February 23, 2014

Baptism is WONDERFUL!

This past week sister Kanno and I focussed on Shion and getting her prepared for her baptism. We met with her every day this week and taught her about the importance of studying the Scriptures every day. Us 4 shimai (shimai=sister) living together, Watanabe shimai, Miura shimai, Kanno shimai and I practiced a song this past week that we would perform for Shion at her Baptism called “Daughter of a King“. Because we didn`t have Church last Sunday because there was so much snow, we made sure all the members knew about the Baptism. I was praying that at least 10 members could come. My prayer was definitely answered because there were a total of about 30 members. I have never been to a baptism before that was so spiritually strong. I don`t think there was a dry eye in the room by the end.
    When Shion first arrived Saturday at 1pm I could tell she was nervous. We helped her change into her white Batpismal dress and first we all took pictures. Her mom and little brother came too. I was feeling a little overwhelmed though because of mine and Kanno shimai`s investigator Izumiyama san. Friday, the day before the Baptism, Kanno shimai and I walked from our apartment to visit our investigator we hadn`t seen in a long time, Izumiyama san. It was about an hour walk. She looked really happy to see us. We went inside and talked for a while about Izumiyama`s adventure in America 30 years ago. She loves English and when I first came to Hachinohe I taught her English class on last minute notice. She really appreciated it, but when I tried to talk to her about the Gospel after, she seemed closed hearted. We had tried calling her to set up an appoitment to teach her a lesson but she never called back. In my mind I thought she had no interest. So my goal was to find out her interest Friday. I loved that I could speak in English because I feel like I can be more caring and sincere in English. I boldly asked her about her past lessons with missionaries. She said she really loved the past elders that taught her in 2011 and saw a light in them. She`s been an investigator for a while, but had never comed to Church or really progressed I guess, so that missionaries dropped her. Than recently we decided to visit her. Friday when I met with her I learned a great lesson. As I shared a scripture in 2 Nephi 4 about Nephi`s experience with trusting the Lord and feeling inadequate, I saw a change in Izumiyama. She began to cry and she expressed that she felt such a warm feeling. We all felt the Spirit and I asked her if she desires to change her life and learn about Jesus Christ. She said with tears in her eyes “yes, please can I start from the beginning? I forgot most of it“. I said “Of course“. She told Kanno shimai and I that we radiated and she feels the Spirit so strongly. I invited her to the baptism, but she seemd nervous about coming to the Church. I prayed that night she would decide to come. Only 10 minutes before the service she decided she would come!! I was kind of in a panic. “Who can pick her up?!?“. Then Sister Nakajima, Kanno shimai`s beloved grandma came to the rescue!
    We were 10 minutes late to our own service but I know Izumiyama san needed to be there. It was a perfect service and everyone felt the Spirit. I think Izumiyama and Shion`s mom cried the most. Shion`s mom came up to me after and with tears in her eyes just kept saying “Arigato gozaimasu“. I know one day the Sasaki family will be an eternal family! We are praying for Shion`s mom and we want to teach her the lessons.
    ion is a shining example. As I studied D&C 50 this morning about gifts of the Spirit, I read about how some are given the gift to know that Jesus is the Christ. I believe Shion has this gift. She bore a powerful testimony at her Baptismal service. I could sense she was nervous before going into the font. But once she came out of the water and back into the bathroom she said “All my worries left“. I am learning that the Lord knows each one of us perfectly and so personally
It was a great week!
Sister Butler

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