How are you? I hope you are doing well. It sounds like so much is going on back home with people getting home from missions, and people getting married, and other people having babies! Congratulations to all of you! It sounds like there are going to be a lot of new people to meet when I get home in December.
Missionary life is still the greatest. I am still loving Katsura, and working with Larkin Shimai. I can't believe that this is week four of this transfer already! Time is going way too fast! This week we had a lot of different things happen. We had lots of lessons, zone training meeting, interviews with President Welch, and our Stake had a Family History Fair. :) What a great and busy week it has been. One of the things that I really enjoyed learning about this past week, was working with the members and the wards. Every week, we get an email from the mission (like a newsletter) and there is always a miracle that happened in our mission over the past week. This week, the miracle was about our Stake Family History Fair. "A Zone had a Stake Family History Fair. Hundreds of people came to the church for it. One Less-Active member brought his non-member wife and they committed to learn about their ancestors and go to the Temple to perform their ordinances. Another member family brought their less-active daughter, their non-member daughter and her family. They taught the children about their family, and they decided to do family history, as a family. Tons of people came to the church for the first time, and left holding a Book of Mormon. This was a fantastic start to the Ward and the missionaries working together." The members did such an amazing job, and the fair went so well. Recently we have really been trying to focus on families and family history when we are out finding. The people here in Japan really care about their families, and when you start talking about their ancestors, they are usually more open to listening to our message. We were able to bring one of our investigators to the fair, and she said she learned so much, and it was so fun to hear all the stories she was told when she was growing up about her grandma. Learning about how to do her own family history, really opened up her heart, and she wants to learn even more. As I have been doing my own family history, I have been amazed at all the things I have been able to learn. I've learned that I am a lot more like my ancestors than I thought I was. I have also been able to learn more and strengthen my relationship with my own mom. I realized that I really didn't know that much about her parents, since they both passed away before I was born. And, while I was growing up, I never really knew that much about them. As I started working on my family history, and trying to learn more about my ancestors, my mom started sharing more stories. I learned that my grandpa and I cut apples the same way, and that my grandma loved little children owned a preschool. I learned that my grandpa was baptized when he was in college by his best friend. I have learned so many things, and I can't wait to get home and ask all of my family, my dad and my living grandparents, and my aunts and uncles. I know that as we do our family history, our relationships with our relatives who are still living will be strengthened. I know that we will feel the influence of those around us who have already passed on. The more and more I learn about my family, the more excited I am to meet them and to be with them forever.
I love you all and you are in my thoughts and my prayers. I hope that you have an amazing week.
1. Makizushi - On February 3, you have to eat makizushi facing south south west (except the direction changes every year) and make a wish.
We ate so much sushi that day! Luckily ours was really just fried rice. :) Sushi isn't my favorite.
2. We heart attacked one of our investigators who was sick.
3. Sometimes you have to eat things you don't like... Like dango (a kind of mochi). I have eaten so much mochi in the last 3 weeks it is ridiculous. This particular one is from when we went finding after Zone Training meeting, and talked to this lady. She said that while she was talking to us she started feeling much better, and that she wanted to do something for us... So she bought us dango. People in Japan are the greatest. :)
4. It snowed a little bit last week. Winter in Kyoto reminds me a lot of winter in Alabama. Super cold, but with no snow. Just frozen, and bitter to the bone cold.