Monday, January 25, 2010

Our Man in Japan

Dear Family and Friends,

I hope you`re still doing well. This past week felt really short. I spent a lot of time traveling again. Tuesday morning we left Shingu and went to Tanabe. We went on exchanges with the Tanabe Elders for a few hours before heading up by bus to Wakayama and spending the night at their apartment. It was good to see Elder Andrews (My MTC companion) again.

Wednesday morning we took the train up to Mikunigaoka (A previous area of mine) where we had zone conference. Zone conference was really good and worth the trip. After zone conference was over we took the train back down to Wakayama. On the train we talked with some 23 year-old guy who had some interest, we offered to call the Sennan Elders for him and he gave us his phone number right before he had to dart of the train. We also talked with a guy from Taiwan who was here on vacation. Afterwards we grabbed some food from McDonalds and hopped on the bus to Tanabe where we spent the night.

The next morning we woke up a little early and got ready to go and catch our 7:53 train. Unfortunately we weren`t paying enough attention to the time and we got distracted by a couple things making sure Elder Slater hadn`t forgotten his wallet and taking the wheels off a bike. We missed the train by a couple minutes. The next train wasn`t until 10:51, which just happened to be about the time the other train would`ve gotten to Shingu. We were a little disappointed. I`ve been used to being in areas where if you miss the train it`s a 10 minute wait. A 3 hour wait is a lot longer. Fortunately I was able to take an old bike from Tanabe back home to Shingu.

I was planning on fixing my bike by just swapping the back wheel with the other bike but then discovered a problem. My back wheel has 7 gears and the other bike`s wheel has 8 gears. I`ll either have to swap the front gear switcher as well or swap the inside axles of the wheels where the broken part is. I haven`t decided which to do yet. Swapping the axles would be easier probably. But if I could do it swapping the wheels and front gear switcher would give my 8 usable gears in the back instead of my current 5. Either way it should work out probably.

On Friday we went out to deliver a Book of Mormon to someone who had ordered one. It turned out to be farther than we thought. It took us over and hour to bike out to the small community where the person lived. The bike ride was on a street that ran along a river. There were mountains/hills on both sides. When we got to the community we had no idea where the person lived so we went to the local police station. We told the police man the name of the person we were looking for and he went to the back to look it up but came back after a minute and said he couldn`t find it. He then looked for the address on a map and couldn`t find it. He then went to the back and pulled out some really old looking city records where he found the name, it had some other information on it that clarified where it was on the map and he was able to point it out to us. The police station/post office maps have the names of the families on the houses. We then went and delivered the Book of Mormon and made the hour long trip back.

Things are going well here in Shingu. The trip to and from Shingu feels shorter everytime I take it, which is good since I`ll probably make it many more times. There`s not that many people in Shingu but we run into a lot of tourists, mostly from other parts of Japan.

Zone conference was good and I really felt the Spirit there. It`s not necessarily that the stuff that we learn at zone conference is new, because for the most part it`s not. But somehow the spirit there really impresses on one the importance of the things being taught.

Well we might go see the dolphins or whales next week, I`m not sure yet. Until then take care.

Elder Andrew West

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