I'm on the bus and guess what: it has wifi!! I think Iwaki might be my favorite area. Our buses between areas in the zone have wifi, we have a member that gives us donuts all the time, our branch has the Igari's in it and they're amazing, and Iwaki is a pretty big area so I haven't gotten bored with it yet. We also have our apartment on the first floor which means that I can do all the jumping and crazy exercise in the morning that I want to. And the grocery store right next to our apartment is almost like a famer's market and it's the best store I've shopped at my whole mission. I've also seen a golden lamborghini on two separate occasions and a red ferrari. This area also has one of my favorite branch mission leaders. One sad thing about Iwaki is that our district only has two young Elders so we only get ZL splits once a transfer. We don't get any district splits.
This week we had a zone blitz. The whole zone came to Iwaki for a day and tried to find all of th einvestigators. It was pretty fun. We were in charge of figuring out areas for people to go and buying some stuff so tht the ZLs could make us all curry for lunch. Going to a restaurant witht 14 missionaries would have been a little bit more fun I think, but they were worried that people might have no money and just starve to death. I think that in total 14 new investigators were found that day which would mean an average of two investigators per companionship. It wasn't quite equal though because the ZLs didn't find any and the STLs found five. My comp and I did find two.
Two days ago didn't feel like Easter. It was still a fast Sunday for us since we have General Conference next week, and it felt like Easter just snuck up on me this year and was gone as fast as it came. It was funny during testimony meeting when the most energetic senior citizen in all of Japan (who also happens to be a sister in our branch) got up and at the end of her testimony mentioned the fact that our one young man in the branch bounced and went to America, and the other young dude who happens to be 28 got engaged and moved way down south. Her suggestion for fixing the bias of our branch demographics towards old people was to have the missionaries get married and move back to Iwaki. It's not a terrible idea. Except that I'm not sure that I could live in Japan as an ordinary citizen. Japan is great, but America is the promised land of the Book of Mormon and they speak English there, so I'll likely end up east of the Pacific. Not in the Pacific.
I've seen and heard some of the changes at General Conference on Facebook and in mom's email to me this morning. There were some pretty big changes. That's exciting. I'm interested to find out how the ministering thing is going to be implemented. And what a combined High Priests quorum and Elders quorum will look/sound like. And I don't know if you all remember this, but I actually got to eat dinner with a dude known as 'Elder Gong' during my time at the MTC. And he actually looks just like a dude that got sustained by most of the world as an apostle the other day. :) I think he was the mission president over Elder Turk's home mission when he got baptized. So when Elder Turk got invited to dinner I did too. :)
Okay this is the beginning of this week:
I'm about to get a haircut. There's a poster of a bunch of haircut options and I think I'll probably go for either the executive contour or the scumbag boogie. I think President would approve of either.
General Conference was way good. I was asked if we watch it in Japanese and the answer is no. We watched it in the room next to the chapel with the Sister missionaries and the door open. In English. Except for a couple talks at the end of the Saturday afternoon session because a dude showed up that we had invited. He's a bit mentally handicapped and we didn't quite realize before he got to the church, but it was still fun to sit in the chapel with him and watch a bit of conference in Japanese. Or sleep through conference in Japanese. That's closer to what happened. It's really hard to learn anything in Japanese. :) Another question that I was asked went something like this: 'Do you get as much out of conference in Japanese as you do in English' and the answer is no. I don't claim to get a whole lot out of conference even in English and the comprehension rate in Japanese is (astonishingly) quite a lot lower.. Haha I actually do get some things out of conference. For example: I really liked Elder Bednar's talk about meekness. And his line in the priesthood session where he said something about the Elder's quorum change not being a High Priest takeover. I also thought it was interesting to hear the number of times that President Nelson fixing hearts came up. Both literally as a surgeon and figuratively as a prophet.
I recommend some further study of the general conference messages over the coming week. I'll be doing that too. :)
Lots of love,
The cake that the Sisters made for my birthday. Their message was Youがoldだ.
Me with some cherry blossoms.