Ramen - we went out to lunch for the first time with Shi, who goes to college in San Diego but is home for summer break right now. She is super cool and actually has some Mormon relatives, even though she's never really thought much about religion. Mostly she's bored and likes hanging out with us - but she came to church! Every person that comes to church is a success in my book. It's such an important experience for everyone to have.
Cow tongue - this is not a joke. We had Mission Leadership Council on Thursday at the Honbu (took three hours by train to get there!) and afterwards met a girl and her friends for dinner. I'd met her on the train last time I went to Honbu, became Facebook friends, and said I'd hit her up if I came back. So that was cool! We told them to pick anywhere good, and they picked cow tongue - it's pretty much like small steaks. Kind of weird but tasted good I guess? I'm a monster. I'll attach a picture.
Ramen again - I went on splits in Kisarazu, which is famous for ramen, so we got some for lunch. Kisarazu is cool, but I didn't see too much of it because the sister's bike I was borrowing was broken so we stayed close to home, on foot. Got to teach Eikaiwa in Kisarazu which was really fun because they have some hilarious students. There's one man who comes to church every week and had sort of decided he's a member except he hasn't been baptized. He actually goes out knocking on doors with the missionaries sometimes, and rags on the members for not bringing enough "guests" to church. It's awesome. We actually got to have a really good discussion with him about baptism and asked him to ask God what to do. He said he would.
Vegan food - we got taken out by a new investigator and a bunch of her friends to the most hippie place I've ever seen in my life, including all of Eugene. The restaurant is called Sweet and Peace and is like walking into an Alice-in-Wonderland type dimension with all earthiness of home and cutesy-ness of Japan. They had a wish tree, where you can write down wishes and hang them on the branches (with the rule that it has to be a wish for other people) and also the desserts were covered in fruit sauce hearts and edible glitter.
Ice cream smoothie thing - it's the one drink on the entire menu of the cafe where we meet Sue that doesn't have coffee or tea in it, so we order it every time. We also made a personalized Plan of Salvation pamphlet for Taz the barista, marking sections we like and writing notes, so hopefully he'll read it.
Every single drink in 7-11 - we had a really cool, funny experience when we visited the To family. We'd met the mom before, and talked to her for maybe five minutes, but she said we could stop by again whenever we were in the area. So we went, expecting to maybe talk to them for five minutes and invite them to church or Eikaiwa, and were really surprised when they were delighted to see us and invited us in. We weren't really sure what they expected - teach their kids English? Explain the church? - but the first thing that they did was have the dad run out to a 7-11 to buy drinks because we said we didn't drink coffee. We insisted water was fine, but away he went, and came back with 8 bottles of various juices and flavored waters so that we could have our pick. As we talked to them, they...
- said they wanted to come to Eikaiwa
- offered to take us to Costco and buy us anything we were missing from home
- said we could teach them about eternal families
- told us they'd buy us kimonos to wear to the upcoming summer festival and asked what kimono size we were
- said they wanted to become Christian
- promised to take us to the beach and also like 5 other local restaurants
- said we could come back anytime, made a next appointment
- sent us off with fresh corn, pineapple, ice cream and pellegrino
Have you ever seen the movie Road to El Dorado, when the Spanish guys show up in South America and the native people immediately assume that they're gods and shower them with gifts and praise? That's kind of how I felt this week. It's gonna be a shock to come back home and not have everyone make a huge deal of me. I tell you, Chosei people will always have a special place in my heart.
We saw so many miracles this week. A lady we met on the street and talked to for five minutes, Homu san, came to church! She loved it, took a Book of Mormon, and said she'd be back next week. We barely did anything.
We also got to teach so many cool people, including Yu, a mother of four. She is so sweet and just wants her family to be happy forever more than anything. Also Iza, the lady tearing through the Book of Mormon, is awesome. She notices tons of Sunday School principles by herself and tells us about them - like the pride cycle, modern-day application, and other things. I think she understands the Book of Mormon ten times more than I do.
I love Chosei and its people and beautiful landscape - here's a shot of part of our bike ride home from church. Also Sister Sticht rescuing snails on the side of the road. The bugs here are huge and plentiful.
Hope all is well at home! Talk to you next week.
|Cow Tongue restaurant in Tokyo|
|Bike riding home from church in Chosei|
|Sticht Shimai rescuing snails from the road side.|