Konnichiwa! (I can’t write that in romaji without saying it with a really bad American accent in my head…)
This week I realized the perks of a companion who takes lots of pictures…you get lots of pictures taken. Surprise surprise!
Had lots of great lessons this week, and we’re running from appointment to appointment all day everyday. It’s good to be busy 🙂
We had Mission Leadership Conference in Yamate this week, my assigned area when I first came to Japan! It was nice to be back. Before it started, there was an inorikai (dedication/remembrance/prayer meeting) to remember the 115 anniversary of the LDS church in Japan. We had to wake up at 4:40 to get there on time for a 6:30 start. Slightly brutal, but it was a miracle that I didn’t even feel a bit sleepy the whole day. For the last part of MLC we shuttled over to Negishi Park, where I used to go often, and learned more about the history of Christianity in Japan. It’s really fascinating and leaves you with all sorts of feelings.
For example, at one point people were converting to Christianity at such a high rate just before the Edo Jidai period (1603-1868; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edo_period) that the leading shogun Warlord felt it could become a political threat and banned Christianity. He had an imprinted image of Christ and asked everyone to step on it as a show of whether people would deny Christianity or not. Those who weren’t Christian of course had no problem stepping on the image. Among Christians however, there was a divide. Many decided that they would deny Christianity and their beliefs publicly, reasoning that it was only an image, but continue to worship privately in their hearts.However, a minority chose not to deny their faith and would not step on the image. They felt though it was only a picture, to step on it would symbolize to the Shogun that they denied their Savior. In response, some of these Japanese believers were crucified in the same way that Christ was. My question is, if you were in this situation, what would you do? Food for thought.
We met a new adorable family this week, and got to spend time with several English class students. On Saturday morning, the Relief Society hosted a bosai shuukai, or disaster emergency preparation event. Suffice to say I learned lots of new vocabulary. And was also very distracted by an adorable baby.
The event included learning to cook sweet bread, Korean chapechi, and rice in a plastic bag, and culminated in a feast made of emergency food rations. And let me tell you, compared to Japan, America has a looong way to go. This food was Fancy.
In other news, my vegetarianism is suffering. We had one night where we ate dinner, then went as fast as possible to the other side of the city for an appointment, only to find they had made dinner for us there as well. The curry had meat in it and when they weren’t looking I dumped it all onto my companions plate. Close call.
But then, one night we visited someone who’s Chinese mother was in town. She didn’t understand a word of Japanese, much less English, so we communicated through Google Translate (speaking version). Thank you to every intern who’s ever worked at Google, your efforts are appreciated. All seemed well until we were just getting ready to leave. She opened the rice cooker and instead of rice it was filled with steamed PIG’S FEET!!!! No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t explain, and I had just been teaching about how we had to be kind to others and make an effort to be understanding of different cultures, because our friend’s girlfriend was having a hard time with that. So I couldn’t be a hypocrite and not practice what I was teaching. And before I knew it she had forced this greasy piece of meat into my hands and I just swallowed it as fast as I could and then ate a lot of rice and drank water and tried not to throw up. Our friend rescued us and offered to drive us home and the whole way I was trying to hold down my stomach. I succeeded, luckily. Ew. The sacrifices we make for people….
That’s all for this week!