We went out to eat with a member, but most of the restaurants were closed because it was a holiday. We ended up at a tiny little Brazilian self serve restaurant. I think I had intestine soup. I don't recommend it. But to make up for that, we went to an ice cream place soon after and got a strawberry-pineapple parfait. By the end, we were really full, so when we went grocery shopping right after, we didn't buy much because our minds were saying "no more food." That night, we went with three investigators to the honbu FHE. A member drove our three investigators to the honbu, but we had to take the train. We ended up having to run from the station to the honbu (about a 20 min walk) and still ended up 10 min late. Oops. One elder had the game responsibility, but he explained in English so all of the Japanese people were very confused. Our three investigators are all in middle school, so they went crazy over the elders. They took pictures of them and with them and asked for handshakes. The elders were a bit uncomfortable it seems. Yet again we got back around 10.
Leadership Council. We got halfway to the station before we realized that we had left the phone in the apartment, so we had to go back. We ended up running to the honbu in less that 24 hours, but at least this time we were on time. We talked about effective planning and various things. I think we got closer to a solution that will help us. For lunch, I had blood orange soda and soy sauce mayonnaise chips. Two flavors only found in Japan, both surprisingly good. One of the speakers gave us candy, so the candy plus the soda equaled one big sugar rush. Thankfully I didn't crash during the meeting. I got the shoes, but they are too big! One pair is almost livable but still big. The other pair flops off my feet. Is there a way to get a different size?
Companion exchange with Sister Brady. We tried to visit a Potential Investigator only to find out that her apt is the kind where you have to dial the room and then they let you in. So we put flyers in their mail boxes and hoped that she would get one. We had some time so we thought we might go to an appointment early, but they weren't home yet so we decided to talk to people on the street. We were crossing the street when an old lady was crossing in the opposite direction. I said to her "that's a pretty button you have on your jacket" and she smiled and started talking to us. She said that we shouldn't have a conversation in the middle of the street so we started to walk the same way as her, but she pushed us in our original direction, so we took that as a sign that the conversation was over. But once both of us had reached the opposite side, she called out to us again, so I scurried back across the intersection...but so did she. When we met in the middle, I thought she would stop, but she kept going to the other side, so I had to run back across to greet her. She then gave us two dinner rolls, slapped our hands, turned around and walked back across the intersection. We thought that we couldn't let a lady that interesting get away, so when the light turned green we hurried to catch up with her. She was suprized and asked us what we were doing. We said that we've never met such a genki old lady and she said that it comes from walking and talking to people you don't know. Then she proceeded to enter a convini and harass the clerks about something. Sister Brady and I weren't sure if it would be okay to wait for her to come out again or to let her continue on her way,but she left the convini before we even figured out what to do. She spotted us, shook her head, and walked away. Funny experience. That night Sister Brady gave my hair a trim. It feels much nicer when I brush it now.
While we had lunch with a member, she showed us pictures of her mission. She also made squash salad, which is much like macaroni or potato salad but with mashed squash instead. We were blessed because the rain stopped just as we were heading out for the day and when we were leaving that member's house. That afternoon, President Yamashita and Sister Yamashita came to one of our investigator's lessons. I was grateful for their words. They are good missionaries. Afterwords, we went and visited a former investigator that they both know. She was very happy to see us, suprisingly. Hopefully she'll start to want to meet with us again.
At ZTM, we talked with the zone about the process once you have an investigator who wants to be baptized as well as the things that we felt like the zone needed, as per our kokans and leadership council discussions. After ZTM we went out for tonteki, perhaps the last time that I will eat that uniquely Yokkaichi food. Yummy. At one of our lessons, the investigator's friend showed up partway through, so we invited her to listen as well. We gave a brief overview of the plan of salvation. The lady began to cry because her daughter had passed away many years ago. When we said a prayer before we left, she began to cry then too. She told us where she lives, so we hope to talk with her again. We arrived early to our next appointment, so I asked Sister Ishihara if we could get a drink from the vending machine across the road. As we got to the street, we ran into the lady with the burns. She gave us her number and we hope to get an appointment with her soon. We ran into the elders as we went back to the apartment for the day. It must have been strange for other people to see four people on mountain bikes with white helmets riding together.
The kid's at Eikaiwa were slightly better. A member family and an Investigator family came, so that was good. Afterwards, we played ping pong with the member and her four year old. She didn't use a paddle, just stuck out her hand and tried to stop the ball. We talked with the investigator's children about prayer and they had a hard time grasping the idea of a father in heaven, but they seemed willing enough to pray. They loved the gospel art book. I taught the pokemon theme song to a seven year old. We had dinner with a returning less active and her son, we asked him if he wants to be baptized, and he said yes! He is getting baptized next week.
We were expecting lots of investigators at church, but unfortunately half of our investigators and half the ward it seems like is down with a cold. Thankfully, so far, the missionaries have been spared this plague. We made a deal with two less actives to sing in sacrament meeting so we had song practice after church. Then we went to a member's house for an FHE. We helped her make fried chicken and played games with the kids. Once we were done sharing the message, we thought that it was over, but then they brought out a cake because it was Sister Ishihara's birthday! Very good strawberry cake. see picture
We went with a member to a street mall. There was a shop based on Alice in Wonderland that was SOOOOO COOOOOOL! It had peepholes and hidden cupboards and all sorts of interactive things as well as stuff to buy. I want more stores like that. We also stopped by the local shrine. see picture