If you had of asked me last week how the week before that was I might have said something like it was the hardest week of my mission to begin with. If you were to ask me today how this past week was I would say it was the best week of my mission. Get ready for a long e-mail!
Transfer calls are in, and Elder Urata and I are staying as Zone Leaders in Okinawa. This will be his last transfer and my second last.
When I first came to Okinawa I honestly felt like my mission was "winding down" or "coming to an end" as I was of course working hard but also excited for the future because of what I was expecting. I've had a recent reality check and all of a sudden there is this urgency to make every day, every hour, every minute count because even though I still have 3 months left - it's not enough! I'm not going to say I'm not excited for the future, but I have no idea what to expect, so I'm constantly reminded of what I'm doing now and why I'm doing it, as opposed to day dreaming about later. I feel like a different person.
We finally have a solid teaching pool, and three of our investigators have Baptisimal dates for next month. Our transfer goals were to find two people who will be baptised next transfer, find an investigator who would be a prospective priesthood holder and serve a mission, and to start teaching a part-member family, and as this new transfer is about to start we have been able to see a lot of success and the fulfillment of these goals. Out of all the awesome things hat happened this week I just wanted to share these three things:
Yesterday we had a lesson win Motoko who has a Baptisimal date for October 31st. She has a sincere desire to learn, come to Church and be baptised because she enjoys feeling the peace prayer and the Book of Mormon bring. I love meeting with her! She's really kind and finding her was a real miracle. She is the one who we found at 9am when we went to an appointment of someone who wasn't there and decided to dendou* a nearby apartment.
*You'll have to roll with me on this one, saying "decided to proselyte a nearby apartment" just sound as good as using the Japanese word
Kawahira is an older brother of a long-time member who called us saying he wants to be baptised. We met and found out that he has met missionaries a lot, been to church a lot, was really familiar with the doctrine, and that it's been a long time coming but he wants to be baptised next week on October 1st. Last night we had one of the most spiritual lessons I've been a part of my whole mission. While Kawahira was reading the promise of Moroni in the Book of Mormon, he choked up and started tearing up. We talked about the Spirit and asked him what he felt, and he was able to realize that that was a confirmation from God through the Spirit that what he was reading was a true principle.
Kawahira's lesson was straight after Motoko's, and after Kawahira's we came to the Church to meet Ryuki, a 22 year old who we met a few hours earlier and scheduled an appointment with. He wants to learn English so we taught him English for half an hour, then taught about God, Christ and Baptism for half an hour after that, and set a Baptisimal date with him, saying that if he learnt more of this message, was able to prepare for and continued to feel good about it, that he would be baptised on October 31 too.
I'm always writing about miracles but just this week I've felt so fulfilled and we have been really blessed to see the accomplishment of our goals, and to be a part of these wonderful people's lives.
Photos: Elder Urata & I with Seika and Uehara Shimai at Seika Shimai's mission farewell after Church (she is going to the Sapporo mission), Elder Urata & I with Kawahira and another photo from the farewell.