So we had a koukan this week with the Kobe shimaitachi and that was fun. We finally met up with Nakamura-san again and taught him about the atonement of Jesus Christ and prayer. Interestingly, in previous lessons he had been really kind of jaded and not super willing to even want to believe because he thinks ojii-chans can't relate to religion, but this time we focused on sharing experiences and just testifying really boldly, and it actually made all the difference. He prayed for the first time and he said he wants to practice more. Honestly the only way to teach is through testimony. Any other way just gets in the way of the Spirit.
Also we got to do a real proper service project! Wilkin Kyoudai asked us to help him weed his backyard (it's literally a jungle out there) so we went, and took a whack at pulling the forest of weeds. A great many rolly polies were very distressed by our aggressive removal of their homes, but none were more distressed than the two ground wasp nests we accidentally unearthed. The first one was uncovered by Wilkin Kyoudai. His glove was thrown an an impressive twenty feet over the fence in his adrenaline fueled reaction to bring stung by the little buggers. All seemed to calm down though and we went back to work. But alas this was not the end of our troubles. As we were going at it, I unearthed another nest, getting stung twice in the process. This time we sought shelter inside because the wasps were very not pleased with us. Now Idk how many people are aware, but I happen to be allergic to bee stings, which has now caused my hand to closely resemble a small balloon. I've lost sight of my knuckles. Benadryl is proving to be not particularly helpful. I was also subject to a solid two hours of being fussed over by like twenty members at church, and while I deeply appreciate the concern, I'm pretty sure it just made things worse and also I had to miss the dendo meeting third hour because of it. Not fun. My hand hurts. Wilkin Kyoudai is okay though so that's good. 👍
Also we talked to Fukuchi Kyoudai (he used to be bishop) about how past missionaries have found success, and his main advice was kaiin referrals and service (yappari). It seems to me that people have lots of friends they're trying to dendo, but either they're too scared to invite them to meet with us, or they just feel they're not ready. But kaiin brought a couple friends to our Hawaiian night activity and we were able to swap LINEs with one of them. Slowly but surely. I think we need to be more bold with them.
In other news, I kind of accidentally made friends with Souta-kun, one of the youth in the ward. (still not really sure how that happened, I have literally only talked to him like twice) He's going to be 18 soon, so we want to help him get more pumped up about the gospel and dendo so he can go on a mission. He could be a way good missionary if he makes that his focus. I really feel like one of the keys to this ward's future progress is going to be the youth, but I'm not sure how to help them out just yet. Japanese high school is apparently the literal most awful. Like that's the path to outer darkness right there if I ever saw it. But supporting youth in the midst of their bondage to school and cram school and clubs is on the list of goals now, so woo yay for direction.
We also got to go to a natsu matsuri (summer festival) at one of the Shinto shrines on Wednesday after eikawa! Straight up y'all, it was probably the most Old Testament thing I've ever experienced. I'm in a land of a lost tribe of Israel yo. Even the shrines look like the ancient tabernacle that Moses and the Israelites traveled with. I'm attaching videos so you can see for yourself.
But yeah I think that's the basic gist of the week. Doing our best, but also slightly dying from wasp poison and also a cold.
1. Way cool hula performance by one of the members
2. Us doing the hula to Pearly Shells
3. Lion dance at the matsuri
4. Explanation of how Jewish Shintoism is by me
1-2. Normal hand versus balloon hand
3. War picture of us with our battle scars
4-5. Hawaiian Night dessert table yo (so many pancakes but not a single haystack to be found)
6. Still of us performing
7-12. Marching with the shinto version of the ark of the covenant "そーれい!" ("whoosh" Idk either. I asked why we say that whenever the flute stops and no one had an answer)