This week Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Twelve visited Osaka and Kobe. He was accompanied by his wife Sister Kristen M. Oaks. Elder and Sister Stevenson, Asia North Area President, and Elder and Sister Ishii, both of the Seventy also joined us in Kansai for two wonderful meetings. The first meeting, held in Ibaraki, Osaka North Stake, was an adult member meeting. President and Sister Kido of the North Stake met us at the airport where we picked up Elder and Sister Oaks and our other visitors and transported them to the stake center. Before the meeting we had the opportunity to join the visiting authorities and all 5 Stake Presidents and their wives for dinner. The member meeting was wonderful and well attended with well over 700 in attendance. Before Elder Oaks addressed the members, we had the opportunity to hear from Elder Stevenson, Elder Ishii and Sister Oaks. Sister Oaks served a mission in Sendai Japan and the members enjoyed hearing her share part of her message in Japanese. Elder Oaks gave some wonderful counsel directed specifically to the members in this region of Japan. After the meeting we transported them to their hotel in Kobe.
The next morning we were blessed to have Elder Oaks preside at a special conference for the Japan Kobe Mission. The meeting was held at the Kobe Stake Center adjacent to the Mission Home and Offices. We had all one hundred plus missionaries in attendance. We were very happy to also have all 5 Stake Presidents and their wives and our Member District President as well as my counselors attend with us. It says a lot about their commitment to working with us to move the work forward here in the Kobe Mission.
To begin the morning, Elder and Sister Oaks personally greeted each missionary in the mission. Elder Oaks asked that I conduct the meeting and the speakers in order were Sister McIntyre, myself, Elder Stevenson, Sister Oaks, Elder Ishii and Elder Oaks. Elder Stevenson taught us about the importance of helping people come unto Christ through making commitments. Elder Oaks spoke on several topics, but one that stood out for many of the missionaries was the concept of ITL (Invite To Learn). Missionaries are taught to open their mouths. He taught us that that is not enough. We need to invite to learn. We also had time for questions from the missionaries. After the meeting Elder Oaks commented to me about how impressed he was with their questions. The missionaries asked appropriate and difficult questions to which Elder Oaks answered through his experiences, understanding of the gospel and the promptings of the Spirit. At one point in the meeting he shared with the missionaries a very personal spiritual experience that he said he had never shared with anyone before. The missionaries of the Kobe Mission received great counsel and wisdom from an apostle of the Lord.
After the meeting we were able to enjoy lunch with Elder and Sister Oaks and our other visiting authorities at the mission home. After lunch we had a short tour of the mission offices and we were off to the train station.
It was a wonderful few days in the Japan Kobe Mission.