こんにちは！How are you all doing in your various locations? I am doing quite well here in 都城 日本 (Miyakonojo, Japan). This week has been wonderful!
We had two lessons with our investigator Kuzuguchi san (one on Thursday and another on Friday), and we were able to set a baptismal date during the lesson on Thursday! Previously (probably in one of her first lessons last year) the missionaries had set up a baptismal date for March 2015, but Elder Jensen and I decided that we should try moving that up a bit. It took a lot of effort and convincing her with the good word of God, but she finally accepted the invitation to be baptized on July 26th of this year. She has a strong testimony of the truthfulness of this message, and has read the Book of Mormon at least three times, but she has some concerns that had been preventing her from accepting the invitation to be baptized. One of her concerns are how baptism might affect her family relations. Her daughter apparently was a previous investigator but quickly lost interest, so Kuzuguchi san is worried about how she and others in her family might react to her being baptized. However, I think the real concern that she has – which she mentioned during our lesson on Friday – is that after she is baptized she will immediately become inactive. I wish all of our investigators had this concern! She knows that the church is true and that she needs to be baptized, but she is very concerned about this because of her work schedule. She has had great difficulty in coming to church because she is always working on Sundays (she works three different jobs). She hinted at that concern on Thursday as we were working on setting a baptismal date, and I shared with her 1 Nephi 3:7 and 4:6 and testified to her that as we exercise faith in the Lord, he will prepare a way for us to accomplish those things that he has asked of us. Even though we may not know beforehand how we are going to accomplish it, if we act in faith then the Lord will show us the way. I felt impressed to promise her that the Lord knows that in order to be baptized she needs to come to church, and that if she acts in faith by setting a baptismal date then the Lord will bless her by helping her accomplish the thing which He has asked, and will provide a way for her to come to church. She is wonderful!
We have seen so many miracles this week, not the least of which is Kuzuguchi san’s baptismal date!
On Friday evening the skies opened up in a deluge. We were out near the Daigaku (University) visiting some of our college student investigators, and when we finished that we were somewhat concerned about the road conditions and considered whether we should return to the apartment to dry off and avoid drowning. However, we had planned on trying to visit Daisuke kun, one of our top five less-actives, who has been taking care of his parents’ house in Miyakonojo since they moved away a while ago (which I think I mentioned in a previous email). Their house is relatively near the area where we were, but we did not know whether or not he would be there. However, despite the weather conditions we felt that we should stop by. Many of the roads had turned to rivers, so that was fun. When we arrived at the house, Daisuke’s mother (Kuroki shimai) was just getting in her car to leave. When she saw us she excitedly waved us down and told us that both Daisuke and his girlfriend, Miki chan (one of our investigators) were inside eating dinner. So, we were able to stop by and talk to them for a little bit. It was definitely a miracle, as we have had a lot of difficulty contacting them; we had not even seen or heard anything from Miki chan for at least two months.
I am glad to hear that you are doing well in the Brasil CTM, Elder (Kyle) Madsen. We actually have two Brazilian elders in my district (one of whom is our new district leader). They are a lot of fun. I always love hearing how your mission is going, and am excited to read your future letters from Brasil! You are a great example to me. I am so grateful for our family, and for the wonderful examples of missionary service and hard work that we have. Thank you all!
I also pray for Grandma Koetitz every day. I am so grateful for the knowledge that we have of the Plan of Salvation! I know that Grandpa has moved on to the next stage of eternal life, and am certain he is doing missionary work on the other side of the veil.
I know that this is the Lord’s work, and I love it!