Baptisms are the most amazing thing ever. They make everything pale in comparison.
Saturday was beautiful. I was expecting it to be wonderful, but I was absolutely blown away by the spirit that absolutely soared into the room and into my heart as I watched my dear sweet Iida Shimai enter the water in the baptismal font. She has come so far. I am so, so proud of her. I was kneeling next to Sato Shimai on the floor close to the font, both of us completely overcome with joy and with emotions that perhaps have no name. Sato Shimai was practically our third companion with Iida Shimai, and has been a huge blessing for her. We have been so grateful for her consistent love and fun spirit on this journey with Iida Shimai.
Iida Shimai was so beautiful in her white dress! It was such a joyous reunion to be back with her and Tomura Shimai. They are both so special to me. I wish I could poetically and accurately explain my experiences on Saturday but I just don't have the skill. Needless to say...it was beautiful. I hope and pray I can always stay in touch with my first friend here in Tokyo. Saying goodbye after the service was so difficult. But...the timing is just right, that I will hopefully get to go through the temple with her a year from now. I hope hope hope the timing works out!! Tomura Shimai said she will come back for that too. I pray for this special day at the temple! And hopefully this month I will get to go back to Koiwa for Sachiko Shimai's baptism. :)
I have no doubt that this is the Lord's work. He has been in this vineyard much longer then I have. So many of his precious special children are here in Tokyo and they don't know who they are. They don't know! And we want so badly to tell them. It breaks my heart when we look into their eyes and tell them from the bottom of our soul that they are a child of a loving heavenly father...but they don't listen. If only they knew. If only they could see! But, "...the elect hear my voice..." and Akiko Iida Shimai has turned her life towards her loving heavenly father.
This last week actually blew by crazy fast. On Monday we got to go to the American base with the elders. One of our members is Japanese but grew up in Canada and Hawaii and works for the US military. He met his wife at BYU Hawaii and they moved here about 4 years ago. She is from Taiwan. They are the most awesome couple ever. Two boys, and one little girl that reminds me so much of Eden. She is turning 4 this week. So cute! They took us to this place on base that has all-you-can-eat pizza and pasta. Does God love me? Yes, yes he does. :)
On Tuesday we went with a PI to a sushi restaurant!! Can I just say...sushi is SO, SO good here. Maybe even good enough for you to like it mommy! The fish is fresh. And they don't even fry it. Healthy. :D Anyway they have these super cool conveyor belts that always have plates of sushi and other things sliding by your table, and you can grab whatever you want. If you want something specific, every table has a computer screen and you punch in your order and within a few minutes it comes by on a special plate. SO AWESOME. The system is genius. America needs to figure it out!
Haha I promise not all my cool experiences have to do with food. Lately there have been tons of super loud booming military airplanes flying over the city here. I was talking with Shoko san about it and she told me rather seriously that she wants me to go back to America and talk to Obama, and let him know that his planes are disturbing her peace. LOL. It was so so funny. We also went to Akino mama and Akino papa's house on Friday, where we taught them about repentance and she taught us about sewing. Haha. Good trade right? We made these awesome hanger things-pictures coming soon- and she also made us little cloth covers for our hymn books. She is such a cutie! But oh I had a big surprise at her house when she came out of the back room with a little container to show us...can you guess what was inside?? MASSIVE man eating beetles!!!!! I couldn't believe our dear Akino mama could have such an outrageous hobby as collecting ginormous fighter beetles. Haha. Nihonjin are awesome.
Anyway...rainy day today! And it is still hot here. And it's apparently going to be hot for another two months. Oh boy. Wearing our raincoats on days like this seems rather ridiculous because we get just as wet with sweat as we would with rain. Haha. Everyone always talks about the weather here. It's actually a great conversation starter on the street. All we have to do is pull up next to someone on our bikes at a stop light and say, "Atsui desu, ne!" and they launch into a conversation with us about the blithering summer heat. Haha. I love Japan.
The church is true. The Book of Mormon is so, so true. And the Lord is leading this work!!
I LOVE YOU ALL.