Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Our Man in Japan

Dear Family and Friends,

I hope you`re all doing well. Sorry to hear that Mom broke her wrist :(, I hope it gets better soon (Which wrist was it?) I`ll do my best to stay out of bike accidents. I`m amazed people aren`t hit by cars here more often due to their tendency to start crossing the crosswalk before it turns green and to try to zip through the intersection right after it turns red. Maybe they expect that kind of thing and watch out for it.

Alright first off, the week in review.

On Wednesday we went on an hour and a half bike ride north and uphill to visit some members. Almost all the members here live way far away by bike. It was a long bike ride but enjoyable, the weather was pretty good that day. Coming home took about 45 minutes.

Thursday was the final district meeting of the transfer. We ate at an Indian Curry place that had all you can eat Nan, it was pretty good. Nan bread is pretty big. I almost managed 3 pieces. A couple other elders managed 4. I ordered my curry a little spicier than I would have liked unfortunately :(.

Friday we made taco rice with rice, chicken, refried beans, salsa, cabbage, and home made tortillas. We regretted deciding to eat because it`s a major hassle to make, clean up, and there`s always too much food.

Monday we went up a hill to the north to go housing and came across someone we had talked to a couple months ago. We actually didn`t recognize or remember him but when we said hi he stopped and said hisashiburi (It`s been awhile)

Ambulances here make me shake by head in disbelief. I`ve started paying more attention to them recently. We see one almost every day. I watched one driving down the freeway with it`s sirens going and it wasn`t really going that fast. The roads were mostly open and it was being passed by cars on the left and right. People and cars don`t tend to clear intersections for them, They have to wait to turn right (This would be like a left turn in America) until a car lets them pass. Anyways I just hope I never need an ambulance in a hurry here.

Nathan, a New Years resolution to write me once a week is a good one. Mission life is going well. It`s not too hard to get anywhere in the mission if needed, just a little expensive sometimes to take all the trains and buses. For transfers we can ship 2 bags and our packed bike and the mission pays for it. We normally ship it the day before we leave and if we`re lucky we`re at the other apartment the next day to receive it. The delivery people and mailmen won`t leave any packages if no one answers the door. This often means it can be a few days before we`re home when the package comes. They leave a phone number you can call so you can tell them when the best time to come is.

I heard about the successful plane crash from an Eikaiwa student who`s a retired pilot. He was pretty impressed by it too. Thanks for sending the picture it gives me a lot better idea of how it was.

A little bit about my Japanese again for the curious. In my spare time during meals or at night (Not study time usually) I read a fairly thick Japanese Grammar book. It`s really good and explains things really well. I`ve studied individual grammar things from it before but I figure I`ll just read it over and over. Even when things don`t stick the first time I understand a little more when people are talking and when I read the grammar principle again it`s a lot easier to understand and figure out. I`m on about page 450 of my first read through. I think I started a few weeks ago. During my 30 minutes of Japanese study time I make about 10-15 flashcards with the Kanji, furigana, and English and review them about 4 times throughout the day. My stack is actually about 50 cards because I review for a couple days after learning them. I think I already told you all of this but oh well.

My new address (In a couple days) will be the following:

Osaka-fu Hirakata-shi

Asahigaoka 15-12


I think it`s an old mission home and the apartment is fairly big but I really don`t know. My new companions name is Elder Goodey.

I should get the package from FlyingPig today or tomorrow. They`ll come again tomorrow if I`m not there today and we`ll have to be at the apartment to wait for Sagawa to pick up my luggage. Thank you Aunt Sherri :).

Anyways that`s it for today I think. I`ll get around to sending that SD card some day.


Elder Andrew West.

By the way if you haven`t sent that package yet could you see if some seasoning salt could fit in there?

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