Saturday, January 23, 2010

Zone Leader Council and Pictures from the Field - Jan. 2010

Right after January transfers we held Zone Leader Council in Kobe. This transfer we will focus on finding and obedience. Elders Andrews and Slater had a baptism in Shingu on Christmas day. Here they are with Sister Takamaru.
The Sisters in the Iwade Branch had a great month right before Sister Kurashita finished her mission and went home. This is Sisters Kurashita and Kina with Brothers Sato.

Here they are with another convert, the 9 year old son of a part member family.
And here they are with Brother and Sister Ishibashi who were both baptized.
Okinawa Sister Power! Haisai
More updates soon!

Friday, January 22, 2010

January 2010 President's Message

Missionaries of the Kobe Mission,

Welcome to 2010! This is going to be a wonderful year for the Japan Kobe Mission. I believe we will continue to see great miracles and the work move forward at an even greater pace this year if we remain focused on our purpose as missionaries and are exactly obedient to the Lord.

Our purpose is clear. We are to find, teach, baptize, confirm and establish the church here in this region of Japan. There are many means and methods to finding and teaching the Lord’s elect. Preach My Gospel says we should use "...every honorable means to find people who are willing to listen to the message of the Restoration.” (PMG p. 220) Preach My Gospel also teaches us that “there are many honorable ways to find those being prepared for the restored gospel. You need to do all you can to be placed in the path of those who are being prepared.” (PMG p.167)

We know that the guidance of the Spirit is the Key to doing this. The price we pay to have the guidance of the Spirit is Obedience. Obedience is the Price.

Obedience is the first law of heaven. In that great council in heaven we were told that a world would be created on for us to dwell And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them.” (Abraham 3:25)
The great plan of happiness is based on the principle of obedience. The purpose of life is for us to prove our obedience to the commandments of God. And the Lord has promised us that when we are obedient, we qualify for specific blessings.

“There is a law irrevocably declared in heaven before the foundation of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated. And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.” (D&C 130:20-21)

To be great missionaries and to qualify for the blessings associated with missionary work and finding the elect, those prepared to hear the gospel, we must learn to obey with exactness the commandments of the Lord and the rules of the mission. And when we do so we know the Lord will always keep His promises to us.

“I, the Lord, am bound when you do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.” (D&C 82:10)

The scriptures are filled with examples of obedient people who were given great blessings. Often those blessings consist of great power and authority to move the work of the Lord forward here on earth. The Sons of Mosiah are a good example of missionaries who were obedient and blessed.

“…they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth, for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God. But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God.” (Alma 17:2-3)

They were obedient to the commandments of God. They worked diligently as missionaries and they were thus blessed with great power and authority. In the book of Helaman we read that the people “…did fast and pray oft, and did grow stronger and stronger in humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God.” (Helaman 3:35)

Yielding your heart unto God means that you are obedient to His words. This requires humility and the acknowledgement that God knows more than you do and what is best for you. We must sanctify ourselves by yielding our will to the Lord. When we do so we will be given great power as missionaries. Obedience gives us power as missionaries. Listen to the words of the Lord to Nephi, the son of Helaman:

"Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld that thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but thou hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments. And now, because thou hast done this…I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will." (Helaman 10:4-5)

Again the Sons of Mosiah taught:
“And now behold my brethren, what natural man is there that knoweth these things? I say unto you, there is none that knoweth these things save it be the penitent. Yea, he that repenteth and exreciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing; unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls unto repentance…” (Alma 26:21-22)

Is that not our purpose? To bring thousands unto repentance. And how can we do it? By humbling ourselves, putting off the natural man, and obeying with exactness the Lord and His servants.

I promise each of you that as a missionary, you will receive great power and authority from the Lord to do the His work here in Japan when you pay the price of Obedience by humbling yourselves and submitting your will to the will of the Lord.

May the Lord bless you with a wonderful year!
President and Sister McIntyre

Monday, January 18, 2010

Holiday Family Photos

Took some fun family photos while we were all together. We are a peculiar people!
The KidsThe boysThe girls The family
The cause of it all! The parents...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

January Transfer!

In the midst of the holidays and trying to secure some family time, we saw off two great sisters and welcomed to new great sisters to the mission.Sisters Kurashita and Notsu completed their missions right after New Years.It was fun to have our girls with them as they stayed in the mission home their last night.The next day, we welcomed Sisters Patrick and Tohara from the US.We took the m to Sushi and they found something they liked.We had their new companions (Sisters Kina and Ho) in for a welcome dinner of gyoza (pot stickers) and other great dishes Sisters McIntyre and Ise cooked up before sending them out together to their first areas.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Family and Office Holiday Fun

Over the holidays we had the whole family together for the first time in quite a while. We were able to welcome Erika home from a wonderful mission and see Julie off to start hers. While everyone was here we tried to schedule some family time in between all our missionary duties.We took a quick trip to Tokyo to go through the temple with Julie in preparation for her mission. It was also the first time we went through the temple with Erika. We were not able to go through with her before her mission because we were in Japan and she was already in the US. On the way to Tokyo, we had a clear shot of Mt. Fuji. A couple years ago the whole family climbed to the top!Upon arriving in Tokyo we drove directly to the Temple and got a shot of everyone in the courtyard. I then took the boys to the hotel and we attended a session together with the girls that evening.Julie with mom and dad.Three of our returned sister missionaries met us at the temple and attended with us. It was wonderful to see them. Sister Yamashita, Tsuda and Kogawa.
My mission president, President Inoue and his wife, are now in the Tokyo Temple Presidency. We were able to get a photo with them. He was a great mission president who had a great influence on my life. I am constantly remembering how he did things and trying to be as good of a president as he was. I served as his assistant about 28 years ago.
Ricky had a Basketball tournament while in Tokyo so we had a chance to see two of his games while in town. We also met several of Erika's friends she knew from her mission in Sapporo.We found the Krispy Kreme shop before one of the games!
After leaving Ricky with his team to spend the night at the school we went to Outback Steakhouse and happen to sit next to Bob Sapp. He is the former NFL football player now actor, boxer and wrestler. He has a reality TV show in Japan. He is huge!
We also found time to visit Devi Fusion, the girl's favorite Indian Curry Shop in Roppongi right near our old Tokyo home. Love that butter chicken and nan! The girls wanted to do everything they could before leaving. They tried but could not fit everything in!

Great view from our hotel room looking out over Akasaka towards Tameike and Roppongi. Tokyo Tower can be seen straight ahead. We used to see it out of our window in our old place in Tokyo. Natsukashii!
Right after Christmas we took the family and Pypers to lunch at IKEA on Port Island (had to have some Swedish meat balls) and then visited the Bird and Flower Park. Everyone loved it and had a great time. Erika with her new friend.The Toucans are beautiful and quite friendly if you have some fruit to share.
He was a little scary even for Ricky and James.Elder Pyper made a friend too!Sister Pyper and Sister McIntyre got to pet the owl.
Back in the office we celebrated Elder Ito's birthday with the district.
He got his face cookie which had a good resemblance.
Took the girls to Harbour Land one afternoon and couldn't resist a picture with Kewpie at the the Kewpie store. Kind of resembles Elder Rasmussen.

The girls at Dotonbori Osaka doing the Glico man pose!
We had a fun time while everyone was here. Julie is now in the MTC and Erika is back at BYU. The boys are back in school and we are off and running again!