What of the
From Returned Missionaries
Kazuo Imai, Testimony in English
Brother Kazuo Imai, one of the first 14 missionaries called to serve in Japan after the war, has been visiting in our home of a week or so. Brother Imai was the first native of Japan to be a district president and was ordained as the first Bishop in Asia in 1970 when the Tokyo Stake was created by Elders Benson and Hinckley. He said he wanted to give his testimony at our fast and testimony meeting last Sunday, November 2, 2007. He wrote it is Japanese and this is the English translation I made. He did a good job.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I am not a member of this ward, but I am a member of the Church so I will share my testimony today. I was baptized on the 17th of September 1949. However, I didn’t understand the doctrine or the commandments at that time. But I learned new things as I attended Sunday School each week. The missionaries came to Japan without any special training. They were ordinary members. They came in the middle of their college education. I also wanted to become a missionary. I thought, if I could help just one person understand the Gospel.
Neither the Doctrine and Covenants nor the Pearl of Great Price were translated into Japanese at that time. From the spring of 1951, I prayed both night and morning that I might go on a mission. But I had no clothes or money for a mission. And my father was ill with a lung disease and couldn’t work.
One day in 1952, I took a bath to be clean and I fasted and prayed all day long. A little while later, the doctor told my father that he was better and could return to work. My branch president asked if I wanted to go on a mission. I told him I wanted to go, but I had no clothing or money.
At that time the American Servicemen serving in Japan were donating one or two dollars per month to help Japanese members serve missions.
So my father returned to work and I was able to serve a mission. I started my mission 55 years ago yesterday on November 3, 1952.
While working in Tomioka, we went house to house. We met a lady dentist who was a member of the Salvation Army for 30 years. She asked us if our church had a prophet. I said that we have a prophet and 12 apostles. She said it seems your Church is the true Church. She read the Book of Mormon in 3 days. She wanted to be baptized soon, but her husband would not agree. About a year later after I had returned home from my mission, I received a letter from a missionary from that area. The letter said her husband have given permission for her to be baptized. She wanted me to baptize her. I baptized her and her daughter on May 1, 1955.
She remained a faithful member of the Church. She was endowed in the Salt Lake Temple and was sealed to her departed husband in the Tokyo Temple.
This is my experience and my testimony. God and Jesus Christ live. This is the true Church. Joseph Smith and Gordon B. Hinckley are prophets. The scriptures are the word of God. I testify this is true. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.