A seminar for new residents of missionary houses was conducted at the Home of the Parent on March 29 and 30. This year, 84 prospective missionaries, ranging in age from 19 to 71, entered missionary houses in 17 locations throughout the country.
The seminar began with a pair of lectures designed to help participants understand the attitude they ought to maintain as missionaries. Faith experience speeches were then delivered by two people who had just completed their one-year period of residence in missionary houses. These two speakers also gave the participants practical advice and hints on how to get the most out of their stays at missionary houses.
Following the evening service, Mission Department Head Kazuo Nagao addressed the participants. After discussing the significance of Oyasama’s anniversaries, he stressed the importance of taking full advantage of the current pre-anniversary season to implement salvation work. “Spending a year as a missionary house resident,” he continued, “you will no doubt experience all kinds of days, some perhaps less satisfying than others. Nonetheless, I trust that you will skillfully make the most of each day by bringing Oyasama’s Divine Model to mind in whatever situation you find yourself.”
Following the morning service on the 30th, the Shinbashira gave a talk to the participants in Foundress’ Hall 3. “Going out to spread the teachings,” he said, “is to be your full-time task for the next twelve months, and I would like to see you be ambitious and highly energetic in carrying out that task. I want to remind you, however, that your energetic efforts will not have served much purpose if, upon completing your stay at the missionary house, you end up losing that enthusiasm and go back to being the way you were before. I want to ask you, therefore, to spend this year in such a way that what you gain from your experience as a missionary house resident will remain an integral part of your life of faith.”
He went on to say: “The people you encounter when you go out to sprinkle the fragrance of the teachings will form their impression of Tenrikyo based on what you say and what you do. Since the fragrance you ought to be sprinkling is none other than the fragrance of Oyasama’s teachings, you should be careful not to emit a mistaken or misleading fragrance. Making an effort to study the teachings, therefore, needs to go hand in hand with sprinkling the fragrance. The time you spend studying the teachings will be beneficial in allowing you to settle them more firmly in your mind and, thereby, strengthen your faith.”
Before closing, the Shinbashira said: “There may be some days when you find yourself having trouble being energetic, or even days when you become dejected or depressed. At such times, you might profitably remind yourself of the original purpose that brought you to the missionary house and reaffirm your resolve to see it through.”
The participants then went to the South Worship Hall to perform the service together before setting out in high spirits for their respective missionary houses.