Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas in Japan

So.  On Saturday the 20th, we had the ward Christmas party.  There was
singing and guitar-playing and ocarina-playing and a shadow-puppet
show and delicious chicken and cake.

On Sunday the 21st, we went to an old folks' home and sang Christmas
carols and old Japanese songs.  One of the ward members dressed up as
Santa and gave presents to everyone.  Afterwards, the ward gave us
each a big box of presents from the ward.  Mostly candy.  ^___^

On Monday the 22nd, we all got sick.

On Tuesday the 23rd, I was the only one still sick.  I was well enough
to leave the apartment, but not well enough to eat a proper meal.  We
did P-day today instead of Monday because we were all too sick to do
our shopping on Monday.

On Wednesday the 24th, we all went up to Kichijoji for the
mission-wide Christmas conference.  We watched presentations by
President and Sister Wada, and then we all sang Christmas songs
together.  We all have the LDS Music app on our iPads, and some
Spanish-speaking missionaries in the mission, so they told us we could
pick whatever song in any language we wanted.  The entire Japan Tokyo
South Mission ended up singing Silent Night in German.  XP  After
that, we all got to watch Meet the Mormons!  (It's really good, I
highly recommend it~)  We had a white elephant gift party, too, in
which I got hot chocolate mix from the Czech Republic.  I haven't
tried it yet.

On Thursday the 25th, I got to skype with my family.  It was still
Christmas Eve where they were.  My Christmas package had arrived the
day before, so I got to open presents with them.  :D  Other than that,
it was a pretty standard day with weekly planning.  Japan doesn't take
a day off for Christmas; they just eat chicken and cake.  And go see
pretty lights sometime during the month.

Boxing Day passed without incident.

On Saturday the 27th, we met a drunk guy with a guitar.  He was like,
"hold on, I'll go get you some coffee", and Elder Parks was like, "We
don't drink coffee", so he said, "how about tea?" and Elder Parks
said, "We don't drink tea either," so he was like, "okay, I'll get you
some juice."  So he ran off (leaving us with his guitar and all his
other stuff) and came back with a warm lemon-honey drink for Elder
Parks.  We talked to him for a minute, and Elder Parks played that
guitar behind his head because he's really good at guitar, and then
this guy said to me, "hey, I'll go get you some coffee," and I was
like, "I don't drink coffee", and the guy said, "okay, how about tea?"
and I said, "no, I don't drink tea either", so he was like, "okay,
I'll get you some orange juice."  And then he ran off to 7-Eleven,
bought himself another beer, forgot to get the orange juice, and came
back and was like, "oh, I forgot the juice."  We had to leave at that
point, but we left a flier with him.  <shrug>

On Sunday the 28th (yesterday), we went to a fireside for Spanish and
Portuguese speakers.  Elder Soto (my MTC companion~!) interpreted it
into Japanese with the missions's radio interpretation kit, but there
weren't enough headsets for the missionaries, so I didn't understand
much of it.  I did sing Away in a Manger in Portuguese with my zone.
President Wada gave the closing remarks (in English, with three people
interpreting into three languages xP), in which he said he'd been
praying for a way for all of the South/Central American people here to
be able to hear the gospel in their own language.  I realized at that
point thatt's a miracle that the missionaries have been able to gather
these people together, strangers in a strange land.  I'm glad I got to
be there to see it.

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