Saturday, December 8, 2007

Happy Bday Preston/Carolling in Shibuya

It was Preston's 11th birthday and a year for a family party. Typically this at the party, fun, maybe a bit better gifts since not as much fun and effort is going into the party. Preston's new friend Timothy is moving away at the end of the school year. So Preston very logically presented his case for Timothy to come over and Leim too of coarse. We had a low key celebration. But I think it was exactly what Preston wanted...
As a church Stake...four wards/congregations of youth were invited to get together and go carolling in one of the busiest train stations in Tokyo. It was really neat event. Remember that Japan is not a Christian society. There are trees and decorations for Christmas, but typically not in celebration of Christ, but simply to be festive and the retailers hope for increased sales as the Asians begin to "celebrate" by buying more and maybe giving a girlfriend or boyfriend a gift. It was explained to me as being a bit like Valentines for the US...a nice holiday for couples to go out and buy gifts...So here are 60 or so mostly non-Asian looking people in a very busy area of Tokyo on a Friday evening singing Christmas carols. It was amazing to watch the reactions of passerbys. Some would take their earphones out of their ears as they passed by just to hear what it was we were doing, some would stop and listen at length, flowers were bought and given to us, some people would just look at us from the corner of their eyes, some would openly smile, but most were really curious to say the least. We were able to share some of the true spirit of Christmas. The missionaries and other Japanese speakers were there. Many of the kids were handing out pamphlets about the church and Christ. It was really fun to see Cloe and some of her friends slowly get over their hesitation about approaching people to hand them a pamphlet to the point that when we decided to wrap it up, they did not want to stop. It was great!!

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