Tuesday, October 8, 2013

October 8, 2013

I can`t believe I`ve been in Japan for so long; it`s crazy.  Not that I can speak the language or anything, but still.  

So this week is transfer week, my first one in Japan.  It`s funny how everything is up in the air and nobody is sure whether they are staying or not (except me, I`ve only been here one transfer and I am pretty sure they won`t transfer me; but we`ll see).  Apparently they change P-day to Tuesday during transfer week, so our whole schedule gets kind of thrown off.  We won`t find out until later who is transferring (my companion`s been in this area for three transfers so there is a decent likelyhood that he will be transferred).  

But in the end it has worked out well because having P-day during a typhoon would be a little hard.  Oh yeah, I forgot; yesterday I experienced my first typhoon.  Way fun.  Way boring.  Because of the dangerous nature of typhoons we did not have much time to proselyte yesterday.  So we went to the church and watched General Conference.  It was great, but also a little disappointing that we couldn`t be doing missionary work.  In the evening we had to go back home before the typhoon got too bad to travel outside (which it did almost immediately after entering our apartment).  So we made some phone calls to different investigators and members and just studied some more.  It was good to have the extra study time and fun to see a typhoon, but I definitely would not want it to happen very often.  

This week we spent a ton of time contacting (which just means knocking on people's doors, talking to them on the streets, etc.) in an effort to get more investigators, or people to teach.  We have a couple of really good people we are teaching, but we only see them once a week and that does not exactly fill up our time.  So we are hoping to find some more people in the upcoming future.  

Thanks for all your support.  Love you all.  

Elder Lee

Sunday, October 6, 2013

September 30, 2013

I hope you`re all doing well ;-!  I learned how to play shogi a few weeks ago; i think about week two.  I haven`t had time to comment on it, but my companion taught me how to play (it is really hard to learn because the only difference in pieces is the kanji and they all look the same!).  I finally won against him today.  Yata!!!  I`m pretty sure he wasn`t taking me seriously though.  If I can beat him again, I`ll let you know.  Shogi is pretty much Japanese chess.  The pieces move a little differently, but the basis and the strategies are similar.  The thing that always throws me off is that you can bring pieces back!  Every piece you take from your opponent you can use later.  It makes strategy way hard.  Anyway, I digress; it`s really fun.  

I still haven`t bought an electronic dictionary (jisho in Japanese).  There is a store they call a recycle center which is essentially a used store, and they sell jisho`s.  Two of the elders in my apartment bought jisho`s there and only paid 60 and 70 dollars.  A new jisho is at least 140 (usually more for a good one) so I am going to wait and see if they get another one that is less.  

I am indeed sleeping on a futon.  It was really wierd at first, but I really like it now.  In the mornings we just roll it up and move it out of the way.  We have tons of room because of it.  It is definitely the way to go.  

We aren`t doing anything interesting this week on our P-day, which is fantastic because we are all tired.  The plan is to play some shogi, take a nap and relax for the rest of the day (shopping and important stuff is all done already).  

We are biking pretty much all the time.  But unfortunately my companion`s bike has gotten some flat tires.  In the past week he added five or six patches to his back tire (none to his front, thank goodness).  I told him his tire is dead, but he refuses to buy a new one.  Oh well.  Whenever a bike breaks down it usually means a lot of walking.  Last time he got a flat we were about an hour away from our apartment on foot (fifteen by bike) and we had an appointment in 30 minutes (the appointment was at least fifteen minutes past the apartment, by bike).  Needless to say we didn`t make the appointment.  It turned out she couldn`t meet with us anyways, so we were all good.  

We rode all the way to the airport last Wednesday.  The airport is about an hour away by bus and forty minutes by car.  It took us about three hours to get out there.  Unfortunately none of the people we wanted to visit out there were home, so we just road back (not a complete waste because we got to stop by and see two less actives on the way back).  Out of the 7 people we wanted to visit that day, we saw two.  We are going to try and get appointments next time.  

Along with peanut butter, maybe you could send a small package of oreo`s.  My companion got a package from his parents with Oreo`s in them.  But when I tried one, I realized they taste different.  So I need to show him what they are supposed to taste like.  

I still can`t understand diddly squat.  I learned something though.  When people talk to my companion they talk differently than when they talk to a gaijin (foreigner).  Our zone leaders came out to do exchanges with us (way expensive `cause we`re on an island) and they are both gaijin.  So when we talked to people I could understand about half of what they were saying!  I was like "what the heck!".  Then I went back with Mukaitani Choro and I couldn`t understand anything again.  Pssssshhhhhhhh!!!  Nihonjin.  Anyway...

We have gotten to teach a little more and I am way excited.  We have a Halloween party that we are starting to plan and we are hoping it will be a good activity in which we can meet some new people.  We have high hopes, but we will see.  

As another finding activity we are going to hold a family history fireside for the members to bring their friends and we are hoping to introduce people to the church family history website (they updated it recently and it`s supposed to be way better now).  Hopefully we can meet some people who are interested in their ancestors.  I was hoping you guys could find out more about our family tree (obviously only if you have time, I know you guys are busy).  I would be useful to use a story or two in our fireside.  But don`t worry too much about it, Anderson Choro has a nine generation pedigree chart that he loves to whip out, so I probably won`t need to say much.  Also on the church website you can print out fan charts which are pretty cool.  Grandma Wyatt might like one of those.  

I love you and hope you are well.  
Love, Iain