How is everyone doing? I`m doing great and working just as hard as ever! We had interviews with our Mission President this past week and it was absolutely amazing. I love President Z and his wife so much, they have truly changed my life and helped make me a better missionary and person. During the training portion of interviews President spent a lot of time stressing the urgency of this great work. It got me so fired up I was about ready to bust out of my chair, run down the stairs, and start proselyting right there. The thought that there are people who are `perishing in unbelief`, and `being kept from the truth only because they know not where to find it` drives me nuts! I want to find these people so bad!
I can`t believe that President Z goes home in less than two months now. He said during our interview that it feels like I just got here! I would have to agree. It`s going to be incredibly difficult to say goodbye to him for the rest of my mission. Our last interview was awesome. I couldn`t help but think that he has A LOT of expectations from me in my mission. That was a little intimidating. He talked to me a lot about not being able to do this work alone and being the best example for my companions. He really pushed me hard on my Japanese. He asked me if I`ve been studying as hard as I did when I was still in training and was very pleased when I said I`ve been studying 10x harder. He shared with me some things from his own mission to Japan some forty years ago that I loved and I want to emulate. He talked with me about how he was the one that his Mission President would send to an area to baptize a specific family and then move him. He talked about how his Japanese got really pretty good fairly quickly and how that was what made the difference when truly convincing the family that baptism was what they needed in their lives. He said that because he was really able to communicate well with them, their trust in him was so much stronger. He also said that it ticked off his companions when the family wanted President Z to baptize them. He said that he`d have to take the Dad of the family off to the side and explain that his companion really loved the family and to let him baptize them and then President Z would confirm everyone. I laughed right out loud! I want to be that type of missionary soooo bad!
The last thing he said to me before our interview was over was something along the lines of, `Just go, Giles 長老, and see if your companions can keep up with you. It was great. He expects a lot and I plan to fill those expectations.
My companion and I are working hard. It`s still a struggle sometimes just getting him to talk to people but I think I`ve stressed the importance of being bold enough he`s finally starting to get it. Being afraid to speak is like fearing man more than fearing God and, well, that`s just not acceptable so we`re working on it! As long as we burst our own personal bubble of faith every day it will grow and the Lord will magnify our efforts and whatever ability we have!
Well thats about all I have from this week. My companion threw our frisbee onto a go-cart track while we were frisbee-proselyting at the park last week, so that was pretty unfortunate. We got a nice guy to go ask the track worker to get it for us and we were able to get it back though. Then we invited the guy and his family to our English class with his family and he said they would probably come! Last night we were walking down the street and this guy stopped us and started talking to us for a little while, he has been to the US a few times and really liked English. He took us to this little cafe and bought us some food and we talked about his family and stuff like that. He didn`t have a lot of interest in the church but he really wants me to teach him how to speak English and stuff like that! He also invited us to play tennis with him on Saturday so that should be pretty fun! It`s all about the tender mercies of the Lord, right? It was a good time!
I love you all and I`m so grateful for all of your love and support. Preparation Day is the highlight of my week getting to hear from everyone! I love you guys!!!
Elder Jeffrey Maxwell Giles