Monday, February 24, 2020

Sherwood Chourou - week 42 in Japan


IT'S HAPPENING AGAAAAIN!!! For those who haven't been keeping track of the math, it's transfer week, and I'm about to officially become a middle-aged missionary! It's still weirding me out. I've been away from home almost a year now, and only one more until I'm back. *shudders*
Anyways (let's see how many times I can start my paragraphs with that before I think of a better transition word), we've had one more mild week in Japan... Except people are dying of a DEADLY VIRUS! I'm betting everyone back home has better access to the news than I do, so you're probably aware of the Corona Virus epidemic going on in Asia. Fortunately for us, Japan has been slower about catching the virus than other contries, but two weeks behind isn't quite as cozy of a buffer as we could hope for. Worry not, dear friends, for as far as we know, none of the missionaries in our mission have been infected, and should we contract it, we have special masks for quarantine. In my utmost simplicity, we're fine (at least for now).
As for dendou, we got to teach an FFEP (Free Family English Program) lesson to a half-Japanese, half-Romanian family (a rare combination, as far as I'm aware). This was my first time teaching this kind of lesson, consisting of 30 minutes of English learning tailored to the students' level, followed by 30 minutes of gospel learning, but I think we pulled it off pretty well. I'm making pictures of the alphabet letters to help the next missionaries (or me, if I stick around against all odds), ones which I'd be lying about if I claimed they weren't heavily based on the Letter Factory video by LeapFrog. So yeah, that's probably going somewhere good.
That's all I can think of in particular, but I do have a couple pictures to send from assorted miscellany. Do enjoy, have a good week, and stay healthy everyone! Matta ne!

 - Hehe...there's no "L" in Japanese...heheheh.
 - We went up to the northern point again today. The member taking the picture didn't wait for me to get up there, but I'm not complaining.

Sherwood Chourou - Week 41 in Japan


Wow, this transfer is blowing by! To start things off, this week was Zone Conference week. Last Wednesday, we took a 6 hour bus ride to Iwamizawa, where I had the privilege of serving in my bean area (a missionary's first area) for about a day's time! We actually managed to find an old english-class member who stopped coming because of scheduling conflicts, and were able to introduce her to our Free Family English Program (or FFEP for short), through which the Iwamizawa Elders will be able to teach her family English alongside some gospel lessons! I also got to hand out a Book of Mormon that same day, which I haven't gotten to do in a while!
After our stay in Iwamizawa, we went down a bit further to Sapporo for the actual conference. While I don't remember most of what we talked about, I did get a decent amount of inspiration for how to serve better up here. We also discussed some safety points, primarily our emergency backpacks and the Corona virus that everyone's been talking about lately. Missionaries actually have very strict rules for interaction now because of the virus, such that we can't shake hands and are asked to just touch elbows if that sort of greeting seems requisite. But hey, I'm healthy and will likely continue to be, so all is well. Hope everyone back home is healthy too!
Anyways, after Zone Conference, we took our bus back to Wakkanai. Unfortunately, timing meant we were unable to hold English class, but we should be able this week. After that, not much of note happened, except Nakagawa Chourou and I accidentally missed our stop on a local bus, meaning we had to take a half-hour trip around the western shore of Wakkanai before getting back to our stop, and still had to pay the extra 5 dollars for it! That really killed my mood, but now I've begun making a point of paying better attention to the bus stops, so there's that.
That's all for this week! I remembered to take a couple photos this week, including one of the Iwamizawa church and an amusing typo at a bus rest stop. Hope you all are doing well, and have a good week! Matta ne!

 - A display for the Japanese Doll Festival
 - Hehe, smorking :)
 - Iwamizawa church building (ah, nostalgia)

Sherwood Chourou - Week 40 in Japan


It's been another simple week, this round. We had many appointments, some of which fell through, others of which resulted in droppings, and a handful more which went pretty well, all things considered. Bit by bit, we're finding out the ripe wheat from among the tender stalks of the Wakkanai people. I find that this takes up a majority of the work effort in Japan, another heavy portion being simply searching for people to teach. While it's difficult to see the results, I'm glad I have the opportunity to do the Lord's work in such a wonderful place! 
That's all I really have to say as for dendou today. In other news, there was a mini snow festival this weekend! Lots of people made these things called ice candles, which is just a sort of pot made of ice in which a candle is placed. They are very pretty, and I have many pictures to share, so do enjoy!
Welp, that's my week. Hope everyone's doing great back home, and have a good week! Matta ne!

 - Various ice candle displays,some of which have bonus snowmen (technically ice-men, but it's okay)
 - Someone used LEDs instead of candles. Cheater.
 - Only the mightiest of the frozen chosen may sit upon the penguin's glorious throne
 - An igloo. The inside had an ambience similar to that of a cultist demon summoning ritual, or a Dungeons and Dragons session. I may have chanted.
 - A pokemon manhole and balloons
 - We ate pizza and takoyaki (fried dough balls with octopus)

Sherwood Chourou - Week 39 in Japan

Konnichiwa Mina-san!

It's already been half a transfer with Elder Nakagawa, what the huh? Time really does start speeding up after a couple transfers on a mission, I can safely say this much is true. Anyways, we've had a bit of success this week! We got two new interested friends, one of which came to our English class and the other which may start doing our one-on-one English and gospel lessons, all of which is just generally awesome! It's difficult to say how far any of this will go as of now, but our hopes and spirits are high. Besides that, we've been freezing our tails off in a blizzard this weekend and will likely do it again this week. Nevertheless, we will press on with faith in our hearts and the rest of us bundled up in three layers of insulation!
That's about all I've got for this week. I have some pics this time to redeem the lack from the week previous. Enjoy, and have a good week!

 - We ate food today. Surprising, I know.
 - Me in a blizzard

Sherwood Chourou - Week 38 in Japan

Konnichiwa! We are back to the slowish days once more. We've been dendoing and teaching plenty, but nothing outstanding has arisen ...