Sunday, February 8, 2015

Costco, Nepalese People, and all you can eat Okonomiyaki



月曜日 Monday
Pday! We woke up early at 6 to play some basketball at the church the
Japanese elders. We played Americans vs Japanese it was a enjoyable
time building a stronger relationship with the elders. We wanted some
Americana so we made a trip to Costco! It turns out Costco is a huge
craze in Japan! For such tiny people they sure do like bulk food!
After studies we began our journey which was about an hour by train
but it was only 8 kilometers away from the apartment we had to take a
round about way to get there. Once we arrived my companion and I
bought Costco memberships, the cool thing is that they last for a year
and are world wide, talk about a great business plan! We ordered a
whole pizza and I got a hot dog as well. They have the best deal in
Japan on an American hot dog, so naturally I needed one. It was
delicious, we saved some of it to give to the sister missionaries
later. While we were eating a women leaned over and asked in English
why does your tag say elder? I replied that is a fantastic question!
And I was able to explain how we are and why we are here! It was a
great experience. After our lunch we began our shopping. It was great
to see food in such large quantities for American prices, except tuna
fish. For some reason Japanese people love their tuna fish. In America
it seems they pay you to take it! We got a ton of meat and two
Japanese women walked past our cart with wide eyes, it was pretty
funny. We bought a lot of things to last the rest of the transfer. In
total we didn't end up spending a ton, but definitely got our money's
worth. Then we began the trek back on the train. Thank goodness they
sell large bags for a dollar! After we got home we emailed our real
homes then went to the church to send them off. After that we went and
bought our other groceries that we knew we could get cheaper at
another store came home and dropped everything off. We then kubaried
for an hour at the eki near our apartment. I talked to an Indian man
who had the same name as me! We talked for a little bit and at the end
he asked for me to call him! It was overall a very good pday.

火曜日 Tuesday
We woke up and enjoyed our normal study routine, however during
companionship study someone knocked on our door. It was the repair
man! He was here to fix our aircon (we call the heaters and coolers
aircons). He moved all our furniture then gutted the place where the
old one was and added a new one! Our downstairs has been freezing!
Today we went on splits with the Japanese elders. I am with Elder
Kojima! He is from Kobe. We waited at the apartment until the man
finished installing the new machine. It took quite a while. During
which I came up with the idea that we read the Book of Mormon back and
forth me in Japanese and himself in English. It took us 45 minutes to
get through one chapter! I am starting to be able to read aloud more
and more. I probably sound like a kindergartener reading though, oh
well it is better than where I started! After he finished installing
the machine we went to tsudakawa to Kubari. It was excellent! I met my
friend from Nepal I met last transfer, this time I got his number
though. He is way cool, and his name is impossible to write and say!
It was a way good time. I am starting to figure out how to talk to
people in Japanese, it is kind of really cool considering six months
ago I didn't know how to speak a word in Japanese. After kubaring we
came to the Japanese elders apartment to eat dinner. I made ramen for
us, surprisingly it is similar to American ramen, however the noodles
are better. And just like in America, the beef packs are still better
than the chicken packs. After dinner we went to my apartment to pick
up gym clothes for basketball in the morning then went to shinyurigoka
to Kubari some more. I talked to a little Japanese girl who is 4 with
her mom. She was so proud she could tell me her name and age. It was
fun to talk to her for a little bit, when she left she turned around
and said, "goodbye, see you later!" After kubaring we went to Mister
Donut. It is Elder Kojima and Is tradition for when we go on splits
together. We then headed home and called it a day.

水曜日 Wednesday
We started our day by meeting up with our companions at the church to
play some basketball. It is fantastic exercise. Then elder Kojima and
I went back to their apartment for breakfast and studies. It was a
good study, he helped me a lot with my Japanese and how I can improve.
We read in the Book of Mormon again back and forth. He made me a card
with all the Japanese sounds on it and asked if they had one in
English. Sadly they don't, English has so many more complex sounds
than Japanese. I figured out during language study if I memorize 4
kanji (characters) a day I will be at native level by the time I get
home! For lunch Elder Kojima made Nabe or rice pottage. It was
delicious. We then went to my apartment to switch back companions.
Elder Crandall and I then went to Tsurakawa to Kubari. I love kubaring
it really pushes me to use my Japanese to the best I can, and I am
noticing improvement with it here and there. I stopped a few people
and invited them all by myself. It feels good to be a fully
contributing member of a companionship. It is really hard at first,
and still is for the most part but I am working hard through it. We
then came back to the apartment and ate dinner, and wrote letters to
President Wada for his birthday! Then we went to eaikiwa, but there
were a ton of kids playing basketball, so since there were a lot of
missionaries that could teach the students we played basketball with
the kids! They were all really good! They are a bunch of neighborhood
kids that just show up!

木曜日 Thursday
When we woke up it was raining/snowing! None of it was sticking but it
was still enjoyable to watch. After our studies we did our weekly
planning. I made cinnamon rolls for us, they were delicious. Weekly
planning was sort of rough this week. We found out during it that our
only progressing investigator lives in a different ward which is in
the north mission so we need to refer him. We then went out to knock
on doors because everything else was too cold to do. We walked around
near our apartment and knocked on doors for a few hours. Then we saw a
man in a garage cutting wood, so we asked him if we could take a look.
He then said sure and told us to meet him around the corner, so we go
and another man meets us around the corner and beckons us inside, we
were like sure why not. When we walked inside we found guitar parts
all over. We stumbled across a guitar factory in the middle of the
Tokyo suburbs! The man was way nice to us and let me take some
pictures. After that neat experience on our way home we ran into a man
from Italy! It was way cool talking to him for a little bit. We then
went home and ate dinner. After dinner we went to a Korean family in
our wards house. We wrote a card for them in Korean, Japanese, and
English! It was pretty neat. When we got there the wife had made us a
cake! It was way nice of her! We played with their daughter who is
two! I can only imagine how hard it must be for people to not have a
back yard. It is weird realizing that no one here really have lawn to

金曜日 Friday
We began our morning with a run around the area! It was a great way to
wake up and watch the sun rise over the hills. From the top of one of
the hills you can see the beautiful mountains. It was great. We then
had our studies and lunch and then went to to church to plan our
lesson for Sunday and a lesson we had later that night. After we went
to Naruse to Kubari. My Japanese was in a weird funk, I kept mixing
words together. I pushed through it and it started to make sense. We
talked to a good amount of people but sadly no one was interested.
After our Kubari we went to the bakery to buy a snack to hold us over.
One of the many things I love about Japan is that they love French
style bakeries and pastries and it is inexpensive, it is a win win
situation. We then went back to the church to have district meeting.
The other elders in my apartment did a training on faith, it was
really good. After the meeting we taught Suzuki he is kind of an
eternal investigator (someone that is investigating for a very long
time). He comes to church every week but has no intentions of moving
forward. He is a very shy person. After at sports night we played
catch with him, my companion loves baseball so he taught us a few
tricks of the game. We then played basketball with about fifteen 12
year olds. They love the missionaries since we are big tall white
people. They kept asking me to dunk, sadly I can't, but we had an
enjoyable time playing with them. One of the kids names Dan and my
name in Japanese is said as Dan so they all love to scream my name
hoping one of us will answer. After sports night we came home and I
made us some of my Dads famous Flapjacks, they were totally natsgashi
(nostalgic), and made for a great ending to my day.

土曜日 Saturday
Our morning began with our normal workout routine and studies. After
lunch we went to the house of a family in our ward. We found out he is
on the board of education for machida which is a pretty big deal. I
love their house, they have a giant spiral staircase. Japanese people
know how to use their space very efficiently. They asked about the
where we were from and asked a lot of questions about the farm, they
are amazed with all the space I had back at home. We shared a message
from John 8:12 which says, "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying,
I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in
darkness, but shall have the light of life." We have noticed within
our companionship that the people of Japan just don't seem to smile
much, so we try and focus a lot on being happy. It was a good message.
We then ran to the eki to get on the train to get to shinyurigoka for
a huge bi-zone blitz! There were about 60 missionaries in one town. It
was awesome. We went on splits with a bunch of missionaries. I went
with Elder Fukuchi, who is in my district, streeting and we taught a
high school student about the Book of Mormon and Jesus Christ. I went
kubaring with Elder Wanacott who is from Maryland. Then went housing
with Elder VanDyken who is from Australia! It was pretty eventful!
After splitting back with Elder Crandall we went to Machida to meet up
with our ward mission leader, his less active brother and another less
active member in our ward for dinner. Our ward mission leader
recommended either all you can eat pizza or okonomiyaki. We decided on
okonomiyaki, the place was so cool. We sat on a raised platform, cross
legged and there was a giant stove in front of us, then we order food
and they keep on beinging it for two hours! It was delicious! I took a
time lapse video of the experience; it should be on the blog. Oddly
enough after eating that much I didn't feel as bad as I normal do
after eating so much since a majority of the food were vegetables. We
them walked home from machida to work off some of those new-found

日曜日 Sunday
We got up and ready for church then went to the church to talk to
members coming in. It was great to talk to the members. Sacrament
meeting was great, I understood more than I did last week. I have been
keeping a dictionary out with me for looking up new words. After the 3
hour block, we had a meeting with the youth in our ward about
missionary work. It was a lot of fun. We had a ton of fun teaching the
youth. My companion and I taught how to house. After we went home and
made some Chinese food. We then went and did some housing. We found a
new potential investigator it was exciting, sadly he didn't have much
interest. We talked to a few more people but not many people would
talk to us. So when we came in I made us crepes. It was delicious.

I hope you all are doing well back at home!

Love you all!

Elder Nathan Dunn

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