Monday, August 4, 2014

And the food horrow stories continue...

This week had some interesting adventures. Let me just take you through a few of them:

Monday evening. We go to the Tagajo eki (train station) to do chirashi kubari, and we're still just going crazy doin' our thing talking to everyone. I see these two sketchy-looking guys staring at me a distance away, smoking cigarettes. Well, I did promise the Lord I would talk to EVERYONE....I walked over to them and had a seat next to one man in a pinnk button-down shirt and white crocodile shoes. "You've been here for a while! Are you waiting for someone?" "Yeah, uh, a girl." "Oh, is she your friend?" "No, I don't know her yet. We're looking for her. It's our job." Suddenly the crocodile shoes, uncannily straightened hair, lengthened waiting period at the eki, and uncomfortably long stares all click; I have accidentally street contacted two pimps. I look at him skeptically. "What are you looking for them for?" "To come work at our place. Only young girls can work there so...we have to find them." And then (because I'm me) the words just spilled out before I could stop them. "Is that legal?" I asked. He looked suprised. "Well, it's not ILlegal," he replied. 

Okay, so apparently I overreacted just a teeny bit. They were scouting for girls to work at like a bar-ish place, NOT a hostel. My bad. But they were pretty cool guys (minus the cigarettes) and pink button-down-pimp-shoes-man likes the English language! He promised he'd come to English class. Woohoo! All's well that....ends well..?
New friend who's husband is apparently a pro surfer!
We got some SERIOUS workouts in this week. We bike rode (the 4 shimai(sisters)) an hour up the MOUNTAIN of Shiogama, to pull an AMUSING amount of weeds and potatoes at Minny shimai's house! It was SO sweaty and hot, and SO fun!!! There were suprise potatoes in the weed patch, and it felt just like dendo!! You spend all this time weeding through the "kekko's" and "Kyoumi ga nai's" and BOOM. A plump, golden kinjin golden person potato just sitting, waiting to be harvested! Definitely there were way more weeds than potatoes; but the potatoes made it SO worth it! Same with awesome investigators- they just make it all worth it!

GROSS FOOD EXPERIENCE. So to show her gratitude, Minny shimai made us a BOMB lunch. Then she whipped out these kind of creepy-looking things toward the end of the meal that looked like the inside of a clam. I was convinced they were clams; until she tried to cut them in half and the peculiar food DIDN'T GIVE. With some visible effort she was able to cut them in half and said, "they're kind of gross-seeming, but they're really good! They're (directly translated) sand-cartilage!" Um, what? Schmidt shimai looks at me. "Can I borrow your dictionary?" I asked. She whips it out and searches the word, and nothing comes up. Minny shimai says, "Well, its part of a chicken..." And then it clicked. "Schmidt shimai," I said in a low voice, "That's chicken gizzard." 

For those of you who have not spent as much time as I have around chickens (oh gosh I sound insane), the gizzard is the internal organ of birds that kind of acts as their teeth- since they have no teeth and just swallow things whole. It is NOT edible to the Western countries of the world.

But this isn't the Western world; this is Japan. And chicken gizzard is a delicacy.

YOU BET WE ATE IT. It was like eating straight fried, thick cartilage (which, by the way, is also a delicacy here). Not bad, not bad.
Visiting with a friend from college!
We volunteered all-day at this kids-center Summer party! The kids were a little older (8ish), but they were so cute!! We became instant best friends. They LOVED my ukulele. I thought it was gonna get broken in half because so many kids were fighting over it haha:) My favorite quotes from the day? "Why are you so tall?" (I got this one about 5 times) "Why are your eyes blue? Will they turn brown eventually?" I proceeded to shock that child by telling him that my hair is actually blonde; not brown. His mind was blown.

We also got SUPER drenched by a flash-thunderstorm this week on our bikes. Ahh, summer.
District at lunch
Ahhh and the Word of the Week! Shibui! I LOVE this word. It means like, "Super-classy", or as I would say in English, "PIMPIN'!" Yes, I used this on the pimp man in complimenting him on his pimp shoes. I thought it was necessary.

I had a great interview with President Smith this week! We just chatted about deep doctrine questions our apartment had been discussing about the plan of Salvation. It was very instructive:) Also, President Smith sent us a few quotes and encouraging messages by email to our missionaries these last two weeks. Truly they were inspired, and helped me through difficult times this week. Some things this week felt so difficult that I almost asked the Lord to be delivered, but I looked back on the picture I had of last week's quote by Elisabeth Gessel, and instead asked Heavenly Father for the power to endure. I've been blessed by a powerful feeling of love and optimism from Heavenly Father. I know He loves me, and that is all that matters! As long as I have His help; I'll be able to endure any trial for as long as the Lord sees fit to give it to me.

I had the opportunity to bear my testimony yesterday. I told the members about through the small act of reading the Book of Mormon just a few minutes every day in college, I was able to gain a sure testimony of the Book of Mormon's truthfulness, and the truthfulness of all the doctrines it contains. Through sharing my testimony, I was able to feel the Spirit confirm to ME that what I was saying was indeed true. I will treasure and continue to grow my testimony as long as I live!
Playing uno!

We had a good lesson with Osa san this week- she was less outwardly stubborn as we taught her about the second half of the Plan of Salvation. At the end, we asked her, "So where do you want to go?" And she pointed to the Celestial Kingdom and said, "This one, because it shines the brightest." We explained that baptism was a requirement to enter the celestial kingdom, and my companion was inspired to ask her to be baptized. She said yes. We were shocked! She's got some obstacles to overcome with the Word of Wisdom, but the Spirit is certainly working with her! It was such a miracle.

We've got a busy week of dendoing at Maths and talking to the locals this next week! We talked to SO MANY people this week. Just ANYONE and EVERYONE. Oh it was so fun:) I feel the Lord pouring out His love to His children through us when we smile warmly at them and strike up a conversation! This week of Tanabata (a festival in her area) dendo is gonna be the BOMB!

Have a great week, Love you all!
Orgill Shimai

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