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. ;)
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!!!!
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!!!!