(I am completely fine!)
Well, I guess I should start this off by saying that I'm perfectly fine. We were having our weekly planning session Friday afternoon. I was actually dozing off so I thought I was getting dizzy when I felt the earthquake. It was very weak, barely even noticeable, but it lasted for about 3 minutes. It wasn't until we went to church yesterday that we really knew what had happened. To us it was just a tiny earthquake. We heard little bits and pieces of information here and there, but really didn't know. All of the prayers at church were long and filled with tears. We're really worried about the missionaries up there. A lot of them are friends and there are a couple missionaries in the Kobe mission from that area.
On Tuesday we had our weekly service activity. We never did that in Kobe, Bowman 長老 would have said めんどくさいわ! (What a pain!) It was really fun though. We spent about an hour at a home for oldered mentally handicapped people and they were tons of fun. The place smelled like a barn, but that's ok. We helped them play some very simple card game with numbers. It was almost like your typical kindergarten class. There's the teacher's pet that says 違う! 違う! 違う! (Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!) anytime anyone does anything wrong, there's the smart kid that doesn't say anything, there's the girl with pigtails and too much makeup, there's the one with no teeth but is always smiling, and there's the kid that's picking his nose. We're going back tomorrow.
We found one really solid investigator this week and he's committed to the Word of Wisdom and baptism. He's very cooperative and very knowledgeable about the Bible. Sometimes his interest seems so-so, but I think so long as we continue to meet with him we'll see.
. The pattern I've noticed is that our daily plans always have us passing a 食べ穂代 (All You Can Eat place) where he checks the price and says いつか いこ! (Let's go soon!)
He's also one of the funniest people I've ever met, by far. We were discussing how missionaries in the MTC always mess up the sentence "キリストは悪い人人に殺されました except they use を instead of に turning it from "Christ was killed by bad people" to "Christ honorifically killed bad people." When Matsukura 長老 heard that, he said "十字架?! おまえがはこべ！" ("I'll take you on with my cross!") while swinging around an invisible jujika (cross). I had a serious laugh attack. You know the kind, I was standing in the middle of a crowded 商店街 (shopping street) laughing so hard that I couldn't breath. He also sings me gospel music in English sometimes (he speaks zero English) that missionaries showed him. I'll randomly laugh throughout the day just because of something I remember.
Mitsukawa 長老 got a call from Tokyo this week and he will go to the MTC to learn English on March 28. I have no idea what's going to happen to me then, but for now I just assume we will become a 三人 (threesome) until further notice.
Our first district meeting was with the whole zone. The four of us are a district and we're in the Osaka North zone. It's funny, the Osaka North zone is made up of only ten missionaries. That's the exact same number of missionaries in Kobe. It felt like a normal district meeting to me.
Oh, one thing I remembered. Why did I never know how famous Ii Naosuke is? Anytime I tell someone that I'm a descendant of his, they basically lay an egg. Matsukura 長老 and Mitsukawa 長老 found out this week and nearly died.
Also, Machida is by far the Utah of Japan. We used the brand new Word of Wisdom pamphlet and all of the pictures inside are of members from Machida. Basically any picture in an official church publication is of people from Machida. Any time you say Machida to a member anywhere in Japan, they gasp.
That'll be all for now. Just to make sure everyone knows, I am indeed perfectly fine. A little nausea is the only way the earthquake affected me. Thank you for the information. I still really have no idea as to the whole of the situation. Pray for the people up there. Until next week!
This picture is a view from the Takatsuki apartment. It's not a pretty place, just one narrow street and lots of convenience stores and holes in the wall. I feel like I have a near death experience eveyday on my bike. You can step into any hole in the wall and find amazing food though.
So, on Saturday morning we were told to stay away from rivers or oceanfront completely because of Tsunami warnings. I guess we were naughty.
It's been freezing all week until suddenly yesterday it got really warm. It's warm again today. The junior high next to the church is having graduation right now. It's so noisy. I love it.