|The Oyama fam and the missionaries who taught him.|
|After the baptism|
|Brother Oyama, Yuto and Shintaro|
First off, Happy one year on the mission Anniversary to me!!!! January 26th of last year I entered the MTC! I can't believe how fast time has flown. Elder Stratford, who is my district leader and also entered the MTC with me last year called me on the night of the 26th and we had a little jubilee over the phone, haha.
|a Chinese lady we taught|
Ok, this is going to be short and sweet because we have a lot to do today to get ready for transfers this week.
|Cleaning the font!|
Yep, we have transfer calls on Wednesday morning! I have been here in Fukuoka for three transfers now so there is a pretty good chance I will go to a new area, but I'm definitely crossing my fingers that I don't for a few reasons...
This Saturday Brother Oyama Kunio was baptized!!! Out of all of the baptism services I have attended on my mission, the spirit was the strongest during his. The whole day was stressful with teaching Eikaiwa twice, teaching a lesson, filling up the font (the first time we filled it up we didn't realize but the water was freezing cold!haha!), actually getting the Oyama family to the church on time, etc. However, once it started the spirit was there and TONS of members showed up to support him. He looked very spiffy in his suit and bore powerful testimony that he was led to the true church through various events in his life. He talked about his strong belief that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and his love for the Book of Mormon. I think most in attendance probably couldn't believe that he had only been learning about the church for a few months. He spoke with more conviction, power, and love than definitely I can muster. I feel so incredibly blessed and humbled that I was able to be a part of guiding him towards baptism and watching him go through that process. Like I've said before, I feel more than anything that nothing I, Uchida Shimai, Tagawa Shimai, Elder Neki, or Elder Stratford did helped him secure that sure testimony. It was his determination, his willingness to listen to the spirit, and his humility that allowed him to feel Heavenly Father's love. He started reading the Book of Mormon all on his own, before we even challenged him, and gained a testimony of Joseph Smith one day while at church listening to the Priesthood Meeting lesson. It has really been an amazing experience watching him and his family grow in the gospel.
With all of that said....I am looking forward to continuing to teach their family and see them follow Brother Oyama's example by being baptized. I don't want to transfer!! :(
|Making gyoza for the first
Wish me luck this week with transfer calls and what-not. If I happen to stay in Fukuoka and have the experience of becoming a trainer, I'm sure you'll be hearing a lot about it next week...haha.
Your prayers in behalf of the Oyama family are DEFINITELY being heard. Please keep praying that they'll progress and grow closer as a family. I love you so much!
Love, Tingey Shimai