Sunday, March 15, 2009

Elder Yoshihiko Kikuchi

This weekend we had the privilege of having Elder Kikuchi come for our stake conference. He is such a great man. I truly loved listing to him speak. All the other speakers did really well also. I cant remember the last church meeting that I enjoyed as much as the two conference meetings I was able to attend this weekend. (Not that I'm saying I don't enjoy most meetings).
Its funny to say that I was actually dreading this conference, because on Wednesday night we were asked to say the prayers for the Saturday night adult meeting. This may sound silly but the thought of praying in front of all the adults, made me really scared. So ironically the time between Wednesday and Saturday flew by, and before I knew it I was walking into the Taylor Stake Center. Before the meeting started, Elder Kikuchi walked around to shake hands with some of the people. When he got to us, he first talked to my Brother-in-law, Cory (who was sitting by us). This was how their conversation went:
Elder Kikuchi: "Are you from Hawaii"?
Cory: "No".
Elder Kikuchi: "Are you Samoan".
Cory: "No".
Elder Kikuchi: "Are you from China".
Cory: "No".
Elder Kikuchi: "Then what are you".
Cory: "Indian".
Elder Kikuchi: "Are you Navajo".
Cory: "Yes".
Elder Kikuchi: "Well then I will say to you the only Indian word I know, Yat-ta-hay"!
And then he proceeded to tell us that "konnichiwa" means "hi" in Japanese. After that he shook our hands and moved on to the next row. I'm so glad we were able to have that funny experience with him.
The meeting that fallowed was amazing. I felt the spirit so strong as I listened to each of the speakers talk. I think that the fact that I was going to be praying at the end of the meeting helped me to listen more carefully..... I particularly enjoyed listening to Elder Kikuchi speak. He said some really funny things like, "If you want to be more romantic, you need to eat more rice".... He also said some serious things, but when he started talking about the life of Christ and the atonement, he spoke as an apostle of God, and it touched me so deeply.
He was the last speaker, so at the end of his talk he asked if he could change the song to, As I Have Loved You (that may not be to correct name of the song). He also asked who was saying the closing prayer. I kind of raised my hand, and others around me pointed my way. He then asked me to come up there so I could be ready. This really embarrassed me, and played a key roll in me not remembering anything I said in the prayer. I learned during conference the next day, that he must do that quite often because he did it to the poor girl who said the closing prayer.
Stake Conference was really good also. Toward the end of Elder Kikuchi's talk, he told of his conversion story and even now when I think of it I get goosebumps.


Aunt Tiff said...

your prayer was great!!! i would have crapped my pants!!!