Monday, August 25, 2014

Week 12: Being a Missionary is the Best

Kazoku to Tomodachi!                                                                      

      Aug 25, 2014

Being a missionary is the best. Now let me tell you why. Sometimes when you live in Japan it pours rain all of the time, and sometimes we get really wet. Let me tell you though, getting wet is the best, and I don't mind it at all. Sometimes when it is pouring rain we just keep on biking and everyone smiles and waves and looks at us like we are crazy. It really is the best. Missionary work never stops, and we don't get to have a day off because it is pouring rain outside. Instead we get to go out and find people to teach. Sometimes because of the rain more people are home, so we have the opportunity to talk to more of God's Children and help invite them to come unto Christ. Another thing that I love about being a missionary is that we are sometimes able to talk to people in the weirdest ways. We have had a couple experiences where they don't really seem interested, and their hearts are really closed, but as we talk to them they become more friendly and more receptive to hearing our message. This week we went out housing before a dinner appointment. We hadn't really been before, so McLaughlin Shimai thought it would be an awesome opportunity for me to learn. She started and showed me how with two different homes. No one was interested though, but they were all very polite. Then we saw this really cool house, so we decided why not? As we walked up to the house she told me it was my turn, and the things that I needed to say. She told me it was very important to say something that would interest them, and give us the chance to share our message. To make it a little bit easier for me, she told the woman who answered the intercom thing that we had been walking by and had seen her beautiful house, and were wondering if we could talk in the geinkan (doorway). She came down, and I told her that we were missionaries and had an important message about families that we would like to share with her. McLaughlin Shimai asked her a question about families, and as we were talking she was politely listening, but we could tell that she was still a little bit closed off. McLaughlin Shimai asked me if I could bear my testimony on families. I struggled to get the words out (speaking to actually people makes me nervous, and then I forget everything I know), but as I was trying so hard, we knew that the spirit was teaching her. As we were talking, we asked if she would be interested in meeting with us again and learning more, she seemed like she might be a little interested but wasn't so sure. We gave her our phone number though, and then we saw her husband walking down the stairs. As he got closer and closer, I knew that we were about to be kekoed. He came to the door and then told us they weren't interested and shut the door in our face. But, I loved it! We were hopefully able to help his wife feel the spirit, and although he shut the door, the spirit was able to help open her heart just a little bit, and I knew that we were doing what we are here to do. Invite others to come unto Christ. 

There are so many more stories that I could tell you. I could go on for days about how wonderful being a missionary is. I especially love being a missionary in Tsuyama though. The people here are so sweet. This week we have been able to spend a lot of time with our branch. On Friday night we had a sports night with the youth, and a couple of friends. It was so much fun. We played basketball and soccer (rotating back and forth every 10 minutes). The youth here are so wonderful. We have 2 young men, and 5 young women. Most of the youth will be graduating this year though. 

On Saturday we had a somen nagashi party (don't worry, I'll add pictures) with our branch. It was so much fun to spend time with them and to see how happy they were. We even had two less actives show up! This week I learned the importance of inviting people. Sometimes people just need to be invited, and when they are, they feel so loved. 

They ate Noodles, and Rice.

(She said they ate Rice cooked in Bamboo., I don't know if that is what these large bamboo are for but I thought it was interesting)

At one point they even sent noodles and candy down the chute.  It was so fun!

At night they had a fire and roasted Marshmallow's. 

On Sunday we finally had our branch Dendo Fireside! I have never loved being here in Tsuyama more that I did during that fireside. Each of us missionaries took turns talking about finding, teaching, baptizing, retaining, and rescuing. As one of the Elders spoke about rescuing those who have fallen away over the years, the spirit was so strong. He asked us why we are here? Why do we come to church? Why do we need the atonement? As he asked all of these questions, it really made me think. Why do we need the gospel in our lives? What is the point of all of this? Why am I on a mission? There are lots of different answers, but the biggest reason, is because we want to receive Eternal Life, and I want to help others receive Eternal Life as well. The gospel is so important to me, and it makes me so happy. There are days when life gets really hard, but knowing that I'm not alone and that there is a reason makes it all so much better. 

As we were driving home from a dinner appointment with a member, he was telling us one of the reasons that he comes to church. Life is so hard sometimes, and he knows that at least when he comes to church on Sunday, he will see the happy missionaries. He sees their smiles, and hears their laughs, and it helps him get through the hard times. I never realized how much of an impact we can have on those around us. Imagine how wonderful it would be if everyone tried their best to support those around them. If we all turned outward, and brought joy to others lives. If we did something as simple as inviting others. It doesn't even have to be big. Sometimes it is as simple as a smile. Sometimes I feel like all I have is my smile, since I can't always convey what I want to say. But at least I have my smile. So this week, look for opportunities to serve others, and to invite them to come unto Christ. You can invite them to a ward activity, or to Family Home Evening, or to learn more about the gospel and why it brings you so much happiness. I know that it will not only help those you serve and invite, but it will help bring you joy as well). And if you ever feel like you need some help? Ask the missionaries. They can help you. They want to help you, but sometimes we just don't know how. 

I love you all so much, and I am grateful for the impact you have all had in my life.


Robertson Shimai

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