Hello everyone! This week has been a little tougher, but I have lots of stories so it should be a good email.
After emailing last week my companion and I went to the "Pokemon center." Basically a store dedicated to Pokemon, since Pokemon was created in Japan. The store was so sweet. I'll attach pictures in another email so you can get a little Japanese feel. After that we went to the Sapporo Eki (station) where there is a four story mall, and about 50,000 people. That place had everything, but I was so confused because I still can't read any of the signs. My companion and I ended up in some store with about 50 massage chairs. We then proceeded to sit in them for about an hour and a half. Probably my favorite time being in the field this far. Nah I'm just kidding, obviously the missionary work is the best.
I bought a Jisho (a small computer dictionary) because I'm sick of not understanding what people are saying. Now I can type in any word and try to figure out some of what is going on. Helps a ton.
Tuesday was probably one of my favorite days of this last week. We had a ZTM (zone training meeting) and discussed a lot of cool topics. We talked about how to teach simply and effectively, conversion, and church attendance. We made huge goals for this month and I got super stoked on exceeding these goals. We're trying to have 9 investigators at church and just a ton of baptisms. I can't even remember the number, but I do remember my first thought was "no way" way too high. Nothing is too much though when you have the Lord on your side, so I guess we'll see what we can do.
During the ZTM I had my "bean shower" they call the newbies "beans" and basically this shower consisted of me introducing myself with two other newbies from my MTC district. After introductions, everyone swarmed us and gave us some kind of candy or toy or basically anything. I had so much stuff I couldn't get up and walk around. I thought it was super thoughtful and very welcoming.
After ZTM we went out to a restaurant that was all you can eat (tabehodai). I ate some weird meat. At a lot of restaurants here, there is a little stove and you cook your own at the table on the floor. Picture this:
A bunch of missionaries kneeling on the floor cooking their own food on a table that's lying on the ground. Weird right? It's interesting, but I'm learning to really love the little things like that. This week I ate tongue, some kind of liver, bacon, etc... Just a bunch of meat until I could barely walk. I haven't been that full since the sushi bar last week.
Eikaiwa (our English class on Wednesday and Thursday) have been pretty sad in attendance. Still only get 1 or 2 people every week. That attendance sums up the success right now very well.
Elder birch and I have 2 progressing investigators. One of which I've never met and was taught 77 days ago. I keep asking elder birch how he's progressing, but he insists we don't drop him. He's my trainer so I mostly just listen. The other investigator has been slowly deteriorating. Health wise, spiritual wise, social wise....
It's really sad, and we're trying to show that we care about him and this gospel helps so much. So what I'm trying to say is that we really have no investigators right now.
We had one appointment this whole week and of course it fell through. Because of that, we spent the next 3 hours going house to house in the rain. We talked to a ton of people, but not one person was interested in our message. We were pretty bummed because what do we do we we have nobody to teach?
Mom you're going to like the picture I send in the email after this... Basically it started pouring rain one night and we were a 40minute bike ride away. Elder birch invested in bike fenders a couple weeks ago, which I thought was a waste of money, but boy did this experience change my mind. I got legit covered in mud and dirt. I'm talking dripping muddy water. Elder birch didn't have any dirt, and was just a little wet. I seriously don't understand how he was so clean. I thought it was funny, but mom you probably won't like the pictures. Viewer discretion is advised. Jk it's not too bad. I hope it lightens everyone's day just a bit.
We stayed in an apartment with 8 other elders also going to stake conference. It was so fun not just having two people in an apartment for a couple nights. There were some 日本人(Japanese elders) so I got some good talking practice in. There was also a guitar there, so I got to play for the first time in 3 months. Boy did I suck!!!
Well, that's basically it. The mission is super hard because of the lack of success, but I've seen myself change in ways I can't describe. I'm keeping my head up and doing my best and that's all I can ask of myself. I know the lord will bless me for my efforts and is testing my patience right now. Hopefully next week I'll send this email with 15 new investigators!
Hope you all have a great week!
愛してますー シャイト 長老