Hello beautiful family how are y'all doing? I'm doing pretty well. I'm down here in Kohoku now! It is a pretty neat place! Sorry about saying I was at the hospital and not telling you why! I was there with another elder who needed to get a cortisone shot in his ankle. He just asked me to come with him :)
This past week was alright. I am really sad that I was called to leave Fuchu. There are a lot of people there that I was very sad to leave. Maybe one day I will be able to go back there and see them again. I was able to build a lot of really great relationships there with members and nonmembers. We had a bunch of great investigators and a goal for a couple baptisms by the end of next transfer. There were also a lot of people just one or two steps from becoming firmly interested in investigating the church of Jesus Christ. I am going to have to follow up with my old companion a lot to make sure that he is doing what he needs to :)
Kohoku is a pretty nice place there are a ton of houses here so I think that the elders in the past have primarily just done housing to try to find people. I have never felt like housing was very productive and so I have never taken the time to work on my technique. Consequently I am not very good at it.
Recently I have been trying really hard to help people have defining moments. There are a lot of investigators in this mission that have fallen into a rut where they meet with missionaries often and learn from them but refuse to make or keep commitments and so they don't make any progress. Meeting with missionaries becomes an interesting and entertaining hour a week where they can learn about some strange religion. It becomes more of a social study rather than an actual desire or effort to learn about the gospel, increase in spiritual understanding, and take necessary steps to progress along the road to salvation. One way to help them make the mental leap from mere interest in a strange belief to sincere desire to learn more requires an event that, for lack of a better phrase, "rattles their cage". This can happen many ways. Right now I am really trying to learn how to ask questions that will prompt them to think about something that they haven't ever thought about. This week on Thursday we taught a man who goes to English class. He has been meeting with missionaries before the class begins for a long time now and isn't making any progress. My new companion and I taught the man about the love that God has for him specifically. The spirit was very very strong and we could tell that he was feeling it. Up to this point he had learned a lot but didn't believe anything that we or other elders had taught him in their lessons, including God. He didn't believe that God exists. So when he was feeling the spirit we took a step back and told him that everybody has a question that they have to answer on their own. Everyone needs to know whether God exists or not. If he exists then he is the most important person that we need to come to know, If he doesn't then there is no reason to listen to missionaries. So either what we are teaching him is important or it isn't. We told that man that we can tell him all about God all day but that he will never know if what were are saying is true unless he tests it. We challenged him to do everything required in order to know for himself if God exists. He said he would and he is now a progressing investigator. So that is pretty exciting! I need to get a lot better at it though.
Yesterday we went to a Hispanic family's house for dinner and they had invited a bunch of friends over and we had a wonderful night. They were all so nice and we were able to share a message about building a foundation on Christ. As we were leaving one of the friends (not a member) came to the door and told us about how her 20 year old son had seen a man throw himself in front of an oncoming train (this actually happens a lot in Japan) and was struggling to deal with that image that will forever be engraved in his mind. Then she told us that she could tell we were holy and that she wanted us to help her son. So we got a referral from a nonmember! So that is pretty exciting! We got that last night so we haven't gotten to help him yet. It was really a neat experience though!
Anyways I love you all and hope you're doing well! As always I love getting emails from y'all so feel free!
Love, Elder Siebach