She was baptized by Elder Oshiro. It took four tries, but she won't forget the experience. Elder Henderson returns home in a few weeks and this was a perfect way for him to finish off his last transfer and end a wonderful mission. They have another baptism schedule in the Fukuchiyama Branch the end of the month but it is after Elder Henderson returns home.
Early Sunday morning, I traveled to Himeji to attend sacrament meeting and the baptism of 9 year old Jessica Palmer in the Himeji Ward. Her father performed the baptism. He is from Nigeria and her mother, not a member yet, is from Japan. I was asked to speak in sacrament meeting and after listening to the primary kids sing at the baptism, I decided to speak about Christ visiting the Americas after his resurrection as recorded in 3 Nephi. I read the scripture where the Savior prays for the people and weeps and then he tells them to "behold your little ones..." This was a very special baptism for this ward. The ward has put their arms around this family and fellowshipped them wonderfully. Jessica was taught by Elders Sorenson and Matsuoka.
Here is a picture with the elders and some other primary kids. It did not turn out very clear though.
Saturday we travelled to the Senboku Branch again (we were there for a baptism last month as well) where Elders Howells and Ritchie baptized Brother Fukushima. These two elders taught him all the lessons over the last month or two, but Brother Fukushima actually first met the missionaries over 17 years ago. He has dropped into church off and on all these years. He has changed a lot over those years, with some big changes coming in his recent commitments to prepare for baptism. He bore a strong and humble testimony and expressed great gratitude for the gospel and for the chance to be baptized. It just shows that people can and will change and sometimes it takes time. It also takes missionaries not afraid to ask people to formally listen to the message and help people make and keep commitments.
Right after the baptism the Branch President, President Tonomura, had Brother Fukushima in his office interviewing him about receiving the Aaronic Priesthood. I was impressed as this is what needs to happen to truly "establish the church" and retain converts.