Sunday, December 23, 2012


I have to admit, Christmas has come suddenly.  I thought it was a ways away and now I realize it is only two days away!  I am pretty much in denial since I thought I had another week or so to go!


We had our "Christmas" district meeting this week.  I offered to make us lunch and it turned out good!  I opted for "easy" since it seems like we have been so busy lately.  We had spaghetti, jello, relish tray, French bread, and lemon bars!  And it was a nice time for us missionaries to relax for a few minutes and enjoy lunch:

The oddity in our district is that we have the same amount of sisters as elders.  Usually the elders outnumber us!  Can I say:  "It's amazing how much food missionaries can eat!"


Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a soft spot for care centers.  It has been many years since my time as Relief Society president at the Bennion Care Center but those years have not dampened my feelings of love for those people.  This week we were able to do a "Christmas Concert" at a large care center about a half hour away.  We were a little apprehensive since it was just us missionaries and also Brother Watanabe from our branch who really has a wonderful voice.  But then just before we left Brother Watanabe called and said he was bringing "someone else." 

The "someone else" turned out to be his son who is the professional opera singer that we went to see a couple of weeks ago!  Words don't even begin to tell how amazing his voice was as he sang three famous opera songs acapella and then did an encore performance at the end.  The people (50-60 turned out!) were captivated and oohed and aahed after his performances.  It was a testimony to the power of music in all of our lives.  His singing touched these older people as if they had been visited by an old friend.

Here are some photos of the "concert."  First everyone watching attentively:

The decorations at the care center.  Actually this is really good for Japan!:

Koi Watanabe's wonderful performance:

And an entrance from a couple of Santas and a reindeer (you can hardly see him but he is in the back).  And yes, one of the Santas is a woman:  equal opportunity Santas I guess!

The rest of the missionaries and Brother Watanabe did a great job too.  And just as a side note I will say that we took "presents" for all the people in the audience and I worried that we would not have enough.  But, of course, we had EXACTLY enough!  I have always said that God looks over these people with a special eye and we were not diappointed.


We got "heart attacked" by the sister missionaries:

Visiting some less actives:

One of the most impressive light displays in the area is at our children's English class community center:

And don't say we don't have the spirit!  Calvin sitting on Santa's lap (we have yet to see a live santa whose lap you can sit on):


We want to wish you all a Merry Christmas!  The year has gone by incredibly fast and we are glad you have been part of our year.  We know that just over 4,000 hits have been made to our blog and we consider you part of us because you are interested in what we are doing.  That averages out to about 75 people a week reading about us.  We are humbled and impressed! 

The people here have become like family.  We are always amazed that they think WE are serving them when it seems that THEY are supporting us in so many ways. 

We have been blessed in so many ways.  We hope that you have been able to use this season to reflect on the things that matter most in your life.  

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