Hello again. This transfer is just flying by. I'm now entering the final week. I will be receiving a transfer call (in Kobe is just President McIntyre telling me when I run into him in the office) a week from tomorrow. We'll see what happens.
A week ago today it snowed like crazy. It's snowed a few times here, but only for an hour or so and it evaporates as soon as it hits the ground. This week, it was all day and it was sticking. Crazy. I'll attach some pictures.
Tuesday was our zone conference with the Kobe and Akashi zones. That was fun. President McIntyre made a point of talking about what Elder Cook said while they were together. He wanted to make sure that we knew how impressed he was with every single missionary: that everyone looked and behaved like a missionary. He also said that he originally planned to talk about the Doctrine of Christ and Extending Commitments, but he really didn't talk about either at all.
I've been on a lot of exchanges this week. We had Kuroda Choro from KitaRokko (Maeda Choro, the old office elder was doing some training for Johnson Choro, the new office elder again) with us Wednesday afternoon and then Johnson Choro with us Wednesday night, because his companion, Osaka Choro, was doing translation at another zone conference. Thursday, I went on an exchange with McLaws Choro, the other AP. We definitely get bounced around a lot here.
The Wakayama zone leaders were here to exchange with the AP's on Thursday. One of them is Elder Everrett. How do you know his mom again? He said he was born in Machida so I assume that has something to do with it.
So, this week, more than ever, people on the street have immediately assumed I'm Nihonjin. I'm pretty puzzled. It's usually before I speak too. As soon as I start talking, they get really confused. I get it at least 3 times a day.
It got really warm by the end of the week. We went for totsuzen (surprise) visits to members on Saturday morning and it was beautiful. Everyone was outside playing, walking, and being friendly to each other. We stopped to talk to a guy in front of a high school and these girls were playing tennis and some rugby type game. I wanted to take a video; they way they do things is just so different and so fascinating. They were practicing volley's and they were just screaming each other the whole time saying "AH! GOMEN!" ("Oh, sorry!") or "NICE VORE!" ("Nice Volley!") Straight out of a video game.
On Saturday we found James from Uganda. I can't imagine what it's like to Dendo in Africa. It was like we were long lost best-friends as soon as we say Jesus Christ.
Yesterday we had 8 people commit to come to church, and five of which we were certain would be there. Only two showed up.
Happy birthday Randy! I totally remembered yesterday while walking around Motomachi that it was your birthday. Do you need shoes? If you can figure out your Japanese shoe size and tell me (hopefully it's not too big), I can get some SICK shoes for way cheap.
That sommerset newsletter is pretty cool. That's very nice of Sister Stanley to do.
We heard about the new mission president. Nobody knows if he speaks Japanese or not yet. Everyone is biting their nails over that I think. I'm sure he is called to the work. I can't lie though, I will really miss the McIntyres. They're driving us to Osaka in an hour or so for crab tabehodai. Yeah, they're awesome.
So last p-day we were shopping in Uniqlo. Cool store. Anyway, I heard a Brooke White song in there and nearly fainted. Heck, I'd be excited to hear her music in a store in the U.S. I never at all, thought I'd hear it in Japan.
Last story. Yesterday, we met with Ryu Koto (Chinese investigator who became a yakusokusha (committed to come to church) last week but had to work yesterday and couldn't come to church) at night by Motomachi station. He has a Chinese friend in Australia who got baptized and is really pushing him along to meet with us. The language barrier is tough, even harder than O-san's. He is a pure spirit though. Anyway...he's done a ton of research about the church. Jubun no ichi (Tithing) really freaked him out so we talked about that. As we walked him back to the Eki (train station), he pulled his iPhone out and showed me a picture of David Archuleta and said "morumon kyo, desho?" ("a Mormon, right?") I was shocked. Apparently, he's a huge fan. The only way he could express it was "kare wa....ichiban suki." ("I'm a huge fan.") I honestly thought that faze of my life was over. That name just keeps following me wherever I go. I decided to tell him that I had met him and that he's a pretty nesshin (dedicated) member.
That should be all. Have a good week!