It's great to be out here in Japan for the Christmas season. Even
though it doesn't have the bells and whistles of American Christmas
celebration, it was a way peaceful, and really helped me focus on the
true meaning of the season. I was away from family, which is sad, but
going around Christmas night, talking to other people that were out
without their families, brightening their nights, it really helped me
think about the joy of the season. For unto us a Savior was born, and
because of Him, all man can find joy!
That was really the highlight of my week, going around with Elder
Osborne and Elder Harris and just being happy, just getting to know
people. Most people around town were way down to just talk about
Christmas, to discuss the true meaning, the method behind the crazy
celebration. And some people were just good people, ready to talk
about anything. It ties perfectly in with a challenge the mission got
from Sister Egan, which is to focus on family history. Now that
Christmas is past, we can really focus on talking to people for the
sake of knowing them, learning about their ancestors, and becoming
their friend. It's that friendship at the center of the Gospel, and
the center of the Christmas season as well.
And on that note come my two favorite experiences from the last week.
First, Wednesday, I got to bake cookies with Elder Harris and Sayaka,
one of our investigators. I don't speak Japanese, Elder Harris doesn't
speak Japanese, and she doesn't speak English, but it was a blast. And
we got to see her not just as a person we talk to, but as a friend, a
girl with interests and personality, while at the same time conveying
the fact that missionaries aren't robots, they are people too. We have
interests and personalities just like anyone else, and to work on
sharing them is just really fun.
The second thing from this week, and last for the email, was being
Santa. Apparently my eyebrows go really well with the costume, because
I got to be Santa four times this winter. But every time was a blast.
To be able to walk to a park, party, or house, and see kids be filled
with joy is unmatchable. The best ones were Christmas Eve, when we
went door to door with Sister Imai to her friends, delivering cookies.
We'd knock, and hear someone say "It's Santa!" and run to the door,
and then we could give cookies and share the holiday cheer. It was fun
to just be genuinely good and bright, and to make the night of those
Thankfully, we didn't get any more snow, or much chaos weather wise
out here. I hope everyone was nice and warm for the holidays! For
those on break, enjoy it, you've worked hard the past year for it.
Until next week!
Elder Mitchell Woodhouse
|Screenshot from our family skype with Mitch on Christmas evening|