Monday, December 14, 2015

week from Ushiku

Language is still fun. One person we attempt to teach we can only talk to when we find him physically. Then we have two part member families. One of them has a non-member and the other family has a less active.

While I don't really have any pictures of the apartment, here's a picture of the DAIBUTSU statue (top photo) and a picture of Mt. Fuji from really far away.

Monday, December 7, 2015

week 16....a bit of rice.....

In general, the work is slow and those we teach are very interesting. Life here is really interesting too. Today we had to get some rice cleaned before cooking it......

week 16.....Testimony building and success

We asked if he had bought a coat yet, how he was doing with the food there, and how the teaching was going.....

The weather really isn't that bad yet. As for food, we eat whatever really cheap stuff we can get on p-day shopping and while relying on the mercy of the members in what they donate to the missionaries. Yesterday we got stew ingredients, grapefruits, and some soybean paste candies.

We're teaching a couple of people, and each one is a very interesting experience. We actually missed an appointment with one of them, and we have no means of talking with him and scheduling an appointment except for when we meet him. So that was a funny testimony builder when we prayed by name to meet him, we met another person by the same name at the place we usually meet him, and then when we returned to that location later that day we met the usual one.

I guess closest to success was yesterday when we were doing a lesson and after the lesson the member told me "「アバ長老の日本語は上手です。日本人ぽい。なんか、日本人のように日本語を話します。」" Basically, that my Japanese was really good and that it sounded more like a native Japanese than most other foreign missionaries. That was kinda cool.  

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

week 14....Photos from Tokyo Temple

exiting the Tokyo Temple with his Training Companion Elder Hirao

He really is in the group the back row, peeking over a shoulder, kind of hard to see!  ;)

okay, here's a closeup....  ;) 

the little face in the center of the photo  =D

week 14....First Temple Pday

Elder Abercrombie reported last week that they got two P-days for Temple Week.  They had a normal Monday P-day. Then on that Wednesday they went to the temple and enjoyed a session in English since most of the missionaries are English speaking. The Japanese Elders had to get the translation.  Almost immediately after the session, they did new missionary training.

He told me that the hand-written letter I had sent him took two weeks to get to him.  He said sending emails is just fine instead of spending money on stamps since they're able to read emails daily, but can only respond on P-day.  =D

He told us peanut butter does not exist in Japan, and he's okay with that, but the foreign missionaries go bananas for peanut butter now.  He asked us to send him bagged cereal (he's referring to the Malt o Meal cereals) instead of peanut butter!  ;)  Thankfully we have good friends down in Okinawa on the Marine Base so I contacted her and she is sending a big box of several cereals to him!!!  =D

He also talked about their biking experience.....they do equal train/bike now, though more train because they're in a small little area and it's easier to meet people to talk to on the train and at the station.

They only do one missionary meeting at church, they call it the DCS, which is the missionary organization meeting.

Everyone definitely has a little problem with his name, so most just use the Japanese name for the Abercrombie and Fitch store, Abakuro.  ;)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

week 12....First email from Tokyo!!!

We anxiously awaited that first email from "the mission field" Sunday as we watched the clock and got excited when it was 3:30 pm Sunday afternoon for us, knowing it was 6:30 am in Tokyo and it was time for Elder Abercrombie to get up and enjoy his first P-day in Tokyo.....remember they are 15 hours ahead of us. ;) 

We had no idea how long we'd have to stay up to hear from him.  Sure enough, his email came in just after 9:30 pm, which was just after noon for him.  ;) 

His first area is Ushiku, just northeast of Tokyo.  He bought a pretty cool bike, but hasn't had the chance to ride it very much yet.  He said the apartment is pretty interesting.  There's not enough room in the "tatami" room for his futon so he sleeps in the study room and they keep the doors open. The weather is good, no need for cold weather gear yet.  (He always loved cold weather better than warm weather!!)  Church was fun, giving a introduction in terrible Japanese was not so fun.  ;) 

We should be getting photos soon from the Assistants to the Mission President.  As soon as the Assistants upload the photos, the mission secretary will send them to us.  =D  We are VERY EXCITED to see our son with his training companion!!!! 

week 12.....An UNEXPECTED & AWESOME surprise!

Our wonderful missionary son called from the SLC Airport!!!!!

I was very surprised since he had just told us on Thursday, the few days before, that he would just call from Portland. 

I asked if he was at a payphone so I could call him back.  He said no, some member lady just handed him her phone so he could call me while she went to use the restroom!

I was driving so I put him on speaker phone until I could pull over. We enjoyed a nice little 10 minute visit then he said he needed to go find the lady and give her phone back.  :)

When I got home, I called her back to thank her for letting him call me. She said she was confused looking at her phone with an Illinois phone number when he told her we were in Texas. She had taken his photo but didn't know which phone number to send it to.  She told me her son had recently returned from the Mexico City mission and she was really excited to see our son at the airport!!!!!  =D

We were THRILLED with the perfect timing when Johnathan came home for lunch and his phone rang just as he was pulling in the driveway.  It was from 503....Oregan area code, YEAH!!!!  He was calling from a payphone this time and was quite happy that no one was waiting in line behind him so were able to enjoy a nice long visit!!  =D

We had followed his SLC to Portland flight using the Flightview app.  We were quite happy being able to follow the rest of his journey to Tokyo, over the ocean, using the Flightstats app!  GOTTA LOVE MODERN TECHNOLOGY!!!!  ;) 

We are anxiously looking forward to Skyping with our Elder Abercrombie at Christmas!!!! 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

week 8.....they all looked too good to just pick one.......

So, funny day this week all the different lunches look pretty good, so I grabbed all of them.  Doing this made it rather short on time to eat it I got smart.....and yes, it was rather tasty!!!   A cookie, chicken, seasoned chicken, roast beef, cheetos and fries.......yes, many people got grossed out!  ;)

Also saw this sign.....with a bunch of wires behind it......

Monday, October 5, 2015

week from a little while back.....oops

(we were waiting for more photos to be sent before posting his little bit of news from a while back....from September 24th....)

Well, it's been real fun this past week. We got a new bunch of "kouhai" yesterday.  This Sunday we and another district will be doing the tower challenge.  We're going to empty an entire tower of cereal and eat it all.  It's honestly crazy how much Japanese we're learning.

Sorry Sensei, but after the three years, I have learned so much more here than with you.  Apologies.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

week 7....the Tokyo adventure has been delayed a bit......

-----news from Thursday October 1st-----

Well, the past week was pretty fun. On Friday, September 9th, my left lung ruptured.

Two days later I did the tower challenge with my zone.

Yesterday I found out I'm going to have to stay for at least 32 more days.

the cereal tower challenge....

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Week 4....Latest news from the MTC....

The following news was from last week's, before we had this blog up and running  ;) 

Well, my time here as been fun for the most part.  I've been able to bond pretty well with the group that's going out with me, my zone.  The senpai, or upperclassmen, left earlier this week, and left us with all their candy and stuff.  I feel like I've learned more Japanese here in 3 weeks than I have in 3 years of high school classes.  As of the day I'm writing this, I am in day 4 of the cereal challenge.  for all meals, eat only cereal.  I took it a step up and have decided the only drink I shall have will be the milk in the cereal bowl. 

For anyone out there reading this who may be learning Japanese, I want to say you can do it.  It's tough, but  がんばって !

week 4...Photos from the MTC!!!

Hard to see him in the top photo......he's hiding in the back, centered with the taller green tree  ;)

In front of the world map is his little district, the missionaries that will be heading to Japan at the same time.  He is next to the sister missionary with the green striped shirt.  :)  He has two companions at this time, in a trio.  The tall missionary standing next to him is Elder Merrill.  His other companion is in the gray suit on the right side, Elder Ulrich.  They are both from Utah.