It sounds like a LOT of holidays are a big deal in Japan! Though, now that I think about it, Christmas may not be, or at least, have been. How was it around that time?
It sounds like Jeffrey has been having a hectic life! Hope that things are still sane for him through all of it.
Now, on to the weather. I think that it's like that all over the west, because we're up in the mountains, and we haven't had snow since I've been up here! Not that I'm complaining about it---AT ALL---I just have heard some nerve wracking things. According to several of the people who live up here, the fights over water rights are just as bad, if not worse, then the ones that you've told me about in Vernal. There's apparently a body count over a few of them! I just hope that it doesn't get THAT bad---drought can do crazy things to people. Regardless, having the temperature hover in the 60's is very nice, especially when you have to be out in it for most of the day.
As for some of the things that happened this week, we had some really weird ups and downs. We had two or three days where we had lessons almost from sun up to sun down (usually passed that last one). Then, the next day, we would have everything fall through. The really weird day was Friday. We had the whole day planned out, even had a few back up plans (which are hard to get when you have to scrounge just to get plans at all). We didn't have a single appointment cancel on us, and we were only unable to see one family that we wanted to. That part was cool. The part that was weird was that all of this took place in under two hours. Our visits just went pop, pop, pop, and they were done. So, from 2 in the afternoon on, we were struggling to find something to occupy our time in a semi useful manner. We even ended up going to the Family History Center and doing several batches of indexing for some of the time.
Speaking of which, I have discovered why schools have generally stopped teaching/requiring cursive writing. It's because IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO READ!!!!! Half of the batches that I worked on took me forever, and all I had to do on each record was to enter 6 things from the image. I just couldn't read the things! I'd spend ten minutes digging some kind of meaning from scratchings that chickens wouldn't be caught dead making---AND THESE WERE THE BEGINNER LEVEL RECORDS!!!!! I was always so relieved when there would be the one batch where every one of the records would be done with a typewriter, because the entire batch would only take me 5 minutes, as opposed to a full hour!
Anyways, that's enough of my ranting. One of the really cool things that we had happen this week was just yesterday. We've been working with a lady that is inactive because her husband has "asked" her not to go to church. He is currently living in a nursing home, and is rapidly losing his memory, so he is much more open to us coming and teaching him and her (since he probably forgot that he'd been upset with the church in the first place), but she still doesn't yet feel right going to church behind his back, and I can't blame her. It also doesn't help that she is basically home bound, except for short visits to her husband in Valley View. All of this has been understandably hard on her, but through it all, she's been reading and studying the scriptures, the gospel principles manual, and different talks online. She's been reading all four of the standard works, and uses the manual to guide her studies. Every time that we come over, she has a new question for us, and loves to learn more about the gospel. Seeing all of this, we asked if she would be willing to have the sacrament brought to her home, and she fervently agreed. So, this week, we were able to take her the sacrament, for the first time in a long time. I think that was the highlight of my week, seeing someone working to keep covenants, regardless of the challenges, while still respecting those she loves. It can be hard to find that, especially when your whole life is dedicated to working with those who are not doing those things. It's refreshing.
Well, I think that pretty much sums up the week. Thank you all for everything that you say, do, and pray for us out here. May God give you the "pick-me-ups" that you need in life.
Love, Elder Stuver
P.S. "NOT THAT BUTTON!!!!!!!"