Sunday, October 27, 2013

Of pears, companions, and ramen

Ohayou Gozaimasu!

We had some computer problems this morning, so I have very limited time to write this email.  So it probably won't be ridiculously long like they tend to be.  Which could also be a good thing...

So Japan suddenly decided that it was fall, and now it's pretty cold around here.  I get to wear tights, and it makes me happy.  I'm also kind of scared for winter now that I'm getting a taste of what it will be like riding our bikes around for hours in the cold.  We officially turned the heat on for our apartment's toilet.  Japan might not have central heating or cooling, but their toilet seats are heated.  Which is pretty awesome.  Did I talk about toilets last week, too?  Hammon Shimai and I did a little clothes shopping last P-day, so I got a few longer skirts and winter clothing.   And for the record, I kind of love shopping here.  A lot.  Even if I am a size large in Japan...

This week was another good one.  Nothing happened that sent me through an emotional spiral, but nothing spectacular either.  We did eat lunch with Manami San (our investigator from Eikaiwa) last week, and that was the first time we had seen her in about a month.  We're not sure if she wants to take the lessons again, but at least we have contact with her again.  She invited us to go make pottery or something with her tomorrow, so we get to see her again!  Hopefully we can bring up the Gospel...

We also had lunch at Kakuda Shimai's house last week.  She's a less active member who is totally nuts (in a good way) and is super funny and talkative.  She also loves American things such as American food, and swear words.  The Japanese language doesn't have swear words, so they really don't understand how strong the "f" word is.  Haha, it was a bit of a surprise to read that in one of her texts.  So if you haven't already guessed, the picture of the crazy lady with the whipped cream can in hand is Kakuda Shimai.  She really is a hoot.

Lily mentioned that I don't really talk about my companion very much.  Don't worry, we get along just fine, I guess I just have a lot of other things to talk about.  So I'll talk about her a little bit now.  

Hammon Shimai is blonde, 19, and from American Fork.  She has a boyfriend currently serving in Norway, and I'm fairly certain she'll wait for him those 6 months after she gets home from her mission, and then they'll get married.  Hammon Shimai took classes at UVU for one semester and commuted from home, so until her mission she had never lived away from home.  In a lot of ways, she's super young and inexperienced, but I truly don't think that has set her back as a missionary.

I thought that I'd have to learn humility by being trained by someone so much younger than me, but I've really learned humility from her.  I'm sure all of you know, but I kind of like to talk a lot.  And I kind of like to be in control of everything.  Not like a dictator or anything, but this whole senior and junior companion thing isn't my favorite.  But Hammon Shimai has been so good about letting me kind of take charge in things.  She wasn't as lucky as me to take Japanese before her mission, so she kind of struggles with the language.  (Which is to be expected from a 3rd transfer trainer.)  I try to recognize the fact that she's my trainer, and I'm grateful for all the things she's teaching me, but I also tend to do more of the talking than her.  If I were to have a trainer that spoke Japanese fluently, I would've never had the opportunity to speak and converse with people as much as I do with Hammon Shimai.  Sometimes (most times) it's hard to be in a companionship with two very new missionaries, but I'm also really grateful for it.  I'm not afraid to state my opinion on things, or suggest what we should teach, where we should go, and so on.  I'm probably really annoying, now that I think about it, but Hammon Shimai is really good about letting me say and do all the things I want.  She had a trainer who was fluent in Japanese, but she felt so worthless in their companionship, and I'm so glad I don't have to feel that way.  So basically, I like Hammon Shimai.  She's much more shy, and pretty different than me, but we get along well, and we respect each other.  We're here for the same purpose, and that is to invite others to come unto Christ.  So that's what we're doing.  That's all that really matters, right?

I think I attached a picture of Hammon Shimai, me, and Uriya with our bowls of ramen at a ramen festival we went to last P-day.  Japanese people love their ramen, which is why they filled a whole stadium-like building of people waiting in lines to get their ramen.  It was crazy.  I also attached a picture of me and a nashi, which is a Japanese pear.  They basically taste like a pear with the texture of an apple.  And they're SO good.  They're about to go out of season, and there was only that one huge nashi left in the grocery store, so I bought it.  For $2.50.  I love them, and it might have been my last chance to eat one.  So I bought it.  

I love you all.  Keep being awesome and stuff.  The gospel is great, and continues to bless people's lives.  I hope it is blessing yours.  

Oda Shimai

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