Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Week Seventeen

Ohayou Gozaimasu, family!

This week has been pretty fun. We have been trying hard to find new investigators, because the Sendai mission has a goal of finding one new investigator per week per companionship. We weren`t able this week to accomplish that, but we did have other success. For example, we were riding past a public park yesterday evening where only two people were playing soccer. Dowdy Choro said that we should probably go back and talk to the people, so we turned around half a block later. As we were talking to them, the father told us that he was a friend of Y (B) from our branch, so he had a good impression of Mormons. He even had been helped by the church and Y

(B) in particular after the tsunami destroyed his home in Ofunato. He was really nice and even let us exchange phone numbers and possibly meet again for soccer, which Dowdy Choro actually enjoys doing, thankfully.

We also went to another touristy area, Genbikei! Like Geibikei, it is a river gorge, but it looks way different. The river goes through a low, rocky canyon with an unusual turquoise colour. I`ll have to send you the pictures, because it`s rather difficult to explain it properly. But it was really fun! We also tried to order the flying dumplings, which is where you put money in a basket, hit a board, and have fresh dumplings sent back to you, but it closed right as we walked up. We`ll perhaps try again on a P-Day in the future. When Dowdy Choro told a store worker that he was from Australia, the guy went and got his 2000 Sydney Olympics picture book that he had taken. We were able to invite him to Eikaiwa, so perhaps we`ll see him again.

We`re hoping to really do a lot of work this week! We have a few lessons set up and will hopefully be able to pick up some new investigators this week. Also, tomorrow we`re going to Hiraizumi for the lego exhibit of World Heritage Sites. I`ll be sure to send you pictures of that too!

Cultural Point: People in Japan traditionally buy souvenirs for everyone back home when they go on vacation, so there`s lots of stuff available to buy. Especially treats with the name of the touristy place on the wrapper. Be prepared for something of that type in gift packages.


Earl Choro

Well, in Japan the traditional thing to do would be to clean my grave and give me some offering, which would seem to indicate the sending of a package of my favourite food. Sounds like things are still fun back home. I`m sure Andrew would be disappointed that Hannah didn`t do everything like that, but it`ll be fine. I knew a lot of people at the MTC who didn`t do any of the stuff like that, and they made it here to Japan at least.

Week Sixteen

Well, this week has been pretty exciting as two new missionaries have come in to Ichinoseki! First of all, my new trainer Dowdy Choro is so cool. The other new missionary is Wolthius Choro, who is actually from Pleasant Grove. He said he had seen me at school before. He`s a football player. (By the way, I think his mom is on the missionary mom`s thing, so you can tell her that he`s probably going to be online at about midnight your time). It`s been really strange having so many gaijin in this town. I feel like I`m learning a lot of new things. For example...

Fun dendo! We were able to go to the touristy resort of Geibikei on Saturday. Because the purpose was dendo, it was OK to do it on a normal day. It was so pretty, it looks like the Chinese landscape paintings. Don`t worry, I took tons of pictures, so be prepared to be bombarded. We were even able to take the boat that they take into the gorge, which was really cool. Our boat drive used a pole to push us through the steep canyon, and she also sang the Geibikei song (which I recorded, but probably won`t be able to send because it`s a huge video). When we got out, you could buy some clay stamped with kanji representing different blessings. You then tried to throw them into a hole on the other side of the river. It`s pretty easy for us gaijin, so I should have a few blessings in store!

We were able to talk to a few people in interesting ways there. I wanted to try the ice cream, so I asked the shop-owner which flavour was best. She told me it was the edamame one (Dowdy Choro was hoping she`d say tofu, but this was sufficiently weird). It really wasn`t that bad, but a mom and her daughter were laughing at me as I ate it. While waiting to take the train back to Ichinoseki, they came onto the same platform! We were able to have a nice conversation, starting with discussing the food, but we were even able to hand out chirashi about the church and Eikaiwa. They were really nice, but they live in Kanto, so hopefully missionaries down there find them.

Also, as we were walking near the station, a woman in a tourist services uniform ran up to us asking if we were baptising people in the area. We didn`t know what she meant by that, but eventually found out that she wanted our help with English tourist brochures. She might come to Eikaiwa where we can help her with that.

We also went to one apartment complex that we felt prompted to visit. At the first door, a little girl came running up when we told her through the door about Eikaiwa. She said she wanted to go, but she`d check with her dad. At the other door, a woman and her three year old baby got to the door. At first, she said she wasn`t interested, but we talked for a bit, and eventually she said that she`d be willing to meet again. Her daughter was so cute, she wouldn`t stop waving to us as we left!

Anyhow, that`s basically my week. It`s becoming really fun, and the new missionaries are really helping me enjoy the area! 

P.S. I`ve started buying souvenirs! Tanoshine kudasai!

Earl Choro

Cultural Point:

Now that it`s harvest season, there are tons of farmers putting rice stalks on poles. I`ll have to get pictures, but it`s very interesting looking. I know this was kind of lame, but I figure the Geibikei story was worth a few cultual points.

[From Zach: I apologize for running behind on updates, I'll be getting back on a schedule soon.