My last email…can't believe it!!! My email is coming so late because for my last pray we all went to an INCREDIBLE aquarium 2 hours away and got to spend the day doing that. IT WAS SOOO FUN!!! I will send some pics, oh my gosh. I wish you all could of seen how amazing it was, apparently it is one of the biggest tanks in the world???
This last week was craaazy! Nakamotos baptism was scheduled for Saturday, however, we got a call on Thursday from the zone leaders informing us that the temple president of Fukuoka passed away and they would be holding his funeral at OUR church, ALL day Saturday so we would either have to postpone Nakamoto's baptism or do it a day early. It was way stressful, but we got it all figured out and decided to do it on Friday and all went well :) He was so cute, super nervous, but way prepared!!! He received the holy ghost on Sunday and is going to be receiving the priesthood this upcoming Sunday! Gosh, love him to death, I'm way sad to be leaving. The next time I see him will probably be in heaven. :( but that's okay, I'm excited for that day!
About two weeks ago we found a girl on the street who spoke perfect English, (has been living in America for the last 5 years) converted to Christianity and the first thing she said to us was "I want to become a missionary!" She was soooo soooo nice. I was so amazed at how brightly the light of Christ was in her countenance when we were talking to her, I offered her a Book of Mormon and she said "Oh yeah! I know some mormons, I've been wanting one of these books, I have some questions!" We were able to meet with her for the first time yesterday at the church and we talked for 2 hours! Her name is Alini. She told us her conversion story and how she came to know about the Savior. Her mother is half Filipino and I guess when Alini was younger she was super rebellious and didn't believe in God at all. Her parents shipped her back over to the Philippines and its there that she first heard about God and Jesus Christ. She was talking to a friend about God and this friend told her that she was a sinner and because of her sins she deserves to go to hell, but because of Jesus Christ, she can go to Heaven, and it was from that point on that she started believing in God. As I was listening to her tell me all of this I was shocked that this is what she was taught and believes concerning Jesus Christ….she is a Born Again Christian. They believe that its only through the grace of God that you are saved and if you just confess with all your heart that Jesus is the son of God, you are saved and then become "born again" she said. " I have complete assurance that when I die I am going to Heaven." I just sat quietly and listened to her speak. I was praying so hard that the Lord would direct my words, I knew I was going to need to choose my words wisely otherwise it would probably turn into a bible bash…God answered my prayer and he guided the whole conversation, I taught from the Bible and was able to teach her about the need for a restoration. The interesting thing about Born Again Christians is they don't believe that Jesus is their Savior because they have received a testimony through the Holy Ghost, or any kind of feeling, they only believe because the Bible says so. Because we are human, and imperfect we have the capacity to deceive ourselves…so they don't go off their own feelings, so in their minds the only real thing they can rely to know the truth is the Bible. Its actually really quite crazy…but I just testified hard core that a testimony can only come through the power of the holy ghost. Nothing else. And we can only know of truth if we ask God. Anyways, there were many more things discussed, I can tell you about it later. It was a really interesting conversation. I know God led her to us and I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to bare such a strong testimony of my knowledge of the Restored Gospel. I learned so much from the experience and my testimony was strengthened as always.
I am waaay sad to be going home. Last Sunday was hard, but I knew that it wasn't the end…I feel like I'm coming back to Japan again one day. And the relationships I have formed will continue on even after I come home so its okay. I'm looking forward to the future :) Just as the Savior commands us to do!
Well, I love you all, can't believe its come and gone so quickly. I hope to be a different and changed person than I was when I left. :) I think I am. But only because of the power of the Atonement, I love my Savior, I love these people. Thank you for all your love, prayers and support!
I'll save all my "really profound words" for my talk on Sunday ;) Love you all.
Love Sharp Shimai
This place was AMAZING!
Nakamoto San's Baptism
Kashiwa's beautiful whiteboard masterpiece