Elder M is 20 years old and is from I Prefecture in Japan and comes from a family of four with an older brother. He thinks things through very logically, which is very nice for me, and he always has a reasons for the things he does.
The first week I arrived in Machida our hot water was broken so we were faced with some difficult decisions, either take freezing showers, go to the other Elder's apartment (about a half an hour by train and foot) to shower, heat up water on the stove and take a bath, or go to a public bath. Elder M was really pushing for the public bath! We ended up just going to the other apartment, but he was pretty bummed about it.
When it comes to missionary work, he is very good at teaching to the needs and understanding of other people, and we've been able to teach with a lot of power and unity during lessons and when we first run in to others.
There is a lot to say, and he isn't always the most open with his feelings. However, I trust him and we're already seeing a lot of miracles. I've learned a lot more on how to trust others by being with him.
Why don't I just go ahead and introduce the whole gang! Right now, in Machida, there are 8 missionaries. Our fearless zone leaders, Elder N and Elder J, The District Leader companionship, Elder Christensen and Elder M, the lone sisters of the district, Sister P(who is an amazing singer) and Sister G (who likes ultimate frisbee!), My dear former companion, Elder P and a missionary fresh to the field from Tennessee, Elder M.
From my time as a District Leader in Hodogaya and Kamakura, and my time as a Zone Leader in Kunitachi, I've felt more and more the importance of delegating assignments.
Machida Ward and Machida Stake is full of amazing, talented individuals and families who are much more qualified and capable than I am. It reminds me of my days back in the Boise 1st Ward! I love the advice given in Preach My Gospel Chapter 13, "Local Church leaders and members are your best allies. Respect them and strive to build good relationships with them. As you work with these leaders, remember that they have other responsibilities associated with their callings. Seek to be a blessing, not a burden, to the leaders of your stake and ward. Your attitude should be one of, 'How can we help?'"
As missionaries and as a district, right now, we are letting the ward know that we are willing to help out in any righteous way possible, and we are doing our best to fulfill our own callings as best as we can by preaching the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and testifying that we know of its truth for ourselves.
Next week I will be performing the baptismal interview for an 18 year old young man named H(for those who don't know the district leader is responsible for giving interviews to the investigators of the other missionaries in the district) who will be baptized on the.
After several weeks, his parents gave him permission (a huge miracle!) to be baptized. We, as a district had fasted and prayed that his parents' hearts would be softened, and I know that the Lord answered that prayer. I have a strong testimony or the power of fasting and prayer, and I can promise that the blessings of the Lord are available to those who ask.
I love you!