Friends and family, Malo lelei!
Another great week topped off with a killer baptism! Teki was baptized and confirmed this pastand the service was awesome. We actually had a miracle in getting him to the waters of baptism. He had his baptismal interview the day before everything was planned out (kind of bad procrastination on our part) and had something that he needed to talk to the stake president about. It was threatening his baptism going through the next day which everyone was already planning on. We called our mission president and he said we'd probably have to push the baptism back because he had nobody to interview Teki and didn't know where the Stake President was. We begged him and he told us he'd call the Stake President to see if there was any way he could do an interview. He called us back almost immediately and told us that the Stake President had just pulled into the temple parking lot which was about 100 yards from where we were. It was honestly a miracle and testimony builder for me that the Lord is always aware of our situation. He placed our stake president in the right place at the right time. Teki was interviewed after and cleared for baptism!
His whole family drove down from Hilo on the other side of the island to be there for his baptism. A couple of nights before the baptism, Teki and his uncle (a member of our ward) drove down to ask for his mom's blessing and invite her to the baptism. She kept asking him questions like "why do you want to be baptized? Do you feel pressured because you're living with uncle Oke right now?" But he just told her that no one was making him do this. It was his decision and he wanted to be baptized because he could feel that it was true. He told her that he knew that families could be together forever, and that that's what he wants for their family, especially with the recent passing of his dad. She gave him her blessing and he was baptized a few days later. His mom even came to church with him the next day, and after sacrament rather than going back to Hilo (which is what they had planned) she told him to stay for class. I think she really felt the spirit and we're hoping we can get the missionaries over in Hilo to stop by their house and start teaching them too! I'm so proud of Teki because he's already being a missionary. He doesn't really recognize it, but he shares the gospel with basically everyone he comes in contact with!
We also got some sad news. One of our investigators that we were working with just passed away. His name was Sumio. He was a 93 year old Japanese man and was very excited about the gospel. He couldn't wait to be baptized, but unfortunately his health started failing him. We went over to give him a blessing when we heard that he got moved to a care home. We basically gave him a blessing of comfort out of this life, rather than of healing. He passed away the next day, so I guess it was just his time to go. I'm really grateful for the temple in situations like that.
Love you guys and have a great week!
Aloha, Elder Merrill