Monday, March 12, 2012

One year since the tsunami

Ok so much to write from not writing last week but I have already forgotten all the stuff from two weeks ago so oh well. This week had enough in it I think to fill up an email.

So lets see. Monday and Tuesday were splits in Izumi (like a suburb of Sendai thats where my district is *based* (Izumi district)). Not a whole lot got done. It was our District leader trying to be efficient but kinda ended up being a waste of a split. Oh well. life goes on.

Side note here. So those stupid missionary mall gloves when they got soaked released all their blackness which got on my white shirt. Stain sticked the crap out of it but just turned the black blue. Not sure what to do at this point. Sigh.

Then on Thursday President Rasmussen came and dendoed (tracted) with us. I wasn't sure how it was going to work. Walk everywhere? Drive us to appointments? Who knows. Anyway we were out knocking doors when he finally came and told us to come to the church. When we get there he was pulling a bike off the back of his van. I never knew he had a bike! Ha. And apparently it was actually one of the new missionarie:s bikes that he was using for the day. Funny. So the three of us took off on our bikes. Quite the sight. Visited out 19 member and did a lesson in English. President had way too much fun with this. Ending up making one of the ladies play her saxophone for us.

And also something we don't actually do but should that he did really skillfully was every member we met that day we asked for referrals. Actually got one from one of the members. It ended up being a old investigator though but still cool. Then went to eat with a member that feeds us a ton and she jumped for joy and begged us to bring President when she knew he was coming. Pulled out a lot of good information from them too. Found out about a daughter that we didn't know about and met her (long story). Finally we met a member that President had interviewed for baptism so that was neat for him to see I think. Fun stuff.

Anyway when we first started biking he bikes up next to me and says, "Elder Carter I want to tell you about are getting a new companion." Then he laughs for like 5 minutes. "Thanks president" Then he bikes up next to me again, "Ok I'll let you know something real, you will be the senior companion" ......again don't I know that since I have been in the area longer? "That only makes you area senpai (senior) you are also more experienced senapi" "Oh..." (FYI one of my MTC kohai (group after me) or I go trainer.) "So that means you will get one of your kohai." So I'm not a trainer. Anyway this was very different. Oh yeah and he threw out, "He's American too." Oh dear! Ha.

So this morning we patiently await the transfer call. Finally we get a call from the APs. Lazy president won't even make the call himself I think. But no the AP just wants to talk to Yamatani choro about sending his stuff home. He:s about to hang up and I tell him he is forgetting something. "What" "Who:s my new companion?" "You haven't got your call yet?" "Ha. No" (in the background)"Hey Presient you haven:t called Furukawa yet? (muffled noises)" "He told you when he dendoed with you right?" "No, not the name just that he was my kohai" "Oh well its Mead choro, well got to go" Ha. Well that was uneventful! Anyway yes his name is Mead choro. He has been in Yamagata since he came to Japan. That is all I know about him. Ha. Sorry I don't have more. Also my district got destroyed. Only 2 members are left from before. In Izumi 3 elders moved out and 3 new came in out of 4. Crazy stuff.

Anyway I:m kinda freaking out. Had kinda been hoping to go trainer but now I'm freaking out that I'm senior with an American! I'm not ready for this! Ha. Freaking out!!!!! Ha. Time will tell. I have a feeling I'm going to have to start learning really fast again. My teaching and language skills are not where they need to be right now. As President left on Thursday he pulled me aside and told me this next transfer was going to be amazing for me and things were going to go much more how I want them too. Yay, I like this said promises from President. Then almost as an after thought he adds. And probably the hardest thing you have ever done. Well that put out the fire pretty fast. We shall see though.

Moving on. Basically met with two investigators this week. "H"san. Taught her about faith. She still isn't keeping most her commitments and I'm just not sure what she needs. Still in the same state as when we met her. Hm. "T"san we just met today. Didn't come to church but looks like she might come this week. She is super busy so her commitments are falling through too. Sigh. Shall be interesting to see how things change with Mead choro and I too. Teaching style is going to completely change. Yamatani choro just wings everything and its freakishly good lessons. I can't do that at all so yeah. Poor investigators are going to get whiplash from how fast everything changes.

As for if we did anything for the anniversary of tsunami. Really is that a question? On Saturday we started service again and instead of the usual we made lanterns that were going to be set all throughout the coast of sendai the next day to commemorate (can:t spell) the event. Made thousands of them. They are like the ones on Tangled except they don't float in the air. Super cool also because the "windows" (place where the light shines through) were donated and made from people all over the world and sent so they were in all different languages ranging from little kids with crayons drawing the japanese flag and smiling people, to like beautiful artwork with extremely heartfelt messages and like poem type things. Many were in languages I didn't know.

Anyway we did this service in what used to be a middle school. One of the time times we were walking in I noticed out front a bunch of beat up desks with like soft drinks sitting on them. Weird. Why did they leave that stuff there after cleaning all the rest up? Why are the drinks there? Then I saw the flowers too. Aw man! So we go over and as I then realized it was a memorial to the students of the school. Messages were written on the desk and I didn't count but I think there were 15 soft drinks. 14 childrens bodies were found in the school after the tsunami and 1 was never found. Sometimes when you see these broken buildings you kinda think its cool but then you realize people were in these buildings when this happened. A lot of children were on the coast. One story I heard that just killed me was there was this gym type place that was an emergency evacuation area. Earthquake happened so a ton of people ran and went into this building. ....Then the tsunami came. From what I heard it sounds like they just sealed it up and are calling it a cemetery. I mean really what is this! As Sister Oaks put it, "Why Japan!? Why Tohoku? (Basically the name of the area where my mission is) Why the most humble, simple people?" I don:t know the answer, Sister Oaks's answer was something like "Because they can handle it" It was eerie coming back into Furukawa Saturday night and seeing thousands of candles line the streets. In church a minute of silent prayer. The stake had a book made of a all the adult members of the stakes testimonies from things they learned from the earthquake. I can't read this book yet but I cherish it. Even more eerie is being in the car with our branch president driving to a hometeaching house and he has the radio on low then he gets this look on his face and just kinda whispers to himself "1 minute" parks the car outside the members house. Then the announcer comes on after this Japanese music and says. "1 year ago to this minute the earthquake happened" You almost expect something big to happen but we got out of the car and just went back to work. Thats what these people are doing. A lot of things changed completely for these people but they are still going and that makes all the difference.

Well spent a lot of time on that. Love you all. Will be able to update more next week. Have a good spring break.