All right, so a fun experience from this week:
While planning, we discovered there was a less active family in the mountain town of Fujino who had been making great progress, and loved meeting with the missionaries, and then they suddenly stopped meeting with no explanation. No one has seen them for about 6-7 years. It was a mystery, and I love mysteries! So we took off for the hills!
When we pulled up to the apartment, there was a kind of older guy out in front of the building washing his car and we asked if he needed any help. He got really excited and asked where we were going. We just explained that we were going to visit someone from our church that we haven't seen in a while. He asked who it was and we told him the name. He let us know that she had moved, but his is where things started to get fun.
Next thing we know, he's telling us his life story about how he rappelled out of helicopters and ate snakes while they were still alive. Also turns out he's a famous tree trimmer, so he reached into his car and pulled out a binder. This binder was just filled with pictures of him on top of giant trees with a chainsaw, and news articles about him and his tree trimming.
So, after getting the conversation back on track, he told us that they moved, but he knows where they live. He started giving us directions, but about halfway through he goes, "You o.k. I'm a really nice guy. I'll just take you there. We get in the car and on the 15-minute drive we found out he wasn't lying when he said he knew everyone. Everyone we passed got way excited and started waving to him. Cars would honk when they passed by. He would roll down his window and people at stop lights would get way excited, and come talk with him until the light turned green. It was hilarious. This whole experience is kind of getting long so I'll shorten it up.
He took us to the family's new house. The parents weren't home, but he set up an appointment, with one of the daughters, for us to drop by. Then, after doing the whole missionary work part for us, he gave us a ride back to the train station and bought us some drinks while we waited for the train. Turns out he had a Book of Mormon and was friends with some of the members who live out there. He talked about how everyone he met from the church was a really good person, and that he wants to strive to be nicer because of people like them. So we set up another appointment and new we're teaching him.
The ward here is amazing and I'm so glad that it was through their example and honestly living the teachings that influenced someone else to try and be better. There's a quote I really enjoy from Gregory A. Schwitzer, "True disciples desire to inspire the hearts of men, not just impress them". The members here are so dedicated to whatever they do, and they do it because they love it. It continues to amaze me. I think it's something that's also inspired me to just try to be better. I've still got a lot of weaknesses, but that's all right. Things have been going really well. I hope everyone has had a great week.
Mochitsuki: It's an annual party where we make logs of mochi, then eat lots of mochi.
Makes sense if you ask me!