It was late morning or early afternoon when we were riding on our bicycles alongside President Baird that Elder Finlinson received an impression that we ought to pay a visit to the grandmother of one of our investigators, Shoei. Having ample time in our possession, President Baird and I both readily agreed to this course of action and we promptly set off to accomplish this task. We rode over to the neighborhood and parked our bikes outside the front of the house. Before we knocked on the door, however, Elder Finlinson revealed to President Baird and myself some new information which he had hitherto failed to mention, namely that the last time we had visited here the grandmother had told us to never come back. Nevertheless, we followed through with the course we had set out upon and knocked on the door.
The grandmother opened the door to us and, to our surprise and relief, invited us in. As we stepped in, we realized someone else was there as well! Shoei was there !! Apparently, he had a doctor’s appointment that day, and was staying at his grandmother’s residence until that time. We (Elder Finlinson and I) then started playing with Shoei while President Baird talked to his grandmother about various subjects. Eventually, it came to a point where we were about to leave when President Baird asked her about the situation concerning Shoei and baptism. Shoei had been an on and off investigator for about the space of two years now, due in part to an uncle he lives with that was very much against the missionaries coming over. This situation had resulted in numerous problems and setbacks which in turn had caused Shoei’s chances of salvation to dwindle down almost to nothing.
Unable to meet or teach Shoei at his home, his grandmother then noted that their one glimmer of hope lay in the hands of Brother Fujii. Brother Fujii was an active, God-fearing member who lived in the Toyama Ward and had almost a grandfatherly relationship with Shoei. He took him and his brother camping, did activities with them, and even had restored members of the family (namely this same grandmother) to activity. It was at this point that Elder Finlinson laid out the suggestion, “What if we taught him at Brother Fujii’s house?” The grandmother replied that that would be wonderful and would provide a perfect solution to the problem.
This situation only proved to be even better for our schedule since the person we were next scheduled to meet was in fact Brother Fujii. We biked over to his house and, instead of going over our pre-prepared lesson, informed him of Shoei’s situation. Hearing our story, Brother Fujii promptly replied that he would take care of everything. If we showed up, he would have Shoei ready and waiting, and that is exactly what happened. A few short weeks later, Shoei entered the waters of baptism and became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The spirit guided us that day and I will ever be thankful that we listened to and followed the impressions that my companion received.
|From left: Elder Baker, Elder Finlinson, Bro. Fujii, Shoei's older brother, |
Shoei, and Shoei's mother Yoshioka Shimai