This is Kobe, Japan.

Monday, February 14, 2011

JAPAN 13 Feb 2011

Week 33
Mission Log
Happy Valentine`s Day!  Everything is good here.  In Japan, Valentine`s day is when girls give gifts (chocolate, etc.) to guys that they like.  One month later they have White Day.  That`s when guys give a gift to girls that they like.  All the girls in the ward gave us treats or something yesterday.  They say "Happy Valentine`s Day" in Japan. 
Some popular sports are baseball, basketball, judo (a type of martial art with throws and stuff), archery, kendo (sword fighting with wooden swords), and ping pong.  Everyone likes ping pong.  Every church here has ping pong tables in it and very few of them have a basketball court. 
I`m excited for the cherry blossoms.  I hope that I don`t transfer just so that I can see the cherry blossoms here.  In cherry blossom season Kyoto is the most beautiful city in the world.  There`s no debate about it.  I think I will get to stay here for another transfer. 
In Japan, the big break from school is Spring break.  It`s like two months long and it`s when everyone moves up a grade.  That break is going on right now.  The English class here was mostly college students, but they all went home for Spring Break.  So, I only have one or two students each week now. 
We do tracting sometimes here, but we call it housing.  There are a lot of areas in the mission where they do nothing but housing all day long.  That seems like it would get really boring really quickly.  One half of the mission is mostly city and the other half is mostly country.  In the country areas the just do housing all the time. 
Elder Cook came and spoke the mission.  It was great.  Did you know that He and Elder Holland were companions when they were missionaries?  I didn`'t know that.  I think that`s crazy.  Sister Cook, President McIntyre, Sister McIntyre, and two Seventies and their wives all spoke.  The Seventies were both Japanese.  It was a really cool meeting. 
I finally feel like I`m starting to get the hang of things now.  I feel almost like I`m a normal missionary now and not just a new missionary who just follows his companion around.  Japanese is still pretty hard.  When Heber J. Grant went on a mission to Japan, he was never able to get Japanese down.  He called it "The Devil`s Language" and when he got home, he asked the First Presidency to send him on a real mission.  That makes me feel better when I struggle with the language. 
I hope that everything is going really well at home.  I love you all.  I`ll talk to you next week.  Bye. 
-Elder Isaac D. Swift

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