Monday, August 18, 2014

7/21/14 email

Mom and Dad,
Last Monday we went to a place called "Fushimi Inari." It's way cool. It's a big Shinto shrine complex and behind it is this hike around the mountain/hill that's lined with thousands of the red shrine gates. One thing we weren't expecting was how long and step the hike was. We had a little time to do it and get back to our area, so we went really fast.

A lot of people cancelled their appointments or just didn't show up, S it wasn't 'til Thursday that we had the first real lesson of the week. It was with the two elderly people we've been meeting with for a couple weeks now. After the lesson, the man asked us if we wanted some neckties. We're missionaries and can always use neckties so we said sure. We thought it'd be just a couple, but he took out a bag full of all the neckties he's gained over the years. He said he's too old to really wear ties, so he gave ALL of them to us. Mineta Choro and I picked out the ones we liked, decided on how to divide the ones we both liked, then gave the rest to the other elders in the house. Mineta Choro also decided to throw in some of his old ties that he doesn't wear since he's leaving soon. I can now say that I probably have too many ties...

Friday was kind of crazy because of district meeting, kokans, and a baptismal interview. Mineta Choro was going to go to Katsura with Fukui Choro, but since Fukui Choro had a baptism mensetsu, Mineta Choro and I taught a lesson while that took place. There's this one Chinese investigator that was very excited to be baptized, but some friends of his told him it's be a bad idea to get baptized and that God doesn't exist. After that he kind of lost interest, but he showed up to the church one day and asked if we could have a lesson. Mineta Choro was well more than happy to. After that lesson (and the mensetsu) we started the kokan officially. Dale Choro and I taught a lesson right after, then went to the house to drop our extra stuff off. We found that Mineta Choro's back tire was flat, but because he weighs so little, nobody could tell. Dale Choro weighs about 200 pounds so it was very easy to tell the tire was flat. We had to fix the bike so we went to a bike shop and dendo'ed around there with what time we had left.

On Saturday, after the kokan and some finding, we had an activity with a few members, the Chinese investigator, and some of his friends. Not sure if they're the same friends as earlier or not, but they all seemed nice. We all went and played basketball! It's been too long since I've played it; it was so great. It's very different in Japan, though. The hoop's a bit higher, the balls decently smaller and lighter, the key is a trapezoid instead of a rectangle, and the 3 point line isn't the same distance from the hoop all the way around. There's a lot to get used to...

For finding time on Sunday, we had the idea to travel far away--to the point where our maps didn't show it. We had to go around a couple mountains and through a lot of hills to get there. When planning it, we didn't think about how tired we'd be from basketball the day before, so getting there was way hard. When we got there, we saw that there was literally no good place to dendo. It's more rural than Nishiwaki! We also realized that the member we wanted to visit real quick is in an area with almost the same name as the place we went to. To get to the member's place, we either had to go a long way around a big mountain or over it. We went over. Some guy on a dirt bike was kind enough to guide us along the way, but it was sooo tiring. The descent was even more steep than the ascent, so at some points we were easily going 40-50mph. Took 25 minutes or so to climb and maybe 5 to get down the other side. Kind of freaky but way fun.

Love you all and have a great week!

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