How's everyone doing!?
Not a whole lot of meat for you this week to be honest. Highlight was probably our zone training meeting on Friday, playing frisbee on Saturday and the children's program for church on Sunday.
Zone training meeting- happens usually on the first friday of every month, the zone leaders are in charge of the program, you travel to the center of the zone, where the zone leaders live, all the members of the zone come and participate in the program. Usually consists of japanese lessons and games, spiritual thoughts provided by an assigned person, business about rules and announcements for the zone, practicing missionary skills and approaches in role plays with other missionaries and to end, trainings by the zone leaders and the female trainers in the zone.
This zone training meeting for me was the most fun and most interactive of all the ones I've attended so far on the mission! One reason is probably because our zone leaders are way fun. Another reason is they played a vocabulary game with everyone and I ended up head to head with my MTC companion Elder Thompson in the finals! That was way fun. But the thing I liked best about it was they had us come to the meeting prepared with questions we had; whether it be about mission work, developing skills as a missionary, doctrinal questions... anything. Then they split us up into a few smaller discussion groups where you asked your question and everyone would talk about it, discuss and help you out with it. Learned a lot from other peoples questions and insights and felt like it was super effective in getting people to open up, get to know one another and to solve personal and general concerns and questions. The question I came with was what can you do to make the night time hours effective? With winter approaching, daylight has been fading out around 4:40 PM and in Japan, when its dark, people kind of shut down and don't like to talk at all with people they don't know- whether it's at their doorstep or on the street, if it's dark, they don't want anything to do with you. And that's not good, our job is talking with people spontaneously and abruptly haha. But when it's dark nihonjin get really paranoid.. especially the women. So, as missionaries you have to get a little creative! cause your day isn't over until 9PM. Anyway, got some good ideas of things you can do to make night times more effective.
We did park dendo (go to the park and find people to talk to through sports) with the zone leaders on Saturday. I got to throw a frisbee around for the first time in almost a year, which was fun:) And afterwards we played basketball with some kids. Fun stuff and got to talk with a good number of high school students- soccer players, basketball and even skate boarders (surprising that they exist in Japan right??)
Yesterday (Sunday) for Sacrament meeting was the primary program, which it looks like they had it the same day back at home! This one was pretty small- 8 kids but man were they entertaining. The same feel as they are in America- the older kids being embarrassed and not enjoying being a part of it, the in between agers being loud, proud and excited, and then the little 4 and 5 year olds cute as can be having the lyrics of the songs whispered and their lines whispered in their ears and they say it bit by bit up at the mic. I loved it! Super enjoyable and made me feel joy!
This week I've been studying a variety of things: Hope, Christ's grace, Faith and humility. All of these things intertwine and have connection with one another! Yay! First off, you have to be humble and meek enough to admit you need Christ in your life, that you can't do the things you need to do alone. This is HUGE being a missionary I feel but can also apply to college students, parents and grandparents alike. If we aren't humble and willing to submit ourselves, we can't get anywhere or achieve anything. Once you get there, you have established Hope- hope that, indeed, Christ can and will save us in and from our trials and struggles as long as we have faith in Him. Hope is coexistent with faith. Faith is to believe in things which aren't seen which are true. When we have faith and hope in Christ, we can then access His grace, which is sufficient for anyone and everyone to use to overcome any hard ship and trial we may have.
Enjoy the transition into winter! I know I... am not. :) Have a good week!