Another great week. I don't have much time so I'll just give a rundown -
Monday: Shopping. First trip to Mr. Donuts in months. Lunch and lesson with Ka Shimai at a member's house, which was so awesome. Ka Shimai has been struggling to come to church lately, and the answer was the same as it is in 99% of people's cases: love. When they feel love, they come.
Tuesday: Zone conference! Always great to hear from President Budge, and since this conference was our Christmas one we did some caroling together. I bore my "last testimony" with all the other returning missionaries, which was weird. It still doesn't feel like I'm going home. Since a few other elders were translating as well (conferences are held in English, and translated into Japanese for a few missionaries wearing mic headsets) I only had to do a short part, and luckily not for president Budge. He's a very animated speaker, with lots of quick little jokes, and I think he'd be hard to keep up with.
Wednesday: talked with our friend Eli, from France, at Japanese class. Showed the new "He is the Gift" Christmas video with one of our friends after Eikaiwa, which was a really sweet moment until one of the Elders' investigators came over and asked us a random question about where Santa Claus comes from. This man, A san, wants to get baptized and has been coming to church every week, and I really want to root for him and support him but he's kind of really crazy and sort of too obsessed with me and Sister Reeder. Maybe this is a test of my charity and patience.
Thursday: Delivered some mini sweet potato pies to investigators for Thanksgiving, and got to see Na (14-year-old) for the first time in a while. She is so awesome, and wants to be baptized in December! She isn't sure if her dad will give permission, so we'll have to meet him sometime. Scary. But Na is worth it - I don't even know why she has such a strong desire to learn more about Jesus Christ and follow His example. Obviously she'd been prepared to find the gospel lonnnnng before we got here.
Friday: Splits! I went to Togane to work with Sister Dopp, who I've been in the same zone with for a while but had never been on splits with before. We had a good time and I learned a lot from her. Every sister missionary has a different story on why they chose to serve a mission, and I love hearing everyone's stories.
Saturday: best day ever! Lots of good things happened, but the most awesome was our Thanksgiving potluck party. We thought of having a dinner party a while ago, mostly as a way to get the Wats to interact with some more members, and we're thinking maybe three or four couples, plus us. But when we told our ward mission leader about it, it became this huge ward activity and there were TONS of people and food! Lots of Eikaiwa students came and became good friends with the members there. Even members who couldn't make it came to drop off food, it was so sweet. One lady even spent 4+ hours cooking a Costco turkey with stuffing. So, I'm 2 for 2 with having a real Thanksgiving in Japan!! Definitely something to be grateful for. Sister Reeder was a champ and helped me make pies during basically every lunch and dinner hour all week, so we totaled with 1 pumpkin pie (made with real pumpkin, because we couldn't find canned) and 4 sweet potato pies (2 recipes worth, made mini sized). They were all delicious.
Sunday: got to watch the primary program! Our ward has a total of three primary-aged children, so they all had lots of lines. Visited people all afternoon. Ate Thanksgiving leftovers.
Monday: brought Su a cake for her birthday. Visited investigators. Spread Christmas cheer since it's officially the season.
Tuesday: went to the temple! I originally thought last time would be the final one, so it was nice getting to go again. Afterwards all the sisters had a clothing exchange, and we went to get Indo curry with Sisters Jones and Chandler. Also took a bunch of funny pictures. We showed two girls the He is the Gift video on the train home - just look for people using headphones and ask them to plug them into your iPad! It was cool. Great video.
Pictures! Part of our Thanksgiving crowd, and Sister Reeder and I in Shibuya.
|Thanksgiving potluck at Chosei Ward building|
|Anna & Reeder Shimai in Shibuya after Anna's final Tokyo Temple trip|