Kobe, Japan

Monday, October 21, 2013

Week 11 - My 2nd Week in Nihon...Whew!

Let`s rewind all the way back to March 2013 when I opened my mission call back stage at the Polynesian Cultural Center. It was 6:45-ish right before the Night Show "Ha! Breath of Life" was about to start. The whole cast was singing "I`m Trying to Be Like Jesus" and I was unable to hold back my tears of gratitude and excitement. I remember being surrounded by my PCC family, as my Heimuli family listened on the phone back home in Utah, while I read aloud the line "You are assigned to labor in the Japan Kobe mission." 

I distinctly remember thinking and feeling 3 things. I felt extremely blessed. I felt extremely inadequate. And I remember thinking how lucky I was to be going to a place where everyone is so polite! Well, I still feel all three of these things. Here ars 3 experiences from this week - I want you to see if you know how they`re all related.

1. Tuesday, Hayashi Shimai and I were street contacting at a park in Akashi outside the Akashi Eki. We had been biking and walking in a typhoon for about an hour in hopes that we`d find someone who was ready for the gospel. Towards the end of the storm we saw a man walking towards us. We thought, "If he walks straight towards us, he's the one the Lord needs us to talk to" ... and he did exactly that! We stopped and talked for a good half hour. He was talking SO fast! I couldn't understand a dang thing, but he was smiling and nodding, so of course I smiled and nodded, too. I laughed whenever he and Hayashi Shimai laughed, and I interjected "hai" and "so desu ne" when it seemed appropriate. I looked back and forth at my doryo and him a lot, just trying - and failing - to keep up with the conversation. We got his contact info and he went on his way. After he was out of hearing distance Hayashi Shimai turned to me and said with big eyes "WHAT THE HECK?!"  I said,"What?! Did it go that well? Is he asking to get baptized or something?" She replied, "Oh no! He was bashing our beliefs the whole time!" Turns out the whole time he was saying all these mean things about our religion, I was nodding and smiling and saying yes...oh goodness. It looked like I was agreeing with him the whole time!!!! So yes, sometimes I wish people were a little more upfront about being rude here. I'm sure I'll laugh about this 15 months from now. Nonetheless, I am so grateful to be serving in Nihon!

2. Friday was my very first Zone Training Meeting. It was fantastic because I saw about 5 other missionaries who traveled over to Nihon with me. We all looked a little shell-shocked and a lot overwhelmed. However, we really do have awesome leaders that love and care about us. We have amazing Zone Leaders. Tobler Choro who is from Orem went to school with the Pili`s! And Shinohara Choro is from Nihon. They`re amazing and powerful. We discussed "the first revelation." The first vision is what happened in the sacred grove. The first revelation happened when Joseph was reading from the Bible, "If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally and it shall be given him." If you ever feel like your prayers aren`t being answered, turn to the scriptures. There`s always an answer waiting there. We talked about how important it is to have the scriptures as the main source of conversion for ourselves as well as our kyudosha. Every time we teach a kyudosha we are experiencing the gospel together.

Yesterday, one of our lovely investigators came to Sacrament Meeting. We taught her about prayer after sacrament. She told us she doesn't believe in God but she is fascinated with Christ. We`ve taught her 3 lessons about God already and she still doesn`t believe God loves her and that we are His children. It just about broke my heart that she couldn`t accept this. We prayed with her and for her. She told us she feels God has been cruel but she likes Christ.

Do you want to guess what all 3 of these stories have in common? YUP! Everyone in these stories needs Christ. Whether you`re a rude-smiley guy, a brand new missionary, or a woman who believes nothing in life is worth rejoicing over, each of us needs Christ. Whenever there`s a tough moment for me I grab my missionary name tag and hold on to it really tight. As you can probably guess, I did a lot of clinging to my tag this week! Likewise, we need to cling to Christ. He`s our only way back to God. Why? In 1 Nephi 19:9 it tells us "And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men."

Christ suffered for ALL of us. He suffered for you. He suffered for me. He suffered so we wouldn't have to. Sometimes I just want to grab these people and show them the countless ways God has shown his love for them. The greatest way he showed his never ending love was by offering his Only Begotten Son as a sacrifice so that the rest of His sons and daughters might live with Him again. 

Everyone is in need of Christ. If we ever think we don`t need him, then that's when we REALLY need him the most. As I was studying this week a quote popped into my head from a while ago it goes something like this, "Be kind. Everyone is fighting a hard battle today." This week please do that! Be considerate as you handle fragile situations. Seek out 1 person a day and completely cover them in kindness. As a missionary that can`t communicate very well here, all I can do is speak through my actions. So this is a goal that I`m going to work towards this week too! I love you all. You`re in my prayers. This week is going to be amazing...I can feel it!

Remember; be a little more kind this week!

All my love,

Heimuli Shimai

PS. Here are some overdue pics!
First shopping trip across the street from the mission home. Things are pricey here!

Me and all my sisters who traveled over to Nihon together. Miss these gals!

Me and my MTC Comp Black Shimai on the last part of our plane ride. Yeah, we look like we've been traveling for 12 hours...ugh.

Our first morning in Kobe, our entire travel group hiked up to Mt Rokkyo where we could overlook the entire city of Kobe, and all 66 MILLION people in our mission!

No comments:

Post a Comment