Sunday, July 30, 2017

Episode 5: The Alpha Omega Strikes Back – week 49

This week was like Japanese meat Christmas. 土用の丑の日 (“~dog days of summer”) AND 肉の日 (“Meat day”) both in the same week?!?! COULD IT GET ANY BETTER? Well, yeah, if I'd had money to spend on grilled eel and meat that would've been good, but I spent it all on quadra-discounted ice cream last week; ya gotta pick your battles.

What is this magical day dedicated to eating grilled eel? Did I talk about it last week? It's a day invented by unagi (grilled eel)-sellers a long time ago in Japan to sell more grilled eel because apparently it "is super healthy and helps you not get heat fatigue", but hey, any excuse to eat grilled eel is a good excuse for me (except the fact it's insanely expensive). And there was the 29th, 肉に日, which is meat day which is always a party.

We went out to try a traditional dish of Iwate-ken called “hatto” this week with a friend of ours from our Hiraizumi Eikaiwa (English conversation class), and it was pretty sweet; we ended up teaching the grandma working there some English. The funny thing is it seems like everyone knows everyone in Hiraizumi (the little town next to Ichinoseki with a very long history). It's hilarious because everyone there has mad connections and knows every single shop owner and chef (kinda reminded me of Sayeed – a tour guide we met in Morocco).

Zone Conference this week was absolutely awesome, I came away from it with so many new ideas for things I want to try and apply in my work. We focused a lot on skills this conference, President Sekiguchi talked about how we have the spiritual maturity, we're doing the work (as a mission we talked to 10,000 people a day during the kekko [rejection] contest!), and all we need now to bring it all together is the skills. “Because girls only like guys with skills... You know, like nunchuck skills, bow-hunting skills, computer hacking skills.” But all Napoleon Dynamite quotes aside, if we step up the usage of our skills and "level up" our work, we can see mad miracles. One skill I'm going to try to use more is making people laugh. My Japanese joke game is nowhere near as on point as my English joke game, so it's gonna take a lot of hard work in language study and a lot of trial and error to step it up, but I have faith!

And then there was coming back from zone conference. The train we usually end up taking back from Zone conference is the most busy train of the day, but it was way cool because we ran into and got talking to a friend we met a couple of weeks ago on the same train. And then, a few stops later, we got talking to these two high school girls. And one of them randomly says "hey, you wanna see something cool?" And I'm like, "yeah, of course!" So she straight points both of her eyes into different directions like a straight chameleon. Quite possibly one of the coolest things I've seen in 11 months of being a missionary. And what's even better, Elder G was super freaked out about it and he gets the heebey jeebies every time I bring it up haha. But that's OK because he likes to poke literally every spider he finds with a stick or something, and bruh, I don't do spiders. At least not Japanese spiders.

So yeah, this week we found out we live in the middle of a jungle. First off - there are spiders everywhere. EVERYWHERE. And they're huge. Also, there are these massive beetles (Cicadas) which are super loud and make the craziest hissing/buzzing/kind of like a baby crying but in a bug form. I think they're edible though, so there's a part of me which wants to deep fry one. And then this week, we were walking by this little shrine surrounded by foliage and we thought "hey, let’s stop and enjoy the scenery and take a couple pictures!" And as we were looking around, I looked up in the tree and spotted probably a four and a half foot long snake climbing its way through the tree. It literally climbed onto a telephone wire, slithered across about 8 feet of it, and climbed onto another tree.

Hey, FOOD TALK. Found out that tajin isn't just good on watermelon; it's also amazing on watermelon flavored popsicles. Also, I completed my collection of tubs of Chinese miso this week. And I tried to make Mexican-ish food and it was pretty good. Me and Elder G also ate a kilo (mostly Elder G, that boy has the heart of a true Korean) of kimchi in three days. END OF FOOD TALK

So yeah, I learned something interesting this week. D&C 60:2 "But with some I am not well pleased, for they will not open their mouths, but they hide the talent which I have given unto them, because of the fear of man. Wo unto such, for mine anger is kindled against them." Sometimes I think "man, I ain't got that many talents", but by simply opening our mouth we share our talents, which is pretty dang cool. Other scripture I liked: D&C 24:12 "And at all times, and in all places, he shall open his mouth and declare my gospel as with the voice of a trump, both day and night. And I will give unto him strength such as is not known among men." First of all - it says “voice of a trumpso that's pretty funny. Anyway, I definitely have experienced this: me opening my mouth and talking to homies despite having no idea what to say, and ya know what? I end up seeing straight miracles and somehow not saying tooooo much dumb stuff. And I like that whole "strength as is not known among men" part, it kinda motivates me to not be as afraid about stuff. Anyway, I just really liked those scriptures last week. Also, my mom sent me an article about rejection this last week with a homie who did a 100 day rejection challenge and it got me thinking. I didn't really think of anything profound, but I definitely wish I had a different view of rejection before I started my mission, and I'm beginning to see rejection in a much more positive light than I used to.

Anyway, love you all a bunch, have a good week!

オーギル長(Elder Orgill)

"Straight homies at the hatto restaurant"

"Jungle Shrine Turnup"

"How do you feel about having to wait an hour to take the Shinkansen/Bullet Train
cause they randomly canceled our train which we woke up at 5:00 a.m. to

Feelin Froggy - *engine noises that sound like a lawnmower*

Attempt at Mexican food - note the bottle of tajin at his side