Hey everybody, today marks the beginning of the last five months of my mission. Everybody says that missions go way too fast, and it`s true! I was hoping that talking a lot about how little time is left would make it feel like it`s taking longer, but I`ve discovered that there`s really absolutely nothing you can do to make it go slower at this point in my mission. You just have to keep on working your hardest and accept that it will all be over too soon.
We`ve been able to pick up the work a bit this week. "S"-san quit smoking! She`s been good for more than a week now and doesn`t show any signs of returning to cigarettes. She`s also been reading from the Book of Mormon, which brought her to the infamous Murder of Laban scene. I think we managed to help her understand it, but it still can be a tough part to place at the very beginning. Our other investigators are doing pretty well; "T"-san still has no desire to be baptized, but hopefully he`ll feel something soon. "K"-kun wanted to know about apostles, but we were kind of sidetracked with the lesson. We`ll be able to meet all of our investigators this week again, finally, which will be nice after this long holiday season.
Also, I went on splits with Mendoza Choro. According to our phone, we walked 16 kilometers, a new record almost! It was very, very cold, and we were unable to teach lessons or find new investigators or anything, but it was still pretty good! We found a tasty Chinese restaurant. The waitress hardly spoke any Japanese. I asked her `どちらから来ましたか？‘ (Where are you from). And she just looked at me. I changed to 出身はどこですか？ (Where is your birthplace?) with more confusion. Finally, I just asked 日本に来る前に、中国にいましたか？(Before you came to Japan, did you live in China?) and finally got to the point where we could stick to Chinese. When we left, I tried explaining that I wanted an Eikaiwa poster hung up, which I could mostly do in Chinese, but I forgot the word for `to hang up`, so I tried asking in Japanese. このポスターを貼ることが出来ますか？ which she responded by saying `Wo de mingzi?` (my name?). Needless to say, I had to kind of mime putting a poster up to get her to understand, but she said that they could do it!
That was pretty much the highlights of this week! Other minor stuff that happened: Zone Training Meeting with Whitrod Choro and I training on member missionary work, interviews with Smith Kaicho mostly focusing on how to help investigators progress, donut sale at Mr. Donuts that we`ve been taking advantage of too much, and that`s about it! Also, I get to stay in Yamagata this week, and go to Fukushima the week after! And there`s a Chinese recent convert who they want me to try teaching, so we`ll see how it goes!
By the way, for those who don`t know, today is the day when Japanese people celebrate those who turn twenty years old! In Japan, you are a real adult from the age of twenty. Apparently, they have ceremonies that celebrate these young people making the next step in their life`s journey. Unfortunately, one of the main things they celebrate is the ability to drink and smoke, so it`s probably not best to go.
That`s about it. Baibai!
Elder Kirk Earl