Monday, February 28, 2011

Still in Fussa!

Hello Friends and Family!!
I am still in Fussa and my new companion's name is elder Beazer.  He is six foot six, and AWESOME.  I have almost cried several times but have refrained for fear of startling Elder Beazer.  This transfer is going to be amazing.  We've hit the ground running.  We have some really strong goals that were going to work on, and we can speak English.  :)  The Lord knows how to stretch us, prepare us, and bless us so personally.  His plan is prescribed just for me.  He has one for you, too.  Yes it's for you - you the one reading this right now.  It is so personal.
Right now Vijay does not have a date.  Pray for him to have the opportunity to feel the Spirit without a doubt.  We have one investigator with a date.  Ishizawa san (san is Mr. in Japanese) has a date for the end of March.  Pray for him to be strengthened.  He is a really good guy who wants to change and learn about God.
Ah-ha Moment:  Faith is a gift of personal righteousness.  It's a gift.  I have thought a lot about this since entering the mission.  Why is my faith so strong?  Why do I feel so deeply in my spirit that the words of the prophets are so true?  Why is my testimony so strong?  It is a gift.  I can claim nothing but my efforts to follow God.  That's all I've done.  I've said I wanted to follow Him, and I'm doing it the best that I can.  Faith is a gift of righteous living.  Obedience is the first law of heaven and it is the law that brings the most blessings.
That's all I have time for.  I love you all!!
Have a great week!!
Jenkins 長老

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hi! :)

Well Hello hello!!
This past week has been a new adventure!  I'll just go straight into the list, because I know you'll all want to hear about Elder Holland.
Funny Moment:  I was on splits this past week with the District Leader, Elder Romney, and I did the stupidest thing.  :)  We were talking to this really cool (really tall!) man.  We had a good conversation and as he went to walk away I offered a pamphlet.  I said, "This is a simple meal."  I meant to say this is a simple introduction.  Shokuji is meal, Shokai is introduction.  I said this is a simple shokuji.  The man smiled and took it.  I didn't realize my mistake until I turned around.  Then in panic I turned around and yelled back to him, "Shokai!"  He laughed.  Elder Romney cheered me up though.  He said that man will have a hard time forgetting our conversation now because of my silly mistake.  :D
Cultural Tid-bit:  Cars again.  :)  I like the cars here.  :)  They are all so new.  Insurance spikes like crazy the older your car is and there are strict check-ups.  And the color of your license plate is a sign of your car's emission levels.  It's kind of smart.  You only see old work trucks.  I don't like it though.  I want to drive Bertha until she dies.  :)  By the way, how is Bertha?
Ah-ha Moment:  The role of the Holy Ghost is like super important.  I was reading D&C 130:22 when it just hit me.  Wait, the Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead.  That means He's really important.  And just learning the little ways that I feel the Holy Ghost.  :)  So awesome.
Spiritual Moment:  Here you go; the moment you've all been waiting for.  Yes, Elder Holland was incredible!  No I did not talk to him, but I did shake his hand.  He is such an incredible speaker!!  All the missionaries were in this tiny little chapel, and he took the mic and walked around the chapel.  The most powerful thing he said was this: "If I find you at some later date and learn that you have gone inactive in this church, I will find you - then he gave some threat.  How dare you be here in Japan, telling others to change their lives, and not be willing to change your own.  You've been guaranteed one convert, you.  So get up on time and study."  Man, it was powerful!  Then we went back to our area picked up Vijay and went to Elder Holland's fireside.  That was incredible, too!  He spoke about God's individual and personal love for each of us.  He said, "We don't tell stories about stakes, wards, or groups.  We tell stories about individuals.  Yes, working together as a family for salvation is so extremely important, but that is not enough until you are in it personally.  It's about the individual's conversion.  It's about you."  It was awesome.  I cried more in that fireside than I did during the missionary one.  It really touched Vijay, too.  He really liked it.  It was just an all around awesome day.
The Yokota branch is awesome.  Yes, I have met all the people that Brad and Jill know.  We have a lot of member meals scheduled.  :)  Well, I have to go.  It's the last week of the transfer and my companion is going home!  We have a lot of things to do to get him ready!  I love you all!  Thank you for the prayers!!  I love you!  I love you!!
Forward, pressing forward,
Jenkins 長老

Monday, February 7, 2011

Surprise (again!)

Hello Friends and family!
This email goes to show you that I don't know what is going on half the time.  We are just emailing and shopping for food today.  Then we're working!  Woo!  We're going to Tokyo Tower with an investigator on Saturday; that will be our P-day.
The zoo was fun last week!  It was soooo cheap!  It was like $5!  :P  However, I felt so bad for those animals!  They looked so sad!  It was still fun; I saw some native Japanese animals and asian animals.
Funny Moment:  I went on splits last week with the zone leader, Renfroe Choro.  It was so fun!  We talked to so many people!  Well anyway, we walked around this corner and ran into this older lady caring a guitar and violin.  We just said hello and she started speaking English to us.  But she slurred and spoke really slow.  She sounded like she was from the deep south.  That combined with what she said was perfect:  "WOW!  You... two... are... haaaandsommmme.  If... yoooouuu had a Japanese gu'friend that would be good."  The wow was the best part, because she openned her mouth soooo wide.  Renfroe Choro and I laughed about it for the rest of the day.  We kept saying, "WOW!"  O, good times.
Cultural Tidbit:  You don't wear shoes in the house.  All houses, even apartments, have a little square in the entryway that is the lowest part of the house.  You take off your shoes, leave them in this little section, and then step up into the house.  You can wear slippers, and sometimes people have a couple extra pairs for visitors.  Just an interesting, fun little cultural thing.
Ah-ha Moment:  I don't know how many more times this concept is going to have to be pounded in to my thick head, but I'm not going to die.  :)  The Lord let's us struggle, but as promised He delivers us just before we can't bear it.  That is a repeating cycle, especially this transfer.  I will feel completely overwhelmed, and then something happens to relieve the pressure.  The Lord keeps His promises.  He will not give us more then we can bear.  I feel that sustaining every day.  Literally, I feel something holding me up when I want to crumble and be swept into the corner.  Thank you for your prayers.  I feel them and your love.  Thank you.  I also feel my Savior's love for me, too.
Spiritual Moment:  Mom, please schedule a chiropractor's apointment for when I get home.  :)  I am going to need it really bad.  I crashed on my bike this week.  Yes, it was embarrassing (Dallin, stop laughing).  It broke my bell.  :(  I am fine though just a tweeked shoulder and a bruise I don't even feel.  But the awesome part was that I wasn't hit by a car.  Japanese roads are super narrow, yet the crash timing was perfect.  If  I had done it 3 seconds before or after I would have hit the cars.  Matono Choro told me I should bear my testimony about it in sacrament meeting yesterday; so I did.  That's when it hit.  I realized how coordinated that crash was.  The Japanese ward was really touched by it, too.  Tender mercies, perfect timing, and blessings of protection are real.
Well, Elder Holland is coming next Tuesday, so P-day is on monday.  That is for sure.  I will be emailing next Monday.  :)
Our investigators are Nandi, Vijay, Emi, and Rikay.  Three of those are English speakers.  :D  And we recieved two referals on Sunday from the Yokata Branch (more English speakers :D).  So yeah.  :)  Busy busy!  Just pray that I can know what I need to do because this is hard with a native and all these Enlgish lessons.  Thank you for your prayers and your love!  I love you all!!  Have a wonderful week!
Forward, pressing forward,
Jenkins Choro