I send you greetings from the church here in Tomobe. Everything here has been really busy lately. All except for this week. Many of the people I study with were busy this week so I had some extra time on my hands this week and spent it in other ways than usual. Here is what has been going on since we last talked.
The last two Sundays have gone pretty well. I preached my first sermon last Sunday at church. I gave a lesson over Thanksgiving since we will be having a Thanksgiving dinner at the church next week. I wanted to give everyone a lesson over what it meant to be thankful and why we celebrated the holiday in America. Everyone seemed to like it and I feel that I was able to reach a lot of people and what they needed to know.
This last Monday, I attended a Preacher's meeting in Tokyo at the biggest church of Christ in Japan. I forgot how much I really dislike that city. There are so many people and it is so busy. At the Preacher's meeting I was able to meet some new preachers from Japan and get to know them. After the meeting, I spent some time looking around Tokyo while waiting on the people I rode with to finish another meeting they had to have before we left. I attended the church in Tokyo's first service a couple of years ago. It was crazy to me that it had been two years since I had last gone there. It was great though to go and be encouraged by the other ministers of Japan. I was also asked to speak there someday soon by their preacher. I am looking forward to doing this.
The past couple of Tuesdays I have gone to Ibaraki Christian to continue my Bible studies rather than going on Wednesdays. I decided to go on Tuesdays because there are more people who can meet and have studies on Tuesdays rather than Wednesdays. To my surprise, this last Wednesday my class jumped from having four people to about 10 people. I was so amazed to have so many people. At the end of our study somebody said, Christianity is way too positive. I thought it was interesting someone might say such a thing. I guess we haven't gotten through all the bad parts yet either that it holds. It was great though to have so many people. After the OC students left, they left me with 30 more students who wanted to continue studying. While it is most likely for the English, it is still a great opportunity that could lead to great things. I may have to start going a couple days a week just so I can get more of the 40 people who want to study a chance than just about 25% of them. I also studied with another girl this week who told me that the tsunami helped her to believe there was a God. She said she grew up going to a English Christian School like Tomobe has and felt that was also part of the plan God had for her to believe someday. I hope that I can continue to study with her very deeply. She is very interested and has such a strong desire to know more.
Everyone who showed up to my study that surprised me Tuesday.
On Wednesdays the past couple weeks I have had spare time. I spent last Wednesday preparing for my Sunday this last week and I spent this last Wednesday hanging out with the guys I told you I go to the ocean with to just discuss religion rather than going into the religious building. This week, I hung out with them an had Mexican food at the Mexican restaurant and also went to the mall with them. Afterwards, we came back to my house and they stayed the night and the next morning I made them biscuits and gravy. A couple of them came to my house a couple of years ago and loved my moms biscuits and gravy so I told them if they stayed the night I would make it for them. Overall I think they had a great time and even though it is hard for them to accept religion, I hope that someday my friendship and kindness may make them wonder. I always try to stand out in some way when I am with them. After they left Thursday, I had my classes on Thursday night with my elementary student and Toru and came on home to sleep and get rest because I caught a cold and was having a hard time overcoming it.
After stuffing ourselves with biscuits and gravy!
On Friday the past couple of weeks I have continued my classes still. Last Friday night, I went with Toru and Benjamin the young people at Tomobe church to the mall and did our activity. We didn't stay long since my cold was making me so tired and ready to go to bed. I also had my afternoon classes. The class I started with the man who wants to know more to life went really well. We read a chapter of Purpose Driven Life together. After reading that together, he seemed to get it but had a hard time accepting that in order to go further in the study about knowing the purpose of life, he had to forget thinking about himself. He didn't seem to think he could do that at the time. I hope as time goes by that he will forget himself and want to move forward with the study. Please continue to pray for him. His name is Tamio.
Dinner when I went to the mall with Toru and Benjamin. This is Benjamin
After this paragraph I will leave you some prayer requests that you can pray for from the things I mentioned in this post. Please continue to pray for me and my mission here. May God bless you all and don't hesitate to contact me if you want to know anything at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will respond to you. Thank you all for your prayers and support.
1. We have a successful turnout and accomplished mission for our Thanksgiving dinner. We have invited the whole community and hope that many will come.
2. My Bible studies at Ibaraki Christian are a success and that I can find a way to teach more students who are willing to learn
3. Pray especially for the girl who is interested in Christianity to stay eager in wanting to learn more about God and that I can find a way to help her to become confident in wanting to be a Christian. Her nami is Saki.
4. The guys I spent time with eating dinner and having over at the house will be more receptive to Christianity
5. Toru can continue to learn English well enough for OC and that he can find the funds to go to Oklahoma Christian next year as a Bible major.
6. Tamio will be able to forget about himself so that he can learn the purpose of his life like he is wanting to know and so we can move forward in our study about what his purpose in life is.
7. I am pretty sure that I have decided that I want to stay as a missionary rather than becoming a teacher. Please pray that I can find the funds to stay next year and if any of you would like to support me please email me and let me know so that I can tell you how you can get the money to me.
Thanks again. God bless you all.