Monday, May 18, 2009

Our Man in Japan

Dear Family and Friends,

I trust everyone is still doing alright. This past week has been fairly good for me. I don`t normally write everything I do because it would seem all the same to you.

The weather is really nice right now so we`ve been going to the park more often recently. We went on Tuesday and ate dinner at the park because the weather was so great.

On Wednesday we talked to someone on the street in the morning and ended up giving him a chirashi (a flyer) that had a map to the church on it. A couple hours later we were at the church teaching someone a lesson and he came in, we were a little surprised. Fortunately at the time we had an extra Elder with us and a member at the lesson so the Elder and I left the room and taught him a lesson.

On Friday we visited a couple (40`s) who live about 30 seconds away from the church and ordered a Book of Mormon online. We taught them Lesson 1 and invited them to church. They did come to church yesterday so that was good.

On Saturday there was a ward picnic but it rained so we had it at the church instead. Also I guess that swine flu or whatever is in the Kansai area now (That`s what the Kobe mission is pretty much). We don`t really hear much or have any easy ways of verifying information as missionaries but I heard school in the Kansai area is closed for a week. Anyways I expect to see a lot more people wearing masks soon. I`m not too worried about it.

On Sunday in the afternoon we were riding our bikes along by the church when someone pulled over in front of us and waved us down wanting to talk to us. Since it was raining we decided to go to the church together to talk.

I have really seen the Lord`s hand helping us when we put forth our best efforts. My mission is almost half way over already but I know that as we continues to work hard the work will move forward faster and faster.

Alright I guess it`s now on to Japanese time. So the area of Japan I`m in (Kansai) has a slightly different dialect from the rest of Japan. It would probably be best compared to a southern accent. Not everyone uses it that much but old people are sometimes lazy in how they speak so they can be pretty hard to understand. As missionaries we aren`t supposed to use it at all. Some of the differences are as follows:

Normal Japanese
wakaru = understand
wakaranai = don`t understand
yomeru = can read
yomenai = can`t read

benwakarahen = don`t understand
yomehen = can`t read
maido = `howdy` (Literally means every time but doesn`t translate)
Sometimes they had wa to the end of their sentences, in the rest of Japan that sounds slightly feminine I guess but anyone uses it here.
wakaranwa! = don`t understand (slightly rude)

Anyways there`s a lot more but that`s it for now.

How are your shirts holding up? They`re holding up alright, sort`ve. I actually only used 3 long sleeve shirts over the winter by washing them twice a week, I may just throw them away and use fresh ones next winter.

Tell us about your new area? It`s pretty small and fairly flat so riding anywhere within in it isn`t too big of a deal.

What is your new companion, Elder Stufflebeam, like? He`s

Are you getting along well with the other elders in your apartment? Yeah all the Elders in my apartment are great. One of them`s Japanese and the other is from Brazil. Along with Elder Stufflebeam who`s from Utah.

Have you or are you going anywhere interesting? Kyoto was interesting. Ummm... I guess I`m kind`ve used to Japan now so not that many things seem really interesting anymore. I`ll try to take more pictures and stuff.

You don`t need to print out the pictures, I can open the attachments and look at the pictures.

Thanks :)

Elder West.

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