B is for Birthdays and Bowling

So to start off, (or to end really) I had a great birthday! I woke up
to two wonderful douryou’s saying happy birthday and having my study
area decorated with Finnish notes and candy galore.


At church I sat down in the back and because of various reasons wasn’t
able to sit next to the person I was supposed to and ended up next to
an old man with a snake bracelet and necklace, which he made clear was
real gold with embedded diamonds. He had decided to stop in today and
see what this whole church thing was all about. He started asking me
if I had Viking ancestors and then asked how old I was. When I replied
I was “21 today” he stood up and declared “you must receive a
present!” And then disappeared for about 10 minutes. And came back,
holding what appeared to be a sparkly contraption meant to amuse small
children. Greatest birthday present ever.

Later we were invited to family home evening with a family who was so so kind
and even gave me a present and had dinner a cake for me with my name on it and
everything! I was not expecting that at all!
Today to celebrate we headed out to tsunashima and went bowling. This is
basically how it went.


And I am officially the second worst bowler. Thank you for saving me from total embarrassment, fellow bowling pin costume-wearer.And with that, I’m officially 21.In other news, our new bean-chan is making great progress with Japanese and missionary life. Both douryou’s are growing and progressing so much daily! I felt so bad for her though. Japanese grandmothers and grandfathers often are hard to understand because of the antiquated vocabulary and sometimes lack of teeth, and we had two multi-hour encounters with two such individuals this week.



Afterwards I reassured Tanner Shimai that it’s ok that she had no idea what was
going on, that was Japanese but…it was special.
Of course, the next biggest news is the fact that Pokemon Go, a wildly popular
geocaching style game app, was released in Japan this week. And ever since then
that’s all I see people doing on the trains and on the streets. For whatever
reason, LDS churches also happen to be Pokemon gyms on the app, and so we’ve
been having visitors trolling outside the church for days now. Great way to
invite them in. “Playing Pokemon go!? Want some air conditioning!?” … And so
on.  There was even an article about it on LDS.org. Which I find hilarious.
I found out this week that turtles in Japan placed on their backs can flip
themselves over by extending their necks and using sheer force. It was
And more pictures:
Smiley Shimai
To be continued…

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