Culture Shock

Gather round, gather round, have I got a story to tell…

Not really, but I am undergoing severe culture shock. As I write this I’m sitting in a bowling alley on a P-Day (“preparation day” when missionaries do their laundry, shopping, outings), with American pizza and English speakers surrounding me, paying for things with American dollars. This is straight crazy.
It’s really bizarre speaking English and the people around me understanding. There goes my secret language. It’s also really bizarre to hear swearing again, because Japanese people just don’t do it.
Transfer 3
Transfers were uneventful. We made a pizza to celebrate the transfer the night before, and for being made in a tiny toaster oven it was pretty good if I do say so myself.
The night before we went out to a birthday dinner with our friend for her 20th birthday! She dies her hair blond so we’re officially sisters. That’s how it works right?
Actually, what’s crazy is that when I was a transfer 1, I came and attended a baptism for my trainer’s old investigator. The people there said I should come to Yamato and I said probably someday! That day has come, as once prophesied in times of old. When I came to this area, we were sent to visit someone who had been having a hard time, and lo and behold, it was the same person who I had met 5 months ago! We hugged and had an amazing reunion.
I don’t remember which stories I’ve already told anymore. But anyway, do you remember when I was sick and quarantined in my apartment for about a week back in transfer one? I do, all too vividly. During that time, instead of resigning ourselves to laziness we went through our old contact list (my companion did most of is while I lay dying of fever) and invited people to an upcoming sports activity. Out of all of those people, just one came, and from there we were able to start teaching her. Last week she was baptized!
Mama Eikawa.JPG
Mama Eikawa English class. Love these women so so so much
We went and visited an old woman who is waiting for results from the doctors – she thinks she may have cancer – and even though she’s sick she’s so peaceful and loving. We sang hymns for her and “I am a child of God.” Hearing an 80-something year old woman sing that from the bottom of her heart was pretty touching:
(click here for the full song)
Later in the week we had a volleyball activity, and everyone was really really ridiculously good. I found out there’s low key lots of yakuza activity in My new area. Avoid parks at night, kids.
I visited one of my favorite people and had a lesson with her in Spanish.
Big slippers

At the sports center. Apparently Japanese people actually have quite large feet

Church with the English speaking Ward and Japanese speaking group were dramatically different. In English little children are rolling on the floor eating snacks and playing with “quiet books” noisily while parents hopelessly try to quiet them. On the other hand, the Japanese wards are silent, and everyone, even the smallest child, is focusing. Except at the end when there was an extra meeting about is year’s area plan and a little girl piped up in Japanese, ” it’s not over yet?” And suddenly everyone was laughing.
I’m not over Fujisawa yet, still in mourning. But I’ll get there, I’ll get there.
Smiley Shimai

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