There was a pretty sunset yesterday. This is behind the castle.
So last Monday while we were at the church, a thirty year old lady walked into the church asking about the free 英会話 (English Class) sign. It was pretty good that she came while we were here. She showed up on Wednesday and was the only student. She just returned to her parent`s house in Ako and has only been here for a month. She does nothing and said she wants to use her head. About 15 minutes into the class, she said that she wanted to learn about Jesus Christ and we just answered her questions for an hour. She was erupting with questions...she couldn`t process information fast enough. It was really awesome. She came to church on Sunday and fit right in, socially. We had a lesson with her. She was still starving for information. She had read half of the seiku gaido (combination of topical guide and Bible dictionary) and the first 8 chapters of the Book of Mormon. She was ready, so we committed her to baptism and she was caught off guard. She made it very clear that she will make no commitment, just wants to learn. We went from there to sacrament meeting (sacrament meeting is last) and she seemed really uncomfortable and disappeared afterwards. She has no cell-phone, so we have no way of contacting her. It was a really magical first meeting, but I guess she needs to be prepared more....which is really sad. It was a glimpse of light that led to a really big let-down. I`m still telling myself that it`s not my fault.
We had a bazaar in front of the church. We gave away all kinds of the junk that the members gathered together and people could make donations for Dai Shinsai - Great Earthquake (I don`t even know what to call it any more) if they want. The branch raised 7000 yen.
The rest of the week was just finding, finding, and finding, and even more "Bukkyodesukara" ("we're Buddhists").
We finally had our first district meeting. Apparently 9 areas in the mission were white washed, and both of the areas in our district (Ako and Kakogawa) were completely turned over. Kakogawa, has Elder Meyer and Elder Wong (a new missionary from Hawaii). You may or may not remember, but I`ve been in this district before. I was in Himeji. I don`t know if I wrote this or not, but I taught Eikaiwa in Ako every week when I was in Himeji because there were two Japanese elders here.
Elder Meyer was in Kobe for 4 transfers prior to coming here and he told me all about the Kobe ward. That place has changed a lot from when I was there.
Yesterday was branch conference so all of the stake leaders were here, many of whom I met when I was in Kobe. Nobody remembered me, they were freaked out when I remembered their names. No surprises though, I wasn`t there for that long, and I was a terrified brand new missionary. I got to talk to 大嶋会長 the stake president for a while. I like his family, I only know him and his son, but they`re great people. His son gave a talk in the Himeji ward when he came back from his mission and I talked to him for a while. Apparently he`s at BYU now.
This is the Oishi shrine dedicated to the 47 Ronin. It`s impressive when you walk up to it, but when you look at the statues up close, they look like giant action figures that were made from a machine. It`s also deserted.
I`m probably going to buy a suit today. I hope my card will have enough money on it.
I`m getting really good at food presentation. That`s definitely something they take seriously here. I can dress up instant noodles and make them look like a $10 meal, no problem.
I never know what to write, please ask questions.
I guess that`s it!