|Lucy with her companions with a potential investigator|
I have seen so many amazing miracles this week. I love the two wards I serve in and I have been having fun getting to know all of the members. It seems like more than half ofthe ward is inactive, so we teach a lot of less active and recent converts. Recent convert retention is also very difficult here so we spend a lot of our time trying to get the ward members to fellowship them and help get people back to church. We also found a lot of really great potential investigators this week. One of them is named Chiya san and she is an 18 year old high school student. We knocked on her door and taught her the first lesson. The spirit was incredibly strong and I'll never forget her face as she listened intently to her message. We were prompted very strongly by the spirit to ask her to be baptized on her doorstep during that first meeting with her...and she said yes! She wouldn't commit to a specific day but she said that if she knew the church was true for herself then yes, of course she would be baptized! That was such an amazing miracle that I saw this week. It goes to show that the Lord is really preparing people!!!
|Enjoying some gelato with some darling Japanese girls|
Another miracle I saw was from a little girl named Mio chan. She is this adorable 9 year old who got baptized all on her own. Her mom was hearing the discussions for a while until she said she wasn't interested anymore, but she said Mio chan could keep hearing them if she wanted. She ended up getting baptized! That was a few weeks before I came, so now we're just concentrating on teaching her the lessons she needs to hear for after baptism. This week when we went over we sat with her in her living room and taught her how to bare her testimony. She is seriously so cute and strong. It is hearbreaking, though, to see how much she wants her mom to accept the gospel. As we were teachign her, we asked her what her favorite scripture was and she pulled out her little Book of Mormon, and read 3 Neph 12:14. She jumped up before she started reading it and grabbed a spare BOM and put it on the table for her mom. Her mom just looked at it and turned back to the TV, and wouldn't even listen as Mio Chan read her favorite scripture. I almost started crying because it was so sad. We helped her write out her testimony on a little piece of paper and on Sunday she showed up to sacrament all by herself. She even brought a non-member friend! She got up and bore her testimony, and had even added some things from when we helped her write it out. I can't believe this little girl. She is going to do great things one day. I have faith that because of her testimony her mother and little brother will one day accept the gospel as well.
I have a million more stories I want to tell but no time. I love you all and hope you all have a wonderful week! I love this gospel and the people in my little area of Naha. I can see more and more everyday how much people need the gospel. I see and hear and experience so many sad things everyday with ward members, less active members, and investigators, but those things help me to recognize the miracles that Heavenly Father works in the lives of these people as well. He uses strong tools like Mio chan to build up families and strengthen the faith of weak missionaries like me. I'll talk to you next sunday!!
Love, Tingey Shimai