We had an awesome week. One of the best so far. The highlight, of course, being Ru's baptism yesterday! It was at 7:30 in the morning but so many members woke up early to support him (not to mention the elders arriving at 5:30 to fill up the font) and everything went perfectly. Elder Kawamura was there, wearing an Oregon pin on his jacket, and I was happy to get good news from home. I played the piano and Sister Yamauchi led the music, and the Elders were the witnesses for the baptism, so it was nice that we all got to play a small part to help. After he was baptized, Ru got up to bear a simple testimony, where he talked about being excited to keep learning and coming to church and preparing to receive the priesthood. I'm excited to hear about his missionary stories someday! [Elder Kawamura is Ru's uncle who just finished his service in the Oregon Eugene Mission this past week and baptized his nephew upon his return home.]
We saw another huge miracle at church yesterday too. The night before, the Izus called to tell us they had a last-minute appointment and couldn't come to church, and we were really worried that no one else could come. So we called and emailed everyone we could think of, mentioning that there was going to be a lunch afterwards, but still no one said they could come. So we just had this feeling that we'd done all we could, and said a prayer asking for someone to be prompted to come the next day.
After Ru's baptism sacrament meeting started, and none of our investigators were there (although a less-active couple we've been teaching came for the first time in like 20 years, which was awesome). The rest of church went by. Then, just as the luncheon was ending, we saw Mi and her daughter, who just started coming to Eikaiwa a few weeks ago, walk into the church. We'd invited them before, but they didn't seem too interested. And then they came! And the best part was, after eating and talking to some members, they said they wanted to check out church in English, which was starting in 15 minutes! So we got to go to that with them, answering all the mom's questions (you're not allowed to play sports, right? Or have a job? I swear I have no idea how these weird Mormon rumors get started). They had a great time at church, making friends with lots of the Japanese moms who attend in English, and hopefully they'll come back next week to go in Japanese.
Other events this week:
-Facebook being launched to the mission. All 250-ish missionaries can now use it if they want, and it's kind of crazy. Most people seem way more excited about it than I was and are already posting away. The ZLs and STLs are sort of in charge of leading by example, answering questions, and monitoring Facebook in our zones, and we totally lucked out because our ZLs happen to be the the tech elders so they know everything!
-We went to the Furomae shrine on P-day with Sisters Hall and Ipson, which was fun and interesting because Sister Ipson actually knows some things about statue's meaning, etc. Sort of kicking myself that I didn't do any research on Japanese culture before I came.
-Going on splits in Nakano, which is where the mission home is, and the Budges happened to stop by our lesson. President Budge entertained all the kids by juggling and teaching them dodge ball - it was fun to see the playful side of my mission president.
Love you all so much! Hope next week is just as amazing as this one was.
|Anna, Sisters Hall, Ipson and Yamauchi at the Furomae shrine|
|Ru before his baptism|