Hello people of the planet!
This week has been a long one, I said goodbye to a great mission friend Elder Gerard, but I have had the opportunity to welcome a new one right along with it, Elder Choi who is Korean but from Texas. Yeeha!
We cleaned for a little bit after studies then went to the church to go to a meal appointment with a member of our ward! She has a tradition of taking the missionaries out to lunch before transfers every other transfer or so, and since my companion was leaving we went. It was a traditional Japanese food all you can eat place. It was pretty good, you can't knock all you can eat noodles and waffles. After that we went to the church and emailed, then walked around Kichijoji for a little bit, bought groceries and went home and I took a solid nap. We then went to the church and split with the tech staff elders because we had two appointments to go to, Elder Belnap and I Skyped one of our investigators and Elder Gerard and Elder Yamada went with Takikawa San to the Wada's house for family home evening. It was a busy night! Our skype call was good, we found out that he had little interest himself however his children do! Bingo! It worked great so we hope to be getting ahold of them soon.
After studies we hurried to the church to meet with our new friend Danny from China. We went out to ramen with him and learned more about China while we were with him. Sadly he will be returning on Thursday, but thanks to the Internet we will be able to keep in touch! We then went and bought chemicals for cleaning at Seiyu and then returned home so my companion could pack and the rest of us could clean. Since we forgot a few things, Elder Belnap and I went back to Seiyu to buy the rest. As it would so have it, a lady was standing in the doorway with a sign about a Seiyu rewards card. Elder Belnap having the bubbly personality that he does said sure at the offer which landed us signing up for Walmart Cards in Japan...I just hope it works in America...as we were signing up we asked here if it would work in America and her response was priceless, "They have Walmart in America? Ohio too?" Uhhhh...that's where it came from. "Really? I had no idea!" That was a little baffling for us. After we went back to the apartment to finish cleaning. To be honest all we found was more trash but it's cleaner nonetheless. Then went to the church to finish weekly planning! We are so busy it is hard to finish weekly planning here!
After studies we went to the church to finish our new missionary training which just ended up in watching the Rest of the District videos. Pretty easy, but kind of long training. We then went to go and visit Michael but he wasn't home so we housed around the area, I love the contrast in people. Some will just tell you, " I'm so sorry, but I don't have interest, but thank you so much for your hard work." Then there are others, "Go back to your home country where you belong" or they see two tall white men in black coats holding a book and they slam the door with wide eyes. Interesting that's for sure. After that experience we went back to the church ate at a ramen shop, and then handed out fliers in front of Kichijoji Eki (which is huge). It was there I stopped a Chinese couple and talked to them about Eikaiwa, he said " wow, it's free! Okay, I'll see you in an hour!" After kubaring we went to the church to get ready for class and sure enough he was there with his girlfriend! And wouldn't you know it, the Assistants and Sisters were teaching them right there! They both have follow up appointments for later in the week! Talk about meeting prepared people! Our goal is to create a Chinese branch here in Tokyo. Eikaiwa was good, we talked about travel which was cool. Then said goodbye to Michael and went to PEC which I completely forgot about/didn't know was even happening this week. We went and man it was so cool! From the first time I went to today it is night and day! The ward just wants to help all they can! It is so cool! A great way to end the day.
After studies Elder Gerard and I biked over to the church and went to shakeys. It was crazy because the last time we went together was right after we became companions! We then went back, packed up his bike and then he departed. It was kind of sad to see him go. After I went upstairs to the Mission Home because I was companion-less so I was companions with Tech Staff which had me set up more iPads. Then Elder Livingston and I went to the train station to pick up Elder Choi but he was late which was a bummer, then we walked back and got a call saying he was at the north exit. Which is half a kilometer long...so we scoured there looking for him and finally found him! Yay! We went to weekly planning which took a while getting him caught up to speed on everything, then we left and went home for dinner, then back to the church for sports night! A quick night all in all.
We woke up early and played dodgeball with the returning missionaries which was a ball. Then studied and went back to the church for District Meeting! It was the first one of the transfer which was exciting because we have many new people in our district. After that we rode out near Michaels house to visit a Chinese Referral however he wasn't home so we left a note a tracted around the area. Then went to visit Michael who also wasnt home! What a bummer. So we biked home, in the rain, which was freezing!! Warmed up at home and ate dinner, Elder Choi made some Korean food which was superb. Then we went to the church to message a few people, and kubaried near the eki. Since it was raining pretty hard we had a lot of issues with wet fliers. It was just a hard day. After getting soaked and cold we went to visit the last family we had planned for the day, the Chang family. They are so wonderful! We talked to them outside in broken English and Japanese and whatever Chinese we were able to speak to communicate with him. It is amazing how much you can communicate even with a language barrier, mankind truly is amazing! He invited us inside and we sat down and drank some hot water (why we don't drink tea or coffee was pretty hard to explain with hand gestures and broken languages). When we sat down he pulled out his phone to an app similar to google translate and spoke Chinese into it and English came out. Bingo. We are in. We had one of the most amazing experiences of my mission taking turns speaking and truly finding out this mans heart. He has such a great desire to learn about God. It was a great miracle to end our day.
After studies we finished cleaning the apartment, then biked over to Michaels! He was doing alright he has made great strides in quitting smoking. We helped him clean a little bit then shared a simple message he is having surgery soon, so we are helping him prepare for that. After we left our feet were so wet and cold that we biked to the Honbu and helped the other Elders on a few issues they were having and warmed our toes up. We then went to the apartment for dinner and then went to Kubari in front of the eki. I have noticed if you play off of Japanese people's awkwardness it becomes a lot of fun. Mostly because their view of tall white men is somewhat negative. It was enjoyable a family from Indonesia stopped and talked to me as well as two drunk men who used all the English they knew with me (it is actually really easy to spot drunk people in Japan because they are all so red!), and a man who is dating an Italian so he spoke perfect English we actually talked for a while, but sadly he didn't have a whole lot of interest. We then traded out with the assistants and went back to the church to do some contacting! We got ahold of a man named Brian from America, and plan to eat with him this upcoming week!
I was in a hurry so I forgot to eat breakfast, which I have noticed has a direct correlation with my Japanese. So DCS was interesting...I kept forgetting the right word so I was making up all these words that made sense but we're really just funny Japanese. Sacrament meeting was good, then in Sunday school the Yamashitas asked me to translate again...talking about building a boat in Japanese then relating it to a metaphor in our own lives is hard enough in English or listening to it in Japanese, but when it does to interpreting it is near impossible! I tried me best though. Priesthood was combined for fifth Sunday, the Asia North Area Presidency has created a plan for the whole area this year so they shokaied that to everyone. It was pretty funny when they use the culture of anime to inspire the ward members. I lost it a little, but thankfully most the Japanese people also thought it was pretty funny. After church there was a luncheon as a ward. The Yamashitas sat by us so we got to know them better. They are so great, it was fun to learn about their awesome family. After that we ran to the Chinese families house and taught the son English, but he kept asking if their was more we wanted to teach...uh well we are missionaries, so we taught the restoration to him. It was so cool to see how simple the lesson really is that so,some his age could understand it. After that lesson we went straight to Joseys which was awesome! I can't believe I have known him for over 6 months now! He has come such a long way since then and is even considering a mission now! We then ran to the apartment then to Ueki Kyodais for a lesson about light and sharing our light with others. It was good we then ran to the church to sum it statistics and write all the lesson reports for the day. Busy busy busy.
Well this week flew by again.
Elder Belnap, trying to find the swagiest outfit at the recycle shop. We think it is a keeper.
Elder Choi and I!
So the Tech Elders got bored and photoshopped Elder Mukai's head on one of the Assistants bodies.