Thursday, July 31, 2014

I don't want to ever leave! I LOVE Japan!!

The last full week in July.  Goodness where is the time going?  

This week was good.. hot... and the sweat has made a comeback.  Granted, I've heard from other people that it's not going to be as hot as last year (thank goodness!).  Not going to get above 40degrees celsius.  Yoshi!  

Also this morning, Hamilton shimai was totally panicking about transfer email.  Mostly because she didn't want to leave Matsuyama and wanted to be my companion this transfer... well.. That's exactly what's happening.  Hamilton shimai and I are staying another transfer in Matsuyama!  3 transfers together.  Hajimete.  I'm not sure what to do with myself or what we'll talk about.  Maybe we'll discuss the body temperature of resurrected beings.  かも.  However, one thing that I am super excited about is that Tojo shima (Sarah's Japanese companion last fall in Kyoto) is going back to Shimogamo (Kyoto) to spend her last two transfers there.  She's going to be training a brand new missionary.  I don't know if the trainee will be nihonjin or not.  But it has brought such peace of mind to me because I KNOW that she will take care of everything.  I'm so grateful for that she'll will be taking care of Bogi and Nishi shimai.  No one will be lost through the cracks.I also heard that some of the investigators that we were working with last fall are now getting baptized so I am so excited that Tojo shimai will be there for their baptism :)

This week we had a really good lesson with our lovely 80 year old investigator who's been investigating for the past 9 years.  It's been on and off. However we end up just talking with her, finding out why she's met with the missionaries. If she wants to know if the church is true or not and so on. We had a great conversation. She does have interest. She realized she hasn't been doing the work to receive an answer. She also said that she's felt as if she's never received an answer from God. So maybe we'll talk about receiving answers this week... かな But good lesson. Discussed the importance of the Book of Mormon. She realized that she hasn't been as intent as she needs to be. We'll see what happens this week. I remember feeling the spirit very strongly in that lesson.  

Then this week we've spent a lot of it just trying to find less actives.  But we had a good amount of lessons that kept us busy.  Nothing too new or exciting.  But yesterday we had a totsuzen lesson with a less active.  He knows a lot about the church.  In fact we ended up talking about the different quorums of seventy and who overseas the area of asia (it's the 8th quorum of seventy by the way).  Grateful that my Japanese was good enough for that conversation.  And that each quorum is not completely filled with 70 people.  However we talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Just a quick summary lesson.  We discussed our 

Goal: Live with our Heavenly Father again
Obstacles: Sin and death (you cannot overcome them on your own)
The solution: Jesus Christ and His Atonement
The method:
1. Faith in Jesus Christ
2. Repentance
3. Baptism
4. Gift of the Holy Ghost
5. Enduring to the End

When we got to enduring to the end he asked us this question:  Now, you're only 21 but would you consider this lifetime to be long or short?

I answered, "well, in the scheme of eternity, it's very short" And he kind of skuffs it off saying "well of course in eternity this lifetime is short (kind of hinting that he thinks this lifetime is long)"

And he tells us of how long this lifetime is and how difficult of a thing God asks us to endure to the end. And I just say, "well my grandmother converted at age 20 and she's still going strong" (thank you grammy) and we get into this discussion of enduring and enduring with hope and that Heavenly Father always provides a way.  But then he says that "well, you only visited me because your mission president told you to."  And I'm just thinking to myself . .  "you live an hour away by bike.  We rode in the heat to come see you.  No one MADE us do anything.  The only reason we don't look sweaty is because we just wiped ourselves down with our sweat rags" . . . Ugh . . .  So we talk about how we didn't come because we were told to, but because we sincerely desired for him to receive the blessings Heavenly Father is patiently waiting to give him. 

Strange thing was that after this lesson, he asks us if we'd like to have these kimono coat things.  I don't know or I forgot what they're called in japanese (I'm sending them home in a package).  But he let us take three, or insisted upon it... Woa.. .I guess I've never written about how gift giving is the love language of the Japanese.  So I have felt very loved by these people.  We were so surprised that after politely disagreeing with him he gives us gifts.  We were a little confused but that didn't stop us!   He also has a french bulldog that sounds like a pig.  a little bit hilarious. We have this bulldog crowding our feet while we're looking through this bin of kimono coats and snorting and sniffing around.  

This week we tried to street for the first time in forever.  I ended up having a really good conversation with one woman.  However, I ended up kind of butchering the contact.  oh well.  Cause I was walking and talking with her until we arrived at her work building and then I realized that I had to quickly wrap things up.  So i just left with saying, "well... we teach a free english class.  I'd like to see you again and chat another time." And then I left... I definitely have room to grow.  But I haven't streeted since Shimogamo because Akou is zutto inaka. (all country). And I'm a tad rusty... :\  Oh well. There's always next week.

Then on saturday we went with the branch up into the mountains.  There was this women noodle place that uses the fresh mountain water to cook the somen and then they toss somen down a pipe that opens up to all the customers below.  Everyone has to catch the somen with their chopsticks.  If you can't use chopsticks you're out of luck.  Because the somen will pass you by.  Delicious by the way.  Then we drove up to this really interesting place.  It was all green, reminded me of Oregon.  We park the cars and walk up to this place that has this huge square ditch that's been dug out.  Except there was cool air emanating from the rocks.  Apparently this ditch used to function as a refrigerator (probably for the monks - They are always hanging out in mountains!)  Up the hill a little higher there was this mist or fog emanating from the rocks because the air was so cold!  It was the coolest thing ever!  Now I understand caves and why they are cold. But this was something I've never seen before.  So cool.  Fushigi.

Then we walked with the members down a pathway that had HUGE hydrageneas.  They were like 8-10 feet tall along the road.  Gorgeous. A good way to end the outing and a wonderful day.

All around it has been a good week.  We're exhausted.  We're going to sleep this afternoon.  I'm currently sitting at a cafe and enjoying some pizza and jazz - I haven't had pizza for a year! I'm a little bit excited too knowing that I am staying here another 6 weeks with the best companion ever.  

Hope you're all doing well and genki.  I cannot believe I'm going to be 10th transfer this week-only 18 more weeks or 3 more transfers until I finish my mission.  CRAZY.  I really don't want to ever leave.  I love Japan.  I love the people.  Love the work!  I Love being a missionary!! 

Signing out, 
Bevan Shimai

P.S the sister on the rock is a sister who is one of the young couples in the ward.  She's so CUTE! And tiny and nihonjin
P.P.S We decorated eggs today.  Hamilton shimai had an egg decorating set that she hadn't used from her easter package!

New fashion wear for shimai - melon rinds!

Natural refrigeration emanating from underground

Church member from Matsuyama branch

View of the ditch from the other side

Super huge hydrangeas - they are Gorgeous!!

Bevan and Hamilton shimai -they are gorgeous too!


Our beautiful glitter eggs!