Oh what a week this has been! Teaching, finding, training exchanges, meetings, teaching my girls how to use maps, soaking up lots of hot sunlight. Full of some interesting challenges and mental battles, perhaps the usual ones that come to us at the end of our missions. Some heavy realizations and thoughts come to us in times such as these. Satan sure saves some nasty tricks for the last few weeks! BUT..he will not win!
We had a lesson with Iwai Nozomi Shimai at her house on Tuesday. That day we actually were a little disappointed because she didn't seem quite ready to be invited to baptism. But we left her with a strong challenge to pray fervently to know if this was the path God wanted her to take.
It was a rather long week until Sunday, that started out with curry-making in the morning for our afternoon Chinese party. My beautiful curry ended up all over Sister Lowry's new dress on the car ride to the church. Something to do with a particularly passionate Asian driver. Church attendance was also a bit discouraging. However, our day brightened when Nozomi made it to Sacrament meeting and said she had something special to tell us. After the meeting we gathered around a bit nervously, and she began saying how touched she was by time we've given to her, and how much we've helped her the past few months. She said she'd been thinking about it, and one night when she came home to find her door posted with hearts and thank you notes from us, something clicked. She announced that although she doesn't know everything yet, she wants to be baptized. !!!!!!!!! She's prayed and says it feels like the right thing to do. She's actually moving back to live with her parents in August, but with the help of her member friend, has located a ward there only 20 minutes from her home. Although there is still a lot she doesn't understand, she sees the lives of the members and how they think, and their perspective on life, and she wants that.
We are planning her baptism for the same week Sister Long and I go home.
Our Nozomi chan is getting baptized! :)
Thank you so much for all your prayers and thoughts sent this way. I testify that your prayers are so powerful, and that they are felt strongly on this side of the ocean. There is something that links us all together, something that comes from being made by the same great creator. And when we pray, oceans are crossed, mountains are breached, and we all draw a little bit closer to that heavenly home. Please keep Nozomi in your prayers as she prepares over the next few weeks to enter the gate. Oh how we love her. The three of us were just beaming yesterday. Once she left, Sister Lowry recommended we pray and thank the Lord for this great miracle. How powerful it was to slip into a quiet room with them and pray together in gratitude. I testify that Heaven is listening for us!