Mom and Dad,
It gets a lot colder here than I imagined, especially when you're riding a bike--particularly down a hill. Just thought I'd let you know.
Since it's the Christmas season and I'm currently serving in the greatest ward in Japan, there have been some really awesome events this weekend. I'm also going to try to make my emails a little shorter so I spend less time emailing--so we'll see how it goes.
I got another haircut from the awesome barber dude in the ward. I told him to make it cool. Well, what haircut is cooler than the one you've been sporting for 20 years? Long story SHORT...you get the idea. It's a way nice haircut, though. We had a lesson with the investigator who we've been trying to help get over his guilt and sadness lately. He's doing much better and said in our last lesson that he'd like to be baptized! We explained how baptism buries our sins and we come out of the water entirely clean and it gives us a fresh start.
We had some more bike issues on Tuesday so we had to take it out to the bike shop, which is a 40 minute ride away. I was hoping they could fix it on the spot but it turns out they have to wait for parts to get in, so we had to leave the bike and walk ALL the way back. That didn't leave us much time for dendo. At eikaiwa, I taught the word 'squirrelled' which is the longest word with one syllable. Explaining that in Japanese was way hard.
On Wednesday we rode out a little ways to visit a PI that really wants to listen. Last time we went, he said to come back when it wasn't raining. Well, I didn't think it was going to rain that day and it did. After that, we went to the Catholic family, that's way nice, to invite them to the ward Christmas party. They gave us Costco pizza, cookies, hot chocolate, ramen, and these awesome heat packs that stay warm for 12 hours!
Friday was district meeting, so we went to that. Our DL admitted that he was too busy to make a solid plan for it--so he woke up at 5:00am, prayed, and received some great inspiration. It was a way awesome district meeting. A lot of things that were said definitely helped the missionaries there. After returning, we went around to investigators and PI's to invite them to the Christmas party. We also had another meeting with the JW.
On Saturday we were finally able to get in a lesson with the family whose mother is very interested in eternal families! It was a great lesson that we prepared probably three or four times over and it went very well. After the lesson, the discussion turned to how she has read the Bible and would like to read more books about Christ that would accompany our lessons. Good thing I always carry a Book of Mormon around. We gave it to them and she and her 11-year-old daughter scheduled the next appointment.
Saturday night was also the Christmas party! It was way different from the Halloween party, but just as great. It was more of a bunch of Christmas-related performances, then refreshments at the end. The first performance was a simplified "Nightmare Before Christmas" put on by the youth, some young adults, and one nonmember. There are some real characters in this ward. There were also a couple of hand bell numbers, a skit about the symbols of Christmas, and plenty of Christmas songs. Then the refreshment time was just eat-and-chat time. Afterwards we had a lesson with the GC investigator, and he's really coming along with focusing on spiritual things!
Yesterday we watched the Christmas devotional in place of Sunday School. The GC investigator who always leaves after Sacrament meeting stayed this week to watch that--though he still studied engineering during it. Following church there was a planned activity to go caroling at a nursing home. So many people from the ward wanted to participate that we had to split into two groups and go at different times. It was cool to go and spread Christmas cheer to the people in the nursing home. They may be old but some of them are still way genki. After that was regular dendo, a Christmas meal with a member, and finished out the night and the week with more dendo.
That's it for this week! Have a merry Christmas, and I'll talk to you all then!