This is Kobe, Japan.

Monday, December 20, 2010

KYOTO 19 Dec 2010

Week 25
Mission Log
25 really is a lot of weeks. It`s already a fourth of one hundred. Essentially, I`m a fourth of the way done with my mission already. That`s crazy. It still seems like I`m a brand new missionary, but I`m old now. I`m not a new missionary anymore. I`m just a normal missionary.
Today is my half birthday. I`m now nineteen and a half years old.
The phone call is on Christmas morning for me. Therefore, it would be Christmas Eve for you. I can talk for an hour, or a little longer because I have a big family. I`m only allowed to speak in Japanese, though. So, I hope you`ve been studying. Christmas is going to be Preparation Day. I will, therefore, not have my normal Preparation Day on the 27th. I probably won`t email next week. Sorry. I`m looking forward to the phone call in a few days.
On Wednesday we have a Ward Christmas party. I get to be Jesus Christ in the Christmas pageant. Not the baby Jesus in the manger, though. I`m Christ when he calms the stormy sea and when he is crucified. I think it will be a fun Christmas party.
I ate a Big Mac the other day. It was so good. I kind of miss American foods like that. The Big Mac is so American and so opposite of all Japanese foods. It has bread, meat, and cheese. Those are the three things that Americans eat way more of than Japanese people. I don`t know if they have this in America or not, but here they have sweets buffets. I don`t remember ever seeing one in the US. I ate at one once. It`s an all you can eat place with chocolate fountains and cakes and ice cream and stuff like that. Most of them have some regular food too and you can pay the higher price to eat regular food and sweets or you can pay the lower price to eat only sweets. They`re kind of common here. It really surprised me because Japanese people don`t eat very much sweets. It`s too expensive to eat at often, only once in a while.
We did some caroling in the street one night. There were eight missionaries there. A lot of people stopped and listened. A group of like ten people ran up and joined us. They were all about twenty and they sang Christmas songs with us. The songs were in English. After we sang a little bit, we talked to the people. We were broken up into little groups. So, I had to talk to two Japanese people I didn't know, with no one there to help me. It turned out alright though. One girl said that she'd studied English for nine years, but she still couldn't speak it. She didn't even want to introduce herself in English. She would only speak in Japanese.
They can`t pronounce most of the English missionaries` names, but we don`t use Japanese names. We use our normal names, but sometimes we change it a little to make is easier to pronounce for them. They call my suifuto choro. The second u is really short though, so it`s like suifto choro. You have to change it a little so you can write it with the Japanese alphabet. Choro means Elder in Japanese. The Japanese people all use their normal names. None of them have English names like the Chinese people I've met do.
Caleb's new schedule sounds pretty hard. I hope he can handle it. I did get the package you sent. I did get a package from the ward. I did get the Christmas card. I might have gotten the missionary newsletter a long time ago. I don`t remember. Thank you. I really appreciate it. It`s very nice.
Calendars already have some holidays printed on them. Here a lot of calendars don`t have Christmas on them, but they all have the Emperor`s Birthday on them. It`s December 23rd. I thought that was pretty funny.
I`m out of things to say now. I`m looking forward to the phone call. I probably won`t email next week. I love you all. Bye.
-Elder Isaac D. Swift

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