Sunday, August 25, 2013

Week Eleven

Near the train station here at Ichinoseki.
Hello family! This week has been pretty interesting. As the time goes by, the things that used to seem so unusual and weird about Japan have become less and less strange. I`m pretty sure I`m entering the culture shock phase where I start getting somewhat irritated with things that aren`t like they are in America. Lately, posture has been something I`ve been corrected about constantly. The Japanese can`t stand any deviation from perfect posture, so it`s been somewhat irritating. The food, while delicious, is also kind of unfilling, and I`ve definitely begun to miss the treats you sent me at the MTC. Biking is usually pretty fun, except when it`s extremely hot and humid and I have to go uphill, or when Katayama Choro gets us lost, which happens fairly often. Thankfully, the hot season should be over soon, and then biking will be a lot nicer.

I think it was another festival, but I`m not sure what.
 I think each city around here has it`s own local traditions.
On a better note, we had the firework festival just a few days ago, and since it gets dark much earlier here than in Utah, we actually made it back to our apartment reasonably on time. I have some pictures from the show that I`ll send later, but just know that they were much more spectacular than anything I`ve seen in Utah, even though we`re in backwoods Japan.

I understand more about this city now. One interesting thing about this city is that there`s an unusually high number of mentally ill people! Kind of strange, but usually they`re not dangerous at least. I`m trying to avoid drinking the water; it`s one of those poor areas that people who can leave end up doing. We have a lot of less active members listed, but most of them have moved away to nicer cities where there are jobs. The area is certainly beautiful, though. And the members are very kind, giving us fruit baskets each week as well as drinks when we visit them. The branch mission leader is actually pretty funny. We go every week to have family home evening with him, which means apple curry (not my favorite) and ice cream!

I have to go to many members` houses to do mogis with them, which has been interesting. Hopefully I`ll be able to do real lessons well soon enough. In fact, I`m meeting with a real investigator for the first time tonight, and I`ll be teaching about God and families! Wish me luck!
Also, here`s an ancient house we visited! More than 100 years old.
Japanese culture point (I`ll do one of these a week, I doubt I`ll ever run out of things to say):
In Japan, most people have intercoms on their doorbells, so rather than actually answering the door, they`ll talk to you through it. They can see you, but you can`t see the person inside. I`ll send a picture later. We call it the *not interested* tool.

Anyhow, talk to you later! I`ll be sure to send photos in about four or so hours!

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