Not Easier, but Faster

  
My ski coach often used to say, It never gets easier, you just get faster. I feel like the mission is often a lot like that. The better I become at teaching, speaking Japanese, learning directions, etc. the more I see room for improvement and more and more difficult challenges arise so that life is never easy, but I just continue to improve in various ways (I hope!). 

  
Last week I lied to you all (I know, I know, I’m sorry)…I did not in fact go to Kamakura, instead, I went to enoshima, which is the island portrayed in pictures. We got to spend the day with the family I mentioned last week and had an amazing time. They are all so kind and fun to be around!

  
It was so crowded though, due to the fact that it was undoukai holiday (athletic sports related things), so you couldnt even see the ground no matter where you looked. We found a path that nobody else was on though and ended up at a shrine!

  
Afterwards we went to a classy restaurant where you remove your shoes, the tables are low to the ground, and there is a built in griddle in the table. The restaurant servers bring you ingredients and mixtures you use to make your own okonomiyaki (a cabbage pancake with lots of other ingredients, like shrimp, meat, etc) and takoyaki (fried octopus dough balls). We even made okonomiyaki pizza!

  
Yeah, I was surprised too. Although one thought that crossed my mind was ‘why are they making us pay so much to cook our own food? I could have done this at home!’ although obviously I really couldn’t have. 

  
This week I got to go on splits in Atsugi. They have so much nature there I was SO EXCITED!! There’s this amazing river that we biked along for a long time and it made me miss Oregon.

  
Later in the week we had a conference with Yamashita Chourou of the first quorum of the seventy (one of the leaders within the church). Everyone from Yokohama and Fujisawa attended, so I got to see all my old friends from Yamate and the Yokohama South zone! I didn’t know when I’d see them again after so I made birthday cards galore (shout out to Xandra).

  
The conference was inspiring, except the fact that Eyring Shimai and I were asked just before the afternoon session started to get up on the stand and demonstrate companionship study, language study (meaning speaking in front of half of the mission in Japanese), and daily planning as part of the seminar. Talk about a lot of pressure.

  
But afterwards Yamashita chourou and his wife came and found us and complimented our demonstration, so I felt a little better about myself. We were up on the stand for almost an hour it was ridiculous, but a great learning experience etc etc.

Lots of our investigators are progressing and we might have a few following the example in 2 Nephi 31 very soon, so keep your fingers crossed! 

This morning while playing basketball, one of the regulars started talking to us and I found out that the park we play at is the setting in a famous manga called ‘slam dunk’ or something to that effect. So if there are any otakus in the house who know what that is let me know!

皆さんに愛していますよ!

Love everyone!

Kira

  
(Kira didn’t explain this picture but I’ve heard of places in Asia where little fish “exfoliate” customers’ feet by eating the dead skin off. Let’s assume this is one of those places. Yummy. )

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