Konnichiwa mina san!
This week has been awesome. It's also been hot. If you want a comparison. I'd compare it to Florida. Hot and muggy. It's also rainy season. Which means sometimes we'll be spontaneously rained on while out and about and then getting soaked.. but still hot. So now you're just hot, sweaty and wet. Yeah! Rainy Season!
We had the Zinke farewell last week after Zone Conference. I'm actually going to say a few things about this conference because I really liked it. The purposes behind Zone conference is to delete the middle man of the district leader and just have the zone leaders give the training they received from Zinke Kaicho.
We talked about finding joy in the work. And one thing that one of my zone leaders, Downing choro, said that really struck me was "Happiness isn't falling exhausted into your futon at night, it's finding joy in the moments during the day" That really changed my perspective. Before, I thought that I was happy if I went out, gave everything that I could, came home absolutely exhausted. Now I'm just exhausted no matter what I do. (You should see the circles under my eyes ;) ) However, he's right. The true joy that I have felt from missionary work was from my investigators, my friends, the ward members, my companions, from others. True joy came when I just forgot my stress and just focused on what was good, on others. When they understood. When they had a greater understanding and desire for eternal life. When they realized why Jesus Christ is so important. When they wanted to come to church and came!
They also discussed "True Conversion" and what that means, which I also loved. What does it mean to be "truly converted"? Does it mean you just go through the motions of a member waiting until you die so that you can finally be happy? No, I should certainly hope not. I think it means that you stay true to you, your Heavenly Father and your beliefs no matter what. Forgiveness comes first when misunderstandings occur. That God comes first in your life. You know and understand and act upon the most important things in life (The gospel, your spouse and family) We then discussed more as a zone how we can become more truly converted. It starts with the basic things that we hear all the time: prayer, scripture study, and church. Because that's what is the foundation for our testimony. If we're not doing one of the three then there will be holes in our testimony, our foundation and when adversity comes, it may or may not continue to stand. I don't want that risk.
I know what has not only brought me true joy and satisfaction in my life, but what will bring me happiness into the eternities. What else can strengthen our testimony/our true conversion? We can start by filling the holes. We all know our testimonies best, except for our Heavenly Father. He knows everything. But we know where we're lacking. Maybe we're not as solid in our faith in Christ, or God. Well, you know what to do. Go, study, and pray for that faith. I know Heavenly Father will bless you with the testimony you desire.
Ok, so then the Zinkes come that afternoon and just sit down and chat. It was the same feeling as like a family getting together for family home evening. Opening song and everything. We asked any questions we wanted. Found out more about the inside workings of the mission. More about what's going to happen when the switch happens. It will be sad to see them go.
Today we also visited this giant buddhist monk statue and the local ishite ji jinja. Very pretty. The most colorful jinja I've been to. It also has a bone of Bhudda. cool stuff. And there's an awesome statue of a girl on a dragon in the front of the jinja... Just sayin'. Love Japanese culture. Love the people.
Thanks again for your love,
|Giant Buddhist monk statue|
|Hamilton Shimai and I|
|Girl on a dragon at the entrance to the jinja|