Monday, August 16, 2010

A Missionary's Purpose...Baptism! (email)

I had a wonderful second week in Koriyama. We taught many lessons this past week--there are lots of investigators here in Koriyama so it seems like we spend more time teaching than finding new investigators! Three of our investigators have a baptism date that we`re working towards--they each have different challenges to overcome before being ready to be baptized. One is Shizuka chan, who I mentioned in my last e-mail--she just has to tell her dad before getting baptized. She has really grown and progressed so much--from dressing modestly to reading the Book of Mormon everyday, and on Sunday we fasted together for her to be able to forgive her father and be baptized. I know that with the Lord`s help, at the right time she`ll be able to be baptized.

Also, we`re teaching Yaeko san, who lives alone and is in her 60`s. Since she met the missionaries, she got into a bike accident and was really humbled...she really wants to follow Jesus Christ and be baptized! But she smokes a lot everyday, so we`ll do what we can to help her to overcome it so she can be baptized. Her husband died a few years ago, and she has one son but no daughters--so she thinks of us as her daughters.

Our other investigator with a baptism date is Seiko san, a mother who came to Eikaiwa, our free English class, where she met the missionaries and started taking the lessons. Her testimony has grown little by little as she`s taken the lessons--she`s so busy so we haven`t been able to meet her every week, but she knows that baptism is a good thing and wants to be baptized! I`m excited to continue teaching her and watch as her testimony grows...

This past week we had Zone Conference--it was very different from the Sendai zone I was in before--in the Koriyama Zone there are about 12 missionaries! But it was wonderful to be together with the other missionaries and receive training from our Zone Leaders and Mission President. We learned about focusing even more on our purpose of baptism--our zone leaders even challenged us to talk about it when we`re finding--to refer to it simply as a promise we make with God, where we promise to follow Him and He blesses us! Semba Shimai and I have already started talking about it when we meet people on the streets/housing, and it`s made dendo even more fun, and definitely helps us feel like we are fulfilling our purpose!

I`m loving each day learning, growing, and serving as a missionary. When else can I testify to people all day that I know God lives and loves us?! This past week I was saddened as I realized how little time I have left as a missionary...after just three more transfers! It`s my hope that I`ll be able to do what God wants me to for every day that`s left, and help bring those who are searching for the truth but know not where to find it back to the knowledge of the God who created them! I know God lives, and this is His work. It`s the best!

I love all of you. Thanks for your support and prayers!

Sister Swain

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