Monday, November 15, 2010

Four Companions, One Experience of a Lifetime

Written by Elder Benjamin Stachowski

On March 31st, 2010, I began my service in Japan, starting in a small branch just south of the mission office known as Nonami.  The area was being reopened after several months of no missionaries.  It was there that this story takes place. 

My first Saturday in the mission field was an interesting one.  Still not having my feet under me, my trainer took me to Eikaiwa, which for the day was a trip to the neighboring area of Toyota, because their class was holding a BBQ.  Our class was made of an active member, Brother John, a Filipino, two non-members who only had interest in English, and finally Morimoto Kyodai.  Morimoto Kyodai had been baptized about a year or so before through the English class, but his testimony wasn’t particularly strong and he had gone less active.  However, he loved and respected the missionaries.
Back then my Japanese was about as good as every other bean choro, mainly due to a lack of self confidence and being worried about making mistakes.  Morimoto Kyodai took me and my companion out to dinner several times, and I basically just sat and listened.  This continued through my next two transfers as my second companion was Japanese, and the two of them would talk a lot.  However, slowly but surely we were building a good relationship with him.

He continued to come to Eikaiwa every week without fail, but we couldn’t get him to come to church more than once a month.

Then the unexpected happened. I was called to become senior and trainer.  Despite being a great challenge, this opportunity was a marvelous blessing.  Without a senior companion to rely on, my language skills vastly improved, and I was able to better understand what members, investigators and Morimoto Kyodai were talking about.  We began visiting Morimoto Kyodai once every one to two weeks, helping him with English and sharing gospel messages.  He didn’t realize it, but slowly his faith was building again.  He started coming to church more frequently, attending Sunday School and learning more of the teachings of Jesus Christ.

My third companion transferred away and I began training a new missionary.  We started to meet with Morimoto Kyodai once a week, often with the Elder’s Quorum President.  As we met, he continued to open up, letting us know the things which concerned him, and through the Spirit we resolved these together.  By this point Morimoto Kyodai was coming to church each week again.

As the New Year approached we began teaching about the Melchizedek Priesthood and the responsibilities and blessing that are with it and teaching “the oath and covenant of the Priesthood.”  Japanese was particularly fun.

I spent almost 10 months working in Nonami.  Four companions, one amazing experience of a lifetime.  We finished helping Morimoto Kyodai prepare for the Melchizedek Priesthood, and a few weeks after I transferred to other fields of labor, he received the Melchizedek Priesthood.  And he is still active today.  The Gospel is true.

No comments:

Post a Comment