Joy Is the Reward

Charlie is on fire and loving his mission! He recently had the opportunity to witness someone he has been teaching be baptized and become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and this is what he said:
This week Shota got baptized. It was so amazing to look at a perfectly clean person, someone perfectly clean from sin. He was so prepared. I’m very lucky I had the opportunity to teach him. After the baptism he gave me a big hug and said “Thank you!” He really understood the importance of baptism like no other investigator I have ever seen. Baptisms are awesome. I hope to help many others make that first covenant with God. The feelings I can’t even describe. Joy is the reward. Yamamoto Shota will be confirmed and receive the priesthood next week. The gospel is true! I learn that more and more everyday!
Charlie and Shota Yamamoto at the baptism.

Charlie and Yamamoto Shota at the baptism.

With Novak Choro and Shota-san, standing below the words "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints".

With Novak Choro and Shota, standing in front of the church.

So after the baptism we went down all the way to the other end of our area to visit a less active whom we had never met. We arrived at his apartment door, and as soon as we knocked he welcomed us in immediately. His apartment smelled thickly of cigarette smoke. We sat down around his table and he started telling us about all of his problems and how he needed help. We prayed with him and after the prayer he meditated for a long time, maybe two or three minutes of silence. Then all of a sudden he got up, grabbed his box of cigarettes, and crushed them in his hands. He threw away everything in his ashtrays, and Novak Choro took all his lighters so he wouldn’t be tempted by the garbage. It was amazing to see this man have such a sudden determination to change. God knows what we need to stay healthy. The Word of Wisdom* is genius. God promises us huge blessings of health and knowledge if we follow it. Just think how healthy people would be if no one smoke or drank. The human body in and of itself, as one of God’s creations, has the ability to be healthy on its own if we treat it correctly. The Word of Wisdom is the instruction manual to keep our body in working order. Would you put regular fuel in your fancy Mercedez? I don’t think so. People who have a fancy Mercedez tend to keep it in pretty good condition. They value it. Do we value our bodies the same?

*Word of Wisdom–revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet in 1833. A code of health followed by Latter-day Saints that instructs us not to partake of alcohol, tobacco, tea, or coffee, and to partake instead of healthy grains, fruits, and herbs. Found in the Doctrine and Covenants, section 89.
Ahh, the famous "Mister Donut" shop. Do these donuts fall under "healthy grains"?

Ahh, the famous “Mister Donut” shop. (Are these donuts considered “healthy grains”?)

Same question for squid.

How about squid?  Does the Word of Wisdom mention squid?

So here’s the funny story of the week. Yesterday we were out on the streets on Sunday afternoon, kind of advertising to people our family English Program. The Family English Program is genius. It lets us teach families in their homes for 30 minutes of English and 30 minutes of the gospel. It lets busy families who can’t come to Eikaiwa* get their English practice and then also get hooked on the gospel. We had never done streeting this way before so we were pretty excited to see which families would have interest, even if their main interest was learning English. We walked up to one guy and he starting talking to us. He said “I’d like to hear about your church, but I don’t want anything to do with you if I have to learn English!” and walked away. Novak Choro and I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. Shoot! There he goes! Come back! We can arrange that for you!

*Eikaiwa–free English conversation classes taught by the missionaries
14.10.12 taikai silly

The missionaries strike a silly pose.

14.10.19 little kids

Japanese kindergarteners on a field trip crossing the street. Look at their cute little hats!


And he’s been thinking a lot lately on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and how understanding it more helps in missionary work.

This week I’ve really been feeling the Atonement of Jesus Christ as a source of motivation. In Preach My Gospel it says that the more you understand the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the more your desire to share the gospel will increase. That’s so true. As I’ve studied the Atonement this week I’ve felt a greater desire to declare to the Japanese people the significance of the fact that they are saved only through the Only begotten of the Father, our Redeemer Jesus Christ.

Water lanterns float in the ocean at a Japanese festival of remembrance.

Well spoken, Charlie. We are all saved only through the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ, after all that we can do. Charlie is doing all that he can to teach the people of Japan this message. And he is doing it with all his heart, might, mind and strength. We are so proud of you, Charlie!

2 responses »

  1. Ellen,

    What a great letter! I’m sure you can see his growth more than we can, but I just love reading these and can feel his testimony growing stronger! Thanks for sending them my way.

    I’m off to CA today to see my niece and her son, baby Lars, and of course the rest of the family. I’ll be there thru the 28th and back to work next Wed. Then that’s when the West campus starts moving back up to the Main and the West will close for good. It’ll be a crazy end of the week, but after that we MUST get together for lunch like we talked about a month ago! ☺ I’ll call you when I get back and we’ll set something up for the first week in Nov.

    Talk to you soon!
    Love, Heidi

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