Kasteler In Kobe

Kasteler In Kobe

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Happy New Years!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!! How was your new years? I hope you were all safe and chose the right! ;) This week was very boring honestly.. New years in Japan is a HUGE deal, and so everything was closed and there was hardly anyone outside. Nevertheless, we managed to get a new investigator and have a ton of adventures. Thus is the missionary life :)
This week, Bowman Shimai and I threw a gingerbread party for the primary! We only have two kids in our primary, but another family showed up with 3 young kids, so it was definitely a successful primary party. We worked hard to make homemade gingerbread houses last preparation day. Trust me, I say we worked hard, because we did. It is hard to make gingerbread in Japan when there arent nearly any of the ingredients. Nevertheless, it worked and actually tasted decent haha. The kids had a ton of fun, which is what it was all about. 

Zone Leaders in Aprons

Fixing eachothers aprons
During new years in japan, everyone has big parties called Mochi Tsuki, where they make mochi, or pound up rice. It is almost like a taffy texture and is SO GOOD. So this week, we went to two different Mochi Tsukis, one with the District President's family, and the other was with the entire branch. We had so much fun pounding the rice with a big hammer and eating yummy food. I had to be careful though because my rice cheeks are comin in! Haha. 
My back and feet have been having a lot of problems lately. The update right now, after going to the hospital this morning, is that I have arthritis and tarsal tunnel syndrome in both of my feet. It is a huge bummer, and I am praying to know what to do. A lady in the Matsuyama branch has been working on my back, and it has been helping. She is wonderful and is my angel haha I am so grateful for her and her tough, strong hands.
On Friday, we were off to Uwajima for district meeting. It is a two hour bus ride away, and we had the funnest bus ride ever just telling each other funny family stories with the zone leaders. It is fun to think about stories from when I was a kid and it just reminds me how much I love and appreciate my family.
District meeting was awesome, I love my district and am grateful for each member. We are all very good friends, and doing missionary work together is the best. We went out to sushi and then went and visited some people in that other area. I was able to share my favorite scripture with someone and bear testimony about it, which was something that I had never done on the spot before. I was very excited and could feel the Spirit working through me. It was such an amazing experience. 
Before we went to Uwajima, we were waiting for our bus and ran into a french man. He was so nice and came up to us, speaking great english and even better japanese. He has lived here for 30 years. He grew up atheist, but has always believed that we come from somewhere and that we go somewhere after we die. We met up with him the next day and were able to tell him about our beliefs. He was amazed and shocked when we told him that God is loving, and that He wants what is best for us. He said that everything that we said makes so much sense to him, and that next time he is going to bring his friend with him to hear our message. He also informed us that he has ran into missionaries before, but that every single time, it has been when he has been really struggling. We quickly told him that it was not a coincidence, and he agreed. It is so cool how Heavenly Father knows exactly where each one of us is, and He puts people into our life's paths for a reason. 
I have such a strong testimony of this gospel. I love this church and am so grateful for the knowledge and clarity that it brings into my life. I know that our trials make us stronger and that in the end, we will become more like Christ after going through them. 
I love you all! HAPPY 2015!
Love always,
Sister Kasteler

"And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions." Mosiah 24:14

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