Monday, October 13, 2014

10/13/14 email

A lot of biking
Mom and Dad,

We biked far away a number of times again. I'll have to accept that it'll be a common occurrence and have to deal with not having my mountain bike even though the shop told me it'd be done a week ago.

Tuesday-Maybe the prefix 'tues' means something along the lines of 'bike riding' or 'distant travel' or 'is it bedtime yet?' Back story: Andersen Choro decided to use an elect-locating method taught to him by a member in a past area. So, we went about the locating method and praying. Long story short, The place it ended being is on the complete other side of the area. Plus they're plenty of hills/mountains on the way. Tuesday is when we went out there to start knocking on doors and scouting out the area. On the map it looks like a waaay inaka part of town. We got there and found it's actually quite developed; more developed than Nishiwaki! There are tons and tons of houses there, so it'll take a few trips to get them all housed. I was very tired when we got back to Ako. In addition to that escapade, we had a lesson with a student contacted by a couple earlier missionaries, who called us up and asked if he could meet now that he had time. Blessings come right when we need them!

Friday was sooo busy! We had four lesson appointments--two in Aioi. We had the first with the older Catholic man (in Ako). Then we had to ride out to Aioi to make the next appointment with the LA member. On the way there he called us up and had to cancel due to time constraints. So we went finding for a little in Aioi and went to the next lesson, being with the referral guy from last Sunday. Following the lesson he took us out to eat with the Branch President who had randomly showed up to his house to pull weeds. What a boss! Then we had to book it back to Ako for the last lesson of the day with our shigansha. I don't know how we did it (actually, I do!), but we made it on time to every lesson each one went very well. Again, that day I was very happy to go to sleep.

Aaand of course there was General Conference. I always say Priesthood Session is the best (because it is), but Saturday Morning session was pretty high up there. The Ako building is way tiny and there are no members that know English, so we had to set up the computer in the middle of the genkan for all to see so we and the shimai could watch without breaking mission rules. Then we found that we had no speakers, so we rummaged through the building to find some. We did, but the only ones were either incompatible or didn't have a power cable. We ended up using a pair of headphones placed on the desk in front of us with the volume turned up as loud as possible. Even then it wasn't loud enough. Sooo much work but definitely worth it. As always, my favorite speaker was Uchtdorf管長!

Oh, and the typhoon last week seemed to miss Ako entirely. That's okay, though, because there's apparently another one headed this way!

I miss having Tillamook Mudslide, period. There's nothing even close to it here!

That looks like all there is for this week. Kind of a short email, but しょうがない。 I'll have to let you know next week if the typhoon gets as bad as you've been hearing it to be. 100+mph winds?

Give my love to all and I'll email again next week!

Monday, October 6, 2014

10/6/14 email

In a couple of my last emails I've made mention of going to "Aioi" to dendo. In this area, there are two cities we mainly dendo in: Ako, and Aioi. Our apartment, the church, etc. is in Ako. Aioi is a bit of a bike ride away through big hills and across industrial land. Well, we made that trip 6 times this week. My bike is still in the shop, so we did the journey on my Mamachari (which are really heavy and not suited well for going through hills).

Mom and Dad,

It was a crazy week this week--like the first paragraph sort of explains--but I forgot to bring my planner, so I can't remember exactly what we did each day. You probably remember how on missions all the days tend to blend together.

Last week for prep day we did sightseeing in Ako: Ako Castle ruins and Oishi Shrine! It wasn't quite like in Kyoto but still great. We didn't look much at the footings of the castle ruins but we walked a bit around the shrine. They have a bunch of statues of warriors that fought to defend the castle and the shrine lining the main path to the shrine. It's a bit like the terracotta warriors, I imagine, except there are only two dozen-ish.

Tuesday we went out to Aioi; the first time that week. We mainly did housing all day and visited a member right before heading back. The funniest part was one of the last doors we housed. A young boy opened up and looked at us and we asked if his parents were home. They weren't, so we asked him to give a chirashi to them when they get back. After he goes back in and we turn around to house the apartment across from them, we hear the boy scream to his friends, "there are handsome gaijin at the door!" Nobody opened up the door we just housed, but when we started walking down the stairs we heard rustling at the door and looked to find the same boy peeking out. He sees us, yelps, and jumps back in. As we walk away from the building he and his two friends bang on the window and wave at us. They reacted like we just gave them the best surprise present of their lives.

On Friday we had ZTM in Akashi. Best part: Bentley Choro, my MTC companion, and Langford Choro were also there! The training itself from the zone leaders was great but reuniting with the two of them was pretty fantastic, too. Akashi, being on the other side of the zone from Ako, takes a long time to get back from. Right after we got back we had to rush out on our bikes to Aioi (second time) to have a lesson with a LA. The lesson went sooo well. Maybe because it was in English? Don't know but it was great. He had some concerns and we helped him figure them out using scriptures and experiences. We couldn't stay for too long, however, because we had to book it back to Ako for a lesson with our shigansha. It also may or may not have been raining and pitch black, but I'll never tell. That lesson, though we were quite wet and didn't have much time due to his busy schedule, went very well. We also had a member doseki for us and he helped out quite a bit.

The next day, we went out to dinner with the shigansha. We went to a yakitori (grilled chicken) joint by his apartment. The thing about yakitori, it's sooo good. Chicken doesn't really fill me up, but it was really good.

Sunday. Once again, we headed out to Aioi. We didn't actually plan to but at church the branch president gave us a referral, so we headed out to visit him. The referral is actually the older brother of a LA in the branch. He knows the missionaries and members so he invited us right in. He just retired. We talked with him for a while and got to know him. He has two ghost stories from his childhood that were fun to hear. He kept telling us he's very lonely and bored, so we testified a lot to him about how God's always there for him. He agreed to have us come back so we'll be going again this week. Seems like we'll be going to Aioi every week from here on out. Hopefully I get my mountain bike back.

THAT'S how dendo really should go, especially in those places that have a hard time seeing things get off the ground and take flight: build kankei and trust with the members and they will ask you to visit family and friends. Then you go and visit and they're willing to listen because they are fairly familiar with the church. Members and missionaries should always work together. That's how Zion is built! "And they called themselves Zion because they were of one heart and one mind and dwelt in righteousness..."

The kind of ruined slacks are the lone slacks. Should be okay because suit season is coming up and I won't be wearing them anymore.

まぁ、 I guess that's all I have for now. Plus, time is a little short! Give my love to everyone!