Updates (finally)

I:ve been slacking off on my blog writing, now almost half a transfer has gone by and I need to catch up. This is going to be very minimalist.

I:m still in Wakayama this transfer, still with Elder Cluff. No complaints.

We now have missionaries down in Tanabe, so we don:t have to go down there all the time anymore. Unfortunately, Tanabe needs to travel ridiculous amounts. Gobo and Shingu are also their areas. Pretty much everything south of Wakayama is theirs. They also have to travel back and forth at least to Wakayama, sometimes to Sennan or Osaka or even all the way back to Kobe for district meetings, zone conferences, trainings, etc. So they stay overnight at Wakayama fairly often.

They:re native Japanese missionaries, and the junior companion is just a little green bean. They:re fun to have in the district.

We need all the district members we can get. We did some math and discovered that 27% of the Elect are in our district. That means that a third of the baptisms in the Japan Kobe mission ought to be coming out of this district. Not zone. District.

Investigators. Well, M-shimai didn:t get baptized. The poor thing was all ready for baptism, when all of a sudden her mother showed up at the baptismal service and freaked out and demanded that M-shimai not be baptized. It was a very sad day, especially for poor M-shimai, who has been looking forward to baptism for a long time. She lives in Sennan, so they:re the ones who are primarily helping her. She:s very sweet and she still wants to be baptized if she can summon the courage to talk to her parents about it.

T-san, the investigator in Tanabe, got baptized. Elder Cluff performed the ordinance. It was a great day for everybody.

We picked up a new investigator K-san and gave him a baptismal date.

He:s a good guy.

W-san stood us up for a lesson. He was our homeless man we were helping. He found an apartment and was supposed to teach us where it is. Now we don:t have a way to contact him. Again. But we experienced a miracle last time we lost contact with him. I see no reason to doubt another miracle.

Sister Belnap went home recently 😦 She had been experiencing some health concerns, pretty much from the moment she arrived and even before that. She worked hard and did everything she could to stay, but it didn:t work out. We:ll miss her a lot, but wish her the best as she tries to pick up where she left off. She is a true disciple, and true disciples never die. 真の弟子は決して死なない。

We saved a kid from running out into traffic. He was a cute little guy. His poor mother couldn:t keep up with him. He almost ran out into the street so we picked him up and turned him around and he ran back the other way. Like a little wind-up toy. Japanese kids are cute.

We got to go to the 40-year commemoration of the organization of the Osaka Stake. That was pretty cool. There were some of the original members there. That stake has split now into several more. It:s exciting to watch the work grow. The theme of the afternoon session seemed to be [Go to the temple. If the temple becomes busy enough, they:ll put one in the Kansai area.] Everyone in this mission wants a temple in Kansai – Osaka or maybe Kyoto. I want to see one here too.

I:ve enjoyed everyone:s emails lately, although I do miss getting your letters. Email time is really quite limited compared to letter-writing time. I know snail mail is a pain, but there is always something really cool about getting an envelope in the mail that doesn:t have a [past due] stamp on it.

Those are the highlights. Speaking of highlights, I:ve recently started going back through my journals and doing the highlights of each transfer. After the mission I will maybe go back through all those and compile mission highlights. That way I can remember all of the good stories to tell when I get back. You aren:t getting them here, or if you are, they:re way dumbed-down for times: sake. I simply don:t have time to tell you the best stories in all the neccesary detail.

The church is true, even when that fact is terribly inconvenient.

Which in this day and age, it frequently is. But don:t give up. The Lord has prepared a place for the faithful. Stay strong. If you:ve fallen down, pick yourself back up, repent, and get back to work. You have not fallen beyond the reach of your savior:s love. Or mine.

With Love,

Elder Tobler


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