I got a new suit. There is a Haruyama here, but they had nothing under 2 man and the lady told me that I was かなり大きい ("quite large") so I didn`t buy anything. I went next door to Aeon and they had a one-pants suit for 7 sen (about $80) so I bought it. It`s a nice suit. It`s Japanese style, so it`s pretty tight so I will try not to ride it while I ride my bike. I will just use it on Sundays in the summer and send home my other two.
My new suit
I`m not really sure what to write about.
We rode our bikes, literally up and down a mountain again to Aioi.
My companion loves to take pictures so he`s taken a lot of me from behind while we`ve been traveling from place to place.
It`s a strange little city. It only has a population of 30,000, but the Shinkansen (bullet train) stops there for some reason. Most of the active members in the branch live there. One family owns a restaurant and refers lots of their friends and the missionaries have taught many, many lessons in their restaurant according to the area book, so we went to go see them. I`m really amazed by so many of the member families I`ve met on my mission. This family's only day off is Sunday, then they run their restaurant from 8 to 8, 6 days a week. It`s a tiny little place with regular customers. It feels more like a living room than a restaurant. It`s a cool hang out. A 12 year old from the branch came over while we were there and started playing video games with the other son. Oh, and the food was really good teshoku too.
The Primary had an onigiri (riceball) party this week and invited us because the kids all invite their friends and their moms come. It ended up being a mom gathering; we had nothing to talk about and were a little out of place. Awkward.
We went to the sea shore this week and it was really pretty.
There`s some more Sakura (cherry blossoms) slowly starting to come out.
We had a lesson with M-san. She was baptized in January and her mom has been listening to the lessons ever since December when she was first found.
We drove out to a tiny fishing village I call the "Ueda neighborhood." That's because the family nameplate on the front of every single house is "Ueda." I guess it's a big, extended family. Yeah, they`re all a bunch of super Bukkyo (Buddhist) Japanese people that have been living on that narrow piece of land between the mountains and oceans since the beginning of time.
The Ueda Neighborhood.
No success, but it was a fun little experience. We`ve been scouting out apartment complexes (they`re very few here, but young people and young families are much more likely to live in them) but tried to do something different. One lady in the neighborhood had the Splash Mountain poster from Tokyo Disneyland we have in our computer room hanging in her genkan (entry hall). I freaked out. She called out and asked us to open the door. I opened my mouth to say who I was, but noticed the poster and immediately started talking about it. She laughed. She was also very Buddhist.
This probably isn`t as funny as it was in person, but it was hysterical. Daigo is 17 and we play ping-pong with him and his dad (Elder`s quorum president and dendo shunin -mission leader) once a week. These two (the branch president`s grandkids) came and joined us.(Click here to go to the website and watch the video)
Your questions, my answers:
Q:How’s the weather? Still cold?
A: It`s probably similar to what you`re reporting. It`s jumping all over the place. It`s very inconvenient to not hear the weather forecast. It`s very warm one day and cold the next. I never know whether to put a sweater on or not.
Q: Does Ako have some decent places to eat? What about a McDonalds or MisDo (Mister Donut)?
A: It has a Jusco. As far as decent restaurants, I haven`t really been to a good one yet. There is one McDonalds and a MisDo inside the Jusco. I went to MisDo today actually.
Q: Is your bike holding together? Any flat tires?
A: It`s going to be girigiri (hanging on for dear life) finishing the mission. I get flat tires all the time and it`s a pain.
Q: How’s your reading ability? Can read Japanese OK?
A: I need to work on that. My companion is only on his 5th transfer (same as my bin-chan, Nukaya Choro) and can read twice as many Kanji as me. He spends every spare moment he can looking at flash cards. I`ve just never been good at getting myself to really nesshin ni (seriously) study the characters. I just listen and mimic.
This is a rock course at a park near us. You're supposed to walk on it barefoot. It is supposed to be really good for your circulation. Certain rocks are supposed to be like a massage if you have good health, hurt if you have bad health. The whole thing felt like torture to me, so I should probably go see a doctor I suppose...
It sounds like it was a good week at home. This will be my 4th General Conference as a missionary and possibly my last. I may be seeing the October Conference here as well since I`ll still be here. I will go nearly 25 months as a missionary.
For some reason, your anniversary reminds me of a question I am asked a lot and now really find fushigi myself since learning Japanese. Do you two EVER speak to each other in Japanese?! Did you ever before? Isn`t that bizarre? Whenever I talk to someone in detail about the fact that both of my parents speak Japanese, I am always told もったいない ("What a waste").
I just saw on lds.org that President Stevenson was made the Presiding Bishop. He`ll be missed. I never got to meet him, but it seems like he`s done a really, really good job as the Area President, especially during the earthquake. I hope the next area president is also a Japanese speaker...I guess that`s a little inconsiderate of the Koreans...
I guess that`ll be all. See you next week!