Stories: Miracles happen
Displaying 1 - 1 of 1 -- Add Story
|Miracles happen when we are called to serve by the Lord. Sister Barney and I renewed contact with Keiko Hayashi (another NFEM missionary) while serving in Japan on our senior mission.
We had not talked with Keiko since 1970 when she visited with us while we were attending BYU. In March 2012, 42 years later, within a month of us arriving in Japan, Keiko saw my contact information while looking at the NFEM website. She called my Oregon cell phone number and reached me, to her surprise, in Nagoya Japan. It turned out she has a younger sister who lives in Japan. Her sister, Junko, ended living in the Meito Ward, Nagoya where we are serving. We reached out to her sister at a time when she had lost her grandfather and a son. Keiko was in America and not able to help as much as she would have liked to.
We have endeavored to provide spiritual and emotional support. Junko and her son needed help cleaning out the grandfather’s home and getting it ready to sell. I called the local missionaries in Gifu and they willingly rallied the priesthood and other missionaries to help out as a service project. It truly touched the sister and her son. As a result, Junko's son, Ryota, is now taking the missionary lessons. In many ways it is a miracle that we were called and put in a place to be of help to Sister Hayashi's family. It turns out in my missionary journal from 1967, I have two entries made many years ago about traveling from Nagoya to Gifu to visit some of Sister Hayashi’s relatives to share the gospel.
That work continues. We have joined the missionaries and helped teach Ryota on several occasions these past months, and we have had him and his mother in our home for Sunday dinner. It is a joy to be part of missionary work in Japan. Time will tell if he chooses to be baptized, but it has been a miracle that we were called to serve in Nagoya and we are part of teaching the gospel and extending the invitation to be baptized to this wonderful family.
Sister Keiko Hayashi is married and her married name is Keiko Hayashi Westover. If you want more information about her, her email address is: Keiko Westover <email@example.com> It was a real joy visiting with her again after all these years. She started running marathons after she turned 60. If I am right she has run in 5 marathons. She is still an extremely positive person with faith. In the last year, Keiko came to Nagoya and we were able to renew our friendship that started years ago in the Northern Far East Mission.
The above experience is shared with Keiko Hayashi Westover’s permission. Here is her response [which has been lightly edited]. It was dated February 17, 2013:
I am honored. Thank you for writing! Sure it is ok go ahead and post what you wrote.
When I visited with you at BYU the first thing you taught me was how to get dates. It worked; I have a successful marriage.
You have special heart for Junko and Ryota. That has really blessed our family!
Last year the Spring I found the NFEM 's website for the first time and looked to see familiar names. I was so excited when I found Elder Barney. I never forgot you! I was excited, so I called you immediately. You were in Japan. You do not know how much I was surprised and the joy I felt to talk with you!
For the running issue:
I was almost 61and a half when I started walking and started running.
I have run three half marathons, a 50k ultra trail run one time, and five full marathons. So a total of 9 races.
My personal record is 4:18 in the full and 6:25 for ultra.
Since I came to Japan and before I go back US so I have not raced in 3 years. I just run a couple of times of week.
Why did I do crazy things like starting to run at my old age? I had very hard life with family in my 50s, so I needed to work off the stress!
When I contacted you in Nagoya I was in Texas. At the same time my son truly came back to church. My husband is working teaching biology at Kyushu University and living here. That is a miracle to us! He is close to retirement age. He even has a PhD but he was not teaching at Texas A & M, but he did research. Teaching is more like a hobby and he teaches in the church and jails.
Thank you helping Ryota and his mother.
List All | Add Story