Monday, November 26, 2012

   Well hello! Another week has gone by here in the promised land, also known as Yamato. Things have been fun, that's for sure. There have been quite a few different things going on. To start out, there's a Peruvian invasion going on right now in Yamato. There's a Peruvian woman who started coming to our weekly english class a few week ago, there's a peruvian man that we found on the street who's family are members but he isn't (he came to church with us last week), and we found another Peruvian man while we were knocking doors earlier in the week last week. Oh, and here's the best part; all 3 of them are fluent in Japanese, so I can still talk with them even though I don't know spanish! Although, it does help that I know the few simple phrases that anyone who's lived in the southwest for any period of time will pick up. You know, things like gracias, como estas, that sort of thing. But yeah, 3 Peruvians. In Japan. And none of them know each other.
He carved the turkey and there's nothing left!
   Thanksgiving was pretty good for us this year. Seeing as how I'm in Japan and Thankgsiving is an American holiday, it was a bit different than usual. However, depite being in Japan, we celebrated Thanksgiving twice. How? Well, allow me to explain. First, on Thursday, we went on Atsugi Base and had Thanksgiving dinnner with the Smith family. That was really fun. The Smith family is awesome. Elder Nakamura has never celebrated Thanksgiving before, seeing as how he's Japanese, so I tried to explain the holiday to him. It went something like this "What's Thanksgiving?" "Well, it's a holiday to express thanks for what we have. Give thanks." "ok. so what do you do?" "umm.... We eat alot?" Haha! Yeah, I don't think he was prepared though. You could tell he was suprised at the staggering amount of food: a typical Thanksgiving dinner with potatoes, stuffing, corn, a dozen other dishes, and of course turkey. So that was our first Thanksgiving. Our second Thanksgiving was on Friday. The Kaimori family from the Yamato Ward invited us over for their Thanksgiving celebration on Friday. Why did they celebrate on Friday? Well, that's because in Japan Thanksgiving is actually on Friday. It's just a calender holiday though, nobody really does anything. But, Brother Kaimori's wife is American. That means that they celebrated the American way: eating alot. So that was our second thanksgiving. It was really fun.
   We've been able to visit quite a few of the Yamato members in their homes recently, which has been really good. We're trying to get the ward members more involved, so what we've started doing is we're passing around a calender for them to sign up and have us come over and teach a practice lesson with them. These practice lessons usually end up turning into us going over for dinner and then having a practice lesson. But hey, I'm not complaining. Since our focus is to help involve the members, we keep our practice lessons really short and simple, as a way to demonstrate that sharing the gospel doesn't have to be really lengthy or complex. It's been having some effect already, we've had some members really get excited about missionary work recently. Speaking of which, President Budge spoke at the adult session of Stake Conference for the English speaking stake. He shared about a friend of his who keeps a Book of Mormon with him at all times, everywhere he goes. That way, if he ever finds himself in a situation where he could give someone a Book of Mormon, he has one available to do so. He then went on to explain that many of us pray for missionary opportunities. But if two people pray for missionary opportunites, and one of them has a Book of Mormon and the other doesn't, who is the Lord more likely to send that prepared person that would accept a Book of Mormon to? He then challenged everyone to do the same, and keep a Book of Mormon with them all the time, in the car, in your bag, or somewhere. I also find it important to note that his challenge didn't have a deadline. He also didn't challenge everyone to give away a certain number of Book of Mormons. He simply challenged everyone to keep one on hand at all times so that if you have an opportunity to share, you are prepared and able to act on that opportunity.
Funny Engrish! Not sure what a rordside is...
   Sunday was also a good day. Sister Ishihara was baptized and confirmed. There was a really good turnout from the ward, which I was really grateful for. The Yamato ward is a really friendly ward, so I expect that Sister Ishihara will be well taken care of. Pretty soon, we may be able to start teaching her sons. In the last couple of weeks before her baptism she refered both of her sons to us, and one of them actually came with her to a lesson. If we could start working with her family and they get baptized too, that would be the best. After all, the church is all about uniting families for eternity. We're praying the Lord will open their hearts to the Gospel.

   That's about it for this week! I hope you all enjoyed Thanksgiving as well! Oh, and guess what? Christmas is coming! What will you give to Christ this Christmas?
Elder Blake

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