Wednesday, July 23, 2014

It's important to have balance

This week was good.  Sometimes I feel as a missionary that life is very repititious.  You wake up, exercise, eat, get ready, study, eat, dendo, eat, sleep, repeat.  There have been times where weeks would blur together.  Days are no longer individual.  I remember just continuing to wake up and go and do.  I have to keep reminding myself to act with faith and not just go through the motions. It can be a little bit difficult.

But interviews were awesome.  I love Welch Kaicho.  Definitely what the mission needs right now.  He is going to be a powerful tool in the hands of the Lord.  If not already now. I definitely respect him.   His style is different from zinke kaichos.  For example:

Hamilton shimai and i get to the building around 9:15 am, interviews start at 10.  Before the zinke's would always come around 10.  However I saw welch shimai sitting at the front.  I was surprised!  The welch's already came and joined us in spiritual preparation. 

Then to start, he just walks around (the tables are set up in a u) and just looks at everyone and starts to talk with us.  He asked good questions.  He got a conversation started.  He had everyone read some homework before interviews so that everyone would be prepared to come and share. And they were.  So inspiring.  We talked about setting the foundations of the church in Japan.  We're not here to create an american ward.  We're here to set up a Japanese ward.  So respect the leaders and the culture.  So, how do we create a foundation?  We have to help the current members and create strong members. By strengthening their testimonies by being examples.  To teach by example.  To include the members in the work. 

But more importantly to have a balance in the work of find, teach, baptize, retain, reactivate.  If we only focus one part of the work, then it's not going to hold up.  It will fall a part.  For example if we only find, teach, baptize then we are not going to retain and only give the branch/ward more less actives to work with.  Not good. Balance is definitely important. 

Then today we were invited by an investigator to go up to the mountains to this brand new shop that she's been wanting to go to and invited us to go together.  Then she stopped by a ceramics place and painted some ceramics (you know the kind where you can paint a cup and glaze it.. yea, that kind of place) then had some sandwhiches at a cafe.  All in all not leaving a lot of preperation day.  It was fun to be with her and talk and form a better friendship.  She is a less active an has a goal to be active by october.  She also desires to receive her patriarchal blessing.  However she was discouraged a little while a go.  But things are looking better.  She says that her faith in Christ and God has exponentially grown.  And that she has more hope in her life.  So glad that she sees the blessings of the gospel.  She came to church last sunday. So very happy!

Fun fact, this past sunday we ended up having four people at church.  Our less active friend came, then a member brought a friend to church, then our other less active friend ended up coming with her daughter. It's amazing!  So glad she came.  Funny thing is, was that this past sunday there was a branch tai kai in Nihama, so a lot of members who have stake callings had to attend that meeting (1 1/2 hour drive).  Meaning, not a lot of people came to church.  It looked like Akou it was so small. 

That afternoon we were fortunate to go out and dendo with the branch president and relief society president.  We went and visited some less actives that were a bit far by bike (about 40 min by car).  And then brought the sacrament to a member living in a group home.  Then back to the branch president's home for family home evening.  Every so often the branch president has a family home evening at his home and he invites various members and those without family to come and join us.  He also invites the missionaries and asks them to bring investigators if possible.  We asked everyone but no one replied. Such is the life of a missionary. 

But all in all a good week.  As always, thanks for your love and support.  Until we meet again. 

Bevan Shimai

Sarah with Welch Kaicho and Welch Shimai

Beautiful mountain views