Monday, April 14, 2014

今日は (Today)

Hello family! Transfer calls came again this morning... Seriously frightening how fast these last six weeks went. Like I expected, I'm staying in Senzokuike with Yamauchi Shimai. Yay! Transferring is the worst. Sister Day, my roommate from the English ward, is leaving, and so is one of the Senzokuike Elders. But besides that, our district is staying the same. So pretty low-drama this time. Our whole zone met at Yoyogi park for P-day, a really huge park in Harajuku that's full of tourists. I've seriously never seen so many Caucasians in my life, except maybe BYU campus. We played basketball and frisbee and just hung out for a while, which was fun.

We had a really good week in Senzokuike with lots of new investigators. Unfortunately we haven't gotten to talk to Yu in a while... Or Zena... Or Mary. But she's coming to church next week! I really hate the cycle missionaries seem to find ourselves in sometimes with investigators - you meet someone, instantly click, set up another appointment, get so excited to meet them again and start making big plans, then they stop answering your calls and go MIA for weeks. Very aggravating. We're always trying to learn how often is best to call people when they start to drift - enough so they know we really care but not so much to come off as a stalker. It's a pretty thin line sometimes.

Actually, I was in Shibuya for a lot of the week -we did splits twice, once with the Japanese ward sisters and once with the English ones, and each time I ended up going there. It was a lot of fun. All four girls in that apartment are so great, and it was so good to get to know them and their investigators more. I got to teach another Skype lesson with the lady who thought Nephi's brothers were unfairly picking on Sam, and she instantly remembered me! It was so sweet. She loves the missionaries and kept saying how nervous she was for transfer calls coming up. She even organized a surprise birthday party for Ikeguchi Shimai. We went out to eat Korean barbeque for her birthday - a ton of meat. And the worst part is that I enjoyed it! Even the fatty pieces, kind of. I'm a monster.

General conference was awesome. And this time I watched it in... Japanese! Yeah that was interesting. I tried to tough it out for the first few talks, understanding maybe half of it, but then I saw the Elders reading along in English on their iPads while listening in Japanese and decided to copy them. Listening to all of it in Japanese would have been good language practice, but not the best way to learn spiritually. Plus since it's just a monotone translator's voice, it's pretty hard to understand. I think my favorite talk was Bednar's - that trials are necessary for us to progress. The "friction" we need to press forward. He said that a lot of people think happiness is an absence of any kind of load, when really without that load we'd be stuck with nowhere to go. I've definitely learned as a missionary that we change and improve most when a little pressure's on. While lots of stress is never desirable, we need at least some - one of my favorite MTC training videos showed a man saying "if you don't have any stress, you're dead."

Well, not a lot of time today. We did plenty of other stuff during the week but at will have to wait for another day. Here's all the sisters at Yoyogi and me with Shibuya sisters in our Korean barbeque bibs.

愛してる! (I love you!)

Zone P-day in Yoyogi Park

Celebrating Ikeguchi Shimai's birthday with Korean BBQ

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