This week was actually a lot of paper work. We worked on creating and organizing lists: a list of people for the ward members to visit, another list of people that needed visiting/home teachers assigned and a list of those who would like invitations to church activities. There are about 70 people on these lists! All these people could more than double the branch. Hamilton shimai and I hope to help the members be more motivated to take the time to visit and call those who haven't been coming to church. I've learned that in order for things to happen, a vision is required. If people don't have vision, nothing is going to happen or at least great things won't. Hamilton shimai and I have a goal to help expand the vision of the branch members here in Matsuyama and to help bring these lost sheep back into the fold.
We had a great time with Tsujimoto shimai this week. We got to teach quite a bit together. And we even got to drive around with a member to go and visit less actives this week. At first it was quiet. However, we started asking him some questions and got to know him quite a bit. He's a counselor in the branch presidency. He's been a member since the 70s. Before, I considered him to be quite serious cause he's always looking serious up there on the stand. But turns out he's hilarious and we contacted a number of less actives with him. It was raining that day so I was grateful for the car :)
We also got to teach with Tsujimoto shimai and she was SO helpful with the work when she was staying with us. On thursday we went up to imabari at a meeting point and dropped her off. She and Beane shimai then spent Saturday night with us because of the branch conference and the Sunday's District conference.
We then got to teach our lovely elderly investigator on Saturday. Her daughter is a member and has been meeting with the missionaries for quite some time. Our obachan loves having the missionaries over and meeting with us. She looks forward to meeting us. She is 86 years old. Her short term memory is gone. Once we met her Sunday evening and she didn't remember that she went to church that day. Her daughter's main concern is that her mother isn't able to remember anything in order to have a testimony or to desire baptism. However, through discussions with the daughter, we decided that we would work together to help prepare her mom to be baptized May of 2015. It's the longest baptismal date I've ever set. About 11 months away. I think our obachan will be ready by then.. I hope.
One of our less active friends that we are meeting missed her goal to be active again. So we talked with her and tried to figure out what she is struggling with. She didn't really say. But she says that she believes she can be active by October. She made a deal with Hamilton shimai that she would be active by the time Hamilton Shimai returns back to the states (scary!!!) This week we're going to try and figure out what's going on behind the scenes. Why she has so much difficulty in coming to church. I'm praying that Heavenly Father will bless us with the gift of discernment. I really want to understand her and what she's saying. And then be able to help her.
Well, it's officially summer and today, being preparation day, we decided to try to clean the mold off of our futons. It just started to recently grow and unfortunately, mold is common as cement in Japan. So we go to the drug store and ask if they have anything to kill the mold on futons. We thought "Hey, Japan has been sleeping on futons for thousands of years. They are sure to have something to specifically kill the little spores." Nope, no such thing. So instead, we bought some color safe bleach thinking it would kill it. No luck... So we moved on to the hard core, chlorinated bleach. Worked like a charm. Let it sit for a good 10-15 sec and it was gone like the oxy clean commercials. I love chemicals!! So now we have clean futons. Bring it on summer! It still is not as crazy hot as it was last year. I'm just waiting for my sweat to just come pouring down. Like rain. Poor Hamilton shimai - her body temp runs hot all the time - so now she is extra hot! Sitting next to her in church this week I could feel the heat radiating off of her arms!
We had our farewell meeting with the Zinke's. It was really fun! I am sad to see them go, I will miss them both so much. I love President and Sister Zinke - they have taught me so much! He has helped all of us in the Kobe Japan mission become True Disciples of Christ. I am also looking forward to meeting our new mission president, Welch Kaicho and his wife Welch Shimai this next week.
Here's a scripture I found this week that I really like -
Therefore, let your hearts be comforted concerning [Japan]; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God.
In the scriptures I never realized how often God has to say to us "I am God, you are not" "I am all knowing, all merciful, all powerful, all loving God. You are not" How often do we forget this? Thinking that He's not involved in our lives or that He doesn't care. This is a lie. Because He is. He does truely love us individually and is more involved than we can every know. He's got everything under control. He's going to help you. If you're doing your part, you have His promise. What more could we ask for. If we are keeping the commandments and doing our best to become more Christ like, guess what, everything is going to work out. Trust in this. Heavenly Father will strengthen you. You are never alone. Pray. Ask in faith and wait. Be still and know that He is God.
Love always, Bevan Shimai
|Study desk for 2!|
|Our kitchen -semi presentable for the photo shoot!|