Sunday, June 26, 2016

13th week in Japan, 2ND AREA


Beach scenes near Mito, Japan (picture from internet)




Nighttime View:  An unusual tower in Mito, Japan (picture from internet)


As you knew from my email last week, I got transferred to Mito.  It's about 80 miles NE of Tokyo.   It is 5-10 miles inland from the coast.  I am with Sister Lacey.   

[K-Mom's note:  the day I found out that my daughter got transferred to Mito, I had a dream.   I was in her new location, in an apartment, I saw large cockroaches in the dream, running quickly back and forth across the floor.  I wondered if Japan has a bug problem due to the climate difference, that we don't have here.   Sure enough, they do.   If you wish to know more, I found this website informative:  
http://zoomingjapan.com/life-in-japan/insects-and-other-pests/   ]

I've heard of cockroaches are very popular in Japan, haha. The hottest month here is August. Luckily, Mito is not as hot as Okegawa. :)

Thank you for your concern about the bugs and stuff.  The other day actually, we were praying for guidance of where to go finding people to teach, and found this old apartment complex.  We had already parked our bikes and as we were going to approach the stairs, we saw spiders all over the ceilings and the stair rails.  It took 3 or 4 times to get the courage to go.  We were going to turn around and find somewhere else, but we did it!  There were so many spiders!  In Japan, people do not kill spiders. Do not! I've actually heard that there are no poisonous spiders in Japan that could harm you seriously. There was like, a story of a person who was rescued by a spider or something, long ago and a bad guy killed the spider.  So Japanese people don't kill spiders.  They are seen as like protection, I guess?

From our efforts, two people answered the door.  One was not interested and the other was busy cooking, but we could hear a mother and a baby playing so we gave them a church flyer.  We felt they in the future may be baptized.  Later that evening, we went to a nicer apartment complex.  The first door we knocked on was a Chinese young man.  (Whenever we do housing-contacting, people only open their door a little bit).  Once we introduced ourselves, he was more interested and had many questions about the church and what we believe.  We gave him a church flyer which has the address of our church and he wants to go, but he said because he's a student and is busy he may or may not go; but he will go if he has time!  He showed us his Bible he's been studying, and it looked fairly new.  He's been in Japan for a year and a half and he knew some English. Chinese people are often kinjin (金人), "golden person" which we say for golden investigators. 

A few other people, were willingly listening to our message. It caught me a little off guard, but it was such a miracle!  Also, another blessing that same day, when we left the apartment, a spider was crawling down in the middle of the walkway in the air and almost landed on Sister Lacey's head and I almost didn't see it! So I walked right into it, and it almost touched my eye, but I backed up quick enough that it didn't touch me!!!

That's just one story I have of my week. 

Here's a picture I took this week:




Until later,  Parker Shimai   πŸ˜„πŸ˜‚πŸ˜πŸ˜˜❤️πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ£
Sent from the white fields of Japan πŸ²πŸŒ…

[K-Mom here:  for some reason the river and the sunbeam in the above picture made me think of two things:  1.  From 1st Nephi it talks about the river leading to the Tree of Life (God's love). 2.  I also thought of this hymn: #335  Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy

Lyrics

  1. 1. Brightly beams our Father's mercy
    From his lighthouse evermore,
    But to us he gives the keeping
    Of the lights along the shore.
  2. (Chorus)
    Let the lower lights be burning;
    Send a gleam across the wave.
    Some poor fainting, struggling seaman
    You may rescue, you may save.
  3. 2. Dark the night of sin has settled;
    Loud the angry billows roar.
    Eager eyes are watching, longing,
    For the lights along the shore.
  4. 3. Trim your feeble lamp, my brother;
    Some poor sailor, tempest-tossed,
    Trying now to make the harbor,
    In the darkness may be lost.
  5. Text and music: Philip Paul Bliss, 1838-1876

Monday, June 13, 2016

11th Week in Japan -- 1st Area; Sister Boden's b-day, and the value of tithing and the scriptures

[ Some of today's post may seem a little bit disjointed.  Just know that she is also responding to various questions and comments from our emails to her.   K-Mom ]

I'm adjusting more and more to Japan and missionary life here.  I am becoming more consecrated as I try my best.  God really does take care of the rest!

Today was Zone P-day and it was so fun!  We played chair soccer and dodgeball and stuff.  It was a good relax.  We also made cake for the birthday companion, Sister Boden!  Her birthday was last week, but we weren't able to make cake.  

  

The Book of Mormon and the Bible really do go hand-in-hand with each other.  There's power in both, but the Book of Mormon was written for our latter-days specifically, as well as some books in the New Testament and the Old Testament like Daniel, John, or Revelations.  But the Book of Mormon is all for us.  Together they are very powerful, indeed.  The Old and New Testament have so much in it, I wish I could read it all!  Someday I will.

About tithing, I want to bear testimony of how important it is and how much of a difference it will make in your life.  God has made it a commandment to pay tithing, just a tenth of our earnings. Now, does God need money?  No. He created everything!  The point is, the heart.  Is the heart willing to give a tenth of its earnings?  The point of tithing is not temporal, it's spiritual and eternal. When we are in a position to be able to faithfully pay tithing, the Lord showers and showers and showers us with blessings.  More than we can hold.  If we hold back our heart when we pay tithing, it is the same as if withholding all the portion of tithing and not paying at all. 

Malachi 3:10 "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

Paying tithing with faith and willingness will bring great blessings and will change you. Paying tithing without faith or willingness will just make you broke.  You can pray specifically to Heavenly Father again and ask if he needs you to pay $_____________ in order to see 'this specific blessing' and He will answer you quickly.

Thanks again dad for recommending praying about specific things;  it really does make a difference!  I've already gained testimony of that, can you tell?!  Haha!

It's Interesting how America is going down a lot in society.  In Japan, it's really nice here!  I feel very safe, and there's no problems here really.  I felt an earthquake two days ago I think, but it's kind of fun! Haha, that's the only real problem in Japan.  Although, usually the word of wisdom is hard for Japanese people.

Also, there's these new Mormon videos called something like "Bible videos told by children" and they are very inspiring!! Please do look at them and share them! :)  Remember how important you are to Heavenly Father and that he knows your pains and when we look to Him.  He lifts our burdens.  Sometimes there's still pain and anguish, but we need to experience that and endure it joyfully in order to receive our godly reward in the next life.

Alma 37 : 46 O my son, do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way; for so was it with our fathers; for so was it prepared for them, that if they would look they might live; even so it is with us. The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever."

Here are some more pictures:

  

  


Until next time, Parker Shimai  :-) 

10th week in Japan, 1st area, Belated 2nd post... Lost in Ueno

[ 6/13/2016  Hello!   As you know Kirsten mentioned getting lost during her recent temple trip to the Tokyo area.  I'd say by the looks of the photos and video that they made good use of being lost, and went and got some food, and tried not to feel too worried about being lost!   Sorry I didn't get these pictures up last week, as this 2nd email didn't come through until after I had done last week's blog, there was a tech glitch.  There's a video at the bottom.    Enjoy!  K-Mom ]


                                                 





 

 

 

  

video





Tuesday, June 7, 2016

10th Week in Japan, 1st Area. Consecration.

My desk with my Ghibli collection

About your comment about my mission presidency, I do have a great mission presidency. They are all very caring and really in tune with the Spirit. 

Sorry, I don't have a lot of time for emailing.  We actually didn't go grocery shopping or clean today because we got a little lost in Shibuya; temple days are always so busy [temple day was yesterday].

I feel I'm serving with my heart, but there's still things I'm holding back so I'm not serving completely.  But I'm trying to overcome that.  It's mostly just fear and being obedient to the little small things.  I keep messing up but Sister Boden and I are setting goals and making plans for our next transfer [each transfer period is usually 6 weeks].  We are really going to be consecrated missionaries and see miracles!!

Miracle of the week:  We were invited in to an investigator's house.  She's never invited me in before and she's always been too busy to make an appointment.  I remember praying before visiting and really asking Heavenly Father to help her feel the spirit.  We were just going to stop by and share a new bible video told by children and she let us in. We met her inactive daughter who was baptized a year ago.  I really think we will finally get to see progress in her!  She's been an investigator for over a year. We call that an "eien no kyuudōsha."  Eternal investigator.

Until next time, Parker Shimai

*************
Meaning of consecration:  


What does “consecration” mean?

The word consecration isn’t a commonly used word, but even so, we might have an existing concept about what it means. In religion, the word consecration has been used in relation to the official ordaining of a person to be a preacher, a priest, or a missionary. This use implies consecration is for a special category of people.
But the consecration revealed in the New Testament is for every believer in Christ. It’s not something only for knowledgeable Christians or spiritually mature ones. In fact, as we’ll see, we cannot subjectively know the life of Christ in us or reach spiritual maturity without consecrating ourselves to the Lord. This is because consecration is the basis for every spiritual experience.
So what is consecration? Consecration is our giving ourselves to the Lord to become “a living sacrifice,” as Paul says in Romans 12:1:
“I exhort you therefore, brothers, through the compassions of God to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service.”
In the Old Testament, a sacrifice was something set apart for God by being put on the altar. When people offered that thing to God, it no longer belonged to the one offering it. It belonged to God, for His use and His satisfaction.
Today, when we consecrate ourselves to the Lord, we become a living sacrifice. We give up our own claims on ourselves and put ourselves completely in His hands. Previously, our life was for our use and our satisfaction; now it is for His.
When we present ourselves to the Lord as a living sacrifice, we’re simply saying, “Lord, I am for You. I’m no longer for myself, the world, or anything else. I am for Your use and Your satisfaction.”    [from http://biblesforamerica.org/what-is-consecration/  ]  
*******************
Temples are dedicated (consecrated) to the service of the Lord, after they are built or when they undergo major remodeling.   This is done by the Presidency of the church.  Usually at this time, the very final cornerstone is laid, and prayers to the Lord are given at this time.  After this, only members of the church who have passed a yearly worthiness interview, may enter beyond the front desk.  This may seem strange, but the Old Testament temple was the same way, where the gentiles could enter only the outer court.  The worthy Israelites had access to most of the temple, but the Holy of Holies was reserved for the High Priest only on the Day of Atonement.  Of course, after Jesus Christ was resurrected, the comforter (Holy Spirit) was sent, and the mandate was given that the gospel go to all the Nations.  Our souls, our bodies, are supposed to be worthy temples for the Spirit to dwell.  However, the physical temple, the consecrated buildings, fulfill a different role, and this role has never gone away.
Here's an evening picture of the new Temple in Sapporo Japan, dated 5/30/2016, by Tomoyuki Miyauchi.  This picture is from the internet (Sister Parker did not go there yesterday--she was at the Tokyo temple.)   Sapporo is in the Hokkaido Prefecture in the north.  Hokkaido is the big northern island.   The Sapporo temple will be dedicated in August 2016.  If you look closely, you can see some Asian influence in the architecture. http://www.ldschurchtemples.com/sapporo/construction/
Sapporo Japan Temple
The other LDS temple in Japan is at the opposite end of the country, in Fukuoka Japan (in the big island in the south). http://www.ldschurchtemples.com/fukuoka/ 
So now there soon will be three operating LDS temples in Japan.