Sunday, November 23, 2008

November 23, 2008

Dear Family & Friends,


We hope you will all have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, with lots of good food, family, friends, and fun!!!

Our coming week is pretty special: on Wednesday, we will have an All-Mission Gratitude Conference—which means that all 170+ missionaries will be gathered together in one place to hear from Pres. David Evans, Area General Authority, and Pres. Hill. We will have a big luncheon (put on by the sisters in the foreigner or gaijin wards—but it won’t be turkey as it is too expensive here), then finish the conference with other talks, music, and testimonies. I can’t wait to tell you all about it next week.

On Thursday, we will have Thanksgiving dinner at the Hills’ home. She did buy a small turkey for about $40 and will serve it and all the trimmings. I will make dinner rolls and Pomegranate Waldorf Salad (they have beautiful pomegranates here, and my sister has told me a new way to get the seeds out. After I try it, I will let you know how it works). We will have other food, too, but don’t know yet what the pies will be. So we should have a very nice time.

This past week was nice, especially Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. Friday evening we had one of our favorite young couples, the Josens, over for dinner, along with a sweet young sister in the Ward who translates for us—Sister Tan. I fed them Spaghetti, which they loved, and brownies for dessert, plus they brought a delicious chicken dish and a small fruit dessert .

Saturday I did an “English-cooking Class” and taught how to make my version of cinnamon rolls that I make into Christmas Wreaths (many of you have had these). They were very impressed, as were their families when they took them home to share. It was so fun to do this and to show them how to do something that I love so much. They were very appreciative.

Today at church a sweet older lady (in her 80’s) gave us a gift of cookies just because we took a photo of her in her yukata (summer kimono) at the Ward party last August. We finally printed up a copy of it and gave it to her about 3 or 4 weeks ago, and now she gave us this nice gift. People treat us so well here—we have been warmly welcomed and love them in return!

Something fun happened at our little gathering on Friday night—we asked the Josens to bring a game that we could play. They pulled out a deck of cards and said we would play “Rich man and poor man”. As they started teaching us the game, it turns out they were teaching us “Scum”!! This is a game we played one year ago on Thanksgiving Day at our cousin’s, the Tuft’s, house!! We were so surprised and pleased—it made us feel so much at home—the world is really a small place, isn’t it!!!!!!

Our word for the day is one we have taught before: Arigato gozaimas – thank you very much!

Our thought for the day is: “Live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you.” Alma 34:38

So we want you all to know we love you and hope you are healthy and happy, feeling God’s love in your life and thanking him for it. We are thankful for your love and support and especially thankful to our Savior for great gifts to us all.

Love, Jim & Pat

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