Sunday, December 22, 2013

Week 26--Sendai, Japan

What is happening my people of America and....everywhere else!

Sooo....this week... I turned 20. It was ironically the MOST INSANE day of perhaps my entire mission (but the bar is kind of high at this point soo...not sure.) But it was Tuesday. And I woke up forgetting it was my birthday (because let's be real, when you're on a mission you just don't matter much- which is a good thing!) And then the other 4 shimai came in singing "Happy birthday", holding two yakiimo (yes I like sweet potatoes WAY more than cake). And that was nice! 
Yes, baked sweet potatoes
And got a little out of hand. We got a call from the chorotachi elders being grumps about random things and then Thompson choro yelled from the background, Happy birthday Orgill Shimai!! And then the rest of them realized that they had completely forgotten.
The apology onion, apparently a new method to say you're sorry!

 But THEN. We went down by the eki station to sing Christmas carols as a district and chirashi kubari hand out flyers, and we were standing up against a building singing when a blind man starts yelling at us for being in his way and not even speaking Japanese and being idiots, and we apologized. But apparently that was not enough for the bitter Scrooge. He called the police on us, and they took the choro's gaijin alien registration cards and we got in trouble (the policemen didn’t care; but the blind man did) so that was great. AND THEN when we headed into the church that night for a meeting (we were early), we found a homeless white man on the phone talking in rapid English- who spoke NO JAPANESE and is convinced he's possessed by the devil and wouldn't leave until he was given money. SO that was my birthday. Memorable!

At dinner at the Furukawa's, K-choro randomly turned to me and informed me that I have "exotic eyes", because when you first look at them they're blue, but then they're also gray and they're also green and they're also hazel...and then I told him there's actually a freckle in my right eye as well and completely blew his mind. He said me and this girl he had met in the MTC (she had legit silver eyes) had the most exotic eyes of anyone he'd met on his I guess I got that title..awk.

So, my favorite part of this week: A-san <3 He's an Eikaiwa English conversation student. He's 64. He whips out little snacks for me out of NOWHERE. And he reminds me exactly of my Grandpa Orgill. And what does he love? Celtic Woman and high soprano voices. So I guess you could say we get along well. Every week he comes to me with new songs he wants me to sing for him and as I sing them he just closes his eyes and smiles and sings along. He is very stereotypical Nihonjin in that religion is "dame" and it's scary to him. But then he always says after mentioning (again) that he's not interested in Mormon kei, he'll ask, so what do missionaries do anyway?? I told him that there is beautiful music at church and that he should come and sit by me and sing. He said, "No, no way, religion is just bad for me. So....when does it start?" He stayed all three hours. And then came caroling with us after. And he's now the chorotachi's elders investigator. And he is so wonderful!! I've never wanted other people's happiness as much as I do on my mission.

So as per usual, there were tricky things about this week (aside from being nearly arrested.)  After a mogi lesson with one of the members, she lectured me for 40 minutes on how we need to drop one of our investigators because she had met our investigator 2 years ago (not possible, she wasn't an investigator 2 years ago) and that she has no testimony and we're wasting our time and we should be more sympathetic to what we should be doing. I know my mission has changed me because there is NO WAY I would have been able to take that in silence before my mission. But you know what? I'll follow what Heavenly Father wants for His children through following the Spirit instead of hearkening to a woman who does not have the authority from Heavenly Father to see which of our investigators will accept the gospel. There are some people in this ward that are tricky people, but we deal with them with patience and humility. 

Aside: Did I ever tell you I was offered a job playing ukulele/violin at a bar by a woman in a kimono we randomly met when she flagged us down and jumped out of her car? Well, I was. Unfortunately it kind of conflicted with the whole being in the service of the Lord thing but who knows, I could have gone places! 

We sang at an old folk's home which was actually really hard for me because it just reminded me of my grandmother who passed away 2 weeks before I left on my mission. But it really brightened a lot of deadened eyes and the sweet little old people (one grandma was 101 and looking good!) thanked us sincerely for coming, and it was a great experience to partake of.

I love this Christmas season, and although my Christmas will be far from traditional, the sweet peace the gospel brings is year round, and that's good enough for me. I love the Savior and I love you all!! Merry Christmas!!!

Orgill Shimai

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