Monday, December 5, 2011

December 5, 2011

It`s December now.
I`m sorry this is so late. I assume you`re all asleep now. The internet cafe has been so busy, we had to come back twice before there was space for us. Even so, we`re using one computer at a time so we`ll be here for two hours. Gah. I really wish libraries in Japan were open on Mondays.
I forgot to write possibly the biggest news of the week last week I just realized. Last Sunday, our branch president changed. It`s definitely rare to see that as a missionary I suppose. We only stay in units for 3-5 months on average. Our new branch president is Takara 会長 and he`s really young. He and his wife are expecting their first child. He was the young men`s president before and did such a fantastic job at it that they made him the branch president, I think. He`ll still work very close with the few precious young men the branch has...and watch over all of the おじいちゃん`s and おばあちゃん`s (elderly people) in the branch. He`ll be great and really easy to work with I think. I really admire he and his wife`s sacrifice though. I can`t imagine the stress and pressure. He returns home from work at 8PM daily and he got called right in time for tithing settlement. かわいそう. (Poor man)
We took a the Hattori`s, a member couple that`s been in the branch since the beginning to go visit 竹村 姉妹 and her husband. I think I wrote about her last week. Baptized 30 years ago, went to church for 5, and hasn`t been back since. It`s very interesting to see people catch up after 25 years of not seeing each other. It was good to talk and to help some member`s realize that all of the people that have stopped coming to church still exist.
There`s this guy with a super neck-beard that we see walking around the eki (train station) near our church and apartment everyday. He`s started talking to me a couple times but I can never understand what he`s trying to say, he`s obviously got some sort of mental illness. He looks homeless and uses the world as his toilet. Anyway, I think I wrote about how we found a Chinese investigator in the freezing cold last week (two weeks ago?). Anyway, we went to that Chinese guy`s apartment complex because there was apparently a less-active member living in it but we forgot to write down the room number. Well, this week we went back to follow-up with the Chinese guy and wrote down the less-active`s room number so we could see him as well. I`m guessing you can guess who the less-active was. Yep, neck-beard guy. He invited us in but he was in his underwear. And it smelled really funky. We invited him to church and got out pretty quick. It`s really fascinating to see the variety of people that have come and gone through the church. We visited another one who was baptized 30 years ago, moved twice, and hadn`t been to church since she was baptized, nor had she met or talked to anyone from the church, yet somehow her current address was in the records. She was terrified that we had found her.
We got to see the 森下`s again on Saturday. I really think that 森下姉妹 could make a living as a stand-up comedian. I have trouble not falling out of their couch laughing everytime we go. Their super Shikoku-ben  (dailect) is half of what`s so funny. She always talks about how she used to be skinny (she still is very skinny, I think) because of all the work that she did when she was younger but now all she does is sit and eat. She said she was skinny because 「家をそうじしごはんを作り仕事をししゅじんに仕え」("I honorably served my husband by cleaning and cooking.") and as she said that last one, she put her hands on her thighs and did a super polite bow with this indescribable sarcastic face. She then went on and on about he is a "せんさ" (Shikoku-ben;なにもしない人 ("useless")) because he is a "muakshi no hito" ("ancient") and just expects the woman to do everything. This whole time he`s laughing as well. Those two are just very simple, happy people. I think everyone deservest to be as happy as they are once they reach retirement. I hope their daughter earns a good retirement from their pan`ya (bakery). They are just so exhausted and it`s becoming hard for them to come to church. We just go and clean and then they give us everything that`s left over. I still wish there was more that we could do. 森下姉妹 would say 大変でーー!("It's tough!")
I think that`s about all I have to update on. Transfer lands right before the Christmas party here in Nara. I`m really curious as to what`s going to happen. It can swing either way.
Was this week normal besides the wind storm? Everyone staying busy?
Any questions? I never feel like I have enough to write.
Have a good week!
The giant toy horse is right by a member`s house. I`ve meant to take a picture of it for a while but kept forgetting. Cool right? Playgrounds don`t look very fun here, but they sure are interesting to look at.

I thought I needed to take some pictures of some of the fall colors. It`s めんどくさい (a pain) to jump off your bike everytime you see a pretty tree, but this mountain view was too pretty to pass up.

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