It was a busy day as we attended four baptisms that day starting in Amagasaki at 10 am. We arrive back home at around 9:30 pm after the last baptism in Sekime, Osaka.
Ashley Reese was baptized in Amagasaki ward. She is pictured with her family and Elders Christie and Shoaf who taught her. We will try and post more of our missionary and convert pictures from this month in the next post.
Sister Shimokawa and Brother Sugino were baptized in Sekime. They are planning to marry soon and she introduced him to the missionaries after she was found and started the lessons. They were taught by many missionaries over several months. Most have returned home. Elders Beecher and Stennett taught them this past few months and baptized them. They both shed tears as they shared their testimonies. It was a powerful and Spirit filled meeting. A few days before the baptism, she was thinking about changing her mind because she was nervous and a little scared by the commitment. As they knelt in prayer with the missionaries and the bishop (who attended the lesson!) to ask if they should go through with the baptism, she had a undeniable confirmation from the Spirit that she should be baptized. He also (Sugino) said he felt like his chest was on fire and he had never felt anything like it before. We have seen many great conversions in the mission so far this year and hope to see many more! All I can say is that people can and do change. And true conversion takes place through the power of the Spirit. It is real and there are people out there prepared to receive, and searching for, the truth and happiness the gospel of Jesus Christ provides. We know they are the elect because they hear the voice of the Lord and harden not their hearts. (D&C 29:7) And we have been called to gather the elect!