On Wednesday last week we had the BBQ with the N family and their friends. We had no idea what to expect, and we were a little wary about the whole thing, but we showed up and there were just all of these women there and we were like, "We literally just walked into a room full of potential investigators MUAHAHAHA!" It was so great! There were a total of 5 of them, and it was just really fun to get to know them all. They had really interesting food though, I'm not really sure what some of it was. Some of it had the appearance of intestines, but they just called it beef, so I ate it, but it was really... tendony. Yeah it was interesting. They also had like squid, but I didn't try any of that. I also tried Sushi for the first time, and it was good. I don't think I know how to eat it properly. Anyways, that was fun and it was fun to get to know them. We are a little bit worried though because we haven't been able to get back into contact with him this week, so we are praying that he is still interested. He said he had read the part in Alma that we had assigned him and wanted to know more.
One of the ladies at the BBQ is Chinese and she is studying here in Fukuoka. Her name is S. She is really cute. She really loves the hymns, and said when she was younger she would go to Christian churches to hear them sing their hymns. So, we invited her to a baptism that was going on on Saturday, and she came because we told her they would be singing hymns there. She thought it was kinda interesting, but she is really sweet and we hope we can turn her into an investigator.
One funny thing that happened this week was that we had an investigator come to the church with us for a tour, and as we kept going along, we started to realize that she was getting really nervous, and as we were on our way home, we got off the train to wait for the bus, and she tells us that she wants to walk home, and then sprinted off. We think the amount of people around freaked her out. Well, we got on the bus, and scouted her out, and got off when we saw her, and walked most of the way back with her, but it was raining cats and dogs. I was so grateful that I had my rain jacket because I was able to let her use it, and I think she felt loved just knowing that we wanted to help her and that we were sorry she had kind of a bad experience. Well, she also came to church with us, and she was way nervous the whole time. I'm just wondering what we can do for her and I pray that we can help her to the best of our abilities. Also, on Sunday, it was a miracle because another one of our investigators showed up just for sacrament meeting! We were so happy! We had no idea she would come and she came alone even, which she said she wouldn't ever want to do, so that was a great blessing. We had two people at church with us!
I feel like time is flying by and also just dragging along. Every day is so long and so short all at once. We do so much in a day that it feels like a week passes before I get to lay back down, but really when we have P-Day or when we have Sunday, I'm always thinking, "Didn't we just do this?" But it is going well. I have officially reached one month here in Japan. It is so crazy to me that I have already been here for that long. It is a little scary to me that I have been here for that long because I still feel like I don't know any Japanese!!!! People talk so fast here and it is crazy trying to figure out what they are saying. A lot of the time if I just smile really big and nod, and kinda try to mimic their sounds and "uh huh, yeah, that's great..." I can usually get along without having to say anything. There are so many old ladies who will just talk for ever and ever and I have no idea what they are saying, but I just nod, and smile and it seems to be working well enough hahaha.
This week is Golden Week here in Japan and it is a big deal. We have all been asked to stand out side of the temple on our rotation times and promote the church however we can. The temple here in Fukuoka is right next to a Zoo, so it is a really good opportunity to talk to a lot of people because they have to walk past the temple to be able to get to the Zoo. It is kinda awkward, but yesterday I tried my best to talk to people and make them comfortable, and I felt we did a good job. Mom, I'm trying to find a way to utilize the photo booth stuff you gave me, I have ideas for it, but I'm not sure how to implement it quite yet, but I am glad that I have that stuff as a resource! You are an awesome mother!
Because it is Golden Week they had a parade and festival type thing yesterday night that we went to because it was P-Day. We only were able to stay for about an hour and a half because we had to bike home still, but we were able to see the end of the parade, and also we were able to go and eat at the stands that they had. They had rows and rows of food stands all set up and we got to walk around and decide what we wanted. I got Okonomiyaki on a stick, a waffle covered in chocolate on a stick, and also I got shaved ice cream, which was really weird and interesting. It was really fun! We had such a good time! I felt so good being able to participate in that event here in Japan, and it was really a great opportunity to continue to understand and get to know the culture here. It really was a great experience, and I hope I can have another like it again some time. It was fun too because it was a huge parade here in Fukuoka, right in the middle of the city. It reminded me a little of like the Pioneer Day parade that they do in Salt Lake. It was really fun. Ah! Japan.
I am beginning to panic a little bit about the bugs that are starting to crop up here. It is so crazy. The amount of spiders I see is so disturbing, and I've been told it only gets worse. Holy shnikies, I hope that's not true..:(
To answer your question about what it's like to be an American over here, I get stared at by a lot of kids, and usually the adults turn their heads and run away when they see me. However, I did have a grandma come up to me this last week and just say "kire, kire!!" which means like you're so pretty! And she talked to me for like 10 minutes about it, and left, and then came back and told me thank you. That was kinda weird, and sometimes we get men that give us weird compliments, and that's always a little awkward. We do stand out though, for sure. Especially in Nakagawa. We are like the only gaijins in Nakagawa, so it's fun. Also, we have these gigantic white helmets, which is really uncool to people here so that makes us even weirder, but I love it. It gives me gaijin power ;)
Well, I can't really think of anything else to say, the pictures explains it. I hope that you are all doing well. I never feel like I have enough time to talk to you all, but I can't wait until next week to Skype! I'll send an email with all my info on it and stuff so you can have that. I have to set up a new Skype account so, I'll let you know what that is.
I sure love you all!!!!!
I'll talk to you in a week!
Love, Raines Shimai