I hope everyone had a great Christmas!
For a while, we were worried we wouldn`t get a white Christmas because it had only rained recently--but then on the 24th, and all night Christmas Eve, and during most of Christmas Day it snowed, so we had a white Christmas! I`d forgotten how beautiful (and also cold:) having snow is.
We had a wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas day! We went caroling on Christmas Eve/Christmas day to some member`s friends, as well as less-active and part-member families in the branch. And on Christmas day we were able to have lessons with one of our investigators and also our recent convert, Yamaguchi Shimai. I felt so lucky to be a missionary on Christmas Day (for the last time), and to be able to spread the glad tidings of his birth and share his love with so many people.
One of our investigators, 27-year old Mai san, was an old investigator from about a year ago, who the elder missionaries found while they were streeting. The 2nd time they ran into her streeting, they invited her to church, and she said she`d come--and she came to church!! That`s when we first met her, and began teaching the lessons again. Her meeting the missionaries again definitely wasn`t an accident! She needs the help of the Savior in her life right now. It`s been so wonderful teaching her, she already is gaining a testimony of her Savior and the church, and wants to be baptized. Her family is probably going to be pretty hantai (opposed) to the church, so we`re praying that the Lord will help prepare a way...
Osaka Kazue Shimai recieved the Gift of the Holy Ghost at church on Sunday, and became an official member of our church! She was so happy about it, and we`re so excited for her. The sisters in the branch welcomed her warmly by throwing a welcome to the branch party (as well as a farewell party for a sister who`s leaving for her mission). I love the Koriyama branch!
Kokubun Shimai wasn`t able to get baptized, because her husband still hasn`t given her permission. She`s really doing everything she can, and we`re doing all we can to help her--we just know that at the right time everything will work out. Next we`re going to try and see if a member from the branch can meet her husband.
Also, 14-yr. old Kato Kurumi chan is also progressing really well, besides catching a cold this past week and not being able to come for church.
Dotson Shimai and I are doing well. I am full of thanks for the Savior at this time of the year. Especially as I look back on this year, I realize how much the Lord has blessed me as I`ve served among these wonderful Japanese people.
I wish everyone a happy new year.