This is Kobe, Japan.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

10 July 2011 Imabari, Japan

Week 54
Mission Log
This week was a little bit hectic, but all is well. 
Monday was Preperation Day.  So, we went around doing things that Elder Tukukino wanted to do before leaving Imabari.  We even went to the top of the giant hotel that I nicknamed The Imabari Tower.  It was probably one of the fanciest buildings I`ve been in.  It was really cool and about a million times taller than any other building in Imabari.  I don`t know why they built such a tall building here.  While we were wandering around near the top of the tower, we found some secret until corridors and hidden passageways.  We explored through those and somehow ended up in a gym with a pool.  It was part of a spa near the top of the tower.  We go toward the normal exit of the spa and one of the workers spotted us.  She thought we were just coming out of the spa and she wanted to go get our shoes for us.  So, she asked, "Where did you leave your shoes?"  We were still wearing our shoes.  I just didn`t  answer and she asked like three more times before she realized we were still wearing our shoes.  She didn`t get mad or anything, but I think that`s just because we`re foreigners.  If we were Japanese, we might have gotten yelled at.  At night we went to Family Home Evening/Elder Tukukino`s Goodbye party.  It was fun. 
We shipped Elder Tukukino`s bike off Tuesday morning.  So, we had to work on foot the whole day.  Also, there was a small earthquake.  I hardly even noticed it.  The member we were with said, "There`s an earthquake."  But we both thought he was just imagining it.  It turns out there really was an earthquake. 
On Wednesday we found a cool all you can eat place with Cotton candy and we left for transfers.  We traveled half way to Kobe. 
Thursday morning we got up early and rode the trains the rest of the way to Kobe.  I went to a meeting with President Zinke where he told us about being a trainer.  Then all of the new missionaries came in and he announced who will be going with whom very dramatically like it was a reality TV show or something.  My companion is Elder Burner.  He is from La Verkin, Utah.  I totally just made up the spelling on that.  He`s 19 years old, 6'1", and has brown hair.  He`s brand new to the mission, but he studied Japanese a lot before the mission, so he`s already pretty good at Japanese.  That night we were only able to make it about half way back to our area and we had to stay in another missionary`s apartment.  The missionary that we ended up staying with happened to be Elder Hart, my trainer.  It was cool because my trainer, my trainee, and myself spent a night together.  It was fun.  The next day we got back to Imabari. 
On Saturday we had a baptismal interview for someone.  The district leader, Elder Hora, came to Imabari and performed the interview.  They come out of the interview and people are all talking about random stuff and I go and ask Elder Hora about the interview.  I`m like, "How`d it go?" Elder Hora just replied, with a serious expression on his face, "He has something he wants to talk to you about."  "What is it?"  "He wants to tell you himself."  "So he didn`t pass?"  "You`ll just have to talk with him about something.  Hang in there.  Keep working with him."  At this point I`m really worried and wondering what happened in the interview and why he can`t get baptized.  I go over and talk to him and he just says, "I can get baptized!"  Then we all celebrate and it was just a mean joke on me. 
We went to the church around 6:30 in the morning on Sunday to prepare the baptismal font.  We don`t have a real church building here with a real font.  We used a big inflatable pool-like thing.  It took forever to fill up.  The baptism was scheduled for 9:00 in the morning.  We told him to come about twenty minutes early.  At 8:57 he still wasn`t there.  My companion (the new guy) was way worried ad thought he wasn`t coming.  I give him a phone call.  He was asleep and my phone call woke him up.  Then he came straight away and got baptized.  It was a very nice baptismal service and the water wasn`t even cold.  It was pretty warm.  Bye the way, his name is Takebayashi Ken.  The last name comes first in Japan.  Takebayashi is his family name and Ken is his first name.  We forgot to turn off the water heater after we got done filling up the font.  So, I think Brother Nakahara is going to kill us. 
That`s pretty much how the week went.  Being a trainer is cool.  My companion is cool.  President Zinke said that we will be together for at least two transfers.  I`ve never spent two whole transfers with a companion before.  It`ll be weird.  It`ll probably seem like forever. 
I don`t know if you remember, but back in my first area (Nishinomiya) I baptized a Sister Yamamoto.  When I got on my email today and saw the weekly email from the mission home I saw a picture of Sister Yamamoto, the missionaries, and her son.  Her son just got baptized.  Isn`t that great!? 
Yes, it is still very hot and very humid here.  The temperature is usually in the mid 90s, but the humidity makes it feel like 130.  It`s too hot. 
I hope that everything is going really well for you all back at home (or in Alaska).  I`ll write you again next week.  I love you.  Bye. 
-Elder Isaac Swift

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