Got a bit chilly here in Kofu. But definitely better then Utah by the sounds of it! Except for that first day of trying to ride bikes in the snow, it hasn't gotten in our way too much. I love the change of seasons. And Kofu is the perfect place to stay cozy for the winter. We've actually been blessed to have most of our appointments and things at the church recently, which is across the street.
Emily, herself, continues to amaze us with her big faith and determination. What has begun to hinder her now is external circumstances. Last week, thanks to icy roads, Emily's mother got in a car accident. She broke her collar bone and several ribs. She was pretty shaken up and now can't be left home alone. Because of this her mom asked her not to go to church, and to postpone her baptism. We are now only communicating with her through phone and email as she hasn't been able to come to the church since last Tuesday. Please pray for Emily! It seems that before her baptism there are some trials of faith to forge though. We know she can do it.
On a happier note- we met another Emily this week! She also is Nihonjin, and very good at English. She and our other Emily are only two years apart in age. How funny is that?? I've never even met an Emily in Japan until coming here, and now within three weeks we've got two of them! This second Emily, Emily Iide, came to us through one of our members, Crystal. Crystal is Chinese and a pro at introducing her friends to the church. Emily Iide was taking English lessons from her and began to show interest in meeting the American missionaries Crystal told her about. Crystal brought us to the church last night and we talked over mugi-cha and sugar bread cakes. We told her about the Book of Mormon. She told us about how she is a movie maker and is going to France next month to try and show her movie and talent to a famous director. We are meeting her again for lunch this week.
This weekend was stake conference. I was actually a bone head and left my violin in Kofu when I left Saturday morning, but luckily there was a member with one who was able to bring it on Sunday before the session. The choir and I did a gorgeous version of 'I Need Thee Every Hour'. God really worked some magic for me. It went perfectly. It was special being back with my Machida choir. They are so good to me. Miyuki Shimai was able to come to one of the sessions, and brought me this big Tupperware full of food. OH and Sister Budge spoke!! In Japanese. She had someone translate her talk beforehand and then wrote it out so she could give it herself. Afterwards everyone told President Budge that her Japanese sounded better then his! Haha. President Budge was fun to watch too. He's this big boisterous red-headed American and definitely gets noticed when he's at the pulpit!
We have a couple in our ward who are Brazilian and Japanese and run this big Brazilian restaurant that feeds the missionaries for free. It was HEAVEN. I haven't had such good meat, and grilled pineapple, for a while. It tasted better then Tucanos! Speaking of food, some strange things have happened to me in Japan...one being, I now LOVE sweet potatoes!
In closing....I would like everyone in America to know...that heated toilets DEFINITELY need to come to the states!