Member Stories III

1.  Brother Watanabe, Shizuoka Ward, written by Sister Mariah Hunt

Brother Watanabe is 69 years old and has several problems with his body.  One of those problems is cancer.  I met him about five months ago on my way home with my companion, Sister Nishimuro.  He sort of yelled at us, and Sister Nishimuro suggested we stop. 
From left, Sister and Brother Mitsuya, Brother Watanabe
Sister Nishimuro, Sister West
 After that short conversation and several lessons with members in the weeks to follow, he was baptized.  His body is incredibly weak and he lives on his own, but he reads the Book of Mormon diligently and comes to church as often as he can.  He wants to go to the Celestial Kingdom and has the faith that he can.  I’m so glad I met him.

2.  Brother Nobayasu Ikeda, written by Elder Benjamin Burnett

Brother Nobayasu Ikeda is a lifetime member of the Church.  He is married to Miho with three children. Sho passed away just before he turned two. Their second son is Rei, and they have a newborn baby girl.  Brother Ikeda likes to play soccer and likes playing with the children in the ward. 

Brother Ikeda was born into the church.  He grew up to know that this church is true.  He believes that the Book of Mormon is the way to come to know that this church is true.  His testimony is strong and he is very grateful to be a member of the Church.  He currently serves as the Elders Quorum President in the ward.

Missionary work is also important to Brother Ikeda.  He himself served a mission in the Japan Sapporo Mission.  He is very active in missionary work and wants to see the Church grow and expand.  He has told the missionaries countless times, “Let’s dendo together!”

3.  Sister Hitomi, Okazaki Ward, written by Sister Mariah Hunt

Hitomi is a year younger than me—22 and is married to Keita.  They have a sweet baby girl named Nanaka.  Hitomi’s husband is a second generation member.  Since they have dated, Keita has been a less than active member.  About a year and a half ago, she felt that if she and her husband went back to the church that he once loved, their lives would be better. 
Nanika, Keita, and Hitomi

She met with the missionaries and was shortly thereafter baptized by her sweet husband, Keita.  Because of her, their family now goes to church together and they are preparing to be married in the temple.

I don’t think joining the church was an easy thing for her to do.  But she acted in faith, seeing that there was something about this church that her family needed to be happy.

4.  Sugimoto Family, written by Elder Craig Dunn

The Sugimoto family of the Nagoya East Zone, Seto Ward are incredible members.  Sugimoto Chie Shimai first got in contact with the missionaries though Eikaiwa.  After going to church, she started to go to members’ houses for dinners often.  Thus she saw prayer, and learned and felt the spirit.  She began to read and pray on her own.

It did not take long before she had the desire to be baptized.  Her mother, however, being a strong Buddhist, strickly forbad her.  But Sugimoto Shimai continued to read and pray on her own.  One day she came across Mosiah 18, where it said, “What have you against being baptized.”  She called her mother and told her she was going to be baptized.

She has since served a mission in Sapporo where she met her husband, then an AP, and got married after their service.  They now have three children; the oldest just turned twelve. Sister Sugimoto serves as an Eikaiwa helper for the missionaries.

Her family exemplifies a faith in the Savior and a constant diligence and love to the work that he has placed into their hands.

5.  Arataque Familly of Toyohashi, written by Sister Mariah Hunt
From left, Midori (youngest daughter), Brother and Sister Arataque
 Brother and Sister Arataque are powerful.  I love them.  They both served missions in Portugual and are from Brazil. 

Brother Arataque was a powerful missionary as a young man.  He told me that he was given all the missionaries for a companion who needed some extra help.  What I love about him and his wife, though, is that they are still powerful missionaries.  They are not afraid to share what they believe with their friends, co-workers and acquaintances.  They strengthen the people around them and are a blessing to their wards and areas.

6.  Ronaldo Kakuichi, written by Elder Matthew Ludlow

Ronaldo is a convert of about two months.  He is 37 years old with a wife and three children and he really wants to share the Gospel with his family.  He is actually half Peruvian and half Japanese.  He grew up in Peru but moved to Japan about 15 years ago.

We found Ronaldo because he was a referral from the Honbu.  We made contact with him and he told us he would really like to hear our message.  He didn’t come to our appointment and for about two and a half weeks we couldn’t get into contact with him.  Then one Saturday night he called us and said he wanted to come to church.  At church we taught him the message of the Restoration.  During the lesson, he told us that he had met with the missionaries when he was 12 and the only reason he hadn’t been baptized was his mom is a very strong Catholic.  She wouldn’t let him be baptized.  When he came to Japan, he didn’t think the Church had missionaries here, but one day he saw us on our bikes.  After seeing us he asked his friend in Spain to give his information to the Church.
From left:  Elder Schade, Ronaldo, and Elder Ludlow

So after hearing his story and teaching a little bit, we invited him to be baptized.  About one month later he was baptized and it was wonderful to see him come out of the water.  He was just glowing.  He has since been confirmed and received the Aaronic Priesthood.

I’m so grateful that I have had the opportunity to meet Ronaldo and help him come closer to Christ.  He is a great man and continues to be strong in the faith.

7.  Brother Makoto Ono, written by Elder Benjamin Burnett

Brother Ono is a convert to the Church.  He is a really fun guy and loves music.  He is an engineer and travels to Nagoya every day but Sunday for work.  He has a daughter, Anri, who lives in Hokkaido.
 Brother Ono entered the Church out of curiosity.  Before he was baptized, he did not know whether or not the Church was true, but wanted to see what it was like.  As he continued coming to church, he came to know that the Church is true.  His favorite part about the Gospel is the Plan of Salvation.  He believes it has helped him a lot in his life knowing what his purpose is here on the earth.

Brother Ono serves as the Ward Mission Leader.  He works very hard in his calling and is always helping the missionaries.  He is constantly giving advice and ideas on how to move the work along.  He believes missionary work is very important because it can help people see their purpose here on the earth.  Through this he believes people will become more happy.

8.  Oishi Shimai, written by Elder Aaron James

The member that we chose for the Fujieda area is Oishi Shimai.  She is not only a wonderful mother, but also a shining example to her three grandchildren.  Every Sunday she brings all of her grandchildren to church. 

Right now her son is less-active, but her son’s wife used to not be a member.  After reading through her daughter-in-law’s conversion story I really feel that Oishi Shimai was right along beside her, and she still is!  The daughter-in-law is a very active member.
Oishi Shimai has an arrow pointing at her.
Elder Rocha (center) and Elder James (right)
I don’t know much about Sister Oishi’s conversion story, but I do know that she was taught a while back with her friend as well.  Through her conversion she has gained a love for the members and especially the missionaries.  Every day she shares her love through a warm smile.  And just through a few of her words, you can truly feel how much she loves you.

We truly do feel she deserves to be acknowledged for her efforts to bring her friends to the gospel and especially for her being an example to the members and missionaries.

9.  Roberto Tsuraga, written by Elder Douglas Parry

Can I hear a “tudo bem”?  It’s another installment of the ‘Chronicles of Matsumoto.’ May I introduce you to my friend Roberto Tsuruga.  Born and raised in Brazil, now roaming the mountains of Matsumoto, doing anything that will keep him outside and active.  He is as handsome as ever and has his own unique style.

Roberto is one who would never pass up an opportunity to be with the Elders or his family.  He is known for “kidnapping” and taking people to the mountains, to do a  BBQ, go to an ashiyu, or many other things.  He loves life, helping others, and being the best person he can be.  There has never been a moment with him I haven’t felt sincere love, humility, and a strong faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ.

About three years ago, Roberto first met the missionaries at his friend’s house when he was getting help with his iphone.  He wondered why there were two ‘gaijins’ who could speak Japanese and dressed in church clothing.  As he talked with them, they mentioned that they taught a free English class.  He had an interest in English, so he took the ‘gaijins’ offer and gave the free class a chance.

After a few weeks, the Brazilian Elder asked him if he would like to meet and talk more about their religion.  Roberto was a Christian and thought, “Sure, why not?  These are pretty cool guys.”  When he started taking the lessons they gave him a small section from the ‘O Livro de Mormon’ to read.  For weeks, when they asked him if he had read, he gave the same answer:  “no”.  After one lesson he thought to himself, “They take the time to meet with me and teach me and I can’t simply read this little piece of homework?”  So he did just that and read, and he felt…nothing.  After the next appointment, he told them he had felt nothing.  They started to talk to him about baptism and committed him for August the 22nd.  Even though he didn’t feel much, he committed to that date.  He knew two things going into this:  first, that he needed to commit himself to go to church every week.  And second, he knew Satan would do everything in his power to tempt him until his baptism.

And just that happened.  Two weeks before his baptism, he got invited to go out and do his favorite things:  hiking, biking, and camping with his best friends.  He realized that it was on a Sunday and knew that was Satan trying to work against him and that he had committed himself to going to church.  He turned down the offer and has never looked back since.

Roberto has shown his faith and strength throughout his whole life.  Life has given this Hermano many storms, but as he would say, “The blue skies are on God’s side.”

10.  Sister Fujinaka Hiroko, Okazaki Ward, written by Ziona Shimoji

Conversion:  Sister Fujinaka’s friends from the church invited her to an Eikaiwa class and she met the missionaries.  She went to a Halloween party the next day and she was invited to church again for Sunday.  That is when the lessons started.  The missionaries would give her lessons when she came to Eikaiwa.  She was baptized about a month later.

Faith:  After Sister Fujinaka was baptized, she got a calling as a primary teacher.  After nine months, she was released from her calling and stopped attending church.  She had a night shift job and was tired all the time.  After a year and a half of being less active, she felt lonely.  There were no members that visited, called or wrote to her during that time.  One day she suddenly thought to herself, “I have to change.  I need to start going to church.” 

She decided to change her job.  Her new job only paid half of the money her old job paid, but for her, taking the sacrament and remembering the Savior was more important. She said she was able to come back to church and be where she is at now because of the missionaries.

Three years after she joined the Church, she entered the temple.  She said she did not understand the “Holy Ghost” before, but she was able to really feel and know the spirit when she got her endowment. 

Miracle:  First, she is more focused.  She said she used to spend time on things that did not matter too much.  But that changed.  She thinks of others more.  When she sees the opportunities to help others, she feels like the Savior is testing her through others.

Second, it is a miracle that she was able to quit drinking coffee and alcohol that she loved.  Her health test result used to be Level C, but now it is Level A.  She doesn’t have to go to the hospital very much anymore.  Her thyroid got better as well.  She has a testimony of the Word of Wisdom.

Third, when she had leg surgery, the anesthetic stopped working during the operation.  The pain was strong, but when she prayed, she felt her body and spirit separate and she didn’t feel the pain anymore.  During that time, she felt that there was a man (Savior?) right beside her.  She was told that she wouldn’t be able to walk, but she is still walking.

Fourth, her mother was in a retirement home and she was not able to communicate well with others.  But whenever the missionaries came to teach her lessons, she became alert and was able to respond well.  After the lessons, her mother would turn back to how she normally is and would not be able to communicate well again. 

Sacrifice:  Sister Fujinaka is sacrificing her time, talent, and some time with her family.  There were situations that she had to give up her family, but she felt that God has blessed and protected her family as she put the Lord first.

Principles:  She always reads the Book of Mormon before she goes to work and before she goes to bed.  She was still reading the Book of Mormon when she was less active, and now that she is active, she never misses a day without reading.  She prays sincerely with her whole heart.  She is always facing towards God.  When she feels she should do something, she does it.  When she is prompted by the spirit, she does it without worrying.

Favorite Scriptures:  Alma 13:28-29; 3 Nephi 13:33-34, and D & C 88:67

Virtue:  One of her qualities is that she has charity toward others.  Even when it is inconvenient, she always helps the missionaries and works with them.  She is a great friend with many investigators, new members and less active members.  She voluntarily and gratefully does things that others aren’t always willing to do.  That is because she truly believes that everyone is a precious son and daughter of God, and most of all, because she loves the Lord.

She is a great example to the missionaries and a light to everyone. 

11.  Atsushi Matsunaga, written by Sister Maori Takatsu

When Brother Matsunaga was in college, he thought he was pretty smart, but he realized that even smart people don’t remember everything.  That is when he started to think that God knows more than we do, and we only know a fraction of what God knows.

As a ward mission leader, he gives good advice to missionaries about how they can help investigators and less active members.  He helps with finding members to help with lessons for investigator lessons.

He has a strong faith towards Christ.  He is diligent and full of hope.  He always shows charity towards missionaries and his family. 

12.  Brother Makoto Yoshikura, written by Sister Sakura Saito

Brother Makoto’s daughter is a member of the Church.  He visited church one day and with an encouragement of a member, started to take lessons.  It was a challenge for him to quit smoking and drinking.  But he decided to stop on his birthday and he did.  He says he is a lot healthier now.
Bro. Yoshikura with daughter and grandchildren.

He is a great priesthood holder.  He comes to church early to prepare for the sacrament meeting.  He is a man of service. 

He came to church with his daughter and granddaughter recently.  He really looked happy.  He has a dream to attend church with all of his family.  He is humble, full of faith, hope and charity.

13.  Sister Chizuko Matsuya, written by Sister Sakura Saito

Sister Chizuko has been a member for 25 years.  Missionaries visited her and asked her to read the Book of Mormon.  She has had bad legs since she was young.  The missionaries came to her house when she had many concerns.  At first, she hid from her husband that the missionaries were teaching her lessons.  However, as the missionaries built a relationship with her husband, his heart softened.  Her husband eventually asked her, “Why won’t you get baptized?”  That was how she was able to make her decision.
From left:  Sister Takatsu, Sister Chizuko and Sister Saito
She was fighting the pain from her leg disability every day.  Even with the pain, she came to church once a month.  Her mother was baptized because of her example.  Sister Chizuko accepts her disability and still has an attitude of gratitude.  She is living her life with a hope.  She is faithful, hopeful, humble, loving and virtuous.  

14.  Sister Hachiya Karen, Okazaki Ward, written by Sister Shizuka Eguchi

Conversion:  Missionaries came to Karen chan’s home.  She wanted to get baptized on June of 2011, but she didn’t want to attend church meetings.  She started coming to church on December of 2011, and she was baptized on March 11th of 2012.  She said she felt the spirit so strongly that it was hard to describe her feelings.

She felt like she became closer to the Savior.  Her faith was strengthened and she feels the power of the Atonement.  She feels peace when she thinks of what the Savior went through and thinks how small her pain is compared to His.

Miracle:  She was praying since she was little.  She had a leg disability when she was young and the doctor told her that she wouldn’t be able to walk, but she has been praying about it to the Lord.  After she joined the Church she learned to walk to school without a cane.  She hopes to continue to walk on her own.

She desires now to be more kind to others, and to herself.  She is able to rely on the Savior more.  She wants to be a missionary, so she can bring the Gospel to those who don’t know it.  She gave a Book of Mormon to her friend.

Clothing:  She used to wear mini-skirts and sleeveless shirts, but she changed her clothing, and realized that it is important to have high standards and that wearing appropriate clothing is protection to herself.  She had a friend that wore immodest clothing and there were always strange people around that friend.  She has a strong desire to continue learning.  She is always studying General Conference talks or scriptures.

Practice, Action:  When she prays and reads the scriptures, she feels the spirit and receives hints or help for her problems.

Sacrifice:  She is giving up her desires to shop on Sunday to keep the Sabbath holy.  She puts Sacrament Meeting and other meetings first before doing other things with her family.  She doesn’t go drinking with others.  When she stopped drinking, she got healthier and her spiritual level increased.  She says there is a light of Christ in her heart now.  It was hard for her to quit drinking tea.

She marked in the Book of Mormon and wrote her testimony in it, and gave it to her friend.  She wants to share the Gospel with more of her friends.  When she took the Book of Mormon to school, one of her friends showed interest and asked if she could “look at it.”  Her friend told her that she liked some of the things in the book.  Karen is planning to give the Book of Mormon to that friend.  Karen chan really is a great missionary.

15.  Matsuhashi Kaicho, Matsumoto Branch President, written by Sister Yamada and Sister Thayne

We are very thankful for what our Branch President does.  Matsuhashi Kaicho himself served a mission, so he understands us well and always gives encouraging words.  He is always happy, cheerful, and treats everyone with kindness.
President and Sister Matsuhashi run the post office.  They are always cheerful.
He always shows love to all the missionaries in Nagano Zone.  He never misses church activities and missionaries’ Ekaiwa class.  He brings all his family to the activities.

He serves his calling with a humble attitude.  He always prays for the missionaries.  His happy and positive attitude is a good example to all of us.

16.  Elder Cameron Amussen, November 2012

When I came on my mission, I really didn’t feel that I had a testimony.  I came because my parents wanted me to.  However, over the course of my mission, I have gained a testimony of my own.  Here is one of my big conversion experiences.

I have always believed in God. It just makes sense for there to be a God.  But I didn’t really have a real belief in Jesus Christ.  I was reading one day in the New Testament, and there was a scripture about “He who believeth on my name shall inherit my Father’s kingdom,” or something like that.  I thought about it for a bit, and realized my belief in God, but my lack of faith in Christ.  As I read on, I found another scripture where Jesus says to His disciples, “Thou believest in God, believe thou also in me.”  I felt the spirit very strongly, and learned back in my chair.  I looked up towards the ceiling, and said to myself, “Okay, Jesus, I will believe in you.”  And after I said that, I heard a voice in my head say, “And I believe in you.”

Ever since that day, I can say that I truly do believe in Jesus Christ and that this is His true church.

17.  Mochida Kiioka, written by Elder Frederico Rocha

On a Monday afternoon around five o clock, I was about to finish e-mailing my family, when suddenly, I got a call from President Baird.  I was very surprised as it was the middle of the transfer and wasn't expecting a call from him. He had called to tell me that I was transferring to a new area the next morning with a new missionary, after having been in my first area for four and a half transfers.

That day I had to pack everything and was unable to say goodbye to anyone, and I was gone the next morning with Elder Augusto to meet my new companion, Elder Ogasawara, in Nagoya.  We then all three went together to Toyohashi.  Elder Ogasawara had been called to serve in the Sao Palo South mission, but had had visa issues, and had to return to Japan for two months.  We were sanin (threesome) for two weeks.  That was fun.  But nothing was really happening.

It was a really new thing for me to be with a Nihonjin and a Brazilian in a big Brazilian area like Toyohashi.  Two weeks passed by, and transfer calls came yet again.  Elder Augusto transferred out of Toyohashi, and I stayed in Toyohashi as trainer. I felt a little lost training in an area I wasn't very familiar with. The first few weeks were a little hard to figure out what to do. We tried to keep up with our investigators, but no one was really progressing.  We were working our hardest, and did a lot of 10x. Elder Ogasawara is a dendo beast.  
One day we decided to visit some former investigators that lived pretty far. On the way, I got a flat tire. We found a bike shop, and brought it there to get it fixed. They informed me that it was going to take around three hours to fix. Not really knowing the area, we saw an enormous, eleven story apartment complex. We knocked every single door. On that day, we found four new Brazilian investigators. They all received a Book of Mormon, and it was overall a good experience. We felt the Lord was preparing something special for us.

A few weeks later, in the middle of winter, we were at the train station contacting and explaining about our free English class. We didn't make any really great contacts.  A few days later, we had an appointment with an eternal investigator, but he wasn't home.  So we began 10x'ing a nearby apartment complex. We knocked about 15-20 doors, and received nothing but rejections. 
Elder Ogasawara, Mochida Kyoko Shimai, and Elder Rocha
We were about to go try our investigator's home again, but there was only one more door. So we knocked. And we found Mochida Kyoko Shimai.  She had just moved to Toyohashi just a few weeks earlier. She said that she had received one of their English class flyers a few days earlier, but we didn't remember who she was exactly.  She said she wasn't very interested in learning English, but was curious about what we were doing here in Japan.  So we gave a simple explanation about missionary work and why we were knocking on her and others doors. It was very brief, but we gave her a Book of Mormon and asked if we could visit her again the following day with a member, and she said it was OK.

We met her that Saturday, and we taught the whole message of the restoration. She had never met the missionaries before, but she really liked what she heard. As the lesson came to a close, she began asking many questions about the Word of Wisdom. Why we followed it. We asked why, and she said because she wanted to follow that law as well.
The next day, she came to church! She felt the spirit there, and was very happy to be there and make new friends. She felt really welcome as she had just moved and didn't really know anyone. We began meeting three to four times a week, and she progressed exponentially. In less than a week, we invited her to be baptized in two weeks, and she accepted.

On that day, December 18th 2011, the Sunday before Christmas, she was baptized.  New Years came, and Elder Ogasawara received his visa, and he was off to his mission field in Brazil.  After that, once again, emergency transfer. This time, I got a new companion named Elder Hernandez, who was on his third transfer at that time.  We were together for a transfer and a half, and we were teaching the AB (after baptism) lessons with Mochida Kyoko Shimai every week, and she came to church every Sunday without fail. We were helping her prepare to enter the temple! She was very excited for that! 
After about two months, we finished the AB lessons on a Saturday. That next Sunday, she came to church and sat next to me. She told me she was feeling achy all over her body.  But she wanted to stay at church, and not go home.  Right after church, she went to a members' home to have lunch, and spend some time with them.  We planned to visit them all that evening.  While they went to lunch, we went to do some home teaching with a member and visited a lot of people.
Elder Rocha and Mochida Shimai
Afterwards, we went to visit Mochida Shimai and the family she was with.  When we got there, they told us that she had just had a heart attack. The ambulance came and took her to the hospital. But she passed away on the way to the hospital.  We were so shocked how all this happened.  We had just finished AB lessons and had goals to enter the temple.  She was obedient to the commandments of God, and she just passed away.  It was a really hard time, but I know that God had prepared her at that time, so that she could be faithful to Him, and I know she is with Him now.  I really love her, and I know that only time separates us now.  I know that one day, I'll see her again. 

Yamazaki Shimai, by Elder Parry 

This story comes from our beloved Takaoka.  Most who know this area think of the king, Brazilians, and snow.  But actually, there’s more.  I would like to write about one most might not know if they don’t venture up here, our very own Yamazaki Shimai.  Since I got here, I haven’t seen her without a smile and I have not been shopping—due to her contributions to the missionaries.

Years ago, she was at her home when the missionaries came to her home.  She opened the door to find two young men standing there.  Their bike had broken and since they were in a hurry for their next appointment, they asked if she had a bike they could borrow.  After their lesson, they returned the bike and talked about the Church.  And the rest is history.
Yamazaki Shimai, center, and Elder deOliveira on right

Yamazaki Shimai gave up wealth and riches to marry her husband and then became a member of this restored gospel.  The true wealth and riches.  The better life.  She’s got a testimony that burns like a fire from within and love that is too much for one to handle.  So please, if you make it up here on your journey, swing by Yamazaki Shimai’s place and feel some of the love.

19.  Marcelo Arisawa, written by Elder deOlivera

If I ever think of a generous person or a noble friend that I made on my mission, there will always be Arisawa’s name.  He is a massive help for missionary work in Takaoka.  Because of his strong testimony and example of a true follower of the Master Jesus Christ, many were brought to the truth of the Gospel.

Arisawa’s story with the Church started around 10 years ago.  he was around a shopping mall where the missionaries were handing out English Class leaflets and he accept one.  He came to the class and enjoyed it.  By the end of the class the missionaries asked him if he would listen to the message that they had to share.  And he said: “They are teaching me free English.  Why not listen to them?”

The missionaries came and taught him the first lesson.  Because of his Christian background, he understood most of it, but wasn’t really interested about keeping with lessons.
The second English class day the missionaries already had a return appointment with him, but he did not want to go.  He started the lesson hoping for the courage to say no to those missionaries. 

One of the missionaries started praying, an American missionary.  In the middle of the missionary’s prayer, he said one sentence in very clear Portuguese, saying “This is my son that is speaking.  Listen to him.” When the missionary finished, his companion was the first to ask about what he had said, but the missionary who prayed did not know what had just happened.

After this experience, the missionaries did not have to ask Arisawa kyodai about baptism.  He told the missionaries that he wanted to be baptized. 

Nowadays, he serves as the second counselor in the bishopric.  He also serves in the Tokyo Temple as an officiator.  I am grateful to have the opportunity to meet such a marvelous person.

20.  Kyosuki Kun, written by Sister Mariah Hunt

Kyosuke Kawarasaki is the student of Brother Miwa, a member of the Shizuoka Ward.  Kyosuke started attending Brother Miwa’s cram (prep) school about a year ago.  Kyosuke’s mother had talked to Brother Miwa and had hopes that Brother Miwa’s class would help Kyosuke in possibly more than just an academic way.

Brother Miwa said that when he met Kyosuke, Kyosuke couldn’t look him in the eye.  Kyosuke is a smart young man, but he seemed to lack confidence and be a little hardened.  Brother Miwa wanted to help him.

About that time, President Baird had visited Shizuoka to explain about the Fulfilment and Follow Up activity that helps members have a way to actively do missionary work.  Brother Miwa decided he would, among other people, pray for Kyosuke as a part of President Baird’s suggestion.  So a year ago, Brother Miwa started to pray for Kyosuke every night with his wife.

Kyosuke was invited to a few activities and eventually he came to church.  The first Sunday I met him, Sister West and I taught him a little bit about his Heavenly Father and from then we met almost every week and met on Sunday’s, too.  A couple months later he was baptized.

From the time Kyosuke started to learn with Brother and Sister Miwa and the missionaries he has been reading the Book of Mormon.  He comes to church every Sunday and he wants to be a good person.  Kyosuke is a humble person and has faith.  He prays with his non-member mother every night and is an example to her.  He is an example to me!

I feel humbled to see someone with such pure intent come unto Christ, accept a new life and faith, and do their best to live it.  Kyosuke is a miraculous young man and has taught me a lot.  I’m so excited to see how he progresses and what he becomes.

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