Week 50 – Out in the inaka (country)

Hey everyone!
I finally got my iPad fixed! So hopefully I’ll have some more
pictures soon.

This week was transfers so it was a way short week!
I’ve been transferred, and I’m…now…in………Yatsushiro! It’s a
way inaka [country] town a little south of Kumamoto, where the earthquake was.
It doesn’t seem to have been too bad down here, but this Saturday the
whole zone will be going up north to do some clean up.

Anyway, it was mostly just packing and travel! On Monday I had a last
junkai [exchange] with Elder Rostrom, and then we just packed and packed and
packed until a…less than obedient time of night haha! Smiling face with open mouth and cold sweat

*Note: he was up packing till 2 a.m.

Other than that, I’ve just been getting settled in, meeting members
and investigators, and hitting the streets to dendou [do missionary work]!
My new companion is Elder Stanger, from Washington, and he’s a lot of fun!

I don’t have any pictures from Yatsushiro yet, but here are my last
pics from Sendai!

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On my last junkai [exchanges], riding a borrowed mama-chari [granny bicycle].
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Our last district photo! This has been my hardest transfer so far… Leaving lots of cool missionaries and members and investigators…
Anyway, I love you all, and hope everyone has a great week!!!

Love and prayers,
Elder Houseknecht

Week 53 – Rain, rain, rain!

It’s so wet here in Yatsushiro!!! It’s honestly been raining almost every day! But I shouldn’t complain. It honestly hasn’t been that bad.

Anyway, it’s been a crazy week, but also way cool. We haven’t been able to meet with any investigators, or find any new ones, but our most solid investigator (from before I got here) is finishing up a big college test this week and then he’ll be able to meet with us; so from what I hear we should be able to have a baptism next month!

Here are just a few highlights from all the cool stuff that happened this week:

Monday night we didn’t have anything going on, but we decided to go streeting in the shopping area and met this really cool young man. He said he didn’t have a lot of time, but he had a ton of questions about who we are, what we do, and all that. We shared about Eikaiwa [English class] and a little of the gospel, said farewell…
And then he biked right back and asked if we could take a picture together!

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image2On Tuesday we saw some pretty crazy flooding and a bunch of debris as we biked (three hours) up to Kumamoto for district meeting! It’s a long story…

 

 

 

image3It’s basically been raining the whole week, but the one day it didn’t rain we saw this beautiful sunset.
There’s a rainbow in there, but it’s hard to see…

And I think that’s about it! There’s a ton more that I could share, but I don’t have too much time, so until next week!

Love you all! Have a good one,
Elder Houseknecht

Week 52 – Rain and sunsets

Howdy everyone!

Honestly, this week was really, really slow. We haven’t been able
to get in touch with any of our investigators, and we haven’t found
anyone new either. It’s kind of sad, but we’re not letting it get us
down! We’re gonna work even harder and see some miracles this week!!

Anyway, I guess I’ll just give the week in pictures!

Somehow we’re always in a really good spot at sunset…
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We just got into the rainy season, so there probably won’t be as many outdoor pictures anymore! Haha…

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last thing of the week–on Sunday we went to a biannual ‘special stake conference’ broadcast from Salt Lake! There were some things said that I thought were really relevant to the Japanese saints, and it was way cool to hear just how aware of local concerns and problems the general authorities are!

My spiritual thought for this week:
“…No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.  (Luke 9:62)
It’s really true that we have to do what we were sent to do, and we have to finish whatever we put our hand to.

Anyway, that’s it for the week!
I love you all and hope you have an awesome week!
Elder Houseknecht

Week 51 – One year and service!

Hey everyone! How’s everything?

Well, it’s hard to believe, but I’ve officially been a missionary for
over a year! Wooo!!! It’s been a crazy year, but I’m gonna work hard
to make next year even more crazy awesome!

Anyway, this week was way slow, with none of our investigators able to
meet with us, but on Thursday we had our Zone training meeting, which was way
cool! I got to translate for my district leader and his companion, who
are both Japanese, which was way fun! (You can see them toward the
left end of the picture)
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It’s way cool to be back in the same zone with two of my favorite elders, Elder Murdock and Elder Mismash.  And overall this is just a really fun zone!

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Photo courtesy of Elder Mismash

 

 

 

On Saturday we got to hang out with the zone again! We went up to Kumamoto and did some volunteer work helping with the earthquake* cleanup. The damage is still pretty bad farther up north:

*Earthquake cleanup: Kumamoto was hit by several earthquakes in early April, including a foreshock of 6.2 and a mainshock of 7.0.  There was severe structure damage due to collapse and fire, and more than 44,000 people have been evacuated from their homes due to the disaster.
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We got to wear the Church’s Helping Hands shirts, and maybe touch some hearts in a different way.

And of course we’re way exhausted now, haha!

I love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Houseknecht