Saturday, November 26, 2011

Crazy Monkey Show

This week was full of reflection and Thanksgiving. Just when Emily and I thought we were finished with our Thanksgiving lessons, we had a huge Thanksgiving lesson with the English class we help teach with the missionaries at the Church every Wednesday night and a lesson on giving thanks at a Family Home Evening activity that happens at Church every Friday night that we were asked to do. You may be wondering what people do for Thanksgiving here in Japan. Seeing how Thanksgiving is an American holiday established by President Lincoln back in 1863, the Japanese people haven't really even heard of it. However, they also have a similar holiday on 11/23 every year called Labor Thanksgiving day (I think it is like the American Labor day). That didn't keep us from celebrating Thanksgiving this past Thursday though. We ended up inviting over our friend Tomomi and had steak, mashed potatoes, rolls, an asparagus dish, and pumpkin glory (a dessert Emily made that was kind of like cobbler... yeah, we made up the name). Nothing too extravagant, but it worked all the same. It was super yummy and it was the first time that Emily and I made steak. Glad it all worked out!

Other than Thanksgiving stuff, our branch has been very blessed. We have had 3 baptisms here in the last 2 weeks and the missionaries keep finding more and more cool people. We have one guy from our branch, Sei Kuwahara, that is leaving on his mission tomorrow heading out to the Provo Missionary Training Center. He is called to serve in the Nagoya Mission in Japan. We also had the Primary Program in our Sacrament meeting and it was so cute. Our primary is so small, but they did a great job. Emily also had the opportunity to help them out and play the piano for them during the program. The next thing on our list for Church is the Christmas party that we are planning for the Branch. We are so excited for the Christmas season and will be setting up some decorations around our apartment this next week!
From left to right for kids: Ryui, Yuho, Haruki, Marin, Karin, and Riho.
From left to right for adults: Sister Kuriki, Sister Kuwahara, Chizuko, and Emily.
Even though the Primary is small, they are still quite rambunctious! 

Lastly, I wanted to mention the fun time we had on Saturday with one of our other friends and her son, Chizuko and Harunobu. They invited us to go get crepes with them and there ended up being a little petting zoo set up right next to where they were selling the crepes. It was all outside, but they had a llama, a bunch of baby chicks that were all huddled together in a ball under a lamp to stay warm, and a monkey. The monkey wasn't actually there to pet, but to do a show. At one point of the circus like show, the guy running the thing asked for a volunteer to throw a ball to the monkey from the audience while the monkey balanced on a basketball. Emily volunteered and I actually caught it on video. Hope you enjoy! The monkey walked on stilts, jumped over high things, balanced on balls, and did all kinds of crazy stuff. We had a fun time even though it was stinkin' cold. bbbrrrr!! We love you lots and hope that everyone will have/had fun setting up for this upcoming festive season, Christmas!
Little baby chicks looked so cold...

There's Emily, Chizuko, and Harunobu.

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