Monday, July 20, 2009
And I am the third missionary in President Traveller's history to stay five transfers in one area. I will NOT be transferring this transfer - and neither will my companion. I did, however, receive another new responsibility. I'll be the district leader this transfer, which should be fun. Our zone has a lot of people with baptismal dates though, and Ina is really far from other areas so going to interview their candidates will be a little bit tough on time and money. I'm really excited about it, though. Five transfers is a LONG time though. I'm still in shock - I had all the stuff I never really use packed away haha... Oops.
So... Annie was baptized on Friday, and confirmed at church on Sunday. I was asked to do both the baptism and the confirmation, so it was a great experience for me too. She is such a pure and elect person. She did, however, break down into really heavy tears the second she came up out of the water. I thought maybe she was worried or sad or something, but they turned out to be tears of joy. I honestly didn't think they were at first, but she started smiling a few minutes later. The most awkward part was that as soon as they start to close the doors to the font, Annie decided to try to go for an all-out hug in front of everyone. We forgot to warn her that the hug after the baptism is a no-go, so she went for it. Way funny, kind of awkward, and the last thing I could hear as I was leaving the font was President laughing on the other side of the doors - and then I started laughing too. But seriously, it was an extremely spiritual and beautiful baptismal service, and I feel pretty lucky I got to participate.
This week after church we had Shokujikai - something I think every American ward should definitely start doing. It is basically just a potluck lunch once a month after church ends. So good. But the special part was, we were in charge of preparing some sort of game/activity to play as a branch because the District President was coming. So we played Gospel Jeopardy, complete with Jeopardy song and blue and white construction paper board. I have never seen the members be that excited or that involved in an activity or game. It was a blast.
Other things this week... We had interviews with the President, and that was good. We also had interviews with his wife, and she told me she knew something big about the future part of my mission, but that she couldn't tell me. She was totally making fun of me, it was funny. I guess something big will happen in the next few transfers - but big to her could be anything. I guess it could have even been staying in Ina one more. President and Sister Traveller really are the best Mission President and wife any mission could have (no offense, LeeAnne, but it is true). He also talked to me about the exact date I will go home but I forgot it. Mid-to-late June or something. I'll look at a calendar sometime and tell you. It really is weird to think there are only ten months or so left. I'm becoming an old missionary. In six weeks my transfer count will be in double digits!
Good to hear everyone at home is doing well, both on the business front and the health front. I'm excited to hear the news on the property that Dad is trying to buy with Richard - is it a commercial building like a shopping center or what? I don't really know the details. It is also good to hear Intel and Apple stock are doing better. It will be interesting to see what kind of earnings Apple reports. It should be pretty impressive. I'll likely hear it from the Matsumoto Branch President, who is also an Apple nut. The good news is even though the internet is out at the house, you should be able to see the picture I sent on your phones...
I can't think of much else. Our other investigators are doing well. Kouta-kun reset his baptismal date to the end of August - meaning I might be able to baptize him as well before transfers. If all goes well, that is.
I still don't have anything I really need sent to me or anything, but I do have one weird request. Shawn McDonald is a lovely church artist who writes great music, and if you happen to find a CD of his somehow somewhere, I would appreciate it. Simply Nothing is the CD that I heard while waiting for interviews this week - I actually really liked it. Kind of has a Snow Patrol mixed with the Fray plus some Audioslave mixed in - and it is all about Christ! Sister Traveller recommended it to us. That is all really.
Well, thanks again for all the emails - it is great to hear what is happening in everyone's life. I feel kind of out of the mission loop in Ina - we are kind of the forgotten area since it is brand new and separated from everyone, so hearing news from home is really nice.
Keep hangin in there, and I'll keep hangin in here.
Love you all,
Meito-ku Nagoya-shi Aichi-ken
Saturday I made centerpieces for a friend who had a wedding reception for her son and his new bride in their backyard. She had wanted roses and peonies, but the peonies are out of season and would have been prohibitively priced as a special order. I found these gorgeous English roses at the flower market so they filled in nicely. Don't ya just love pink! Every shade of it!
Friday, July 17, 2009
We've been picking raspberries every other day for a week and a half now. Every picking yields about 7 quarts of bottled raspberries (I'm taking some to Dad, he's quite fond of them), about 30 half pints of jam and 4 or 5 quart bags of whole berries for the freezer, plus a ton to eat fresh, put on waffles or ice cream, etc. Our biggest picking was Tuesday, I'm afraid it's downhill from now on, which is fine since we're leaving for Idaho on Wednesday. They sure have produced beautifully and now we have jewels to line the shelves of our fruit room!
We made it to out 34th! Candace and Kevin took us out to dinner while they were here. The food was great (McGraths Fish House - try the Coconut Shrimp and the Halibut platter) and the company was terrific! Thanks to Alyssa who babysat the whole crew so we could go without kids (even the nursing baby stayed home!)