I am still in Fushimi, Kyoto, but my companion changed. My new companion is Elder Kawamura. His hometown is right by Mt. Fuji. He`s twenty years old. He`s Japanese.
Congratulations to Caleb for getting his Eagle Scout, and happy birthday, Dad! I`m glad that such great things are happening back at home. That`s exciting that the side of the house will finally be finished. It`s seems like that`s been the project you've been working on since before I was born.
I don`t really have anything special that I want you to say in the missionary week talk. Just tell everyone that this is the hardest thing ever. I didn't expect it to be this hard. Everyone says that being a missionary is hard. So, I expected it to be hard, but I figured that just meant it was hard physically from riding your bike and walking and running all day. In reality, the physical work isn`t the hardest part. Being a missionary is difficult in every aspect of the word. There is definitely joy to be had in this work, though. On Saturday we went to a volunteer place that helps physically handicapped people overcome their adversity and actually work to earn their own money and contribute to society. I really liked that place. It just felt like it was so full of love. We`re going back there next Saturday.
On my last preparation day, we saw Nijo Castle. It was so cool. Back when Samurai ruled the country, the leader of the Samurai was called the Shogun. Nijo castle was where the first Shogun lived. It was insane. There is a huge moat with only one bridge to get over it. After the moat is a huge wall. The one door in the wall looked super heavy-duty. It was metal and all kinds of bars and boards on it to keep people from breaking in. Then there were some buildings. Then, there was another moat around a smaller section. After this moat was another big wall, and inside that was the house where the Shogun lived. All of the floorboards in the house were rigged so that they would make squeaking noises if you step on them, therefore making it impossible for anyone to sneak in. They put red ribbons on some of the wall panels and it said that the bodyguards would be watching from behind those panels and that they could remove the panels to jump out and protect the shogun at any moment. It was the coolest place every. I totally want to live there when I become the next Shogun. I didn't see any bathroom in the Shogun`s house though. He must have learned some Samurai secret allowing him to survive without going to the bathroom ever. Perhaps upon searching the house I can find his secret scrolls and learn this secret. I think it`d be very convenient. I wouldn`t be surprised if there were secret passages under the castle that people still don`t know about. I look into it later.
Thanks for the advice, Dad. I did enjoy hearing the advice from you. I truly appreciate the thoughts, advice, counsel, and prayers.
Doranda's recipe seems like it will be good. I would love those pictures. Also, if for some reason you happened to feel the urge to send something else to me by chance, I really wish I had my three EFY CDs. They`re in the cardboard box I had with all my books in it, I think. It`s totally ok if you don`t send them though. I love you all and hope that you`re all having a wonderful 2011. I`ll write to you again next week, probably. Bye!