CTR: Choose the Rice

Sorry for the long radio silence. Sometimes all the forces of nature gang up against you to prevent all sources of communication home. That, or you just feel dead tired.

In the past few weeks…(and by no means should you expect this to be coherent):

I tried to teach a little girl the meaning of a CTR ring I gave her. The meaning is “Choose the Right,” but about a week after giving it to her, when I quizzed her on the meaning, she confidently exclaims “choose the rice!” Appropriate for Japan, but no honey, not quite.

Several of the people we’re working with are progressing well, and others are working towards making it to the temple!

I replaced 36 liters of emergency water in our apartment.

We attended a festival with our friend K on the Atsugi base last weekend, and saw just about everyone we could possibly know. It was ridiculously windy, and one of the food carts nearly blew over. Amidst the clamor, I ate crab on a stick and rejoiced.

The man walking around with a video camera the whole day had me thinking security checks could have been a little better. And of course the longest food line was for the hamburgers and hot dogs. Why? Who knows, not me – I’m just a pescatarian (nope, not Presbyterian, or Episcopalian, check my name-tag). You’d be surprised how often I get that question.

We visited the temple in Hiroo last Tuesday and then had a great lesson in the afternoon with our friend. She works at a famous Japanese wagashi sweet store and agreed to host an event making kawashi mochi for the local relief society organization. She’s so excited it’s contagious!

Today I had a reunion with one of the first people I met and taught in Japan after 8 months! She’s still tall as ever!

My douryou’s (companion’s) tire punctured twice in one week so I got to practice my cycling skills of replacing and patching tubes in record time.

We had our last zone conference ever with Wada Kaichou and Shimai, which was bittersweet. I love them so much. When we walked outside I had a Marilyn Monroe moment and had to do some quick damage control after probably flashing a whole street. That wind though.

We got to visit and work with several part-member families this week who want us to teach their children and want to start getting more involved again, so that was really fun.

We also spent an afternoon carrying heavy furniture out of a friend’s house and bleaching their walls and floors as part of a service project. They had a rat infestation. But it turned out that there was a miscommunication and all the work we did was unnecessary – after all of our work, the extermination crew came in and set up 6 mousetraps upstairs. But hey, now they have a newly-bleached home.

We taught a Japanese woman who’s prevailing question for the past 20 years as she’s traveled the world is “why are LDS families so happy?” So we were able to have a good chat about the meaning of life and other casual topics that have eternal magnitude. She wants to meet again, so it must have gone well.

Finally, on Sunday we attended a Spanish sacrament service in Shonandai and the entire family we’ve been teaching came, along with their friends, showed up packed in a tiny car. By the end everyone was crying. One woman kept asking why she was crying and felt so happy (she had planned on staying outside and had only come inside after much convincing). We were happy to explain.

That’s all for the land of the rising sun!

P.s. The recycling programs here are fantastic.


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