Place: Shizuoka City
Companion: Elder Nakatsuka
Sorry I didn't have time to write last week! The holiday season has been insane and we are seeing incredible miracles! So last week we were finally able to meet with Hara san. He's still way golden and still wants to get baptized! We set a date for the 29th of January with him. The only thing that is hard for him is getting enough time off of work to come to church. Other than that he's good!
We had a lot of good activites arranged by the members leading up to Christmas. We went caroling at several Old Folks' homes with the members, which was way fun! I love caroling! The Tsuchiya family also invited us over for food, which was great. I love that family so much! We also had a huge miracle with Brother Takahashi. After caroling one day, he decided to take us out for dinner. So we went out to Sawayaka (THEY SELL MEAT) and it was good. Then afterwards he decided to drop in on Kita Kyodai because we were close so we popped in on him and had a good discussion about why he's not coming to church any more. Takahashi Kyodai is amazing. We just got to watch a master at work as Takahashi Kyodai used scriptures to teach Kita Kyodai and answer all of his questions. And all of it was in beautiful Japanese of course. Then Elder Nakatsuka bore a powerful testimony, also in beautiful Japanese. I thought I'd give it a go so I bore my testimony in what little Japanese I could muster and Kita Kyodai got a little irritated. Haha dang it. Anyway Kita Kyodai promised to come to church on Christmas anyway so it all ended well, thanks to Takahashi Kyodai. On the way out we popped in on Mostofa, Kita Kyodai's neighbor from Bangladesh. We invited him and his wife to the sacrament on Christmas and then went home.
We spent the rest of the week busily inviting everyone we could the sacrament meeting on Christmas. Then on Christmas Eve we went out to Indo Curry with Nagakura Kyodai and the Elders from Numazu. Nagakura Kyodai has been less active for a little bit and we have been working with him but now he is moving to Numazu so we handed him off to our guys in Numazu. It was great! We finally found a decent indo curry place here in Shizuoka!
And then we went home.
This Christmas Eve was far different than any Christmas I've ever had. We were so busy calling people and arranging rides and sending text messages that we didn't really have time to eat or do anything until 10:30 at night. We woke up early the next day and started frantically writing Christmas cards for the members. Then we went to church and the miracles began pouring in. Mostofa and his wife came! Then Hara san came. Then Reiko san came with a friend. People came pouring in and filled the Chapel to capacity! I've never seen it so full. It was getting to the point were there was no more room for people to sit and if any more came,people would have to stand somewhere on the sides or at the back! We asked Atsushi Kyodai, our ward clerk, and he told us that 88 people were in attendance. We had over ten non members there and a ton of less active members! Most of them were invited by the members. Our ward, which usually has around 50 to 60 people attending every week, saw 88 people on Christmas. The best part was when they ran out of water during the Sacrament. I almost cried. THAT's the meaning of Christmas. It was such a great miracle and completely as a result of the members faith.
That night all six of us missionaries, with the help of our beloved cohort Sasaki Kyodai, took a bunch of the church's Christmas banners down to the eki and we passed out Book of Mormons. It was the funnest Christmas ever!
Ok that was last week.
This week has been a little bit slow but still really good!
On Wednesday we had interviews with President Ishii, which was awesome but took a really long time. He was interviewing for ten hours! Our mission president is the hardest working guy out here. Seriously he's the best.
Then we had an exchange with Fuji and I got to stay in Shizuoka with Elder Reis! It's been a while since I got to just stay in Shizuoka on an exchange and it's also been a while since I had someone to teach me Portuguese so that was good. Elder Reis is awesome and we had a lot of fun! We went on a Spirit Adventure and found a cool guy that we are meeting this week. Way excited to see how he turns out.
Nothing really happened for New Years. We stayed inside and read the Book of Mormon like we were asked to. Then we went to sushi with Nagakura Kyodai. And then we read the Book of Mormon some more. Man I love that book! It actually does have all the answers. You just have to find them.
Anyway life is good! I'm excited for New Years to be over so that all the people will come back and we can start working again. Missionary work is seriously the funnest thing in the world! Love you guys!
Oh wait I just remembered! Yesterday Numazu's investigator, Sudath, passed his baptismal interview! He will be getting baptized next Sunday! Fuji saw their first baptism in 5 years last week and now Numazu is going to see their first baptism in 3 years! Keep the Shizuoka stake members in your prayers! Everything is just going to get more awesome from here.