Monday, July 10, 2017

Witnessing the HOLY FLEX – week 46

Spit bars
Ima drop a beat on this shiz
It's bubblin in Sendai
Like Pocari sweat fizz
Just kidding. Pocari sweat is non-carbonated
Ima rap this email even if I get hated
Stay with your companion, never get separated
My raps are like a spices, got value get traded
Now I'ma chill, I hope these raps are satisfactory
Cause I’ma put in work like a MONKEY IN A BANANA CANNING FACTORY
OHHHHHHHHHHH

This week we had to walk around in the rain, so to pass the time we started freestyle rapping. Music videos in progress. We also have started trying to tell each other ridiculous things and convince each other it's true. The best thing I convinced Elder Garaycochea of this week is that for my masters thesis I want to go into the field of hypothetical culture and study hypothetical Egyptian skater culture. What would the pyramids have looked like if the Egyptians had skateboards? Would the statues and art have been different? And I also convinced him that for my masters thesis I wanted to attempt to answer the question "Would King Tut have been able to do a kickflip?" Tohoku is a party, y'all.

This week was super solid, I had giant gyouza (pot stickers) at a podunk ramen shop run by a 77-year old lady who's super sassy, had the legendary jajamen at a shop here in town (it's a pork and black bean paste sauce that goes over noodles, you put on as much garlic as you want and it's amazing, also a total copy of a Chinese/Korean dish). Other than that, I tried my hand at making chicken wings again, which was pretty solid, and I made the BEST GYOUZA I HAVE EVER HAD. There's this magical ingredient called Shantan, and it is like a solid bouillon the texture of ice cream and you can make 中華そば (Chinese noodles) with it and I basically made garlic shantan butter gyouza and they're so good they don't even need sauce.

This week I also saw the biggest bug I have ever seen while housing, I legit thought it was one of those plastic prank ones until it started moving and I had a silent prayer that the person would not open their door so I could get away from there as soon as possible and THE LORD ANSWERS PRAYERS.

Found some scriptures I like this week about how the "Lord will make bare his arm", which I guess in old English is a way of saying God will demonstrate his power, but I've started thinking of it as a "holy flex", and every time we see a miracle it isn't because of us, it's just us working as instruments and the Lord manifesting his power through a holy flex.

So a few super cool things from the last week. I got to meet President Sekiguchi, and he's amazing, he's so young and full of energy and I absolutely already have a testimony that he's receiving revelation on behalf of the mission here. I am so excited to work with him, and I can already feel his love towards all of us and I'm so privileged and blessed to have had a year with President Smith and to have a year with him as well.

No new investigators this week (yet), but a few things are falling into place really well and things are starting to work out 🏋, Elder G and I found a 手話 (Japanese sign language) circle we are going to try to go to this week and we found some new places we want to try to find people and we're looking into more creative ways of finding people. And some super solid news, we have a recent convert here who is inactive because her husband is pretty opposed to the church, but we met her and it was super awesome and super good timing with a lot of different things and she told us about how she was thinking about coming back to church and thinking about how she missed talking to the missionaries and stuff like that, and she said she's going to do her best to come back to church and also bring me some Filipino food when she does (she's Filipino), and basically just MIRACLES all around.

Another miracle from this week happened yesterday - I got assigned to give a talk, but only 10 people showed up and the branch president and his second counselor had to talk after me and fill up 45 minutes and they both talk every other week and basically told me "take as much time as you want to or can", so I got up there with seven (English) bullet points and gave a 20 minute talk in Japanese about using the scriptures in our lives and the blessings that come from it. Didn't think I'd be able to do THAT as easily as I did before the mission, I couldn't even manage to go over 12 minutes or so in English with hours of preparation. So yeah, something about constantly having a desire to open my mouth and share things and then having a chance on Sunday, blessings.

So for my little thought this week I want to remind you all of a little duality in the Book of Mormon. I just recently finished reading through the Book of Mosiah, and it talks about two prophets - Alma and Abinadi. Abinadi is called of God to lift his voice up and cry repentance to the people - he is taken, bound, brought before the king, and eventually put to death by fire because of his testifying and teaching (which he was called to do by God) were considered blasphemy and offended the wicked king. In his ministry, he saw absolutely no success; no souls were brought unto repentance, though he sealed his testimony with his blood. And then we have Alma, a wicked priest of King Noah, who heard Abinadi's words, repented, fled to the woods, taught hundreds of the words and teachings of Abinadi, and baptized hundreds. Both of them were at some point commissioned of God with the work they were to do, but the success they saw varied greatly.

I was thinking a bit about this duality recently, and I was surprised yesterday morning to get a phone call from President Sekiguchi. He told me that an investigator I had found in Yamagata had been baptized on Saturday, and that he wanted his thanks conveyed to me and Elder Sato for finding him. We found him on splits some five months or so ago, and I honestly didn't even recognize the name when I heard it. If I remember correctly, it was somewhat late in the evening and I felt like we should house a certain apartment. We started at the top, and the first person that even listened to our message was him on the bottom floor. He looked sad and smelled heavily of smoke, but we shared a short message about how our purpose of life is to have joy, gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon (which he reluctantly took), and moved on. I've been a missionary for 10 months, and so far I've only had one investigator so far who has even had a baptismal date. So yeah, it's discouraging at times, sometimes I feel like what I do has no effect, but it was really a miracle for me to be reminded that what I am doing is changing people's lives, even if I might not see it.

Love you all, do something good and never forget about the impact you have on others, it's bigger than you think.


Elder MC Orgill  / オーギル長


"Artsy"

Jajamen

Ramen

Huge gyouza

Still a better ISP than Comcast (that was an internet service provider joke)

Reset mode - buzz lightyear

"Stunt It"

He tried to do the king size and failed.

Made more wings and they were pretty good

It really BUGS me that bugs this big exist (haha get it? Bugs? haha. It's a pun)

Made amazing gyouza

Cookies and cream ice cream in between two black thunders (crushed up
Oreo covered in chocolate)

Baghead

New take on an old meme