One of the coolest goodbyes: We went to the Wats' house (funny Eikaiwa couple) for dinner, and it is probably the coolest and most Japanese house I've ever been in. They are both retired and have a million hobbies. We got to try out their huge taiko drum, and koto (the long stringed instrument) and, best of all, they've both been reading the Book of Mormon! It was cool to hear them talk about "Smith san" (Joseph Smith). Dinner was also delicious and I've never been so full in my life.
The place we met other missionaries for transfers was 2 hours by train each way, so Thursday was mostly a day of talking to people on the train. Sister Jones and I met a funny lady who was on her way to a hot spring, and seemed shocked (like everyone else here) that we can't go to them. I just can't ever imagine wanting to chill naked with my whole family in an outdoor hot tub.
Thursday night we had our monthly music night, to which a lady came that Sister Jones met on splits. She brought two friends, and the trio performed a couple songs on guitar, harmonica, and Chinese violin. I've had a week very full of traditional Asian music. Fitting that last Monday was a national holiday celebrating culture!
Sister Reeder and I had a weird experience on Saturday when we met two women on their way to a festival, and they invited us to come along. We went with them, trying to see if we could start a conversation about church, and ended up at a very Buddhist gathering of what must be the only actively practicing Buddhists in all of Chiba prefecture. Each denomination was wearing a different color yukata top, almost like a jersey, and we were introduced to a Buddhist monk who spoke very good English. They wanted us to join their march, and we soon realized that no one there was going to want to learn about Jesus Christ so we made a speedy exit. But they were nice and we got free soup.
Sunday was also a great day! Su came to church, and so did our friends the Nagas. They always come to ping-pong night but recently have more interest in church. Today they took us to a kimono shop where we got to try on real silk kimonos and have a photo shoot! I think people normally aren't really allowed to do that without paying anything, but Jun (the wife) sort of sweet-talked her way into it. She just has that effect on people. By the time we left she was best friends with all the women working in the shop! Someday she'll make a great Relief Society president. It was a really fun day.
Lots of pictures, for once! Here's me trying to play the koto, Sister Jones with the Wats, music night trio, and our Chosei District photo shoot.
|Anna tries to play the koto at the Wats' home|
|Jones shimai and the Wats after a delicious dinner|
|Trio at Chosei music night with Chinese violin, harmonica and guitar|
|Chosei district tries on kimonos and has a photo shoot|
|Anna and Reeder shimai try on kimonos|