Thursday, July 17, 2014

Meet the kaicho conference!

Another week has flown by. This one more than usual.  Hamilton shimai and I taught nine lessons.  Which is awesome!  So grateful to my heavenly father for the opportunity to do so.  To act as His representatives and hopefully bring others closer to Christ. 

This week we went to Okayama to go and meet the Welch's. They are just what the mission needs right now.  Completely different people, but in a good way. President Welch supports Zinke Kaicho and what he did.  Now he's just going to be taking the mission in a different direction.  Which is perfectly fine and I look forward to it.  Sister Welch gave a little bit of an introduction to their family and the story of how they received their call. What's interesting was that when they first came to Japan, President welch got a call from his new job and told him "I've fired the old president.  You're now president.   See you on monday."  I think I would've peed my pants.  Not only have you just moved to Japan and are still refreshing your Japanese from mission days but also you have to give meetings in business japanese, which is definitely not normal japanese.  I'm not sure if I could handle that.  Then two weeks later called to be bishop.  Not sure how I'd feel about that. 

So welch kaicho is well aware of the burdens that are on the backs of every bishop.  And something that is really interesting that he said was that we're not here to change the church in Japan to be like churches in America.  We are to respect their culture and to let them do things the way they want to do it.  I sometimes lose focus on that and forget that.  Then become frustrated.  But always good to remember.  

The night before, however, we traveled by bus to Nihama.  We arrived at the apartment around 10pm.  We were exhausted.  We only got less than 3 hours of sleep that night.  Hamilton shimai and I kept waking up due to circumstances outside of our control. Heat. One futon. Hard floors.  But there were 6 shimai sleeping in an apartment meant for 2.  yeah.  Then that morning we get up at 5 to catch a 3 1/2 train ride to Okayama.  We barely caught it because Hamilton shimai and I stopped by a convenie to get breakfast. Good thing we did because we didn't eat until 4:30 that afternoon back in Matsuyama.  So pretty much I looked like a mess at the "Meet the kaicho conference"  Yeah!  But I was somewhat focused.  I loved how in the middle of the night, I'm just laying there and all of a sudden, Hamilton shimai, who's sleeping right next to me, raises her arm to check the time and I hit her and she's totally surprised and I ask what time is it.  Then we continue to stare at the ceiling.  Gotta love sleepless nights. 

Then on the fourth of July we ended up teaching 3 lessons.  The first one was this 30 min english 30 min message lesson.  The deal is that we teach english for 30 min then share a 30 min message about our church.  The woman we taught is catholic.  She also teaches children english.  She needs a little help with her pronunciation and she knows it.  (thus she's meeting with us).  She's really nice though.  She gave us these watered down vinegar drinks with fresh mint.  Interesting taste.  Then she wanted us to help teach her the song from frozen.  It was the first time I've ever heard that song and I wasn't sure what to do because the first side of me was like "GAH, real music!" and then the other part of me is "wow, Idina Mendel still sounds really good. I like this song"  I have no idea what the movie is about but I figure I'll see it when I get back.  This woman though had a really interesting image of God.  She views Him as really huge and that when she stands next to Him, she barely makes it past His ankle bone. He also has really cool infinite robes going forever.  Good stuff.  

Then we taught our lovely shigansha about Jesus Christ.  She is 86 years old.  Her daughter is a member.  Her baptismal date is for next year in May.  She doesn't really remember anything, thus we teach her Jesus Christ every time we meet.  Mostly because her daughter says that when she remembers Jesus Christ and desires eternal life then she can be baptized.  So we'll teach about our Savior Jesus Christ, who He is, how He overcame sin and death for us, and that we can receive eternal life through following Him.  Good stuff.  Afterwards the daughter feed us dinner of Chicken, rice, egg salad sandwhiches, cole slaw, and some clam chowder from Costco :).  

That night we taught another Less Active about how the gospel can bless her family and help her.  She really wants to receive the gospel blessings but has difficulty balancing her life between her husband and her son and her job as a nurse.  (not many people are as strong as you are mom :) )

The next day we celebrated the 4th of July by eating some udon!  So good! However, next time we go out I think we'll go to a mom and pop restaurant.  Those are ALWAYS the best.  

Last night was also a really cool thunder storm.  So cool it woke me up at 4:30 in the morning.  And I couldn't fall back asleep until about 5.  But it's been hot, rainy and humid all day.  It's officially summer.  The humidity was almost sufficating.  But all good.  Now I just have another excuse to eat more ice cream!  To replace my salt and to cool off!  Yeah!

Love Always, 

Bevan Shimai

Photos: A shikoku sunset, my camera doesn't do it justice
Traveling fun on Thursday.  It wouldn't be pronounced how you'd think it would
Yes... look at us.. we're HAPPY.  We LOVE dendo