Monday, December 15, 2008

Dec 15, 2008

Dear Family & Friends,

I have a correction to make—the food I like to eat is “tonkatsu”, not “konkatsu”. Sorry I misspelled it.

We were quite busy last week. Our Zone had their Training and Luncheon on Wednesday, and it was soooooo delicious!! We met together at 9:00 a.m. and were taught by Pres. Hill and our Zone Leaders, then went in for lunch, and afterwards sang Christmas carols (I played the piano) and heard cute Christmas stories. It felt so good.

On Thursday and Friday I helped Sis. Hill prepare the meals and clean up after, so I was at the Mission Home from 9:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. By Friday afternoon I was exhausted!!! I don’t know how Sister Hill does it so effortlessly. She really plans well and knows just what needs to be done, and I just followed her directions. I also played the piano on Friday as that Zone didn’t have a pianist. It is fun to hear all the songs, including many hymns that are not Christmas ones.

Saturday was a cleaning and laundry day and we also took it easy, too. That evening was a wonderful Stake Christmas program that included a choir, a small orchestra, and a wonderful youth musical production. It was about giving service instead of just gifts for Christmas—giving of your time and love. It was original and they did a great job!!

Sunday we went to sing in one of the gaijin (foreigner) wards in their choir. It was under the direction of Elder Robertson who is in our FHE group. We had a wonderful time singing the beautiful Christmas music and were told we sounded great!! We are glad we got to do that. My school friend, Chuck Olson, also came and enjoyed it. Afterwards, he took us to a Unitarian meeting where we heard a woman who is a Baptist missionary here in Japan. She has lived here since 1990 and raised her family here. We enjoyed her presentation about the Savior and Christmas. There were about 15 people there and asked her some good questions, plus the woman who conducted the meeting talked about a book about the Bible written by Isaac Asimov. It was all very interesting.

Our thought for the week is: “By learning of Him (Jesus Christ), by believing in Him, by following Him, there is the capacity of become like Him. The countenance can change; the heart can be softened; the step can be quickened; the outlook enhanced. Life becomes what it should become. Change is at times imperceptible, but it does take place.” Pres. Monson, “The Way of the Master,” Ensign, January 2003.

Our word for the week is: kudasai. I think I have used it before, but I want to again because it shows how polite the Japanese are. It means “please” and they use it whenever they ask you to do something. We need to try to be more polite with each other every day, and they set a good example for us.

We love you all—

Jim & Pat

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