Well, as expected, last week flew by. We were here in Kobe on Tuesday
with the mission leaders, then Osaka on Wednesday, Takamatsu on
Thursday, Kobe on Friday, and Okayama on Saturday. It was a busy week
for sure. The conferences were a blast. Getting the chance to train
the mission on how to use the new Area Book Planner app was a blast.
It was funny because my role ended up being training on data privacy
and what we can and can`t say on our teaching records. We joked last
week that the IT staff of the Kobe Mission is a Doctor and a Lawyer.
Thats about right, isn`t it? It was great!
We had a great time riding with President and Sister Welch around the
mission again. They`re super fun people and we always learn a ton. I
think they have just about the coolest life of anyone I`ve ever heard.
Its awesome to hear about all the amazing places they`ve been and the
cool experiences they`ve had and yet their greatest love is for each
other and for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They will always be powerful
examples in my life. We had a really cool experience coming home from
Osaka last week after the conferences. The Welch`s were planning on
going up to Kyoto to meet they`re friend Brother Lee Daniels (member
of my branch presidency in the MTC) so we took the train home with the
assistants. A couple stations away from our stop my companion said
that we should get off at a popular station for finding and see what
we could do with the time we had left in the day (about 3 hours). We
got off and I was feeling super tired from a long day of training, but
worked through it and did my best. We talked to as many people as we
could and then decided to grab some dinner before heading back to the
office to get prepared for the next day. I told my companion as we
were eating that I felt like we should get back home so we left
immediately. I didn`t think anything of it, but as we got off the
train at our stop, I noticed a guy that was definitely not Japanese
and had the feeling that THAT was why we came home. We started talking
to him and shortly found out that he was from Mexico! It was even
cooler because my companion started talking to him in Spanish and then
found out that the guy also speaks Portuguese so they switched over to
that (I was lost). It turns out the guy is just like my companion.
Speaks like 5 languages and traveled over to England and learned
English. He said that he had tons of time this week because he had
work off so we made an appointment. He actually asked us for OUR
number so it will be good for sure! That was awesome and everything
and we were feeling super pumped and then as we were walking home we
passed this random white guy who took about five steps past us, turned
around and quoted John 14:6. That isn`t your typical start to a
contact here in Japan. He was from England and talked to us about
Jesus for a good twenty minutes or so. We actually taught him a little
bit about Gospel Dispensations because he had a lot of knowledge about
the Bible. We were able to get his number and we`ll hopefully be
meeting with him soon. The Lord definitely guides His missionaries,
thats for sure! One more cool experience was two days ago on the bus
coming back to the office from downtown. There was this guy that
looked like he was from South America so my companion started talking
to him. He spoke fluent English and said that he was actually here
working for a car company and has been in Japan for close to ten
years. We asked him if he had ever seen the missionaries and he said
he had seen them a lot on bikes and stuff, but never really talked
with them. The best part was he said, "Its funny, I actually don`t
usually take the bus home, but today I just felt like I should." I was
thinking, "Funny how that works, isn`t it?" I don`t think I`ve ever
found so many foreigners! The Lord knows His sheep.
Well I better go brush up on my Espanol for the week... Haha just
kidding. I think my head would explode. This week was awesome though.
It was a week of experiences that just helped me see that this is what
being a missionary is all about. We find, teach, talk to people, and
just have an absolute riot doing it all. We`re going up to Himeji
Castle today so get ready for some pics of the biggest castle in
Japan! I`m way excited.
I close with my testimony and a little bit about what I`ve been
learning recently. This morning I felt like I should focus on the
Savior in my study so I opened up the plethora of information I now
have access to on my iPad. I read "The Living Christ" which is
something I`ve read before, but I think I appreciate it more every
time I read it. The Savior lives. There`s no other way of putting it.
I can`t deny it. I don`t think I could if I wanted to! Its through
faith in Him AND His Atonement that makes it possible for us to
overcome anything we face in this life. I love my Savior. I love
wearing his name. I love being a missionary. This Church is true. Its
the Kingdom of God on the Earth today and I wouldn`t have my life any
I love you all and I hope you have a great week! I`ll see you all soon!
Elder Jeffrey Maxwell Giles