Sunday, January 5, 2014

E-mail 12/22/2013

Hello my wonderful family!

I'm still in Japan! Can you believe it? This week has been majorly hilarous. And I'm second guessing all my spelling because the only time I see English is when I write it myself or read the scriptures. Whoops! I suppose it's the only way I'll learn Japanese!

Tuesday was Orgill Shimai's [Sister Orgill’s] 20th birthday! Boy, was it memorable. So after a normal day of dendo [proselyting] we went down to carol at the mall in English as a district and hand out Eikaiwa [English class] flyers and it was great, we all wore Santa Hats and people seemed to like it. So, we'd been there for a while when a blind gentleman comes over to us and yells at us in Japanese and then gets on his phone and starts calling people and walks away. A little confused, we pick a new song and start singing again and about 10 minutes later the police show up and start talking to the chorro [elders]. Not the shimai [sisters], just the chorro. (Our only nihongin [Japanese people] in our district are shimai and they tried talking to the officers but the officers just ignored them and talked to the chorro. Some of our chorro look Japanese and have really good Japanese so they might've thought they were Nihongin.) Long story short, we left the mall. We show up at the church later for DCM and there's a homeless gaigin [foreigner] there alone on the church phone talking to President Rasumussen. Apparently he'd had a really long and interesting talk with the APs. And the District Leader forgot Orgill shimai's birthday. And I got the most incredible package from Jess! It was the nicest, mind-blowing--I can't say enough about it! It was a memorable day, to say the least!

Wednesday we had a lovely mogi [roleplay] lesson with the Takakos family and a really fun activitiy that Nagaoka shimai [Sister Nagaoka] (a kyokaiin [member?]) planned. It waws [was] a dish decorating party and there were lots of members and nonmembers there and we made the cutest things! I'll have to send you a picture. It was really fun and natural dendo.

Thursday was kind of weird. First off, the phone that is our morning alarm got left outside so we all didn't wake up until 7:30 am. Whoops. Then we had a very strange lesson with a ward member... And only 3 people showed up for FHE [family home evening]... and it was rainy... it was just kind of a strange day, haha.

Friday, we had district meeting, had a ginger bread making activity with a ward member and one of our kyudosha [investigators], delivered thank you brownies, had weekly planning, and got really really wet! (It rained all day). District Meeting was all in Japanese. I'd been asked to give the spiritual thought. I wrote it all down beforehand and had Orgill shimai help me so my Japanese sounded REALLY good. Unfortunately then they thought I didn't need translatation during the district meeting. Whoops. Pro-pretender skills right there--so pro I preteneded myself out of a translator! Not my intention. Orgill shimai died laughing when we talked about it afterward. Actually, in that meeting we were told we're going to be taking CPR classes here--and I got really excited... until I realized that we're going to be taking them HERE... in Japanese... That's going to go great...

Saturday was the ward Christmas party! It was great! There were a lot of non-members so get did a lot of great dendo. I talked a lot to one of our fantastic Eikaiwa students. She's 14 and REALLY good at English. We played games, had lunch, did handbells (senkyoshi talent), had Santa-san [Santa] arrive and a live Nativity. There were a lot of strong PIs [potential investigators] there. Abe-san [Abe] (from Eikaiwa) was there too. The grandpa Orgill shimai and I sing to all the time. We're like his iPod. He LOVES music. Especially Celtic Women. And so do Orgill shimai and I. So that works out nicely. Afterward, we tried to pursuade him to come to church and he was so tempted but kept on telling us "no." The zone leaders just barely started teaching him. After that we had the Furukawa Christmas Dinner! American and Japanese food cooked by a Nihongin and a whole table full of it--it was amazing! I was overwhelmed with their generosity! And yes, we ate on the floor like proper Nihongin. :) Our fridge is stuffed to overflowing with delicious leftovers. :) And they've invited us back again! (Everyone in our district was there.)

Sunday, Abe-san came to church! Best day ever! He even came with the ward when we all went and caroled at a nursing home after church. (Orgill shimai and I sang a duet there). That was really cool. They had us all take our shoes off in this gigantic geinkan [like an anteroom] (like you would at any other apartment) and gave us all slippers to wear. There was one lady there who was 101 years old! She was so cute!

We have so many fun plans for this Christmas season! I can't wait to Skype you! We're going to have a really fun season. :)

Thank you all so much for the beautiful emails and letters and love and support!

I'm so glad life is doing so well! MERRY CHRISTMAS! Sounds like it's going to be a warm Christmas! So glad the Christmas program and recital went well! Have so much fun! Give the missionaries lots of referrals. ;)

I love you all so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Your missionary,

Bellows shimai :)

P.S. My thought:
Recently I've been pondering "why is prayer a commandment?" After that, I read 2 Nephi 4:35. If we want to have a relationship with God we must pray. God wants to help us. But because we have agency, recieving blessings is our choice. When we ask God for blessings it shows our trust in Him and our relationship with Him is strengthened. I am grateful for prayer.

P.P.S. Can you send me important dates for 2014 so I don't forget? Including U.S. holidays because they don't know those here...

P.P.P.S. Japanese fridges all have only one door but open from both sides. It's pretty incredible.

Candice I'm so excited for you! Lauren, I'm very excited about Christmas Earth. I don't think I'm going to recognize my family when we Skype in a few days. ;)

SO GLAD Riley's visa went through!!!!!!!

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