Sunday, August 17, 2014

Transfer week!

Well, transfer calls happened. I'm staying in Chosei, but Sister Sticht is leaving me. I was pretty bummed but excited to find out that she's staying close by and transferring to Togane, our next-door neighbor! And she'll be my sister training leader along with Sister Willden - I love them both dearly and am looking forward to splits. I have been honorably discharged for now as STL, which is kind of weird because I've now been one for longer than not. But I won't miss the 2-hour long train rides to Honbu! My new companion is Sister Jones, from Australia, who I've met briefly but don't know much about. She came out about the same time as me so it should be fun!

This week was kind of crazy because it was O-bon, some big Japanese holiday where the spirits of dead ancestors come back to visit. So, everyone had work off, but was either traveling or refused to make appointments with us. We relied a lot on Skype, Facebook and surprise visits. One cool moment was when we visited Su, whose husband apparently doesn't like us because he thinks we're witchcrafting his wife. We knew he'd be home so we made a homemade puzzle for them (they LOVE puzzles) and came to drop it off. He was outside when we got there, shining his sweet-looking car, and Sister Sticht tried to bond with him by talking cars but we don't exactly have that vocabulary. I was zero help. So hopefully he could calm down and see how un-threatening we are.

Last P-day was awesome! We went to Onjuku, a famous surfing beach, and hung out on a giant towel and wrote letters. We also got to talk to Sue, who lives there, and she told us some cool stories about local traditions and history. It was a pretty windy day and we were covered in sand all week. Every once in a while we'll find more sand in our apartment or purses and say "Onjuku lives on!"

We got to spend more time with Kasu this week, which made me so happy. She's been really sick and will move away for about a month to be with family, and I just want her to get better so badly. She is an angel. I also got to meet her infamous dog Hope, who is completely psycho and totally spoiled. She's getting old so she has to wear diapers at night - see picture.

Another fun thing was going to ping-pong night with Ami Shimai. She hasn't been to church in a long time but was able to make some friends at the church (we very slyly invited one of the single men in the ward around her age and grinned all night as they went off in a corner and talked forever). She also kicked our butts at ping pong. Japanese people are all so much better at ping-pong, it's not fair. Also Elders are always really good. I swear they practice.

Other adventures this week... We flooded our apartment while trying to fix our washing machine. All the instructions are in kanji, and we spent a lot of time trying to look them all up and decipher them but still couldn't do it. We called some members and they came over and fixed it in like five minutes.

We did a lot of "pass-off lessons" this week with people we'd met who live in other areas, to introduce them to the missionaries who live in that area. One of the fun parts of riding trains all the time is meeting people from all over. I think dad asked me if navigating trains is easy - it's not, but you get used to certain stations and certain routes. We just use asking for help with trains as conversation starters, which sometimes helps but we've also been led astray a lot. If you ask a Japanese person for directions and they don't know, they will never just say "sorry I don't know." They'll lead you on a wild goose chase forever, often involving other people, until you either find your destination or pretend to find your destination to let them off the hook.

I would ask you to pray that I don't get lost without Sister Sticht to guide, but last time I asked that it didn't work so I won't bother. When I get lost I'll just try to make the most of it.

We had dinner with some awesome members last night - here's another picture. I don't have anymore.

Love you all! Have a good week

Hope, the psycho, spoiled and diaper-wearing dog

Dinner with awesome members of Chosei Ward

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