Monday, November 28, 2011

Week 61 - Senzokuike, Japan

So how was everyone's Thanksgiving??? Beth ate jellyfish, that's a little gross, luckily I haven't come across that here in Japan, but we're approaching the season where all the really traditional foods come back out in Japan...Japanese New Year, gotta love it. I think the worst thing I've seen so far was baby octopi swimming around in soup. Needless to say, I steered clear of that one as best as I could.
So Thanksgiving here went well. And I did get a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner at the Nagano's that was absolutely delicious. I think it's a good thing that they live a little farther away and we went by bike, on the way home, we were able to work off some of that food!
As with that nothing too much else is happening. We're working on starting up a Kid's Eikaiwa here, so we're just going crazy trying to get a curriculum together, getting publicity out, and making vocab cards, homework etc. It's fun though, and we think we'll really be able to introduce a lot of people to the church through it. In Japan, english classes are huge. With needing english so much in the world today, tons of parents want their kids to learn english. People pay 100's of dollars for just an hour long class with a native english speaker, so with us teaching for free we're able to really help the community and get more people associated with members of the church as well with teaching them about the church. Anyway, we're excited. It starts this week though, and we still have a lot to do.
It's gotten cold again in Japan. Pulled out the gloves, and scarves, once more. I can't believe it's already winter again, let alone a few days until December. Time is going by so fast!
Anyway I hope everyone has a good week!
Love you all!
Sister Erin Benne

Monday, November 21, 2011

Week 60 - Senzokuike, Japan

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! 
Is it really even Thanksgiving Week? That seems so strange to me that a holiday could even be coming up! 
In Japan they have a holiday on Wednesday. Japan has a LOT of holidays, it seems like one every 2 weeks, but I'm not complaining, because it means everyone is off of work and out of school, so we're free to teach them. They're always some of our busiest days! 
As for my Thanksgiving celebration, we are headed to my freshman year roommates house on Saturday Night for a Thanksgiving dinner. I'm so excited! It's going to be good and they are inviting 2 nonmember families, so it will be even better! 
Thank you Dad and Mom for sending those Thanksgiving activities for Eikaiwa. It will help a lot and I think it will be a lot of fun! Our students are always wanting to learn more about American culture, so holidays always give a good chance to share part of our American life. And it's fun for us, because we always get to celebrate in some way.
As for other news from this past week, we had a District Conference yesterday with all the English Branches in Tokyo and well, the English Branch I've been working in got dissolved. After the earthquake a lot of foreigners living in Japan went home and with the economy as well, numbers in the District have just been dropping. Really though, they just combined 2 of the branches and took the name of the other, so I still have an English Branch I'll be working in with more people and a lot larger area to cover; I think President Albrecht is trying to figure out what to do, since they meet in our area's building, but over 3/4 of the members live outside our Senzokuike area! Anyway, I'm excited for it. It will be fun having new members come into the ward!
Oh, and my voice has returned! YAY! and I didn't even have to go to the doctor! Thank goodness! It's still not back to normal and I have a cough, but I can actually talk now and I'm just so thankful for that! Thank you for your prayers, I know they helped a lot!
Anyway, I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving, eat lots of yummy food, but remember the true meaning and to really take this time to show your love and appreciation for others by serving them. Because really that's how we ourselves become the happiest, by helping others.
Love you all!
Sister Erin Benne

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Week 59 - Senzokuike, Japan


 I actually might have to go to the hospital as well tomorrow. Don't worry no huge thing. In Japan, they go to the hospital for every little thing because it's free. But anyway, starting last P-day I wasn't feeling to well, and while I feel fine now, I have completely lost my voice. Anyway so for about a week now, I have been completely without a voice, a little difficult when youre a missionary. It's accompanied with a nice cough too. So I talked to the mission doctor, and he said that until I get rid of my cough my voice isn't going to come back, because it's straining my vocal cords everytime I cough. So to get my voice back I will need to get some cough medicine, which In Japan they don't have any over the counter cough medicine so in order to get some I'll have to go to the doctor. He gave me until Tuesday to see if I get better. I don't like going to the doctor, so I'm praying I'll be better before than.
But yeah, life without a voice has been pretty interesting. Mano Shimai has really stepped up, making phone calls, leading lessons and streeting as I take the more quieter route. There isn't much I can do, but I've noticed when I really need to say something, I have voice enough to get it through. It's been a huge miracle. Maybe I needed to learn not to talk so much!
The members have been really cute too. At different activities we've had going on and at church they've all been giving me cough drops and different remedies; aromic oils and well, everyone has their own way that they believe cures different ailments, so I've had the privelegde of seeing how everyone fixes not having a voice. I've really felt people's love and concern through it.
Oh and this is exciting! Did you all celebrate 11-11-11 at 11:11??? It's probably the luckiest minute of the luckiest day of all of our lives!!! So fun!
Anyway, I hope everyone has a good week!
Love you all!
Sister Erin Benne
P.S. The Primary Program was yesterday in both of the wards. The CUTEST thing ever!!! Little Japanese kids singing Primary Songs is so cute! It's amazing to me how I'm half-way around the world in a completely different culture, but the church is exactly the same! It wouldn't be that way if it wasn't true!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Week 58 - Senzokuike, Japan

Well, Hello!

So transfers came and went and guess what for the first time on my mission I did not get a call! Yeah! Actually since it was Mano Shimai's first transfer, we basically knew we both wouldn't be getting one, almost ALWAYS a trainer and trainee are together for 2 transfers, but it's still exciting.
So Dad you googled Senzokuike? Yeah, I get to see that beautiful lake every single day. You really were actually looking at where I live my life basically everyday. The lake is about a 1 minute walk from the church, 3 minutes from our apartment, and right across from the train station. So we're there talking to people in the park all the time. Mano Shimai and I used to go running around it in the morning, too, until she sprained her ankle. (She's okay, but running is still a little out of the question at the moment.) I've heard it's absolutely gorgeous during cherryblossom season!
Not much else new to report, but I've been thinking a lot about a quote I got back in the MTC. It's by H.D. Thoreau and he said, "As if you could kill time without injurying eternity." It's become a favorite quote of mine, as I've realized how true it is. The time we have right now here on this earth is too precious to be wasting. We have to go out and do things, be proactive in accomplishing our highest priorities in life. We can't just sit around wasting time expecting things to fix themselves or something to occur that will change the course of our lives. I guarantee those things will happen over time, but it is according to what we do that effects the earthly and eternal outcome, whether it be good or bad or whether we be injurying ourselves or the lives of others by omission. Everything in this life ties to our reward in the life to come. It's a good quote. Think about it.
Love you all so much!
Sister Erin Benne

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Week 57 - Senzokuike, Japan

And Happy Halloween!!!
I think it still might be Halloween in good ol' America so technically I am not late! However, I am writing a little bit later than usual! What was everyone for Halloween this year? Beth said she would possible pull out her violin costume...anyone else? I was a witch. Which actually, surprisingly enough, I'm not sure if I ever was. I remember having a witch hat at our house though... No Japanese people don't really celebrate Halloween. I don't think they would find the same joy that we Americans do dressing up and eating candy. But luckily I teach an English class, where we can always have fun with American traditions, and I have an English branch that I work with, so we had both an English class Halloween Party and a branch Halloween activity. The branch party was way fun. We missionaries were in charge of a room and so we picked the activity where you put things like pasta, grapes, hotdogs, etc, into different boxes and without looking you guess what "zombie part" it is. Anyway we rigged one of the boxes so that Sister Mano could hide under the table, put one of her hands through the bottom of the box and when someone reached in she would grab them. Yeah we had a fun time scaring people! That was fun, good old Halloween!
And now we're in November, strange...
Other than that things have been low key here. For the past couple weeks we've been really busy. A lot of activities going on and things to plan for, but with this past Sunday it all died down. It'll be good to get back to the basics this week.
So the CARDS WON THE WORLD SERIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I can't believe I missed it. Oh well, that just means they will have to win again next year! YES go CARDS!
So Beth you asked if since I've been in Senzokuike for longer than any other place, am I getting restless. Haha yeah, I'll admit, I think I got used to things changing so often that I'm ready for something to happen to mix things up. However, I love actually being able to see things through all the way to the end instead of always just planning and then leaving. It's been a blessing. And with transfers coming up, I still would prefer to stay in Senzokuike rather than head out. I'm actually getting a chance to really get to know the ward members, I love it!
Anyway I love you all! Hope everyone has a good week!
Sister Erin Benne