Sunday, October 26, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
We also made a trip to the Mikunigoaka church in the Sakai zone for interviews. Below is a picture of the district standing in front of the church with Sister McIntyre. The church used to be a fire station. The big garage doors on the left are where the fire engines would pull in and park. They make a nice place for our van now though.
What would the week be without finding an inexpensive all you can eat restaurant with the missionaries. In Mikunigoaka, the district took us to a nice shabu shabu place for lunch and they showed us how much they could eat. It seems they really look forward to doing this once a month or so when we come. The missionaries live on a very conservative budget, but seem to save enough for a meal out as a district once in while.This past week we also made another trip to the Fukuchiyama branch. Here is a picture of the little church in a building we have rented out. We also took another picture of the Fukuchiyama Castle on the way home.
We have made Fukuchiyama a small zone consiting of two districts and 10 missionaries. It includes 4 small branches in the beautiful mountains between Kobe and the Sea of Japan.
Our week was topped off with a great Stake Conference in the Osaka Kita (North) Stake. The Stake President, President Kido, presided at the conference and he asked both Sister McIntyre and I to speak and participate in the two days of meetings. The theme of the conference was "becoming the light of the world" or "let your light shine." The main focus was on sharing the gospel so it was a wonderful missionary focused two days. On Saturday, I was asked to speak in the adult session as well as meet with President Kido and all the bishops and ward mission leaders in a priesthood leadership meeting. On Sunday both Sister McIntyre and I spoke in the main session and Ricky and James also attended with us. We are grateful to the stake presidency and all those others who treated us so kindly. We were given flowers to wear and provided with delicious meals between meetings. The missionary spirit is strong in this stake and we are seeing great blessings in each of the wards. Special thanks to Sister Kido and Tanaka for the meals and Presidents Kido, Matsubara and Tanaka of the stake presidency. Next time we need to take a picture with them!
Tomorrow Elder and Sister Evans arrive to start a mission tour which will consist of two combined zone conferences held on Tuesday and Wednesday. We are looking forward to being trained by a General Authority of the church.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Here she is with Elder Monson, who I believe will be arriving in our mission next month.
This next one looks like her MTC district before heading out to Japan.
This is nice shot her and Elder Henry Eyring. Henry was in our stake in Tokyo while his father served as Mission President there. We hoped Elder Eyring would come to Kobe but one of the other Japan missions got him!
It looks like she met up with Mika Sawada at the temple before departing.
Here she is with Sister Glenn who is one our newest missionaries to arrive.And last of all here she is with her little sister, Julie at the Provo Temple!
Erika is doing great, but we miss both of our girls!
We have made it through a hot summer and the cooler fall season is upon us. Kansai is beautiful in fall and it is a wonderful time to be outdoors meeting people and sharing the gospel. I want to thank all of you for your faith and prayers. We are seeing more and more miracles each month. I have been pleased to see how so many of you have taken the challenge upon yourselves to show your faith by talking with as many people as you can each day and are being blessed of the Lord for doing so.
I have received many letters that explain how you went the extra mile in your finding efforts, yielding few or no results at the time, only to find that a member brings a friend to church on Sunday or you stumble upon a person who is really prepared to hear the gospel message outside of your normal finding activities. When we set worthy goals, show our faith to achieve them and ask the Lord to help us, we can see miracles. As I have shared with you before, that is how faith works and often how blessings come. I pray you will all continue to push yourself knowing that the blessings come in due time. In D&C 64:33 the Lord admonishes us:
Wherefore, be not weary in well doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.
The truth is we have reason to rejoice and not be weary. New investigators, progressing investigators, yakusokusha and baptisms were all up for the mission this past month. I know our small efforts will continue to produce great results if we are steadfast and faithful.
This transfer period, we want to continue to build on what we have been studying and working on the past few months. Most wards and branches now have a mission plan. We must continue to build a good relationship with the members and help each unit in the mission fulfill and achieve their mission plans. We must continue to open our mouths and exert our own efforts to find the Lord’s elect. In addition, many of you are now seeing the number of people you are teaching increase. We want to focus on helping our investigators progress towards baptism. In order to accomplish this we will be focusing on the following:
1) Being bold without being overbearing in seeking and obtaining commitments (both in our finding efforts and in our teaching)
2) Learning how to plan better for our investigators
3) Learning how to use the Book of Mormon more effectively in all that we do
As we continue to do the things we have been, like finding 2 new investigators each week, and start focusing on helping our investigators progress, I know we will see an increase in the harvest here and a change in the hearts of the members in the Kansai region.
This month we will have the opportunity to hear from President David F. Evans, our Area President and a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. As part of our preparation for meeting with him in our zone conferences, he has asked each of you to study the attributes, character and behavior of the great missionaries found in the Book of Mormon. Before zone conference, please read Mosiah 17 through Alma 42 in the Book of Mormon. Please note the faith and attributes of great missionaries and prophets such as Abinadai, Alma, The Sons of Mosiah, Alma the Younger and Amulek. As you read about these great men, liken their experiences unto you and your mission. Think about what you can do to be more like them. We are looking forward to hearing form President Evans!
Know that we love you and know that you have been called to this work to succeed. May the Lord’s choicest blessing be upon each of you as you are steadfast and immovable in your faith and works.
With much love,
President and Sister McIntyre
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
The new missionaries in Sapporo. The two Japanese sisters arrived from the Japan MTC and Sister McIntyre arrived with 4 elders from the Utah MTC. The Elder the second from the right is Elder Burton. His twin brother (Elder Burton) arrived in our mission from the MTC on the same day! They look an awful lot alike. Sister McIntyre knew both of them from the MTC.
The Sapporo group at the mission home. The couple on the left are the Makise's. They left from the Hanayashiki ward in Osaka in the Kobe Mission and also just arrived in Sapporo. Before leaving on her mission, Erika spent some time in that ward on splits with the Sisters in the Kobe Mission and met the Makise's. Now she is serving in the same mission with them. Small world!
Sister McIntyre and her first companion, Sister Aloi who is from Canada. Her first Area is Ebetsu. We are excited for her!