What of the
Ｖｉｓiｔ ｏｆ Ｅｌｄｅｒ Ｂｅｄｎａｒ
From Shizue Namikawa
We had stake conference with Elder David A. Bednar on Aug 25th to 26th.Elder Bednar reminded us of the importance of several basic but important part of the gospel and priest keys. I was really lucky to have more chance to communicate with Elder and Sister Bednar. Before the Saturday sessions, Elder Bednar was interviewing to find the new stake president; Sister Bednar with several RS sisters in my stake. I was having a training for Family History Consultant from 1PM on Saturday. After the training, I was suddenly asked to translate for Sister Bednar when her main translator was talking with Elder Yamashita the first councellor of Asia North Presidency for a few minutes.
also attended YSA conference. We had Q&A with Elder and Sister Bednar.
Every question and answer was really helpful to me. I'm really glad they
came here this time.
From Sister Phillipa Grant:
Last weekend the YSA conference for the whole of Japan was held in Tokyo. More than 2,300 young single adults from all around Japan came. It really was an amazing event. The leaders decided they were going to hold it only a couple of months ago. We first heard about it in June - so they had a lot to organize in a short time but they did it and basically everyone in Japan came! I meet people from all around the country. Elder and Sister Bednar came and we all had a session with them in a very large conference hall. The Bednars decided to do something different. Instead of them talking to us, we had a question and answer session with them. It worked very well considering that there was over 2,000 people there. Volunteers stood in the audience with colored flags and a microphone and Elder Bednar would point to a section and the volunteers in that section would go to the person with the question. It was a reverent and spirit filled meeting as young single adults asked questions to the apostle that came from their heart. Elder Bednar has such a clear and succinct way of explaining things so everyone was edified by the event.
Lilia Sanchez got to ask a question to Elder Bednar! The night before there had been a dance festival which the Bednars attended to see the different dances from YSA all around Japan. Lilia got out on the dance floor at the end of the evening when anyone could dance and she danced up a storm with many people copying her moves. So when Elder Bednar saw it was Lilia asking a question he told her that she was quite the dancer last night!! Everyone remembered Lilia!!
From Naoko Kawahara
Lilia (Sanchez) and I participated in the conference as staff, and we were chaperons at one of the accommodations where nearly 160 sisters stayed. Our stake was in charge of four accommodations where sisters stayed. We went to the second night's event and the devotional on the last day. Other than that we were working, and so we missed the seminars held during the day. I also missed the helping hands where some of the participants made 5,000 backpacks with school supplies for the kids in Micronesia. That was the very first thing on the first day of the conference while many of the participants were still arriving and registering for the conference. I wish I could be there for that.
Anyway, the second night's event turned out to be great. I have a friend who was one of the SA reps in Yokohama, that was the stake in charge of the event. They really had a hard time putting that one out - because it requires so much time for preparation, my friend had to go take a test unprepared. The test was kind of like for a teacher's certificate which she needs to have to keep her job next year. I know that some blessing beyond our knowledge will be given to her.
The event was titled, “matsuri (festival)” and four different parts of Japan presented the dance from where they were from. I liked Okinawa's dance the most. Elder and Sister Bednar were there and saw the whole thing, too.
The hardest part for those performers was that they were in the seminars during the day, then had to rehearse for the night without dinner. They didn’t get to eat until they got back to their hotels after 10pm.
Someone came up with a very funny idea, during the dance, they put the song, YMCA (- in Japan, this has a different image, and some Japanese singer made this song very popular when I was growing up - of course, sung in Japanese). I'm sure that the Bednar's probably felt very awkward hearing that song. Anyway, they played it through, then the next time when put it again, they changed the part where it's sung "YMCA" to "YSA" and everyone danced to it. That was pretty funny.
This was at a gym, so by the dance, most of the participants went down on the floor and mingled. After that we had a few short video clips. The theme of the conference was "the next generation", I think, and it started off with the church history in Japan, and portrayed basically how exciting to be the next generation to keep building Zion in Japan. They were good. I'm sure that there was a lot of contribution by Ikeda (Masami) Kyodai for them.
At the very end, Elder and Sister Bednar spoke to us. Elder Bednar actually prepared the participants for the devotional next day. The devotional was Q&A, and knowing the Japanese culture where people could be shy to raise hand and ask something, he wanted to make sure that that was what they would do. And plus to ask some appropriate questions, and so he gave us a good and a bad example of the questions.
It was a chaos for me and Lilia to make sure that everyone was on board when we were going back to the hotel. Another stake was in charge of dispatching, but they were’nt checking who was missing. We didn’t want to go through the process of finding out who would be still where, so we just took over and checked that everyone was there. Lilia filled me in where I was lacking. I was worried about her not capable of nihongo enough to respond to the needs of the sisters, but that just was not the case. She was awesome. We stayed in the international hostel in Iidabashi - on the 18th floor, where we could see the night view of Tokyo. When I got back home, I was glad that it was over and to be home, but I also missed seeing that view.
A good number of people asked questions at the devotional. Elder Bednar would make his wife answer to some of the questions once in a while. It looked like that it was appropriate to hear from her, but at the same time, it seemed that it was the way to have his interpreter rest time to time. The devotional went on for three hours. It seemed that Elder Bednar took at least 15 minutes to answer each question.
By the way, Lilia ROCKED at the dance - you know how she loves to dance, but there just has not been any dance party that she could go to in Japan. She is tall and has thick hair, and it was very easy to spot her from the second floor at the gym despite of how many people were on the floor. She was leading a small group of people and dancing. At the end, she would grab a guy and dance, and then led him to dance with a different girl, and she kept doing that for a while. That's how Lilia is.
Anyway, of course, Elder Bednar saw her dancing the night before. She wore the red Korean dress to the devotional, and we were sitting on the 5th row. She got Elder Bednar's attention and got to ask him to give the SAs (those who a bit more mature than 'Y'SA) a message. He wanted to make sure that he spoke in the way she wanted to hear, so he would look at her and had her nod if he was doing fine. Some sisters thanked her for asking that to Elder Bednar.
Elder Bednar mentioned that he wished to put his hands on each one of us to give a blessing. He also mentioned that he wished to be back to Japan for some other occasions again. And when he is back, he said that he wishes to visit some of us in our home.
Buses were chartered for those who came from long distance, and they had to leave pretty much right after the devotional. The usher would direct by group in order of when they had to leave. Each time when a group was leaving, the congregation applauded for goodbye for having such a great conference.