Monday, August 19, 2013

Japan week #2

Hello everyone!! :D How's everyone been?
  I've been having a BLAST in Japan! It's so flippin' cool! The people here are awesome, and the work is fantastic. I'm sitting right now in the clerk's office of the church building in Muroran writing on the computer. Everything on the computer is written in kanji, so I'm flying blind! It's hard to navigate when you can't read anything! Which is really REALLY weird for me because I love reading. It's crazy. Whenever something is written in simple characters I get so excited because I can actually read it! But that is rare, because kanji is so much more effective, and it looks way cooler. 
  I'm getting into a nice little routine here in Muroran. A typical day goes like this more or less: 6:30am we're up and exercise till about 7:00. We have an hour then for breakfast and getting dressed and cleaned up and all that getting ready for the day jazz. By 8:00 it's personal study time for an hour. I've been reading the Doctrine and Covenants recently, and it's been great. Personal study is like my favorite part of the morning, I just LOVE it. I find myself during the day wanting really badly to sit down and read more scriptures. :P Ahh the missionary life, desho! After personal study we have two hours of companionship study from 9-11. Since I'm in training I get an extra hour of comp study time, which is fun. After that we have an hour for lunch, and we're out the door by 12. From here our days get a little crazy. We have basically from 12pm-8pm to go out and dendo. (dendo means mission, we use it as our verb for missionary work) We go to wherever we planned from the previous night to go, and then start talking to people. We do mostly housing (tracting) and then street contacting whenever we can. There's not a lot of people walking around Muroran, it's very similar to Nampa actually, size wise. So there isn't a ton of streeting to be had, but we've had good contacts from it, so we always try to talk to people we see. We also use this time for teaching appointments, visits, and the like. This is the bulk of our day. :) And it's hard! We're out all day walking, biking, and it's non stop. And Muroran is very mountainous, so biking is rough! I haven't biked like this ever in my life I don't think! It's been working me hard. We've been coming home at 7 usually though because we have an hour for dinner, and then at 8 we have an hour of language study, and then from 9pm-9:30 we plan the next day. And then have an hour till bed. It goes by so fast! Like today, it's already 1pm! Nuts! The time just flies by. I hear from all the other missionaries that it only gets faster! Yikes! 
  We also take care of ourselves for the most part here. We don't get fed by members hardly at all, which I think is strange because they LOVE us. It's just not the norm here to bring the missionaries over to eat. We get food baskets every now and again, but that's different, and isn't common either. :P We do have one Shimai though, Kawasaki Shimai, ;) I know Dad, epic, right? Who wants us over for homemade pizza sometime, so that'll be awesome. :D They love pizza here, it's crazy. There's a Pizza Hut, of ALL places, like 30 seconds from our apartment, we haven't eaten there, but it of all faster food places, is here. Speaking of Kawasaki Shimai, she's in her 60's, and she LOVES cats. She has a fat orange cat named Kokochan. And he's adorable. :D And she thought it was so cool that I love cats too! So I told her I'd get some pictures of my cats to show her. So, if you guys could mail me some REALLY cute pics of our cats, that'd be great. She has some SERIOUSLY cool pictures of her cats, like jumping, and posing, and being generally epic, and so I need some great ones to show her. ;) When we went to visit her on the 14th, it started downpouring! But the Lord was looking out for us, and it cleared up for the ride home. :) 
   Weather wise it's been crazy the past few days. It's been downpouring, and then it'll stop and get super hot, and then it'll downpour again. It's weird. We had two days of EPIC rain though that was crazy, I've been staying dry, my rain gear is sweet, and my slip on shoes, are like SUPER waterproof, it's crazy. However, just this last Friday, we were out doing some dendo in Noboribetsu. It's a neighboring city in our area, about 30 minutes bike ride from our apartment. We didn't have a ton of success out there, not just contacting anyways. We did meet with an inactive member in her genkan, and had a great visit with her. We scheduled some service dendo with her, and so we'll be seeing her again soon. She's such a cool Shimai, and we want to help her so badly! But anyways, when we were heading back to Muroran for Eikaiwa, english class, Elder Harper got a flat tire!! A really bad puncture that killed our riding capabilities instantly. And so we began the LONG walk back home. And like fools, we didn't check the weather!! >.< It started raining some of the heaviest rain I've ever been in. And we had no rain gear, no umbrellas, no lights, (it got dark fast) and a long ways to go. We got SOAKED. We stopped avoiding the huge puddles because we were already sopping wet from head to toe. It was crazy! But it was so much fun! Elder Harper and I were just laughing and joking and having a grand time. :) It's funny because for whatever reason the night before I prayed for safety to get to Noboribetsu, and we were safe and dry. But, I never said anything about the return trip, so we got it good! ;) Haha! Just a funny thought we talked about a bit. So we finally show up to Eikaiwa, soaking wet, and RIGHT when it was supposed to start  at 7pm. It took us 2 hours to walk back, in the downpouring rain. We had THREE new students for Eikaiwa too that night! What a first impression! :P We had a ton of fun with it, and I think it worked for our benefit in making some new friendships. :) That was so much fun. We also had two great visits this week that were pretty miraculous in my opinion. We have who we thought was a good potential investigator, named Takaishi San. He is always really energetic, loves talking to us, and always agrees to meet with us. So we met up with him on Saturday and talked for almost 3 hours. :P WAY long, but it was really good. Turns out he's a FORMER investigator of 20 years, and he had a baptismal date and everything! He had a word of wisdom problem that kept him from baptism, and he never got over it. But he loves the church, and really likes the doctrine, so we're stoked to try and help him. Hopefully he'll be willing to overcome his addiction and join the Lord's fold. :) We're going to be working hard with him come the following weeks. 
 The other one was just yesterday night. We were going to visit a potential investigator named Nagata San, but she wasn't home. So we were in a bit of a dilemma. We couldn't dendo around her house because we just did about a week earlier, so we weren't sure what to do. We thought of a couple options, but we still weren't sure what to do. So we said a quick prayer, told Heavenly Father what we were thinking about doing, and then after the prayer was over, I looked over at Elder Harper, he looked over at me, and we both said that of all our options, visiting an inactive member, Narita Shimai, who lived 30 minutes away, felt like the right option. It was kind of a risk to visit her, because if she wasn't home we'd have wasted lots of time, and wouldn't be able to dendo by her house either, because we just had recently. But we went anyways. When we got there she was outside practically WAITING for us! It was the coolest thing. :) She was a bit down and was SO excited to see us. :) We had a great visit with her, shared some spiritual thoughts with her, and had a great time. I hope she felt the Spirit, I know I did. :) When we were leaving she told us that she was so happy that we came over, and that she had a great time visiting with us, and that that was what she needed. She's so cool! She needs to be active. ;) We'll work with her! Anyways, walking home Elder Harper and I were like, "That was some serious michibiki" (guidance). Holy cow, I'm only two weeks in and I'm seeing the miracles. :) I am loving this work so much! So that's my week. :) 
    First off, the Ward LOVES missionaries. We try to do member team ups a lot, and a lot of people are very willing to go do that with us, which is super cool. 
    I absolutely LOVE my new bike, it's a champ! And I love the colors too, a sweet lime green and blue. :) 
    We go through Bank of America, like a commercial card, it's pretty easy. We get 26,000 yen a month, which is about 260 dollars. That's for all our monthly expenses, food and what not for the apartment. 
    And our mats on the floor are the thing I look forward to the MOST every night. :) You don't think it'd be comfortable, but it really is. It helps when you're just exhausted too. ;) 
    And it's very much like the movies here in a lot of ways. No one really has chairs, there's lots of kneeling, and sitting cross legged. Occasionally you'll find a VERY small couch that sits right on the floor, but that's not super common. We do have chairs AND a couch in our apartment though! So we're doing good! The Muroran apartment is supposedly one of the nicer ones in the mission. ;) Yoshi! 
   The language is coming along nicely. I can say a lot of things, it's the understanding that is still hard sometimes. I just don't know enough vocab yet! Lot's of conversational type non gospel topics I have a hard time following. But it's coming. I'm focusing on learning lots of vocab, and that's helping. Most missionaries say that around transfer 5-6 they could understand basically all of what was being said, and by transfer 7 they felt they could say just about anything they wanted. So that's not too bad. Just gotta keep working and have faith that I'll learn it, desho! :) Desho is like, right? by the way :P Sorry!
  Elder Harper and I get along FAMOUSLY! He's a super cool Elder. :) And we have a ton of similar interests. Yeah, Star Blazers, he's seen it and likes it! CRAZY! Desho!! Who would've thought! So everything is going good there. :) 
   And the food here is awesome. :) We've been eating lots of ramen, curry, rice stuff, and tons of good stuff like that. I actually have yet to have fish! O-O Crazy? Right? I really have yet to have meat. :P We can't really afford a ton of meat, so I've basically been going vegetarian the past while, it's crazy. I miss the meat so much! The food really is SO good though, the ramen is my favorite. It's just SO GOOD. And they have this stuff called Melon Bread that Mom needs to learn how to cook, so that I can eat it when I get home from Japan. It's probably one of the greatest breads I've eaten. And by the way, I'm losing weight like a mad man. :P Last time I weighed myself I was about 92 kilos, which is about 200 pounds I think. It's about a 1 kilo to 2.2 pounds ratio. So since the MTC I've lost fifteen pounds there abouts! It's nuts! Ok! Gotta run, I love ya family!
   Thanks so much for the emails, I love reading them. :) Have fun with the new school year! Work hard kids! ;) Ai shite imasu!


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