こんにちわ！ Friends and Family!
O my! I'm in Japan!! Adapting to the setting didn't take long, and I'm physically comfortable in the apartment. Yes, I've had meat. :( Yes, I am going to get really fat, but it is something that I honestly don't worry about. We're too busy for me to worry about it! I will be miserable after my mission when I see myself in the mirror again.
Culture Moment: The culture is so polite. Either they ignore you and pretend they didn't hear you or they nicely say no thank you or I'm fine. Seriously though, they are so nice. Second thing: they are really big into their family names and the kanji. Half of the ward members I've tried to talk to have tried to explain to me the awesome history of their kanji. 田中 is one of the most common names in Japan (it is tanaka).
Ah-ha Moment: I don't know. I don't think I've really had one.
Funny Moment: We are teaching this girl named Mika (pray for her!) and she is really cool. She has been coming to church for about a year now but only talked to the missionaries before. BOO!! So we started the lessons with her. Anyway, see speaks English pretty well because she lived in New Zealand for three years. I bore my testimony in the middle of the lesson. I started in Japanese but then I switched to English. I got overly excited and animated (as expected) and then I sat back and listened the rest of the time. Afterward, when we were parting ways, she said, "You're cute," like you would to a child in Japanese. To which I laughed (that didn't help because my laugh makes me sound more like a child). She and the member at the lesson laughed and repeated it in english, "you're cute." So already I've got nihonjin laughing at me. :)
Spiritual Moment: I honestly surprised myself with how quickly I adapted to the time zone, the food, and the setting. I have been in my area since wednesday and I've totally been okay. Until (you all knew that was coming) Sunday. Priesthood and Relief Society is first and sacrament meeting is last. I felt this worthlessness building up through all the meeting. What am I doing here!?! I can't do anything but exist. I can't talk to anyone, I can't bear my testimony, I can't contribute to my surroundings, what is everyone saying!, and I would rather serve an English speaking mission. By sacrament meeting I was ready to cry because I just felt so worthless. Sacrament meeting was the Christmas music program, that helped a little, but I still felt horrible. Then sacrament metting ended. Mika came to church and I went and said hi. We started talking about music and then it just exploded. We talked for an hour and a half. I ended up teaching her the first lesson in English with parts of the second lesson. We talked about the hymns, I shared a couple scriptures, she accepted my challenge to find a hymn that she like the words to and then I would teach her the music to it. Meanwhile, my companion went around the chapel talking to members and getting us a lot of appointments; he would come by just to eavesdrop a little and then he would go at it again. I finally stopped and Mika said this: "Okay, I understand that you know it's true and that you want me to read the book of Momon; you can stop saying it. I know you know it is true because I can see it in your face, in the way you talk, and I can feel it when you say it." When she said that I just got slammed in the face (I guess this is my ah-ha too). She said, "You are going to be a good missionary because you know this and love it so much. Keep working hard will your Japanese. People will listen." I almost started crying because I knew she wasn't the only one telling me that. She had to go so we said bye and continued on with the days activities.
I was able to connect to Mika originally because of my love for music. That simple conversation sparked an opportunity for her to feel the Spirit. I'm suppose to be here. If for no one else but Mika. She is our only investigator and I think about her constantly! I know I'm supposed to be here.
Well, you probably want your questions answered so here they go.
My trainers name is Elder DeBuse. I realize more and more each day how perfect a fit he is for me. He is a good trainer and he has great faith to find and teach. His Japanese isn't very good (by his own admitment) but he talks to people! I am learning a lot.
Yesterday was our first winter rain. I got my first rain suit and we were out in the rain all day trying to find. I like rain and I like being a missionary. Thank you to all my Scout leaders and to you Dad for insisting I learn how to grin and bear hard fun work.
I am in FUJISAWA! I love it here! The ward is huge! The people are everywhere! The ward mission leader speaks perfect English and he is awesome! He has already scheduled member meals and practices for the next month. DeBuse choro and I whitewashed into the area, meaning that both the missionaries that were here before left.
Tokyo is the most expensive mission in the church. I already got my bike and rainsuit! And I still have other little things to get sometime in my first transfer. I hate money! :P Sorry family. The bike was actually really cheap for it's good quality and the rain suit kept me dry. I might just spend $150 more for my rain boots and an electronic dictionary. I can hold off on those things though. They aren't too important yet.
Japan is seriously like a video game. The stores play music that you would hear in Mario or something and everyone is such an anime character. Speaking of anime, I am so sick of hearing missionaries talk about it! :P The toilets seriously do every thing but massage your bum. The sing, and have about three flush settings. The Japanese are so innovative!
Nabe and curry are really good! I've never had them before now,and I really like them. Yes, I am going to be so fat, but when I pick what I eat, I will still do my thing.
You get to call me on Christmas. I WILL NOT call you. Please tell me in the next email when you will call. Call some time between 8:00 am and 12:00 noon JAPAN time on either Christmas or Christmas Eve. YOU decide. We get an hour to talk. :)
Well, that's a lot to digest and we need to go to lunch! Have a wonderful week! I am praying for you! Pray for Mika;we're going to try and commit her to baptism tonight! I LOVE YOU ALL!! Sorry this is such a jumbled email. It won't be as long next week.
じゃ, また ね！
Ja, mata ne!