Sunday, April 29, 2012

Zone Conference and Otaru

So I only have six minutes left of email today, make that five, so this is only going to be like a two sentence email. Sorry! I really hate having to do it like this every week.

So this week was fun because we had two special events. One was our zone conference, where all of the missionaries who are close to our area got together for some training. It was really good, and a lot of fun to be with a bunch of missionaries. Plus, Elder Aoyagi, who is a 70, came with his wife and did our workshops. All of the meetings were in Japanese, but one of the Elders is super awesome in both languages so he translated the whole thing. I don`t know how he did it. He translated for like 6 hours! He has skills. During lunch they had what they call a bean shower, where they have all of the missionaries who are new sit in chairs with their trainers behind them, and then all of the missionaries come and put presents in your lap. I have so much cookies and candy now! I don`t know if it is possible to eat it all... but I will try because it looks good. I have a pic, so I will try to email it later.

Ok, I will have to talk about Otaru later. If we have enough time, we are going to try and email again later. Right now we are meeting everyone at some big sports multiplex thing with archery and rodeo and volleyball and the like. Should be fun. But as always, we don`t have any time, so just know that I love you all. Tip: if you write me a paper letter, you are likely to get a more informational response! Well, eventually, haha.

Yay! I'm Back!

We had a ton of fun at sports, and then even made it back in time to be able to do a little more email! Which is great, because I was super sad that I didn`t get to talk about Otaru.

What is Otaru you may wonder? It`s a fabulously cute (from what I could tell from our brief drive into town in the car, haha) city next to the sea, about 30 minutes outside of Sapporo. It`s actually an area where they only have Elders serving right now, so being able to go was super special.

Why did we go, you may ask? Well one of the really fun things about Masuda Shimai is that she is super good at music. And Sister Evans, the Sapporo Mission President`s wife, happens to love music. Every week President and Sister Evans go to a different ward in Hokkaido, and this past week before going to Otaru the Bishop of the ward requested that they have a music program during the sacrament meeting they would be speaking in. So Sister Evans invited Masuda Shimai and I to come along and perform!

It was a lot of fun. Since Masuda Shimai loves music so much we have actually been singing a lot since we`ve been together -- she plays the piano and sings soprano and I just add a little harmony. It`s a really great way to invite the spirit into a lesson. And it`s a lot of fun. Masuda Shimai has an arrangement of I Believe in Christ that her friend wrote that we`ve actually performed (for only like three people at a time before this past week, haha) with Evans Shimai accompanying us on the violin a few times before, so we did that and one other song in between the sacrament talks (one of the Elders in Otaru and then Masuda Shimai spoke, plus Sister and President Evans). It was a lot of fun to go somewhere new and do something different, and the members in Otaru were so incredibly nice.

We came home with three bags of food. And it was especially fun because they had a mission fireside after church followed by lunch, so it was like a whole day of spiritual entertainment. And Otaru is Stilson Choro`s area, who I was with in the MTC. I hadn`t seen him since the first day we arrived in Japan so it was great to be able to talk again!

It`s crazy to think so much time has passed already. We measure time in the mission by transfers, which happen once every six weeks, and I`ve already finished my first one. Weird!

Bean shower pictures attached. It`s only a Sapporo Mission tradition, so I am sure that makes it extra fun!

We had a Zone activity today where we all went to Sports-Cha, which is a place where they basically have minute versions of every sort of game and activity. It was a lot of fun! A great p-day. I got to teach Masuda Shimai how to roller skate/roller blade (she tried both) and play pool for the first time. It was super entertaining. And we both got to try archery for the first time, which I liked a lot. Even though I only got four arrows to hit the circle. I will still count that as a win.

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