I`m finally all grown-up now! In Japan, you become an adult when you are twenty years old. This morning I went to a thing called seijinshiki. It`s a big ceremony for everyone that turned twenty in this past year and is now therefore an adult. It was a lot of fun. This ceremony is a very big deal in the Japanese culture. All of the girls wore very fancy formal Japanese dresses called a kimono. They often spend thousands of dollars on their kimono, hair, and everything they need to get ready for their seijinshiki. It`s pretty much one of the most important days of their life. Guys just wear a nice suit and get a good haircut. There was a really awesome drum performance at it as well. I`ll try to include some pictures from it. I just found out that I can`t send any pictures this week. Sorry.
We had a Christmas/New Years mission conference. It was a lot of fun. We played a bunch of sports in a church that has a gym in it and we had a talent show. I really wanted to do something for the talent show, but that required me to get a bit creative. I found a piece of bamboo on the side of the road and took it back to the apartment. I then used a bread knife to cut two foot long pieces out of it. It was pretty difficult because bamboo is actually really strong. I was quite surprised. I then took an old tie and a wooden chopstick, ran the tie through the bamboo and made them into nun chucks. I had to perform the next day with my nun chucks that I handmade from bamboo and an old tie. Making it was probably more of a talent than the routine I used them for. Everyone seemed to like it.
It`s been pretty cold and it even snowed a couple more times. No snow has stuck to the ground ever though. I got a pretty bad cold in the middle of the week, but I`m pretty much completely better now.
I`ll ask President Zinke about the ecclesiastical endorsement when I talk to him at interviews in a few weeks. There will be plenty of time to think about careers and majors after I`m done here, or at the earliest, in March when I register for classes. I have to focus on other stuff right now. Tell Joshua and Rebecca congratulations on the new baby. Thanks for sending to new camera cord. Also, tell Nathanael congratulations on the new baby. I got his card in the mail. I also got the pictures that Dad sent and the package from Tianna, but I haven`t played the candy bar game yet.
That sounds like a pretty interesting book that you got Dad. I don`t know if the book already told you or not, but "shogun" is a Japanese word. The "gun" part is not pronounced like a gun that you shoot. The "u" makes an "oo" sound like in moon. Shogun was the title that the leader of the samurai had back in the days when samurai ruled the country.
Kita came to church this week. He`s stull very funny. Sister Kitagawa is doing very well.
I have to get going pretty soon now. I love you all and I am excited to talk to you all again one day. Bye. ;)
-Elder Isaac Swift