Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Shogatsu! (New Year)

Hello family!

Well its only been like 5 days but still kinda full of stuff we did. Not much missionary work at all but a lot of time with members and that is missionary work so sure. But of course I need to add my random comment. (So I write a list of things I want to say each week and at the beginning of the weeks I always feel like there will be nothing to write so I write really weird things and so you always get weird things)

They put mayo on everything here! Takes me off guard. Just thought I would let you know. Also I had to explain gravy last night....I:m not sure I even understand what gravy really is. Anyway thats my super random comment for the day, more random comments to follow.

So Friday was pretty chillaxed. Tried to visit some people that could become investigators but no one was home so that was disappointing. I met a Muslim, thats a first for me on my mission. 1. He told me he was a Muslim and 2 he did it in English so my response was of course *........cool.* Then he closed the door. Yep could have ran that better but whatever, we have to get the First Presidency:s permission to teach Muslims anyway so whatever. Then 3 hours of weekly planning. My goodness thats rough. Shinno choro and I would do 2 hours on a long day. Also Yamatani choro I still don:t understand. Sometimes he just stops doing everything and just sits. So I suggest we do something, he doesn:t respond, this cycles for a few suggestions all of which I just take as him accepting because he doesn:t disagree and then he says something like *Do you really want to do all that?* *What would you like to do?* *(Insert suggestion)* So therefore I scribble everything out and change it. I:ve decided he doesn:t really like finding....I think. He is really hard to peg. Hopefully the whole relationship building experience will come.

So the next day was Oosooji (Big clean (Spring cleaning basically)). Sincerely was like 8 hours of cleaning straight and you have no idea how disgusting missionaries are (ok so you might but still). There was stuff in there from when the sisters lived in the apartment which was more than a year ago. Also when the earthquake happened water spilled on everyone:s wall (still trying to figure out why....Walls cracked maybe and now are fixed?) anyway and our *gas heater*(we also discovered that it isn:t actually hooked up to anything) was right below all the wetness so guess where had a ton of mold? Yep. Apparently mold is a super big problem here. Anyway, that apartment is beautiful now!

Next day was the first day of the new years starting Shogatsu! Its like their christmas. At Church people realizing that we had no family to go to invited us to three meals (had to decline one) so I was super excited. We get to the first one and the lady just kinda looks at me concerned and says,*I made rice just in case you don:t like this* which I get a lot actually but its always really good. Then she brings it out. I about puked on sight. Its what you imagine Japanese food to be. Whole fishes, Shrimp that have like spikes on them. *Dessert* is a super sweet sweet bean thing, then the soup isn:t so bad but has mochi in it which I had in small quantities before but this is a huge block of it thats impossible to eat. So I do my best and get halfway through...about before my stomach says if I take one more bite it will send it all out. Then I look at our hosts plates.....they ate less then me. Thinking it maybe them just being nice I brush it off. I go in for a another try of my own food and then she tells me, *We don:t really like this food either, that:s why i:m not eating it.* What? they don:t even eat it themselves? Oh dear. So we go home, I let my stomach rest to the next appointment who is bound to be better food.

Come in the room and plates are set out for Yamatani choro and I only....ok? Then they bring out the food and of course its the same disgusting stuff. This time the hosts aren:t even going to try and eat it. Ha. Not a great experience with the culture I must say.

So that brings us to yesterday. Head out early to go to a Jinja (buddhist shrine). Kinda super scary but super fun. We were with a few members. Our only single adult (Kokochan) and one of the sisters are dressed up in the traditional kimonos. Kinda cool. Learn all their rituals, pray to their gods(ok so in my heart I wasn:t I just acted like it). Got my fortune told which was kinda a crappy fortune but I say thats because the Buddha gods don:t like that I:m a missionary. Kinda fun I must say. Get back for the first of two meals planned and I:m scared out of my life for the continued fish fest. Then it comes out and.......its gudon (not sure how to spell) rice with delicious meat on top. Oh how I never loved gudon so much in my life. Then come back to the apartment, chillax for like 6 hours (kinda felt disobedient but its what we were told to do....kinda) then next appointment and she tells us we are having oysters. Scary! They were deep fried though so they were super good. As my host said, *You fry anything and an american will eat it* .....true. Also had mashed potatoes, no idea where they came from but its been awhile my dear potatoes. So over all this holiday has actually been ok, kinda cool. Glad I tried the foods...not sure I want to again.... But good experience.

More random stuff+
So I was looking at pictures of Yamatani's mission that he has in this big binder. Looking at all the missionaries that have already gone home because Yamatani choro is the 2nd longest in the mission missionary right now. But then I see a familiar face. Takes me a second to realize who it is though.......Whetto shimai? Yep. My MTC teacher worked in the same area at the same time as Yamatani choro. Super funny.

Christmas party sounded fun.

We did feel the earthquake....yeah I could write tons of emails about earthquakes here. People get super freaked out now when there are earthquakes. It was in the middle of our lunch appointment and the sister just dropped right into a prayer when it last for more than like a second. Kinda freaky.

One last random comment. It makes me laugh that in that picture you sent of Lindsay and Mandy, Lindsay has a mission planner. She can:t let go! :-)

Well love you, gone too long already. Talk to you next week.