Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March 18, 2012

I have a lot to say.

First of all I got a letter from Brother Bohman a couple weeks ago and saw that my accident was talked about from the pulpit and then a note from Sam saying it was discussed at a Missionary Weekend. 何しっとん?! I told you not to say anything. It`s really nothing.

It was so difficult leaving Marugame.  That place (Marugame) was really special. I think it was because I really made a connection and I feel like I would be welcome if I were to visit again. I loved it.

These are the people I was able to say goodbye to. This is Kono, an Eikaiwa (English Class) student in Marugame. His name is the same as my middle name, same kanji and everything.

This is President Jackson and his family. They are simply incredible. They give so much for that branch. The little boy is Holden and he`s four and attends a normal yochien (kindergarten). They have an 8 year old, Spencer who was at school. I`ll miss them.

This is Sister Cook. She's a sweet lady.

Tanaka Kyodai and Yumi Shimai. They were at family home evening everyWednesday.

This picture is with the Yamada`s Kana and Chiharu. Tsu, the dad was of course on business.

Elder Kobe spent his last transfer in Takamatsu so I got to exchange with him last transfer. He is awesome and went home. This is us at the transfer spot in Sannomiya.

Goodbye to the apartment. I loved it. 
I know this transfer is what it is and it`s all the will of the Lord. The peace that came was the fact that I was so upset about it. Leaving really made me appreciate my calling and the opportunity I had to serve there. The image that kept flashing into my mind was my last Sunday there. Both of the Jackson`s and Michael and Lara had birthdays recently so there was a birthday cake at the shokujikai (pot luck). We sang to them and it was a mix of Japanese and English mess. It was beautiful. Everyone was laughing. That was happiness. I remember thinking in that moment that I wanted to be there for the rest of my mission.
There is not much in Ako. Seriously. There is a small little shrine dedicated to the 47 ronin, but it`s abandoned. This place has 50,000 population compared to Shingu`s 30,000, but it feels much, much, much more quiet than Shingu. 
A pretty tree in bloom in Ako.
Here are some pictures of a park in Ako. We went on a Saturday afternoon to find people to teach, and it was the warmest day of the year and it was STILL deserted.

Click here to watch this video. Note the eerie background music.

Apparently, the city has tried and tried to become a tourist destination, but it just doesn`t work.

The branch is humble. There were 24 people in attendance, only 5 priesthood holders, two of which are young men. Most everyone is into their 50`s. This branch will die without young converts. It is very lively though. Half of the branch has been called as branch missionaries and they`re fantastic. Very energetic and willing to work and very much aware of their responsibility to keep this branch alive. That`s why we`re here.

There are two other cities, Aioi and Tatsuno in the area, but we have to climb mountains to get to them. Apparently there were other missionareis that went often, but it looks like a pretty rough journey.

My new companion is Elder Singleton from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He`s awesome. He reminds me a lot of Jacob. Quiet, and says off-beat, hilarious things under his breath.
Katharine McPhee is staring in a Broadway show? Wow, you really know how to push my buttons. That show sounds like exactly my thing. Sounds like she got her success a little bit late. I'd like to see that show. I also need to come back to Japan multiple times after I come home. Gah...

I never got to participate in the region One Act thing, so you`re lucky, Randy. I still think I`ve yet to hear more than three sentences from you on my mission.

I`m not sure what else to write. Questions are always welcome. Talk to you next week!

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