[Note: When Craig was in Nagoya as a missionary 25 years ago, he met and taught a family, the Shinodas. He baptized the mother at the end of his mission, but she is the only member in the family. Over the past 25 years, our family has stayed in touch with the Shinodas. Evan visited their home as an infant when he lived in Japan, and the parents came to stay with us for a month last year, attending Evan's high school graduation. It what is not a coincidence, Evan's first area in Japan includes the Shinoda's home.]
August 28, 2011
I don't know my actual apartment address, but they tell us to have all mail sent through the mission home anyway. We usually make udon, tonkatsu, or curry for lunch. I love this food, but it's not helping my weight loss. Haha. I can't print my emails. [So it is better to mail letters, including mailing them through DearElder.com, since he has only limited time on the computer each week.]
So yes, I do have someone very particular to pray and fast about . . . Brother Shinoda! We taught him the first lesson yesterday, and he said he has a desire to quit smoking and get baptized! To explain the first lesson, we started off with Elder Hollister telling them that I think about them a lot and have expressed my love for them a lot. We also asked him what he liked about our house [in Bountiful] last summer, and he said it had a wonderful feeling and the family was so receptive. Also, that's where he began his desire to quit smoking. When we told him everything happens for a reason and that I'm here in this area now to teach him, he started crying. It was very spiritual. We taught the whole first lesson, and I taught the first vision. He was very receptive, so I extended the commitment. He seemed good about it. Remember him in your prayers.
So this week I kinda got settled down and everything. We got over 100 referrals this week. We have five people with baptismal dates. And we had a three day stretch where we rode our bikes a total of about 75 miles. Tough haha. But luckily that saying Coach Wall always said kept going through my head, "mind over body".
We just do a lot of biking and lessons to recent converts, less actives, members, and investigators. We do this thing called Fulfillment and Follow -up, which is where we visit members houses and ask them their conversion stories or how the gospel has blessed their lives. We then ask them questions like `from your cell phone, you put their family first` and the people they write down are referrals.
I love it here though. It was great to see everyone going to school! Isaac looked like a huge punk, Sam looked good with his new teeth, and Caroline looked ready to have some fun! I love you all.