Konnichiwa mina san! 愛しておられるよ！(It's a joke... being all honorific yet casual at the same time... :D)
Anyway... Enough of my lame japanese jokes. This week was good. I'd have to say though that Sunday was the most interesting. The rest of the week was mostly traveling, visiting less actives and being told "please don't come back again." But sunday was good!
Yesterday, the Zinkes came to our little Matsuyama branch for our branch conference. Because Zinke Kaicho is like the Stake President for the Branches in Shikoku. Anyway, so I got to hear both Zinke Shimai and Zinke Kaicho give talks. Zinke Shimai was translated. Her talk made me crack up. She talked about how she saw the baby swans in the moat outside of the jo and it reminded her of her family (you can totally tell she's excited to see her grandbabies this summer) and then magically connected it to always being able to feel our Heavenly Father's love, no matter our circumstances.
Zinke Kaicho gave his talk in Japanese. I was rather impressed. I could also completely understand him. That was really nice. He talked about how the Japanese are constantly saying that they are "busy." I've heard something similar from him before. How they are too "busy" to take care of their beloved brothers and sisters in the church. They are too "busy" to serve. Too "busy" to fulfill their callings. And so on. It was nice to hear that. Now, whether or not the members apply what he said is up to them. But the branch loves the Zinkes and are sad to see them go.
During Relief Society, I got to translate for Zinke Shimai, so that was fun. It's definitely different translating because I can understand a lot of what people say in Japanese. But then trying to say it in English is a different story. I would end up missing some things the teacher would say or assume some things. It was fun. I definitely have a lot more respect for those who can translate on the spot.
We had a less active come to church, who is becoming more active, her name is "Lisa". Now Lisa is a larger woman. She has some health issues and a bad knee. So she was sitting in a chair in the hallway at the end of church. The branch wanted to take a picture with the Zinkes, however, they kind of left Lisa a lone. Heaven forbid you make someone move into a photo. So what Hamilton shimai and I did is that we grabbed Lisa's chair and dragged her into the chapel/hall room. Everyone looked at us as if we were crazy but lisa is a part of the branch whether or not they like it! Afterwards, the branch provided lunch! Yes! Free food. And we asked a couple of women in the branch to sit with her because she needs friends. But lisa started to open up. She's smiling more. Next step is to get the branch to give her a calling. Sometimes it's like pulling teeth. But things will happen.
Investigators are good. I still haven't met a few of them. Last week I met Ms. Flower. She is an old obachan. She and her daughter are members, however her daughter has since joined another church. She's ok with us visiting her mom but won't let her go to church. But it was fun to meet Ms. Flower. She's awesome. She's remembering more (she's 80 years old). And at the end when we're in the genkan, she gives us this tackle hug thing. Because Hamilton shimai and I are the same height, and she's so tiny, she wraps her arms around our waists and then pats our bottoms. Hajimete. (first time). Gotta love the obachans. But she's super sweet and wants to come to church again, her daughter just won't let her. We feel to keep visiting and we're going to hope and pray for the best.
Then this week we get to go all the way to Ibaraki Osaka for the Christofferson 長老's taikai. So excited! However, we are going to be traveling almost all day Friday straight to Osaka, then the 3 hour meeting, then we will be traveling all day back home. It's going to be long. It's going to be somewhat expensive. But totally worth it because we get a one on one meeting with an apostle. That doesn't happen very often.
Some more information about my awesome companion, Sister Hamilton shimai. She was going to BYU-I before she went on a mission. She's 3 months younger than I am. She was studying English. Her dad is a professional cook, so she knows how to cook (that's a nice perk). She has an older brother who is graduating from BYU-I. She's fun and fun to talk with. She's just so happy to have a gaijin companion again (she's been with a nihonjin for 6 months. Not a lot of shooting the breeze talk). This is her 3rd transfer in Matsuyama. Before she was in Hashimoto, Ibaraki, Uwajima (the area just below us) and now Matsuyama.
Thanks so much for all of your support and love and prayers.
Love always, Bevan Shimai
|On the way to Matsuyama|
|My new apartment|
|Kitchen and dining/study area|
|Cool street view Matsuyama|
|Parking is tight in Matsuyama - lol!|