Saturday, June 28, 2014

The love language of Japan is gifts

Hi Everyone!

So the transfer letter states that I get to stay in Matsuyama again with hamilton shimai!  I am so excited. Zinke Kaicho does listen to onegai's!!! Prayers are answered.

I love how Heavenly Father loves to try our faith.  That's how it's been these past couple weeks.  We were flying the first 4 transfers together, new investigators every week and people coming to church.  Now things are a lot slower. Things not going as smoothly.  A lot of people slamming doors in our faces. We are exhausted.  I will take a nap at lunch, wake up and I feel no different than when I fell asleep.  I rise from the dead every morning.  Hamilton shimai has to wake me up because I sleep through the alarm.  (I'm still up at 6:30, don't worry). 

Despite our struggles, Hamilton shimai and I have decided not to complain.  We are going to chose to be faithful.  We are going to have faith that no one, member or not, will frustrate the work.  That our weaknesses will not frustrate the work.  We will just trust in Him that when we finish visiting all these less actives and confirming their interest that the members will not ignore all of our efforts for the past 6 months.  

But today we get to be in a trio for the next few days with a tsujimoto shimai.  Her companion is returning back to the states (owens shimai) and so she gets to hang out in matsuyama with us until the transfer.  We'll show her how to have some fun. ;)  I am also excited to have a nihonjin in the apartment.  Now I can check to see if my Japanese is normal or dictionarized (I hope not).  

This past week we met with an investigator.  We've been meeting with him for the past few weeks but we had to drop him the other day.  We saw his record in the area book and he seemed golden: wanted to change, wanted to follow the commandments again, remembered his baptism, believes in Christ and Heavenly Father.  So we visit his house.  The first time he wasn't home but his mom was super nice and asked us to call and set something up.  So we call and set an appointment to meet.  The first time we met we tried to talk to him about his baptism, first meeting the missionaries and what he remembered about church.  Instead he wanted to talk about American politics, continued to interupt us and discuss things that absolutely no relation to what we were trying to express.  However, he said he wanted to change and to start a new life.  Just not through christ but through himself. 

So the second time we meet, we brought a member who was aparently a really good friend of his.  But it ended up becoming a distraction.  He just wanted to talk to his friend the whole time.  When we brought up him wanting to change, he looked us straight in the eyes and said "I never said that".  What's even stranger was the fuinki of the air while waiting for our member to join us.  Both Hamilton shimai and I felt like "be careful."  We were both on edge.  However, once our melchezidek priesthood holder came, everything felt ok and we tried to teach again.  But he continued to interupt and had no interest in listening.  

3rd time.  We asked the chorotachi to come and see if they wanted to take him. Mostly because he likes the missionaries and enjoys talking at us.  However, the chorotachi bailed last minute and so Hamilton shimai and I, already exhausted go into this lesson, not sure what to expect.  His mom however, is really nice, loves the missionaries and you can tell she's worried about her son.  We go in and start to talk however he goes on to say that he thinks our motives aren't pure that we have alternative motives.  When he said that I felt this inner energy inside of me just take hold of my tongue as I told him, "That is a bad thought.  That is not our purpose at all.  We come here out of love.  We want to help you.  We want you to be happy." However he retorted that he liked being sad.  Who likes being sad?  How sad is that?

However his mom loves to give us food.  The love language of japan is gifts.  So she really wanted us to eat her curry. Hamilton shimai and I weren't hungry at all but we gave in and accepted her curry.  While we were trying to politely refuse, our investigator asks us "Why don't you eat? Are you dieting?  OH! I see, you have the boyfriend in America whom you want to stay pretty for.  Well, you can eat now and not eat tomorrow!"  Hamilton shimai and I tried to withold our laughter.  No, actually, I just burst out laughing. 

To close, he said, "Do you want to know who I really am?" Hamilton shimai and I just look at each other and say "sure!"  He then started to compare himself to a circle with 5 markings.  And Hamilton shimai and I nearly panic.  And then continued to say that he was a clock and started to go into some sort of thing with secret codes and math that I don't understand. Weird. 

His mom is super nice though. She always gives us a whole bag of food at the end. And chocolate :)  So we may just stop by every once in awhile.  His mom seems to have interest in the gospel.  We'll see. 

We ate at a members house the other week for a branch activity.  We went to go see the fireflies.  Fireflies are super cool by the way.  

Members here just give us a little bit of food each week that we split evenly with the chorotachi.  This past week there were two bags of onions so chorotachi got one bag and we got the other!

No baptismal prospects yet.  A lot of the members/less actives are older.  In fact a majority of our investigators are obachans. But there is one hope. She is the mother of a member of the branch.  She doesn't remember anything.  But her daughter said that if she can remember Christ, she can be baptized.  We're working with what we can. 

Thanks for all of your love and support.  Happy Father's day!

Bevan Shimai

P.S We had a thunderstorm last week.  I got some cool photos

Rice Fields

Cool thunderstorm pics!

Thank you Mimi for my new skirt!