Sunday, March 30, 2014

Faith and the 1st Convert Baptism

   Ok so basically i've decided that people in the States are so lucky because you all get to watch conference this week!!!   I have to wait another week.  It's weird how excited I am for Conference!! I really just can't wait!!! Ahhhhhh! :)
   Oh my goodness I can't believe I forgot to mention this first! WE HAD A BAPTISM YESTERDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was so great!!! My very first convert baptism!! Well actually it wasn't our investigator, it was the chorotachi's. So I guess it's just the first convert baptism that I've seen in Japan!!!!!!!!!!! I sadly didn't get any pictures on my camera because we were helping the chorotachi (Elders) take pictures on their camera obviously :) Hopefully they will be nice enough to print one out for me so that I will have one. :) The baptism was at 8:30 in the morning yesterday (Sunday).  So the chorotachi had to get up at 4:30 to start filling the font at 5:00 am. And then Gibbs Shimai and I got up at 5:30 so that we could get to the church at 6:30 to practice the song we sang at the baptism and just to get other things ready. So it was a long day yesterday, but so happy!! 
   Yamashina Kyodai was baptized yesterday morning and then he was confirmed in Sacrament meeting the same day. Our one investigator, who we wanted to come couldn't come because the baptism was too early but she was able to come to Sacrament meeting and see the confirmation so that was really great!! She thought the confirmation was really interesting so that's a good sign!! Yea!!!!! It's just so exciting to see that things are actually happening!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Which sounds kind of bad on my part because I know I should have the faith to be able to see miracles and baptisms all the time, but I just remember that I'm not perfect. I get discouraged. I get frustrated. I get jealous.  It's a little hard sometimes reading other missionary's emails saying "oh yea we went to this house 2 weeks ago and they were a perfect family and now we are having 5 people get baptized on Sunday." And I'm just sitting there reading like "Say what now?? What do you mean you met them 2 weeks ago? You taught them and they understood everything? And now just like that they are joining a new church that was completely foreign to them 2 weeks ago??? What? Is that real?"   Oh man I am truly lacking in faith and that's why we don't see baptisms? I mean I'm more than half way through my mission and I've seen 1 baptism and it wasn't even my investigator! And I was completely overjoyed yesterday!!!  Like the whole day I just couldn't stop thinking about how happy our new convert was at his baptism and seeing the chorotachi perform the ordinances. Sorry I'm really rambling now and I'm quickly running out of time!! Ahhh! Haha Sorry! I'm so random sometimes. And I didn't plan to talk about all of that in my email today...... Basically what I came away with is that I just have to remember that every mission is different and that we can see success in any area of the world, even if the meaning of success is a little different from place to place. We see success here everyday!!!! As long as we are trying our best and relying in the Lord in all we do he won't let us fail. :)
   Ok so now I'm just going to tell a quick story about what else happened yesterday that was so amazing and truly one of the greatest learning experiences on my mission so far!
   So yesterday we had a lesson with Wada San (her and her husband). Wada San was the one investigator who came to sacrament meeting yesterday. Anyway so the last time we met with them, we talked a little bit about faith and we assigned them to read Alma 32 before we met with them next. So on Friday night we were following up with them about reading, and they still hadn't read (which is pretty normal). So we encouraged them to try to read it before we came over on Sunday. So before the lesson, I was totally anticipating that they still had not read the chapter.  I was expecting them to say that they didn't read it and so we would have to read it during the lesson.  But I was wrong.  Before we even started the lesson they proudly announced that they had read the chapter earlier that day! And Gibbs Shimai and I at the same time were both like "you read it?" and they said yes they had!!! So we had a great discussion about the chapter and what they thought about faith. We talked more about how we can strengthen our faith by doing the basic things, praying, keeping the commandments, and reading scriptures. It ended up being a really great lesson because they had kept the commitment to read the chapter.  After the lesson I had the realization that that lesson wasn't for them about strengthening their faith. It was for me.  I realized that I need to start having more faith in my investigators that they will want to progress and they will keep the commitments that we give them. Very humbling and a good learning experience. :)

Love you!! Have a great week!!!

Morrison Shimai

At the beach on Saturday - Muroran

With Gibbs Shimai

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