- Sunday, February 1, 2015

January 25 - Maizuru Area

This week was CRAZY. It was my first week with my lovely new companion, MacKenzie Shimai. And also the week we went crazy preparing our investigator for baptism! We`ve seen a lot of miracles recently.

I`ve decided to start referring to investigators by first letters in their names, for sake of easiness.

So when we left off on the last email, our investigators who`ve accepted baptism`s (T family) Dad was working towards baptism on the 25th. But he still needed to quit smoking and learn a bunch of the commandments (including tithing). We worked really hard to find a time to meet (he`s a truck driver who doesn`t know his schedule very early) so that we could teach them. We weren`t able to make any sort of firm time though, so they called us at 7:20PM and were able to show up at 7:30. We had to teach 5 commandments in an hour, and he had his interview immediately after! Despite our concerns, he accepted all the commandments, because he "would do anything it takes to have an eternal family". Super sweet. The Mom started crying near the end and commented on how she never thought he would be Christian, and how she`s always been the Christian one, but lately, as we committed him to be more serious about baptism, he`s been reading and praying every night before bed and he`s completely quit smoking. It was really touching. So he passed his interview, and we spent the rest of the week calling all over and getting everything ready. The Elders were way nice and set up the font for us (it`s a big blow-up swimming pool...). We tried to make a program for it, but spent like an hour trying to figure out the right Kanji so Nihonjin could read it, but it was really bimio (sketchy). But one of the Ward members decided to do it to help us, which was way nice. The members apparently wanted us to make him a card for everyone to sign on Sunday, but we had no idea what they were talking about, so we called like 3 members trying to figure out what a "messeji cardo" was (we were concerned it was something specific and expensive they wanted us to buy). We finally figured it out and RUSHED to the market to buy paper to make it, but all the stores were shutting down right then! We ran to Daiso (the dollar store) and the registers let us buy something really fast. They were way nice. Then, on the day of the baptism, we needed to get up really early in order to fill up the font on time, but our alarm didn`t go off that morning, despite my companion double checking! Apparently the alarm was set to go off every day but Sunday! But luckily, I woke up because our apartment was WAY hot, 5 minutes after we needed to be awake (5:05AM...) We made it to the church, but the water to fill the font with was freezing! So we started to boil pans of water instead and dump it in the pool one by one. I wasn`t 100% ready for the day at that time, so I plugged a hair dryer into the church to dry my hair, and (remember the church is a really old apartment room) ALL THE ELECTRICITY CUT OUT. We spent like 5 minutes trying to simultaneously find the breaker (with only our cell phone for light, it was pitch black) and make sure the boiling water wasn`t overflowing (they have this weird machine in Japan that boils up water in a box and then pours a continuous stream out). We found it eventually and everything was good, but I learned that apparently using electricity at the church is bad. Then, after a while, the gas cut out and refused to boil water anymore (you can only have it on for so long until it`s unsafe or anything) but we had to abandon the whole "warm water" idea and fill it up with a hose. Ah well.
And then he got baptized! His 7 year old daughter agreed to say the opening prayer for the baptism, she had one she pre-wrote and it was probably the cutest prayer I`ve ever heard. The family looked so happy. It was really wonderful.

In other news, we have some Progressing Investigators that are really learning super well. S and C (married couple). We were talking to C some, and he really just wants his family to grow up in a good environment, and because of that he decided randomly to quit drinking 5 months ago. He just decided to, and quit, cold turkey. He`s been sober ever since. It` s amazing to see how God prepares people for us. C had a really big problem with living prophets, but we were able to overcome that a little and commit them to really read the book of Mormon to find the truth for themselves. A few hours later, he called us with some questions he had while reading the pamphlet we gave him. Yeeeah,

One day we had SKK, but we didn`t really know what was happening with the T family, so we prayed about it, and decided to go finding instead. We went to this street and got rejected by everyone until the very end, where there was this really nice grandma who we talked to for a while. She was interested in our message, but didn`t want to accept a book of Mormon because we should give it to some young people who would enjoy it? Old people in Japan have a hard time accepting that they can be normal people too sometimes. So as we were talking her granddaughter stopped by (about 7 years old) and seemed interested in us but then left. We finished talking to the grandma and kept housing. We went to the other side of this street to this really long yard and knocked on the door. I looked back, and (this is like 5 mins later) the kid randomly came back and followed us to this lady`s house (the lady was really mean by the way, first real door slamming I witnessed) She wouldn`t really talk to us, but told us to follow her. We kept trying to get her to say something but she wouldn`t really respond. So we followed her all the way to her house, where she told her mom "we were home" and tried to give us candy. Me and my companion were a little scared the Mom would be angry, so Sis. MacKenzie told the Mom that we wanted to make sure the girl was safe so we walked with her. (people just let their young kids walk around by themselves wherever in Japan) The mom was way nice and pretty interested. Hopefully we can start teaching them soon. :)

Were were visiting some former investigators and one who hasn`t been home for ages answered. She`d only been taught one lesson, then dropped off the map. We introduced the Book of Mormon and asked her if she`d ever heard of it before. She answered that she had and ever since the last missionaries read a "really special" scripture from it she`s really wanted to read one. We gave one to her and she was so happy! Excited to meet with her again.

So many miracles! It really has been a great week!

For P-day today, we went to the world brick museum. Basically just a bunch of bricks from places around the world. Not as exciting as everyone made it sound, but it was good and kind of funny. Then we explored and found this place with this way cool view. Good P-day.

Love you all lots!
Sister Williamson

Blow up Baptismal Font