I hope you had a Merry Christmas! My week has been busy and blessed!
We began our preparation day with some great window shopping, walking around to the various stores in Kichijoji and enjoying the various shops around. Then we went and emailed but about halfway through I felt awful, to the point where I couldn't email coherently anymore. It was pretty meager. So we bought groceries and went home so I could rest before we went to FHE, it was probably a miracle that Michael overslept and wasn't able to come so we set off to visit a potential investigator who had no desire to meet with us until halfway through next month, as he told us that he had to get back to work and went to the next room where he had the window open as he watched professional soccer. Guess I need to get into his line of work someday. We housed around and tried talking to people but no one would listen to us, we got Kiire, which basically is the equivalent of telling your dog to leave. So we left a little dishearten but we know our purpose and we're still happy deep down.
I woke up and felt awful! My head cold had gotten much worse overnight and I was now shivering and just a hot sweaty mess, not a good example of someone who is supposed be a representative of the Lord. However we had presidents interviews so we got ready and went to the Honbu, there Sister Wada commented on my health, she said, "your eyes aren't as blue today, you need sleep." So I was told to get some sleep. While my companion was interview she sat me down and said it was good to see my companion smiling, she said she had never seen him smile before. It really is all about love, it's the motive. I then had my interview with President Wada, it was good to have an interview with him but it has kind of lost its excitement since I have lived in the area for so long. Either way I learned a lot during it. After we came home and I crashed for about 5 hours, but afterwards I felt a lot better! During my sleep my companion made bread so we went by the bishops house to drop it off! We "ping-pong-dashu" ed his house. Then housed the surrounding area, one lady listened to us but her husband came out shortly after and yelled at us. Since becoming the senior companion I have had to help translate for my companion, but I don't want to offend him so I usually simplify what is said or give it a little easier. It is interesting how much words can offend you no matter what language you speak.
After studies we went over to the church to help set up for a training meeting for all the district leaders. The meeting was great I learned a lot about how I can become a more effective leader in my district, I was asked to give a training on working with ward leaders and I compared it to pulling figurative weeds, so we can have uninterrupted communication with our ward leaders. It was a fun analogy, and made me thankful for all those farm experiences I have had growing up. (Not saying I missed performing them, I'm just saying I learned a lot from them.) After that we grabbed some dinner and had a lesson with Kajira Kyodai (who literally is a Japanese hippie) and Michael. It was a great lesson we taught about the Holy Ghost and the influence that we can feel before baptism. Eikaiwa was wonderful! We had a few students show up because it was a national holiday (the emperors birthday! That's right Henry you have the same birthday as the emperor of Japan!). We discussed or Christmas Traditions as families in America. Then we talked about the symbols of Christmas, we ended up teaching the class all about Jesus Christ's birth and the Wise Men! It was such a wonderful lesson, and way quickly relatable to the gospel.
Thursday (Christmas Eve)
After studies we had District Meeting! It was fun except the zone leaders and the sisters didn't come so half the district was practically gone. Either way it was a great meeting and we got a lot figured out for the district and ward. After I was called into the office to help with a project for our families then got stuck running a few errands. After we journeyed to the Akumatsu's house. We found it a little early so we housed around the area and found an old man who had some interest but we were able to teach him either way. The dinner was great! It was the Akumatsu's, Elder Ford and Elder Mukai, the Sisters, and us. All in their apartment with their 3 kids! It was a lot of fun! I hadn't realized it but it has been over a year since I have had a dinner appointment with kids! It was a blast, they were all really excited for Santa to come, so they began the NORAD tracker. I love how big Christmas is starting to become in Japan. It was a great night.
After we got ready we ran to the church so Elder Gerard could Skype his Family! I grabbed a computer and worked on updating a few things on the website and apps. After his Skype call we had some studies and went out to lunch as a District to Yakuniku (Korean BBQ) it was pretty good but nothing like ham haha. Then we went back and Elder Yamada asked me to help him out with some of the apps, so I spent some time helping with that. After we left and went housing, in this practically abandoned neighborhood. It was pretty sketchy, sadly no one would listen to our message, in fact one woman said, "oh thanks for the reminder" and came and took her wreath down. After being a little heart broken we went over to the Bishops house for dinner. The Bishops son in law was there who just came home from his mission in Irvine! I had no idea so I spoke Japanese to him until he straight up said to my companion with an American accent, "so how long have you been out?" That kind of shocked us. However he is awesome and it was another great dinner, their kids were great! I loved spending time with them.
After getting ready we ran to the church so I could Skype home! The last time I saw everyone was in May! It was great being able to talk to them, and very rejuvenating in a sense. It was kind of weird though because I feel like it is getting harder to relate to things back home. It was also weird hearing that I need to think of college, to be honest that has been the last thing on my mind recently, but it might have to be something slowly. It was the hardest to hang up this time, maybe because it was Christmas, maybe because it had been so long, who knows. I have just learned on my mission that families are the one of the most important things in this life, that's why we teach it second to people. After we went to Ippudo ramen, then back to the church to have new missionary training and wait for Raju! Raju is from Nepal! He is awesome! We spent some time getting to know him and his culture and it was amazing! Just mind boggling cool! He is probably the only man I know who was born and raised in the Himalayan mountain range and is scared of heights! Imagine that! His sister is getting married soon so he explained how Nepalese people have weddings, it is a three day ceremony! After the lesson we tried contacting Michael again, sadly he wasn't able to contact us. So we hiked to our dinner appointment which took an hour to get there! We got super lost, but when we got there they were in open arms waiting to greet us! It was a great dinner appointment! I love the Uchiyamas they are the parents of one of the families in the first area I served in! It was so wonderful to be there! We had our lesson before we ate, in Uchiyama Kyodais words it was so we, "didn't have to stress over it". He had a really interesting career with IMB that he shared with us, we had indo curry for dinner and sister Uchiyama gave me the recipe! Yoshu! After dinner we went to Michaels apartment but sadly he wasn't home so we left a note. As we housed around the area we got yelled at by a drunk man who didn't want to talk to us, which was really funny because we could hear his wife in the background saying, "stop it, you are embarrassing."
We changed around where we meet for DCS, it helped a lot! Everyone was more open with their comments, we were just to far apart. We finally were able to contact Michael, his phone had died. Sadly he was unable to come to church so we sat with members, during Sunday school, the topic was about strengthening your marriage, it was interesting to hear from the position of a missionary, but i learned a lot nonetheless. After we talked with Naka Kyodai, who is a fashion designer/president of his own fashion line. He was way open to talk to us, and invited us over for dinner after the new year! We were invited to attend high priest group the third hour which was special, they asked us to bear our testimonies, so I bore mine on families. It was a great meeting overall. During choir Michael came! So we grabbed a member and taught about the importance of baptism out of 2 Nephi. After we went home ate supper then went to the church to help fix one of the apps that broke, then off to Ueki Kyodais lesson. It was a great lesson, We had Elder Gerard take the lead, and he did a great job. After we went to the church to start weekly planning, but we met a member visiting from America who lays fiber optic cables across the ocean floor. It was an interesting discussion. There are some people in this life who you meet only once but have a large impact on the rest of your life, he was one of those people.
I hope y'all had a Merry Christmas!
Some Super Fancy Mochi from an Eikaiwa student!