Monday, January 2, 2017

Merry Christmas

December 19, 2016

Merry Christmas Family and Friends! 
How was your week? Hope it was a good week and preparing for Christmas is going well but also we are always remembering the true meaning of the season. Well this week as well, it's crew boys birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY CREW! I can't believe how big you've gotten and how fast you're growing up. Hope it's a good fun day. 
Okay well, lets begin this INSANE week. So the group who came one transfer before went home two weeks early so the mission was just crazy. And Tuesday night in the pouring rain we get a call from Kyoto Zone Leaders and my lovely adorable cute Japanese companion Kawamura Shimai is leaving me to go to Kyoto. We were pretty sad about that and shocked. So we headed to Eikaiwa and taught then headed back and got packed away. Wednesday we said bye to people and the ward was shocked and so sad. Then I get another call and find out my new companion Manwill Shimai who was a BYU soccer player before she came here. So we get along so well but then I get a call again and one of the sisters we are over, her companion went home two weeks early with the group that went home so she's waiting for her new companion who comes the 29th and so we have a three some for 2 weeks and guess what else, TWO areas. It's insane.. lots of traveling the next two weeks and it's stressful. But we are working and god is helping us a lot.
So this week we went and visited Kim. It was amazing. We sat down had a good solid lesson about our Savior and I invited her to baptized on December 28 but her husband doesn't like religion so she is nervous to agree but she said "of course I will be baptized but I want to know first." But the spirit was so strong that it could not be denied. I know God lead and guided us as we had faith and testified of this gospel. So we are trying to meet with her soon and hopefully that answer comes soon and we can continue to teach her. She is also planning to come to church Sunday so we are excited.
Friday the recent return missionary couple offered to go work with us and visit lots of less active and investigators who live way far in their car. It was amazing. We met everyone we went to almost. And the light that we were able to see in people when we shared the Christmas video and testified of Christ. Especially when of the less actives, she just lit up that we took the time to drive this far and share this message with her and bring her a little treat from the ward. Working work members softens hearts, I know that is true. It built my spirit up and I hope the members as well. So Sunday we get to church and a member comes up to me and asked if I heard? And I said what? I don't know if you remember we but a brother in our ward referred his mom to us and we sang to her last week. Well turns out, she passed away. My heart broke, the brother was so excited to have her learn and be baptized and I just had come to love her so much! So that was hard to hear but it's awesome to know she is there getting taught and will accept it now. Sunday we had our ward Christmas Fireside. It was amazing. We had members bring friends so we received four referrals. It was so good! We had a open house of church, one room was about Christ, one was about missionaries and the BOM and then families. It was so cool and then they did a spiritual musical performance. It was so amazing and the spirit was so strong. I know every person felt or Christ's love and joy of Christmas. Christmas has been such a good time to be a missionary here in Kawachinagano. The ward members are sharing the gospel with so many friends and are just so excited to bring this joy to them. Christmas is a perfect to serve people but also bring the joy of the gospel to others that don't have it and that's what our members are doing. So please, serve but also take that opportunity to share it and bring others unto Christ.
Okay my thought of the week comes from a talk a member gave in sacrament. They talked about Christmas and the Joy in it. Then they said an acronym to Joy. J is Jesus, O is Others, and Y is Yourself. And that is the perfect thing of Christmas. With Jesus we serve others and then Jesus, others, and yourself receives JOY. I just love that because it's so true. With Christ as we help others the joy just comes naturally. Just as President Welch always says "Naturally we are happy from sharing the gospel" and I know that is true. I've never felt so much my in my life then these past 17 months. I love it so much so please take advantage of this special season and bring the joy to the world. Love you all so much and hope you have a Merry Christmas! 
スミス姉妹 Smith Shimai
"Visiting Teaching"

"Last Eikawa"

"Lunch with a favorite member couple"

"Bye bye for Kawamura Shimai"

"My new ADORABLE companions"

"The YW made us apple rose pie"

"Pretty place"

"Biking along"

"Open House"

"Missionary Room"

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