So a lot happened this week, but I want this email to be short and I'm just going to talk about two things.
1. So from the title you probably inferred I got a baptism. Maybe something happened with Okamoto San and he got baptized early. You would be wrong to infer that. Actually, the sisters that are also working in shinoro had a baptismal date set for 2/6/16 this last Saturday. A mom and her daughter were planned to get baptized and they had no one to do the ordinances. They asked me to baptize the mom because I'm bigger than most Japanese people and the mom is actually pretty scared of water, and really only wanted to be immersed one time. So I got asked, and on Saturday I baptized the mom, while another ward member baptized the daughter. It was a little weird, because I hadn't actually met the mom or the daughter until Friday night when they had the interview, because my companion is DL (District Leader) and does the interview. However, we didn't actually get to talk at all because she had paperwork and the interview, so I basically baptized someone I don't even know (and actually still haven't had the opportunity to real get to know her and her daughter)... But I was an awesome experience. Of course being the only American white boy within a 200 mile radius I was kind of freakin out. I had a lot to worry about. Specifically: not messing up the Japanese when doing the ordinance, actually being able to fully immerse her and not have to do it again, having it be my first time, etc... However, everything went smooth and I'm glad that I got to see the joy that can truly come after one commits to enter the waters of baptism.
2. This week I learned a lot about effectiveness and talking things out.
After the baptism my companion and I went back to the apartment, but something was a little off. When the baptism ended he was a little bitter, and actually kind of snapped at a 12-14 year old member. I wasn't too happy, and didn't want to be the guy to tell people what to do, so I kind of just let him cool off. Well, when we got back to the apartment we still had to do our early morning study. After about 3-4 hours of study, I realized not a word had been said since the baptism. In our comp. study, we didn't say a word, and I just had the "ill let him figure things out" attitude. The spirit was not there and I didn't know what to do. We actually didn't even leave the apartment in the 2 hours available to go knock doors after we finished study. I was way confused, but the spirit wasn't there, and a lot of things just didn't feel right. Most boring 4-5 hours of my life. The next day I talked to him about it and we cleared things up. However, I learned a couple things from this experience. 1) if you have contention you don't have the spirit. I already kind of knew this, but watching it play out made things a lot more real. 2) when you don't have the spirit, you can't be an effective missionary. Again seeing this in real life, kind of woke me up.
I'm only a missionary for 2 short years, and I need to give 100% in those two years. I don't have time to have little companionship problems keep me from fulfilling my purpose. I need to do better at giving my all. Been focusing on that a lot recently
Hope this email wasn't too weird this time. It was truly a pleasure to take part in a baptismal service, and I'm grateful for all the Lord has given me. This truly is God's church, and the Book of Mormon is the word of God.
I challenge all of you who have never read any of the Book of Mormon... Google it on your smart phones and read just the first 2-3 chapters of 1 Nephi. I promise you that book will change your life. Ok.
Love you all. PEACHES
Pictures are coming soon
敬具 (sincerely yours)