Japan is still melting this week...but we are happy and in good spirits! There is a rumor going around that fall will be coming soon. I'll believe it when I feel it! :) Actually it has been cooling down SLIGHTLY the past few weeks. I'm only wet for about 70% of the day instead of 170% of the day. Hehe. Mommy you asked me about the routine and if it is feeling normal yet. That is actually something I've thought about quite a bit. The routine has definitely become habit and a part of who I am. It's kind of fun how no matter what area you are in or where you are, a lot of things don't change. We all live in funny little apartments with random food and tatami mats and futons. We all have these huge grey desks that will survive through the millennium. We all wake up at 6:30 and exercise and comment on the heat every five minutes. We all start study at 8. Bedtime is always at 10:30. The missionary life is actually comforting once it becomes habit. Through ever changing circumstances and companions and the roller coaster of life as a missionary, some things are always the same.
I am really digging having nihonjin companions! Though Japan isn't all that big really, every area has different foods they are famous for and different ways of cooking. I got the wild Osaka taste of things with Tomura Shimai, full of octopus and fried noodles, and now I have entered a more veggie-centered terrain with Takei Shimai and her Nagano dishes. She loves to cook and has made me some great traditional dishes. Prepare yourselves for when I come home!! I can't wait to cook when I come back to America. Hopefully I can find all the ingredients.
So last week we met an obachan on the street with the whitest hair I've ever seen. I really like her because she is so friendly, and speaks slower and clearer then most obachans...haha. She is super genki and invited us to her book club where they are crazy about Hemingway. We went and made some great new friends and ate at Denny's and shared a bit about the church and gave away a Book of Mormon. Denny's here is way different!! They don't really believe in breakfast foods in Tokyo. Pancakes are a desert food for them. So most of the menu was pasta and soup and things. Seriously even my companions are funny about breakfast! They eat the same things they eat at every other meal. Anyway...one of the members of the book club is Yamada san. He is 86 years old and speaks English because he used it a lot in his work before he retired. He is so great!! SO healthy. I asked him his secret to good health...and he said he just has good ancestors! I wasn't very satisfied with that answer but it's all he would give me. He taught me about Haiku, and I taught him the word of wisdom. (He asked me why I didn't order coffee). Haiku is so awesome! I think Nate and Mikayla have done it before...special kind of poetry. It is so awesome in Japanese. This last week Yamada san came to my Eikaiwa class!! He said he will continue coming when he has time. He lives close to the Elder's apartment so we are hoping he is a kinjin. :) (golden person) I also like Yamada san because his kanji is super easy to remember and I can even write it! SCORE.
Thank you for the pictures mommy!! I put in the one of you and dad on your wedding day. Everyone loves the pictures I have of you two. The main one is one I took of you and dad sitting together in the canyon. They don't really do 'cute' couple pictures here, and they think it's so American that you are leaning your heads towards each other all cutely. Haha. Japanese people are so funny. Could you send me a picture of me on the violin? Maybe the one from my senior pictures.
Whoops I've got to go!! THANK YOU for all your prayers! Miyuki Shimai is progressing. I really love her. She has some tough challenges, but we have so much faith in her and her future. OH! I gave a talk in church yesterday! One of the speakers didn't show up so the bishopric asked Takei Shimai and me to speak for 3-5 minutes each. SURPRISE. I spoke on hope and read 2 Nephi 1:15. Haha my Japanese was probably a joke...but a lot of people came up to me afterwards and thanked me and said "Kibo, ne?" haha. "Hope." So at least they understood I was trying to speak on hope! Lol.
A few people have asked me what a gokiburi is. It is a Japanese cockroach. :D Fun fun!!! I think I'll bring one home for Melia.