Last week certainly went out with a bang! The kind of bang you sit through, though, and I'm so tired of sitting this week. Details to follow:
Last prep day, we decided to celebrate my birthday with cake and watching a little robotic puppet show that plays on a small clock stand at the main intersection of the city. The story is the one of the 47 Samurai. I don't know if you looked that story up or not, but the show lasts just a few minutes and runs every hour.
The next day was my birthday, technically. It was still only the 2nd in America. We actually didn't dendo outside: Morin Choro's knee has been getting worse and worse every time we ride bikes and the mission doctor told us to take it easy. So, we made use of our time to dendo inside by planning lessons, planning how to help the ward and uplift them, etc. I thought it'd be nice to have a little break on my birthday but I was sooo wrong. Spending practically the whole day studying, planning, etc. was probably the worst way to spend my birthday. I had never wanted to leave the apartment and bike halfway across the area so much before!
The next day, we had a couple lesson plans in Aioi, but since Morin Choro's knee was still acting up we planned to go by train. That was, until we called one of the investigators and he dropped us, then the other guy called (a less active) and said he was too busy and re-scheduled for next week. The day was completely changed in two phone calls; however, the zone leaders called me up right after lunch. We had zone training meeting (ZTM) that Friday, so I figured he was going to ask me to translate for the Japanese missionaries. He actually assigned me to do some training IN ZTM! I thought this meant I wouldn't be translating, but it didn't. He asked me to translate right after asking that. Wow! So, I basically had to work on getting my training segment planned and practiced while Morin Choro continued to plan for stuff around in our area and go through the area book.
The next day we had a short meeting with a member whom needs assistance in assisting us in the Lord's work. We took an hour to get to know her and tell her about ourselves and shared a GC talk from a while ago that Ballard Choro gave. Right after that we had a lesson with the highly inquisitive, analytical investigator--which was about 2.5 hours. So between those two appointments there wasn't much time left in the day to finish my ZTM training.
The next day was ZTM. Recently, a lot of the zones have merged to fit with Stake/District boundaries, so now instead of going to Akashi we had to go all the way to Kobe for ZTM (about 2 hours of travel). Then I had to translate all of it (a 3 hour meeting) to Japanese and give my training piece. So, I had expended quite a bit of energy and effort by 1pm. At least I had a kokan in Himeji, which is closer to Kobe than Ako is. I kokan'd with one of the guys from my hall at BYU? We had a really great kokan following ZTM, and a lot of reminiscing at the end of the day.
This weekend was Stake Conference in Kobe, so instead of going back to Ako, we extended the kokan to the beginning of Stake Taikai. We streeted around Himeji Eki since that's the only place you can really find enough people on the street in Himeji. We met quite a few cool people, including one guy that interviewed me for a survey his radio channel was doing! We met another guy who was waiting for a friend, then was going to head off to that friend's wedding, and we found out he himself is getting married in September. Perfect opportunity to testify of eternal families! Before meeting up with our companions at the eki we grabbed a snack at a shop in the area.
Then we went to Stake Taikai! Elder Koichi Aoyagi of the Seventy (First Quorum, I believe) and of the Area Presidency and his wife both spoke. I also got to meet several members from Kitarokko for the first time in a year, so it was an especially great Taikai. Luckily, we didn't have to travel all the way back to Ako for the night because they let us spend the night in the Kobe apartment. One of assistants now is the other trainee that was in my first district in Nishiwaki, and I also had Writing 150 with him at BYU, so I got to reminisce with him, as well.
The next day we had Sunday Stake Taikai, at which Welch Kaicho spoke, as well as the Aoyagi's again. They spoke about practically the exact same things we did in our monthly fireside to the ward last week, so we're hoping this'll make some great changes! I also got to see even more members from Kitarokko! So, this weekend was pretty great! Then was the long trip back to Ako, as well as our weekly planning session which we couldn't do on Thursday, the usual day.
That's all for now and all the sitting I can stand :)