1 June 2010 - Letter from Matlock Wyman Dear (family in Japanese characters) Well all of your letters caught up to me this week! My companion handed me a stack of about 5 letters and just said "I hate you." So the strange blue mascot for Sakado - I've seen that everywhere and had no idea what on earth it was. And of course Americans on the other side of the world tell me what it is.... Yes they do have extravagant parades here - An investigator said he would love to go to it with us. It doesn't happen until August though. We'll see if I'm still here. My companion is from California. We will have to see if I'm ever companions with anyone further east than Arizona. So I had mugicha this week and it doesn't taste like cigarette butts like everyone said it did. Honestly I feel like some Americans just loose it when you take away hot dogs and corn syrup. I'm drinking some as I write this! (Mugicha, not corn syrup) So - I had a crazy week - I found out they have statues of cats called manekiekko or the beckoning cat - it is meant to invite wealth or "beckon" money so to speak. It holds a gold talisman in its paws, not unlike some other cat we are familiar with!" We went to visit a kid our age just to speak english with him, introduce our church a little to establish good relations. His whole family was there - really nice people. His mom gave us drinks and once we finished them she would refill them. Well, I kept drinking them and she kept refilling. I was pretty sure I was drinking more than humans were meant to handle but she kept bringing out more drinks. She brought out this Japanese energy drink which was basically all vitamins, not caffeine. Nastiest thing ever. I'm not sure what tonic tastes like but it probably tastes like that. If that's what gives Japanese people a boost of energy, an American energy drink would probably kill them. Then she started bringing out Pepsi (which as you've heard I also don't like). so after choking down another two glasses of that I finally said "daijobu!" I'm ok! No more! I had to use the bathroom quite a bit more frequently that day. So yesterday we had nothing going on so we decided we were going to go by foot and try to have conversations with 50 people. It was insane - never been so tired. So we can only go up to men to talk to because otherwise the Elders would only talk to cute girls all day. Anyways midday we just couldn't find anyone - we would start heading towards someone and then they would hop in a car or go into a store or house. So finally I get fed up with it and this guy ran by so I turned to my companion and said let's go! I ran with him for maybe 3/4 of a mile while getting to know him and talking about our beliefs. Amazing how scattered your thoughts get while running and talking in a second language. So we continued talking to people, chasing people down and it came to the end of the day, we had about 15 minutes left until we were going to go back to the apartment and the last 5 people we had tried to talk to had just been really rude. So we really felt done for the day but I said, let's keep going, at least one more person. Then we had a one last door miracle experience. We knocked on this door and a beautiful girl answers; and it turned out she had a lot of friends over, and they were all excited to see American guys and they spoke great english - and they were very interested in free english class. We talked to them and decided to wrap up the day on that note. We talked to 41 people that day - not including the people we tried to talk to who just waved us off. Craziest day ever! So on P-day we went to the Tokyo temple - really beautiful!! Very very nice. After the temple we went to an Indian restaurant, and I got some lamb curry with rice. Very delicious. Then I found out the rice was all you can eat, so I had lots of plates of rice with my leftover curry sauce. Really went to town on the rice - maybe wasn't a good idea - no definitely was not a good idea. Well, we wobble out of there and hop on a train back to our area and go to a dinner appointment. Now about 2-3 hours had elapsed here and we were in no shape to be eating more. So we get there and she serves us sushi - way nice sushi - along with these rice balls wrapped in egg- interesting and very delicious. We ate a good amount and thought - "ok, we're good". But then she brings out these seaweed rolls and starts cutting them up for us, so we eat some of those, we have room, it's ok. Then she brings out this bowl of fried beef for us. We're wondering at this point where all this food is coming from. We eat some beef (as much as we can) and at this point - I'm full. Cannot eat anymore. Then she comes out with two steaks. TWO STEAKS! So I'm halfway through choking down this savory meat when she brings out salmon! So I slide that down my gullet and get back to the steak. I thought I was going to die. I thought I was going to blow up. I was gauging just how rude it would be if I just threw up everywhere. (The answer is extremely rude.) I have never had so much really good food in one day - and I've also never felt crappier. Just incredible.
(Elder Wyman in Japanese)