It has been a really cold, rainy week...which is a little rough. And I am less excited about the very large rain suits than I was when I first got here. Also it is SO COLD. But, summer is typhoon season, so riding a bike in the cold sounds significantly better than riding a bike through a typhoon. One night, Dean Shimai and I were on our way back from an appointment and it just started POURING. And we decided it was not worth it to put on our rain gear because we were just heading back to our apartments anyway...we got completely SOAKED. But we had so much fun with it. We sang Christmas carols the whole way home and made our own little parodies. We looked completely dignified, I am sure.
|Results of no Rain Gear...Soaking and dignified|
|A great Reunion at Trainer/trainee conference|
On Tuesday this week Dean Shimai and I went to Kobe for a trainer/trainee training and it was so awesome. I learned A LOT. It is amazing to me how much I thought I understood about the gospel...and how little I actually understood. I learn so much new doctrine all the time about the very simple doctrines. It was SO good to see Daniels Shimai, Black Choro and Lake Choro. They are just the best. It is obvious that everyone has been working so hard - and everyone was so excited to share stories and miracles with each other. In a month every single one of us has made so much progress, but it is a lot easier to see it in each other than in ourselves. Just...the very countenance of these people has changed.
|Ward Christmas! Love the Japanese|
CHRISTMAS IS SO SOON! This weekend was INCREDIBLE! On Saturday we had a baptism!! R-Shimai, our Philipino investigator, was sooo happy after she was baptized. I just love her! The ward members on Sunday (after her confirmation) came over to Dean Shimai and me and told us that they could see a very clear change in her countenance. They said that she looks absolutely beautiful and it is obvious that the power of God is REAL! I also gave a talk on Sunday. Which was the most terrifying thing of my entire life probably. I worked all week trying so hard to finish my talk, but translating is soo difficult! The romanji preach my gospel (Missionary study guide) was the best thing. But, I was still a little bit nervous when I stood up that my pronunciation was just going to murder my talk on Christmas and Jesus Christ...or that my grammar structures were incorrect...but it went SO WELL! I felt so good while I was speaking, and the spirit was able to carry my simple Japanese words to the hearts of the members and our investigators. After my talk, Imanashi 巨大 came up to me and told me that it was absolutely perfect Japanese. It just made my life, basically. There was an incredible Christmas program at Church and the ward pulled the missionaries up front, and had us speak a bit about Christmas and then they gave us these bags FULL of presents! It was the sweetest thing! I can't even explain how much I love this ward! I did not have the Japanese words to express my appreciation to them. They are getting more and more excited about this work and we have such a good relationship with them right now. Gah! They are just the best.
|Generous Ward Christmas Gifts!|
On Saturday night we had the Ward Christmas Party and I just loved it! The Osaka Orchestra played...and one of the Eikaiwa Students stood up and started playing the electric guitar and singing all these English songs. Oh my goodness it was so funny. He forgot the "Christmas" part of the program and the members just looked absolutely mortified. The missionaries sang with Irie Kyodai and the spirit was so strong. We sang about his conversion story - and Japanese can be really beautiful. I didn't understand all the words to the song, but I understood the message.
Christmas really is a time of miracles for this work - all over the world. The Lord is hastening his work and I love that I get to be a part of it! Merry Christmas!
|Our Wonderful Christmas!|