Merry Christmas!

Hello Everyone,

And a Merry Christmas!  Not ganna lie, I am pretty excited for the
holiday season, especially because I get to talk to my family in like
3 days.  I can't believe that it is so close.  I will probably be
friending you on skype today so yoroshiku onegai shimasu!  I hope I
get to talk to Andrew for a little bit too.  Too bad I can't just call
him separately, but I guess I'll just have to wait until next year.

What can I say about this week, well I guess it was pretty much the
same as all the other weeks as a zone leader.  We did a ton of
planning, lots of meetings, and lots of talks with the Sister Training
Leaders to know where we should take the zone the next few months.
Luckily the weather has been pretty cold and rainy so we haven't had
to deal with that too much because we have been inside a lot.  We were
able to meet with a lot of really cool people this week though.  Idk
if you remember Y..., but he finally answered our Facebook messages and
to apologize for his absence he bought us $20 worth of
doughnuts.  What a great way to say hello after a long while!  We were
supposed to play bball with him this morning but he slept in and
missed it so we're going to meet up with him after the New Year.

You know what's really hard to do right now?  Set up appointments.  I
guess that's what comes with the New Year and Christmas season.  It
seems like everytime we meet someone or call them, they say that they
would love to meet, next year.  I am starting to appreciate how busy people are
during the holidays especially the end of the year.  So if all these appointments go
through next year we should have literally no time to sleep because of
all the people that we will be meeting.  I'm pretty excited though
because Elder Barray is super good at meeting people and he is so
natural at it that we are really starting to grow our teaching pool a
lot.  Now all we need is to start meeting with them and getting them
to church.

So miracle sharing time.  We were at the station after a busy day of
transfers, waiting for the new Tsukuba missionaries to arrive by train,
but one of them was like 2 hours late.  We were talking to the other one
who was already here when I saw a Japanese man just looking and
smiling at us.  This like never happens so I said hello.  He came
right over and told us that we looked bright and clean inside.  That
never happens either.  So we talked for awhile and then set up an
appointment to meet the next day.  The next day came and we talked to
him about the meaning of Christmas and gave him a Book of Mormon
saying that it would make him bright and clean inside too.  He said that
he would read it and come to our Christmas party next week.  He's
pretty cool, and the only thing is that we need to help him stop smoking.
But nothing is impossible with the Lord.

Our Christmas devotional went really well.  You may have seen the pic
on Facebook, but we had a big group there and I played the violin for
everyone.  We also sang and had all of the primary children act out
the nativity scene.  They were all so cute and the crazy thing is that
I understood them all almost the whole time.  My Japanese has
definitely improved over the past few months.

Well, I think that's everything for today.  Thanks for all of your
prayers and thoughts this Christmas season.  They are greatly
appreciated.  Have a great Christmas week and holiday season.  See you
all soon!

Eric Stevens

Ps Thanks for the package Mom.  I got it and I just bought all of the
ingredients to make rice pudding, so I will be doing that next Pday and
eating it for New Year's Eve.  I also used some of my Christmas money
to make a special trip to Costco to buy a big bag of M&Ms and Hawaiian
Kettle Chips to celebrate the holiday season.  Thanks everyone!

Don't Worry, I'll Be Sharing!


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