Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Greatest Joy

Written by Elder Yoshiya Ito, October 1, 2012

Sister Murakami, who referred Sister Mazuka, was raised in an LDS family in Tokyo.  But she became less active when she was 11 years old because her family stopped attending church.  She stayed less active for more than 15 years.  When she had difficulties, she remembered church and started to attend again.  Then she went on a mission and served in the United States, San Jose Mission.

She met Sister Mazuka at the university in Utsunomiya and they became friends.  Sister Mazuka had lived in Hamamatsu since she was born.  Sister Murakami had lived there for college.  Sister Murakami forgot about church, so she didn’t talk with her friend at all about church.  But when she got reactivated, she invited Sister Mazuka to church.  But Sister Mazuka didn’t like church very much at that time.

Sister Murakami referred Sister Mazuka to the Hamamatsu elders, Elder Kobayashi and Elder Ito after she came back from her mission.  She knew that Sister Mazuka had interest in the church because of difficulties she had experienced. 

Sister Mazuka was golden and had strong desires to learn the Gospel and know the truth.  But she struggled with knowing if there was a God.  Brother and Sister Ito tachiaied (went as members to help teach) every time we had a lesson with her.  They are awesome tachiais.  Brother Ito is a convert.  He told his conversion story to Sister Mazuka and encouraged her to set a baptismal date as a goal to know the truthfulness of the Gospel.  She accepted to be baptized on July 15th.  The missionaries taught her the Gospel with enthusiasm.  But she was not sure that the Church was true.  So the baptismal date fell through.  The Suzuki bishop also helped her a lot by doing several things, such as giving her an assignment to play the piano at Sacrament Meeting.

The Ito family invited her and the missionaries to dinner.  Then the Ito’s encouraged her again to set a baptismal date when the missionaries invited her to be baptized.  She accepted more positively than before.  Her baptismal date was August 12th.
Elder Ito is on far right. Elder Kobayashi is in white next to Sister Mazuka.
Her friend, Sister Murakami, is in the gold top.
The Ito family are on the left and Elder Hara is second from right..
Sister Mazuka got baptized on that day.  Sister Murakami came to the baptismal service from Tokyo.  It was a great baptism.  After the ordinance of baptism, Brother and Sister Ito bore their testimony saying, “I am feeling the greatest joy of missionary work.  I didn’t serve a mission but I know that missionary work brings the biggest happiness.  And I also want to be a tool used by the Lord to invite my friends and families to come unto Christ as Sister Murakami did to Sister Mazuka.”

I saw a big change in the hearts of some members of the church as President Eyring prophesied in 1998.  If more church members get willing to be involved in missionary work, we can receive many blessings from heaven, having greater success in missionary work.  The baptism of Sister Mazuka is a testimony of that.

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