How have you all been? It's been a pretty eventful week and a half since I last wrote. Hold on to your seats.
Last week was the start of the new transfer, which means that returning missionaries were going home and new missionaries were coming in.morning, the day missionaries departed and came in, we had a combined mission conference with the Tokyo North mission here at Kichijoji. It was alot of fun getting to see old friends from the North Mission. I was also pleasently suprised to see Elder McKnight there as well. We were in the MTC together, but he was in the group after me. We got along pretty well. Sometime in that transfer when I came and he was still in the MTC he went home, so when his group came to the field I was suprised when he didn't come too. I'm not sure why he went home, but I didn't think he was coming back, especially after several months and then a year passed. Then, at this two mission conference, I see him out in the crowd of mingling missionaries, and I'm all just like, "woah! When did Elder McKnight get back?" He had only been out in the field for a couple months, but he ended up in the North Mission. I'll tell you what, my respect for him went up alot more when I saw him there and found out that he came back after being home for over a year.
The conference was really good too. Elder Evans, the head of the church missionary department, and his wife came and spoke. The AP's had asked me to interpret, but then the morning of when we were setting up all the interpretation equipment, Brother Westman who is a member in one of the wards here in the mission and is a professional interpreter, came over. Turns out President Wada had asked him to interpret. When he found out that I had been asked to interpret too, he had me go sit by him and help him out. He let me interpret Sister Evan's talk, and gave me some good feedback. Then I got to sit next to him and listen to him interpret Elder Evan's talk. I was really impressed. That was a real treat. So back to Elder Evans, he's the head of the church missionary department, so he rubs elbows with the First Presidency and Quorom of the 12 alot. He talked about alot of interesting things. One of them was why when they lowered the missionary ages, why sisters still only serve for 18 months instead of 2 years like the guys. He said he doesn't know all the reasons, but one of them is that one of President Monson' big concerns about returning missionaries is whether or not they'll be able to quickly and easily get married. The way it was before, when guys came home from their missions, a majority of girls available to date are several years younger, and when the sisters come home a majority of the guys available to date are still several years younger. But, because the ages are changed now, you figure that most young men will turn 18 during their senior year of higschool, and then leave for thier mission between 18 and 19, and a majority of departing sisters are now leaving at 19, that means that when they all go home a majority of them will be within about a year spread of each other. Pretty interesting I thought. Another really good part was at the very end, when he shared what are in his opinion the 3 most important rules in the missionary handbook. He said 99% of all problems missionaries have could be avoided if they just obeyed those 3 rules. The 3rd and final one he shared came with the disclaimer that it's not actually written in the missionary handbook, but he said, "Just don't do anything stupid." I laughed pretty hard at that one.
Halfway through the conference the departing missionaries snuck out the side door and then got on a bus to head off to the airport. Well, everyone except Elder Rindi. He's from Hawaii, so his flight wasn't until, so he stayed til the end of the conference, and then went to the airport with the Wada's and us after the conference. After he got through security we went over to the arrival gates to wait for the new missionaries. I actually ended up seeing a member from my first area Yamato there at the airport. That was pretty cool. When the new missionaries started coming through the gates, all the Japanese missionaries came out well ahead of everyone else because of Customs. Do you know who I saw? I saw Ryohei. He was on his way to Fukuoka with another group of missionaries going to the same mission, and they were tranferring flights at the airport we were at. That was a pretty big suprise. We got a picture together, and he gave me his email. I'll have to see if I can get that picture from him. All of our new missionaries finally arrived, and we loaded them all up on a bus and came back to the mission home.
The next day consisted of trainings for the new missionaries, and then the trainers came to pick up their new companionsmorning. The AP's asked me to interpret again, so I was interpreting for the new missionary training all day. It was pretty fun. Really long though. There were some pretty interesting new missionaries in that group.
The weekend was pretty normal. Saturday there was a YSA activity at the church next door, and when we were attending a baptismal service for one of the little girls in the ward I saw Ryohei's sister. She came home from her mission while I was in Ushiku. So, I got to tell her that I saw Ryohei at the airport. That was pretty cool.
Then we come to yesterday. Yesterday was a crazy, crazy day. Elder Fukuchi got a call from Elder Farr in the morning, and he said that his bag had been stolen. Their apartment key was in the bag, so they couldn't get into their apartment. We had them come to the mission home and we gave them a copy of their apartment key. Then we got a call from Sister Kawajo, and she had lost her wallet, so we had to cancel her debit card. About this time it was almostin the morning, time to get ready for staff meeting. Then President Wada comes in, and asks me the procedure for when a missionary gets in a bike accident. Turns out a fairly new missionary got in an accident, and dealing with those is one of my responcibilities. It all ended up getting taken care of, it just took a process of calling them, calling PBO, calling them back, talking with police, waiting, getting called back, etc. Elder Barker, the missionary who was in the accident, is ok. He went around a corner and hit a 16 year old kid who was on his way to higschool almost head on. Elder Barker faceplanted on this kid's chest and got a bloody nose, and this kid's bike's front tire hit Elder Barker's knee hard enough that it bent. Somehow he walked away with just a bruise. The amazing thing is nobody fell over, they both ended up on their feet straddling their bikes.
After that finally got taken care of, I started putting Sister Sasaki's bike together for her. She transferred into Kichijoji, but had trouble getting her bike shipped here. It finally arrived, and I was going to put it back together for her before district meeting. That's when I found out that some bikes are just never meant to be taken apart. All the sisters in the mission get little beach cruisers with baskets instead of mountain or sports bikes, and Sister Sasaki is no exception. There were so many little tiny bits and pieces that I had no idea where they belonged because I've never used anything but mountain bikes. I eventually got it all figured out. you can ride it, and there were no leftover parts so I'm pretty sure it got put together right. It ended up taking enough time that we only had 10 minutes to eat lunch before district meeting though. District meeting went well, and then we all finally got a breather for a few hours before English Class that night.
English class went well as always. Then after class I was back in the office with Elder Fukuchi, and Elder Yamashita came in and I started talking with him. Then I passed out. Don't worry, this has a happy ending. Nothing is wrong, the doctor says it must have just been a fluke. Anyway, they called an ambulance, but by the time they had me on the stretcher to take me out to the ambulance I was ok. As they were strapping me in, I called over to Sister Yamashita to grab a Book of Mormon and some pamphlets for me. I wasn't able to give any away. I was in and out of the hospital pretty quick and didn't really get to talk to anyone except the EMT on the ambulance ride over and the doctor's assistant as he was prepping for the doctor to check me out. Oh well.
And today is Thanksgiving! We had Thanksgiving dinner up in the mission home with all the Kichijoji missionaries, and we had permission to invite investigators. We invited Lily, and she came and had a great time! There was actually another Chinese investigator there too, so they were able to talk and have a great time. It turned out really well.
Yup. That's today. Oh, and today's picture is my Thanksgiving Dinner. It was really good.
Talk to you all next week! P-day islike normal again next week, so don't miss it!