Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas in Japan

MERRY CHRISTMAS! And happy new year!
So Christmas morning we woke up at our regular time and exercised like
normal. We tried to rush out as soon as possible so we could get to
doing some missionary work. We visited a recent convert who lives
alone and wished her the merriest of Christmases. After that, we took
a forty five minute bike ride to the Ward Mission Leader's house here
in Koga. This couple, the S's, actually came and picked me up
when I arrived from the train station and drove my companion and I to
our apartment. We paid them back in the only way missionaries can. We
decorated their door and gave them candy. We came, everything was
pretaped, we were quiet, we were quick. But in the twenty seconds we
were there they still heard us and opened the door mid-decoration.
Surprise ruined.
That same day, it was the birthday of one of our investigators, so we
visited her and brought her cake and cookies. She's real old and sick
though, and when we called her she said she was at the
hospital...again. BUT NO MATTER. Later, miraculously, I butt-dialded
her and she reported that she ate the cake and cookies and they were
Despite the coming forty-five minute bike ride, my companion and I
could not have been more energetic. We weren't just riding bikes, we
were on our way to talk to our families! It was a nice enough day,
choice bike riding weather. Man how our legs pedaled down the single
highway that runs all the way through the our area! We really love our
families. They're great.
Following our skype call, we took a bus to the train station. We
brought our hymn books and tons of flyers. We caroled there with the
other two sisters that live in our apartment. Two of us would sing and
the other two would hand out flyers and should " MERRY CHRISTMAS" to
passing people. We got a lot a smiles, but nobody was up for getting
baptized on Christmas. Bummer.
The rest of the night we visited a ton of people. I honestly don't
remember studying a word of Japanese that day, but it didn't stop me
from talking to everyone that crossed our path. Our strategy is: I
ride ahead of my companion. I discombobulate a single person. I start
speaking Japanese to them, and they are so confused by my horrendous,
tremendous lack of skill that they slow down to a stop. My companion
catches up and shares a spiritual message. I smile. It's quite genius.
It is so bitter cold here in Japan! Ocean winds blow all the time. I
swear I could be riding downhill, and when it's windy, if I don't
pedal my bike will come to a complete standstill. I can't stand it.
But! I invented a brilliant solution for my skirt. I took a regular
old clip and an old head band and wrapped the head band around the
part of my bike that goes between my knees and the clip. Once I clip
my skirt in, it never flies up! Necessity is the mother of invention.
I'm eating super well! No need to worry! It's a lot of rice and
noodles. To my horror, I discovered "rice cheeks." It's an old
missionary's tale, but the legend is, you can lose all the weight you
want on an Asian mission, but you will always have large cheeks
because of all the rice you eat. So now I swallow mouthfuls of rice
whole. I'm kidding. It's so sad the foods I took for granted. But no
it's good! I bought some lemons, and I kept the juice so I can add it
to things! Tonight I also made horchata! On the same website that we
order Books of Mormon, we can also order peanut butter (an absolute
treasure in Japan).
Today also, I ate mochi for the first time. It's a traditional dish
but especially festive during the new year. And, you guessed it, it's
rice. Japanese people take huge amounts of rice and pound the living
daylights out of it until it's this mushed, gooey, taffy life
substance. Then they add stuff life beans to give it flavor. We had
this activity at the church where we cleaned the building, and then
all made mochi together. It was super tender. Do I like mochi? Not at
all. Do I love missionary work and the people in the Koga Ward? Yes.
Did I eat all the mochi I could so as to not offend a soul? You bet
your bottom dollar.
UGH I wish I could tell you all about the sisters I've met here! AND
MY COMPANION. On a week that not so much happens, I'll tell you all
about everyone. For now, just know that God helped me get to know
Sister O. before I even knew her name.
I love you all! Share the gift! See you soon!

Sent from my iPad
This is our shower, practically a room
Books in 4 languages, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, and Tagalog
My Desk
Our beds

No comments:

Post a Comment