25 July 2010

Letter from Elder Wyman written 7-20-2010
Dear (family in Japanese),
They had a 3 day training for all of the missionaries who were district/zone leaders or trainers and so all the young missionaries were paired off together.  I went with the Elder who is my senpai and we were in Kawagoe for three days.  Kawagoe has one of the nicest apartments in the mission.  Sakado has one of the worst.  I got to sleep on an actual bed instead of a futon on the floor!  They also have a separate room for the bathroom sink and the shower!  Unbelievably nice apartment.  Way nicer than the one I had at school even. We went by foot for the first two days and then I borrowed another Elder's bike for the last day.  He had a rugged mountain bike.  Boy did that take some adjusting.  I'm used to road bikes or cross bikes, you know the kind that are meant for ...roads!  It sure felt amazing though to get back on my own bike.
We pulled up to a red light and this lady turned around and said "Oh! Ikemen! Tamaranaku!  Which means oh my!  You two are unbearably good looking!  We said uhhh....thanks....I wonder how many people she says that to every day.
Anyways back to the splits - we came back to the apartment one night and there was a huge cockroach on the wall!  We chased it around with a shoe, and then we opened the patio door and flicked it outside.  And then we killed it.  Less mess that way.
This week they had the Sakado festival!  It was much more exciting than the East Lyme Day's I'm afraid to admit.  They had about 5 wagons with all these drums and flutes and they would play while people in costumes would come out and dance.  I can't describe it too well so you'll just have to look at the pictures.  (Mom's note - google yosakoi dance and you can see it on youtube)
We got to talk to a lot of people, but half of them were drunk as skunks.  They probably woke up in the morning with some Mormon literature next to their bed and thought "What on earth did I do last night?!"  They also had a fairly large shrine which was carried down the street on the shoulders of a bunch of tattooed guys wearing only shirts.  I got the feeling that some of them jumped on the opportunity to wear nothing for a day and have it be socially acceptable.  Heck, I can't blame them, I'd do the same.  (Just kidding!)
I have some good news and some bad news.  The good new is it's no longer rainy season!  Bad news is...it's not rainy season.  It is scorching over here!  Today we were at a high of 36 degrees Celsius.  (Mom's note - 96.8 F)  I don't actually know how hot that is exactly but it's hot!
I don't remember if I told you about this so here it goes anyways.  We were out one day and I called something "Kowai".  Then my companion said, wait, did you call that Kowai or Kawai?  I had been using Kowai which I thought meant cute or adorable.  Apparently that's Kawai.  Kowai means terrible, awful, frightening.  So I've been calling every small baby, dog and anything else Kowai for this whole time.  Oops!
Oh- I figured out how to ask for cool stamps at the post office - enjoy!
So we were handing out eikaiwa flyers outside of Wakaba train station while there was an anti American protest at the same time.  Interestingly enough less people took our fliers coming from the station (and through the anti Americans) than going towards it.  I found one of their things on the ground and have included it.

Don't ask me what it says - I couldn't tell you.  When they finished up they walked by us and each of them took an eikaiwa flier.  Go figure!
We housed into this guy who is 30 years old and plays the guitar in a band.  We had a really good conversation with him and got to know him a little.  He was a way nice guy!  Very nonchalant and relaxed.  Then he said, yeah there are so many churches in this area, and so many different religions.  We asked him why he thought that was.  He replied, "I don't know, why?"  Goodness gracious we couldn't have asked for a better transition into a gospel topic!  We pretty much taught the last half of the first lesson right there.  We told him about Jesus Christ establishing his church and then it being split up again and again.  Then we talked about the restoration and gave him a Book of Mormon.  So good!
An interesting feature of our apartment is when we have the air conditioner on and more than one light on and we try to microwave something the power goes out and we have to manually reset the breaker.  It's an adventure.
Love you all
(Elder Matlock Wyman in Japanese)

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