Elder Urata and I are the oldest companionship in the mission.
Slightly daunting. We have been speaking two hours of English and two hours of Japanese on and off this week, we finally found a way to help each other learn and not just help ourselves.
Went to Missionary Leader Council in Fukuoka, and seeing that city made me a little trunky for mainland Japan - it looks a lot different to Okinawa where everything is made of concrete to withstand typhoons.
Motoko came to Church again and we have organised all the days we are going to teach her before her baptism on the 31st so she is excited for that as are we! We have a friend called Yuri who is a high school student, Elder Urata and I met her while tracting and she has been coming to Eikaiwa so I invited her to Church and she came with three other friends. It was all their first time but it was pretty fun explaining to them everything as we went along - prayers, hymns, sacrament, the topics people were talking about.
Last Saturday we visited a potential investigator who we asked to read Lehi's Vision in the Book of Mormon, and when we asked her how it was she started describing to us about this warm feeling that she had never felt while reading a book before, and that she could hardly explain it! Luckily, we could explain it. She believes that it could very well be God pointing her in the right direction, telling her that this is good.
We taught Kawahira every day and he was baptized on Thursday. The day itself was full-on, interviews with Mission President, two trainings from the Assistants which I translated for the Japanese missionaries (that's four hours of on-the-spot translating, someone give me a medal), the baptism which President and the APs stayed for, and then Eikaiwa. Really fulfilling day! Lots of people came to the Baptism, the Bishopric did a great job of being on top of it all - could never imagine a Baptismal service going that smoothly if I were the one to organise it. Kawahira brought his family who aren't members, he was a little nervous about it all, but after the ordinance he shared his testimony and oh my goodness, his testimony is incredible! He is doing all of this because he feels it is right, because he can tell the difference in his life and in the life of others who live the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and because he wants to be a good example to his son.
Wish you could all have been there! So many people's prayers were answered that day. On Sunday I participated in the confirmation, and he just couldn't stop smiling all day - it was so great to see!
My mission is worth it because of the incredible experiences I have been a part of, the incredible changes I see in people's lives, and the incredible growth I have seen in my own life. These last few weeks have easily been the best so far. My mission changed a few weeks ago, even our Mission President recognized it and told me how happy he was for me, while chastising me like nothing else for not changing like I had earlier haha!! My mission president is perfect for me, and I have seen how the Japan Fukuoka Mission is perfect for me too.
Photo: Elder Moe & Elder Inagaki at MLC, Kawahira before his baptism, shakeys and a Shisa.