Konnichiwa kazoku to tomodachi!!!
Oh snap, it’s already the last week of the transfer, next pday we will be getting transfer calls!!
So this week was definitely a trial of our faith! We tried visiting about five less actives this week and when I first came we visited each of them almost every week. This week either they were not home, were too busy or were not interested in talking. It was a little disappointing, but there is no room or time for discouragement so we shook it off and were able to realize that although we weren’t able to meet with those we had planned for, the Lord blessed us and we were able to meet others along our way on the street.
We went to the Yokohama Disaster Prevention Center with Jenny Shimai and a massive group of international moms (it was helpful and informative and it was in preparation for the typhoon we are having today). There were about 20 or so of them. We met with them and it reminded me of BYUH and all the many cultures. While taking the tour of the facility, we realized one of the moms was a PI whom we have been trying to contact, but had out of date contact information. We were able to talk and exchange info and are setting up a time to meet soon!
This weekend was incredible, not only were we finally able to view General Conference and be edified by such wonderful talks and testimonies, but I was able to go on splits with one of my good friends from BYUH, Miskin Shimai!! I stayed in Kawasaki from Friday until Sunday and I learned a ton. I tried to squeeze out as much information from Miskin Shimai as I could, since she will be headed home at the end of this transfer. So from the three days I spent in Kawasaki we taught two very sweet sisters, Tomoko and Linh. Tomoko was very sweet, we taught her English and taught her a little about how the gospel has blessed our lives. We shared conversion stories and how the Book of Mormon has blessed our lives, the spirit was so strong. We then taught Linh a very sweet mom of a one-year old son from Vietnam. We went into the lesson thinking we were going to teach about the restoration and Joseph Smith, but Miskin Shimai said she felt prompted to teach about the Plan of Salvation (meanwhile I was just grateful our lesson with her would be in English). We had dinner with a member’s family and Miskin Shimai leaned over and said maybe we should revert and teach her the restoration. As we were about to teach, one of the members pulled out a children’s book explaining the Plan of Salvation simply, which was perfect because Linh had previously known nothing about God and Jesus Christ. English being her second language, and throwing in all the language of the Plan of Salvation, we were a little worried. Having a member present is such a blessing and support! The lesson went great and Linh said she was grateful to see the bigger picture and felt like she knew it was true. I know that the investigators know this Plan and that it is true. We are here as missionaries to help them remember it. Linh really enjoyed the lesson and had a few questions, so we asked if we could meet her in the morning and she gratefully accepted. We met her the next morning and were a little nervous because we had not found a member to be present at the lesson on such short notice, but through the help of another awesome member, Becky Shimai, we were blessed to have Yokoyama Shimai help us with our lesson. We taught her the restoration and having a member with us brought such power and conviction to our message. Previous to our lessons, Linh had said she wanted to be baptized but wanted to feel completely ready and know more. Well at the end of the lesson, Miskin Shimai set a baptismal date with her to be baptized on the 25th!! Yay we were sooo excited! We then attended General Conference and were spiritually fed greatly. I was supposed to go home but we talked to the other sisters and said we could use another day on comp exchanges and I stayed in Kawasaki. Well Saturday night we got a message from Linh saying how her big English test was on the 26th and she wasn’t sure about the baptismal service for that weekend. We started feeling a little nervous that she was not going to go forward or would want to push it back further. But Miskin Shimai kept saying, we need to have more faith in the Lord’s will. Well we met with Linh for a third time on Sunday morning. A little nervous but having faith that the Lord would help us understand her needs and concerns. We ended up resolving all of her concerns and realized she wanted to be baptized earlier than the date we had set! We were stunned! We then mapped out a rough time line of when she would be baptized and found a little bit of conflict with some of the dates. Finally, Linh said lets do it on the 18th, a whole week ahead of the date we had set with her. Our hearts were so overjoyed by her eagerness and desire to follow Jesus Christ. Linh is scheduled to be baptized this coming Saturday and will meet with the missionaries everyday this week to prepare herself to follow in Jesus Christ’s footsteps and enter into a covenant of baptism.
I was so grateful to witness such a beautiful miracle and am grateful for all those whom the Lord blesses in our lives to reach out and help them come unto Christ. This week I was grateful for the wonderful members who helped us teach Linh. I encourage all of you to strengthen your testimonies of the Savior and his restored gospel. Go out and assist the missionaries in teaching this gift of the restored gospel to all those who will hear. We should do as Elder Andersen counseled us by first strengthening our own faith and then helping others. Or as Elder Packer stated, “true success of the gospel of Jesus Christ will be measured by the spiritual strength of its individual members.” There are many waiting to hear the special message of the gospel that our church has, and it is up to us to make sure they have the opportunity to hear it, come out and join the missionaries and help us move the work forward, you will never regret time spent on the Lord’s errand. I love you all!