Thursday, September 12, 2013

I am a giant here!

Mina san, konnichiwa!
So far having a Nihonjin companion has helped me and blessed me in many ways, one of which being aware of what is polite and what is not polite.  Apparently.. In Japan, it is very bad to play with ones hair... hehe.. And then it's also really bad to bite one's nails... So the only two bad habits I have are really bad in Japan.. Yes!  There are times when I also feel like I am a giant among the Japanese -for instance on Sunday, when I first walked in to the church building, I realized that it is definitely made for shorter people.  Meaning, I couldn't even reach the hand railing because it was so low to the ground! But it's definitely fun.  Makes for a good laugh. :D
So this week, I have done a lot of housing and a lot of tracting.  And I've been trying out different things, some work better than others.  I've tried different missionaries advice and some work better than others.  But one night, as I was biking across the bridge and I looked out at the huge river that passes through Kyoto, I just fell in love.  I am in love with the city, the people, everything. I don't want to ever leave here!  I am definitely coming back post mission, hopefully, many times. 
We got a new investigator this week!  It's so exciting and I'm just stoked.  So Friday night we got a call from a member inviting us to dinner on Sunday evening.  They said that they have a family member in Kyoto, who is a non-member, and that they would  like us to teach this person about the gospel.  The family thinks she can be baptized before the next transfer.  We taught her Sunday night about God and who He is and that we can pray to him.  We have another lesson scheduled this week.  Please pray for her to feel the Spirit!  The fun part is that this family is Mongolian.  They all speak Japanese fluently except for this one sister, the woman whom we're teaching.  So her family translates for her while we teach.  It's cool to hear Mongolian. It sounds like they have a lisp or breath through their cheeks (meaning you make your cheeks super wide and then breath, making a lispy noise).  Luckily, the Hanbu (mission office) has a Mongolian Book of Mormon, which we're getting this week.   I'm a little concerned about her because I want to make sure that she really wants to be converted and a member, and not just doing this because her family tells her so.  But I'm just going to be grateful and wait and see.

About Sister Tojo,
Sister Tojo is from the Fukuoka mission area.  From a city called Kumamoto.  She comes from a family of 5, she's the middle child.  Her younger brother just returned from his mission in Nagoya, Japan.  She turned 23 on August 10th.  (A good day to have a birthday, no?)  And I believe she grew up in the church but went through a period of inactivity.  I'm not really sure the details behind it, but I'm not really sure if I should ask either.
She does not like Natto (fermented soy beans, it's what's for breakfast in Japan), and neither does anybody else in Japan from what I've heard.  I don't know why it exists to be honest. She worked for 4 years before coming on her mission. I'm not sure if she plans on going to a university after her mission or not.  I'm afraid to ask.  I'm not sure how sensitive she is about it.

We share an apartment with Sister Gomez and Sister Ohata. Sister Gomez is from my doki (group in the MTC) and she's from Hawaii.  Sister Ohata is from the Tokyo area.  I love this new apartment, it's A LOT bigger than the one in Kobe.  It still only has two rooms but it's a lot roomier... I think... 
I did get a new bike seat extension last week for about 10 dollars.  There's nothing I can do about the bike situation unless I get a collapsable bike, but I don't like the steering and they're too small (made for Japanese people).  So I'll just buy a seat extender every transfer.  I'd rather pay for that than knee surgery... :D The reason why we don't bring bikes with us is because the moving company doesn't take bikes anymore.  And we can't take them on trains or buses... So thus they stay with the apartment.
Today, we went to a shrine!! Finally! Something touristy!  We went to the Kiyomizu shrine.  It was beautiful!  I took lots of pictures and I bought mochi!  It was SO good.  I got chocolate banana, chocolate strawberry and mango :D  So fresh!  I think it's made there.  So I was in food heaven.  Then we went out for Abura Soba noodles.  Which were excellent and only $5.  They're just a thicker noodle with really good oil and veggies.  Oishii!
Then on to the craziness of Preparation day.  But I love Sister Gomez and Sister Ohata.  Sister Gomez and I keep each other sane because it helps to just joke around and have fun in English because our companions don't understand a lot.  She and I hope to be companions later. I think we could convert thousands once people actually understand us :D

Anyway,  I think I'm going to head out soon.  We've got to make a stop at Daisos.  (only the most amazing dollar store ever.) And then maybe eat before six... probably not.  But that's ok.  Thank you so much.  I love you! 
Bevan Shimai

Shimai Tojo, Ohata, Gomez and Bevan on Otowa Mountain
Posing at Kiyomizu-dera (the temple of clear water)
Sarah at the Deva Gate of the Kiyomizu-dera
West gate of the Kiyomizu-dera, just behind the gate is the three-storied pagoda. (roof and spire visible)
Hanging loose Japanese Style!
Lunch! Abura Soba noodles yummy!