Sunday, January 25, 2015

Rainy days in January, stake conference, and two dinner appointments.

こんにちわ 私の家族と友達!
Hello my family and friends!

火曜日 Tuesday
Temple P-Day! Today we woke up early and ran sprints up a giant hill
next to our apartment, it was exhausting. After we rushed to get ready
so we get catch a train to get to Hiro-o where the temple is. I have
finally understood kanji enough to figure out how the trains work.
Plus all trains in Japan have everything in both Japanese and English.
Hiro-o doesn't really have the same feel as Machida. There are a lot
of foreigners and I was told that the parking lot next to the temple
and church is the most expensive in the world because land is so
expensive there. The temple was great, it is nice that the same
feeling of being home is with you no matter where you are in the
world. After the temple we came home and did our shopping, emailed in
the apartment and then went on an adventure to explore machida. Come
to find out there are a ton of snowboarding shops here! I may have to
try it out when I get home at BYU. My companion, Elder Crandall, is
from Salt Lake City so he loves snowboarding and was showing me all
the cool things about snowboarding it was a great opportunity to get
to know my companion better. As we were walking around we found a 90s
fashion recycle shop. It was hilarious and awesome, somehow the
Japanese people have fallen in love with overalls, timberland boots,
and plastic jackets. We found some neat old hats there. We then went
to the church to send off emails, then walked home and relaxed.

水曜日 Wednesday
Rain. Actually fun fact, the first kanji (symbol) in Wednesday is
water! So it was fitting that today was a rainy day. After studying we
went to 7-eleven to go update our area books (7-eleven has Wi-Fi and
is the closest place to us). We then realized neither of us had our
cell phone so we walked back to the apartment and searched everywhere
for the phone but it turns out the other companionship had taken the
phone with them! Missionary work is hard without a phone (I know all
of you previous missionaries that didn't have phones are like,"try two
years!") but when everyone uses cell phones and that is how we save
contacts its a little different. We then decided to train dendo or
ride the trains and talk to people. We talked to a man is college who
is studying agriculture, we had a fantastic talk! We took the train to
shinyurigoka about two stops up on the line. We talked to a few more
people and invited them. Rain has a psychological effect on the
Japanese people they become very closed in. We met an Indian man! He
was awesome, they are always so curious about Christianity and want to
learn more. We then kubaried (hand out English class flyers), it was
freezing and raining! It was so bitter we stayed outside for only 20
minutes then went to the mall to get hot chocolate and rethink our
plan. After throwing different ideas back and forth we decided the
trains were the best place because they were warm and dry. I attempted
to talk to an old man by myself which was rough, he was using words to
honorify me for some reason or another, but I couldn't understand he
was. My companion helped but it confused him too. We came home for
dinner and then went to English class. Our students were hilarious
today, I really do love those 4 old men in our advanced class. We
talked about idioms, like "green with jealousy" to which one man pipes
up, "my wife makes me green with sickness". Elder Ford was just
transferred into the machida area, so when he explained he was from
Ohio too they all started asking him questions, but since he had lived
in Germany for the previous couple of years he couldn't answer the
questions so he deferred to me and we talked about Ohio ! They were so
interested that they asked if I would teach the rest of the
intermediate class about Ohio too! Thank goodness I payed attention in
history. So don't worry fellow Ohioians the Japanese know we are a
state not just part of their morning greeting, "ohyo gonzimasu"!
The Japanese elders brought my package because it was forwarded to the
wrong apartment. It was a great boost after a long rainy day.

木曜日 Thursday
We began our morning with a zone conference in Sagamihara it is to the
south-west of my area. It was good to see members of my district from
the MTC there. There was good trainings about keeping our apartments
clean, and using digital media in our missionary work. After my
companion had a meeting with the zone leaders for an hour. We then
went to the train station it was pouring rain again. We decided to
lighten up the day with some pastries so we went to a French pastry
shop called "Vie Le France". It was delicious and inexpensive a double
win! As we were waiting for the train we met another Indian man who is
Muslim, he was a very happy man. We invited him to church and said he
would love to go. They are such an open minded people. When we got
home we did our weekly planning and I made the brownies in my package.
My companion said he hadn't eaten brownies in over a year, they were
great for a rainy day. We then ventured to go visit the Family who I
had intended to go to on splits last month but we got lost. We made it
this time! They were so happy to see us, we intended only to share a
quick 10 minute lesson but they asked if we had eaten dinner, we
hadn't because we didn't want to be late. So they fed us! She made
clam and shrimp chowder, garlic bread, and garlic roasted clams. They
were fantastic. There was one clam that was still sealed shut so I
decided to just smash it open. It broke alright, but bits of clam
shell went everywhere. My companion started laughing so hard he almost
fell out of his chair, thankfully the members thought it was really
funny too. We talked about our families and got to know theirs a
little better too. They loved the pictures of the raspberry farm.
After we left we began our adventure back home, but we got lost and
ended up being late back home by 30 min, japan can be a very confusing
place sometimes.

金曜日 Friday
I went on splits with the other elder in my apartment. He is from
Oregon, and from a family of 15 (no that isn't a typo). After study he
had a really bad head ache and laid down for a bit. It ended up
delaying our plans by a few hours. We walked the bike trail and talked
to a few people. It turns out that there are 1 million people on my
area alone, and it is tiny! After coming home we ate dinner and went
to sports night, we played basketball with some kids and afterwards we
taught them about Adam and Eve. They had never heard of them before
and only knew about evolution.

土曜日 Saturday
After our usual study we went to the church and had district meeting.
It was a great meeting. The sisters had a training on love. It was a
great training we passed around a piece of paper and wrote things that
we loved about each other on it then read them out loud. It was
hilarious. Then we had priesthood session of stake conference. It was
great, but 2 hours of Japanese straight on the brain is a mentally
exhausting thing. After we went out with a Chinese member to eat
curry! It was delicious! Then we went back to the evening session of
stake conference, or more mental exhaustion. It was really good, but
it is very hard to understand when they speak very quickly for 2
hours. After the Kofu elders stayed the night at our apartment because
it is a 2.5 hour train ride away.

日曜日 Sunday
Stake conference again! Daisuke came and almost brought his friend
too, but his friend was asleep. It turns out he might live in the
other mission, but he still comes to our ward. We need to find that
out soon. I sat next to him and his friend Anna who brought him to
church. The building was absolutely packed! They had to but chairs on
the stage there were so many people. It was a good conference,
President Wada spoke, I'm not entirely sure what about but I felt the
spirit, the Tokyo Temple President also spoke, it was really good. I
like how the format is identical our home stake. After the conference
we came home and streeted along the river to go to the bishops house
for dinner. He made taco rice, it was ohyshi (delicious)! My companion
and I are working hard to gain the trust of the members, it is
starting to work because when we asked who we could help the bishop
gave us a list! We are building awesome relationships with the
members. After we went to visit another family in my ward, they are
super nice and loved our surprise visit so much they gave us apples!
All fruit in Japan is very expensive.

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