Thursday, December 18, 2008

Just one of many things I want to say.

Wow, recently, so many great things have been happening. I have so many great stories and things I want to share. Unfortunately I have almost no time to write them down. (or it's so cold I'm afraid my fingers will fall off if I type! Ok, it's not that cold, but it feels like it sometimes.)

Anyway. It's the holiday season. That translates to, Insanely busy. But this year has been better than others. I'm learning how to appreciate the holidays a bit more. I am by no means a holiday person, but I don't hate them either.

But this is also closer and closer to the time of year when my future is going to radically change. I've been watching fellow friends, in the similar situation and their reactions. It's interesting to say the least. Japan has captured quite a few hearts it seems.

I was talking with some of my students about my future this week. They are a great class and I really love them. I was talking about how I often have to wait til the last minute to find out what God has planned for me, so I'm not so stressed out yet. I know God will provide for me, because He always has.
It was fun because I was pointing out all the blessings that God has given me lately, and how He just provides all the things I need, and sometimes don't need. And then one of my students really encouraged me by pointing out that all the things He has been giving me are all things that I need in JAPAN, and not Texas. I got a new bicycle, which would be a bit silly to ship back to Texas, and I don't really need. I would need a car to get anything done. And I was just given the most perfect coat ever. (my parents gave me money to buy clothes, and I ended up getting a much needed new coat from Land's End. It's wonderful, and even shipped internationally in less than a week! VERY flattering and just all around perfect. I'll post a picture as soon as I get one.) She also pointed out that I certainly don't need that down coat in Texas. I laughed and agreed with her. It's very comforting thought. Even though I don't always recognize it, God is always preparing for me and taking care of me. I am still no closer to knowing what I will be doing in the future, but somehow I feel much more secure than before. God is good. (of course, there is always the possibility He will send me somewhere other than Texas. I might need that coat in say... Alaska. hahaha Still leaves the issue of the bike though....)

Anyway, here are some recent pictures. We made a Christmas tree in one of my classes, it's really cute. And a couple of weeks ago, we went to a Messiah concert. A couple of us girls dressed up (Japanese people don't really dress up so much for concerts, but we still want any excuse to dress up.) My dress is the bridesmaid dress I wore like 7 years for my friends wedding. It's seriously too big. I had to pin it in the back, and then cover it up with a Japanese style coat (called haori). The funny thing was my friend wore the same kind of coat over her dress too! Anyway, it was a really nice evening of beautiful music, laughter, good food... It was one of those few (Cinderella/princess) experiences. Very nice. But like all good things, the night ended, and we went back to work.

I still have lots of things I want to post here, but they will have to wait for another time. Maybe I will find time to catch up soon (as long as I remember all the cool things I wanted to say...)
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Monday, December 08, 2008

Random musings (notice: not really interesting at all...)

So yesterday all the missionaries in our area (it's called Kanto if you really want to know.) met for our monthly English Bible Study/devotion/worship thing (and a couple of guys who just came in from Taiwan were there too.) In the Fall our group gets pretty big because we have the working missionaries and the orientation missionaries as well. This year the group has come together pretty quickly to a big friendly family like atmosphere. (which translates to nothing EVER starting on time. Good thing many of our time conscious co-workers have finished their terms of services.)

Well, there is a point to the rambling. Well, ok, not really. Just a stupid story. So I have this thing. It's hard to explain. It's kinda like a scarf. It's all made of fur (it was a present from one of my students). So this guy picks it up and looks at it and says "what IS this?" And then he smells it. Then he announces "This smells weird. What is it?" This then prompts the scarf to be passed around the whole room so everyone can smell the "weird smell." (No one else thought it was weird, or at least no one else SAID it.) But it was commented a couple of times that it just smelled like me.

This has got me thinking. I've seen friends with boyfriends, and watched how they like to smell their boyfriends clothes, because they smell like a boyfriend. I guess smell is really powerful. But it's baffling to me, because I don't smell people. I mean I smell things all the time. But I can't distinguish people's individual smells.

So the whole thing is rather strange for me. So I was just kinda wondering how many people "smell" other people. Is this normal and I'm just the weird one?

Ok, like I said, this was just a stupid processing post. Not so interesting.

In other news, here are some random pictures. I like the one from some thread I bought. The "almighty spun thread."

There are also pictures of someone randomly drying their laundry at the train station. (I was actually testing out to see if I could get more than 4 pictures up with the new update to Picasa, but it looks like it's still only 4....)

Ok, time to go get ready to go to the Messiah concert!
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Friday, December 05, 2008

The railway museum!

Railway Museum

Last week I went with my class to see the nearby Railway museum. It was lot's of fun! Here are some pictures.

Trains are very popular in Japan, so this museum is a really big deal. This is the same museum that I wrote about earlier when the Crown Prince came to visit. Very exciting stuff.

(click the picture to see all the pictures I took!)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

more additions to a list of things I can never be thankful enough for.

Well, today was a day filled with lots and lots of unexpected surprises. I started the day with a nice talk with the deaconess at my church about future ministry options for my church and the area. Very exciting. I was given a new skirt that actually fit. I got news that site training (when I teach the next missionary all about their new job) will be moved up a week (so that it doesn't conflict with the last week of classes). All very good stuff. Even had a nice day teaching kids about "Away in a Manger." It's actually really exciting, because I have enough Japanese this year to really explain what the song means. So several kids got to hear about the story of Jesus' birth (and I get to do it all week!)

But I guess the biggest surprise of the day was when my students came to my night class. I have four students in this class, all men. This is my highest class. They are all really cute. I like them.

Last month, my bicycle (donated by the church) busted a tire. New tires are a little costly, and I didn't have the money to repair is. Now this bicycle has been giving me trouble the whole time I've been here. One of the students in the class, who I like to think of as my Japanese grandfather, has on several occasions fixed the bicycle for me. (he also brings me beautiful roses from his garden!)

So this time the bicycle seemed done for. I actually had to walk to the hospital yesterday (little less than an hour actually, and I did choose to walk, I could have taken a bus.) But a bicycle makes things like shopping, and getting places so much easier.

So tonight he came to class and showed me a piece of paper. Turns out the four members of the class got together to buy me a new bicycle!! They even put my name on it! And registered it with the police! (you are supposed to register your bike in Japan, kinda like you do with cars. The picture of the bright red sticker is the registration number.) So if I loose my bike, or it's stolen, they can trace it back to me if it's ever found. It's such a wonderful present!

I can't even begin to express how excited I am about this. I took it for a test ride tonight, and I think I rode around 8 miles maybe. Hehe. It was lots of fun.

These are of course pictures of my wonderful new "mama-chali" (mother's chariot) as they call your basic bikes here in Japan. It's a nice deep, burnt red. It's got a nice pedal-powered light, and brakes that work! haha. It's really great!

If you look at the last picture, it's what was written on the bike manual. I find the English rather funny.

So that's my exciting story for the day. God just keeps blessing me so much. And the funny thing is, for every blessing like this that you can see, there are so many more that can never be seen or even fully expressed or realized. I'm always in awe of how much God takes care of me.

Thanks so much.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Still alive

Well, it's been a while, and believe me, I have a whole lot to say. But I think tonight it's going to be a quick post to hopefully ease me back into things.

Anyway, here's some pictures I took today. The first is near the hospital I went to today. I got an MRI because I've been having lots of headaches and I decided I should finally get them looked at. It was an interesting experience. Always fun to do medical procedures in a foreign language. But apparently my Japanese is passable enough. It's good when the staff look at me and expect me to speak NO Japanese, so when I can use some, they breathe this sigh of relief that they can still speak to me in Japanese, albeit very simple Japanese. Anyway, have to wait two weeks before I get the results. I'll update you if there's anything interesting to say.

In other interesting news, tonight was a special convergence of the moon, Venus and Jupiter. I went out and tried taking some pictures and they actually turned out decently. The bright one is Venus, and the one near the top is Jupiter. And the moon is really cool as a sliver of a crescent. believe me, the pictures don't do the sight justice.

I just wanted to put up the pictures because I knew if I didn't do it today, it would never get done. I have lots more pictures and stories I'd like to share, but it'll have to happen later.
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