Friday, December 21, 2012

And A Little Child Shall Lead Them, Story1

In 1998, Elder Henry B. Eyring came to Japan.  He spoke at the Japan Missionary Training Center.  Here is a part of what he said:

“I testify that in Japan, the Lord will dramatically establish the church and provide guidance for its expansion. For many months and years, it appears that things are stalled in the same situation. But in reality, the Lord is laying the foundation. And upon this foundation, miracles will occur. These miracles will happen in the form of great changes occurring in the hearts of members of the Church in Japan. This has just now started to happen although it may not be easy to see. The day will come when members of the Church will consider it a privilege to speak to colleagues at work and people in their neighborhoods about the Church.

”Your children will live in a Japan which is very different from the Japan you see now. This is because the Church will begin to achieve a marvelous expansion. It will obtain a prominent place and people will want to know about it. They will be interested and come. Your children will grow up not feeling embarrassed to testify of Jesus Christ in their schools and in their regional societies. They will tell their friends they go to school with and even their teachers that they are Latter-day Saints. They will have no fear.   Not everyone will join the Church, but many will become members.

“You are only seeing the beginning. You wonderful missionaries here will only see a portion of the miracles. Those in the next generation will be the ones who will really see them. But it will begin now. This will be realized because the Lord will change the message of the Church from what it has been in Japan. The day will come when members of the Church in Japan will rejoice in their Church membership and will gladly urge people to learn the gospel from the missionaries.

“But even if the Lord changes the hearts of those outside the Church so they hold feelings of respect for the Church, unless (Church members) decide they want to introduce their friends to the missionaries and their actions show the gospel is true so the people around them will turn their ears to the teachings of the Lord, the work of the Lord will be retarded in its progress.”

In this blog, we would like to focus on the second paragraph of this great prophecy.  "Your children will grow up not feeling embarrassed to testify of Jesus Christ in their schools and in their regional societies.  They will tell their friends they go to school with and even their teachers that they are latter-day Saints.  They will have no fear."  

If we give the missionaries who were listening to Elder Eyring time to serve their missions, come home and get married, and start having children,  those children would now be about 10 years old and younger.  We would like to introduce you to one of the children in the Japan Nagoya Mission who fulfilling that prophecy:

Future Missionary
Ryo Esaki, 10, Fukutoku Ward, Nagoya Stake
Ten-year-old Ryo Esaki has only been a member of the church since Christmas-time, but he knows he is going on a mission.  In fact, he is already preparing to be a missionary now!  He is preparing by coming to church, participating in Primary, reading his scriptures, and praying.  But most importantly, he is preparing to be a missionary in the future by being a missionary now.  Although Ryo is still a new member, he shared his testimony with his friend Shoki Isogimi, who loved the gospel and was baptized.  
It all started when Ryo was introduced to the missionaries by his friends, the Hall family.  The Hall family planned to have a special Family Home Evening with the missionaries and Ryo.  He started learning about the gospel and wanted to be baptized, but his parents were hesitant.  Fortunately, the missionaries, the Hall family, and Ryo planned, prayed, and met with Ryo’s parents.  They supported Ryo’s decision to be baptized and even came to the Fukutoku Ward Christmas party, where they made many friends. 
A few weeks after Ryo was baptized, Shogi Isogimi moved nearby. 
From left, Sister Eguchi, Shoki, and Sister Inoue

 Ryo and Shoki quickly became friends, and Ryo told Shoki all about Church, Primary, and his baptism experience.  A few days later, the sister missionaries were visiting a nearby home when they saw Ryo and Shoki playing on the playground.  Ryo ran up to the Sisters and explained, “I have a friend who wants to join the church.  What do I do?”  At first, the sisters thought Ryo was only joking.  But after talking with Shoki, the Sisters were excited to start teaching him.  They knew that they should get permission from his mother, so they went with Shoki to talk to his mother.  She told the Sisters that she feels like it is good for her son to belong to this church and learn about God.  With his mother’s permission, Shoki began to learn quickly about the gospel.  He soon came to church with his friend Ryo.  After church ended, Shoki told the missionaries, “I am so glad to know that God does so many good things for us.  That makes me so happy!”
Four weeks later, Shoki Isogimi was baptized.  Although he is still young, Shoki knows that he made a promise to God to come to church every week and to learn more about Him.  Ryo and Shoki are still great friends.  They come to church together, sit by each other in Primary, and are preparing together to be missionaries in the future.

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