Monday, November 16, 2009

Mori san's baptism!

Dear Family and Friends,

There’s so much I want to tell you and no time to do it in...these past few p-days have been cut short. (Today is district p-day and we’re going bowling as a district with some investigators and recent converts.)

I’m sorry I can’t email anymore—the one place in Izumi we could do it was a Docomo phone shop—they asked us not to use internet there anymore (it’s only for customers)—and there are no more free internet places in Izumi, so I won’t be able to e-mail anymore here, until I’m transferred.

The highlight of this past week was Mori san’s baptism yesterday! Mom and Dad, you may have gotten a call from his friend from America, Brother Davis (who I talked to on Mori san’s cell phone). Every convert’s story is amazing and a miracle—Mori san’s was very much tied to a member friend, Brother Davis from California. They met 20 years ago where they were the coordinators for an exchange program. Mori san stayed with Brother Davis three years later(?) and found out that Brother Davis was a member of the church. Brother Davis referred him to the missionaries who taught him a few years ago but then dropped him as an investigator.

About two months ago, Tani Shimai and her companion before me (Hansen Shimai--from Las Vegas)--were looking through the old investigators and felt prompted to call Mori san. They did, but he didn’t answer. They left a message--and he called back! He set up an appointment, and they taught him the 2nd lesson about the Plan of Salvation. We found out later that something the sisters said about it touched him—so he set up another appointment. That was when I came to Izumi, and taught him with Tani Shimai (Tani Shimai did the teaching—I would bear testimony when I could because of my still beginning Japanese skills…). In his 2nd lesson (I was there)--Tani Shimai felt like she should invite him to be baptized. She did, and he accepted! Later we found out he had a feeling that we would ask him. He already knew it was the right thing to do and had decided to be baptized!

It’s been neat to watch and be a part of his conversion! The Lord has prepared him to accept the gospel--beginning 20 years ago when he met and developed a relationship with a member of the church. Since I’ve been serving as a full-time missionary, I’ve realized how important the members are in doing missionary work—in inviting their friends to the church activities, and to meet with the missionaries. The three people that will have been baptized this transfer (next week is Saito san, a recent convert’s friend’s baptism!) were all referred by members! When the investigators have a member friend, they have a strong support and another testimony of the gospel’s truthfulness—they see it in the lives of the members. How grateful I am for those members who shared the gospel with their friends—who have/will be baptized—the first step to entering God’s kingdom!

That is something I want to do when I get back—share the gospel with all of my non-member friends! I challenge all of you to do the same—you never know whom the Lord is preparing to hear the gospel. He needs every member of the church to help prepare his precious sons and daughters!

I love all of you so much! Sounds like all of you are busy--congrats Michael with Honor Orchestra! I’m glad you and mom got over the flu! That’s wonderful and good to hear that David has more help and is happier. Thank you for your love, support, and prayers.

Swain Shimai

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