Saturday, April 10, 2010

"Housing" with members...

Dear family,

Another week has flown by! This past week particular was full of great experiences and learning for me. On Tuesday we went on splits with two of the young women in the ward—my first time going on splits with members, and it was so much fun! As I went housing with 19 year old Megumi Chan, I felt like we should house a certain white apartment. When we got closer, we saw that no one was living in a few of the apartments, and it didn’t look like anyone was home in the others-so we were about to move on when once again I felt like we should go there. So, we began knocking on doors, and found a middle-aged woman, Emi san, who said she’d learned about Jesus Christ when she was younger and felt like she needed His help right now! We testified of the Savior’s atonement and His power to help and heal our hearts. She wants to hear our message and we’ll probably be able to teach her next week! I’m grateful for the hand of the Lord in helping us find her, and for the promptings of the Spirit I received—without them, I would not have gone there!

On Wednesday we had Zone Conference (which is now held monthly). We learned about using the Book of Mormon even more in our teaching and finding. I realized this is something I need to do better at! We talked about how Preach My Gospel says that anyone who reads the Book of Mormon and prays to know if it’s true with a sincere heart will get an answer from the Holy Ghost/Spirit that it is true! Our zone leaders gave us missionaries a commitment to pray to know if the Book of Mormon is true. Even though I’ve felt and known of its truthfulness as I’ve read, studied, and prayed about it before-I decided to once again pray. I did, and felt in my heart and received another witness from the Spirit that it is true! It is another testament of Jesus Christ, and as the introduction says, “...a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than any other book.” How often do we forget this and take it for granted? This is why it’s so important for us to read and ponder its truths each day—and why I will try to use its power even more in my missionary work!

We met with 3 other investigators this week, and one recent convert. It’s amazing to see the faith of those who keep the missionary’s commitments to read the Book of Mormon and pray, and who are willing to change to accept Christ into their lives—and the difference between those who don’t. I could go on and on with the great examples of faith and of the changes the gospel makes in people’s lives. And it’s all because of Jesus Christ, who died and suffered for our sins, and was resurrected so that we too can live again, and be freed from our sins if we just believe in Him, repent and be baptized, and endure to the end! The gospel is true!

Swain Shimai

P.S. General Conference was amazing! I loved all the talks! How wonderful it is that we receive revelation from God for us through living prophets.

P.P.S. Since I’ve left Izumi, I heard from Yoneda Shimai this past weekend when I saw her at General Conference—that Murakami san (the 89 year old grandfather we found at the end of January, who wanted to take lessons with us but couldn’t because his daughter was opposed)-decided he would take the lessons anyway. He now has a baptism date set for May 4th or 5th!!! I was super excited to hear that!

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