Saturday, December 26, 2015

Week 78: The land that holds my heart.

What a wonderful, wonderful 18 months it has been. I am so grateful
for all the things I've been able to learn, and for all the wonderful
people that I have been able to meet. Oh my goodness, I can't even
begin to express how much these people mean to me. I am SO grateful
that I was called to serve in the Japan Kobe Mission, and for the
opportunity that I have had to grow to love these people. I have made
so many lifelong friends that I intend to stay in contact with

It's really weird to think that this week I will be headed home. But
there will always be a part of me here in Japan. I may be a little bit
strange, and awkward, and my English might not always make the most
sense. I might bow often, and say weird things in Japanese. Just
smile, and nod. :) and try not to laugh too much.

This week has been incredible, and full of so many wonderful things.
Every single day something new happens. This week though, I have begun
to learn even more about members. As we were studying this week, we
began to talk about the importance of working with the members. We
were reading in Preach My Gospel, and noticed that since the church
began, we have been taught that members and missionaries need to work
together in doing the work of the Lord. We have taught this since at
least 1830, but for whatever reason, it took until the last 6 weeks of
my mission to really truly understand that. Truly working with the
members has been such a huge part of what made my mission so
wonderful. I love the members here in Japan. They are some of the most
wonderful people that I have ever met. And when we work together, we
really do see miracles. Missionary work is so much different... So
much more different? than it was when I first came on a mission. In 18
months it has changed into something so much greater. Missionary work
is not knocking on doors and talking to people on the streets. Sure
that is a part of it, but a very small part. Missionary work is SO
much more than that. We are called to invite others to come unto
Christ. By others, that means everyone. Those who don't know about the
church, those who may have forgotten, those who are trying their best,
those who always strive to reach out and help others.... Everyone! As
missionaries, we work with everyone. And we can share the gospel in SO
many ways. To do missionary work, both as a missionary and as a
member, we don't merely have to go knock on doors all day. We can
share the gospel with our friends. We can strengthen those we see at
church. We can help lift those that are struggling. We can help lift
those that are doing everything. In order to do missionary work, all
you need to do is to teach and to invite them to do something. It can
be as simple as telling someone that you went to church and learned
about how to become a better person when they ask about your weekend.
And then you can invite them to come. It is that simple, and it
doesn't mean you need to sit down for an hour. You can share the
gospel very simple and very powerfully in just a few minutes.

I could just keep talking for hours and hours about how much I love
this work! I love being a missionary! And I love sharing the gospel.
Just because I will be going home, doesn't mean I ever have to stop, I
will just have a new calling. But I can still share the gospel always.
And for that I am SO grateful! :)

I love you all so much, and I am so excited to see you all soon. I
hope you have a wonderful couple of days. You are in my thoughts and
prayers always! Thank you for being a part of this wonderful journey
with me!

Robertson Shimai

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