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!
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.]