The rest of December for Elder G was pretty fun. He got to serve the branch and be Santa, see an old castle filled with Samurai stuff, and hear from the mission president who explained some amazing growths for the Kobe mission. He also got to talk to my mom on Christmas and she tells me he is doing great!
“Hey everyone. Got my Christmas package, so thanks for that. Got snow in Izumo. It didn’t snow for that long and it wasn’t cold enough to stick, but the wind here has been super strong which has made it cold. And so riding on my bike has become more difficult. Yesterday, our baptism was confirmed a member. It was my first time getting to participate in conferring the Holy Ghost onto someone and it was awesome. The Spirit was so strong and peaceful. I have been playing lots of basketball and pingpong on prep days and that has been sooo fun. I read out of the Japanese Book of Mormon in class at church for the first time outloud and it was soo awesome being able to read the Hiragana without a problem! The branch Christmas party is next week. We’ve found two potential investigators that we are hoping to start teaching soon.”
“We have been working super hard to find potential investigators this week. It has still been snowing and the snow has finally stuck. Today we went to Matsue Castle which was so much fun-I’ve attached photos below. The castle was filled with a bunch of various examples of traditional Samurai armor on display. It also showed the kinda lifestyle the samurai would’ve had including examples of cooking supplies and traditional methods and ways of life. They even had people dressed up in full Samurai garb. It was so amazing! I’m so excited to talk to you on Christmas; attached is the phone coordination information.”
*From an email sent by the mission president*
“These last six months has seen the mission go from less than 140 missionaries to about 250. We’ve had groups of missionaries coming from the MTC as large as 34. Previously we thought a large group was about 14 missionaries! Everything changed when President Monson made his historic announcement. No longer could we take a couple of vans to the airport and pick up our new missionaries. We needed to rent the largest Airport Limosine Bus we could find. Even with that we couldn’t get all the missionaries and their luggage on. So the two mission vans made the trip, too. Finally, it seems we are up to about what they said our cap would be (250). We’ve opened about 45 new apartments, purchased 45 new refrigerators and all the stuff that goes in a new missionary apartment. That’s a lot of chopsticks!!”
“No one in Izumo is transferring on this transfer week so I didn’t have to travel to Okayama which was really nice. It’s a three hour trip at most there and the day is usually exhausting. Nope, instead we had a normal day of housing and such. I had district meetings where I got to practice teaching the Atonement lessons and that was so powerful. It helped me to actually learn how to teach things more simply to my investigators and to help them understand. Everything here is done by the Spirit-LOVE IT. I had an exchange at Matsue which was super fun. I like exchanges and working with different Elders in the district. Our mission has had 29 baptisms for December, and 204 baptisms for the year. Amazing stats! Truly God does provide miracles.”
What a way to end the year. Keep up the good work Elders and Sisters of the Kobe Mission and to all the missionaries over the world. Merry Christmas and a Happiest of New Years to you and your families!