Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A bike that we found tossed over the
fence. But it was caught on the barbed wire
and was left hanging there..

So, I think I should start out by saying that I am actually not being tranferred to the phillipines. I'm staying right here in Ushiku. April Fools! Haha! But seriously, I was too busy to email yesterday because of tranfers. Elder Mangum was transferred to a brazilian branch over in Oizumi. It was sad to see him go. He was a really fun companion. My new companion is Elder Miranda, and he's a full blooded brazilian, but he speaks english because his family has lived in London for the last 5 years or so. He seems pretty cool. I'm looking forward to this next transfer.
Last week was pretty good. There were quite a few fun things that happened. In the other English class that we help out at on Monday nights, we found out that none of the students knew what burritos are. So, last Monday, Elder Mangum and I made burritos for everyone to try. We had to make everything ourselves, including the tortillas. That's probably why the students had never heard of them before. It was really fun. Everyone enjoyed them, so we ended up having to teach them how to make tortillas as well.
Later on in the week Elder Mangum and I decided to go visit a member that lives pretty far away. Back at the beginning of the transfer, we had made cards with little messages on them for the members, and we were still working on delivering them all. This particular member happens to live the furthest away out of anyone in the ward, and there's no trains that head out in the direction they live. So, we had to take our bikes. We got out there, and had a good visit with them. We found out that Elder Mangum and I were apparently only the 3rd set of missionaries ever to go all the way out there to their house. I can understand why. It was pretty far. It was way rural out there, with farm fields all over the place. When we got there, there were a couple of old japanese men standing out in a field near the house, and when they saw us they were totally confused. They couldn't imagine why two white guys would be all the way out there. What confused them even more is when we rang the doorbell, and we were let inside. It was pretty funny to watch them. When all was said and done, it was a 30 mile round trip, and we made it in just over 2 hours of biking time. Not too bad.
Elder Mangum and I with the Comba
family at church, right before he transferred.
Friday had several funny/akward moments. The first one happened while we were by the train station. This old man comes down the stairs, sees us, and says to me in Japanese, "oh, hello Elders". So now I know this guy knows at least a little about the church. I tried talking with him, but he wouldn't really tell me anything. After a bit, he starts backing away with his hand up like he was running away from something, and kept saying over and over again how good my Japanese is. Um... ok... Thanks? That was pretty interesting. The second one was more akward. Elder Mangum and I were knocking on doors in this apartment complex, and I got a call from Brother Comba right as a woman turns us down through the voice box by the door. I picked up and started talking with him. We were up several stories, so there wasn't really anywhere to go other than the walkway from door to door, so we just stood out in front of this door that just turned us down. About 5 minutes later, I finished talking with him, put the phone away, and as we're about to move on to the next door, the door behind us opens. Elder Mangum and I looked at each other, and we were just like, "well this is going to be akward." This lady steps out, and is totally suprised to see us, but starts talking with us and she seemed really excited about something. Then this older woman inside hears voices, and comes to the front door. I'm pretty sure this older lady is the one who talked to me through the voice box, and when she saw us there in front of her door, she got this really scared, angry look on her face, grabbed the younger woman by the arm, and pulled her inside the apartment and locked the door. Well, that couldn't have been worse timing if we had tried. Needless to say we just left instead of trying to finish the complex.
Yesterday was transfer day. It was pretty busy. Elder Mangum and I went to meet up with our new companions after he finished packing. On the way back to Ushiku, Elder Miranda and I were talking, and then these two women sitting down near us started listening to us. We noticed when were started talking about his woman who fell asleep, and when she made a strange noise, Elder Miranda said, "did she snore?" I said, "no, I think she sneezed." Then this other woman started laughing. Well, we weren't sure if she was laughing at something else, or laughing because she was listening to us. So I decided to test it out. I started saying totally random and wierd things that didn't make any sense, and then she got this really confused look on her face and started laughing again. Yup. She was definitely listening to us. There's only one thing to do in a situation like that. Say something so funny that makes them laugh so hard, they can't deny that they were listening to you, and everyone around you notices it too. So I pulled out my secret weapon: back when I was companions with Elder Nakamura, he taught me some slang from Osaka, one of which basically means the same thing as "What the heck!?" That's the one I used, and she literally folded in half because she was laughing so hard. Missionaries 1, Random lady 0.
Well, that's about it for now. Hope you all have a good week! See you later
Elder Blake

Monday, April 1, 2013

So, this is going to be really short because I don't have much time, but I figured I'd give you guys an update. Transfer calls came on Saturday, and President Budge is the one whoe called us. He said that in preperation for splitting the mission along with all the new missions being made in July, they're having to shuffle some missionaries around. That being said, he then told me to pack my bags, and start practicing my Tagalog, because I'm being sent to the Phillipines. Like I said, I'm a little short on time, but I'll try to send you a more complete email later.
Elder Blake