Everything is going really well here. My old companion, Elder Gardner, is now in the area next to where I`m at. I get to see him now and then. It`s cool to see an old friend from the past and reminisce together about the good experiences you had. It`s good to look back to good times and remember all of the miracles you've seen and the blessings you've received. You can look back to the times that you were happiest and learn from them. Why were you happy at that time? What was different then than other times? The time that I spent in Uwajima was some of the best time of all my mission. But, it wasn`t a time that we were finding a ton of investigators. It wasn't a time that we had very many people to teach. For the majority of the time, we had no investigators or only one investigator. It was the hardest time of my mission, but it was the best. We cared about each other. We cared about all the people there and they really cared about us as well. We overcame new challenges by working together and relying on the mercies of the Savior. Happiness isn't a result of circumstances or anything that comes our way. Happiness is an attribute of our personality. It is a virtue within us that we can choose to develop. The happiest times aren't when you see the most success. The happiest times are when you choose to be truly happy and you choose to love the people around you.
This week was pretty good. A huge typhoon came to Japan. On Friday, we were all (10 missionaries) in Matsuyama for district meeting. That`s when it came. Two missionaries weren't able to get back and had to stay in Matsuyama. We got back just fine and two others did as well. Two missionaries had their bus rerouted because some bridges were taken out by the storm. The trip that normally takes them two hours ended taking about five hours. Upon getting home, were were all asked to stay in our apartment. The rain was pretty heavy and the wind was strong enough to shake our apartment. It was constantly howling quite loudly. All of the missionaries were OK though, and we went out the next day. It was still pretty windy and rainy. Some missionaries had to stay in their apartment the next day as well. All of the rivers were huge and powerful. Right now, it`s nice and sunny.
English class has gotten pretty good. I don`t think people really learn that much English, but they all have fun. We spend a lot of time playing games line "Simon Says. . ." or "20 Questions". In Japan, everyone takes English in Jr. High and High school, but hardly anyone can speak any English. Everyone just knows a couple phrases or words. I meet English teachers that can`t even speak English very well all the time.
On Friday, we had ten people lined up to come to church this week. On Saturday, four of them contacted us and said they couldn't come. One person texted us during sacrament meeting and said they couldn't come. Another person texted right after church and said they were sorry the couldn't come. The other people just didn't show up. Nobody came to church this week (I mean investigators. Of course the normal members came.)
I hope that all is going well back at home. I have to go to Matsuyama again today. So, I`ll get going now. Love you. Bye.-Elder Isaac Swift