Monday, July 1, 2013

first week in Japan!

I`m in Japan...what? Haha it`s really great here. Kitami is awesome! It was a five hour bus ride from Sapporo! Ya crazy. But it was such a beautiful drive. Basically the whole drive was through green countryside, so pretty. We`ve been housing and streeting a lot because we just got here and don`t have many investigators. The elders transferred some of their investigators to us so hopefully we will be able to make progress with those. One of the sisters already has a baptismal date so that`s exciting. Oh and on Saturday there was a baptism so that was an awesome way to start the area. Church yesterday was fun. I can`t really understand what anyone says except for some words and phrases I can pick out here and there. Nanjo Shimai and I introduced ourselves in Sacrament meeting and bore our testimonies. I think I did okay. The members told me my Japanese is good but they're also just really nice so I`m not sure haha. It`s hard because in the MTC we only learn gospel terms and how to teach gospel things so I`m working on learning casual conversation language. But the members are all super nice and very excited about having sister missionaries. 

So what else. I got my bike the other day. It`s so nice having the bike now because we can go to more places and it`s just plain funner riding a bike than walking haha. Um, our apartment is nice. There is only the two of us so it`s pretty spacious. The church building is like a 5 minute bike ride so that`s really nice, too. 

So housing and streeting. It`s interesting because like, I`m not really nervous at all even though I have a very, very limited vocabulary. Most people say they`re busy or don`t have time or whatever. All the houses and apartments have doorbells that you push and some have speakers so the people will answer through that and we start explaining who we are and our message and they will either open the door or say they don`t need it or something like that. But some people will listen to us and accept our pamphlet about church. A lot of the doors we go to no one is home so we ring the doorbell twice, then knock and say `Konnichiwa` and then knock and say `gomen kudasai` and then we put the pamphlet in the mail slot in the door. It`s great fun. You don`t have to speak a language to know when you`re being rejected haha. Someone closing the door while you`re still talking is a pretty clear sign. 

We start teaching eikaiwa (english class) this week. YAY! English. That will be fun. Yesterday after church there was a potluck that was delicious. And the other night we went to dinner with the elders and the ward mission leader at a sushi place across the street from our apartment. So you sit at your table and running all through the room along the tables is a conveyor belt. At your table there is a computer screen where you click and order the sushis or whatever you want and when they are coming past your table the screen flashes and shows which one is coming. I don't know if that makes any sense but it was really cool. 

But ya so Japan is great so far. People drive cars and there are 7-elevens everywhere and it looks sort of like America except that there are only Japanese people everywhere and little kids stare at me when I walk by them. So ya the gospel is the same even across the ocean! Love you all!
Murray shimai

**Below is a post that Lynell sent on June 26, 2013 when she first arrived in Japan:

Hey so I got to Japan! It's pretty awesome. Kind of like the first day of the MTC except with jetlag so it's been fun. I got my trainer! Her name is Nanjo shimai and she is Japanese! I'm so excited! Oh and more awesome news, we are opening a new area for sisters. So my first area, where I get to be trained for two transfers is an area where sisters have never been before! How awesome is that! I think it's pretty great. Well sorry this is just an "I'm alive" email so it's short. I'll tell all in my p-day email. We get to go out an talk to people in the street until dinner. Yipeee! I'll talk to you all next week! Love you:)

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