This is the sign in front of the Iwade Church building. Sister Mac is again pointing to the church name, second from the bottom.
We also had interviews with the Osaka North Zone in Ibaraki this week. Below is a picture of the zone missionaries. We have Sisters Kurashita and Meyers and Elders Johnson, Steele, Ito, Campbell, Akagi, West, Baldridge and Merrick. Later in the week we attended a baptism in Okamachi Ward from this zone and last week the Senri Ward, also from this zone, had a great baptism. They are working hard and we are seeing many blessings in this zone.
The missionaries asked us to join them in a pot luck meal that day before interviews started. Sister McIntyre made Sloppy Joes, a treat in Japan, and the missionaries came up with among other things, some lasagna, fried chicken and enough peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to feed the entire mission. It was delicious!
Earlier in the week we had the chance to meet and visit with President and Sister Budge from Toyko. Todd was recently called as the new stake president in the Tokyo South Stake, our old stake in Tokyo. We served as bishops at the same time in that stake. Their son, David, has been called to our mission and is currently in the MTC. We are excited to pick him up at the airport on December 23rd! Elder Capener, who is currently serving here, is also their nephew and David's cousin. I miss playing basketball with President Budge in the mornings. President Daniels, now serving as mission president in Sapporo, used to play with us as well. Those were the days my friend!
Ricky and James both started their basketball seasons at school. We look forward to watching their games, although I will be away for some of them. They are doing great and have made many new friends. Ricky went back to Tokyo this week as school had a break and saw his old friends there too.
Time is flying by. We have now been here 4 months. While it really does seem like a lot longer in many ways, it has gone by quickly. Missionaries often express the same kinds of feelings. I always encourage them to make wise use of their time because if they are not careful, they wake up one day and realize their time is short and they have not progressed personally as far as they thought they would or accomplished all that they had hoped. We need to realize and work everyday as if time was short. We need to go about our work with a sense of urgency. We are not just passing time. We are inviting all to come unto Christ. What could be more urgent and important than that. We are talking about the salvation of God's children. Let us hasten the work.