The weather has been really nice since about October, but the last week or two the temperature has started to drop some more. I'm quickly finding out that humidity is a double edged sword. During the summer you feel gross, and during the winter it makes it feel twice as cold as it really is. But yeah! At least we have seasons in Japan!
It's been pretty uneventful this week. Not much went on in the way of exciting news. There were a few highlights though. Last Monday, we were invited over to the Anderson's home on the base for dinner and Family Home Evening. The Andersons are a way cool family, and it's always a treat when they invite us over. Well, for Family Home Evening we got to participate in one of their family traditions that they do for Christmas; we got to help set up the nativity scene. The way they do it is pretty cool. The pieces are all wrapped up in newspaper in the box, so you can't really tell what the pieces are until you open it up. You go around the room, everyone taking one piece at a time. You open it up, share a little bit about what its significance is in the story of the Birth of Christ, and then place it on the table where the nativity would be displayed for the rest of the Christmas season. Some pieces are obviously less obvious than others, like a cow for example, but it was really interesting to hear everyone share their thoughts on the birth of the Savior and what we can learn from all the different players that took part in the event.
So there's this sister in the Yamato Ward, Nami, who referred a friend to us about two months ago or so. This friend of hers lives nearly an hour away by train though, so we ended up passing him off to the Elders over by where he lives. I was talking to Nami at church the other day, and she told me that this friend of hers has a baptismal date now. Awesome! He's looking pretty solid too, so we're all expecting it to go through. The best part about it is that she only recently returned to activity in about July, shortly before I arrived in Japan. It's been great to see her coming back to church and already getting involved in the work. There are so many of our Brothers and Sisters all around us with so much potential to serve the Lord and receive the blessings he has to offer, but sometimes they just need that helping hand to get back up and moving on the path. It's really great to see the difference and improvements that can be made in just a short time.
As we approach Christmas, as a mission we're focusing on two things. First, is what each of us, individually, is giving to Christ every day as we enter the Christmas season. Secondly, we're focusing on recognizing the miracles that we are blessed with every day as we serve the Lord. One of those miracles that we've had recently just happened last night. We have an investigator named John who we haven't been able to make contact with for nearly two months. He's Phillipino, married, and has 3 young children. The thing is, he works construction 6 days a week, and his schedule is always changing. He was having phone problems, so he got a new phone with a new number so we haven't been able to call him. The only way to get in touch with him has been to drop by his apartment and hope either he or his wife would be home. Well, as I said, this went on for nearly two months. Last night we get this impression that we should try to go visit him again, despite having just dropped by the other day. Well, when we went by, as we were parking our bikes, his wife walks out the front door. "Hey, is John home?" "Yeah! come on in!" Awesome. We were able to find out that he now has a regular schedule, so we can start meeting regularly again, and we have his new phone number. Hopefully things will continue to go up from here.
Other than that it's been fairly routine this last week. Rations are running low, the weather is getting colder, and I've heard rumors of mutiny among the crew. Nothing out of the ordinary.
Captain Elder Blake
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