Another awesome week! We mostly spent last P-day unpacking so we want to get out and explore a little today... I think a shrine is on the agenda. More to come next week.
We met lots of cool people this week, mostly at parks. There are lots of parks in Japan around residential neighborhoods, and we live really close to a HUGE one that surrounds a lake where you can rent paddle boats. Parks are great places to talk to people taking a walk with their dog or kids because they aren't super rushed and usually enjoy the conversation. We've met such incredibly nice, interesting people here.
Once a week a family in our ward hosts the missionaries and investigators for Family Home Evening and dinner. We've been once and are going again tonight, so that's fun. They asked us to sing a Primary song I'd never heard of before, so we've been practicing all week but it's still pretty rough. Hopefully the gift of tongues applies to singing as well?
Eikaiwa here is really fun, too. More people come than in either of my last two areas. Yamauchi Shimai and I taught advanced class, which I always love because they go off on the most random tangents. I swear, some of them have better English than us - one of the students was talking about his Anterior Cruciate Ligament! How the heck can he remember that, in his second language, when I couldn't even remember in my first? In case you can't tell I'm still a little bitter about the anatomy class I failed miserably at last Winter semester. So upset I left the country! Actually it's kind of funny, a lot of people think we're sort of wild and crazy for abruptly taking a year and a half off of school and coming here. You know us missionaries, wild young rebels who just go on crazy adventures all the time. Haha.
Thursday we woke up at 5:30 to take the train to the mission home for my first leadership council that I got to go to in person! Definitely more fun than Skypeing in. Thursday was also awesome because we finally got to meet Mary, the 13-year-old daughter of a recent convert who we've been wanting to teach. She is SO cute, and we love her. Even though it sort of pains me to see how lovely she is at 13 and remember that particularly rough stage of my life where I wasn't looking so good. Anyway, we met Mary and her mom again at Denny's (that place has been good to me) a couple days later and talked about the doctrine of Christ, especially baptism. She wants to get baptized!! The most important thing now is helping her make friends at church, because she said it was a little scary going if she didn't know anyone. Luckily she's friends with another girl her age there, so that will help a lot.
Another fun thing here is kids' Eikaiwa, which we teach Saturday mornings. Three of four families come every week, and it's pretty much like Primary. When the kids get restless we play games and sing songs and other things. One of the kids, Daiki, is especially funny/loud and you can tell he's super bright. He always comes by himself, and has his own cell phone, so even though he's 7 he acts like this funny little adult. After class we asked him to come to church with his family, saying it would be fun, and didn't think much of it until he showed up with his mom the next day! She actually seemed to have a fair amount of interest. We showed her all the kids' classes, and talked about what we learned at church, and she wanted to check it out I think, but Daiki got a little shy and wanted to go home. But they'll come to an Easter activity next week, so that'll be good! I tell ya, the kids are the way to their parents' hearts. Teaching Teri and Mary lately has been so fun, and it really blesses the whole family when kids come to church and learn these important things.
I love this ward. We got to go to two members' houses for dinner this weekend, and I just love getting to know them! They were both super fun and funny, and everyone we've asked so far has had referrals for us. It's awesome. I feel so guilty every time I think about the millions of times the missionaries asked me if I had any friends I wanted to invite to hear the lessons and I immediately said "no." I've been so impressed by peoples' bravery and willingness to speak up and tell their friends about the church here. That's one thing I really, really want to take home with me - courage.
Love you all so much! I didn't really take any pictures this week, but thought Dad might like this shot of the local "library"