Monday, April 26, 2010

"Wonderful, Unique Birthday"

Dear family,

It’s been another great week—thanks mom for the birthday package! Saturday morning the Nagamachi elders surprised me and showed up at our door with a cake and sang "happy birthday!" Morikoshi Shimai and I ate cake and opened the presents you sent-thanks so much Mom! I like all the clothes and they’re the right size. Also thank Grandma Swain for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir CD she sent me. It’s already been well-listened to!

I had a wonderful birthday, definitely unique to all the birthdays I’ve ever had. We went housing, then had a lesson with a sweet 22 year old Chinese girl we had met streeting a few weeks before. She’s been in Japan for 1 ½ years going to college & working-her Japanese is very good! Saturday was our first lesson with her. We taught her about the Restoration, and she thought Joseph Smith’s experience was neat. She’s excited to read the Book of Mormon in Chinese and pray!

After her lesson we went to another baptism in Morikoshi Shimai’s former area, Kamisugi, together with another girl we’re teaching, Naoko Chan. The baptism was for a girl whose mother is opposed to the church—but she’d just turned 20 so she could get baptized without her parent’s permission. It was neat to hear her testimony and see her strong faith!

So, I was lucky enough on my birthday to find, teach, and see a baptism! It was a great day!

Oyama San passed his baptismal interview this week and is ready to be baptized on May 8th! We had a wonderful lesson with him where we watched “The Testaments” together. He felt the Spirit and afterwards bore his testimony of how he had come to believe these things. He even began crying, and we did too! What a special experience it is to watch and help someone plant their seed of faith and see it begin to grow!

On Sunday we had ward conference, with around 140 people in attendance—which is very big for Japan! Wonderful messages were shared, especially about doing what we can to reach out to others.

My companion caught a cold a few days ago, so I’ve been doing my best to not catch it from her-when she had to take a nap to get better, I took a nap to not get sick! I’ve had just a little bit of a cold, but the Lord is blessing me with good health. I pray He’s doing the same for all of you!

Swain Shimai

P.S. The sakura, or cherry blossoms, famous to Japan are absolutely beautiful! I’ve never seen anything like it!

Me & Morikoshi shimai in front of a sakura tree!

We went to a nearby park to see all the Sakura! It was beautiful! Me, Morikoshi Shimai, and 2 ward members.

P.P.S. Again Happy Birthday Dad, and soon it’ll be Nate’s birthday—tell him Happy Birthday for me!

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