Saturday, September 14, 2013

September 9, 2013 - First week in Naze

Well, I can`t believe it`s been a whole week already.  Time goes by soo fast here.  I am still loving Japan.  There`s always something new to see (at least for another week or two).  I love shopping here.  Everything has been anime ified.  Practically all of the ads have anime characters made for them.  It`s hilarious.  

Hallelujah, I have a bike now.  Because we live on an island, there is not a lot of bicycle selection here.  So I had to order one from the mainland.  Unfortunately this means I had to wait a week for the bike to get here.  Ironically my companion`s bike broke right after I got here, so even if I had a bike, we couldn't have been riding.  It was great, because the new piece he ordered for his bike arrived Saturday along with my bike, so we both had working bikes Saturday evening.  I can`t tell you how much of a blessing bikes are.  After walking around for a week, having a bike was glorious.  

Because we did not have bikes, we had to stay pretty close to home last week.  This isn`t too bad because we live about a ten minute walk from the main town of Naze.  However, a lot of the less active members (people apart of the church but who don`t come to church on Sunday, or haven`t been lately) live further away, so it limited us a little bit.  

The other problem was if we went to someone`s house to teach and they weren`t there.  This wouldn`t be too bad of a problem, except that to get to the next house we had to walk for ten minutes.  Needless to say, we did a lot of walking.  Most of the people here are not too fond of specific appointments and just say to come back sometime.  Sometimes they give us a specific day and rarely they will say come in the morning, afternoon or evening; but never a specific time.  Which means when we show up, they are not home a lot. 

But it worked out okay.  We were able to street contact a lot.  While we were walking to the different houses, we tried to talk to everybody we met.  Most of them weren`t interested in hearing about our message, but we met a few people who seemed like they might like to hear more about the gospel.  The problem is just when they live far away.  Also, sometimes when we show up to meet them, they`ve decided they`re not interested anymore.  Again, we spent a lot of time walking.  

This week, we are planning on visiting more people and people who are further away, because we have bikes now.  

We started a couple activities since I`ve been here that we are hoping will lead to new investigators (people who we are teaching and are interested in the church).  On Tuesday nights we are playing basketball at a local school gym (I don`t love basketball, but whatever).  Last week we only had two people come, but we are hoping for more this week.  

The second is kodomo eikaiwa (I don`t know how to spell it for you, so you will have to just sound it out) which is teaching kids english.  We have a regular eikaiwa every week as well where some adults who are interested in english come and learn from the four gaijin (guy jee n).  eikaiwa just means english class; kodomo means children.  However, when the class started on Saturday, no one showed up.  So we just had to wait around for an hour just in case.  We were all very disappointed.  These are essentially the three activities we have to try and meet people.  

On Saturday the district presidency (same as a stake presidency; the church leaders over our area) came to Naze.  My companion and I rode the bus to the airport to pick them up (an hour bus ride; about three by bike).  We didn`t know this at the time, but only one of them was arriving on that plane; the others all came later.  The 2nd counselor (in a presidency there is a president and two counselors) Takenaga Kaicho (ta K nah gah; kaicho means president) then rented a car and the three of us went and visited less active members in the area.  We also had been contacted by someone from another island who gave us a list of names of people we should visit.  One of the names on the list was around the area so we tried to visit her too (we normally could not contact this person or the less active members in this area because it was too far away; even by bike it would be difficult; that would be like six hours of riding, there and back).  We could not find her house though.  I am still not exactly sure how they number houses here, but they are not in order.  So even though we had the number of her house, we could not find it.  So after spending about 45 minutes talking to the people in the area for directions, we finally decided we did not have enough time left, so we started driving home.  Even though we weren`t able to find her, we were still able to talk to a few people and actually saw a member and an inactive.  On the way back to Naze (we had to pass the airport on our way to Naze)  we stopped at some store and Takenaga kaicho bought us both this brown sugar drink.  Essentially, they took stalks of brown sugar and put it through a roller which crushed it and squeezed out the juice.  It was very interesting.  It was a fun day; it was fun to do something different.  

Being a missionary is awesome and I love it.  We haven`t been able to teach all that much yet, but everything we`ve done has been rewarding.  I love it here.  I love the people.  

Thanks for your support. 
-Iain Lee

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