Tuesday, November 23, 2010

November 22, 2010

Hello Everyone!!

This has been a really really good week here in Ushiku. We got a new investigator named Gina, who is from the Philippines. She was a referral from Miyake Shimai who is from Peru. We met with her, explained the Book of Mormon a little, and then testified. It went really good, and we set up an appointment for the following Friday. Then on Sunday we had Nakamura Shimai come to Church again which was awesome!! And we also had our investigator Kato come to Church as well.
Then on Monday we had a big Conference in Matsudo again. Four Zones met together, and Elder Evans from the 70 was there. He trained us for pretty much the whole time. He taught some things that really changed the way I look at Missionary Work. He asked how many of us have taught a first lesson without extending a baptismal commitment. Everyone raised their hands. He then talked for a while, about the Baptismal Commitment. He said he was here on a special assignment from Boyd K Packer, and that we needed to Change the culture of our Mission. He said "I don`t care if this is not how your trainer did things, or how your follow up trainer did things. From now on we cannot be shy about the Baptismal commitment. I hope that if I were to come back here in a year or so, and ask how many of you did not extend a commitment on the first lesson, I hope that none of you would raise your hands." He said that there was a reason it is worded the way it is on Page 40 in the Preach my Gospel book. It has a lot of power. He said that he has never seen a real truth seeking person say no to that question.
So Elder Darlington and I though about it a lot. About that promise. We had a lesson that night, and we knew that we were going to do a baptismal commitment. We first talked about prayer, then we talked about baptism. I tried to commit him one, but he said no. Then I asked the follow up question. Will you prepare your self to be baptized on this date? He again said no. Then my companion talked for a little bit, tried again, he said no. I still did not know. But my companion felt like we should ask one more time. We talked some more, and then my companion asked again, when you know that these things are true, will you be baptized on December 19th? He thought for a second and then said okay. We were really shocked. Really happy. We promised him that because he said that, he would receive more blessings than he can realize. We promised that this week, he would see miracles and amazing things, all because he said okay. It was amazing. We also have two or Three other Investigators were going to do the same with. Sugai had a date, but it fell through. He has work on that day. But were going to try and get him next Sunday. Also on Friday were meeting with Gina the Philippino lady, and try and get a date for her and her daughter. That would really be neat. It really reminds me of something Elder Holland said. He said something along the lines of, `this is eternal life. They may not understand the importance of this, but at least you do, so take advantage of the situation.` That is really what I think of when I think about this Baptismal thing. And I do feel like ``this could be the start of something new``. (High school Musical) My companion and I talked about it a lot, but our faith really has grown because of this recently. Especially with Kameshita. At the beginning of the lesson, he did not even believe in God, and we got him to say yes to Baptism. Now he is just opened the door for God to bless him.
Yesterday for P-Day we went to the Ushiku Daibutsu http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ushiku_Daibutsu which was awesome!! It is like three times the size of the Statue of Liberty. We went with a big group of people. Nakamura Shimai, A PI named Takahashi, and the Ferreira Family. It was so much fun!! We rode our bikes all the way there. Probably about an hour and a half there and hour and a half back. So much fun.
I`m really excited for the rest of this week. We have already seen one miracle, and I think were going to see more, and I`m very excited!! This Church is True!!

Elder Stewart

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