Well Hello There!
Officially, Happy New Year (or Oshogatsu)!!! New Year`s is huge here, it lasts about a whole week, and during that time we`re not allowed to proselyte so it`s been a different type of week. To help out with that President Albrecht asked the wards to provide both lunch and dinner for us so that we could get to know members better during the week and not waste time. This being said I ate quite a few traditional Japanese meals. I`d say the most interesting would be a sack of fish eggs...yup, different than I thought, crunchy, fishy... Of course I did eat some really good things too, fried chicken, sweet potato mixture thing! Mmm!
Since, as a missionary, you can`t stay up to midnight to ring in the New Year, we (the Kichijoji and Suginami missionaries) celebrated it in our way by getting up extra early, going to the church and climbing up to the roof (the church is 3 stories) and watching the sun rise. It was absolutely beautiful! The sun came up over Tokyo so that was really cool! We then made our new goals for the year! It was great! With the new year I hope you all have made some good new goals that you`re going to stick to this year also! Maybe, share the gospel with a non-member friend, would be a good one to add to the list. Cool Story! So Kim, I asked you to send the address of Ai`s family, Kaitlyn Neurohr`s friend, who joined the church in Missouri, but family is nonmembers in Tokyo, well guess what! We found them!!!! Turns out they`re in the Suginami area (Gantomur shimai and Togami shimai`s area), so Utsumi shimai and I got permission to go visit them even though they`re not in our area. They invited us back to talk, not necessarily about the gospel, but it`s an in, so we`ll do our best.
Today for p-day we went to the Tokyo Temple!!! It was so good! I love going to the temple! It`s absolutely gorgeous! Also I saw Sister Lynch there so it was definitely a happy reunion! We also had a mini zone conference this past week! It was good, had training and an interview with President Albrecht! Fun! I sang during it too, first time I`ve sung in public for a long time, it felt really good. Of course then I got accused by President Albrecht for not telling him that I could sing, haha vicious cycle!
We also got a chance to bake the chocolate chip cookies you sent for Christmas! I just about died! Chocolate chips are nearly impossible to get here, and even so the flour and sugar taste different so to have them actually American was heaven! It was funny, Utsumi shimai and I put them all together and then of course I started eating the dough, and Utsumi shimai did too and she looked at me and asked, "is it this salty because we used margarine and butter?". I must have given her a funny look and then was like "I don`t taste any salt at all!!" And she couldn`t believe it. Just the difference in tastes here from America is one hundred percent different! Don`t worry she still loves them, I think she`s eaten just as many cookies, if not more than me!
Anyway, sending you my love!
Sister Erin Benne