Friday, October 21, 2011

Nihonjin Taikai

Today, we had a conference for all the Japanese missionaries in the mission. In past trainings, because the majority of it was done in English, the Japanese missionaries listened to it using translation equipement. Today provided all Japanese missionaries an opportunty to listen and participate in a training using only their native language. Many missionaries have been anticipating this event. The conference was hold in the Meito church. It was a great scene to see all the Japanese missionaries assembled together. There was a very special power and spirit in the atmosphere. The opening session of the conference commenced. There, many of the prophecies about Japan were shared and the spirit was felt. Everyone was able to feel the power in the words.

Before the afternoon session, all missionaries headed next door to the Baird home for a wonderful lunch prepared by Sister Baird. It was quite a site to see all the missionaires sitting together in the Baird home. Even the genkan area was covered in a very ordered sea of shoes.

During the afternoon session, the missionaries participated in a Family Home Evening. It was very fun as everyone sang together and played together. The spirit filled the room as the spiritual message was shared. Everyone walked away from the conference more edified and strengthened to continue in the work. It was a great blessing to the missionaries in this mission!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Lord Put Him in Our Path

This blog was written by Elder Kyle Jordan Fredrickson (Jan. 19, 2011).

Elder Fredrickson, arriving to begin his mission.
About a year ago, I was serving in the Kariya area with Elder Fujii as my companion.  We were working hard and were trying to talk to as many people as were around us.  One day, we noticed that a new “eiden” (electronic store) had been built close to our apartment and we made a note to check it out.

As we headed to the eiden, and were just about to enter, I saw one guy standing, reading an ad just before he was to go in as well.  He didn’t look Japanese, so I asked him if he was.  He said no, he wasn’t, but was Peruvian.  And he said it in perfect Japanese.  He recognized us immediately as missionaries and mentioned his wife was a member of our church, but hadn’t gone in years.  She came up from behind us and they said they would be coming to church on Sunday.  They came to church on Sunday and I was so happy.

They liked it too and invited us over the next day, Monday, to their home to share more.  Now their names were Chris and Lizca, and we went hoping to teach Chris.  We got there and he was cooking and asked us to share first with his wife.  She got her Book of Mormon out and had her place marked from way before 1st Nephi 13.  We helped them understand it and talked about apostasy and then went into the restoration.  By this time, Chris joined us and was loving Joseph Smith’s experiences.  He wanted to learn more and they both had many questions, like where are the plates, and we were able to go right to the Book of Mormon for the answers.  I remember the Monday we met in their home was May 2nd, 2010, because May 2nd was the day Joseph Smith wrote his testimony that is in the Book of Mormon (1838).

Elder Fujii, left, with Elder Kervinen
We shared with them the home page, and I could feel the spirit as we discussed Gospel truths.  Chris left the room to dish up our food and Elder Fujii said to me, “I think he is a member, too.”  When Chris came back to the room, we started talking a little of baptism and asked if he was baptized.  He was.  Of course, I was glad he was a member, but then again, I thought he was a kinjin investigator.  Chris continued to say, “I’ve been baptized but my children have not.”  Chris had married before and then divorced.  He had four kids, and two had not been baptized and lived in the Toyota Area.  He speedily gave us their phone number and address and as soon as we could, we sent the referral to Toyota area.

The next transfer, I became the district leader and contacted Toyota on a daily basis.  I was able to hear daily progression about the family referral. They too had been inactive for many years and began going to church and reading from the Book of Mormon.  I was so thrilled to hear that two daughters were baptized and a family was once again actively attending church, all because we opened our mouth and spoke to a guy reading an ad right outside of eiden.  

I'm so thankful I could be a part of that and know the Lord put him in our path.  The Gospel is true.  Miracles happen.