Hello, everybody! How are you doing in your various locations? I am doing quite well here in Shimonoseki, Japan!
This has been a wonderful week! Tanaka was baptized on Saturday and confirmed yesterday! Woo-hoo! He will have an interview with the branch president tomorrow so he can receive the priesthood. Yay! He is doing very well. He was beaming after his baptism, which super-smile continued through Sunday as well.
Sister Fukatani also continues to do very well! Elder Colton mentioned today that in the past month since she has been baptized she has not had a “down” moment, whereas before baptism she was going up and down on a daily basis. She loves to study the scriptures and talks that we share with her.
It truly is amazing to see how baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost truly change peoples’ countenances. Everybody is born with the Light of Christ, but it is definitely true that “he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day”. (D&C 50:24) As I have served in Shimonoseki and witnessed Sister Miyamura, Sister Fukatani, and Brother Tanaka take this important step in their journey toward Christ and Eternal Life I have truly seen each of them receive more and more light and become brighter and brighter.
Yesterday was the Primary program, and it was superb! All of us Americans were very impressed by the Japanese children. There are four of them in the Primary here – Taiga, Eita, Yuuki, and Natsuki (all of whom are in the group picture above) – which is quite a difference from many wards in America that have 70, 50, or even 20 children. With just four each of them has much more to say in the program – more than just one or two lines and then sit down – and everybody has the chance to sing a solo! 🙂 The Primary leaders were truly inspired as well; apparently, throughout the past year they wrote down things that the children had said in primary (in sharing time, talks, etc.) and made the entire program based on those quotes so that the children would be saying things that actually come from their personal experiences. I was quite impressed by the great effort that was made to make this a personal, meaningful experience for each child.
As we approach Christmas we are reminded of one child whose birth, life, death, and resurrection are of utmost importance. This Christmas I invite you to discover why – or, if you already know, then rediscover why! I know that Jesus Christ was born, really did live, and then died but was resurrected, and that through him we can overcome any trial, burden, or heartache. There is a Savior, and He is Jesus Christ. (see christmas.mormon.org)
I love inviting people to come unto Christ! I love serving God by serving His children! I love the Lord, and I know He loves me!
I hope that you all have a wonderful day, a superb week, and a fantastic year!