Companion: Watanabe Choro
Hey everyone! It was great to hear from all yall! This week seemed to go by really fast for some reason. I can't believe its already pday again!
First of all, these hills in Izumi are killing me! If you live here, you are never on flat ground. It feels like I'm constantly climbing a steep hill every second of the day. I guess it's getting me back in shape just in time to go mountain biking with Matthew! If I'm not dunking by the time I'm done with Izumi, I'll be greatly disappointed. Also, its super duper hot today! I feel like Imma die with the humidity. I'm not used to this heat after spending the winter in the arctic basically! Summer in Japan Round 2 is here!
Lets see, what happened this week?................
On Wednesday, we had interviews with President Smith. He told me he felt extremely impressed to transfer me back to Izumi even though I've already served here before. He said he tries his best to make sure missionaries don't go back to previous areas or have previous companions but he felt I should be back here. I don't know if there is a specific reason for me being here or not. I think there is and I hope I can find out soon!
It's weird to think that I only have one more interview with him before my actual exit interview....Yikes! But yeah, Wednesday was a good day because we had interviews and the first district meeting of the transfer, along with talking with Sister Smith. It was really nice to finally get to speak English with someone because I never really get the chance anymore living with 3 Japanese people. Now, I treat everyday I get to talk to an American like it's Christmas. It's made me really appreciate my own language and where I come from; it's given me a sense of pride (not bad pride of course)!
The rest of the week wasn't too exciting. Its hard to come up with exciting things to tell about when you just transferred to an area with no investigators so yeah....It was a week where every appointment we had fell through, all of the people we planned on visiting weren't home, and we spent most of the time on the streets or trying to talk to people about the Gospel and how Jesus Christ can bless and help their lives. We are trying hard to find those God has prepared, but nothing so far. We've gotten close with a few people but they say they are too busy to meet with us again. We will keep searching though. It is interesting though because there is a Christian college in Izumi so we have been able to talk to a lot of people who are starting to study the Bible and Christianity for the first time in their lives. It makes it pretty easy to talk about Jesus Christ and God, a lot easier than talking to people who have been "buddhist" their whole life and have absolutely zero image of God or Jesus. So its been fun to be able to do that.
Also, we have two pretty funny service opportunities we do twice a week. One you might remember me talking about last summer but we call it "Seaman Service" where we go to an old folks home and help out and entertain the residents there. The highlight is definitely talking to the seaman. He's this guy who's probably in his mid 70s or early 80s who has extreme short term memory loss, like super short term, like maybe 2 minutes at most. Back in his working days, he was the chief engineer of a big ship company so he spent his career sailing the ocean and in different countries. He is very proud of it and isn't afraid to tell us over and over and over (and over and over and over........). Its so funny, you'll be in the middle of a conversation with him and then he will suddenly start over with "Watashi wa Seaman Datta" or "I was a seaman! Big Ship Company, Chief Engineer!" He also talks about how dangerous he thinks America is and how everyone has guns and shoots each other, but how Japanese people can't have guns so if they get robbed on the ship they are screwed....... Then you start over with introducing yourself because he can't remember that you had already met 5 minutes ago, as well as every week before that. Like I said last year, you can predict where the conversation is going so you can kind of beat him to what he is going say just to change things up. Its pretty fun. I feel terrible having fun at his expense but he loves talking to us. I also had the awkward opportunity to give a shoulder rub to like a 98 year old Japanese lady there too. That was pretty weird but I guess its all for the sake of service!
The other service that was started here since I transferred to Kitakami from Izumi last year is the handicap place service. We go to the center and hang out with and help this handicap dude name Kikuchi San who is maybe in his late 20s or early 30s, but acts like he is 4 years old. That guy is a riot; he's pretty funny and says the most ridiculous stuff. The workers there are way nice too. Sometimes, Kikuchi San will randomly start staring at you and make really weird faces with his tongue out and everything while looking into your eyes. Its pretty awkward and makes you feel pretty uncomfortable, but you just roll with it and have fun.
Well other than that, I don't really have anything else. I'm pretty excited for this week though. On Wednesday we have a meeting in Sendai with Elder Stevenson from the Quorum of the Twelve as well as Elder Gong and Elder Yamashita from the Seventy. It should be super awesome. I've never met an apostle before so it should be way cool. People of that stature rarely visit the Sendai mission, they usually go to Tokyo or Kobe or something like that so we are way blessed. Well, President Smith and Elder Stevenson lived in the same apartment for six months when they were missionaries in Japan so they are good friends; that might have something to do with him visiting. It will be way awesome though, as well as being able to see all of the other missionaries that I haven't seen for a long time. I'm super looking forward to it.
This transfer is already almost halfway over which is nuts. The time is winding down fast! I hope you all have a great week! I love you guys! Talk to you next week!