A seminar for new missionaries entering missionary houses was held at the Home of the Parent on March 29 and 30. This year 76 missionaries (57 male and 19 female), ranging in age from 19 to 67, entered missionary houses in 17 different locations, including one in America. They were all firmly resolved to devote themselves to missionary work, though their backgrounds and reasons for entering missionary houses varied.
On the first day of the seminar, the Shinbashira delivered an address at Foundress’ Hall 3 after the morning service. In his address, he pointed out: “The mission of Yoboku is to carry out single-hearted salvation. You are surely aware that your mission is to sprinkle the fragrance of the teachings and save others. Yet in reality, you cannot concentrate on engaging in missionary work since you have to do various other things at your church.” He then said, “A missionary house is a place where you can get away from it all and dedicate yourself solely to spreading the teachings and saving others.”
He cautioned the listeners by saying: “The period when you are at a missionary house should not be taken as a time to acquire seeds of stories or as a special year in the history of your faith. Rather, you should spend your days at the missionary house in such a way that you can relate them to how to follow the path after you finish the missionary house.”
He also made a request, saying, “In order to sprinkle the ‘fragrance’ of the path on people, you have to have the ‘fragrance’ yourself. In addition to engaging wholeheartedly in missionary work, therefore, you should spare no effort in settling the intention of God the Parent precisely and thoroughly in your mind.”
He went on to say, “There is no time like the present to concentrate solely on sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings and saving others as well as seeking the path yourselves. You should put all you have into this one year at the missionary house so that you may have no regrets later on.” He thus explained the attitude appropriate for those who are going to their missionary houses to engage in missionary work.
The seminar also included lectures by church head ministers who shared their abundant experiences in missionary work as well as speeches by missionaries who spent last year at missionary houses. The new missionaries also had an opportunity to receive instruction in paper-folding and children’s games so as to prepare them to conduct children’s gatherings to sprinkle the fragrance of the teachings. After finishing the seminar, the participants departed for their missionary houses.