Greeting from Wizard Pedestal (Sendai)!
This past week has been full of cool little blessings and lots of small miracles which makes it a successful one!
Ran into a kid named Lance from South Virginia at a 7-11 one night. We talked with him a bit, he's studying abroad here and turns out he's been searching for a Christian church to go to! So we invited him and he came! I had to translate for him which is still pretty dang tough but I think he had a good experience. Shared with him a Book of Mormon which he seemed intrigued by. Hoping to see him again this next week.
Had a service project here at the church on Saturday. We had a Mizuno San, a less active we've been working come help and get involved with the ward members. After the service portion, the ward was prepared with $225 dollars worth of meat to grill for about 25 people. It was heavenly food with heavenly huge portions. Great event I definitely enjoyed. It was good to get Mizuno there and talking with members, trying to get him some friends in the church besides the missionaries.
Elder Huston and I and 4 other missionaries in our mission had the opportunity on Wednesday to take the brand new subway that opened last week here in Sendai to our mission home to do an online interview with Kelly Mills, the head of technology at the MTC. The purpose of the interview was to discuss these new pamphlets we got on our iPads. The pamphlets are brand new, and designed for Japanese people, a people with no Christian background. We consider them previews to the normal missionary lessons as they prepare those without that Christian background to be able to get to the same "playing field" so to say in order to teach and so they can understand what we believe in our church. Anyway, we got to rip apart the pamphlet- tell them we we don't like about it, what could improve, and what was done really well. Way fun, cool experience to be a part of.
Thursday was nuts. We had planned to make a trip out to a place called Miyagidai, a place an hour away by bike, a gold mine of members, less active members and people to share a Christmas message with. 90% of the way there we stopped at a families house and had a really good visit and after that we had planned on spending a few more hours in Miyagidai. But on the way out of that first visit, we were met with a bike accident. There were some big pebbly rocks which made for dangerous conditions and next thing you know my companion had a head first baseball slide into the pavement. The bike was fine! But he was hurting a bit so we called up a member, the Satou family, who drove over and took care of us until our appointment with the Satou's son, a returned missionary, and two people referred to us from southern Japan. They drove us all the way back to the Sendai train station where our appointment was. The appointment went really well. The guys are way cool and way funny and I'm excited to meet with them again in the new year. Showed them around the church and got their numbers so I think there's good potential there!
Since our bikes were still at the Satou house in Miyagidai, Brother Satou (the returned missionary) felt it would be a fun experience to relive his mission and ride one of the bikes from Miyagidai to the church for us the next morning! And then his dad drove the other bike down. Such nice people. We ended up making another trip back to Miyagidai Saturday night and this time, despite it being freezing temperatures, dark and windy, we had a lot of success and safely accomplished the task at hand.
Sunday, President Smith visited the Kamisugi ward and shared a good Christmas testimony. Lance, our whet friend, was there along with Mizuno. Mizuno ended up caroling with us and the ward at a retirement home which was a blast! Not much different than a retirement home back in America. Still loud mouth grandpas present, crazy old grandmas waving their hands and yelling and a whole lot of expressionless faces in the back as well. Always such a pleasant atmosphere. Mizuno is amazing. He learned just yesterday a little bit about the word of wisdom and how we don't smoke, drink alcohol, coffee or tea and he was immediately willing to follow it, after some expressions of unbelief, to give it up and drink only water, quit smoking and follow it fully from now on. We meet again with him tonight and will see how he's doing with it.
I'm way excited for Christmas this year. A time in my life where I have nothing distracting me from my relationship with the Lord. I'm so excited to be able to dedicate this day completely to Him who literally made it possible to learn, grow, improve upon mistakes and ultimately to return to live with our Heavenly Father again. He is the gift. Look for Him. Love Him. Follow Him, and we are promised to get through and enjoy life's adventures every single day.
Have a merry Christmas every one!!! I love and miss you all, email me anytime!