I think the rainy season has ended a little early this year on this side of the world because it is HOT! Its so weird walking down the same streets that just five short months ago had five inches of snow on them. It`s been a really crazy weather year for Japan I guess! I also heard through the grapevine that there was an Earthquake up in Tokyo the other day. Don`t worry. We`re fine down here in Osaka. I`m not sure I even felt anything at all! The only thing I`m feeling here is the insane heat of a Japanese summer! It gets crazy hot here, but I`d rather be in this than somewhere freezing cold thats for sure! I feel pretty blessed to get all 5 seasons. (winter, spring, rain, HOT, fall).
Last Monday was really fun. We got to go up to the city for my birthday with one of our investigators and we had a blast. Downtown Osaka is really cool, but also really really worldly. I got to eat at a Burger King for the first time in probably over a year as well so that was way cool! Burger King in Japan was probably ten times better than the ones in the U.S.. Sad, but true.
I went on an exchange with one of my Zone Leaders last Tuesday which was really cool! It was so weird being with someone that knew more than I did for once. We had an awesome time up in his area. It was good to be able to catch up with Elder S after a while. He`s the guy I lived with in my first area that I got along with really well. We met with one of the guys they teach up there that speaks fluent English and had a great time. The guy was way cool. He was 19 or so and goes to college in Arizona. We just talked to him a little bit about God and he seemed really interested in coming to church to see what it was all about after that. It`s kind of a bummer because he goes back to Arizona next month for school so the Arizona Tucson Mission will be getting a pretty sweet referral! We were planning on meeting with another guy after that and splitting up with the first guy but he was pretty set on just hanging out with us so he decided to stay with us! The next guy we met was hilarious! He`s probably 300 lbs. and most likely part of the yakuza (Japanese mob). He wants to meet with the missionaries because I guess a little while ago one of his little girls asked him to tell her about God and he didn`t know what to say or talk about. He wants to learn about Heavenly Father so he can tell his little girl about him. Pretty cool right? We could only meet up with him for about ten minutes outside of one of the train stations but he said he had some questions about what he was reading in the Book of Mormon and asked if he could keep it for a little while longer. We were like, `yeah man go for it, the Book is yours. Read all you want.` He was way excited! It was a great exchange and I learned a lot from my good Zone Leader.
The week was a little slow after that until we got to teach one of our investigators on a surprise visit. He`s pretty new and we were only able to meet with him once or twice before our visit, but we were able to teach a pretty cool lesson on the Plan of Salvation. He thought the Plan of Salvation was pretty sweet because he`s always been really afraid of the concept of `Hell`. I think we gave him some reassurance that there was something a lot bigger and better than just a heaven and a hell. While I was teaching I just stopped and said, `Man, isn`t this cool? It`s so simple and all we have to do is keep God`s commandments and follow Jesus Christ!` He agreed and he`s now progressing pretty well in the gospel.
Sunday was awesome! The investigator we went up to Osaka with promised us he would come to church on Sunday if he had the day off. On Sunday morning we went over to his apartment to pick him up, but he wasn`t answering the door. We could here the TV on inside and my companion looks at me like, `This kid is coming to church today.` and he opens the door and just walks into his apartment! I was like, `alrighty then, I hope he doesn`t get really mad at us...` He was still asleep so we woke him up and he was able to come to church with us! It was way cool. He stayed for all three hours and then for a ward party afterwords. I was glad he stayed because I had to teach Sunday School yesterday so he got to learn a little bit about the Temple and Family History Work!
The church is still true. Toward the end of the week I got a pretty bad headache that won`t seem to go away. I think my neck just got a little tweaked from biking so much and sleeping on practically the floor. I`ll be fine, but I could use some prayers! I love you all and I`m so grateful for the love of a great family and awesome friends. Thank you so much for all the love and support! I love you!!
Elder Jeffrey Maxwell Giles