Sunday, April 5, 2009

April 2009 Begins with Visit to Otsu, Shiga Prefecture

April 5th, Fast Sunday, we fasted as a mission to show our thanks for the wonderful converts we have seen so far this year and to help us find and ask the Lord to lead us to more people prepared to hear and accept His message. Missionaries also fasted personally to help further develop Christlike attributes. We invited the members to join in the fast as part of their normal fast day. In the afternoon, we travelled to Otsu in the Kyoto Zone to see the baptism of the Olivera family. Otsu is a wonderful city in Shiga prefecture along the shores of famous Lake Biwa. The Olivera's were baptized into the Omihachiman Ward, which does not have a font in their rented church building. The Otsu church is very nice and stands on a hill above the lake. You can see the lake a little below on the left in the picture above. Otsu is about 30 minutes by car from Omihachiman.

The family of three was baptized together. Brother and Sister Olivera are from Brazil, but have lived in Japan for nearly 15 years. She is Brazilian Japanese. Mayke, their son, is 15 years old and was born and raised here. They were first contacted about 9 years ago by the missionaries and have been studying the gospel ever since. Brother Olivera said he wanted to be sure before joining and now he is looking forward to their next goal of being sealed in the temple in one year. Elders Magidman and Thompson were the latest to teach them, but other elders still serving in the mission and pictured here also taught them the gospel including Elders Obata, Fukui and Monson. Elders Magidman and Obata are also from Brazil. The 5th was also Elder Wade's birthday. We had cakes made by the missionaries and cookies designed by Sister McIntyre.
Earlier in the week we had a chance to stop by the church in Miki and visit with the elders there. It is rented building and looks a little worn outside, but it is quite nice inside. The Miki branch is up the mountains just above Kobe in the Kobe stake.

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