Monday, April 29, 2013

Elections, Archery, and Teaching like a Pro

First off, sorry for the lack of an E-mail last week. Some P-days it's simply too hard to squeeze in. I'm starting to write a little of this e-mail every day after I finish my Journal Writing so I have a little more time on P-days. Next week will be a Temple P-day however so that will also be Tuesday and I won't have tons of time to write.

A lot of fun things have happened in Okegawa these past two weeks.
Two weeks ago was campaign week for all of the candidates running for Mayor or City Council, this happened all over Saitama but we were very much aware of it Okegawa. In the states when it's election time, we usually see a bunch of T.V. ads, maybe a few speeches or some posters, maybe a facebook or twitter page etc.? Well here that is not the case. Imagine vans with megaphones on them announcing their respective candidate in the most crazy formal Japanese you can imagine (It literally get's longer as it gets more polite and with every added formality the message becomes less direct. Pretty much it's just noise that takes up space and has no meaning.) from the megaphone and driving all around the city to perform different rallies. When you have about three or four candidates all doing this it gets super loud! One of the candidate’s election headquarters was about a block from our apartment. He had a really cool slogan that read:
若い市長で元気な桶川。(Wakai shichou de genki na Okegawa.) which means “Through a young mayor we will have a vigorous Okegawa.” We decided one day that he should win the election (not that it really affects us in anyway) because his little slogan was super super catchy and really handy during dendo. We actually met him as he rode past in his bicycle-cade(bicycle motorcade). Anyway long story short... HE WON!!!! yeah that was pretty exciting.

The next fun thing that happened was 3 days with President and Sister Budge here in Saitama Zone. Once for a Zone Conference, and twice for Stake Conference. The best of these three days was the multi-zone conference we had with Matsudo, Kiryu and Saitama. They both gave some great trainings and then we had some fun in workshops with all of the Zone Leaders on specific teaching skills. We did one were we had to teach the Resoration of the Gospel to an Investigator in 5minutes in Japanese. I'm proud to say we can do it in 5.36. You may ask “Why would you try to cram an entire lesson into 5 short minutes?” In Tokyo most people are busy, or at least say they are, but if they stop and listen you can keep their attention for at least 5minutes. The purpose of the 5 minute role play lesson is not however to be able to teach it all at once, but to be able to convey it all simply. In Japan most people only have a basic knowledge of Christianity. We have to teach them the most basic of basic principles of the Gospel, in Japanese I might add. So by doing the 5 minute mogi(role play) we really see what things we can leave out of our teaching in order to teach more simply. It was a lot of fun! We've since done this for every lesson in the Preach My Gospel during our companionship study with Pikachu, Spiderman, Batman, and Bambi and Thumper. They're all progressing nicely.

This past Saturday we had a Music Night activity in Koshigaya, a few areas over. Naturally, Elder Gallacher was asked to sing. I don't know if I mentioned this before but he used to work at the Hale Center Theater in Mesa Arizona both as a performer and backstage. He has quite the voice. He performed two awesome songs. “With all the Power of Heart and Tongue” and Michael Buble's “I Just Haven't Met You Yet.” Both songs sounded great! We listened to a lot of awesome performances and The missionaries did the hokey pokey! I can do the hokey pokey like a pro! Afterward we ate real Costco Hotdogs. That was pretty awesome. Koshigaya actually has a Costco in there area. The members spoil them that's for sure. We were super happy missionaries that evening.

I know you probably think the only thing we do is play. Don't worry we're working hard still. It actually just so happens that when we're working cool things happen, like discovering a Kyuudou (Japanese Archery) Meet in the middle of the park you are proselyting in. We stuck around and watched for a little while and got to start a few good conversations with the people around us. It's great. They all just wonder why these two Americans are standing around watching Kyuudou and speaking Japanese to each other and then end up asking us what we're doing here. Perfect segue (I think that's how you spell it) into a gospel discussion. I wish it was always that easy! A teaching missionary is a happy missionary. 

Today Elder Gallacher and I are going to Yokohama to explore the world of Ramen. There are two really famous Ramen Museums there as well as Landmark Tower. Way excited! Yokohama is a blast!

Hope you all have a great week!
Love you all!

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