This is Kobe, Japan.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Imabari 28 Aug 2011

Week 61
Mission Log
Last night I dreamed in Japanese.  And, it didn't seem weird at all.  I mean, the fact that it was in Japanese wasn't weird.  It was still a pretty weird dream.  I was the villain, but instead of using guns and stuff I used samurai swords and kendo sticks.  And, everyone just spoke in Japanese.  I continue to become more and more Japanese by the day.  It`s all a part of my plan to adapt myself to their lifestyle and become one of them, until eventually they can`t tell that I`m an outsider.  A few days ago, an older lady asked me if I was Japanese.  My plan is working perfectly.  (See 1 Corinthians 9:20-23) 
We`re supposed to try to talk to 50-100 people about the gospel each day.  That comes from talking to people on the streets, talking with members, visiting less-active members, and sometimes knocking on doors.  We don`t knock on doors very often.  All of the missionaries in Imabari before would spend all day every day knocking on doors.  Then, I got here and changed it.  That`s not really my style.  There are other more effective ways to find people to teach. 
Everything is going great here.  Food is good.  Sleeping in the futons is good.  I have everything that I need. 
I got to go on a companion exchange with my old companion, Elder Gardner.  It was pretty cool.  We were able to talk a lot and reminisce about the good times we had back in Uwajima.  I`d love to go back to Uwajima sometime.
That`s all for this week. 
-Elder Isaac Swift

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Imabari 21 Aug 2011

Week 60
Mission Log
Things are going very well here out in the Imabari Branch of the Matsuyama District of the Japan Kobe Mission.  The people are nice and it`s a good city.  The weather hasn`t been so great recently though.  It`s been raining quite a bit.  On Sunday, during church, it was probably some of the hardest rain that I`ve ever seen in my life.  I thought that it was going to break through the windshield of some cars or something.  It was intense.  By the way, that black rain suit that we bought before my mission is perfect.  I probably have the best rain suit in the mission. 
  I was so exhausted one day this week that when we came home to eat dinner, I sat down in a chair in the kitchen for a moment and felt like I didn`t have the energy or power to get up.  I felt like I couldn`t even lift my arm, I had so fully exhausted all my strength.  We were going to knock on the doors in an apartment building one day, but I felt like it wasn`t the right place.  So, we got back on our bikes and rode for like twenty minutes taking weird turns along small streets that I`d never been on before until finally I saw this little apartment complex that felt right.  The first person we talked o there invited us in and he was way happy to see us.  He had known the missionaries twenty years ago.  After we left that place, I had no idea where we were or how to get back.  A member taught me some kendo. 
The Manorwood ward really is awesome.  There are a lot of missionaries out and a lot of young returned missionaries.  The branch I`m in now has one missionary out and about four members that served a mission and that`s quite a few.  Everyone in the Manorwood ward is very nice, helpful, and was a great example to me.  I`ve learned so much from the ward that has helped me a great deal since coming out here on my mission.  I`m excited for the day that I return home to the Manorwood ward and I can personally thank everyone for the good influence that they had on my life.  That`s all I have to say this week.  Bye. 
-Elder Isaac Swift

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Imabari 14 Aug 2011

Week 59
Mission Log
Things are going well here.  There have been random storms blowing through this week.  We got soaked a couple of times.  On Friday there was a big thunderstorm even.  I thought it was pretty cool.  The rainy season ended a while ago.  So, it`s supposed to be sunny and nice now.  I hope this next week gets better. 
The transfer calls came today.  Elder Burner and I are both staying in Imabari.  It`s what we expected to happen.  At the meeting for all of the trainers, he told us that we were all going to stay with our new missionary companion for at least two transfers. 
There are tons of bats that fly around the city at night.  I was way surprised when I first saw them.  I`m pretty sure that I`d never seen bats in the city before.  Back at home, I think I only saw them in caves or in the woods.  They fly around right outside our apartment at night here.  I suspect that it may actually be a group of vampires that has been trying to hunt me down.  Don`t worry about me though.  I always have my garlic and wooden stake on hand.  I`ll be OK.  The hard part will be having to watch out for my companion and protect him all the time.  It`s just like in all the movies.  They never go for the main guy straight out.  They try to take his weaker friends and allies first. 
I just watched a couple of cool videos on lds.org.  Some of the Mormon messages are really good.  Today I especially like "Look Not Behind Thee" and "Watch your Step".  They`re super good.  Look them up.  Tell your friends. 
I`m getting out of here now.  I love and miss you all.  Live in the moment and do your best.  The future is as bright as your faith.  Bye. 
-Elder Isaac Swift

Monday, August 8, 2011

Imabari Japan 7 Aug 2011

Week 58
Mission Log
Things are moving along very well here in Imabari City of Ehime, Japan.  This week we had the big yearly festival in Imabari.  It was on Saturday and Sunday.  It was really cool.  The downtown area was packed full of people.  Some of the main roads were blocked of so that cars couldn`t go down them and there were parades of Japanese dances going down the streets.  There were vendors lining the streets selling all kinds of Japanese foods.  There was a big stage set up and various performances and dances were done there.  There was music playing everywhere downtown.  There was even a big fireworks show.  What may have been the coolest part was that everyone would dress up in traditional formal Japanese clothing to go to the festival.  I thought it was pretty cool to see.  There wasn`t really anything else that happened this week.  Bye. 
-Elder Isaac Swift