Well it`s been a great run here in Nabari for a whole 11 days but I`m sad to say that I`ve been fast tracked back to the big city. My companion and I got a call from the Assistants to the President last night around 8:30 saying that we would transfer today. Our apartment right now is way to small and we were pretty much living on top of each other. They decided that our living situation would be to stressful for the next few weeks and they couldn`t find a new apartment so my companion and I are leaving today! Crazy right? My new area is called Sakai and it`s back closer to Osaka so I`ll be going back to the city! I`m really excited!
Nabari was a great place and I`ll be really sad to leave. It reminded me a lot of Heber actually! The ward here was great, even if it was only 10 people and on the fourth floor of an office building. I was really excited about maybe having the opportunity to retire another sheep number in Nabari. There is currently three more elect waiting in Nabari but I guess the Lord needs other missionaries to find, teach, and baptize them! Even though I was only here for 11 days I really have grown to love the country side of Japan. Its way different but I like it a lot. The people are more relaxed and you don`t really feel pressured all the time like you do in the city. I`m looking forward to going back to the fast life in Sakai though!
We had I really cool experience last night when we were housing this neighborhood. The night before I felt like we should go house this one part of our area that was up a really steep hill. I didn`t know why but I just felt like we needed to go. After church we rode up the mountain to this area. When we got there neither of us really knew where we were supposed to go and we both know very well that housing in Japan is a waste of time unless you have a specific revelation for where to go. My companion and I prayed for guidance and still didn`t really know where to go so we just started to ride. Went to the very corner of this area and just started knocking on doors. We weren`t having any success at all. I lot of slammed doors and no`s but we just kept going. After an hour and a half or so we felt like we should ride again. We started riding but up the hill through this neighborhood when I saw a man and his son outside working on their gate. Like I usually do I just gave them a nice `Konnichiwa!` The guy looked up at me and in almost perfect english said, `Hello!` I was way surprised and I asked him if he actually spoke english. He said that he did a little bit but he wasn`t that great at it. I started to ride again when he said, `Hey, you`re mormon missionaries right?` I responded that we were and he said, `Can you help me?` I almost fell over right there in the road because that kind of thing NEVER happens. He said that his daughter had an english test coming up and she really needed some help so she could pass and asked if I could take a little bit of time and help her out. I said that of course I could and he took us into their house. The daughter was really shy but she had pretty decent english. I told her that I speak Japanese which really seemed to calm her down and I was able to help her out a little bit! The family was really excited about our Free Family English Program that we do and they plan on coming to our free english class this week! The Dad said that the family went to the mormon church a couple of times but they stopped going because they got busy. It just goes to show that the Lord really does direct this work and he really does guide his servants where they need to be. I`m so grateful to be lead by the Spirit on my mission. I don`t know what I would do without it.
We had an awesome New Years conference last week in Ibaraki. I can`t stress enough how much I love my mission president. He`s the man. We got a new training plan for the mission called `It`s about you... Relying on Him`. It`s all about putting all of our trust in the Lord. It`s exactly what I need right now in my mission for sure and I`m really excited about it! I had the opportunity to share my own personal conversion story in Japanese in front of the conference which was really cool! I was super nervous but I was able to give it pretty well and actually got a little choked up during it. I just feel so blessed to be a member of this church. I`ve been so blessed in my life and I`m so grateful to have been raised in the gospel. We sang our mission theme song at the end of the conference, its `To Bring the World His Truth` translated into Japanese. I couldn`t contain my emotions and I just started to cry as we sang the song. I love this mission. Kobe is a special place. I know I was chosen to come here before this life, I know that there are people here that need the gospel and they need to hear it from me. This is God's work and without him I know I am nothing! We have two special goals set up with this new training plan; 1) We will see 400 investigators at church on Febuary 2 and 2) Every single companionship in the Japan Kobe Mission will see a baptism by March 23! Crazy right! I`m so excited!
I love you all!
Elder Jeffrey M. Giles