Tuesday, October 1, 2013

This week I get to take the lead . . .

Hi everyone,
So I was totally stoked about General Conference this weekend, but then I found out that we don't get General conference until next week.  Yeah.. so I am a little disappointed.  So they apparently dub all the conference sessions with Japanese and then send the tape to all the Japanese stakes.  The english speaking missionaries can either watch conference in Japanese or go to another room and watch it in English.  I'm not sure if I'll be able to watch the Relief Society Broadcast.  I'm not even allowed to watch the Saturday conference sessions unless I bring an investigator with me.   You could say that I'm going to try and do a lot of inviting this week ;)
So this past week. What to say? 
Last week we had Trainer Trainee Training (TTT).  It's when all the trainers and trainees come down to Kobe or Okayama and have a mini Zone Conference.  We filled out surveys about the training and then got to give our input to Kaicho about our trainers and what they do well and what they do not do so great.  (the trainers were in the other room most likely evaluating their trainees :)
Then we got to hear from Zinke Kaicho about a couple of things. First being the importance of the sacrament.  He talked about how the sacrament replaces baptism and receiving the gift of the holy ghost after baptism.  That the sacrament has no meaning for us unless we are baptized.  That the sacrament is the most important ordinance we partake of.  And we have the opportunity to partake of it every week. What a blessing!  Then we were promised that if we properly taught our investigators the significance of the sacrament that they would come to church and that they would do their best to get there every week.

I'm running out of time so I'm going to have to make this quick.

I love our investigators, they keep us going. They motivate us to keep finding more investigators! One of our investigators is amazing, she comes to church every week.   Granted, she leaves after Sacrament meeting, but she comes!  She has a baptismal date set in December. She is in her seventies and she bikes to church!  She takes notes during our lessons and she has a memory book full of all the notes from lessons she has received from the missionaries.  She was found by the Elders while they were tracting or housing. So believe it or not, housing works!

This week I get to take the lead... and I hate it.  I don't like leading.  It's super stressful and most of the time I don't know what I'm doing.  If you know me, you know I'm terrible at making decisions because I have to consider every single aspect and weigh all the pros and cons.  Yeah, it can be bad. 
So I also have phone and key responsibilities this week too.  I'm worried because it takes me 30 minutes to send a single text in hiragana or English. First of all, I'm a terrible texter. I've never been good at texting.  And the phones we have are old.  So please, wish me luck.  Because the texts we receive back are in kanji... yeah...it's hard.
But yesterday, at church. We had so many investigators come to church.  There was at least 1 or 2 investigators per companionship (there are 4 sisters and 4 elders in our ward).  It was amazing.  The Gospel Principles class was huge!  I loved it!  The whole ward saw how full the chapel was with investigators.  The Lord is progressing this work.
Anyway, wish me luck.  I Love you all.  Read the Book of Mormon.  It's amazing.  Take time to ponder it and think about how you can apply it to your life.  I promise you will be blessed.

Love, Bevan Shimai

Torri gate to the katano tenmangu shrine (more photos were posted last week). This is a Shinto shrine or jinja where one goes to pay respect to the kami or Shinto gods.  The kami are stored within the honden or the sanctuary - which is the most sacred building not open to the public.  At Shinto shrines there is a purification trough where one washes and cleanses themselves before going into the offering or prayer hall.  There are small wood plates where one can write their wishes or prayers - usually for luck, wealth and health - and these are hung at the prayer hall.  

The awesome foursome!
(Romon Gate)

Bevan Shimai ringing the Suzu. It is said that ringing them calls kami,
allowing one to acquire positive power and authority, while repelling evil.

Homotsuden Hall (Treasure House)
It contains a vast collection of historic writings, artwork
and the "Onikiri" (Demon Cutter) Japanese sword.

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.