Monday, March 18, 2013

   Hey Guys! It's hard to believe it's already Monday again. I feel like I just wrote you guys yesterday and have nothing new to share. I'll try to think of some stuff though. I hope you all are doing well!  I heard that it's getting up to 90 again already for you guys. Sounds pretty warm. Over here it's not freezing cold anymore, but it's not hot yet either. We've been having just some really nice weather the last couple days. All the Sakura (cherry blossoms) are starting to bloom, so spring is definitely on its way.
   Alright, time to think of some fun things to share... well, on Tuesday we did splits with the missionaries out in Mito. They're in the furthest area north in the mission, and it's still really far away even though Ushiku is pretty far north already. The split went well, but on the way home we had a bit of an adventure. Normally the train ride from Mito to Ushiku is just over an hour, but we ended up being on the train for nearly 3. Why, you may ask? Well, let me explain. We ended up being stopped at a station midway for almost 2 hours. All the trains on the entire line shut down for two hours. Well if that isn't crazy enough, wait until you hear the reason; It was too windy. All the trains got shut down for 2 hours because of wind. After two hours without the wind dying down, they decided to roll on out anyway, but really slowly. That was the longest train ride of my mission so far, and 2/3 of it was just sitting at a station.
   Friday we met with the Comba family and had a great lesson with them. They're doing really well, and our lessons with them are probably the thing I look forward to the most during the week. During the lesson, their 9 year old daughter, Larisa, asked us if there were sister missionaries. We told her that there were, and then she said that she wants to be a missionary and go on a mission like us. Well that was pretty cool. Saturday we met with them again, except there were Brazilians all over the place. Literally. 11 of them, and the 2 of us. I could try to explain how they're all related, but that would probably be really confusing over email, so I'll just leave it at they're all related somehow. If I end up gaining weight on my mission, I blame our Brazilian investigators. They made tons of food. It was all really really good too. I'm getting to try all sorts of Brazilian foods.
   Sunday was a pretty cool day too. In Sunday school I learned a pretty neat little object lesson, but it only works in Japanese so I'll try my best to explain it. This is an object lesson about becoming like Christ and having his image engraven on our countenance. When we look in the mirror, we see our own reflection. The word for mirror in Japanse is kagami. If we take away ga (ego or pride), it becomes kami, which means God. If we can humble ourselves and eliminate our pride, we can see his image engraved in our countenance  pretty cool, huh? After church, we had an appointment with some members to teach a practice lesson. The practice lesson went well, and we were getting ready to leave. The wife come over with this big bag full of food, and tells us that she was planning to make dinner for us, but since she was tired and not feeling well decided to give us what she was going to prepare so that we could make it ourselves at the apartment. We look inside the bag and found everything you need to make burritos. We were both really surprised  Now that I say it, it probably doesn't sound that surprising to all of you back home in Arizona, but for Elder Mangum and me it was pretty special. Last night was the first time I've had Mexican food since leaving on my mission. And it was delicious. We're definitely going to be thinking up something pretty cool to thank them for it.
Oh, and random fun fact for the week: my nephew Spencer is a year old now. Happy Birthday Spencer!

Elder Blake

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