Sorry for not telling you earlier, I completely forgot; now that I'm in the office my preparation day has changed to Saturday since I have to work on Mondays. You can write something fast if you'd like. Whatever works. Just know that from now on my preparation day is on Saturday.
I'm here in the 本部 (mission office). Back where I started, but it's completely different from when I was here last. I sleep in the same bed and have the same closet but that's about the only thing that's remained. All of the people are different, the way everything works is different, even the surrounding area has gone through lots of construction and looks different. It's really strange. As of yesterday, besides one Japanese elder, my doki (group) is now the oldest in the mission. Very, very, very strange feeling.
I guess I should back up and talk about what happened earlier in the week. On monday after I emailed we went to the Akashi Ward who loves to do activities. They had a 夏祭り (festival) and wanted all of the missionaries there in yukatas. It was really fun. They had a talent show in the church and a bunch of the elders did the haka (Polynesian dance that football teams do before games to intimidate the opposing team), of course, led by Elder Wong. I miss him already.
These pictures are from the Matsuri at the Akashi ward that we went to on Monday. It was really, really fun. The members put all of the missionaries in yukatas.
We spent Wednesday night at the Kakogawa apartment with Elder Vilchis and Elder Wong. They are two really great missionaries. It was really fun to spend the last two transfers in their district. Thursday morning was transfers. It was really weird. As usual I went to the gathering place in Sannomiya, but I didn't leave with a new companion to a new area, just sat around and waited until everyone had left and then went back to the honbu with the Kobe elders (there are zone leaders and assistants in Kobe now). As we were about to get on the bus back, we saw Sato 姉妹 who went home in March waiting in line for the bus. She was going to say hello to the returning missionaries. It was really, really, really weird to see her without a nametag and headphones in her ears. She filled us in on who's dating who and who's engaged. It's crazy. Sato 姉妹 also said that Ilch 姉妹 is working in Tokyo right now and will be there until December.
This picture is with 石山姉妹 (Sister Ishiyama) who went home to Sendai yesterday.
Thursday was crazy. As soon as I got here we were arranging things and cleaning up after new misionaries that were leaving with their trainers and for returning missionaries. I never thought the office seemed like they were THAT busy, but it's definitely not what I expected. Something to do always pops up. We do all of the behind the scenes work that nobody ever even thinks about.
Yesterday morning, 17 missionaries went home and a bunch of their parents came to pick them up. I didn't like seeing that when I was here before and I still don't like it. It's really weird. It was extremely weird this time since the missionaries that left are so close to me in age. In fact, I've been out longer than all of the sisters that left. One of the sisters that went home worked in the cafeteria at the MTC when I was there and she didn't even have her mission call yet! I'm old. Of course, yesterday morning, the phone was going off non-stop. Parents were calling from payphones all over the place trying to get to the honbu. We had to chase down a taxi in pouring rain. I had to go with Elder Dalling (office senior couple) in a car down to the eki and pick up an elder's family. We thought it would just be his parents, but it was a family of four. There wasn't enough room in the car for all of them so I had to go on an "exchange" with the elder's dad and walk back to the honbu. That was too weird. We spent most of the rest of the day upstairs doing office work. It's fun. I'm sure it can get a little bit difficult being up here all day. I'll have to find ways to keep myself movin around.
We taught a lesson to a college student yesterday evening. It was really refreshing to teach a young college student again. Kobe is really the only area on my mission so far where I've been able to teach lots of young people, college students in particular. They are so easy to relate to. This person is very intelligent and very willing to listen to the message, he just won't really apply his heart to it. He did say that he has a desire to know whether or not the Book of Mormon is true though, so he still has lots of potential. We'll have to really teach him by the Spirit to guide him in the right direction. The trick is going to be finding the time to do it...
I'm not sure what else to update you on. I have a feeling it's going to be pretty difficult to make weekly email interesting from now on. Please ask questions. Hope you all have a great weekend. You're probably all out playing right now so I look forward to hearing from you next Saturday.