I hope you`re all having an awesome week! We`ve been working our tails off this week but it`s been awesome! Time is flying by. I don`t have a lot of time today, one of our investigators needs a ride to his doctors appointment for his messed up feet so we asked one of the members to give him a ride and we`re going to go with him! A small sacrifice we`re willing to pay on our Preparation Day. I feel bad, we didn`t have time to clean this morning because we had to get our hair cut so we made the other Elders clean the whole apartment... Oops.
This week has been a blast. Last monday we went to Misaki Koen, which is a big Zoo about an hour or so south of us. It was a blast! I got some great pictures that I`ll attach to this email. The Zoo was way sweet! It felt a little bit like going to Wally World because no one was there but we got right up close to everything so that was cool. It was nice to relax for a little bit and have some fun for sure!
On Tuesday the mission had an All-Japanese Conference in Kobe so I got to go on exchanges with another Elder from our Zone. It was way sweet. Elder K is only a transfer older than me so our Japanese level is pretty much the same. We had an awesome/completely random day. We went to the park and the first guy we stopped talked to us for an hour. I mean talked TO us in the very literal sense because neither I nor Elder K could understand a thing he was saying. We just kept nodding our heads and saying, `Hai, hai, hai` it was great. We finally got him to wrap up his shpeel about one of the other Parks in Sakai and got his number. He agreed to come to church on Sunday but he ended up not showing up. We talked to a young familly after that about our English class and they seemed way interested so I hope they end up coming. I called the Dad the other night and he said they were planning on coming so I`m excited about that. We went up to the main center of the City after that and ran into this hilarious drunk guy. He was so funny. He just kept yelling and laughing and he was speaking such strong Kansai-Japanese neither of us could understand hardly anything he was saying. He kept trying to get the ladies that advertise the restaraunts to come over and talk to us and it was everything we could to tell him we weren`t interested. He was hilarious. The looks on everyones faces walking by watching this absolutely wasted guy yelling and laughing with these two white kids was priceless. He ended up not living in our area so we just gave him a pass along card and told him we had to go. After that we found this two kids our age hanging out in a park and talked to them for a little bit. They were way cool but really didn`t have any interest in the church or the gospel but they want to go to dinner sometime so there`s still hope! Their names were T and T which I thought was pretty great. It was such a fun exchange. Elder K is the man and it was great to go out with another American for once!
We found a great new investigator this week that just moved to Sakai. We talked to him on the street for a little bit and he agreed to come to the church for a tour and an introduction. We called him two nights later before we planned on meeting him and he told my companion how much he wanted to change his life and he has had interest in Christianity for a long time. We gave him a tour and our introduction message and he accepted everything really well. After our lesson he stayed at the church and helped us and a few of the ward members set up for another members wedding reception. It was awesome! He wanted to come to the wedding reception the next day so we met him an hour before and taught him about God. He believes pretty much everything we told him and accepted and is now reading the Book of Mormon! He came to church yesterday for all three hours and then one of the members volunteered to help him move the last of his things from Kobe to his new apartment in Sakai! He`s really solid. We went over to his apartment last night for a little bit and talked with him and helped him unpack his things, it was way fun. We`re planning on extending the invitation to be baptized during our next lesson for sometime in May or June. We really want him to become converted to this gospel before he gets baptized but we`re really excited about him!
It was great to have the opportunity to attend the wedding reception of one of the members of the Sakai Ward. He returned from the Fukuoka Mission about 6 or 7 months ago and is a really solid guy. Him and his wife were married in the Fukuoka Temple a week ago last Saturday. It was awesome to see a new couple, strong in the church, just sealed eternally in marriage. It really added to my testimony that families can be together forever! His wife served in the Salt Lake City Temple Square Mission so it was fun to talk to her about home for a little bit!
I`m exhausted. Missionary life is crazy but its a blast. I couldn`t help but think last week as we were road race cycling from one appointment to the other that I have the best job in the world. On top of how busy we are, I blew out the back tire on my bike last thursday so we had to walk to District Meeting in another area again. Awesome. Then I had to carry my bike about a mile or two the bike shop. It was a great time. I think every single person stopped me on the street to tell me where the bike shop was, it was great to see how many nice people are in the world, granted, it must have been a little strange to see a white guy in a pretty nice suit carrying his mountain bike on his back!
This week has been fun but we`re nowhere near stopping. This work is progressing rapidly and it`s great to be apart of it all! I love my job. I love being a missionary. I just want to help these people accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ that I know can make them happy. That shouldn`t be too much to ask, right? I love you all! I`m praying for my family back home every day. I miss you but this is where I`m supposed to be right now. I love you guys!
Elder Jeffrey Maxwell Giles