It doesn't get much more crowded than Tokyo! I'm pretty grateful that we don't have to spend much time in the busiest parts of the city around Shibuya where missionaries actually are told not to proselyte because of how busy it is! Did you actually get scammed while asking for directions? Well, I'm glad that whatever happened you stayed safe.
There are definitely people like that man in the rug shop all over the world, and they are my favorite people to talk to because they don't have any ulterior motives, just pure, genuine kindness. I have no idea what I what do if a random person came up to and talked to me, but I've seen so many miracles that come as I've just simply opened my mouth and been the kind of person that I would want to talk to as well! Although I can't give any credit to myself, you and dad, Amanda, Bennett, Aaron, and everyone else in my life showed me the way to be a light to the world, and in the end, the real example for all of us is always Christ!
Maybe when you go back again you can actually get a rug for real!
This week had miracles left and right, some worries and struggles, but I'd like to focus on just one experience that is blossoming even as I'm writing to you!
This last Friday, while I was on splits with Elder N, another elder in our district, we met a kid named K. It was pretty clear that he had some struggles, but despite those, he talked about how much he loved Frozen and the quiet peace that comes from pondering in parks.
As we talked about who we were and what we do, he continued to listen intently although he said several times that he didn't really have any interest in church just play, so we invited him to our ward BBQ which was on Saturday. I mean what could be better! Honestly, when we met him the second time, he sounded way nervous and jumpy, and we were both talking about how we should take precautions in case things got sketchy if he was desperate. How wrong we were!
He came to the BBQ, and despite telling us time and time again that he wouldn't talk to people he didn't know, he opened up and began to make acquaintances. The most important relationship that he made however was with our other investigator D. D struggled with many of the same things as K, but has gradually started to overcome them. There were always a few things that he just didn't seem to have the desire to do yet. After meeting K, he became almost like a father to him and seeing the light in both of them change was pretty incredible! K came to sacrament, despite saying he wouldn't at first, loved it, and that night we had a lesson about the Restoration and the power of Prayer at T family's home, both members. With the help of D, Brother O (a YSA preparing to go on a mission), the other missionaries, and the T family, we taught prayer and opening our hearts to God. Everything went pretty dang great, but the true miracle happened after we left. Because of how late it was, the missionaries left to make it home on time while everyone else stayed behind to clean up. I asked Brother O D to follow up on what we taught and to make sure sure that K understood what was taught, and then I left. Today, I got a call from D letting me know that while cleaning they reviewed prayer, taught about Joseph Smith, and even introduced baptism and the eventual goal of temple work and missionary work(depending on the person this can lead to some different results). At the end of all that, it would be so easy to be offended or confused and to lose interest, but K accepted it! He told me today that he wants to a missionary just like us and is willing to do what it takes to improve his life!
On top of all that, D called K's mother and let her know what was happening and ensured that everything was ok to meet missionaries! What?! There is still so much to do, but I'm still in shock at the change that took place right in front of my eyes!
Even in the dirty mess that people sometimes accumulate as they go through life, there is, at the heart of every person, a pure soul. We just have to be willing to see it with an eye of faith!
Love you everyone!
1. K at church!
2. I had a lot of fun playing with the octopus tentacles :)