Thursday, September 4, 2014

We get a lot of watermelon!

こんにちは! みな元気?

This week has been great.  Recently there have been a lot more Relief Society activities.  Not sure if that is because of summer or summer vacation but I approve.  The relief society sisters are becoming friends and not just "people we happen to go to church with."  So counting that blessing.  This past sunday was also really good. The people are waking up. Now it seems to be on a more consistent basis that people are talking to each other.  Greeting each other.  No hugs yet, but I'm keeping my eyes out.  The spirits seem a lot higher.  Before it was more like everyone was enduring church.  Church is not meant to be endured, my friends.  It is a joyous uplifting, enlightening experience.  If it is not, repent. It will do you good ;)

This week we also went out with the Relief Society to lunch.  We went to this Italian restaurant all the way out in Toon city... yes, I laugh everytime I see the signs. The signs are all in kanji (which I can read by the way :DDDDD) and in english.  But in Japanese it's pronounced as "toe-n" and city translates to shi. so it's really とうおん or 東温市。 I think I've already explained this but whatever. I don't remember if I have or not.  But it means east cool city. Fun facts.. Moving on.

We also had a wonderful lesson with our 86 year old baptismal candidate for next year.  She doesn't remember anything.  She is a members mother.  The daughter wants an eternal family and is hoping to have her mother be baptized in the next year.  However during the lessons, their dog has a tendency to bark.. a lot.  And so the mother will get upset and get up to tell the dog ”うらさい!"  which means "shut up!"  She does it every lesson and in the past the daughter has always tried to help her mom sit back down and focus.  But this time she kind of gave up and just said "yes, go tell the dog that he's urasai."  So she gets up, goes to the door and tells their dog to shut up and for the first time the dog actually became silent.  The daughter and the 3 of us just crack up.  And then throughout the lesson our lovely 86 year old asked us 5 times how long we've studied Japanese. 

The other day while we were visiting a less active there were these little kids who were just staring at us from the street.  Our less active wasn't home so we just go out to the street and start to talk to these kids.  Who were hilarious!  And cute.  Japanese kids are so adorable!  And I can understand them!  Fun fact about Japanese:  kids only speak the plain form, not the more "advanced" polite form because they're just trying to get a grasp for the language.  Usually older kids though will use the polite form of Japanese.  Anyway.. So we're talking and joking with these kids.  There were two 7-year-old boys, a 5 and a 2 year-old girls.  At first they were so surprised that we spoke Japanese.  They were all like "WOA! It's not english!"  And they kept asking us to speak english.  And when we did they were all like "woa!  I don't understand at all" Then we would talk and then towards the end when we had to leave for a dinner appointment with the branch president I just said "I speak nothing but Japanese" and the leader of this group just said "You lie!  You speak English!" And we said good bye.  A good way to end the day. 

Every few weeks or so the branch president and his wife hold a family home evening for the branch and they invite the branch members, the missionaries and anyone else who wants to come.   Last night Hamilton shimai and I got to decorate the cake for someone's birthday.  ええ、さしぶり!Our lovely member friend who's mom we are teaching was there.  She baked the cake but says she's never decorated a cake before.  So she asked us to do it.  It was a peach cake, with peach slices in the middle and on top.  However, as I was frosting the cake, I tried some of the cream they whipped up and it was NOT sweet.  They hadn't added any sugar and I had already frosted the middle and I was finishing up on top... Oh no. Hamilton shimai and I just asked for the sugar and decided to add sugar to the cream and the sprinkled it on top for a sparkly look. 

I mention this only because the Japanese don't have a sweet tooth. They have anko ice cream for goodness sakes! (sweet beans.  Not bad by the way) So it just cracks me up between the differences of American sweet and Japanese sweet. But the cake turned out really good.  Mom, you would be proud :)

On Friday we also had our first district meeting.  Fukui choro is our new district leader. He's a half from Utah.  Nelson choro is new to the area.  I also saw him "born" in shimogamo way back when I was a 2nd transfer.  He's now zone leader. Good missionary.  Fun to work with again.  It's fun to see how we've changed since 2nd and 1st transfer.  District meeting was good.  Talked about making goals.  Among other things. Afterwards went out to eat some delicious indo curry.  Because why have Japanese food when you can have delicious cheap indian food with infinite naan bread and laichi?

But this week we will be going on a kokkan with the sister training leaders.  It's finally our turn.  We were last on the list for kokkans mostly because you've got two old farts working together. Woo woo!

Also another fun fact.  So because a lot of members have farms in Matsuyama we get a lot of watermelon.  We can barely keep up.  We are very grateful since watermelon is pretty expensive in Japan (It can get up to $20 for a melon).  So what we do is that every weekly planning we just divide the melon into two.  I get one half and Hamilton shimai gets the other and we dig in.  I like to carve designs into mine.  Once we made a bridge of kazadoom from Lord of the Rings 1.  And we role played.  My red colored pencil was belraug and the blue was gandalf.  Yes, we are focused as missionaries.  :D  And we destroyed that bridge!!

All in a good weeks work.  Until next time

Bevan Shimai

THE RE-ENACTMENT OF THE BRIDGE OF KHAZAD-DUM as demonstrated by Bevan Shimai
Instructions for building The Bridge of Khazad-dum
Start with one half of a watermelon

Hamilton Shimai is ready to start!

Eat or scoop away all the watermelon until a bridge is left spanning the width of your watermelon!
Now we are ready for the battle between Gandalf and the Balrog of Morgoth

Find two objects - one for Gandalf (blue) and one for Balrog (red)
find a sword for each player - fingers are ok

Have each player jump  up and down on the bridge while stabbing each other with pointed objects until the bridge breaks and both objects are catapulted into the dark abyss of the rind 

Cry out "Fly you fools" as Gandalf falls into the abyss and the Fellowship escapes out of the mountain - just make sure the red pencil falls first then the blue

Repeat again with the second half and enjoy the fruits of your labor!

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