Wow!! It looks like you have all been having way too much fun! I am SO jealous that you all got to go to the Payson temple open house!!! I wanted to go to that one SO BAD. It really is a beautiful temple and I'm sure it is on the inside as well. I am jealous that you all get to spend so much time together, but I know you're all having fun so, that's what matters.
This week has flown by, yet every day has been so long. I always lay down at night and just feel like the whole universe is joined in the idea that I need to sleep. HAHAHA. Boy am I grateful for the tight sleeping schedule that we have. Knowing myself I would stay up forever and die every morning like I used to do, but I have to appreciate the fact that it's a rule to get to bed on time :)
So this week we did a lot of housing and finding and streeting. Basically housing is what you think it is, door to door, and then for streeting, you ride your bike up to them, awkwardly stop them and try to initiate conversation with your broken Japanese. Well, we did a lot of that this week. We were feeling the need to find people to teach because our investigator pool isn't very reliable so we really wanted to find someone who would be really strong. Well, on Tuesday we were housing and housing and we ran into this lady that Cox Shimai had met before and we ended up giving her a Book of Mormon, no return appointment, but she gave us this really intricate origami doll that she had made and it's really cool! She was really sweet. Also, I couldn't get a picture or I would have, but we tracted into Yoda's house. No, really. Someone named Yoda. Also, the name plate was green which was awesome and great. Unfortunately no one opened the door but we thought about going back to try again some time. Haha.
Basically it's just rainy all of the time. There was one night that we had really no idea it was going to rain. It had been pretty clear all day and finally that evening it started to sprinkle and of course when we were the furthest away from home, and it was dark, it starts pouring rain. We were both soaked. I basically understand that concept completely now. I have become a little bit overcautious about making sure I have some sort of rain jacket with me always now haha. The worst is riding into Fukuoka in the rain because it's just a really long ride, but whatever needs to be done, I'll do it. I had my first real experience teaching Eikaiwa (English class) this last week. I was put in charge of teaching "I can.." and I think I did alright. At least it was easy enough for everyone to understand, I think.
Something that we do in our mission a lot, that I had never heard of before I got to the MTC was role playing. We call it "mogi" just cause it's Japanese. But we basically practice teaching to each other or to members. We actually went to a members house this last week and taught her a lesson and I think I did okay. My language is still really rough and I'm still trying out different ways and trying to figure out the best way to study and actually use what I study. It's interesting.
Japanese people are the best. Basically if they don't want to talk to you, they will give you some excuse. My favorite that I heard this week was, "my foot is hurting so I have to keep walking and can't listen to your message." Also, we get this one a lot, "I am busy waiting for my bus." HAHAHA. It's actually really funny and odd. I think you have time because all you are doing is waiting for the bus right? Well, I guess not.
The best thing that happened this week was the following. Like I said previously, we had been wanting to find someone to teach so we had been praying. We had a short visit with a recent convert and after that we didn't know where we should go or what we should do because our plans had gotten all messed up. So we said a prayer, and decided to go just house this little block. It was starting to get a little dark, but not bad, so we started there and thought we would just house until we had to go home. Well, there was this house and it was dark, but I was intrigued because their door bell was where a garage door number code thingy would be in the States, so I wanted to just ring it. We stood there and it was getting kinda to that awkward point where you think maybe you should leave, and all of the sudden this old lady comes out of no where with her bike and she was like, "what do you want?" So we told her who we were and she proceeds to enter her house that we had been so awkwardly standing at, and we like, followed her into her garage haha. She went into her house and we thought maybe she was just trying to avoid us, and she comes out and we are like... uh.... what? And she let us into her house! That's rare! So we go in, and she is talking to us about all these things and we finally got a prayer in, and the second we said the prayer a man shows up at the door and it was her son! So he sits down and he tells us that he is really interested in religion! We had a really good conversation about who we are and what our church is and what we do and we gave them a Book of Mormon and taught a short lesson. So, we decided after probably 45 minutes that we should go. We set up a return appointment, taught them how to pray, are leaving and right as we are leaving, his wife shows up at the house!!!! And they want us to come back!!!! I was so shocked and surprised!! It was so crazy and it was a miracle. I can't even describe to you how awesome of an experience it was. Cox Shimai and I went home and were like... uh... what just happened?! Anyway, we are teaching them later tonight so I'm keeping my fingers crossed!!
We had a lesson at McDonalds with a new investigator also. And she wants to meet with us every week now. So that's awesome. She is really sweet. So, hopefully that all works out, but it was weird to have a lesson in McDonalds. We like prayed and everything, but you know, whatever works works. Some people really just don't want lessons in their home so, we do what we can.
On Sunday, I had to bare my testimony!!!!!! It was so scary!!! Our ward literally encompasses all of Fukuoka and the surrounding areas. There are 14? missionaries in our ward? The ward is HUGE. But I was asked to just give a brief testimony, so I did. I honestly don't even remember what I said, but I felt good about it. Just imagine a sea of Japanese people and you, this weird gaijin standing up baring testimony in their language, just hoping you don't make any terrible mistakes. Yeah, it was scary. Whatever. :) Our mission president is in our ward too. It's kinda funny how the ward is set up, but it's good. Everyone likes it to be big I think.
Oh, one last thing. Yesterday it was really rainy, and we were trying to get to an appointment early to house there before, and I was riding my bike and I didn't see this big sign on the sidewalk because it was like hidden behind this fabric banner. So of course, thinking I could easily just pass the fabric banner, no big deal, I completely rain into the sign and crashed. It was actually funny. The lady behind me was like "ARE YOU OKAY?!" and I like stood up, and she like just left. It was great haha. But after I had checked my knees to see how banged up they were, I picked up my bike and the handles were literally bent some how and not in alignment with the front wheel. Of course I was panicking on the inside I just spent a lot of money on a new bike and it was broken forever!! Okay, I knew it would be fixed but we had to get going. So we walked my bike back to a bike shop. We were standing there, and no one was there and we waited and waited, and we decided to just walk to the appointment with our bikes, and as we are walking away, this guy pops out of no where, takes my bike, fixes it without asking what the problem was, and gave it back with no charge! It was a miracle! It was so amazing. I felt so blessed.
Apparently we will have iPads within two weeks, so we will see how that plays out. I think the deal with that is you can buy it when you go home or give it back. I hope so! I love you!
Well, I have nothing more exciting to tell you. I hope you are all doing well. I love you all and pray for you every day. I hope you have a good week. Mom, please be careful. Please. I love you and want you to be healthy!
I wish I could write more like I could in the MTC, but I will have to deal with what I have!! I always look forward to emailing you all!!
Mom, HAPPY BIRTHDAY this week!! You are an amazing mom and I love you. Make dad spoil you :)