Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Take me out to the ball game... in Japan!!

Sorry I didn`t get to write anything last week, but it was for a good cause -- all of the missionaries close by got to go to a professional baseball game together!! It was a super rare treat. The mission concert`s grand finale performance was on the Saturday before, so I think it was our reward for having to spend so many p-days at the mission home all day practicing. I guess I should talk about the concert a little first, since it was such a big part of our lives.

The concert: If you`ve been keeping up with the blog periodically you should probably know that we actually did the same concert before a couple of months ago. Basically it was a huge concert where all of the songs were performed by the missionaries -- about 50 of us who were working close to Sapporo. Evan`s Shimai, the mission president`s wife, is like a music professional so that whole thing was her grand idea, with help from Nishimura Shimai, a Japanese sister who studied music and is super skilled. She arranged most of the songs herself! So we did the first concert and it was great, and then the other Sapporo Stake (there are two in Sapporo) wanted to have a concert too, so we got to do an encore. All of the music was pretty much the same except for a couple of songs. It was way fun to do it in Atsubestu this time because it meant I got to see lots of my Atsubetsu friends and it is closer to Ebetsu so a couple of our investigators were able to come and a lot of members too. There was one non-attending member who we visit occasionally who came and said it was the first event at church he had been to in ten years! It took a lot of time and effort, but I think it was a really great opportunity.

Agh, way too much stuff to catch up on and way too little time! Ok, baseball. And then I will try to send pics to fill in the gaps?

So the call that we were all going to be able to go to a baseball game was a total surprise! It was a fantastic experience -- I totally wanted to be able to experience the culture of sports here and didn`t think I would be able to during the mission. I LOVE sports, so I love things like that. For example, when I was in England we all went to a soccer game and it was so cool to see all of the different cheers and cultural things. Baseball is actually huge here, so being able to go support the Sapporo Nippon-Ham Fighters (they were playing the Buffaloes. I feel like there aren`t actually any buffaloes in Japan... haha) was fantastic. Their cheers were so organized! It was impressive. A lot of it seemed super American though, which was also really interesting. They definitley played YMCA for everyone to dance to. Oooh another fun part was that before the game we all met at the mission home for a BBQ! It was perfectly American, with hamburgers, hotdogs and ice cream from Costco. So great. Thank you President Evans!

Before I run out of time, some pictures! I will start with the baseball ones, just to be safe.

The BBQ fun, and then everyone heading to the subway to go to the game! There were 52 missionaries who went... we kind of stood out.

More baseball! The stadium is actually inside a cool dome, which is kind of funny but entirely necessary in Hokkaido with all of the snow for so long!

One of the missionaries caught a ball, so he had everyone sign it!

They also had this cool balloon release in the middle of the 8th inning.

They are really big on business cards here, so every time a missionary goes to a different area they write on the back of them to give to all of the members and people they worked with. It is pretty cool and fun. So since the music concert was in Atsubetsu I wanted to finish before then so I wrote seriously like every single day. When I finally finished I had written 47!

Ahh lots more pics and such, but no time! LOVE YOU ALL!!!

I`ll catch up on everything next week, I`m sure. Famous last words.

Scripture of the Week:
1 John 3:11 (Bible, New Testament)
For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

Japanese word of the week:
katto base = Japanese cheer for when people are at bat

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