Welcome to another week here in the 日本名古屋伝道部. It's definitely had its ups and downs and I am so ready for this next transfer. So let's talk about the past week. Shall we begin?
To start things off it was pouring rain from Sunday to Wednesday. Just buckets of sky-juice just getting dumped on us. Then all of a sudden it just stopped while we were walking to a lesson in 安曇野(Azumino). That was a lovely little miracle because we had to teach 金子(Kaneko) on her genkan. It was a really good lesson. In a week she has started the Book of Mormon from the beginning and finished 1 Nephi! I've never had an investigator read that much so fast ever. She even highlights parts she doesn't understand so that she can ask us questions. We taught her the Plan of Salvation and she really liked it a lot. It made a lot of sense to her that God would want us to be happy for eternity. I mentioned to her that as missionaries we invite people to be baptized so they can return to live with God, but she said that she couldn't be baptized. We'll see about that. If she keeps reading and starts praying she will for sure gain a testimony of the truth. Sadly we won't be able to meet until October, but I'm sure she'll keep progressing on her own.
Most of my week has been spent down in the heart of 名古屋(Nagoya). We had a mission tour by the Area Seventy President, President Whiting. Our day of the conference was three zones meeting in the Fukutoku area. It was a pretty good conference, but it shocked a ton of us. We were told that after Elder Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles visited us in February, President Whiting was asked why Japan and Korea don't baptize as many people as the rest of the world. The only answer President Ballard would accept was that we as missionaries
in Japan don't have the faith sufficient enough to baptize. That hurt. I have seen missionaries with way more faith than me see only a couple of baptisms. As far as I'm concerned Japan is one of the most difficult areas in the world to serve as a missionary. Here we are now being told that we need to get our act together because all of the things that make Japan a low baptizing mission are just excuses and if only we had more faith would we see more success. As hard as it was to swallow this pill, it actually helped motivate a lot of us. I am really excited to start a new, fresh transfer, with a new companion, and apply the things I learned and motivate my zone.
This week I was unable to meet with Enna, my German investigator. I practiced do German for language study for two days and learned how say a really simple prayer in German. I left her a German Book of Mormon in her post with a sticky note with our email and number to set a next event. I realized later that I wrote the wrong number and my grammar was wrong on the note, but the email was correct, so I hope to hear from her.
This week was really good for my Brazilian investigators. On Friday we went with Elder Valente to give Aoki a blessing. The were so happy after it was crazy. Preto gave me a hug and kissed my neck! That's how happy they were. Yesterday we went and taught them again and followed up on their reading assignment of 2 Nephi 31, which talks about baptism and the need to be baptized. Preto is Catholic and mentioned how he had already been baptized. We read Moroni 8 and talked about how children don't need to be baptized and how proper baptism requires the proper priesthood authority and immersion, both of which he hasn't had. I continued to teach that we become missionaries to help people be properly baptized so they can return to live with their Father in Heaven and be families for eternity. Aoki was a little worried because she doesn't understand everything right now and Tu'akoi shared with her Moroni 10:4-5 and shared his conversion and how he received an answer it. It was like a light bulb clicked for her and she seemed determined to accepted Moroni's promise and ask God if it is all true. They both accepted a baptismal date for the end of next month! There was a lot of love felt and the Spirit was super present in the lesson.
The last thing I want to make note of this week was that my investigator Rei Takami was baptized yesterday in Toyota. You may not remember her, but she was my Chinese investigator whose parents were members. I loved her and she was one of my most favorite people to teach. I am so happy for her. When I left Toyota I had taught her all the lessons and set up her baptismal date, the only thing was I couldn't be there to do it. Her family is now another step closer to being together for eternity.
This all true folks, every word. Everything I say on the streets, on doorsteps, and in emails home is true. If I didn't believe that this was the only true church of God here on the Earth, then I wouldn't be in Japan. Through this message a share I have seen lives changed and felt God's love.
Love you all! I hope you all have a great week!
On the side of a mountain looking for less actives