Wednesday, January 15, 2014

"Ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you . . ."

Mina san!  Konnichiwa!  Genki?

This past week's highlight was the New Years party/training/game thing that was on Thursday.  Three zones met from mainly kyoto and osaka.  And we went to the only church with a gym in Ibaraki.  :)  In the morning we played basketball and dodge ball. It was so nice to play sports again!  It was definitely a sashiburi moment. But then the next day my body was terribly sore!  Yes.. I will admit that I am out of shape... unfortunately.  Then we gathered and watched the end of the year Japan Kobe mission movie/slide show of all the pictures everyone sent in.  It was nice to see Ellsworth Shimai and Mason Shimai again, we talked and caught up and enjoyed some Costco chocolate sheet cake! Although it was almost a little too sweet for me... almost.  (we love anybody who goes to Costco, especially members ;) )  

Then after lunch we gathered in the chapel and received some awesome training from Zinke Kaicho.  So in the mission, we receive something called the *Mission Training Plans*. They are these awesome training plans that have helped me become a better missionary and a better teacher and pretty much have made me the missionary I am today.  :)  This week's training plan is called "It's about you... relying on Him"  It provides the doctrine behind the training plan, then objectives, action plan and measurements.  So, relying on the Lord is something I always need help with.  I used to think that the Lord trusted me to do everything.  However, that is not necessarily true.  I do not have control of a lot of things.  I control very little actually.  Heavenly Father is God. I am not.  He does not ask me to be so either.  Pettit Shimai and I learned from this training plan that we just need to do our best and to go out everyday and just trust in the Lord.  The rest will fall into place.  

Speaking of which, we have been taking a different approach for finding.  We are doing Eikaiwa approach.  Which means that we talk to people in English and then jump into Japanese which catches people's attention then invite them to Eikaiwa!  So we'll see how many people come on Wednesday :)

But nothing too interesting happened this week.  This week we are going to try and find 3 new people to teach so wish us luck, we are trying to work hard, rely on the Lord and not overthink.  

Something that I've learned on my mission though, is how serious the invite is to "ask and ye shall receive.  Knock and it shall be opened unto you" is.  So I make the same invite.  Ask Heavenly Father not just questions about the gospel but questions you have about your life.  Even the little things. See what happens

Love you all so much,  
Bevan Shimai

Sarah with her friends from the MTC at the recent zone conference training last week

Sarah and her companion at the Ginkaku-ji Temple

Ginkaku-ji is the Temple of the Silver Pavilion, a Zen temple which means the Temple of Shining Mercy.  It was built in the 1460s by Ashikaga Yoshimasa (the reigning 8th Shogun) as a retirement villa and then turned over to the Buddhist monks as a temple after the shogun's death in the 1490s. The temple was supposed to have been overlaid with silver foil after the manner of the Kinkaku-ji or Golden Pavilion built by his grandfather, but civil unrest during the Shogun's late years prevented him from finishing the silver overlay.  This temple is most famous for its sand garden which you can see in the backgrounds of these photos - Somewhere in the sand garden there is a mound of sand which is a symbolic replica of Mt Fuji!