We had the privilege of talking to Bayless choro on Sunday for Mother's Day. It was a wonderful experience and we all laughed a lot! His Grandma and Grandpa were there as well as his best friend, Jarom Hess who stopped by for a little bit to say hi. Tayvin was extremely happy and said that he is healthy. He prayed for us, read his favorite scripture, and also bore his testimony all in Japanese. He said that his Japanese has greatly improved over the last couple of months, and he feels somewhat confident in his ability to converse.
This is what he said in a brief letter:
"I'm still down here in Tanabe. It's really a lovely place. I did get a new companion though. His name is Sakuma 長老, and he's awesome! He's from Saitama, Japan which is near Tokyo. We've been missionaries for the same amount of time, which means we'll be returning home at the same time. He doesn't speak much English, so my Japanese should improve a lot this next seven weeks!"
He is still attending an aikido class Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings. Tayvin is passionate about martial arts, and he and his previous companion were given the OK by the APs to use this as an opportunity to be ambassadors for the church and to share the gospel. He said that they have actually gotten a few investigators from the class already.
We had the opportunity to say hello to his companion as well as to one of the members of the branch in Tanabe. The man was so sweet and said that he really loves Bayless choro and that Tayvin was a good missionary. This man actually built the church building in which the branch meets. Tayvin said that there are about 15 active members who attend regularly, so it is very small. They have the opportunity to get to know each other quite well.
Tayvin is continuing to get up at 5 o'clock in the morning, which is an hour and a half earlier than expected, to study the book of Mormon in Japanese. He said that a prophet promised that if they studied the Book of Mormon in the language of their mission, then they would be fluent in that language by the end of the mission. He has taken that promise to heart! He has also enlisted his new companion to do the same but in English. I guess his companion doesn't know much English but has a goal to improve and is doing so by reading the Book of Mormon from 5-6:30 AM in English. Dedicated and faithful young men!