Monday, July 16, 2012

July 16, 2012

I got a call from the mission office this morning saying that they are buying my plane ticket home now and wanted to confirm that I`m going to Salt Lake. It`s official now.

I also got transfer calls this morning. The mission is going down by 6 elders this month and there are an odd number of them. Ako will close, most likely for just one transfer. I`m going back to my roots. I`m returning to Kobe; this time I`ll be in the office. Since President Zinke doesn`t like to have three-somes in the field, I`ll join the two current office elders and be trained over the next couple of weeks. Normally the office elders have to transfer a few days early for training. I`m excited. Lots of missionaries fear the office, but I feel like it`s an honor. Also, I`ll still be spending plenty of time dendo-ing. I`ll be able to go right to work since I already know the area and the members (although they`ve probably mostly forgotten me). I`m happy.

On Tuesday we had a lesson with our Lutheran friend who still investigates the church. He`s just one of the nicest most lovable people. We watched the Restoration DVD and he said he was いやされた (healed) by it.  He still is very committed to the Lutheran church, but he came yesterday to church and also to an activity on Saturday so he knows he`s welcome. I think over time he`ll start to find the truth when the missionaries come back to Ako.

We had interviews on Thursday and I thought mine went really, really well. I feel at peace about lots and lots of things and ready to move forward and work hard for the rest of my mission. President Zinke is called of God.
We had interviews this week and Elder Osaka who I lived with my first two transfers in Kobe was there. He`s one of the best friends I`ve made on the mission. He`s returning to LDS Business College this fall so I`m sure I`ll see a bunch of him. He`s been an Assistant for the past three transfers. He spent over half of his mission in the honbu as both an office elder and an asssistant.

When my companion was getting interviewed and I was waiting in the church with the other missionaries, the Ako branch president called and said the one of the K. family`s children had passed away and that there would be a funeral at the church.

The K. family has come to church two or three times since I`ve been here and they have five adorable young children. I was absolutely shocked when I heard the news. We found out that the funeral was for a pre-mature newborn once we got to the church and all of the existing children were there. Still very, very unfortunate, but a huge relief for us. I didn`t think I could sit through a funeral for a child that young. Since I`ve been here, only the mom and three or four of the kids have come. The father said that that was the first time that all of them had been to church together in three years.
The Ako Branch members at the funeral. The branch president wanted to take group pictures but forgot his camera so I took them. Thought they might be interesting.

The beautiful K. family

Saturday was the branch camp. They rented a couple cottages up in the mountains above Aioi-shi and spent the night. They had us come just for the evening. It was a lot of fun. I wish I would`ve taken pictures. We ate yakisoba and had yakiniku and vegetables over the fire. It was soooooo good. Possibly the best meat I`ve had on my mission. There was more than anyone could eat.

As far as ramen goes, I`ve only been to Ohsho lately, but that is really good stuff. Tempura? I feel like I have recently but I can`t remember when. Donburi, usually lunch is some kind of donburi that I make.

I sent another package today by boat. It should be there in about two months. The birds seem really fun. I hope they can get back into the wild and fly.

Some of those names you mentioned from the home ward were really なつかしい (jogged my memory). I haven`t heard from anyone from home in a long time. Most letters I write and receive now are all 国内 (domestic).

We`re going to a matsuri that the Akashi ward is putting on today so we`re kind of in a hurry. I`ll be emailing you next week from the place where I started! Have a good week!
We went to Himeji last week with the district. This is everyone in front of the castle and a view of it from the station. It`s really cool how the castle is in the dead center of the city and you can see it from the train.

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