Happy Thanksgiving!

こんにちは! How is everybody doing in their various locations? I am doing quite well here in 清水、日本 (Shimizu, Japan)!

This has been a wonderful week! An (one of our Vietnamese investigators) came to sacrament meeting yesterday! Yay!!! Of course, she could not really understand what the speakers were saying, but we had her read the sacrament prayers (Moroni 4 and 5) and the account of Jesus instituting the sacrament amongst the Nephites (3 Nephi 18:1-12), and then during the talks she read through the Introduction and Testimonies, which was great! She seemed to enjoy church very much, despite the language barrier. She was very entertained by the cute children, especially the one who was sitting in front of us (who, incidentally, is the son of one of the Sister Missionaries’ investigators). Next week is the Primary program, which I am sure she will adore.

Today we are having a Thanksgiving Party with many of our friends (investigators, members, English class students, random people, etc.). Since turkey is quite expensive and difficult to acquire in Japan (and difficult to cook), we decided to do chicken instead, so Elder Gonzalez is cooking a bunch of chicken using various different methods, and I am cooking some of it using our Stuffed Chicken recipe. Japan does not have stuffing (as far as I have been able to see), and I do not have a stuffing recipe, so I am kind of spit-balling it together; we’ll see how it turns out. However, for next year (and possibly for this coming Christmas), I have a few recipe requests:

1. Home-made stuffing
2. How to make (good) gravy without having the drippings available to use. Elder Braswell volunteered to make the gravy, and he is stressing out a bit because we don’t know how to make a good gravy (or if it’s even possible – especially in Japan) without the drippings. However, I am sure we will figure something out (but for future use a recipe would be quite welcome).

If I think of any other recipe requests, I will let you know. In the meantime, if you ("you" being whoever would like to look these things up for me – the more the merrier! – as I would like to have a range of recipes so that I can have various ways to make these things, depending on ingredient availability) can look up recipes for these two things, that would be wonderful! You could even possibly look up something like "how to make (these things) using Japanese ingredients" or something like that. If you find something, just email it and I will see if I can’t try it out! Thank you!

Anyway, our Thanksgiving party will be quite the multicultural event with Japan, Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Nepal, and the U.S.A. all represented (probably some other country I’m forgetting, but oh well). We are also having Zone P-Day today, so unfortunately I don’t have much more time to write. However, the work is going very well here! We currently have two baptismal dates and a few others that are progressing quite well, with whom we hope to be able to set baptismal dates soon. I am very excited for the work here!

There are too many things that I am grateful for to be able to enumerate in the little time I have left, but I am so grateful to be serving the Lord as a missionary right now, and for the many miracles which I see as I serve. I love being a missionary! It is such a wonderful experience. I love my companion, Elder Gonzalez; I love my mission president; I love my family; and above all, I love the Lord!

Have a wonderful day, a superb week, a scrudiddlyumptious Thanksgiving, and a festive year!


マドセン 長老
Elder Madsen

p.s. Mom, I received my package yesterday; thank you! Apparently mail is much more efficient in Japan than it is in Brazil. Sorry, Kyle. 🙂 Thank you especially for the My Family booklet will be a great asset. We are trying to focus more on Family History in our mission, because doing so in other missions in Japan (particularly Tokyo South) has brought about many great miracles. I haven’t opened the package yet (I was undecided whether to wait until Christmas or not), but since you reminded me that the booklet is in there I will definitely open it as soon as possible!


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