Monday, July 22, 2013

July 22, 2013-first week in Japan

Mom and Dad,

So I stayed up all night packing and writing my final letters from America, and practically slept all through the flight. When we got there, I was pretty much already on the sleep schedule. Awesome! Anyways, the Zinke's welcomed us in at Osaka airport, which is HUGE. They're both so great: he is so spiritual and focused on the work and is friendly; she is probably one of the sweetest people you'll ever meet in your life, and is supportive of the missionaries and her husband 100%. The moment we stepped off the plane was like being smacked with a hot, damp towel. Needless to say, it's been pretty hot and humid here. Buildings here are very small except the mission home and AP's apartment! All the meals they have fed us we bought from Costco.We finished our first day with a bit of training and paperwork and went to bed about 2 hours before bedtime. The elders who live there came back and accidentally woke some of us up, including me. When I looked, I saw one eating cereal and thought there was no way it was 6:30am, it wasn't. The next day was a bunch more training and info about the mission.

Last year, President Zinke asked the leaders what needed to be done. One said that it'd be helpful if they knew how many people were ready to accept the gospel. President told them that's exactly what they'd figure out. During the month, word went out to every missionary/companionship to fast and pray to know how many people in each area were ready to receive the Gospel. The AP's prayed to know the mission's total number, and then they'd gather zone numbers from each of the zone leaders at conference to tally the numbers and compare. The numbers came in and they tallied them up. The count was 1,316, with some areas not accounted for. The number revealed to the AP's: 1,318.

After the training, President commenced interviews, during which we could send an email home. Since there were 32 newbies, there was a lot of waiting. A couple times we went and walked around the block or to a small convenience store--with permission, of course. We saw some cool lion statues.There were three youths playing basketball on the mission home hoop--apparently Zinke Kaicho will play them every now and then. Long story short, Bentley Choro played them one on one for their phone numbers/referrals! The following day we got up early for the traditional hike up the mountain/hill not far from the mission home. Many of the guys including myself ran up it. We all took pictures that you'll see when I send my card home. After that, there was a bit more training, then we got our assignments. I'm currently in the Fukuchiyama Zone, Nishiwaki District, Nishiwaki Area. My trainer is Elder Bogedahl. He's from West Jordan, Utah. I did get a glimpse of some awesome things while traveling here. This area is kinda like Corvallis.

My first week has been great, but also tough.The branch for the area is 30 people strong.While tracting last night, we found a British man living here: he wasn't interested, though. We had a little food when we got here: our dinner last night was boiled oats mixed with waffle mix, with honey and salt for flavor, then fried and dipped in maple syrup. It got the job done, at least. Approaches here are difficult because everyone is set in the beliefs they already have. The really cool part, though, is that thoughts I may have about being inadequate in spirit or language, or how the work is hard, don't cross my mind when we're out working. 

It has only rained once so far. Last night it simply drizzled a bit--nothing like Oregon rain. =)

I'll try to get some pictures of the area and my companions so you can put that on the blog.

The beds aren't bad. At the mission home, I slept on a couch and the futons aren't bad. Maybe one futon is, but I have three stacked up. I also have found it needless to sleep with blankets or quilts since it's so hot! Bathrooms are set up with the toilets and showers in separate rooms that branch from the sink room, so as to not inconvenience others. The showers are pretty interesting. It's a mounted hand-held head and the knobs can direct the water to the showerhead or to a bathtub faucet--and, of course, there's the hot-cold control that's different depending on the shower.

Sunday was crazy. I already knew I didn't understand much Japanese from tracting, but Church was a whole new story. They talk so fast! I also was invited to go up and speak, as was my companion, since this is a new area. A lot of people complimented my Japanese, but that's probably because they haven't really had a conversation with me. It's also customary to compliment someone's Japanese when it's bad just to give them encouragement. The second counselor also spoke. He's actually an American.

I watched the same video, Sanctify Yourself on, in the MTC with my district. It was such an inspiring video to watch. Not surprisingly, some of the Shimai got a little teary-eyed.

I think that's all for this week. I look forward to hearing from you again next week! Until then, remember that the Lord lives and He loves you. So do I


No comments:

Post a Comment