Mom and Dad,
Last week, following prep day, we went and taught a Christmas message to a family in the branch, two friends of the kids, and their respective mothers. We also had a really big shokuji with them all, which was pretty fun. The message, though it could've gone a little smoother, went really well. For the grand finale we showed them the "He is the Gift" video. Do you all know about that video? If not, go to the church website and look it up. It's caused a lot of great things all over the internet. Also search "Because of Him." The church made that video earlier this year for Easter. Like I said: the church is making some pretty great videos/movies these days!
The next day was also pretty great because we had a lesson with the guy who's had a rough past and with the member that referred him to us. I'm so glad this investigator has a lot of interest, and understands religious things very well. We also met with our shigansha on Tuesday since he was going back to his hometown for a couple days. We taught him, from the February 2014 Liahona article about communication, to help him help his nonmember family understand what the Gospel has done for him. Our hope is they consent to him being baptized earlier. Fingers crossed and prayers made!
On Thursday we had a taikai in Kobe for Christmas! This zone, Kobe zone, the zone I was in when I first came to Japan, and Kyoto zone were all there. I think I said how we played dodgeball last year before New Years taikai? If I did, I probably mentioned how sore I was the next couple days. Well, it was a very similar story this year, just to a lesser degree. For the taikai we watched some church-related Christmas videos and a video where some monks, having taken a vow of silence, sing the Hallelujah Chorus. They also put on a big talent show but since we're missionaries, many without their talent tools, I can sum up the whole talent show in two words: piano; singing. It was still really good!
Friday I skyped with you!--which was awesome!
On Sunday following church, we missionaries gave a half hour presentation on family history as a part of dendo to the branch. We originally planned with the branch president to do a 90-120 minute fireside about dendo with the branch, but at church he decided we'd do a half hour presentation following church every Fast Sunday. We had very little prepared because we just made a basic outline of the whole fireside to run by him, but we managed to pull off a good half hour sermon on family history, the importance of it, and how it can be used in dendo. "...it shall be given in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man." Scriptures being fulfilled right in our own faces!
That's all I have for this week. I'm sure you all had a great Christmas together, and pray that you have a great New Years, too!