Hey 皆さん！ (everybody)
So, mom, I got your last 2 letters yesterday. I would like to say that letters take about 10-14 days to get here. And yes, the mission office shops at Costco and provides staples like: granola, peanut butter (granted it's $10 for a jar), tortilla chips (really tempted to get those), salsa, and other things that I can't remember that I just don't care as much about.
Currently, there are about... 183 missionaries serving in the Kobe mission. By January it's going to go up to 250 missionaries. :D Last fall, before the announcement in age change, there were only 130 missionaries in the mission. So you could say it has grown. :)
So about teaching... We have 1 investigator with a baptismal date, however we haven't been able to meet with her because she has school every...single... day. I don't think the Japanese believe in weekends. :/ Unfortunately we're going to have to move her baptisimal date back because she hasn't been to church enough.
One of our investigators is moving to Tokyo this week, so we're hoping that she'll want her information referred to the missionaries in Tokyo. Cross your fingers please :)
Another investigator of ours gave us a list of questions. Some of the questions are simple, others are not, others he has asked before. Fish Shimai and I are trying to answer them as simply as we can without causing confusion, surprise, or more questions. We want to create or provide understanding. So that's been difficult.
We only had one lesson this past week. Before the end of the transfer, we're hoping to increase that number to 10 lessons a week. But it's been difficult. Everyone is busy and has no time to listen to our message. However, we have a ton of potential investigators! Like 25! Fish Shimai told me that she's never had so many potentials before. So hopefully we're going to take advantage of those numbers and turn them into new investigators and get up to at least 10 lessons a week. That's the goal anyways.
Day to day life:
So because food is very expensive here, we like to get creative in the kitchen. For breakfast we like to combine frosted flakes and granola. Frosted flakes are the only cereal sold in Japan... I don't understand it. But then again, all their words for meal times involve the word rice. We eat a lot of egg as well. For lunch we like to eat something called rice salad :)
Rice salad is a bowl of rice with lettuce, egg, hot dog (any form of meat here is expensive so we buy the cheapest), carrots and sometimes potato. However, I like to add cucumber and I buy some tomatoes for myself. Mizuguchi shimai likes to add eggplant to her bowl. Then dinner is something to the effect of raman, fried noodles, rice, or sometimes toast. And then we decorate it with vegetable/eggs. We also eat pancakes a lot. They call them "hot cakes" or ホトカキ.
Today I'm finally going to get a proselyting bag that I can just sling around my shoulder, so I'm pretty excited about that.
This week hasn't been all that interesting, to be honest. We've mostly been visiting P.I's (potential investigator's) and proselyting. I finally made the realization this week that I am now that missionary that people like to avoid and shut the door on! Hmmm, it was an interesting AHA moment.
This week I got a stink eye that was pretty impressive. This woman's husband was outside and we were just talking to him about his religion (shintoism) and not really understanding what he was saying - lol. When his wife returned home she started yelling at him to get inside all the while glaring at us... geez. We were just trying to be nice!
Also, Fish shimai has this rule while proselyting. "If you ever see someone twice, talk to them" So we saw someone whom we had seen before so Fish Shimai calls out to her and she didn't seem to hear her so we practically chase her down, all the while saying, "Do you speak English?" or "日本語ではなしますか" and she just says "no" and then hurries off. She looked so lonely and depressed when I saw her face. I felt so bad for her and we just wanted to help her.
Cool experience of the week:
So Fish Shimai and I are tracting, people not really interested, the usual. And as we're going between houses we say hello to a woman who passes by us as we ping pong the next door. After ping ponging, we continue and this woman came back and starts to walk towards us! She says, "Atsui desu ne" *hot, isn't it? - (btw, everyone says this first as a topic of general conversation in the summer!) She was so nice, she gave each of us fans! So Fish Shimai starts to talk to her and finds out her religious background, and so on, and they end up exchanging numbers!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH! For me, exchanging numbers is a big deal. Because it means they actually want to talk to you again. I find out later from Fish Shimai that the woman told her that she felt something tell her to give those two ladies fans... So we'll see what happens :)
So in America, we ask, "how are you?" and we expect the answer of, "fine" even though the person may or may not actually be ok. And if someone says differently it's considered to be a little weird because sometimes we just really don't want to know!
Here in Japan, they really do care. The topic of health is very serious and people really want to know if you're "genki" or in good spirits/health. So we say hello to this woman on the street and Fish Shimai asks her, "Genki desu ka?" And this poor old woman just straightway says, "genki ja nai." (or not well). We listen to her complaint and she ends up inviting us to her house for dinner next week. That never happens! I find out later that this woman has cancer... well... it kind of put a damper on my mood but I hope she's doing ok.
Anyway, hope you're doing well.
Happy Birthday mom! I know I'm a tad early but whatever. Happy 50th! I'll be thinking of you :) Let me know if you get something in the mail ;)
Love you all. Thanks for your support and your letters. I love it!
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