Monday, January 14, 2013

So, I'm not sure what you call it when it's snowing and raining at the same time, but that's what it was doing this morning for about an hour. The snow ended up winning that battle though, and it's been just snowing for the last several hours. What I can say though is that the snow is about 3 weeks too late to have a white Christmas. Well, not much you can do about that though, right?
Army of oranges!! I made sure that none of them are the same.
   It's been a fairly uneventful week this last week. There have been a few interesting things that happened, but for the most part not a whole lot went on. Thursday we had a zone meeting over in Matsudo. I'm not sure if other missions do this activity or not, and if they do I'm not sure what they would call it, but after the Zone meeting we did a Dendo Blitz. Dendo essentially means missionary activities, or proselyting. I'm sure you know what blitz means. Basically, a Dendo Blitz is when a district or a zone gets together in one area, everyone gets paired up with someone other than their current companion, and then we go hit the streets really hard for 30 minutes to an hour and try to get as many contacts as possible. There's always some sort of unusual event that takes place when we have one. For example, I was out with Elder Hall (who I was in the MTC with), and we managed to get a Book of Mormon out in the 30 minute blitz, which is surprising since in Japan it's typical to only get out 3 or 4 copies a week. On a good week. It was actually really funny how it happened. First, I should probably explain that in the Japan missions we're not allowed to call out or stop women on the street unless they're with a man. The reason being Japanese people have this image that Americans are all players and womanizers, and we don't want give the incorrect impression that we missionaries are trying to flirt with these women. That being said, we are allowed to say konnichi wa as we pass them to be polite, but we can't call out to them, and stopping them is definitely not allowed. So, to continue with the story, Elder Hall and I passed this older woman, and we said hello. After we had already passed her, she turns around and calls out to us, asking why we said hello to her. I guess she was caught off guard when she saw two white guys who appeared to be in a hurry take the time to say hello as they passed her in the street. Well, Elder Hall (who normally keeps his cool) starts acting all awkward since she's a woman. He basically just handed her the Book of Mormon without any explanation of what it is, and said we wanted to give it to her. Surprisingly enough, she took it, and then we went our merry way after giving her a flier with the local missionaries phone number. That was one of the most interesting street contacts I've ever had for sure.
Elder Christensen playing with the steam coming
 off the oldschool rice cooker that cooked 
the rice for the mochitsuki
   Saturday the ushiku ward had a mochitsuki. A mochitsuki is an annual event for new years where you make mochi. Mochi is what you get when you pound cooked rice, and it's really chewy and delicious. Eating it plain tastes about the same as eating plain white rice (obviously), but when you flavor it with other stuff it's really good. There were several members that brought friends with them, so that was a great opportunity for us. The mochitsuki was really fun, and Elder Christensen and I even took a whack at it... pun intended. There was a lot of rice to pound too. Whoever planned it decided that we needed 20 Kilos of uncooked rice for this. What that means is that we had about 8 batches of rice to pound. It may not sound like alot, but I can assure you that it is. It's a good think we had a lot of people there to take turns.

   That's about it for this week. While you're all enjoying your clear dry days, think of me out here in Tokyo riding my bike in the snow. Haha! Take care everyone!

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