Monday, October 28, 2013

MIRACLE MAIL - October 21, 2013




Konnichiwa minasan!!
From the title of this letter, I hope your ready and excited to read about my wonderful experiences this past week.
Miracle Number 1. Every week we try to go to a Japanese class at the Kasukabe Community Center. There are lots of volunteers who help foreigners learn Japanese. It is one of my favorite ways to find. At the beginning of the class, they ask us what we want to learn about. I love to say that I teach about our church every day, and so it would be helpful if I could teach them about our church and have them correct me or help me improve. Through Japanese class, I have been able to commit my teachers to come to Eikaiwa class, come to church, and meet with us to learn about our church. It is also super fun to be able to talk to the students (there are some who come that came to Japan from America...aka...they speak English). After class, I went up to a girl and introduced myself. Her name is Anna. We just met with her for lunch today at Jonnathans (name of restaurant). Right now, she is in Japan working for a church by teaching English classes. She knows the Bible really well. We gave her a Book of Mormon. I love the scripture found in Ezekial 37:15-17-it explains so well the need for the Book of Mormon and the Bible. We then gave her a church tour and set up another appointment for Wednesday. I'm way WAY excited to meet with her again. She is the sweetest girl. She said that she didn't have any intention of ever going to Japan, but that she felt like God wanted her to come here. I wanted to say, "you know why God told her to come to Japan? Because He wanted you to find us." :) I'll save that for some time in the future.
Miracle Number 2. Last Friday, we went on splits. Sister Moss, who is in my doki (a.k.a. We are both on our 2nd transfer) came to Kasukabe with me. That night, we had an appointment with Maria Asano. It is so important that, when we prepare for lessons, we begin with the end in mind. I told Sister Moss that our goal should be to commit her to baptism by the end of the lesson. As we focused on that goal, our entire lesson plans were focused on how we could prepare her to receive this commitment. Maria was baptized when she was a baby, but through the lesson, Sister Moss and I were able to teach her some basic gospel principles that changed her heart:

1. When Chirst was baptized, He was baptized by immersion. If we want to follow Christ, we must follow is example by being baptized by immersion.
2. Christ only claims one proper authority. Our church has the proper authority to baptize.
3. When she was baptized as a baby, she didn't necessarily get to choose. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we can get baptized at the age of eight. Individuals get to make their own choice to follow God.
We also taught her about the Gift of the Holy Ghost. I did a tatoeba to help her understand. Here's how it goes. First, I have her put her hand out in front of her. Before we our baptized, we can sometimes feel the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost teaches us truthes. When we feel the Holy Ghost, we know what we are learning is true. I would then occasionally brush her hand (for example, she can feel the Holy Ghost when we teach her). She then said, wow, I could feel the Spirit go through my arm when you touched me. We took a moment to let her express her feelings. Then, I continued on with the tatoeba...when we have the Gift of the Holy Ghost (we then grab hands) the Holy Ghost is always with us and will guide us. She then said, that she felt the Holy Ghost throughout her whole body. Words can't really express what a wonderful Spirit we felt that night.  We invited her to be baptized at the end of the lesson and she accepted. We are so very thrilled! The date is set. Now we follow up with her every day and continue to love her as Christ would. I like to call her my Kasukabe Mom. She said that if we come back to Japan in the future, she wants us to know that she has a place where we can stay. What a tender mercy from the Lord to have her in my life. I love her with all of my heart.
Well, I'm about out of time. I hope you have enjoyed reading. P.S. This weeks miracles are certainly not limited to 2. Miracles happen every single day. I love the scripture found in D&C 58:3, "Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter..." As I have prayed fervantly to see miracles every day, done my very best, and asked God to help me see the miracles that He sees, my eyes have truly been opeend. I love this work. I know my purpose as a missionary. I hope all of you are learning what your purpose is as a member missionary. Did you know that out of all the sentences written in Preach My Gospel, the sentence that took the longest amount of time to formulate was, "Our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ, by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." How great is our calling! 
Lots of love to one all all (and to all a good night...Sister Lowry set up a Christmas tree in our apartment this week),
Yamauchi Shimai

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