July began with missionary interviews this past week in several areas. We travelled to Fukuchiyama for interviews and my regular meeting with the District President. Then we held interviews in Kobe for several of the missionaries serving in the Kobe Stake and the zone leaders and I met with the stake presidency in our monthly coordination meeting. On Friday we travelled to Hirakata in the morning and interviewed the district there and then drove over to Abeno in Osaka and held more interviews. We interviewed 20 missionaries that day which is a few more than I like to do in one day! That evening in Abeno we had a special training meeting for all the bishoprics and ward mission leaders in the Osaka Stake. The purpose of the meeting was for me to provide training on Preach My Gospel and to better help the local leaders understand the program we are following. Ultimately we desire and need to be more unified in our missionary efforts. The training went well and I think the stake president's and my objectives were met. But the meeting started at 8:30pm so everyone could attend after work and we did not finish until nearly 11pm due to questions and discussion. We arrived back in Kobe at about midnight.Saturday we drove to Kyoto for the baptism of Koga-san. It was a great service. He was found several months ago by Elders Bahr and Moore. Elders Williamson and Drake continued to teach him and baptized him. He is a teacher, single and in his early 30's. He is going to attend the All Japan Single Adult conference next month. His next goal is find a nice sister to take to the temple!After the baptism, we drove to Iga Ueno in the Nabari area which is in Mie prefecture and spent the night. We got there around 10pm. Sister McIntyre went to bed, but I enjoyed the onsen bath before retiring. The next morning we attended the Nabari Branch. This is a small branch in the Osaka Stake, but pretty far out of Osaka in the mountains bordering the Nagoya Mission. They meet in this building on the 4th floor. Nabari is a beautiful place with lots of rolling green hills and rice fields in the valleys. It was fast and testimony meeting and we both were able to share testimonies. This is a wonderful branch and we felt a great spirit there. They usually have around 30-35 people attend including missionaries and investigators. This Sunday there were 40 or more there including 9 investigators. Elders Monson and Akina called many people they are teaching and invited them to church to meet us. The branch has a baptism scheduled for next Sunday for Ka Rina pictured here with us. She is a Chinese speaker from Northern China/Mongolia. She is really excited to join the church.
Here are some other pictures from recent baptisms. Elders Ashmore and Sorenson baptized Brother Takase in Takatsuki ward this past month. Bother Nakamura of Katsura baptized his 15 year old daughter Reina as well. She was taught by the Shimogamo Sisters Webb, Notsu and Ho.