My sister has been married for a whole week. Weird. I had a thought: Claire, if you want to hear my voice in a month and a week, you'll have to be in Indy for Mother's Day because I'm 95% certain that I can't make two phone calls, one to Indy and one to St. Louis. In any case, I hope everything went well and was fun and delicious and all that jazz. Funny thing just happened, one of my college professors e-mailed me saying that her daughter is coming to this mission and do I have any advice. Strange little world the world is with the internet. I hope that you posted my general missionary advice, Claire. And now for the weekly report! (I forgot my notes that I take during the week so that I can type quickly, so this may not be a fantastic e-mail this week.)
We got an e-mail from the honbu saying that all current trainers, district leaders, zone leaders, and ALL SHIMAI (plus a few extra elders who are likely to become trainers/DL and such) were to report to the honbu on Tuesday for special training. So we basically dropped everything we had on Tue and hopped on a train to the Fukutoka shimai's apartment. (Fukutoka is closer to the honbu than Yokkaichi, so the AP's said to go spend the night there so that we wouldn't have to get up at 5:30 on Tue.) We met the Fukutoka shimai at the train station and walked back to their apartment. Their apartment has a perfect balcony for reciting Shakespeare, so guess what Hart Shimai and I did....
Special Training! This was training for all people who are currently leaders and who will become leaders. Right now in the Nagoya mission, there are about 14 sisters. In April, one sister goes home and one sister comes. In June, 6 sisters come. In July, 8 sisters come. So basically, by July every single sister that is currently in Nagoya will be a trainer without doubt. Hence, all the shimai were invited to come to the meeting (see attatched photo). We went over the 8 fundamentals from the MTC hand book--the Doctrine of Christ, the Role of the Holy Ghost in Conversion, Revelation through Prayer, Revelation through the Book of Mormon, Revelation through Church Attendance, Teach People Not Lessons, We Invite They Commit We Follow Up, and How to Begin Teaching--very thoroughly. We had a break for lunch because it was an all day event. We got fried chicken, shrimp, and rice. Yum. Sister Baird also made us cake. Double Yum. The Choros from a town called Tsu stayed in Yokkaichi with our choros because two out of the four of them were invited to the meeting because they were training. As such, both of their bean-chan's were stuck together for a day without an experienced missionary. After the meeting was over, we went back to Yokkaichi and met the bean-chan's at the station. They made it through the day just fine and acutally seemed liked they had fun. We ate ramen and the Yokkaichi senkyoshi went to a meeting with the bishop (the Tsu choros went back to the apartment to pack). Our bishop is SO hilarious. We told him that Yokkaichi would likely become an area with 6-8 missionaries and he pulled out a little calculator. He deedled on it for a moment, nodded, and said "my wallet can handle that." When I told him that Seipel choro's birthday was on Thursday he said "I know no such thing. I have in my planner a secret meeting to talk about missionaries and missionary work on Thursday at noon. I expect you to be there and hungry."
We rode our bikes for an hour to visit the Relief Society President. We turned at a park and rang the doorbell of the house. A little old man pops out and says "What is the meaning of this? Why are you here? I'll call the police!" We apologized for getting the wrong house and backed out of his gate. He stood at his gate and watched us get on our bikes and ride away. As it turns out, there are two parks in that area and we turned at the wrong one. Ooops. We stopped by one of our investigator's houses since it was on the way home. When we rang the doorbell, we could hear a baby crying but no one came to the door. We walked away a little worried. Is she ignoring us? Is she in trouble? Why wasn't anyone helping the baby? Concerning. We rehearsed with one of the members for the talent show on Sat and the Ward Conference on Sun. After we were done, her dad came in and asked "I'm going to buy you some groceries. Is there anything that you want?" We both said vegetables would be nice, but we had some at the apartment so he didn't have to do that. Lo and behold, about half an hour later he showed up at our apartment complex with a box of spinach, asparagus, peppers, lettuce, broccoli, and tomatoes. The members here are so generous it is unbelievable. It was raining that day, so only about 5 people came to English class. As such, I taught class and Rogers Shimai slept in the back of the classroom. Everyone was so concerned about her.
Since it was Seipel choro's birthday, we got up a little early and made breakfast (pancakes and scrambled eggs) for us and them. We called them and said "meet us at the church for something good." We were all pretty unexciting because it was still early in the morning, but at least we celebrated. We went to visit an investigator who wasn't feeling well and Rogers Shimai played the violin for her. On the way home, we stopped by the house of a lady we met on the street the previous week. She agreed to let us come back! She said that she probably wouldn't become Christian, but we said that was perfectly fine. Foot in the door, foot in the door. We then went to the "secret missionary meeting" with the bishop. We got to the church and talked about our efforts and the ward, and then we went to a CONVEYOR BELT SUSHI RESTAURANT. It was so delicious and so cool. I want to go again. And then Rogers Shimai flew over a garden bed. As we were traveling, she smiled at a little kid in one of the passing cars. As such, she wasn't paying attention to where she was going, hit a raised garden bed, and flew off her bike and over the garden bed. As it was happening, I thought she had fainted so I was worried. I ran over to her. She was crying, so at least I knew she wasn't passed out. She said "move my bike." When I looked, her foot had gotten pinned between her bike and the garden bed so when she flew off it got twisted. I was doing a body check, saying "Does it feel broken, are you scraped anywhere, what's going on?" Her knuckles were scraped, but other than that, she was fine. After I figured out she was fine, I laughed. She did make for a funny picture, her legs sticking up from behind the garden bed and her skirt all wonky. A lady that lived in an apartment nearby rushed out with band-aids and peroxide and cleaned her knuckles. I keep telling Rogers Shimai not to suck on her knuckles so they don't get infected, but she keeps doing it anyway.
One of our investigators agreed to come to church! Hopefully she'll follow through. We visited an investigator and taught about tithing. She fed us something that is probably my most favorite thing yet. It was a block of sweet red bean paste. I don't remember the actuall name of it though. That night we went to a sports night activity for the youth (and anybody else who wanted to come, really). We played volleyball and basketball. As we were playing volleyball, I tried to set up the ball for one of the youth to hit it over, but he managed to stand exactly in the right spot for the ball to hit him where it hurts most. I laughed and felt bad about laughing all at the same time. During basketball, Rogers Shimai and Moretti choro both had a hold on the ball. I thought one of them would just let go and let the other take it. Little did I know that Rogers Shimai is a black belt in Tae Kwan Do and Moretti choro is a black belt in Judo and Brazilian Ju-Jitsu. So basically what happened was Moretti choro threw Rogers Shimai across the gym floor. Thankfully everyone was laughing about it afterward.
We read one of our investigators who is getting baptised soon the interview questions. He had no problems with any of them except that President Monson is a prophet today. He wasn't sure if he had a testimony of President Monson's prophet-ship because he hadn't met him or seen anything from him or by him. We told him that we could show him some things online and that in a month he could hear President Monson for himself, but it's all about faith. You show your faith and then you get the sign or answer. The talent show! Two of our investigators performed and many people attended. One recent convert was a part of a band. None of the band members are members, but they all came to the show, so we were able to talk to them. One of the band members came up to Rogers Shimai and said "I want to know more about this church and that book you have." WHOA! Miricles happen!
Ward Conference. Rogers shimai played the violin and I played the cello. I wasn't very good. I wonder if the ward members know what they've gotten themselves into, asking me to play. We went to a part member family's house for dinner and had taco salads! It had been a while since I had tasted Mexican-ish food. One of the daughters of the family lives in the US and was visiting that week. She mad rice krispy treats. Also been a while since I've had one of those. It was kind of comforting to have "American food" but then again, I want to eat as much Japanese food as I can while I'm here. I mean, I'm in Japan!