Monday, January 18, 2010

Zone Conference!

Dear Family and Friends,

I was happy to get your letters and hear about the wonderful Christmas break you had! Sounds like it was very busy, but fun! I’m sad I missed out, but am grateful to be serving the Lord.

Another week has flown by. Zone Conference was wonderful, full of other missionary’s testimonies and inspired counsel from our mission president, zone leaders, and AP’s. Last year the Sendai mission saw 84 baptisms, and this year we will follow former President Hinckley’s counsel (and our mission president’s) to double them! Our goal as a mission is 180 baptisms this year. We’ll do all in our power to meet this goal.

At zone conference we had wonderful training to become more effective missionaries. The Sendai Mission is the best. (This picture is of me and Hansen Shimai--we are both missionaries serving from Las Vegas!)

I had a wonderful experience this week while teach Sato San for the last time before she goes to China for two months. Yoneda Shimai and I tried to encourage her to bring her Book of Mormon with her so she could read from it and continue to progress—but her mother is “hantai”-opposed to the church, so she can’t. Knowing that perhaps it was my last time teaching her, I said a prayer in my heart, so that I could feel God’s love for her and know what to say. At that moment, I felt God’s great love for her, and opened my mouth. The Spirit guided me to say what I otherwise wouldn’t have. I told her how God knew her situation and had seen her efforts to learn about the gospel—and would bless her for it, even if she can’t read the Book of Mormon for two months! How grateful I am for this experience. Perhaps the Lord sent me here to Izumi so that I could help her!! Her baptism is still a ways away, but I’m so glad I could be a part of the process!

The Lord has blessed me here! I’m learning more of the language and am becoming able to understand more. I still have a ways to go, but I’m grateful for the long way I’ve come already.

This is the Lord’s church! I love all of you so much!

Swain Shimai

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