#YearOfTheLamb あけましておめでとうございます!! Happy New Year!‏

Dinner at Junko & Mashiko’s house
First Sunrise 2015
New Year’s Day with the district.
皆さん あけましておめでとうございます!! 
Happy New Year Everyone!

So Japanese New Years is the best! It was an awesome experience. We ate at a members house almost every night and had lunch with members too. Double shokujis (dinner appts) in a day is brutal. The members are so sweet and just fill your plates continuously. Our Ward in Tama is so sweet. In the beginning of the week, they were feeding us American food because they wanted to make us feel at home. But, at the end of the week we got to eat some real Japanese New Year's food complete with mochi, sushi and a lot of food. I have no idea what it was, but I ate it! Normally everyone is ridiculously busy, but it was a blessing to be able to meet with the members and to get to know them better. People always talk about how the church in Japan is so small, but where the church is small, they are incredibly strong in spirit! I am always amazed at the strength of the members in each Ward. We are trying to work closely together to really expand missionary efforts, and the Ward is really trying to help out. I love how big their hearts are.

In Japan, they deep clean their homes to have their homes clean to start off a new year and on New Year's Day most everyone goes to watch the sunrise to start off a new year and pray. So we woke up early and gathered with a bunch of neighbors on a hill in a park and watched the IMG_1774sunrise and asked people about their new year's goals. It was cool to meet so many new people. We have been talking about new year's goals and plans and one thing I realized from everyone is that through goals we strive to be a better version of ourselves. As we talked about goals, we taught people how making the goal is only the first step, but following through with action and consistent effort is what is required. It's like the gospel. We know our end goal and what we need to work towards, but the effort and obedience is what the Lord requires of us. One of our greatest blessings In this life is the sacrifice of our brother Jesus Christ. Through the Savior's atonement we can be renewed all the time. We don't have to wait around for New Years, we can start now. Through utilizing Christ's atonement more fully in my life, I understand what the Lord needs of me and see how he is molding me into the type of servant he needs for these people in Japan. I have been so blessed to see so many miracles this past year as I started my journey as a missionary and am excited for this new year of 2015 to become a better tool in the Lord's hand. This week during our studies, we talked about how goals really require an amount of sacrifice, to give up something good for something even greater. We may think we are giving up so much, but in comparison it is a minuscule price to pay in exchange for the bounteous blessings the Lord gives. This year I hope we can all create goals that will help us see ourselves as God sees us, and work towards his vision for us. I have a long way to go, but am grateful for the opportunities the Lord has given me to grow.

Sister Wilson



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