I spent the morning at the Bishop’s house in Ebetsu tacking emails and made quite a bit of progress. After lunch, we drove to the Japanese-government-run retreat center in the mountains. It is spartan, but quite nice. My room has two small beds and little else, with bathroom facilities up the hall, minus baths or showers. Those are in another place where, from 9 to 10 at night, we have the hot baths as a nightly Japanese ritual. They are welcome, because it is very cold here, and the snow is deep. The heat in the various rooms is on sometimes and off sometimes, and I slept last night under a mountain of cover and stayed warm. The session with the missionary families went well last night. We met in a large room around tables, and I spoke on the secret weapon of leaders–a joyful attiude. The key text was Nehemiah 8, but I used personal stories and parallel passages. It was a good session.
This morning I rose early, bundled up in my clothes, scarf, coat, and a blanket and found a vending machine that served hot coffee in cans. Finding a spare room, I had a great quiet time and am looking forward to today’s activities that include cross country skiing and another teaching session with our Japanese Field Counsel, which is an excellent group of people and a great group of friends.