It was a miracle filled week in Ibaraki! It is really throwing me for a loop being back in Osaka, especially since I came back around the exact same time that I arrived in Japan last year. It is so interesting to take a look at how much I have changed since last year. It is also very cool to see that I am able to understand what is going on in the world around me and that I am capable of knowing what is going on in missionary work, at least a little bit more. :)
It is Christmas Time!! I believe that the count down is currently at 10 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!! Hooray hooray hooray!! :) I love Christmas! And it is just a different thing to be a missionary for Christmas, but if anything, I just feel even more excited about the season because of the miracles that pop up right now and because there is nothing better than testifying about Christ during Christmas.
This week was full and Mills Shimai and I had a lot of fun just going out and working and doing lots of finding :) We found a family that we started teaching that surprised us by inviting us in for dinner! Mills Shimai had actually met the mother the last transfer. We ate delicious Japanese food with them and the two adorable little daughters performed a dance for us and a song, which involved "Be our Guest" from Beauty and the Beast. And also "Hi - Ho" from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. It was one of the most adorable things - and then we literally sprinted home to make it home on time.
Yesterday we had an amazing lesson in relief society about Christmas! We talked about how we can make sure that we are keeping the "Christ" in "Christmas" and not turning it into "X-Mas." In Japanese the word "Christ" is not actually part of the word "Christmas" (in Japanese Christmas is Kurisumasu and Christ is Kirisuto and those two words sound nothing a like, so there are quite a lot of people who just have no idea at all what the purpose of Christmas is and are very surprised to discover that it is actually a celebration of Christ's birth...so this relief society lesson was particularly effective for Japan, but I loved it none the less). It made me think a lot about how important it is to always keep the spirit of Christmas - the true spirit of Christmas in our hearts.
Also, this week I had a wonderful Christmas present because the Ibaraki Church building has a GYM! Which is amazing because it is the only church building that has a gym in the entire Kobe Mission, I think. But, we do a sports night every week. This week, I got everyone playing soccer and I was super happy and I had a giant smile on my face, for about forever, after that wonderful game.
Merry Christmas to everyone from me and Mills Shimai! I am so grateful for my new companion, she is just the sweetest person and she is working really hard to learn Japanese. I am very impressed with how good her Japanese is after only being here for 6 weeks, and that she is still really positive, even though she usually doesn't really know what the investigators or I am saying. She is also incredibly patient with me when I get us dreadfully lost for three hours in the freezing cold :)
And because I haven't told everyone how much I love this video yet, but it is lighting up the world. I promise that if you give it a chance, it will change you. And you will never view the world the same way again!
Click below to see the video