I repeat, the Apple has left the garden! I have returned to the wonderful world of windows!... almost. Our mission exchanged our old iPads for new ones this week, but since I'm in my last transfer they didn't give me another, so I am back to e-mailing on a PC like the good old days of Sagamihara and Kunitachi! It's not quite a full return from the dark side of operating systems, more like halfway, because our church has an extremely old computer running an outdated version of Linux, which is what I'm using to write this, but it's still much easier!
Heyo you peoples of Idumae! Whazzup?
We had to back-up all of our data on our old iPads, so my next Book of Brooksby chapter is currently in cyberspace somewhere. I'll send it when I get a hold of it!
Do they dub or sub the General Conference? Are we going for theand in Fukawasa stake? Is that by the coast close to the Endochina place?
They actually Dub the conference here, but they always have a room showing English, so anyone who would rather hear that version is free to, and missionaries are recommended to do so unless they are attending with an investigator. Fujisawa would be the preferred place! I don't know exactly how far it is from Enoshima... Ima check really quick... Oh hey, it's only a 20 minute train ride, if I got my stations right!
Are there specific people I want to go back and see? Will I be able to get in touch with them if I don't have a mission phone?
There are a couple of people that I would enjoy seeing again, and most of them should be contactable through Facebook.
Do I have a transportation card with money on it for subways and trains? Can I reload a card like that?
It's called a "Suica" card, Suica meaning "Watermelon". Don't ask me why we get on trains using watermelons, I wouldn't know. We use them basically anytime we go anywhere.
How much money do I think we will use on Subways and Trains?
It depends on how much you want to travel! The 20 minute train ride from Shonan-dai to Katase-Enoshima is about 220 yen, or about 2$ one way, while on the other hand, the trip we took today to make it to Mt. Takao was about 550 yen, or around 5$, or 10$ round trip.
Something special I want to do on my Birthday?
Now what I would WANT to do and what I'll be ABLE to do may be two different things, mind you! But I think that there's a really cool park in Hodogaya called "Kodomo Shizen Koen" or "Children's Nature Park", and hopefully right around that time the Sakura trees will be in full bloom and there are a ton of really cool Sakura trees around there, not to mention that that park was where I got what I consider to be the most important revelation that I have ever received to this day, so I would love to visit again.
We had a combined mission conference with the North Mission this week before we switched out our iPads. It was Elder Nielsen and Evans that came and it was pretty cool. They definitely threw down that "hell-fire and damnation, repent ye sinners!" typa deal. It was intense. I don't think in my entire life I've ever been in a room with 400+ people that were 100% humble, to the point even of those who had previously thought "I've made it past that weakness, I've made it past that trial, my sins will come upon me no more." were made to think more along the lines of "Lord, is it I? What have I done, what must I change, how can I improve and once again become innocent, like unto a little child, and truly become like unto a child of God, as I once was?". A really awesome thing that was really emphasised was that iPads are not so much for the hastening of the work as they are for helping the missionaries learn to use technology properly, on their missions and beyond.
Random Story Time!
Elder Evans came to our ward for church! I believe Elder Nielsen went to the English branch with President Wada, but Elder Evans speaks Japanese and had been the mission president for some of the members in our ward while they were serving in Nagoya, so he came here. It was pretty fun, and he made sure to talk with each missionary individually. He asked me why I wear gloves and, because there are many reasons, I gave him one of the simple answers; "I get cold.". He kinda laughed and said "Well, that would make sense, now wouldn't it! My wife has the same thing; she's always freezing in these old church buildings of ours!" and he was a supa' chill guy.
This week on splits Elder Christensen and I ran into a family of bible-bashers! It was... fun? It kinda bums me out to see people being mislead by the Devil in the name of Christ, and it also bums me out when they don't really give us a chance to respond. There was only one moment that we both wish we would have interrupted her at, one we both felt very strongly about, and that was when she said "You guys aren't even Christians!". I wanted so badly to correct just that one thing. She could believe anything else she wanted about us, but that is the one falsehood that I wish with all my heart that I had had chance to correct. Ah well, there's always next time, right?
We were chillin' in district meeting and Elder Johnson was explaining about their investigator and how he believes in "The God-blob", and we all kinda laughed and Elder Gonzales, a bit lost, asked "You mean the Trinity?" and Elder Johnson said "Yeah, I just couldn't remember the word for it and it seemed like an accurate description...". Missionary conversation is supa' weird.
That's about it! TTYAL!
Younger Elder Brooksby