It was a good week this week, as is every week in the Japan Kobe Mission. A couple of crazy things happened.
On Tuesday, we had Zone Conference on the other end of the `Rock` (the Island that I`m on). We had to leave during preparation day time on Monday to stay at in this end of the "rock" that night, in order to make it to the Conference in the morning.
It was a good conference. For me the biggest thing that I learned is that I have not been the best companion I should have been. Sterling Choro, one of the assistants, talked about a companion he had who was determined to be every companion`s favorite companion, to serve them and make them feel loved. While he was speaking, I felt the Spirit whisper to me, `You have been far too selfish in your companionship.` And I realized it was true. This week I`ve been trying to work on that. I`ve been examining my motives for what I do, asking if it`s for my benefit or for my companion`s, and changing my actions accordingly. Now, before I speak to my companion, I ask, `Is this meant to bless, inspire, and encourage?` And if not, to change it or not say it at all. In result, I think that our companionship has improved quite a bit. I think we`ve both been more sensitive to the Spirit and other good things have been happening. I`m sorry that I didn`t realize this before, but glad that I`ve been able to act on it since.
Then we took a train back, but had to stay overnight in the Shimai apartment in the area next to ours, because we wouldn`t have made it back to our apartment until after 10:30. We finally returned to our sweet little area on Wednesday morning.
Also on Wendesday, we went to go visit what we called an `awkward referral.` A member gave us a flyer for a man she didn`t know who owns a guitar shop. She heard he was in Spain for about 30 years and might have some interest in Christianity. And we were not entirely sure what to do with that. But we went, braved the awkwardness, and talked to `Mr. Spain` for a while. And he was talking about deep things, saying he used to be Christian, but now isn`t because of mistranslations from the Bible in Hebrew of Jesus`s name, and concerns about the law of Moses, saying that Christians are hypocrites because they eat pork and worship on Sunday and not Saturday. The thing is, I could have answered most of his concerns. But Sister Eddy and I realized that that wouldn`t really help a man whose heart is not open to answers. We just testified, and testified, and testified about the truth of the Gospel, Joseph Smith, and the Book of Mormon. We finally convinced him to take a Book of Mormon, testified one last time, and then left. If he ever really wants the answers to the questions he`s asking, he now has the source to find them. And that`s what we`re here for. :)
Thursday we visited O*** Shimai with a member (N******* Shimai) and just shared a little scripture about the words of Christ being like a compass to direct our lives.
Other than those, our lessons were kind of low this week, and we were a little down about it. There were a few cancellations, and we were trying not to get discouraged about it. One of my goals this week was to seek the Lord`s help with my attitude. (I didn`t have a bad attitude before; I just have a tendency towards discouragement when things don`t go well.) So I`ve been praying more throughout the day this week, taking a moment or two to excuse myself, or to close my eyes and say a quick little prayer before hopping on my bike to help me to see things the way the Lord sees them, to have a positive attitude, and if I can`t do that, then to at least do the best I can, and that`s helped quite a bit. On Friday and what was planned to be a busy day turned into three lesson cancellations and straight housing, I did this again, and we went off to go finding. We were set on finding some apartments to house in an area Eddy Shimai had been wanting to go to for a while but weren`t having much luck finding apartments. And then we experienced probably the closest thing I`ve had to a `Spirit-speaks-to-me` miracle moment on my entire mission! Lodged in between two big buildings we rode by was a little house, and I had the thought, `Pin pon it.` I`ve had this thought a lot of times about places. I try to follow the thought, but it`s never resulted in anything besides the normal `Kekko desu` responses from normal housing. But we got off our bikes, rang the bell, talked to a cool lady who invited us inside right off the bat, told us she wanted to come to church sometime, and invited us to come back next Tuesday!And it was awesome! We were just giddy with excitement afterwards and grateful to the Lord for helping us be receptive to His Spirit. Eddy Shimai was sensitive to the right area, and I was able to find the right house. All things are possible with the Lord!
Saturday morning we went outside to find that Eddy Shimai`s bike was gone. It had been locked, but it was now gone. So most of the day was spent going to the police station and going to the bike store to look at new bikes like the office couple told us to. Because our apartment is so far apart from...well...everything here, and a lack of a bicycle puts us in a bit of a tizzy, they told us that we could by a new bicycle that very day if we wanted. And that`s what we were planning to do, but we decided to pray about it. And when we did...we didn`t feel quite right. The police officer had told us that since there was a giant yellow sticker that said the church`s name on it, the chances of finding it were actually quite high. We didn`t know if maybe some prankster would return the bike overnight, or if it would maybe be found, and we didn`t want to waste a significant portion of the church`s money, so we decided to hold off. By the time Sunday night rolled around, we were feeling kind of silly. The bike was still gone, and without a bike, Preparation day wouldn`t exist. (It would probably take about an hour and a half to walk to the email place.) But then the branch president and his wife brought a very little extra bike over that they said we could borrow! And then the office commisarian called and told us that if we could manage to borrow a bike from a member or someone, they had business down in our area and would be able to bring one of the mission`s extra bikes to us and save a lot of money. So maybe it was the Spirit! We mess up a lot of times, but sometimes when we try to follow it it actually works. And we`re getting better every day.
My little scripture for the week: D&C 6:36, 37
The Church is true!
The book is blue!
Our bikes after the typhoon (It`s still a little windy in the picture.) Mine is the only one that didn`t fall over. Hear Blazer ROAR!
A surprisingly large number of foods in Japan have faces on them. There`s Panda-face pancakes, star crackers with giant smiles that cover their entire bodies and have little belly buttons--there`s everything.