Week 29 – year 2016

あけまして、おめでとうございます!!
[A KE MA SHI TE O ME DE TO U GO ZA I MA SU: it means Happy New Year]

Happy New Year!!

I got transferred!
I’m now in an area called Sendai, in Kagoshima (southern Kyushu). It’s got a few more people and buildings than my last area, and the scenery is way amazing!  Just a couple days ago we went up into the mountains to knock on some doors, and it was just beautiful!
But I don’t have any scenery pictures yet, so I’ll work on that.

It’s basically a party all the time.
My new companion is from Utah.  He’s kind of quiet, but way cool.  So I’ve just been settling in, getting to know the members and the investigators, as well as the other set of elders in our apartment.  It’s way fun being in a four-man area!  It’s basically a party all the time.
Other than that, it’s been way crazy because of the holiday season.  Of course Christmas isn’t as big a deal here, but with New Year’s coming, everyone has been especially busy… So it’s been hard to find and teach people.

But the branch had a really great Christmas party, and a lot of people came, so we’ll see how things turn out next year.

God’s hand in my life
I’ve been trying to be more aware of God’s hand in my life, and the more I look the more I find.
Here are some of the things I’ve noticed lately:
-because of transfers, I’ve been almost broke this last month (waiting for the travel expenses to be reimbursed).  So on Monday night, I didn’t think I had enough money for the train to district meeting the next day.  I had just used my last bills for shopping, and only had coins.  But when I looked in my wallet, I found 2,000 yen (about $17) that I didn’t know I had.
-on Christmas, we took the Shinkansen (bullet train) up to Kagoshima to hang out with the zone. On the way back it was really tight with the train times, so we ran nearly a mile to catch our Shinkansen. The whole time I was running, my bag was unzipped, but nothing (my glasses, pen, notebook, planner) fell out.  There have been many more, but I just wanted to share that.

Studying the scriptures by topic is a really great way to study!
Actually, this year the whole mission has been challenged to study PMG(Preach My Gospell) chapter eight (Christlike attributes), studying each attribute for a whole month!
So it should be really rewarding.

Happy new year!
-Elder Houseknecht

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