Saturday, August 23, 2014

You could see Hiroshima from where we were!

This week has been good.  Grateful for the little things in life.  Trying our best every day. Waking up tired and coming home exhausted. All in the normal days work.  

This week has been fun.  We went up to takamatsu monday evening.  Stayed in the takamatsu shimai apartment.  enjoyed the lovely song of the trains driving by and the cross bridges ringing.  Made our night...  But the taikai was good.  It's always nice to see the welch's and the AP's.  So funny, one of the ap's right now is Stirling choro.  He's australian.  But I actually worked with him last year in kobe.  He was being trained last year the same time I was.   He's only a transfer above me.  A fantastic missionary though.  Really respect him.  He was in the same MTC district as Archbold shimai.  So I know a lot of stories from their MTC experience.

But anyway... the taikai.  Good meeting.  Learned a lot.  Felt kind of tired but I really liked his perspective on baptism and Abinidi's experience.  We focused our discussion mainly on DC 20:37.  The qualifications for baptism. I don't have my notes on me but I just remember really liking the discussion.  We talked about how Abinidi was still a successful missionary even though he got burned at the stake.  That he was just as successful as Ammon or Alma.  In fact, his words stirred Alma to repent and to become a new person and to organize the church.  Which greatly helped the church and the nephites.  So thank you abinidi.  When we talked about baptism, Welch kaicho emphasized the importance of the gift of the Holy Ghost and that it is vital to being baptized.  To be baptized by water and "fire".  To be cleansed through the power of the Holy Ghost.  However, it was kind of difficult to get people to talk.  Don't worry, Hamilton shimai contributed just enough. Not like Hermoine level.  But aparently Welch Kaicho was not so happy about that.  It's something the mission needs help with.  Zinke Kaicho kind of struggled with it too.

Then we went streeting for the first time in ever last thursday.  We tried our best... which wasn't much but we ganbate imashita.  God knows we're trying.  For Hamilton shimai it's been 7 transfers since she's tried to go streeting.  She was born in the boonies of Japan (hashimoto) and then went to Osaka, Ibaraki which is the opposite - a very suburban area.  She tried to go streeting with another inaka born missionary however, they just stuck to housing.  Then she went to uwajima and they started the less active project at that time.  So she's been doing less active work for 9 months.  So you could say we were both a little rusty at streeting.  But it's a learning process.  The chorotachi are going to help out this week.  Yeah!  We'll see how it goes.  Last week was a tad difficult lesson wise just because of the huge holiday so everyone is getting together with their family.  Which is completely understandable.  I just can't wait to see everyone again this week.  

This week we also went and visited less actives with our lovely shibu kaicho - branch president/bishop and his wife on saturday .  It was a fantastic day.  I was very grateful for the blessings we received that day.  The first person we try to contact ends up being "lost" because they moved out of the apartment.  The second woman we visited was at first a little closed off with Hamilton shimai. But I just cut in and asked "have you met Shibu shimai?" and they went into a conversation and such and she reacted much better than to the missionaries... I think I like dendo'ing with members.  Makes life a lot easier.  The third person we tried to contact was busy doing a bhuddist ceremony to honor their ancestors... thank you obon.  Then the next contact was actually a really good friend of the S kaicho and his wife.  And so they ended up talking for a while about how life was going and seeing how everyone was.  The contact's son is also a member but wasn't home.  The man's backyard actually ran into the beach walk. So we walked back and looked at the view.  You could see Hiroshima from where we were.  Apparently Matsuyama was also affected by the bomb way back when.  That was a big bomb... But it was a beautiful view.  Last of all we visited someone who ended up not being home but we talked to their daughter.  She didn't know her father was a member.  

Then a family who previously investigated and were good friends of the branch president and wife was right around the corner of this oyasumi kaiin (less active).  So we stopped by, said hello. Talked for a little bit and then went home.  Enjoyed some Coco tsuyama curry.  I don't think I've said how big curry is in Japan.  It's delicious.  And then went home.  The couple said to us "wow, dendo is so much fun"... We replied "Yes, it's fun when you have a member and a car"  :)

Today, we tried to go to the Matsuyama zoo.  Biked a mountain to get there.  However, we get there and we find out it's closed every monday. Just our luck.  So instead, we go with a member to the beach... all the way in Iyoshi.  Which was about an hour bike ride.  So right now Hamilton shimai and I are a little exhausted... to say the least.  But we got to stick our feet into the water, skip rocks, enjoy the breeze.  I was surprised to find that the water was perfectly clear.  You could see the ocean floor very easily.  I think it was because of the rocks.  Not a sandy beach. But a beach nonetheless.  

Interesting conversation of the week with Hamilton shimai.  We talked about comfort zones this week.  And how they are constantly shrinking and growing.  That as we go through new experiences, at first our comfort zone will be really small but then will grow with experience and time.  How when we're in kindergarten we're the small kids on the block but then we're in 5th grade and we're "grown up"... then middle school, your comfort zone shrinks.  You're a senior in high school and you think you know everything.. Then college. The cycle repeats.  Then a mission.  Your comfort zone starts out very small.  But I feel that it has definitley gotten bigger with time.  I think that if our comfort zone isn't growing, maybe we can stretch it a little further by doing something new.  Trying different things.  Stretching ourselves.  And hey, maybe we'll learn something.

Hope you're all doing well.  Love you all. Love this gospel.  Learning something new everyday.  Repenting every day.  Life is good. Keep going. Keep smiling.  

Bevan Shimai

Iyoshi beach with my companion

The Chorrotaichi on the beach - note the large cement "jacks" next to the stairs - these are common on Japanese beaches to prevent erosion

Look - I can almost touch the clouds!

Beautiful clear water - Iyoshi beach