Tuesday, February 21, 2012

February 20, 2012

Feburary is already almost over.

So last Monday evening was yet another really great night. I 兄弟 took us to a very, very, very famous restaurant in Marugame called "Rone." You`ve probably been there. It has been open in the exact same spot for 41 years. The owner and his wife were some of the first converts in Marugame, he was the second branch president. Anyway, I 兄弟 is really good friends with them and they will feed us for free if he brings us. They learned how to make pizza in San Francisco and then opened a tiny little shop underneath their apartment.

It is the most charming restaurant I think I`ve ever been in. It is all cabin themed, log benches and wooden tables. It also has little hints of Japanese culture here and there like kokeshi dolls and fans on the walls. The soundtrack playing in there probably hasn`t changed in 41 years either. It`s really like walking into a black and white movie. The owner said that if you lived in the Sakaide branch 23 years ago, you`ve definitely been there. The entire branch would come over for activities and he`d feed them for free. The pizza was incredible too. I don`t know that I`ve ever had better pizza.

Before we went there we also went to get our hair cut by a former investigator. We`d been going to 1000円 QB house before but I found in the area book that a place called "Heartful" will give missionaries free hair-cuts. Sure enough, they did. And it wasn`t just a a hair cut. I`ve never been so pampered in my life. It was a really great place and some of the employees might be teachable if we go again.

We had Valentines Day here too. We had Eikaiwa (English Class) so all of the students brought us chocolate. They LOVED hearing me talk about high school dances in America. It`s always a surprise to hear what English students think is interesting about American culture.

We had of course yet another lesson with Y。 Basically she won`t be baptized until her 18 year old daughter who was baptized in October is finished with Juken (Entrance Exams).  I really, really, really hope we can get some fire under her. There is branch conference on March 11 and that will really help her. She met the Zinkes once before and absolutely loves them.

We went finding one morning near Tadotsu port and decided to eat lunch out there. Of course, all that`s out there is udon noodle shops and sailors. I wish I could`ve filmed what happened when we walked in to an udon place for lunch. The place had a line right to the door and everyone eating there is sailors and it`s ear-ringing loud with slurping. When we walked in, the slurping halted and everyone was staring at Maris 長老 with their mouths wide open while their udon slips off of their chopsticks. It was straight out of a cartoon. We still laugh about it.

It started snowing again on Saturday. It snowed all day, and of course melted as it hit the ground.

We were having a lesson with T兄弟 Saturday evening in the church and the church phone rang. It was a Korean man named Kim (is there any Korean who isn`t a Kim?) that said he had interest in learning about the "Mormon Church" and meeting Americans and said that he would come to church tomorrow if that was ok. It was a really good thing that we were there to answer the phone. The church actually overhauled the system so now people call our cell-phone if they look up the church on the internet since the church sits empty most of the week and nobody answers that phone.

I talked to Y san on the phone on Saturday night and she said she was really excited to come to church because Elder Nakatsuka, the area seventy was coming. She said if it snows over night that they`re walking, very jokingly. We woke up on Saturday night and everything was covered in about an inch of snow. Really shocking. I just laughed. Of course, it all started melting as soon as the sun came out. I asked Y Shimai if she had walked to church the next day, it was pretty funny.

I got to talk to Elder Nakatsuka a little bit before sacrament meeting. He DOES remember Elder Chris Low very clearly, he said. He said you were a great missionary and to say hello. He gave a fantastic talk in sacrament meeting. He always does, he`s an extremely charismatic speaker. He talked about his conversion. He was the second convert in his hometown of Yonago where he still lives. He didn`t include this part, but Yonago is now one of two wards in the mission that regularly has over 100 people in attendance. He`s a pretty awesome man. The distirct president was also here and he spoke. I was the other speaker. I was really nervous. I had no idea I would be speaking the day that an area seventy and the district president were in attendance.

We had a lesson with Kim after sacrament. He`s a little かわている (different) but teachable. We will meet with him during the week. He thinks coming to church will eliminate discrimination in the world since his biggest concern is that he can`t get a job in Japan because he`s not Japanese.

I meant to write this last week, but 山西姉妹 (Sister Yamanishi) is absolutely an angel. Her back is extremely bent because she still works in her field and grows vegetables, so in a normal stance, she barely reaches my stomach. Last sunday, she started pulling on the corner of my suit coat to get my attention. She took her Liahona magazine out of the plastic celophane wrap that it gets mailed in and then took four sweet potatoes out of her purse, put them in the plastic wrap and then handed them to me. I think mom would be very proud to hear that I ate all four of them. They actually weren`t that sweet which is why I liked them. They were like baked potatoes, I put them in the toaster and then put butter and salt and pepper on them. She gave us more food this week. She has to look straight up to look me in the eye, it`s really cute.

I am absolutely shocked to hear abour Brother Hansen. He did many many wonderful things for Jacob and I when we were young men. I hope they`ll be ok. I even remember once when only Curtis Muson and I showed up to go to the temple and he ended up baptizing the two of us and a whole group of young girls since they were short on priesthood holders. I remember him saying his back hurt so bad. Brother Anderson took us out to the Mandarin in Bountiful afterwards. I tell that story to companions all the time.

I love that a vacuum and dryer are the biggest news from Farmington, Utah. Some things just don`t change I guess.

I realized last night that I haven`t really taken many pictures this week. Sorry. I realize pictures are the most fascinating thing I send home. As you can see, McDonald`s has moved on to the Broadway burger with spicy relish. I almost feel ashamed that I`m writing about this...but not enough to not write about it.

I guess that`s all I`ve got. As always, let met know if you have questions. Until next week!

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