13 PaGeS LoNg

WhErE tHe PaGeS oF tHiS bOoK nEvEr EnD

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Merry Christmas from Elder Page & Happy Birthday Zachary!!

I can't believe that my baby is 20 years old! I am running out of teenagers :) Zachary we hope that you are having a wonderful birthday this year! Make sure you use all the fun things in your package to celebrate your big day. We love you soooo much, just one more to celebrate so far away!!!! HaPpY BiRtHdAy SwEeT bOy!!! Dear Family, Merry Christmas Everybody! From over here on the opposite side of the world, I couldn't be more grateful for the wonderful family that I have been blessed with. I love you all so very much. I miss you more than you know. Not only am I away from family in large part I am away from Christmas. If you walked around here you would 100% not be able to tell it is Christmas. I hope this package will bring a little spark of Christmas to you all. I guess I need to explain everyone's presents. I guess I will start with Matt's present. SO first I got you what is called a (sorry I can't type the symbols that he wrote) It is pronounced D0akaten...have you figured it out yet? It is a door curtain. :) Japanese is a pretty funny language. They have them all over the place in Japan so I figured I would give a little bit of Japan to you. I also got you sli;;ers. Those are the pretty typical slippers that you put on when you take off your shoes and come into the house. Enjoy, they are way comfy. Then I got you a cool pair of socks! I love you Matt! Have a very Merry Christmas. Next, I got Abby a pair of socks too. Because I know she loves them. THen I got her and Tory Japanese door curtains too. I hope you like them! :) Lets see, Dallin and Jaclyn's the worst ever. I struggled to find something so all there is is a hand towel. I was told that it is like a famous hand towel...I would feel bad except that President Uchtdorf said "we cannot bring the gift of perfection" in his Christmas talk so it swept away my guilt. ;) I love you two!!! Dad, I got you a very Japanese tie. They are all thin like this and the purple is totally you. You better wear it to church is all I am saying. Remember, you are a bishop, you're not the pope ;) I love you Dad. Mom, I could not find you a nativity, but I have this wreath thing I will tell you the behind it. So last week we had a Christmas Music Fireside. I was calling around and inviting members and making sure they remembered. As I was flipping through the members record, I came across a really old, tiny lady that lives all alone named Sister Ishida. Knowing that she was so old and fragile, I almost skipped her and moved on, but I remembered that NOBODY should be alone on Christmas. I called her and asked her if she was coming. She went on to explain to me that she would love to go but that the walk to the church would be just too much on her old body. Feeling her desire to not be alone during this christmas time, I hung up the phone and immediately called other members to work out someone to go to her house and pick her up by car. We worked it all out and nobody was left out. The next sunday, as people crowded into the hall before church, I heard a lettle old ravaged voice calling out, "Page Choro! Page Choro! Where is Page Choro?!" Then, came little old sister Ishida carrying a box in her left hand and her cane in her right. She called me over to her side and quickly opened up the box. Inside the box was this wreath. She said to me, "it isn't much and you probably don't need it, but this is the only thing I have to me that means christmas. Thank you so much for calling me the other day. Thank you so much. I want you to have this." She rewrapped the box and put it in my hands as I stood there stunned. She walked away before I could get out a word of gratitude. One of the most special Christmas moments I have ever had. As I thought about what happened between me, a 19 year old American boy from NC and an 87 year old single woman from Niigata Japan, of course there was only one thing that came to mind. What brought us together? Two totally otherwise unrelated existences turned christmas upside down for me. It is Jesus Christ. It is the love that he showed. It is the peace that He offers our Savior Jesus Christ brings different worlds together in a spirit of love and hope. When the Angel appeared to the Shepherds in Luke 2, verse 10 reads, "I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to ALL people." If there is one thing I have learned this Christmas, it is that this great joy is to ALL people. Even worlds apart, when time and distance separates us, Jesus Christ unites us. His love brings us together. His hope gives us a smile on our face and a bright, beautiful sunrise on the morrow. I know that my Savior Jesus Christ was born, lived and died, and lives again for us. I know that through him ALL people can rejoice. Christ is our Lord. Praise his name forever. I love you all so much. I love you from head to toe, from good ole Steve, to Mamma Page, to Dallin (in Tory's Dallliin! Voice) to Jaclyn (in Tory's Jaccclllyn voice!) to Matty Patty, to Abby Bell, and even down to Tor, my forever buddy. I love you and miss you this Christmas. Even though I will miss the gingerbread houses, and presents and the Polar Express, I am with you this Christmas, I love you all, I love my forever family!!! Merry Christmas! Love you son and brother Elder Zachary Taylor Page

Monday, December 19, 2011

Having a COLD winter in Nigata Japan

Hello Mom, I had a good week last week. We saw a lot of miracles and we were able to find 3 new investigators. It is really nice to see the work pick up after about a month of slow success. The weather is really really bad here. I found out this week that the worst winter in Japan is actually found in Niigata prefecture where I am!! Yay! It has been snowing for about 4 days straight off and on. It makes riding a bike pretty rough. I am soaking wet all the time to the point that we dont even try to keep ourselves too dry anymore. hahaha :o) I got my birthday card from the ward this week which put a big ole smile on my face. I also got a letter from about 3 months ago from Carlos and Landon. It came all beat up and it had paper taped to it that said it was shipped to Jamaica instead...yeah. I wanted to thank Dad so much for all of the Packer updates he gives me every week. I really do love reading them, especially when they are going to win another superbowl!!! They better not just be good while I am gone and then be done when I get back!!! ;o) Another thing that I mentioned before Mom is that I do want to vote and I know all of that stuff is coming up. Can you please look into that for me a little bit. I am sorry you are way busy and I dont want to disrupt the Christmas time, but if you could do that it would be great! Thanks! Lets see, I have all of the stuff as far as calling goes next week. So you guys will call my phone directly at 10 pm your time on Christmas Eve. I am sorry for the late hour but that is the way we have been told to do it. So call me 10 pm NC time. That should bring you right through to my cell phone. In this bad weather I had two whipouts this week. One on foot where I slipped going down the steps and 100% landed on my back, and another about 10 minutes ago where I slipped on the snow on my bike and ate it. I love it. Hopefully you guys get all of your Christmas stuff this coming week. I have learned something interesting this week. A lot of times missionaries on the mission say that the Mission Christmas is the best ever. Although it is really wonderful and I have truly had a lot of wonderful experiences, it isnt true. I miss my family. Christmas just isnt the same without family. I miss you guys. I love you all so much, I hope everything is ok and you are just super busy. I will talk to you guys on Sunday(your saturday!). I love you guys! Now I am going to go build a snowman. :oD Have a great week and a wonderful Christmas! Love always, Elder Zachary Taylor Page

Monday, December 12, 2011

I've never felt this cold before...

Hello Everyone!! So just to go ahead and put this out there first, calling will happen on my Christmas Day, which will mean your Christmas Eve. President has laid it out there cut and dry for us so we dont have a ton of manuvering room. We will have around 40 minutes only to talk and I will tell you the exact stuff next week, but you will have to call me just like last time, and it will probably be late over there because we have church over here. I will let you know how to call and all of those specifics next week. Alrighty then, Sounds great that you guys had the Whites over for dinner with you all. Sounds like quite the gathering! Haven't gotten your package yet but I have gotten four others! I got two from MJ, one from Papa Lindsey and Grandma Myra, and one from a family in my old area. I have been so spoiled. Also, at our Zone Conference last week I received my letter with letters from all of you and Mckenna and Mj in it. It just warmed my heart up so much. Thank you so much for that Christmas gift. I wish I had more interesting stuff to tell you than I think I have! haha We had a really good week. We visited a lot of members and did our best to bring some sort of Christmas spirit to this country! We sang and bore testimony of Jesus Christ to members and so many members were so happy to have us come over. The weather last week was rediculous. I tell you, I have never been so wanting a car in my entire life. The wind was blowing at like 40 mph, it was about 0 degrees celcius, and there was hail coming down for like 3 straight days. Lets just say that I never want to ride a bike again. ;oD It was fun though because as we trucked through the Abyss, Elder Sanders and I sang "I had the time of my life, and I've never felt this cold before..." Elder Sanders just helped me remember another story. We were housing and he just asked this woman through the door if we could sing for her. There was a 5 second pause and then she said, go ahead. We sang Angels We have Heard on High. When we finished there was another 10 second awkward pause and then he asked her if she heard. Another awkward 5 seconds later she just says through the door, Go home. It was pretty funny. Just remembered another story. Elder Sanders and I roasted Marshmellows with Chopsticks over our heater in our room. That was pretty ghetto. :oD I am sending off your guys christmas package today so I hope that you get it and like what you get. I tried really hard! We had a Christmas activity on Saturday. Elder Sanders and I sang Walking in a Winter Wonderland and then I dressed up for the Branch Santa Claus. Elder Sanders was my reindeer. :o) It was really fun and you will get pictures of that at some point. Service is all done until the spring. It is just too cold to keep going so we won't be traveling very much anymore. We found an investigator this week, but we aren't sure if he is quite ok yet. He called himself a Samurai and whipped two knives out of his bag. :oD Lets just say we still have faith and are going to keep searching hard. Well, This email was all over the place and I am sorry but I got to go. Mom, I still want to read Jordans emails every week so please make sure you forward those to me please. :oD The church is true. I know it even more as this christmas time roles around and we feel the love of our Savior Jesus Christ even stronger. Everybody enjoy the holidays and if there is one thing I would have you remember, it is the words of President Monson, "We are illuminated by Christmas when we start thinking about people instead of things." I know this to be true. The people around us are the most important. I may get all the things in a package, but it just isn't illuminating when you dont have the people on the other end. Remember how very blessed we are. I love you all so much. Have a great week!!! Love always, Elder Zachary Taylor Page

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas in Japan :/ ?

Hello Mom, and Everybody! Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!! I feel like I can say it now because it is December, my favorite month of the year!!! I cant wait to watch the Christmas Devotional, we get to see it next week because I am living in the land where to sun starts shining when yours hasn't gone down yet! Feels weird that it is my birthday again. I still remember when you surprised me with Jordan and Kirby and them last year. That was just the greatest ever! Now I am just getting old...I never thought about not being a teenager anymore!! I dont care if I dont get much Mom, when have I ever cared! I am just glad to be able to have Christmas with my...oh wait, I wont be with my family!!! ;o) I am just kidding, it will be a great Christmas. That is crazy about the tree falling!! I dont even want to know which ornaments broke, that is just too crazy! I have never heard about an oragami nativity scenes, but I am going to one last place today to finish the Christmas shopping so I will give it one last search! Stinks that you havent talked to Marissa in so long...I bet I havent in longer!! haha :o) I have no idea for a present, I dont know what she needs because I havent heard from her in so long. I am still trying to work my brain enough to get her something good. Maybe you could make her something mom, like an apron or something. She might need something like that in Ecuador babysitting all those kids for 3 months. You are the most creative person I know Mom!! You will figure something out. Heard about Christopher and that was great to hear. I will remember Matt in my prayers. I will get pictures back out there for Christmas because I just finished up another Memory card. 400 pictures/videos coming your way! Service is going good. Yeah there has been a lot of progress in the past 8 months. I can hardly imagine it could ever all get cleaned up but its going along. I dont know how sweet my face is anymore coming to the rice capital of the world over hear but you will get some pictures. :) Did I tell you that Niigata Rice is actually the best rice in the world? Well...it is. :) Glad to hear things are going good. Dad keeps giving me the BYU and Packers updates which I love to death, thanks Dad!! The Packers are doing so good! Things here are going alright. Things arent really picking up, but we are still working hard. We are hitting really hard on Christmas Missionary Work. Elder Sanders plays the guitar super super well so we are going to sing for a lot of people this week. People just havent been listening very well in this city. :) No worries though because the Lord will keep providing us with little miracles to keep our chins up. So it is weird to not really have a Christmas season. Nobody really does much at all here. Some stores put up a tree but that is about it. Kind of sad and lonely because you know how much I love Christmas! We had a specialized training last week about Budgeting from President. A lot of missionaries have no idea how to handle there money and run out all the time. It just made me really grateful for Dad teaching us so well how to weight our pockets. I have about 3 months supply of money in my account so Dad did really well. :o) Also on that day I got to have an interview with President that went really well. We talked for about 45 minutes about a bunch of different stuff. I talked to him a little about when to go home, it pretty much comes down to Jan 3 or Feb 14. We talked about school and needing something to do but also needing to see family and stuff. He gave me his opinion, but what do you and Dad think? President is an amazing guy that I love very much. Well, I am running low on time. I have to go finish shopping for Matt and Marissa. :oD Something interesting I learned this week was about the principle of prayer and faith. In the New Testiment, Christ taught that if we have faith, nothing doubting, and we can command a mountain into the sea. I thought about that principle a lot and applied it to my prayers. I recieved answers that I had been searching for for weeks. I know that God answers prayers. Sometimes we have to be patient, but they will come. Sometimes I wish that they came with better timing because if they did I wouldnt have messed up as much, but we learn from our mistakes. God Lives, Jesus is the Christ. I love you Mom. I love our family, I love Marissa. :oD Have a great week!!! Love always, Elder Zachary Taylor Page

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