Am I supposed to capitalize the word earth? What with dealing with people's salvation on a daily basis, capitalization has lost it's meaning. I also wasted a solid forty seconds of my email time struggling to spell capitalization. Wow. I am so disappointed. I can still hear my brothers taunt: "Way to go, English Sterling Scholar." It's not like I've been speaking English all my life.
BACK AT THE RANCH: (Or field I guess. Back at the little patch of field I've been given by the Lord to harvest in) This week has been awesome. The miracle of my mission thus far happened. GET READY CAUSE HERE IT COMES.
Last year in February a girl named K sat on an airplane. Her assigned seat was next to an Elder Edwards, a missionary fresh out of the Missionary Training Center. Elder Edwards had been called to serve in the Philippines, but he didn't let his mission start once he stepped off the plane. He absolutely talked the ear off of dear K. K is a Philippina herself, and was intrigued as to why someone, especially a young American would get up and move to her home country just to serve people. As Elder Edwards spoke to her, her heart was moved by the Holy Ghost to a point that she knew she wanted to find this mysterious church he was introducing to her. Soon after this encounter, she moved for good to Japan. She had no idea how to find this Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and still didn't have a Book of Mormon. Then, something like three weeks ago, she was far from home and saw two young men dressed in suits with the same peculiar name tag that Elder Edwards had on.
Fast forward a couple weeks and we receive her information from those elders who saw her at a train station. She came to us already set on being baptized on August 30th. We met her on August 14th. We have her long awaited Book of Mormon and she took five more. One in English, two in Japanese, and one in Tagalog. She gave them to every member in her family and her little brother's friends. Because we've had such little time with her before she will be baptized, we've had to meet her four or five times a week. She is living commandments like it's an honor. She tells us she's excited to be baptized, but she knows it's not the end.
It's been an absolute miracle and a blessing and a privilege to meet Sister K. Here's something to marvel at: that date she came at us with is actually our stake conference. It's been an absolute nightmare to plan this baptismal service but because I know she and the sister missionaries before prayed with her about this a date I know God wants us to do it. The whole stake is staying after stake conference to watch her baptism! There are so many missionaries coming, we're singing a surprise musical number (A Child's Prayer.) Our Mission President and his wife are coming to the baptism!
I have no idea how this happened. We are not struggling here in Chiba. This is no rain storm after a long drought. Sister K is an extra blessing to an already blessed Ward and Stake. Sister M and I are not perfect missionaries. I don't know what we've done to deserve to serve in Chiba at this time. I don't know what my little brother Billy promised to God to make this miracle happen. I am grateful for the brand spankin' new missionary who opened his mouth on a plane. I am grateful for all the people who have worked so hard to translate the Book of Mormon into so many languages. I am also eternally grateful for Joseph Smith who suffered so much and took on the seemingly impossible task of taking this gospel message to the world. He faithfully went forth and did his best to preach the gospel from the beginning. He only had a handful of people behind him, but his faith was so strong he successfully restored Christ's true church. He also initially translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God and that's pretty important too. I LOVE MISSIONARY WORK. I know I can be a missionary for ever but these little things; finding people in the absolute middle of nowhere and going to the ends of the earth to teach them is a once in a lifetime experience. I'm grateful for all the "Ks" in my life. I know there are huge influences in my life who have fire for a testimony and are what we call in the Japan Tokyo Mission "金人". (Golden people.) I am also grateful to BE a 金人(A GOLDsberry, get it?) because my family is so behind me and I could do A THING without them.
I love you all, thanks for your prayers. I will send you pictures of the baptism next week. I will also update you on where I will be transferring to because this is the final week of the transfer. (AS IF I WASNT ALREADY STRESSED ENOUGH)
See you soon,
This is her: