Happy Easter everyone! So I didn't actually realize this week was Easter until...or I think. No chocolate bunny reminders here! But we did still talk a lot about Easter and try to show the new video, I just thought it was a couple weeks away!
- Nagano High School (here in Japan) and Steere Shimai's high school in Australia have a connection, so for 2 weeks every year, kids switch places. Steere Shimai came here years ago and we're working on finding her home stay family again.
- Last summer while Steere Shimai was here in Japan, a kid from Kawachinagano home stayed with her family in Australia. Her family took him with them to church, another day he played basketball at the church with her brother and the Elders, then at the end, the family gave him a Japanese BOM with their testimony written in English.
- NOW Steere Shimai is in Kawachinagano and her family sent us the kid's information. Turns out he and his family live about 5 minutes away from us!
Back to: we went out to eat (Okonomiyaki!) with Reita (home stay kid) and the elders. Mostly about building relationship, starting HTBT (How to Begin Teaching). He's read quite a bit of the BOM, though he has a hard time understanding. We invited him to Eikaiwa (remember he was a home stay kid in Australia, so he's learning English and really likes it! Plus he has MAJOR investigator potential! We'll see him at our Eikaiwa Easter Party!
Reflecting on Easter...we were talking to a grandma about Easter and it's real meaning, and she listened longer than most people do, but still didn't have interest. But guess what? After she shit the door, I realized that even though she didn't accept it, I believed my words a little more than before, they meant more to me. We get to see all of our family members again after we die. We get to be eternally happy because of Jesus Christ! It literally is the happiest, most joyful message in the world! One of the blessings of serving in Japan is that we have to carefully simplify everything to help people without a Christian background understand. And through simplified teaching, my testimony of the simple, most important principles of the gospel has been strengthened so much. I learning what are the simplest, most important principles of the gospel. Here's a few simple things I know:
- God is our loving Heavenly Father. Jesus Christ is our Savior and knows how to help all of us individually. Because of Jesus Christ, we can be with our families forever. Family is one of the most important things in this world.
I love you all so much!
Haha, okay, so with Kawachinagano...we're trying to figure out how to explain that right now...
Kawachi-nagano I guess is how we say it? Slightly more emphasis on "na" Like a mountain with na at the top?
Reading...so there's Hiragana (Japanese alphabet あいうえお-a i u e o)
Katakana (foreign words- I love Katakana! It means it's probably an English word (アイウエオ-a i u e o)
and kanji, which comes from China and is the pictures. 愛： love 姉妹：sister
Hymns are really easy- written out in Hiragana. That's how a lot of songs are written here. They generally sing with one syllable per note and all syllables have the same emphasis. We could sing from the hymn book for at least the last half of the MTC.
Scriptures: scriptures like every other written material is written with a mix of kanji and hiragana, with some Katakana (for example Nephi, Zarahemla). Thankfully, the scriptures have small Hiragana to the side of every kanji, so yes, I can read the scriptures. Do I understand it? No not most of it, unless I already know the scripture well and can think of the English in my head at the same time.
Missionaries don't have basic materials- everyone (members and missionaries) have the same church materials. Also a lot of times at church, if I'm asked to read, I'll read in English because it's faster than Japanese- they're used to that. We have a few Phillipinos that read in English too, plus missionaries generally do their first language too since it's a little painful to hear us read.
We're not supposed to focus our language study on reading/writing because it's not most important. But you can't help but pick up the kanji you see all the time, like the basic church ones, or Okonomiyaki, school, etc. They are really fun, I'm excited to study when I get home. Kanji's individually all have a meaning, and those are pretty interesting, so there's sometimes a little kanji analysis at church.
For example: 神殿 (temple) but the the meaning is God's house.
More than you wanted? Anyways, interesting stuff!
New Dance Teacher Friend! (She sent videos but they wouldn't upload :( She was very cute, and really wants us to come back :)
Spring Break sounds like it'll be fun- Japan's schedule is a little different. The school year ends in March then starts again in April, so their spring break is longer. Their schedule seems to follow a year-long schedule with more breaks in the middle instead of a big summer.
Little time to go on about this concert last Saturday. Started with Classic Band- they were good! Played some American standards. Next was the Marching Band Show. OH MY GOODNESS. This was a full on performance
with amazing color guard, good choreography for everyone and a show choir was also involved sometimes. Color Guard...sad Springville...anyways these were pretty good dancers and really funny for the missionaries because they had English music...Whitney Houston (I Will Always Love You). Like I don't think even American Fork or
Lone Peak are on the same level as these kids. Last act was Pops- again really, really good, maybe the best? Everyone liked the Star Wars medley.
Love you guys!