This week has been pretty interesting. I`ll go day by day to make sure I get everything.
On Monday afternoon, we went to a member`s house, the Endos, and helped the children build a snow playground. Since the snow was nearly four feet high, we were able to continue the elaborate tunnel system the Olsen Choro-tachi had built last time. I scooped out a `kamakura` or igloo near the edge of the pile of snow. The children told me that it was `meccha ooki` or `really big`. It`s funny hearing the boys, Enoku, Noa, and Amotsu, talk to each other. It`s not exactly the most polite Japanese! However, it was really fun and we felt like it was a good way to spend district P-day. We then got fed curry and shared a spiritual message.
On Tuesday, we went with an Eikaiwa student to the `most delicious ramen shop in Yamagata Prefecture`. It was, indeed, extremely good. It was also in a small town called Akayu a few train stations away from Yonezawa, so it was interesting going there! Whitrod Choro and I had to run to catch our train, but we reached the platform just as the train was pulling up to the station. We tried visiting an old referral who lived way out in the middle of nowhere after getting off at a station midway between Akayu and Yonezawa. However, only grandma was there, and she wasn`t all that helpful. We decided to walk back to Yonezawa since the road between the station and her house seemed a bit dangerous at night due to heavy traffic and no sidewalk. Let`s just say that it ended up being a long winter hike back, but we didn`t die at least! While waiting in Aeon for our bus, we saw Mythbusters playing on the TV. That was something I hadn`t seen in a while!
Wednesday was "H"-san`s lesson. We had Yamaguchi Shimai, a recent convert, joint for her first time and it went awesome! We were able to teach a good lesson on baptism and confirmation, though we ended up talking about the priesthood as well unexpectedly. It`s nice having women as joints when the conversation turns to women and the priesthood. We also taught "T"-san about Thomas S. Monson. Then, we had Eikaiwa, which was Kids` Class for me and Whitrod Choro. Only one boy came, so it was pretty easy!
Thursday, we had Chinese lunch at the international association. It was fun! They always think that Chinese speaking Gaijin are interesting. The Chinese people there remember my Chinese name now and pretty much only speak to me in Chinese. It turns out that one of the Chinese ladies there was a past investigator. She still seems interested in meeting, but she`s unfortunately busy right now. We`ll try working with her though! We then taught Yamaguchi Shimai and finished her AB (after baptism) lessons!
Friday was weekly planning, district meeting, and a canceled lesson.
Saturday was splits with Olsen Choro. We had a good time walking around shoveling snow, talking to random people, finding an Iranian restaurant that we will definitely be trying soon, eating ramen with a Chinese PI of the other two elders, and teaching "S"-san. It was an interesting day for sure!
And finally, Sunday. We took the early train out of Minami-Yonezawa and got into infamous Fukushima a bit before nine. It`s an incredible place. Despite just being an hour away, the weather is completely different: warm and not a trace of snow. The members are extremely kind, giving us a very generous fruit basket. However, it`s a really sad place. They don`t have any missionaries due to fears of radiation, yet the ward members live there full-time. The ward mission leader talked to us about his hopes for missionary work there, but the lack of missionaries really makes everything difficult. The ward has been slowly getting smaller and smaller as people move to safer places without a chance for any converts. Thankfully for me, I didn`t have to teach a personalized lesson to the Chinese lady this time. However, it`s obvious that her understanding of Japanese probably is an obstacle to her gospel understanding. If I don`t transfer next week, I`ll probably be teaching her the AB lessons again. In less pleasant news, our three investigators who were supposed to go to Sacrament meeting in Yonezawa didn`t show up. Hopefully we`ll see them next week!
That`s about it! I`ll send pictures in the following emails!