April 23, 2018


Tanabe, Tanabe Branch



Week 35: My mission is turning into the plot from a 90s movie

I don`t have a lot of time, because this p-day happened to be the kind of crazy that you just can`t anticipate. I`ll give you the general rundown, and then tell you a fun story, as per usual.

-We had ZONE CONFERENCE THIS WEEK! YAY!!!! It was a wonderful experience, and one of the biggest things that we talked about was the converting power of the Book of Mormon. I already knew that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and therefore has the full power of heaven backing it up and all the promises contained within. However, I have not been using it very effectively in my proselyting efforts so far. The time to repent is now!!! (and we have)
-Onthe train back from zone conference we handed out all of the copies of the Book of Mormon that Kurogi choro and I had with us.
-We have, since zone conference, handed out at least one Book of Mormon every single day.
-I don’t remember if I said this in a previous email, but kurogi choro and I are attending an Aikido class and have been able to find a few potential investigators from that. It’s incredibly fun! Everyone asks us about the church and what we do as missionaries, because we are always wearing our name tags.
-Through the power of God, I was able to overcome my incredible aversion to waking up at 6:30am. Now I`m able to wake up at 5:00am to get some extra study of the Book of Mormon in Japanese done. The power of God will literally help you accomplish anything. I`m not entirely sure which is the bigger miracle, parting the red sea or me being able to wake up in the morning without trouble.

So, crazy thing happened today. Kurogi choro and I went to a local Go/shogi salon to try to learn how to play the incredibly difficult game of Go. They said that they don`t teach people how to play but pointed us just a little bit down the road saying that there was a man who could teach us over there. We biked down the road, knocked on the door, and a man in a gas mask opened the door. The man in the gas masks asked what we want, and we told him we want to learn how to play Go,. He said okay and led us inside the shop. We went to the back of the shop where an old man in a cardigan was sitting. The cardigan-wearing, old man greeted us and invited us to enter a literal hole in the wall that led to a secret room where he teaches people Go and Shogi. We sat down and he began to teach us kind of how to play Go. I still don`t really understand it and neither does Kurogi choro, but we thanked him for the lesson and prepared to leave.

It was at this time that he broke out the Shogi board. He asked us if we しっている the やり方 for Shogi which, being translated, means he wanted to know if we could play Shogi. It was at this point that his Buddhist priest friend stepped into the hole in the wall and took a seat next to me. The Priest was just there to watch, I guess. We of course said yes, and then he proceeded to set up the board. He said that Kurogi choro and I can work together as a team against him. Then he proceeded to set up the board, giving us the full set of pieces in our army but only putting the 2 gold generals, the king, and pawns on his side of the board. This would kind of be like playing chess with only your king,queen, and pawns. This seemed like too big of a handicap to me, but he insisted and then proceeded to beat us easily. Like, way easily. He was having a conversation with the Buddhist priest the entire time and barely needed to look at the board. After that, I played him in a game by myself and almost won. He thought that I had been studying Shogi diligently for about a year based off of how I played and was very surprised when we told him that I started about 6 weeks ago. He invited us to come back again and play with him and talk about the church (He knew a LOT about who we were and why we are in Japan). He then gave us his business card. After Kurogi Choro and I left, we looked at his business card and saw that he was a seventh Dan Shogi professional. Life as a missionary in Tanabe is crazy!

I just want to let you all know that the Book of Mormon is amazing! It is such a blessing to have. Really. This week we have been putting the Book of Mormon into use much more, and I can truly testify that the Book of Mormon will answer any question that you have. Through studying it`s pages, you can find guidance, answers, and the love of God. I invite you all to read it, and then re-read it, and ask God through prayer if it is true. I can promise you that you will find the answers you are searching for.

P.S. FGz if you`re reading this, I`m so sorry I don`t have time to respond to your email. I`ll make sure to write you something next week. As always I appreciate you writing me. Have a wonderful week, you British Bloke!

God bless.
All the best.
Ttyl, in a bit!

With best regards,
Bayless choro


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