So, Mondays in 日本 are Sundays in America. My P-Days are typically Mondays unless there`s some big festival, then it`s on Tuesday.
First thing is I`m too big for this country. Everything is small. I have to duck through doorways, cars are tiny, I can`t buy a bike yet because they`re all too small, and the people are tiny. I`m a giant! I stand out like a sore thumb. They call foreigners gaijin and Bills 長老 (my trainer) can evesdrop on people talking about us as we walk by.
This place is also a jungle. The roads are lined by bamboo jungle. There are flippin massive spiders that make gigantic webs. They don`t need decorations for Halloween. There`s also random shrines in the jungle and there`s one close to our apartment.
Our area is Toyota City. I will be here for at least 12 weeks, maybe longer. There are 4 choro-tachi in this area, us and another set. Miranda is in my area with his trainer (he`s one of the Brazilians from our district in the MTC). In Japan all Greenies are called Bean-chan. Chan is a title for children and we are little like beans so that`s the explanation. Our ward here in Toyota has about 50 active members (so it`s pretty big) and we currently have about 15 investigators. I haven`t met the ward yet because Sunday was Stake Conference so I went back to Nagoya for that. I go to see Klein and Cowan there. All the members I`ve met are super nice. They gave us a ton of food yesterday. It`s great. I think I`ll get spoiled a little in this area.
My trainer`s name is Bills Choro from Cliffton, Idaho. He was converted to the church two years ago while going to school at USU. He`s a biochem major hoping to become a trauma surgeon. He seems like a good guy. Even though we only have 20 Japanese elders in the mission he hasn`t had an American companion since his trainer which was 8 months ago. His Japanese is super good and he`s working on learning Portuguese right now. He`s super smart and good with languages. He`s already fluent in Spanish and pretty much fluent in Japanese.
The language is rough. I maybe get 5-10% of what someone is saying. Bills 長老 has to help me understand a lot of what people are saying. A big thing in our mission is OYM, meaning Open Your Mouth, which is talking to everybody you pass. I have made it a goal (a wimpy one but none the less a goal) to OYM at least two people a day for this upcoming week. Bills told me that he never OYM`ed with his trainer because his trainer didn`t like it. I feel for some reason that if I talk to people, or at least get them started and Bills finishes, my language skills will improve. Missionaries are supposed to follow a 12 week training plan (not just for language, but all things missionary) and at the end of those 12 weeks you are supposed to be ready to train a new bean. It`s our goal to have me ready to train in 12 weeks. Let`s go!!
It`s been good, but tough here. It`s going to take a lot to get the language and get familiar with the area. The struggle is real. It`s going to require a lot of patience to do.
I love you all. Thank you all for your support, it is very appreciated.
スピイドとてんし (Speed and Angels)
Pic 1: The view from the アパート(Apa-to; ie Apartment)
Pic 2: Dinner yesterday