I think Dad may have asked about transfer calls... Those are coming next week, so in my next email I'll know where I'll spend the remainder of my days in Japan. Time flies!
We had a very cold week - actually used our heater for the first time, which took a while to figure out because all the buttons are in Japanese. Having technical difficulties in a country that doesn't use the alphabet is extremely mentally taxing. Anyway, we figured it out, and our apartment is nice and toasty. A perk of not having a Japanese roomate is that there's no one there to pester you about being more energy-efficient. I remember Kubota Shimai refusing to turn the AC any stronger than what she believed to be practical, no matter how much I complained that I was dying. On Wednesday it poured, and poured, and I was grateful for my crocs and rain pants and other clothing that I wouldn't be caught dead in in America.
Eikaiwa was fun, even though the lesson was on my least favorite topic - work. It's depressing sometimes to hear people talk about their jobs, and how little time they have off, and how boring they are. There's a family that comes to the Chosei Eikaiwa that's really similar to a family at the Senzokuike Eikaiwa, and they're both really funny. One angelic daughter, and two boys that fight and hit each other the whole time. Talking to kids is fun because they teach you childish slang Japanese.
Another funny event on Wednesday - there are persimmon trees everywhere here, seemingly belonging to no one, full of fruit that goes unharvested. Sister Jones and I were curious, so while we were jogging one morning we picked up a just-fallen persimmon that looked pretty good. Went home, cut it up, took a bite and almost vomited. It was like biting into an apple soaked in astringent. We asked one of our Jaykaiwa senseis about those trees, and I guess he was really concerned we were going to do something stupid because he brought us a ton of persimmons the next week.
We visited Suzy this week, a very kind lady who accepted a Book of Mormon from the missionaries a while ago despite not having much interest in religion. She was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer, and has been undergoing treatment, but seems so very content and at peace with her fate. I half admire her courage, and half want to help her realize that she doesn't have to settle for believing she'll soon become nothing. It's hard to get someone to hope for an afterlife, when they have chosen to be content without one!
About a month ago we met a lady while housing, then returned a while later and gave her a Book of Mormon. This week we went back again to follow-up on if she'd read any, and turns out she'd finished almost a third of it! We were way excited until she insisted on giving it back to us, saying she just couldn't accept that Nephi was commanded to kill Laban in chapter 3. I'd been told in the MTC that a lot of people had problems with this, but I never really believed that it would be such a big deal. Japanese people love Disney more than anyone, and in practically every Disney movie, the bad guy dies at the end. It's just how it has to be, in order for everyone else to be happy, and no one ever seems to object. Laban is quite obviously the bad guy in this story, with Nephi being the hero, and it always made perfect sense to me as a child that Nephi would have to kill him. Actually, I remember being confused why Nephi was so hesitant to do it. But I have met many people here who start to read the Book of Mormon and get very disturbed at that part. Maybe it's put near the beginning of the book to root out weaklings, I don't know.
The Halloween party was awesome! Tons of our investigators and Eikaiwa students came, and other people who we didn't know too. I'm looking forward to seeing them again when we hand-deliver all the photos we took with party-goers in the costume photo booth. The church was completely decorated on both floors, and looked great. I'm kind of sad all the spooky things are gone, and it's not even Halloween yet.
Unrelated note - I noticed mom continues to wear my clothes in pictures. Does Luke still sleep in my bed?
Our friend Na came to the Halloween party with a friend, and brought that same friend to church with her the next day! We only have two young women in the Chosei ward, but they're awesome and did a great job being friends to Na and Mani. The four of them talked a lot about school uniforms, and manga, and all kinds of other stuff that we knew nothing about. After church they stayed to make takoyaki (deep-fried octopus in batter) and had fun at that too. Na had been kind of nervous to come to the church before that, so I'm really glad that she could see it as a fun place with normal people. Lots of people here have only ever seen church on TV - big cathedral, fancy wedding ceremony - and think that they can't come in if they aren't Christian. I always laugh when people ask, "is it really okay if I come to church?" Yes, it's okay. I left home and family and friends and school for a year and a half in order to BEG you to come to church. It's okay if you do.
Love you! Have an awesome week!
|Anna & Jones shimai running the photo booth for the Chosei Ward Haloween party|
|Jones shimai and children at the Chosei Ward Haloween party|
|Anna and the young women of the Chosei Ward cooking and eating takoyaki (deep fried, breaded octopus) after church on Sunday|