This past week was BUSY. It ended with a matsuri (summer festival) on Saturday night with the ward. We'd been working hard to invite lots of people since it would be a great opportunity to mingle members and investigators as well as show the ward we are serious about being missionaries here. The Lord blessed us tremendously! We had FOUR families, two investigators, two of their friends, an eikaiwa student, and a load of kids that go to school with the bishop's family. It was amazing! The ward went crazy. They were saying yesterday that more non-members came than members! Which was quite close to being true. It was ward-conference weekend so the stake leaders and families were in our ward. Sacrament meeting ended with a passionate talk by the stake president preaching unity and charity and faith, as well as missionary work. He ended by pulling out a hymnbook with one of the bookmarks Sister Long and I made our first transfer here and put in all the hymnbooks for the ward. We'd written a message about how excited we were to work in the beautiful city of Kiryu and to live our mission theme of 'United in So Great a Cause' as we combined efforts with the ward members. He read it with vigor and urged the ward to love the missionaries and get involved in bringing our brothers and sisters unto Christ. It was moving and I think many people were touched. So grateful for the great leadership in the church here.
We have been just dying to set a baptismal date with Iwai Nozomi! She is so special to me, and so ready! But wow things have been playing against us. We finally have an appointment with her at her home tomorrow. That will be a first. Her member friend is coming too and we are going to run it like a Family Home Evening. We are going to invite her to be baptized on July 28th. Oh please pray for my sweet Nozomi! She is so prepared, and so ready. It is one of my biggest desires this transfer to see her fully embrace the gospel. Cool thing about Iwai san; her first name, Nozomi, in Japanese means 'desire.'
I don't think I quite know how to think or feel about this month of my mission. I feel strongly that my mission won't end when I take off my tag. If anything, the most important things I've learned by being a missionary is how to be a member missionary for the rest of my life. My offering to the Lord won't be finished when I step onto the plane. The changing of countries and faces and languages may throw me through a loop, but through 18 months of transfers I've learned that there are people everywhere who need God's love. Wherever we go, there is always someone, one of God's precious children, who is waiting for His light to come to them through us. No doubt my heart may nearly be torn in half after leaving my country of Japan. I can already feel the tugging when I stare down into little Asian eyes and hold little Asian hands. But I also feel I will be back someday.
The real thing that scares me is if I've finished all the Lord sent me here to do. My offering to him is so meager. My part so small. But then I realize that the 'my' in all of this means little. It is 'His.' His work. His glory. His mission. His people. I've been simply a steward. I guess it really hasn't been about me at all. Sometimes I've been caught up in 'my mission' and 'my baptisms' and 'my success' when really none of it belongs to me.
And although I know I am and have not been enough, I've learned: He is enough.
And for me, that is enough.
Oh help me not to forget!