Hope everyone is alive and well in the States. So I guess something new that has happened is that it got cold here in Kyoto... very cold. Tojo Shimai has already pulled out her winter clothes (granted her family just mailed them to her... but I'm not complaining). I'm already wearing my sweaters. I believe we're going to go winter shopping next week because we are in need of a few things.
Anyway.. This week. This entire week we did not have anytime for finding. So I guess that's a blessing? I say that because it's only through finding are we able to widen our pool. I'm getting a little worried because we seem to have more investigators in the "other" investigator category.. meaning "non-progressing" than those who are interested in becoming members of the church. So the focus of my study and my prayers lately is to help our "non-progressing" investigators have a greater desire for eternal life and to come closer to their Heavenly Father. It's just a little difficult when they don't have "time" to meet with you. But we're trying. In our mission every senior and junior companion have their own set of responsibilities. Tojo Shimai's are the Yakusukosha or the "progressing investigators" and mine are the "non-progressing" investigators. I am also responsible for inviting everyone to come to church. Of course we also work together as a team in accomplishing our goals, but I try to focus my personal prayer and study in trying to meet the needs of those I am responsible for.
Last week was interviews! Wahoo! I have been preparing for interviews since I arrived in Kobe (whether or not that's a good thing, I'm not sure) but I was stoked. We finally had interviews with our mission president and the APs. I got to talk to Zinke Kaicho and ask him all my questions. It was beneficial to say the least. I had been trying to figure out how to improve my prayers so I can better help my investigators. I have been studying and praying and wrestling and struggling and I wanted to know what else I could do. However, during my interview with Zinke Kaicho, as he was answering all my questions, I was reminded about all that I had previously studied and learned since I have arrived in Japan. I realized that nothing he said to me was new or "revelatory". All the advice he gave to me, I already had known. I am doing all the right things and Heavenly Father decided to use Zinke Kaicho to tell me that, "You know what to do, you've studied, you understand enough to the point where you can recognize my help and keep working. Stop overthinking it. Stop making it into something it's not. Get to work."
We also were interviewed by the APs. I was interviewed by Elder Carver, the one from Huntington Beach. He's pretty cool. He said that he's been to Pasadena a lot to help out with his dad's job (I didn't ask what his dad did) and for the tri-stake dances. So I'm guessing I've seen him before, but our paths just never crossed until Japan. You'd never think you'd have to go to Japan to meet someone who lived less than 30 minutes away from your house. But there you have it, gotta love being a missionary. He was really helpful, though, especially when it came to my questions about becoming a better teacher.
This week we also had one of our PIs (whom we met through housing) do an activity at the Church Saturday. She is really good at sewing, I believe she makes kimonos... but I'm not sure? So we did this simple sewing activity where we invited members, investigators and PIs. it was so much fun! This sewing activity is your Christmas gift, so I'm not going to go into too much detail. ;)
We also had another "Typhoon" (Francisco) this weekend. it was fun, gotta love the rain. I also really LOVE my rainsuit (thanks again).
Oh, one more note. So last week, we went to the free range monkey park. So cool!!! I'm sending photos. :D And we also went to a famous garden. In the photo with the rock, it says "restoration" in kanji. Anyway. Love you all. Thanks so much for your support.
|Arashiyama Bamboo Forest|
|Bevan Shimai & Monkey at Iwatayama Monkey Park in Kyoto|
|Tojo Shimai feeding a Japanese Macaque Monkey|