Monday, September 16, 2013

Greetings from.... Oyama!

Transfer calls were this morning! Both Sister Kubota and I are staying in Oyama, and we're getting a third companion! So I guess I'll be co-training. She's having some visa problems so we don't know when exactly she'll get here, but I'm way excited! We'll have to go buy another futon soon.

This week was a little slower than last, teaching-wise, but our golden investigator Aki continues to progress. We had a church member help us with our last lesson, which was awesome, because she's very bold and has no problem saying stuff like "you should quit your job so you can find one that lets you come to church on Sunday." We aren't allowed to give any kind of career advice, so that was a huge help. Yay for this awesome ward!

The whole ward came together this weekend to set up the church for a wedding reception that was held today. The entire first floor was covered in pink flowers, ribbons, everything - and the bride had a perfect Disney Princess dress. It was every girl's fantasy. Sister Kubota was so funny, and kept half-jokingly saying "we can't stay here too long, it'll make us want to get married!"

Friday the 13th ended up being a scary morning when Sister Kubota and I got separated at an intersection and couldn't find each other for a while. I went to the church to use the phone to call her on our cell, but realized I didn't have a key - luckily, our district leader showed up a few seconds later, on the phone with a frantic Sister Kubota. It ended up being not a huge deal, but our district leader kept laughing and saying "I never though I'd get THAT call!"

Friday evening, we went over to an "eternigator's" (someone who's been taking lessons for years, but never gotten baptized) house for dinner. We made homemade soba noodles from scratch - it was way cool! They rolled out the dough on a huge wooden board with a giant rolling pin, then folded it all up and used a special knife to slice super-thin noodles. The noodles that Sister Kubota and I cut were like 3X as fat as the others - it was hard!

This weekend everything's been on standby because of a huge typhoon that's all over Japan right now. Luckily it didn't hit Oyama, but we still had to cancel a lot of plans just in case. There have been deaths, injuries, and destruction all over Japan because of it, and I hope it ends soon. I heard the last time this typhoon happened was 40 years ago.

Obligatory scary-animal missionary story: I ran over a HUGE snake with my bike a few days ago. No matter what kind of snake - big, small, poisonous, harmless - they are still one of my biggest fears. I tried not to make a scene but let's be honest, it was out of my control - I was shrieking all the way down the street. All of the people outside were staring at the huge screaming white girl on a bike. I had to pull over afterwards to let my heart rate go back down, and broke into relieved laughter. I can do cockroaches, and don't even get too scared about killer bees, but snakes are another story.

Sister Kubota and I went shopping today, and I managed to get clothes that fit! Japanese people are tiny but they like loose clothes, so it works out. And I guess maxi skirts are in style right now, so I found some that cover my knees. Shoes, unfortunately, are another story. Maybe I'll follow the pioneers' example and pray every night that mine don't wear out, because I sure can't buy any replacements here. Maybe crocs would fit - but I still have my pride for now.

Fun fact about Oyama: the current popular hairstyle for young rebellious teenage boys is a mullet, sometimes with bleached ends.

Sister Kubota and I have been very sister-missionary-ish lately and have been baking treats to take to people, sometimes accompanied by a pretty handmade card. She's really good at origami too, so we'll fold up notes into cool shapes. Right now I'm baking a clafoutis for district meeting because two of the elders in our district have birthdays this week.

Speaking of our district, it grew a lot this transfer! 50 new missionary apartments opened this transfer, opening new areas and expanding existing ones. Very exciting. I can't wait to see how much the mission changes by the time I leave!

Much love,

Anna and Kubota Shimai making soba noodles

Eating the soba noodles

Anna's reaction to the news her cousin David is engaged to Taylor:  "Yay!! Too bad I'll be gone for the wedding, but they're a beautiful couple. Tell them congrats for me!"

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