Monday, December 30, 2013

December 30, 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!! 

I hope everyone is genki and I could not be more jealous of you in Mexico right now. This morning as I went out to my bike it was covered in ice and I couldn`t help but think of my family beaching it in Mexico. It snowed the other day and we were super stoked about it. 

Christmas was AMAZING and I can`t even put into words how grateful I am for the experiences I had. We had some way cool teaching opportunities and there were so many people who heard about Jesus` birth for the very first time. We went to this awesome lady`s eikaiwa Christmas party and she wanted us to teach her students about the real meaning of Christmas. I had the opportunity to do so and at the beginning I asked if any of them had ever heard of Jesus or the story of His birth. There were over 35 people in the room and not one of them raised their hand. I honestly couldn`t believe it. So I simply taught the story of His birth. Every single one of them was so surprised that Jesus` birth is what we celebrate at Christmas. After, this girl from Malaysia came up to me and asked me "How is Jesus Christ the Son of God?"  I taught her a little bit and then told her how we lived with God before this life, how we were sent here to learn and grow and can be clensed of our mistakes through Jesus Christ. She was silent for a minute, just looked into my eyes and said "wow......... that is beautiful." We talked for a while and she said that she always wanted to know who Jesus is. Unfortunately she is heading back to Malaysia next week, so we can`t legitimately teach her, but the fact that she was able to understand who Jesus is really was a miracle. There were so many people who heard the story of Jesus for the very first time this Christmas and I think that was the biggest gift of all. Even if they don`t immediately have a desire to learn about Him, there are seeds being planted and it is absolutely amazing to see people hear about Him for the first time. 

We had a ward Christmas party and it was a huge success! Over 100 people came and 30 of them were non-members. We were able to meet so many awesome people and I am really excited to see the people who have interest after that!  On Christmas, the missionaries threw together a little party of about 20 people and it was honestly sooooo amazing. We made a ton of food, and sang Christmas songs together. It was my first Christmas away from home, but I felt like I was with my family. We had some of the people we teach there, some friends, some members, it was honestly amazing. Who knew missionaries could pull off such a feast?  I was so grateful for my blessings! 

Yesterday we were housing and an old chubby man literally answered the door naked. My eyes were on the floor and as I raised my eyes to meet his face I was struck with nothing but horror. We were talking and trying to create a mental barrier between his head and the rest of his body. We told him about Jesus Christ and why we are here and he ran to grab something. IMMEDIATELY me and Silva Shimai just started booking it down the stairs to run away. Hahaha it was absolutely mortifying. Silva Shimai turned to me and said "Sister Crofts- was he legitimately naked?" hahaha yikes. Why? WHY? 

Transfer calls came and I am so happy that I am staying in Kariya again! Elder Baker is transfering to another area so there are 2 elders and 2 sisters again. It is Sister Silva, Elder Sambongi, and Elder Gibb`s last transfer and they are going home. So it will be just me left! Kind of sad, but I really am so excited. I LOVE these people.  I am so grateful for my Savior. I love teaching people about Him. In Him, we can find peace and everlasting joy. Have an awesome week! I am probably going to gain a solid 5 kilos this week. It is shyogatsu this week (look it up, THE Japanese holiday). Everyone is on break from work and they all spend time with their families. It is basically socially unacceptable to go visit people`s homes during this time. So the members feed us lunch AND dinner. Each is a gigantic meal, of course delicious... But dangit we are going to be so sick. 


Sister Crofts

Japanese is hard to learn! Suzuki Shimai took us to her friends house who is a professional. 
Kariya and Okazaki sisters! (ward and watanabe) 
The closest thing to an American hamburger I've had. Japanese hamburger taste s
The girl from Malaysia who wanted to know about Jesus:) 
Seriously damaged my foot on a wall while riding my bike. 
Our Philipino investigator, Chini, made us food. 
Chika chan and Mai chan. 
Our little Christmas party we put together:) A recent convert, 2 less actives, 3 investigators, a PI, and 2 ward missionaries. When I was sitting there eating I was just overwhelmed with gratitude for my love of these people and how we pulled it off. Such a special Christmas. 

Sunday before Christmas dinner at the Hayase's.

Our ward christmas party                                              The Bobadillas:)

Oie Shimai                      

The party where I taught about the Saviors birth:)
The Matsuhisa girls made these awesome COOKIES!

A shrine we bumped into while visiting people with Seika chan. She took us to her mom's dance place where they were learning hula.

Opening the family calendar. 
Ishikawa san invited us to his concert. It was classical and Baker, Gibb, & Silva conked out. He went up to the lead soloist and said "have you ever heard of Mormons? they don't drink tea, coffee, alcohol and they don't smoke." Awkward to say the least. 

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