Monday, August 8, 2011

August 8, 2011

It`s been a really eventful week. I`m not sure what to write about.

There`s a recent convert here who is mentally ill that we met with on Monday. He calls us all day every day but doesn`t pick up the phone. Just lets it ring once and then hangs up.

We also met with Fujio Kyodai who is a relatively new convert.
This is Fujio Kyodai. Any guesses at his age? 18? 23? ....yeah, it`s 34. This was actually taken on his birthday
There are lots of less-actives in our ward and all of them have really strong faith. They all know the church is true and know that they are supposed to be going. They just won`t because they've been offended at one time. We really need to be careful about how we behave in church, but we also need to be careful as to how easily we are offended and how slow we are to forgive.
We had zone conference in Kobe as well this week and it was great. There were tons of new missionaries and TONS of departing missionaries that bore their testimonies. There was something really weird about this group of departing missionaries` testimonies. They don`t seem like "old" missionaries to me. They all were just past their halfway mark when I got here. I realize now that I`m about to hit MY half-way mark and I`m going to be where they were when I came to the mission. That`s fast! Elder Johnson who I lived with for one transfer in Kobe was in that group, so was Elder Bunderson. One that really surprised me was Sister Murdock. Gaijin sisters go home after 11 transfers but she has to go home one early for school. She was living in Kobe when I got to the mission and I remember other missionaries saying "wow Sister Murdock, you`re already on your 5th transfer!" Now she`s going home and I`m about to start my 7th. It`s weird how fast it can seem.
On Wednesday we did an exchange with Kakogawa. I exchanged with Elder Nuttall, the district leader already this transfer so I went with Elder Stanford while Elder Nuttall and Elder Shimizu worked together. He is a second transfer missionary from Morgan, Utah. He used to live on a military base in Sagamihara and talked about how he and his brothers would go play at Machida Eki on Saturdays. It`s like that place calls my name every day I`m here. He is a great missionary. It`s weird having missionaries ask me for advice as the older missionary. I still don`t feel like I`m done doing that yet.
We visited the Nishikawa couple last night. Nishikawa Shimai is 100% Japanese but grew up in Brazil speaking zero Japanese. She has a very Brazillian personality and accent and it`s awesome. Nishikawa Kyodai served in Sapporo around 1978 and had a picture of the meetinghouse in Wakkanai.
I`m glad I got to meet Sister Okazaki. She came to see A Thousand Cranes and also came and met us right after we were cast and the show was still being discussed and the concept decided. She seemed really healthy then. She drove herself down from Salt Lake in her own car...both times.
I`m glad to hear that two more missionaries returned to our ward. I remember when both of them left. I`m sure it is a relief to be finished with all of the summer camps as well. Somehow, I`m going to dodge outdoor activities in my adult-hood. I don`t know how, but I still know that I`m not a camping person. There are many, many reasons why I was sent to Japan, I think.
I guess that`s all for this week. Have a good one!
These are....yes...asparagus wrapped in bacon flavored potato chips.

We visited Koko-en, the gardens and former living quarters for servants and soldiers next to Himeji-jo. It was quite a pleasant surprise. I couldn`t believe how pretty it was. It`s probably packed in the fall and during Sakura season.




Most of the doorways in the castle are that small. People really have grown taller through the years.





Random picture of the moat. I still can`t believe how big it is. You could go boating in there.

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