Sorry this week is going to be short. We ended up being really busy preparing for the new missionaries coming tomorrow. So, I'll just sum up the week real quick.
First major event of the week was the all mission Christmas Conference on Tuesday. That was pretty fun. Everyone got together, and we had some music, a few talks, lunch, and a white elephant gift exchange. I ended up getting... and elephant. A little wooden elephant carving. How fitting for a white elephant exchange, right?
Christmas day ended up being a good day too. We had office staff meeting in the afternoon, and there were a few people who exchanged gifts. Sister Wada wrote a personal letter to each person in the office. The Yamashita's gave everyone these neat little book marks. Elder Fukuchi called his parents, and when they asked if his companion (me) was around and if they could say hi, he just sat there... then said no. Alright. Not sure why, but whatever. haha! I thought it was pretty funny actually.
Continuing with the day, Brian (the guy from Zimbabwe) spoke in sacrament meeting. He can't speak Japanese, and he didn't' want to give his talk with an interpreter next to him, so he sent us his talk ahead of time and I translated it for him. He read his entire talk in Japanese. It was really funny to listen to him read it with his Zimbabwe accent. I understood what he was saying because I read the original in English and I translated it, but I wonder how much everyone else understood...
Brian also brought two of his friends with him to church to hear him give his talk! That was great. After Sacrament meeting they stayed for Gospel Principles class. The teacher starts the class, and writes the topic for the lesson on the board: The Word of Wisdom. Well this ought to be good. The teacher dives right into the deep end by opening up the lesson with the question, "According to the word of wisdom, what things a forbidden?" We go down the list: coffee, tea, alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. Both of Brian's friends had gone out for a smoke break right after sacrament meeting, and when they found out we didn't smoke, they started apologizing. We told them not to worry about it. That's when the teacher realized they weren't members. But then, instead of continuing the lesson in a way someone who has never heard about the word of wisdom before would understand (you know, what it is, why we have it, where it came from, etc), the teacher went off on some tangent about whether or not there is biblical backing for the word of wisdom. When all was said and done, we had a group of missionaries repeatedly face-palming, two confused friends of Brian, and several tangential questions. Quite the eventful day.
Today was zone p-day. We played volley ball here in Kichijoji, then everyone went out for lunch together. Wrap that up with some shopping, cleaning out the apartment real good, and an hour long talk with an Italian, and it was a good day. The Italian guy is a member that goes to another ward, but he dropped in to see if we could provide him with a Book of Mormon in Russian for him to give to his friend. I could tell he was a true Italian because his hands never stopped moving when he talked. Haha! He's a really cool guy though. I found out that he served his mission in Arizona back in 1985-ish. One of his areas was actually Gilbert. Pretty crazy. He gave me his number and invited me to go over to his place sometime so he can teach me how to make pasta the Italian way. I'm excited.
That's about it for now. Talk to you all next week!