Monday, July 11, 2011

July 10, 2011

Well, it`s been a long first week of the transfer. Himeji is a great place and I`m still getting used to being senpai (senior companion).
Transfer day is Thursday, but since Shingu is so far away we have to leave on Wednesday at 3 in the afternoon and spend the night at another missionary apartment.
This is what the outside of the Shingu building looks like. The apartment is directly above it.

We called Tsuboi Kyodai that afternoon to make sure his surgery went ok and if he got home safely. He sounded fine and I kind of just said my farewell. As we walked to the Eki (Train Station), Tsuboi Kyodai was standing at the bus stop right outside of our apartment, in the rain, with a gift-wrapped tie in his hand. He does that everytime missionaries leave (he did it for Nishio Choro too) but I told him to stay home and rest because he had surgery. He was waiting to take the bus to the train station where he would say goodbye. Takamaru Shimai came also with her daughter and daughter`s boyfriend so the four of them saw me off. It was really great. I miss that place more than I thought I would. It`s not easy being out there, but you do really build relationships with people. It`s such a small really don`t have a choice.
Shingu members came to say goodbye to me at the Eki.

Himeji is good. We`ve worked pretty hard since I got here. As I expected, there aren`t any progressing investigators out here, just a lot of people that are kind of in contact with the missionaries. I`ll be spending a lot of time on the phone now that I`m senpai, and in that there are lots of people that need to be called and re-contacted. It`ll take some getting used to.
This is Himeji city.
This is the Himeji-jo, the most famous and without question the biggest castle in Japan.

Before I came here, for whatever reason, I thought that Himeji-jo would be out in the middle of nowhere because it`s so big. Wrong. It is the center of the city. You can see it right when you step outside the train station. Himeji is also a big crowded city. This is probably my second most tokai (metropolitan) area after Kobe. The area surrounding the castle is covered with parks and museums and it`s absolutely beautiful. It is a huge bummer that they will be fixing the castle for the next four or so years, but even so, this place is beautiful. I can`t even imagine how coveted it must have been by missionaries about a year ago before they started the construction.

We`ve done a lot of streeting which was really different, I hadn`t really streeted for two transfers since I was in the dai-inaka (the boondocks) for my last two. On Friday, we were able to find three investigators which I felt really good about. In Kobe, it was totally normal for us to find five investigators a day, but that was all because of Elder Bowman. I just followed him around and sort of acted like I knew what was going on. It`s definitely different being in the driver`s seat but I think I can get used to it.
The massive Himeji central park. I love walking around parks and talking to people, it`s much more natural than the street.

There`s a recent convert our here named Ikeda Kyodai who got baptized in April but seems like a life-long member. His apartment is plastered with church related material. We had an after-baptism lesson with a nine-year old recent convert of one week there. I definitely want to pass her off to the primary president. Anyway, he was awesome.

At church yesterday, a couple walked in the door name Ono. The husband was baptized a long time ago, as a child, but was never really active. His father died recently and had been telling him that he needed to return to church his whole life. He now has a baby and said he thinks that he wants to create a good atmosphere in his home for his family and he knows that he has to come back to church for that. That was awesome and a miracle, the problem was he simply wouldn`t commit. I nearly begged to meet with him sometime, but he wouldn`t make time. He really wants to go sukoshi zutsu ("a little at a time"), said he doesn`t know if he can ever keep the commandments. He said he won`t come back to church for another month. I was able to get their contact information so it`s a start.

The 4th of July sounds way fun. I hope everyone had a good time.

Glad Sam is doing well too. I did all of those things except for the Nissan factory. I can`t wait to go back.

Well, I`m running out of time. Talk to you next week!

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