Monday, January 2, 2017

2017 is HERE!!!

And Tim's latest book, "Japanese Kanji for Beginners" just arrived in the mail.  It will be released on January 17, 2017 on Amazon and will hopefully finance our trip to Japan in 2020 ;)
It started 2017 on a high note...

We went sledding for Family Home Evening and then to Rick and Shauna's for games (Star Wars Monopoly and Been There, Done That-a Christmas gift from Jason and Calista), then we watched Joe VS. the Volcano

Rick brought May over at  11:00 am on Tuesday for Brian and Chloe to watch (babysitting was one of their Christmas gifts). She had a hard time at first, and she was very sleepy, so we rocked her to sleep. When she woke up, she was ready to play, and after playing with Brian for an hour or so, she and he really bonded. 

The Martinis came over and we had a nice dinner and played Kahoot! and they loved it. 
It was certainly fun to catch up with them--GREAT family!!!

 Tim picked up David and brought him over to spend the New Years weekend with us. Luke rode down to Orem with him to pick Uncle David up, and they swung by 1st Oriental Market and picked up yakisoba sauce and stuff to make kitsune udon, which we made for an early dinner when we got back. We watched a movie Tim got for Christmas called "Kubo and the Two Strings"

We also watched "From Up on Poppy Hill"

For New Year's Eve, David, Chloe and Brian decided to celebrate at home, and Tim, LaNae, Amy and Luke went to Simply Sushi in Salt Lake and then to the Bless 4 concert on Temple Square.

 After the concert, we watched the mirrored ball come down for the countdown to 2017, and then the fireworks afterwards.

The Kawamitsus came over for dinner on New Year's Day. Rick and Kelsee and the kids were able to come too. Rick and Aiki helped us make gyoza, and there were lots of smiles and laughing while we crimped and fried up about 120 gyoza. They got gobbled up really fast too. Sister Kawamitsu shared some sacred experiences about her conversion and about how she and Brother Kawamitsu got engaged and married. They are a great family and we had a blast reminiscing about our time in Japan.  They gave us two copies of their 2017 calendar with fantastic pictures in it and one of their autographed CD s -- so awesome!!!

Letter from Elder Stout:

Kinda funny story! So, me and Elder Stout have been asked by President Nagano to spend P-day visiting shrines and getting to understand the culture of the country that we are in. So me and Elder Stout got up this morning at 5 am, and started biking from the Church in Higashi Sanjo to Yahiko mountain! It was beautiful, and I loved that!  We thoroughly enjoyed Yahiko and all of the shrines and stuff.. Then we decided at last second to climb the mountain again! Lol.. it was tons of fun, we saw the ALL of the other missionaries in our district while in Yahiko, but that is besides the point.. We summated, and had RAMEN. They have this cute little restaurant at the top of the mountain, and it's actually way reasonably priced. After that, we walked around the area outside the shrine that had many little booths and learned many interesting things about the shrines.

The read-a-thon was FANTASTIC!!! It was tons of fun. We stayed in our futons all day outside of church, and just had snacks between our futons so we never really had to leave. 

I read all of the letters you guys send, so don't stop sending!! I probably won't reply to everything in them though. I will say though, that every time I saw a poster for Kubo and the Two Strings, Brian would ask me if I wanted to go, and I'd say, "No, I want to go with my dad." That movie is meant for you, even though I haven't seen it.. I just always knew it in my heart.

It's so crazy weird to see the Kawamitsu's again!! I hope you told them that I love all of them!! They're so crazy talented, and they are way famous in our mission. I always get so many "oos" and "ahs" whenever I tell anyone that I know them!!

I want y'all to know that me and Elder Stout work hard every day, but we spend the majority of the day laughing. It is SO FUN. We really make a great companionship, we get done a lot of work, don't fight, and every day we have a new best day yet. It is really way too much fun. The fortune I got for New Years was Big Luck, and I can feel it!! The Gospel is so true, and that makes it so easy to be a missionary. I am learning more and more every day that serving a mission is actually super easy, you just have to be as obedient as you can be, and work your very hardest, and you will begin to rely more and more on the Lord and He will guide you.