Monday, September 15, 2014

Week 15: My Precious Darling Tsuyama

(All of us before Miyagi Choro headed to Abeno, and Bate Choro came to Tsuyama )

 Sometimes when you are in the Inaka, you get to have Family Home Evening with investigators, Eikaiwai Students, and members. And sometimes you even get to experience a little bit of the culture here in Japan. We always have family home evening on Monday night, but it is usually just K Kyodai, the Elders, us, and sometimes one recent convert. This past week, our city had a Kabuki, which is like a Japanese performance thing, with singing and dancing. It was really cool seeing all of the different performances. I'll make sure to attach pictures. One of the performances was a singer and his guitar player. During one of the songs, the guitar player started to sing "my precious darling Tsuyama." We asked Miyagi Choro about it afterwards to see if he understood the English, and he was like "That was English?" It was pretty funny. 
The Castle that the Kabuki was at.

The Harvest Moon - the reason for the Kabuki

Anyways, this week has been pretty amazing. I have learned a lot, and had to rely on Heavenly Father even more than I have before. Sister McLaughlin's knees (don't worry, they are fine, just aggravated from biking) have been hurting her recently, and as a result we have been "grounded" from riding bikes, which is nearly impossible out here in Tsuyama. Yama means mountains, and boy are there a lot of them. Our area is also giant, so it takes a really long time to get anywhere when you are walking. Well, we weren't able to go out as much as I would have liked. One day, we ended up walking everywhere because we needed to visit people, and biking wasn't possible that day. Even though we weren't able to do that much, we were able to drop off flowers for the wife of a less active member that we are teaching. She is less active as well, but we haven't been able to meet with her. We felt like we needed to do something to help her feel loved, and we felt like flowers would be great.              That night S Kyodai texted us and told us how much they had appreciated the flowers. Something so simple, that meant so much to them. I was grateful to have been able to help them feel Heavenly Father's love. Then the next day, we had two appointments scheduled, and although we needed to ride bikes and knew it would be hard on McLaughlin Shimai, we prayed that Heavenly Father would bless us for our efforts, and he did. We were able to teach both lessons, and help bring them closer to Christ as well. Something that we realized this week, that we are hoping will help us in teaching more lessons, is that we aren't really sure what a lot of our less actives initial interests in the church/ desires were in the first place. Once we learned about and focused on the desire of S Kyodai, he has really started to progress, and we are hoping to set goals with him that will help him to be sealed with his family. He desires more than anything to be with his family forever, and since we have been trying to focus on that desire more, he has really grown.  This week we were also able to contact a potential investigator that we met a week or two ago. When we met, she only wanted to speak to us in English. We learned a little bit about her family and she told us her husband had recently died. We talked a little about Eternal Families, but she didn't seem very interested. She told us she was also Christian, and when we invited her to church, she kindly said no. Well, as we were talking, she mentioned that she knew a family in our branch. On Thursday after an appointment with S Kyodai (the member in our branch - not the same person as S Kyodai mentioned above), we asked about O San and he showed us where her house was, and told us that we should go talk to her and tell her about Eternal Families. Well, we went over, and she wasn't home. As we were heading back to our apartment, I remembered that she had told us she goes on walks every night. Well, Heavenly Father placed her in our path, and we were able to talk to her.  This time, we spoke to her in Japanese, and when we told her about Eternal Families, and how she could be with her husband again, she told us she wanted to learn more. We have an appointment with her today.  We definitely saw Heavenly Father's hand in our day. Everything we did, he was right there helping us. So, even though it was a little bit of a slower week, I was able to learn and grow so much more, and I was able to rely more on my Heavenly Father.   

On Saturday, we spent most of our day with the H Kazoku. They are the sweetest family! We were able to help them harvest their rice fields. :) It was awesome to be able to spend time doing service for such a wonderful family. They help us so much, and we were glad to be able to give back in some way. 

I absolutely love Tsuyama, and I love the members here. We are blessed with the opportunity to work with such amazing people. I am grateful for all that I have been able to learn from them, and I am so glad that I get to spend another transfer working with them. 

I love you all, and I hope you have a wonderful week. I hope that you take the time to look for the little miracles, especially when things don't go according to plan. Heavenly Father is there, and he is working right along side of you. :)

Robertson Shimai

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