Saturday, February 21, 2009

Great Baptisms Throughout the Mission this Week

Sister McIntyre and I cannot attend every baptism in the mission. Time and geography prevent that. (And we are happy to report that the number of baptisms in the mission is increasing, which makes it even harder to get to all of them!) Nevertheless, we try to go to as many as we can. What a great blessing this is, but sometimes we feel a little guilty because we just go and see the fruits of the missionary's hard work and the results of the Spirit working in the lives of these wonderful people. It is the missionaries and the members that pay the price to move the work forward here. We are just like coaches that train them and cheer them on. (We do proselyte and teach though ourselves as much as we can!) This past week because some baptisms were held during the week and on Saturday, we were able to attend three!
Below is the Baptismal Service for Brother Li at the Higashi Osaka Church. He was baptized by Elder Tibbs and Confirmed by Elder Bushman. Also pictured are Elders West and Goody, who conducted the baptismal interview.I don't think we have posted a picture of the Higashi Osaka Chapel before. It is a nice size older building in East Osaka.Because Brother Li will be returning to China soon, the service was held in the morning on a weekday. But as you can see below, we had a good turn out from the ward for the meeting considering the time and day. Brother Li is originally from China and discovered the gospel here in Japan. He was found through street contacting by Elders Bushman and Shepley. He is 23 and a wonderful young man who was very prepared to receive the gospel. We have great expectations for him as he returns to China.Brother Matsumoto was baptized in the Nishinomiya Ward by Elder Burton. He was found through street contacting by Elders Shattuck and Johnson who taught him through last transfer. Elders Burton and Shattuck continued to teach him and baptized him this past week. He is 21 years old and has been to many activities for the young adults and attended church several weeks. He bore a very nice and simple testimony at the baptism. The Elders also had another investigator there who is scheduled to be baptized in March. Sister Okamoto was baptized in the Iwade Branch at the Wakayama ward building. She is pictured above with us and Elders Mauai, Wintz and Solomon. Mauai and Soloman have been teaching her and work in the Iwade Branch. Elder Wintz taught her while he served in Iwade and we let him come back to the area to perform the baptism. He helped her commit to obey the word of wisdom and had an important role in her conversion. Sister Inoue of the Iwade Branch spoke at the baptism and helped teach Okamoto Shimai every lesson with the elders over the past several months. Sister Okamoto was found through attending English class. After attending class for some time and seeing many missionaries come and go, finally Mauai and Wintz asked her to hear the lessons. It was the example of all these missionaries that helped her decide to listen. Iwade is a small branch, but they have had three baptisms in as many months. The branch president asked me to send more missionaries to his branch. He said the members are excited about the work and he needs more missionaries! I wish I had more to give and that all the branches and wards in the mission were making the same request!

In between attending all these great baptisms, we have been conducting missionary interviews. Sister McIntyre always makes some goodies for the missionaries everywhere we go. This month it is Valentine cookies. Here are some of the missionaries in the Osaka Zone showing off their heart cookies! (Above Top - Elders West, Tibbs, Beecher, Stennett, Goodey and Bushman) (Above bottom - Elders Cutler, Maeno, Kanno and Latimer with Sisters Meyers and Kogawa in the middle) We have truly been blessed this week here in the Kobe Mission.


Frank Kuta said...

Once again your blog was one of the Spiritual Highlights of my week. The older brother at the Higashi Osaka Baptism, was that Bishop Obayashi? I was so impressed with your 'Preach my Gospel' Message earlier this week that I copied it into my e-mails to my son serving in Belem Brazil, and daughter serving in Hong Kong. Have a great week and thanks again.

Brother Kuta
Savage MN

Chris said...

Hi President (Bill),

Thanks for all that you and Rika are doing, this is truly inspiring. We've enjoyed your blogs and hearing about some of your mission challenges and successes as posted on the mmoms chat dialogue emails. We pray for your missionaries and love hearing about the kids and seeing Erika pictured as well. Keep up the great work, congratulations on the increased numbers and let's catch up on email soon. Love you guys, Chris and Melody