The Light
"Japan Kobe Mission: A Zion Mission"
May 2000

"I am the light that ye shall hold up." --3 Nephi 18:24

Mission President's Message - May 2000

Aisuru choro-shimaitachi yo,

I'm writing this message to you on Saturday afternoon, the day before Easter Sunday. We began the month of April with General Conference, as always, filled with messages of the reality of Jesus Christ, presented by those especially called as witnesses of Him. Now we approach Easter Sunday, when the world pauses, even for a moment, to remember and worship the Savior. This month has been one of renewal and rebirth. It has been a time of pondering on the great sacrifice of a single man in order that we might have freedom from the coldness of death and from the bondage of sin. We can never equal that sacrifice, made for our good, but we can make sacrifices of our own which will benefit the Japanese people. Let me discuss some of these.

During April we saw a return to fundamental missionary work. You: focused on becoming more effective at teaching the first discussion. Your hard work was evident Your progress was wonderful. The effect of this way of teaching will be felt in this mission for a long time. You worked hard to make more contacts each week. These you turned into investigators through the more effective first discussion. Yon taught more lessons. From this the Lord gave us more yoteishas and a wonderful harvest of baptisms. We've learned some things. When we work hard to contact as many people as possible, the Lord gives us more prepared people to teach. When we learn to teach so that we can put away the lesson plan and respond to the promptings of the Spirit; the Spirit prepares more people for baptism. When we invite more members and investigators to introduce us to their friends, more of them do so. Then our dendo becomes more balanced and we see a more constant stream of prepared people wanting to hear about Jesus Christ and how He can help them personally.

We need to continue to improve our ability to teach, especially the first discussion. I'd like to see each companionship present several principles to each other each day. About three a day will make a great difference. Keep it up until you never need to use the discussion book, until you can present any paragraph or any principle anytime the Spirit prompts you do to so. An interesting benefit of this will be that the members will see you present this way and have increased faith in your ability to teach their friends. Continue to call on members and teach them how to talk to their friends about the gospel. Do the role plays (mogis) with them. They will see how easy it is and be more willing to try. And they will see how skilled you are which will encourage them to bring their friends to you.

Your obedience and diligence is opening doors to the message and hearts to the Spirit. I commend you for it. I thank you for it. Let's keep it up.


President Robertson.

Dear Wonderful Missionaries,

By the time you read this you'll have been immersed in one of Japan's favorite times of year, "Golden Week". And, don't think cherry blossoms were the only ''oo and ah" experience. Take a look at the brilliant azaleas coming bold in color as the sakura was subtle. You can tell Heavenly Father loves Japan!...and us!

Amazing how many beautiful things keep popping out all spring. And speaking of beautiful things--catch those baptisms for April. Every time I ask a returning missionary for a favorite mission memory, I hear something about seeing or helping someone "blossom" spiritually. It can really be great working in the Lord's garden. And, like my friend used to say, "You'll never remember all the hard work and pruning when the roses start to bloom."

Well, by now you've probably learned the song sung while raising the 'Koinobori". If not, ask any native. Everyone in Japan knows this song. (A good BRT as well as bunka experience!) Also, you gaijin senkyoshi have probably added words like "kabuto" and "chimaki" to your tango lists as well. Of course the carp streamers are strung across rivers (hope you've seen them) to remind us to develop our vitality by swimming actively, sometimes against the current, like carp do (and missionaries often do!) as we pursue our goals. What great symbolism. Japan is full of symbolism. For one example, see the Japan Times article on Shichifukujin. These are considered more as part of folk art and folk history now than as deities for worship.

Well, there's an Eikaiwa idea. In addition to asking, "How did you celebrate Golden Week?" or "What did you do during Golden Week?" you could ask about symbolism. More advanced students could be asked to present a paragraph on one of the symbols in Japanese culture. Of course, teach the word "symbol" (something that stands for or represents something else) first. Additionally, peak travel season is approaching. You could do units on travel and handy English phrases for those going to visit English-speaking countries. A well-explained mogi might be fun with a traveler and a hotel clerk-- or such.

Should you do a lesson on traveling in the US you might have an opportunity to encourage sight-seeing at some historical church sites. (One more seed planted.) Many converts were first touched by an exhibit at a Visitor's Center. And many are naturally curious. One of my students in the US approached me one time to ask if I had any travel brochures for "that place in New York where the golden family history records were kept in mountainside caves with guards." Omoshiroii, ne?

I continue to read conversion stories where converts express great love and appreciation for those who brought and taught them the gospel. Keep up the good work. And, don't forget that we love and appreciate you and your efforts. Gambatte, kudasai. (Be like the carp!)

Love, Sister Robertson

Message from the Recorder

Hey everybody! Thank you for continuing to work so hard in the service of the Lord for the salvation of his children. I'm so grateful to be here among you in the Japan, Kobe Mission. There is no place I'd rather be.

I have just a few small requests to ask of you to keep everything going as good as it is. First of all, please try to get all the stats sheets in on Friday or Saturday, especially as the month progresses. When things are late the mission and zone stats are inaccurate and the records get fouled up. I know that sometimes personal stats get sent in before the information gets recorded on DL sheets, and other stuff happens, and I really appreciate everyone's best efforts and cooperation in doing stats.

The other request comes from Salt Lake. Boyd K. Packer has announced a slight change in procedure for baptism an confirmation records (Please see attached sheet). It used to be that the ward was responsible to send the confirmation records to us, to send to Tokyo. However, now it has become the missionaries responsibility to get the record after the clerk has filled it out, and send it with the baptism record to the Honbu. So here, briefly listed are the missionaries responsibilities in this area. 1) Fill out the baptism record completely. 2) Hold on to it. DO NOT LOSE IT! 3) Get the confirmation record from the ward after they have filled it out. If they have not filled it out immediately after confirmation, do not give them any peace until they do. 4) Send both together to the honbu ASAP. The ward provides these forms, so the Honbu can't supply you with them. The form is a page with two parts. The top part is the half I need. It has space for the date of confirmation and the names of the confirmed and the confirmer. These records are of vital importance. Please help us to get them where they belong so they receive all the attention they need as new members of the Church of Jesus Christ. Thank you for all that you do and the blessings you bring into the lives of those whose hearts you touch.

Love, Blatchford Choro.

Message from Mission Supply Manager

How are you all, my beloved Elders and Sisters? I'm simply marvelous here, thank you.

Today let me start my message with several things that I have to ask of you:

  1. If there is anything to be repaired at your apartment (e.g. toilet, bath, sink, etc.), please be sure to call the mission office first. You shouldn't call the repairman directly.

  2. Please send the utility bills (gas, electricity, water, telephone) to the mission home with the name of your apartment. Be careful not to throw the bill away.
  3. Please keep your apartment nice and clean. Also, don't make holes with pins or nails. You cannot have ropes to hang your laundry in your rooms. If you already do, please take them out. Please don't break shoji (screen doors), and be careful not to let your hair go into the pipe of the washroom. If you find anything broken or wrong, even after you transfer, please report that to the mission office immediately. Remember that we can save so much of the Lord's money if we are careful.
  4. Please avoid those things that cause trouble to your neighbors. Putting garbage or bikes in other than where they should be put, is an example. Please fold up the futons, and keep them in the closet. If you keep them on the tatami mats all the time, you'll get mold on the tatami mats.
  5. When you order something, please use the order forms. I've made some new forms for orders. This way, I can deliver what you've ordered more surely and effectively.

I'm always grateful for your marvelous work. May God's hand be upon you wonderful missionaries in the Japan Kobe Mission.

With love, Elder Kirigaya

Message from the Secretaries

We are delighted to be in the Kobe Mission helping you great missionaries do the work of the Lord. We will be getting to know you much better as time goes on.

Please let us know if there is anything that we can do to help you in your endeavors. We love you much and pray for you always.

The Pyper fufu.

Missionary Corner

April Baptisms

Kudou AkioApril 1
Someta SumiApril 1
YamajiApril 2
ShiyomiApril 2
Mouri HiromiApril 2
Asakai SachikoApril 2
Asakai SachikoApril 2
Yamamoto TadashiApril 2
Kamitani ChikaApril 2
Arakaki LaercioApril 5
Iwazaki HarumiApril 8
Kotani MashiroApril 8
Hoki MamoriApril 9
NakamuraApril 9
Asada MaoApril 9
KibamotoApril 9
Takenaga YoshinoriApril 9
Iwano KumikoApril 10
Kubota KenichiApril 14
Noguchi KatsukoApril 15
Himeno YukikoApril 16
Yabushita YukariApril 16
Hara ReikoApril 23
Nishimoto YoshukiApril 23
Yasumura ReikoApril 23

!!! Congratulations!!!

Missionaries Returning home in May

AOYAGI, Akihiro       Chiba Ken

Missionaries arriving in May

STOHEL, Jonathan Salt Lake City, Ut.
McLAUGHLIN, Jeremiah McMinniville, Or.
DEXTER, Oliver Edgewater, Australia
MUNFORD, Tyson Kamas, Ut.

May Birthdays

IKEMURA, Airi05/01
HALES, Brady05/01
HULLEY, Scott05/01
HARMSEN, Samuel05/03
KAMINAGA, Kaminaga  05/03
CLARK, Bradley05/03
MOYER, Stephen05/05
SASAKI, Makoto05/05
WHIPPLE, Nicholas05/05
BROADHEAD, Rodney05/08
WEST, Jonathan05/08
COLLINS, John05/16
UCHIDA, Hideaki05/16
SEMMLER, Mark05/18
HOLLIS, Dean05/19
FREDRICK, Douglas05/21
WOOLLEY, Aaron05/21
WRIGHT, Llewellyn05/23
ALLEN, Benjamin05/25
BATTUMUR, Batkhuu05/25
BISHOP, Edward05/30

Happy Mother's Day! May 14th 2000

Remember the Mother that raised and loves you. Make sure that you send her a card or letter and let her know how you feel about her. That you love her as your Mother in Heaven would love you as her spirit child. Don't forget!!!

"Now they had never fought, yet they did not fear death; .....yea they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them. And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it."

Alma 56:47-48

Recipe for May's Light!!!

Okonomiyaki Recipe (l person)

Ingredients Amount
flour 1 cup
egg 1
water 1/2 cup
cabbage 1 cup
green onion 1/4 cup
squid, shrimp, bacon, anything!  As you prefer

Mix water, eggs, and flour until smooth. Dice cabbage and green onions, and add to mix. Add squid, shrimp, bacon, or anything you like, as you prefer. Heat fry pan or hot plate to medium and base with salad oil. Pour mix onto hot plate or fry pan. You may lay strips of bacon across the top now, if desired. Fry both sides until well done all the way through. Serve with okonomiyaki sauce Kyupie (brand name). Also, dried bonita flakes and powdered seaweed add good flavor if spread on top.

This month's conversion story is submitted by one of our beloved. missionary's mom...

I was introduced into the Church the later part of my junior year in Belt, Montana where I attended high school. My family lived a very long bus ride from a high school, and my dad and mom arranged for me to stay with my Aunt Audry and Uncle Oliver Larson during the school year. They lived half the state away, but offered an ideal situation. They had two children left at home and plenty of room. My cousin Penny and I were the same age and close friends, and I greatly benefited by this arrangement. Penny was sunshiny, lighthearted, and genuinely nice and was easily the best liked girl in the school. We were active in our school and had lots of fun together, and Aunt Audry said we did a good job of keeping each other out of trouble.

Penny and I were introduced into the Church the classic way, by friendshipping. We had Spanish II class together and Debbie Bell, a senior, was also in that class. Debbie was one of the few members of the Church in our school. She was a reserved and modest person, not "popular", not a leader, and we did not know her well. But in spite of these things, she approached us, and I am so very grateful for her courage. I don't remember everything she said, but she began by saying, "You are such neat girls," and ended by inviting us to MIA. We responded to her in a friendly way, and attended MIA the next week (probably partly because it was held in nearby Great Falls, and we always liked an excuse to go from our small town into the city). We were warmly welcomed by the kids at MIA and several of them became good friends with us and would drive the twenty minutes to Belt to visit. Alter we had attended MIA a few times, one day after school Penny and I were walking up Main Street and a small car stopped and a young man got out and asked us if we knew where Penny Lawson and Kerry Pilgrim lived. We were quite surprised to have strangers asking about us, and identified ourselves to him and the other young man who got out of the other side of the car. The introduced themselves as missionaries from the Church, and set up a time to come and talk to us As they drove away, we commented to one another that the whole thing was quite odd. "... and they were both wearing white shirts too. No one wears white shirts anymore," said Penny. I added , "and did you see their name tags? They are both named ELDER, and that is a really different name".

We began listening to the discussions and we both felt good about the things we were taught. The time came for me to return to my family for the summer. Penny continued meeting with the missionaries and was baptized; and when I returned to Belt the next fall for my senior year, I resumed learning about the Church. It is hard to describe my feelings exactly. It was as though I already knew what they were telling me was true, or that I realized it immediately as they said things. I was ready to be baptized, but my parents were very unhappy and did not consent; my mother was a strong Episcopalian. And so I planned to wait until I was older. Penny's parents were supportive of the Church although they were not interested in it themselves, and they allowed us to go to Great Falls twice a week for Sunday services and MIA. Meanwhile at home, my mother found some missionaries herself in a grocery store. Still very upset over me, she invited them--or perhaps ordered them--to come and share with them what I had learned, so she would know what to talk me out of.  So my parents and younger siblings began hearing the discussions. Several missionaries came and went over the months, and my parents gained testimonies of the Restored Gospel. My mother had always been religious, my father was a reverent man without ever favoring any particular creed, and they both recognized the truth when they heard it. When I come home that summer, my whole family, (except my youngest brother, who was just seven) was baptized, and a year later we were sealed in the Cardston Temple. 1 attended BYU, married in the Salt Lake Temple and now have sons to send on missions to find people like me, my family, and Penny. I am so grateful for having the Gospel. It makes my life sweet and worth while. I thank the Lord, and Debbie Bell, and all my friends and missionaries who gave of themselves.

-Kerry Pilgrim Andersen

Shichifukujin (Seven gods of fortune)

  1. The seven gods of fortune symbolize wealth and fortune
  2. They personify the seven virtues of man in the form of seven deities.
  3. In this respect, they are similar to the Greco-Roman gods.
  4. Benzaiten, the only goddess among them, is the symbol of amiability.
  5. Bishamonten is the god of dignity
  6. Daikokuten represents fortune and is the most popular of the seven gods.
  7. Ebisu personifies candor.
  8. Popularity is deified in Fukurokuju.
  9. Hotei represents magnanimity.
  10. Jurojin is the deity of longevity.
  11. These gods came from India, China and Japan.
  12. They are enshrined in shrines and houses all over the country.
  13. They are painted in pictures, and made into statues, ornaments and toys.
  14. Even their pictures are regarded as something that will bring good luck.

Submitting the Baptism Record and Confirmation Record: Instructions for Missions and Wards

  1. After a convert is baptized, missionaries keep the completed white copy of the Baptism Record until the person is confirmed in sacrament meeting under the direction of the bishop or branch president.
  2. When a convert is confirmed, the bishop or branch president with the assistance of the ward or branch clerk completes the Confirmation Record/Baptism and Confirmation Certificate form. He (a) signs both the certificate and the top portion of the form and (b) detaches the certificate and gives it to the convert.
  3. The missionaries receive the completed top portion of the white copy of the Confirmation Record from the ward or branch clerk and send it with the completed white copy of the Baptism Record to the mission office.
  4. The mission office reports a convert baptism and confirmation, and an official Church membership record is created. Until this process is completed, an individual is not considered a member of the Church.

How to use the apartment