So it was good to talk to you guys today! I'm not going to lie it was kind of weird and surreal. I feel like that didn't actually happen. I walked out of the room at the end and I feel like I returned to normal life. I guess that's a good thing right? I'm glad to hear everyone is doing good though. Also I'm emotionally unstable since becoming a missionary. Just seeing my nephews and hearing them talk made me want to cry. Geez.
Sorry Dev, I forgot to congratulate you on graduating last time! We are all graduated! But not all of us are done with school. Me and Bri just had to pick professions that require more. We should really rethink that.
Also, a big thank you to the Terrys and the Seagers! I will never see the Nephite Christmas in the same way again. That was such a cool talk. Also I love my socks and scarf and chapstick, etc. I don't know how you knew exactly what to send. It must have been the Spirit! But a big thank you to everyone who has sent me anything. I can't believe all of the gifts I have received this year. I truly know that Heavenly Father blesses his missionaries.
So this week has been great! Lots of opportunities to serve at Christmastime. We decorated sugar cookies for Family Home Evening and took them to members houses to help recent converts and members get to know each other better. So me, Jeffery Shimai, Gibo Shimai, Minami, and Sakamoto Shimai all piled into Crosby Shimai's van and we went and delivered cookies. We could not have found some of those places without Gibo Shimai. Thank goodness! And it was totally worth it to have members open up their doors and sing Silent Night to them and hand them cookies. I don't think Japanese people get sugar cookies very often. They were so happy! And I think we all had a good time too.
Things are going good with Okamune shimai, Elina, and Sam and Jonathan. They are awesome and actually they are great examples to me of striving to come unto and follow Christ more each day. Please keep Karla in your prayers though.
On Christmas Eve we went with some American members to a hospital and sang carols for the patients there. It was a bunch of old Japanese obachans and ojichans. They were sitting there staring as we sang. One of the grandpas came up front so he could be a part of the choir too. They loved it when we sang Joy to the World. I don't know why but that is one of the few Christmas songs that Japanese people know. The coolest part was when a sister played some traditional Okinawan songs and suddenly they all started singing them. It was reverse caroling but it was so touching to hear them recognize the song and then join in. Then we passed out presents and chocolate to them all. They wouldn't open their presents though. They just hold on to them. And they love when the little kids hand them their presents. A lot of them would use English phrases too. Everyone here in Okinawa knows some English I swear. Even 99 year old obachans.
We also had the opportunity to go to a members house for Christmas Eve. There were a lot of members there but also they invited their nonmember neighbors and a Japanese friend. So it was cool to talk with them and get to know them. I think the Japanese lady was happy that we spoke Japanese. But props to people who form friendships despite the language difference. At the end they showed the Nativity and shared their testimonies of Jesus Christ. Way to be awesome member missionaries! Also we might start teaching their neighbors. We'll see!
Also I have some news for you all. I lost my alien registration card a while back so technically I'm illegal right now. But I'm working on getting a new one, it's just a complicated process. But I can now say that I have been to the police station in Okinawa. Yeah! Illegal for the holidays! (But really I'm trying to get it fixed. Don't worry).
This has been my first Christmas away from home, but I'm grateful that Heavenly Father has provided many many people to make us feel loved and feel like family here in Okinawa. It has made this time of year easier and a special Christmas that I won't forget. I only hope that we can return the favor in some small measure.
Merry Christmas everyone! Love you all!
Big Christmas Tree lit up in "Music Town"
It was actually cold!!
My Package arrived - Can't believe how much you sent!
Socks from Seagers - Wear them everyday now in the apartment!
12 Days of Christmas gift we made for Karla
Christmas Baskets from one of the Wards - They are so good to us!!