This week went very well. I`m starting to get the hang of this area. I know where most everything is at and I know most all of the members` names. My companion and I are getting along pretty well. We`re in the coolest area in the mission. We have a good relationship with everyone in the branch. And, we`re finding people to teach.
On Saturday, we had a baptism. Sister Misaki Ishikado got baptized. She`s 21 years old. A year and a half ago, she felt a really strong desire to learn about the church. She went to the church and knocked on the door even, but there was nobody there. So, she went home. Three weeks ago she was walking around at a shopping center and she saw the missionaries. She felt like she needed to talk to them, but she`s really shy. So, she couldn't get up the courage to do it. When she went back home that night, she felt really bad and was really wishing that she`d talked to the missionaries. So, she decided, "Tomorrow, I`ll go back to that shopping center and if the missionaries are there, I`ll talk to them." She went back the next day. The missionaries were there. She talked to them. We taught her all of the lessons. She accepted everything right away and she kept all the commandments even though she had some really hard trials. Everything worked out perfectly, and she was baptized on April 2, 2011. It was wonderful.
We are planning on going to see the Uwajima Chastle later today. I'm pretty excited. Right now is the sakura (cherry blossom) season in Japan. During this season, Japan becomes so beautiful. It`s great. The weather has gotten really nice here. It`s been sunny and warm all week. Today is probably the nicest day so far. The weather is just gorgeous outside right now.
Gas is really expensive here. It`s a lot more than in the US.
In Japan, everyone watches General Conference in a church building one week after conference actually happens. In most places, everyone goes to the stake center and watches it. They have it there in a ton of different language, or at least Japanese and English. However, Uwajima is too far away from any Stake Center. Everyone in the branch is going to watch it together on DVD on a small TV in our building, and it will only be in Japanese. I feel like there is no way I`ll be able to understand it. The general authorities always use big hard words, and tell stories, and stuff. It will be fun. I hope that the Spirit will teach me all of the important parts for me to learn. Everyone should send me there favorite quote from conference, and what talk it`s from.
Dad, please be a bit more careful. All of my worldly possessions are in that house. If you burn them all up, I`ll be a little unhappy.
I really feel like I`m getting the hang of things and I`m a real missionary now. Japanese isn't really a problem anymore. I have a lot of experience now. I`m not a young missionary anymore. It feels good.
After the baptism, we made tacos. Pretty much everyone there had never had tacos before. We tried to teach them how to eat a taco, but they all insisted on trying to eat them with chopsticks. It was so funny to watch a room full of Japanese people trying to eat their tacos with chopsticks. It can`t be done. You just can`t eat a taco with chopsticks. I took pictures.
On Wednesday, I was on a companion exchange with a pretty old missionary. We went to go visit a member who teaches elementary school children. He had us take a first grade Japanese test. It was really hard. The missionary I was with failed it. Apparently, he`s given it to all of the missionaries. I was able to find out what grade all of the other missionaries who have been there got. They all got a C or lower. I got a 91 percent on it. I thought that even that was pretty embarrassing though. I should be able to answer all of the questions correctly on a first grader`s Japanese test, but I forgot the word for cucumber and I couldn't remember the more complicated way to write foot. That member probably thinks that all the missionaries are idiots now.
We have our district meetings over the phone now, because we are just too far away from any other missionaries to meet with them. To meet with them, we`d have to travel all day and pay a ton of money. District meetings over the phone are really weird though.
I`m going to get going now. It was nice writing to you. I`ll write again next week. I love you. Bye.
-Elder Isaac SwiftP.S. Sorry that I`m not writing them like secret spy letters anymore. It just became too much of a hassle.