Hey! My week has been pretty bomb. I couldn't feel any earthquakes, but thanks for the thought! Things are actually going pretty well with the Haramais. My companion wrote a way good summary of this week so I kinda wanted to steal it. Here is the story for the week in the words of Elder Parker Hansen with commentary by me:
"This week has been pretty full of crazy stuff. I'll start out with a story for you guys.
So we were housing a huge danchi (apartment building) with 10 floors... and we get to room 901. My companion (B: Me) pings it and this lady answers on the speaker phone. She just goes off on him. She asks him where he is from, and says "wait, I'll make a memo..." and pretends to write down his country, state, then asks for his home phone number. At this point, my companion is a little flustered... (B: I didn't want an angry Japanese lady to call you guys...) and so I jump in and the lady just kind of tries to make us angry I guess you could say. She knew why we were there and said something like "so what do you guys want me to do?" and after I explain that we just want to talk to her at her door for a sec she says "oh, if you would have told me that earlier, i would have come out... but now it's too late. so I'm good." So I ask her for a referral... if she knows anyone who has interest in families that lives close. She just starts yelling through the intercom. "I rejected you guys! I'm not gonna tell you anybody! AHHH!!!" kind of thing... so I say "ok. thank you for your time, here is a chirashi, please read it!" and go to leave, and she says " $BF~$l$k$J!* (B” (B: don't put it in!) and just starts yelling again... so I say (note: illegible/computer scrambled it)
So we go to the next house and right as we do so, the lady that has been standing behind us says, "wonderful! just wonderful!" and I'm pretty confused... no one has ever done that to me before... She continues "you guys are going around sharing a message that has blessed your lives with everyone, aren't you... I think that's wonderful!" and by this time I'm thinking "YES... biggest (spiritually prepared person) ever!” so we keep talking for a while and introduce ourselves a bit more. Then the lady says "so on the 9th floor you got yelled at by an old lady didn't you?" and I thought "ok... so we are getting stalked? this is a little weird... it's been like 3 floors..." and so I waveringly say "yea we did in fact." The lady's reply surprised me.
"I'm that lady. After you left, I felt really bad about what I did and I wanted to see what kind of people you are like. So I went all the way to the bottom of the building and have been walking up all the stairs looking for you. and now I found you,. I want to apologize for how I acted up there." I had a poker face smile, but inside I was like "no way!!! you are a completely different lady. Don't joke with me here." but she really was the lady. She apologized and asked for forgiveness which of course we gave her. She said that she had listened to our last contact and the old lady had said that she didn't like how people didn't follow what they taught, especially sokagakkai people. "I am the person that that lady was talking about. I am sokagakkai and I don't always follow it. and I feel terrible that people think that way of people like me." It was really like a movie scene...so I went to make an appointment after we talked for a bit more. .. and she said "you guys are better people than me, but my religion is better than yours!" ha ha. So that kind of ends the fairy tale ending... but it was a way crazy experience. People feel the Spirit and change. Maybe not all the way at once, but she became a little bit more Christlike through that. So did I. (B: me too)
Another cool story... Haramai san. She really wants to get baptized but needs permission from her husband. So we wanted to help her get it. We ended up setting up a family home evening with the bishop's family and her family where we played with balloons,(B: and table tennis. I had a way killer match with the dad, but he beat me pretty bad in the end.) Ate a little bit of food and had a message. It was really fun. so I was hoping that Haramai san would have the courage to ask him if we just got the conversation close enough to the subject. Just keep making it easier and easier for her. So we did a little story of how the atonement is important and how we can show our thanks for it by paying Jesus and Heavenly Father back by keeping commandments. It was all aimed towards the kids so we got them all involved. Then we talked about commandments, had the bishop talk about how commandments are important to his family and what blessings they have gotten from it. then we talked about baptism a bit and asked how the Haramais felt when they came and saw a baptismal service... and she said that she liked it a lot and it felt really good. (and right here I was hoping she would just turn to her husband and ask him kind of deal... but no.. she doesn't.) So everybody looks back at me again, and I realize that I have to be the one to bring it up. So I asked Haramai san if it was ok for his wife and child to get baptized. :) (B: the whole time I was praying for Hansen Choro because it was a way fragile situation) He said he isn't opposed, just wants to understand it more... and we kind of left off on that note. That was on Saturday.
Then on Sunday, Haramai san comes to church, and she says she talked with her husband a lot and since I had told them that I was probably transfering out, that Haramai (the husband) wants to talk about it all after church today. So we got to have a lesson with her husband! Taught him with 2 other members about what will be different in their life and I even tried to get him to accept the lessons. (He is just really busy - he is really ready for it though). We left on a really good note (taught him a condensed version of pretty much everything...)and he didnt really have opposition at all. He understood everything great. It was awesome. We focused on eternal families and the temple a lot at the end, told him that this message is meant to bless his family, bring them closer together, and not to separate them. It was great. so we'll find out today probably if it's all gonna work out for Sunday.
I'll let you know. Transfer day is on the 22nd, so I'll probably get anther email off from Eniwa. (B: that means I'm probably getting a new comp soon. Whoa...!)
We are getting fed a lot of times this week... that's what's pretty cool about being here for 7.5 months. (B: Hansen Choro is pretty much a ward member hahaha)
Yesterday we got a phone call from a non attending lady. We rode our bikes past her house to go somewhere else, so she saw us coming home. I've treid to visit her a million times and have only met her once, but she called and said "hey, i bought too many donuts, can you come take some with you?" best invite ever... We went and talked to her for a good 45 minutes, while eating donuts and reading scriptures. That's a spiritual climate for sure. She is faithful with all the commandments and even tithing, just coming to church is hard because of her work. It's really sad. Soo close, just a little bit more!
We also called a guy on the phone who was an investigator 3 years ago, and went out to eat ramen with him. Way nice guy, and so we picked him up again. I'll let you know how it goes.
Ogasawara san... her mother(88) died 3 or 4 weeks ago. so we dropped by and visited. She never really listens to our message to much... but this time we felt that we should go a little bit harder than usual. We were all feeling he spirit, but she wouldn't let herself accept it. It was really sad. She kept trying to change the subject to stuff like (hey i made this water...) but we were more persistent than usual. and the Spirit was way strong... but she ended up saying "Leave me alone..." in English. and so we said thanks and left. Really sad, but there are gonna be those people.
One day, we ate dinner at a place where our eikaiwa student works. It was ikuradon, way good salmon eggs and rice.. haha. and right after, we got unexpectedly fed by another non attending family... 2 dinners. It's like exercise for your stomach. You can't reject it... but I wish they'd tell us before hand! (it hurt so bad...)
(back to Braden)
So that is Hansen Choro's story of the week. Basically it means that Haramai's baptism will most likely be next weekend or really soon after that OR the dad will become an investigator and get baptized eventually too!
Bean shower #2 is the same as the first, but at a bigger zone conference that Pres and Sis Evans could come to.
The snow pictures are intense!!! No snow here yet. You can see it in the short mountains though. Everyone is surprised at how late it is. Thanks for looking for earmuffs! The coat is size 38 ;) Speaking of Santa, Nodoka was going on about how she figured Santa out. Since God knows everything HE tells Santa what everyone wants for Christmas. The things that little girl says hahah. She even has a song and dance that she did for her dad when she told him she wanted to be baptized at the FHE.
The primary theme sounds pretty fun! Speaking of missionaries speaking in church I got asked to speak in 2 weeks on something from General Conference. Whooo! Good to hear about everyone from the ward. :) Let me know how Mara's play and Becca's wedding go! Isn't Emily getting married pretty soon too? I was way suprised for Shenay! That's going to be waaay sweet. She is going to have a lot of fun! What did you do to your laptop? How is my old one? Get that Lauren her mini-wheats.
Thanks again as always for the prayers and encouragement :) I can feel it for sure and I need it a lot I think. This is definitely the Lord's work and as I keep pressing forward and trying at all times to push myself to improve for others I will get the words I need to say. The same for everyone at home as well. Be missionaries as much as you can! Thank you and love you!
Also here is a letter from Nakamura Shimai that she sent to Hansen Choro's parents. Good stuff ;) (Mom note - this is the sister who was baptized last week - so awesome)
my name is wakako nakamura.
i am sorry for my delayed response to your letter.
i'm sorry i forced you to write when you were very busy.
i am very pleased.
I got baptized yesterday.
The hansen, so, I'm grateful.
I have saved a lot of his kindness.
I respect a dad who raised so much friendly to people, the mother.
Made me stumble, God also has a grateful.
Very strong, he is so friendly, and everyone is loved.
I also love his smile.
And dad, mom, and our daughter, please spend every day smiling, overflowing.
I wish you happiness.
I was able to meet one day, I think that is wonderful.
by wakako nakamura.