Tuesday, September 2, 2014

9/1/14 email

Mom and Dad,

Summer break is coming to a close next week/week after next so things should start picking up again. Too bad I had a dream where I was transferring to the Kawachinagano area. I'm sure you'd hate that because you would never remember the name of my area! All jokes aside, though, the dream was very realistic...

So last prep day we went to a place I've been wanting to go for a while now: Kiyomizudera. It's probably one of the most popular things to check out in Kyoto. In all of Japan, even! Especially for the missionaries it's really popular because right outside is a little stand where you can buy cheap rings and bracelets and such and get a free inscription. Every missionary that serves in Kyoto goes there and gets ring inscribed with 真の弟子 (makoto no deshi) meaning "True Disciples". We both got one and ran into two other shimai spending their prep day there who also got some. Now the only problem is I'm terrified of wearing rings... didn't think it through very well. But, there's also this shirt in another shop by the Kiyomizudera that sells shirts (and tons of other cool stuff, too) that say なんでやねん (nandeyanen). That word in and of itself symbolizes the Kansai region of Japan as it's the most well-known word in the Kansai dialect. Basically the ring and the shirt are sure proof that you served in the Japan Kobe Mission. The shirts a little small for a large, though...

Inside Kiyomizudera was also way cool. It's much bigger than a lot of the other places I've gone for sightseeing. Tons of staircases and paths take you all around the temple. At the very bottom there's a fountain with three trickles of water falling down. You're supposed to take a cup on a stick type thing, catch some water, then pour it over your hands and drink it. Each streams gives a different blessing, but I don't know which was which--they didn't say.

On Thursday I kokan'ed in Katsura, finally. I've almost been here two transfers and hadn't been to the other area in the district yet. We had a way great kokan. One guy called us and wanted to meet, so we were able to have a lesson. The man grew up in Japan but is Korean. He's sooo spiritually interested. He was talking about stuff that I haven't even thought much about.
Later that night as were were streeting before going to eat with another investigator, we stopped this younger guy--probably a college student--and he immediately just decided to give us this box of Okinawan donuts! No joke! We said hi and asked where he was going, and he gave us the donuts! Better yet, Dale Choro said "Let's trade!" and whipped out a Book of Mormon to give to the kid. He was probably more surprised than we were! It was a very interesting and amusing contact, to say the least.

Friday night the two of us went to the bishop's house to discuss dendo and working with members and such. The bishop of this ward is so amazing! He's still pretty young, but he has great faith, great heart, and great fire. We dropped by just for a quick chat but ended up talking about lots of really important stuff for 45 minutes or so. We would've stayed longer, but we would've been late getting back to the house. This ward has tons of potential to be such and amazing ward. We all really want to help everyone work together and build it up. Seriously, it's the stake center of Kyoto with the biggest ward in Kyoto Stake! Sooo much potential!
Yesterday after church we went out to visit several less-actives with Hohaia Kyodai, the big Maori man from New Zealand. He's such a great man with an incredible story. Just talking in the car between the houses of the less-actives is spiritually uplifting. He's also so loving of all the members; especially those who have fallen away from the straight and narrow.

The songs are all written in Maori, so I don't know how great they'd be to read. Plus, the book is one of only a few copies made that are circulating around New Zealand. He also left the book in New Zealand with his family because he didn't have room to bring it back.

That's really all I have for this week.

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