Monday, September 16, 2013

Week Fifteen

Get ready for a lot of words! I`ll try to go in chronological order of all the stuff that`s happened around here.
First, we had our zone conference up in Morioka. This is the meeting that only happens every three months, so it was really good. We heard nice things about how we should have more faith to bring people into the church and how we should focus more on prayer and the Book of Mormon. We also ate at one of those rotating sushi restaurants. Unfortunately, I don`t have pictures, but it would be somewhat difficult to capture it anyways. It was really cool though! You can take food off of the conveyor belt or order specific items via computer. The computer will ring when your food is moved in front of your table. It was somewhat expensive, but not as bad as I was afraid it would be.
After the zone conference, though, me and Katayama Choro were planning on running to the bus so that we could back to Ichinoseki on time for seminary. However, the mission president gave us a ride in his car instead! While we were driving back, he had us do a mogi (mock lesson, but we always use the Japanese word, so I`ll probably not translate it again). It actually went really well, which of course made me quite happy. He said we had really impressed him!  We were very glad to make it back in time for all of the activities scheduled for the branch.
Also, we were able to teach one lesson. We were able to schedule appointments for the next week with the other investigators and PI`s, so we`ll be busy next week! Also, the Hills are coming soon.. All we know about them is that they love sports, and that Sister Hill doesn`t know Japanese. Should be interesting for her...
The first transfer is finished, so we eagerly awaited the schedule of the new missionaries. The call came, and it turns out that Katayama Choro is getting a new missionary and I`m getting a new Australian trainer, Dowdy Choro! We`ll all be here in Ichinoseki, so it won`t be too difficult. I think the president wanted people in both companionships to know the people who we`ll be talking to. But, I`ll get to go back to Sendai tomorrow for a few hours, so I`m kind of excited about that!

Finally, we`re in the middle of a major typhoon right now, the power went off in our apartment a few times, but at least the church is a beacon of electrical light right now. As we were going shopping this P-day, the power went off in the store. The store clerks had to use simple calculators to add up our purchases, as the storm raged outside. It`s really raining like crazy and the wind is blowing hard, but at least we`re at a reasonably high elevation, so we`ll probably be safe.
Cultural point!
When you leave someone`s house, you either say `ojama shimashita` or `shitsure shimashita`, which both mean `I`m committed a rudeness`. Also, you can say the same thing but with `shimasu` when you enter a house. Then it`s more like `I`m going to be rude`.
Matta ne!
Earl Choro

Week Fourteen

By the way, sorry for not writing yesterday. Hopefully mom didn`t worry. We had tried to, but the door to the branch president`s office was locked. We tried going somewhere else to write, but they closed early, and the elementary school we went to let us in after waiting an hour, but was blocked as a `cult site`, so we had to give up. Usually we can only write on Monday, but thankfully they let us do this if we really tried our best to avoid it. Also, I got an electronic dictionary yesterday. It is so cool! I got it for 5000 yen less than normal, but I figured out yesterday it doesn`t plug in to charge. I`m pretty sure I can get rechargeable batteries for less than 5000 yen though, so I`m still pleased with my deal.

We finally found an investigator that I think has real potential this week! It was such a cool experience too. We had found him on our first P-Day in Ichinoseki, but we couldn`t meet again until just a few days ago. We were only going to give him a paper for church, but he invited us in and let us teach a lesson! Completely unexpected. He also tried giving us drinks, but he only had tea, coffee, and sake, so we just got water (which we were fine with, he felt bad though). He also gave us grapes, cookies, snacks, etc. I love it when that happens! We taught about God and families, because we could tell that family was important to him (he showed us pictures of his daughter who lives in Chicago and him and his wife visiting her). He lives with his wife and adult son, so maybe we`ll be able to teach a family for the first time. He doesn`t believe in God yet, but I felt like he really pondered over our message and might have a chance of being converted. I don`t want to get my hopes up too high right now, but the other foreign missionary in our district said that it is quite unusual.
Also, we went to Morioka for our zone training meeting, which is a much bigger city than Ichinoseki. I wouldn`t mind being transfered there after Ichinoseki. We ate Chinese food there, which was of course delicious.
I got Sichuan Ramen, so it was a lot spicier than anything else I`ve eaten here for a long time. Other than that, we`ve spent the week preparing for the new missionaries coming. There will soon be four of us in the apartment, and two couple missionaries as well! I`m guessing we`ll be almost completely foreign too, other than my trainer. It`ll be interesting for sure.
People in the branch say my Japanese has improved, so I have that at least. Also, I had allergies for a while, but now that I remember to take my pills, it`s completely stopped, thank goodness.
Anyhow, I`ll try sending a few pictures.
Bye bye

I forgot my cultural point again!

This is kind of a funny one too. You remember how Grace used to use those funny onamotepia like `waaa`, `baam`, etc.? Well, the Japanese do the same thing, except it`s normal for them. It`s a part of adult language as well as children`s language in this country. In fact, I`ve heard the exact same ones that Grace has used before. It`s so funny! In Japanese, even emotional states have onamotepia associated with them, which makes it even better! I love this language.

Also, on the crowded train to Morioka (crowded as in there was literally no room for any more people to stand anywhere in the train), I saw a girl who I think is Grace`s sister seperated at birth. She had the same thick, difficult-to-control hair as Grace, the same facial expressions. She even had almost the exact same school uniform that Grace wore to Timpanogos Academy, which is actually fairly rare as most Japanese girls where sailor style suits to school.

Right now, I really am very much enjoying this mission experience. It`s been a good time recently here.