...it is the coolest thing in the entire world to see. And on another note, she keeps telling all of our other investigators that they should just get baptized with her. She says "I understand why you are nervous! I was nervous before too! But now I am SO EXCITED! You should just get baptized with me in August!" And they are like...oh....ya...maybe I do want that...and it is the best thing ever. Nothing like missionary work through the investigators.
2. She is not even a member of the church yet and she understands the PURE JOY of missionary work. And the biggest thing about the joy of missionary work....is that we are not searching for joy. It is just...when you are just doing, because it is what the Lord wants you to do...that nothing else even really matters. And then all of a sudden you look back...and you realize that your investigators have changed. And you realize that you have changed. And you realize that somehow you are so freaking happy and you just have no idea why. And you also realize that the elect are real and so that is all that really matters and also that true happiness comes from service and that everything your parents and church leaders ever said is true and so you should just always obey them and then you will be happy forever.
3. She loves the Book of Mormon. She loves prayer. And she loves church. Thus is the foundation of her testimony. Without these three key things...absolutely nothing will happen. She knows how to receive her own revelation...and so she does...and then she tells us. She basically just takes care of herself because she has a relationship with God, and it is strong.
Tokushima is amazing. I love this place. We are working really hard at trying to help the Less Actives. It is slow coming right now. There have been a few times that we have seriously considered going back to regular dendo, especially with the new mission president, whether or not we continue doing the Less Active work (especially on Shikoku) is kind of just up to us. But every time we think about just going out and housing or streeting...something happens that clearly manifests to us that the Lord still has some lost sheep that He really wants us to find here. He has people waiting for us to visit and to meet. We have seen a lot of miracles as we just continue to visit the Less Actives...and the Lord places people who need the gospel in our path. I have become a pro at stopping people in the middle of the street while biking because that is largely how we do most of our contacting on the way to visit less actives...and it is a very fun time. It takes a lot of enthusiasm and effort (and mostly just mindset) (and being American helps) (And also being a servant of Jesus Christ helps too) to not make it awkward. But I just really love it a lot. We have been meeting tons of people who are just...willing to come to church...and one of them wrote us a letter yesterday that we didn't read until this morning? And I am not exactly sure what it meant because it was in rather poor English but basically I think he was asking if he could join the church...so we are working on figuring that one out...
But it has been an eventful and amazing week! Rely on the Lord! Miracles are possible :)