We got some winter boots for Croft Shimai (who needed them badly), and I bought some presents for the family. :) And we went finding!
We had a lesson with A Shimai on Tuesday, which was pretty good. It had been a little while since we`d met with her, but she texted us a couple of nights before telling us that she`s been feeling farther away from God lately, which she didn`t like. So we met with her and talked about our mission theme and Walking with Jesus Christ. She loved that, and said in her prayer afterwards that she didn`t feel quite so far away anymore. She`s been making some reaaaally good progress this week. Then we went to go visit a less active named I Shimai and shared a little message with her. Her daughter is coming to visit from the states next week, and she said that she`ll come to church when they`re here! Which is great! Also, on the way, I had my first really good success with streeting! So mostly, I`m just really bad at streeting--especially stopping people without being awkward. But, we met a college student on a walk with her younger sister, talked about what happens after we die, shared Alma 40:12 with her there on the sidewalk. She thought it was so cool that we exchanged numbers, and will hopefully be able to meet with her again this week. :~
ALMA 40:12: 12 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow.
That night we had Eikaiwa, and after Eikaiwa, we usually have ping pong. But I learned a lesson far more important than how to speak English or hit a plastic ball with a paddle. It was my turn for pingpong when Tsan motioned me over to his laptop to show me the recipe book he`s making, which I knew was going to take a little bit of time. For a moment or so, I wasn`t terribly excited about it, just halfheartedly saying, `Wow, that`s cool. Looks delicious,` because I`m a punk who was just thinking about how I would rather play ping pong. But then I looked at Tsan and how excited he was about his cookbook and I had another thought, `What do I want to do right now? I could play ping pong, or I could show this man, my brother, some attention and care about him and make him feel good. Would I REALLY rather play ping pong than do that?` And I realized, no way! It was just a silly little thing, but it made me think about putting my desires in perspective. When I realized that, I didn`t care or think about ping pong at all, but was just grateful for the opportunity to talk to Tsan and praise him about his book. If we can fix our desires to be in Alignment with the Lord`s, I know he can work INCREDIBLE miracles through us! And plenty of small ones that bring our spirit siblings joy and help them come closer unto Christ.
WENDESDAY was crazy. We were bummed a little at the start, because we faced nothing but about 8 straight hours of finding. Yuck. But we made goals to pray at every decision point and seek the Lord`s direction in every decision we made, and we set off to work.
At the beginning (for the first hour or so), we were housing. (We like to switch things up to stay effective.) And I was NOT doing a good job. I was tired. I didn`t want to be finding. So we stopped, and I said a little prayer by myself, telling him how I was feeling, but then applying the lesson I learned about desire the night before. I said, `Heavenly Father, I want to sleep right now. Really badly. But I promise that`s not really what I want. I want to serve thee! More than anything. I know that I have so little time left to serve with all my heart and time. Please, help me to FEEL this desire to serve and to find those of Thy children who will listen! Strengthen me to do this work!` The very next door became a PI. And we just kept on finding, the rest of the day, 7 pi`s in total. We found a Mom with a couple of kids, who wanted to know how Christianity helps family relationships, two teenage Sisters who want to learn English, but also think Jesus is cool (which is is), and old obaachan who is very devout Buddhist, but we hugged her, and she said she hadn`t been hugged in years, since her husband died; and another Mom who wanted us to come back in a couple days. The Lord is leading this work!
Weekly planning, and a good lesson with K Shimai about prayer. O Kyoudai came this time, and was a fantstic doseki with a strong testimony! And after the lesson was over, he brought over pictures from when he was baptized, with the missionary who taught him--my molecular biology professor--Professor Nielsen--from BYU! We`d talked about this before. Semai sekai, as they say. It`s a small world.
Also, Croft Shimai felt prompted to go visit a week PI we`d had from the week before, a Philipina woman named E who said her daughter had interest in Eikwaia. We went over and told her we wanted to share a scripture with her from the Book of Mormon. She said that she believes in one God, but lately she`s been wondering about who Jesus Christ is. We testified of him to her, read Mosiah 16:7-9 with her, and she is so excited to study with us now! We are so excited to meet with her. She`s a kinjin! A golden person. :)
7 And if Christ had not risen from the dead, or have broken the bands of death that the grave should have no victory, and that death should have no sting, there could have been no resurrection.
8 But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.
9 He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death.
Also, we made dinner at the church with N Kyoudai, a member. And he brought bread bowls and clam chowder. DELICIOUS!
Zone conference. Gave my dying testimony. Saw Broadhead Shimai and Derksen Shimai and gave them both big hugs. ALSO, watched "Meet the Mormons" during lunch. The missionary mom at the end was the best.
Then we went and dosekied for P`s lesson for the Elders. It was cool. He wants to know if God`s there, because he realizes that if He is, he`s going to have to make some big changes in his life.
Had lunch with O Shimai and her inactive daughter, then had another great lesson with A Shimai in which she basically just shared all of the things she`s been learning from reading the New Testament. She is doing SOOO well.
Then we tried to find our way to the Stake President`s house with the elders to have dinner there...it took us two hours. ... we were late. It was tricky. They forgave us! And it was DELICIOUS! Then we sprinted home to make it back in time for planning.
CHURCH! Talked to the older guy who lives close to us, and he said we can come back and share a message with him and his wife.
Then we went to go visit a member with the Elders and shared a message with her and her less active son.
I love the work!
The church is true!
The book is blue!
Love, Harris Shimai
Me at the Buddhist temple today!
Hōryū-ji (法隆寺?, lit. Temple of the Flourishing Law) is a Buddhist temple that was once one of the powerful Seven Great Temples, in Ikaruga, Nara Prefecture, Japan. Its full name is Hōryū Gakumonji (法隆学問寺), or Learning Temple of the Flourishing Law, the complex serving as both a seminary and monastery.
The temple's pagoda is widely acknowledged to be one of the oldest wooden buildings existing in the world, underscoring Hōryū-ji's place as one of the most celebrated temples in Japan. In 1993, Hōryū-ji was inscribed together with Hokki-ji as a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the name Buddhist Monuments in the Hōryū-ji Area. The Japanese government lists several of its structures, sculptures and artifacts as National Treasures. A study of its shinbashira, the central wooden column almost suspended inside the Tō in 2001 led to a conclusion about the structure being older than previously thought by a century.
The five-storey pagoda, located in Sai-in area, stands at 32.45 meters in height (122 feet) and is approximately 20X20 in width and is one of the oldest wooden buildings in the world. The wood used in the center pillar of the pagoda is estimated through a dendrochronological analysis to have been felled in 594. The central pillar rests three meters below the surface of the massive foundation stone, stretching into the ground. At its base is enshrined what is believed to be a fragment of one of Buddha's bones. Around it, four sculpted scenes from the life of the Buddha face north, east, south and west. Although the pagoda is five-storied, it does not allow one to climb up inside, but it is rather designed to inspire people with its external view.
It was beautiful with all the trees. You`ll just have to wait a couple of weeks to see the rest of the pictures!