I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas! Mine was really good.
Getting to call home on Skype and talk with the family for a couple
hours was fantastic. Even better, my eyes didn't even leak! I also got
to call in and see my little bro in Argentina which was really nice.
Didn't get to talk to him due to technical difficulties, but I got to
watch the family talk to him. That's just a skim of what went on, so
let's take a little deeper of a dive.
So this past week was pretty different from normal. On Wednesday the
zone had interviews with the mission president and while everyone was
waiting to be interviewed I, as a ZL, got to interview about half of
the companionships in the zone with one of the APs. It was really good
to have the opportunity to talk with them and try to help them out and
see them progress. I love working with missionaries and to be around
their good examples. That took up our whole day pretty much and we
spent the rest of the evening at 英会話 where we talked about Christmas.
Christmas Eve was mostly weekly planning, but we did bike out to see
some of Nagoya Harbor after trying to visit a less active member. In
the evening we went to a member's home and had Christmas dinner. They
made a ton of food and it was good to spend some time with a nice
family. Apparently they have had the missionaries over for Christmas
Eve every year for almost 20ish years. That's pretty incredible for
Japan. The family, the food, the love, and the Christmas message
helped bring in a spectacular warmth.
Christmas Day was calling home in the morning and then going to eat
Indo Curry as a group for Christmas lunch. The owners love the
missionaries and gave us some freebies for Christmas. After that we
did some area planning and I went on splits with an elder from Kasugai
until the evening. We met up with the sisters and some members at a
subway station to carol and Santa-San made his final appearance. It
was a really good Christmas activity to do with the members. We sang
carols there until a worker told us we had to leave because we were
being "an obstacle" to the people at the station. The guy was really
nice about it though and accepted a Christmas card from Santa. :)
Last night was one of the most fun member appointments I've been to.
Three families have a Christmas party every year and have a huge
dinner and invite the missionaries and some singles adults in the
branch. It was so much fun! The little kids love us and I tried doing
some magic tricks with them and it reminded me of the elders in
Arizona who would hang out at our house when we were kids. One thing
that has bothered me in Japan is the lack of good fathers, but with
these families that is not the case. These are some of the strongest
member families I've seen on my mission. They remind me a lot of my
family. Two of these husbands/fathers stand out in particular. One of
them reminds me a lot of Dad and likes to tease the missionaries and
another is actually a Brazilian who is an ex-paratrooper who loves
swapping stories. They made us eat so much food (all made by the
ex-para guy which is good cause Brazilians love meat) and then they
brought out this giant chocolate cake and I made a joke that they were
doing it for my birthday the next day and then they all freaked out
and and had everyone sing "Happy Birthday" to me. It was a great
This week looks like it'll be pretty long. New Years is a huge deal
here. It's called お正月 (O-Shogatsu) and literally nobody is out and
it's super rude to knock on someone's door. Last year we had to work
anyways, but this year the 31st and the 1st we have been told to
clean our apartments and read the Book of Mormon unless a member
invites us over. It's going to be a hard week because our
investigators don't want to meet this week so we'll see how it goes.
I hope everyone had a great Christmas and has a great New Year's
(Especially Kelsey because you're getting married on New Year's Eve).
Thanks for all the birthday emails today! Another year is down. I will
never know what it was like to be in America in 2015. That's pretty
Love you all and have a great week!
Christmas morning was a little bit of a bust... The package came the next day.
Caroling on Christmas
The Ochia, Ishida, Kubo Christmas Party