Monday, May 18, 2015

Land of the Rising Sun

In my letter to Alex, I only asked a few questions so I'd be more likely to get answers. Yeah, that didn't help. I asked him to tell me the best and worst of his week. I used to ask him (and my girls) every night what his best and worst of the day was and I miss hearing it. I also asked him to tell me a story and asked if he had any questions about anything back home. I asked what was something he learned from the members in his new area so far. And then I asked him what was one of his favorite things about his companion. At least he answered the last question. Here's his response.

So much happens over here, that I'm not sure what would be my best of the week, but nothing bad has happened this week, so there's that. 

I don't have any stories to share off the top of my head either, sorry!
One of my favorite things about my companion? Hm... Probably the dance he does when he's bored. But he only does it in the apartment. I've learned sign language from the members here, or at least some signs. I don't know of anything off the top of my head that I've learned from them otherwise though. 
This was Alex's explanation of this week's photo session.
A member has ninja/samurai costume stuff and let
us use it last p-day. We had fun posing for it.

People may have wondered, as have I, why Japan is called "the land of
the rising sun." Part of it has to do with the Kanji 日本 (pronounced
knee-ho-n), which translated means Sun's origin, but I think there's
another reason for it: the sun rises at 4 o'clock every morning. Maybe
that's just crazy to me because I'm from Utah in a city that snuggles
the mountains like a giant teddy bear. I don't know.

I don't think I've done the above kanji before, so I think that will
suffice for the Kanji of the Week. Therefore, let's move on to the
summary of the week!

Monday: We skyped home in the morning, and then after we had all
finished we went to an indian curry place for lunch, and it was really
good. The nan bread there is super delicious. After that we went
shopping for various things (I didn't get anything personally), and
the majority of time was spent getting groceries. We then met a member
at the church, and got to dress up like ninjas and samurai. It was
fun, because we had stage weapons to play around with. At night, we
entered in records to our area book app.

Tuesday: We went in the early morning to seminary, and then a little
while after that went back to the church for District Training
Meeting, and that was great. I was able to feel the spirit so
strongly, and I really loved the spiritual message one of the sisters
gave about how we haven't been called to be loved, but to love; even
if we are hated in return. We then tried to hand out English class
fliers at a busy part of town, but the sky decided to rain, and rain
hard, so there weren't too many people out on the streets at the time.

After that, we biked over to a potential investigator's house (the
rain had let up a bit by that time), and we had a good lesson. The
children are crazy (in a good way), and the mother seemed to have some
interest in what we had to day. When we left, she saw that I had no
rain coat with me (I didn't think it was going to rain, so I didn't
pack one; I did have a sweater to keep me warm though), and so she
gave me a rain poncho to use.
We then had an English lesson with one of the sister missionaries'
investigators. The lesson went well, but the kids didn't want to stay
for the entire time. We ended up having to entertain them for the
entire time the sisters had a lesson about the gospel, but it was
okay, because they're fun kids.


Wednesday: We had a normal morning, and then we went to the church for
a sign language class the members have every week. It was lots of fun,
and I learned some new words there. We learned it from deaf members,
so I'm sure they're valid words too.

Right after that, we had a home teaching visit with a couple in the
ward who came to the class. We talked about the most recent
conference, and it was pretty funny listening to them talk about it,
because the husband didn't remember much, and the wife said "that's
because you were sleeping half the time!" So don't worry, if you fall
asleep during general conference, you're not alone; it happens to
people in Japan too.

We then entered in information into our iPads again, until it was time
for English class. I teach kids class with Elder G., and the only
kids to show up were the kids that we taught English to the previous
night. Since it was just them, it was a lot easier, and we just read
books with them in English.

 Thursday: We went again to seminary (I don't think I've mentioned yet
that we go every other day Monday-Friday, the other elders go on the
days we don't, so we can translate for a recent convert we have who
goes and doesn't speak Japanese), but besides that, the majority of
the day was spent entering in records to the area book app. We did,
however, take a break from being in the apartment and went to go see
if we could get into a sign language circle, or if they even existed
in this city, at the city hall. They didn't have any free ones though,
and the others were too long of a period for your average missionary
stay in addition to costing quite a bit of money.

 Friday: We had weekly planning right after studies, and then we
entered in the last of the records. That took the whole day basically,
but we did get to go to the church and shred the paper records, and do
an activity we do every week called "fun Friday." The only two people
to show up besides missionaries were a young woman member, and one of
the other elders' investigators. We had a good time with a special
musical number from the sister missionaries, a spiritual message, and
card games though, so I can't complain.

Saturday: We had DCS this day, and right after that, we got together
with some members and english class students and went to a park to
play soccer. We goofed around with the soccer ball for a while, and
ended up playing monkey in the middle for a while. We also played an
"actual" game of soccer, and that was fun!

When that ended, we changed back into regular missionary clothes, and
went to visit the person we visited on Tuesday. The mother had invited
her friend and her kids over, and we had a great time with them. The
gospel part of it was good, and they asked some good questions. After
that was English class again. Not too much to add about that though.

Sunday: We had a great time at church, and taking the sacrament is
always a great experience. After church, we had the priesthood men
gather and practice a song for the upcoming district conference we'll
be having soon. With only short practice, the men are already sounding
really good. We also had a lesson with our recent convert, and he is
doing well.

Besides that we stayed at the apartment the rest of the day and stayed
busy with studies. Also, every week on Sunday my companion has to do
call in reports with the zone leaders, so that took a chunk of time.

I hope you all have a great week, and that you can see the Lord's hand
in your lives. I love you all!


Elder ____ 

I'm not sure why he took a photo of this (or sent it to me). It's Elder H. looking at something through a small magnifying glass.

This tastes like liquid banana Laffy Taffy

On the left side at the bottom, this soda can says "Please shake the can at least 10 times before opening" and it has jelly cubes in it.


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