Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sister McIntyre Should Have Stayed with Her Companion! - Interviews in Nara with the Missionaries and the Deer

President and Sister McIntyre with the deer in Nara Koen (Park)
The deer are so cute in Nara. Awe...Sister McIntyre made a new friend.

But she wondered too far from her companion...and this "guy" deer made a move on her.

She tried to run away, but he called his friends. Where is her companion?!
Run Sister McIntyre, Run! Next time stay with the President! Especially if you have deer crackers!
Erika stuck with the babies. And we did rescue Sister McIntyre.
We have been in Kobe almost a month. Sometimes it feels like 2 years (in a good way!) We feel quite at home and have done so much in the short time we have been here. We have almost completed a first round of interviewing all 100 missionaries. Each missionary is personally interviewed by the president every transfer. Each one takes at least 15 minutes, but most tend to run longer, especially now as we are still getting to know most of the missionaries. In most cases, we travel to a central place in each zone (Stake) and spend the whole day there interviewing. We have 5 zones and each zone takes about two days. So interviewing missionaries takes about two weeks of our time every transfer. Each missionary also writes the president a weekly letter on Sunday night. They usually start flowing in on Monday and I get the last of them on Wednesday each week. I read each one and often have to follow up with questions and/or issues that come out in their letters. So I have to take notes each week as I read them. Reading 100 personal letters takes some time. Some are short and some are long. About the time I finish one weeks letters, the next weeks start to arrive! Through these letter and the interviews, I get to know the missionaries very well. I wish some of the missionaries would write clearer and larger (it is amazing how small some people can write!) and avoid pink and fluorescent green pens! I think I will mention that in our next Zone Conferences.
It really is a special experience to get and read these letters. It has made me think of our prayers to Heavenly Father. While I can hardly handle 100 letters a week, He hears and answers millions and maybe billions of prayers each day. In these letters the missionaries tell me about their week. They share their ups and their downs. They ask me for help and express their gratitude. I have thought that is how we should pray to our Father in Heaven each day. He wants to hear about what and how we are doing. We should share with him a report of our day. We can ask him for help and express our love and gratitude. What a job He has! I am totally inadequate to even handle these 100 letters, but it has helped me feel greater appreciation for our Father in Heaven. In a small way, through reading these letters, I think I have felt joy similar to the joy He must feel when we open our hearts to him in sincere prayer.
On the other hand, when I get a letter that was clearly written in 30 seconds with not much meaningful content or thought, I feel that missionary is robbing himself of a great blessing. Our frivolous and/or insincere prayers must make our Father in Heaven feel the same way. He is there waiting to hear and answer our sincere prayers. All we have to do is talk to him!

Yesterday (Friday the 25th) we travelled to Nara to do interviews with eight missionaries. Nara is an old capital of Japan and it has many beautiful temples and national treasures. After the interviews which finished around 4pm, we made our way to the famous Nara Park where hundreds of "formerly" wild deer run free and love to eat specially prepared "deer crackers" conveniently sold throughout the park. We love Nara Park and looked forward to visiting there on our way home from the interviews. Erika went with us. James was at a young men's campout and Julie was in Tokyo and Ricky still in Utah (he arrives here on the 9th.) Here are a few pictures, including the ones above of Sister McIntyre being chased and running away from charging wild deer!

We love our mission!

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