Mom and Dad,
Last week, I wanted to buy some new slacks because it's still hot and it'd be nice to have lighter slacks; also, these have taken a bit of a beating. We went to a clothing store and all the slacks I could find were kind of thick--I missed the summer sale by a month. I asked an employee and she said it was all they had so I figured it'd be fine. I didn't know what size I was in centimeters, though. Actually, I don't know what size I am in inches, either! We kind of guessed what size, so I grabbed one with the right waist size (90cm) and tried them on. They were too short, so I looked at my current slacks, did the math, and determined a 91/91 would fit the best. Well, I go out and they have 91 waist but not a single pair comes anywhere close to 91 length, the closest being 80. It looks like I'll have to tough it out with these slacks.
Oh yeah, my bike was having issues so I had to take it into the shop. I'm using a different (more Japanese-sized) bike in the mean time.
The next day we spent in Aioi, about a 45 minute bike ride away from Ako. Let's just say that biking long distance and over hills on a bike much too small for you is hard.....and must look funny from someone else's perspective because I got quite a few funny looks.
After we finished our work in Aioi we just started heading back when my chain snapped. As a side note: I find it remarkable how every other area I'm in finds me having bad luck with bikes. I asked a couple people on the street if there was a bike shop near by. One high school aged girl I asked looked astounded that 1) a gaijin was talking to her, and 2) a gaijin was riding a Japanese-sized bike. Long story short, I could only use one pedal all-the-way back to the apartment.
Wednesday we had the taikai with Ringwood Kaicho, the Area President for Asia North! It was sooo good! If I went into detail I could probably write enough for 3 weeks worth of emails! He talked to us about a lot of really great stuff, and he was very spiritual about it all. Oh, and his wife is Elder Nelson's daughter!
One thing he taught us about was Lehi's vision and Nephi's dream, the significance thereof, and some differences between the two. The next day we had a lesson with our Shigansha. We had actually planned to teach a lesson from 1 Nephi 8! It ended up being a whole lot better with the new insights we received than it would have had we not received them.
Another thing that happened earlier that day was we were biking out to teach a lesson to a less active. He lives pretty far away and we were most of the way there when a small rock caused my front tire to pop so we ended up not being able to make it to the lesson, unfortunately. We had a really good plan for it, too!
The next day we had some time set aside to pass out fliers for eikaiwa and ping pong to the high school students as they were coming out of school. This is where another gaijin mondai comes into play. Many of those kids looked pretty freaked out when I called out to them and started walking towards them. I think they were too scared to not take the flier. Hmmm, maybe it was actually a benefit :)!
That's basically the majority of the outstanding things that happened this week.
Anderson Choro is my current companion. He's not from just one place because his dad works in the Army, so they've moved around a lot. He went to 8 different high schools. His mom is actually from Japan. His family is currently living in Germany. He's a cool guy and he studied Mechanical Engineering at BYU, too!
Our older investigator is a great guy. He keeps saying it'd be reeeally hard to convert--I imagine it would be: he's been Catholic for 80 years!--but he loves having us over and doing the readings we assign. I think once he really starts to feel and recognize the Spirit his progress will skyrocket.
This week at church was a normal Sabbath and next week is Fast Sunday. They wait to receive the translated copies of GC, which takes a week, then we get to see them the week following.
That's all I have for this week! Hopefully gaijin problems won't persist terribly! Haha, I'm not worried at all, actually. I'm used to it! Love you all!