Wednesday, September 3, 2014

"Come, Come Ye Saints"

This week was all sunshine, rainbows, and daisies.  End of Story.

We found 100 new investigators every day.  4 families of 25 people. You could say we've got a lot of stuff on our plates. We baptized 400 people last week.  4 families of 100.  It was incredible.  Mind blown.  Faith boosted.  Everything is just to the tune of "there is sunshine in my soul today" 

But in reality.... it's more of to the tune of "come, come ye saints"  And when it says "And should we die"  It's in the hope of the end of the mission. And hope in the resurrection!  Ok.  Not that bad.  But there are those days.

This week we went out to wonderful Toon shi to go and visit some less actives.  And low and behold we met someone who had interest!  Yes, I am totally a faithful and a hopeful missionary.  But he was an ojiichan.  He was about 70. 

Funny thing was that morning, I felt that I needed to translate a certain phrase into Japanese. It was "why do you deny yourself the blessings of the gospel by not coming to church?"  A little strong, desho?  Kedo, I also felt that I needed to pack my mini book of mormon that I've been studying with.  Marking all of the lessons in Preach my Gospel, references to Christ, his words, and such.  Really been enjoying the study.  So I packed it.  

We visit one of the last less actives of the day.  Usually this man isn't home.  But we go up and knock.  Soon enough we hear someone inside.  He first goes to the window to see who it is. He comes to the door. 
So at the door, we're talking to this man, and I just felt that I needed to say that phrase which I had translated earlier.  I use it and he says, "wait a minute" and he goes inside and comes back and says, "come in please."  

We walk in and this house is one that I've never seen before.  There are pictures everywhere.  They cover the entire wall from the top to the bottom. They cover the ceiling.  They cover the coffee table.  They are all pictures of places he's been.  Like New York, Italy, England, France, and Europe.  Very cool.  A little off putting but nonetheless fascinating.  He also has pictures of this one woman scattered throughout the house.  A very beautiful woman.  He had one wall dedicated to his wedding, with this beautiful woman.  Who was his wife.  I believe they divorced a while ago but you can tell that he still loves her.  So sweet!  

But we ended up talking about faith for a little bit.  Which is perfect because we actually prepared a lesson on faith with one of our investigators for earlier that day.  So we had faith on our minds and ready to discuss it.   He told of how he felt that his faith was so weak that he's not sure if he believes anymore.  And we end up opening to Alma 32.  Reading what faith is and what we can do to strengthen it: experimenting on the word, reading the scriptures, praying, going to church, and such.  The spirit was definitely present. 

At the end he told us he wanted to meet again, however because he goes to the hospital so often that he can't make any promises.  So we just exchanged numbers.  Hopefully we can meet again.  Apparently he had a stroke a few years back and he says that he's forgotten the gospel.  Which explains all the pictures, so as to not forget.  But at the end of the lesson he was like "oh, wow, it's all coming back to me.  It feels so good to remember." 

kokkan was this week as well.  I went off takamatsu while Hamilton shimai stayed in Matsuyama.  It was good.  Ochoa shimai is definitely a sweet, kind spirit.  Went streeting and practiced.  Went housing, which was a little sashiburi for me. But it was good.  Ended up talking to a woman for a good 30 minutes.  She was going off about how the young kids are so wild and are not religious and are selfish.  So she was impressed that as 21 year olds are going about spreading the gospel.  However, she had no interest.  Mah, that's ok.  Made a good impression. 

I learned a lot more about how to think more selflessly.  Ochoa shimai talked about how people love to think of themselves.  Such as "What will I wear today?"  "How do I look?" "does my breath smell bad?" "Do I stink?" and such.  But it made me reflect and decide how I wanted to think.  Do I want to think more of others and how they're doing.  Or just focus on me and what kind of day I'm having?    So good to reflect, change, and becoming a better missionary.  Good stuff. 

Well, that's all I've got.  It's finally september!  A year ago I was with Tojo shimai in Shimogamo.  Now I'm on the rock of shikoku and living life with Hamilton shimai.  Good things.  Love you all so much

Bevan Shimai

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