Sunday, July 8, 2012


As missionaries, we have learned a lot about conversion.  Here is a short quiz to test your knowledge of what we have had to learned:

1.  If you see this sign at a gas station:

It says that you will be paying 132 yen per liter of gas.  How much are we paying per gallon in US dollars?

2.  If grape juice is 100 yen for 1000 ml how much are you paying in US dollars and what is the equivalent of 1000 ml?

3.  This car (small SUV?) has a sticker price of 1,632,750 yen!  How much is it in US dollars?

4.  In June we drove 1331 km.  How many miles did we put on the car?

5.  If you order from the Flying Pig online, what do you get and how much will it cost you after all the conversions?

6.  A sister in our ward said she was baptized sanju roku nen ago.  She was yonju roku nen at the time.  How old is she now?

(Answers given at the end of the blog.)

More Conversions

In the Church, conversion is even more difficult.  We often talk about when we were converted as our baptism date, but that is only the beginning.  Conversion means changing by believing and doing as Jesus Christ would have us do.  Conversion also means that the Spirit guides you.  Conversion is life-changing and is a process which basically involves our whole lives because we need to continue each day to become better.

Lately we have been teaching two people (investigators of our Church) about the Gospel.  They are both great people.  One is a man about 50 years old.  Another is a woman in her 60's I would guess.  The man lost his wife in the tsunami.  The woman ran to a nearby mountain with her friends.  Some of her friends went back to get a few things at the last minute.  They never returned.  Both have trouble sleeping at night.  Both are searching for answers to their questions.  Both are finding joy in learning about Jesus Christ, the hope He gives, and attending Church.  They are both changing their lives as they learn more.  Both are feeling the Spirit as they learn.  They are beginning to be converted.

One of the things we do as missionaries is to help branch members as they continue on their paths of life.  In fact, all of the branch members help each other.  I have mentioned that once a month we have a "linger longer" meal after Church services.  It is really great as we mingle together and strengthen each other in a casual setting.

This week one of our members took us to a restaurant:

The food was great but even better was the fact that we were able to see one of our young members who works at this restaurant.  He has been a life-long member but recently took this job and now is not able to attend Church services because of it.  It was great to see him and let him know we were thinking of him.  Plus, the restaurant will probably do even better because we heard at Church today several others who plan on going there!  We have learned that sometimes conversion means helping others as well as ourselves.

As for ourselves, everyday is another chance to progress.  We have had great experiences that have strengthened us.  But like everyone, some days we feel like we progress less than other days.  (Luckily I post this blog on Sunday nights after we have had a chance to add to our spiritual gas tanks!)  As we look back at the past six months, we feel like we are moving forward.  Thank you for your support.  It helps us a lot.

Answers to the Quiz

1.  $6.25 per gallon  (this is really good--it was about $7.40 when we first got here!)

2.  Grape juice is $1.25 for a quart. Juice is fairly reasonable here.

3.  The cost of the SUV is $20,417

4.  We drove 827 miles

5.  The Flying Pig is a service of a company that sells online to those who want American food.  They get food from Costco (there are several Costco stores in Japan) and add about 20% to the Costco price and ship it to you.  They have a per box shipping cost. I am not that desperate but many people (including the mission president's wife) buy from the Flying Pig.  I think it gets its name from "when pigs fly" meaning it is impossible--like it's impossible to get those things in Japan but this company makes it possible!

6.  She is 82 years old.

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