I didn't get very many letters this week, so I'm assuming you are all having way too much fun on the CRUISE that you're taking without me! As you're lounging by the beach and stuffing yourself with gourmet food at the buffets, remember poor old Long Shimai who's out in the frigid cold trying to get millions of Nihonjin to take a Book of Mormon...
Just kidding! Actually, we're getting pretty stuffed here too! In the last week we went to fourall-you-can-eats with investigators and members, plus in the coming week we have three members' dinners AND Thanksgiving at an American's house (yay!). 'Tis the season. All the members, despite being Japanese, know how explicitly we Americans associate the holidays with food and so they're being extra generous, bless their hearts.
I'm sending photos of some investigators we got to hang out with this week: Yu-chan and her daughter at a Chinese buffet, Momoko-chan at an okonomiyaki restaurant, and then a bunch of us missionaries coming home from watching a live performance of the Messiah (in Japanese! I understood nothing). A word about okonomiyaki restaurant: they're way cool. There are so many neat dining experiences we don't get to have in America...anyway, you sit at a table with a giant griddle in the center, and you choose on the menu which kind of okonomiyaki you want to order. At its basic, an okonomiyaki is a cabbage pancake that you can add whatever you like to: cheese, vegetables, fish, meat, etc. You mix it all up, cook it on the griddle, then top it with Worstershire sauce and mayonaise (bonus points if it looks pretty before you eat it). It's way delicious! If you're interested in Japanese cook-it-yourself cuisine, also look into shabu-shabu, yaki-niku, and nabe. All really fun.
The big buzz in our mission right now is the all-new mormon.org website is now in Japanese! We love using it to show investigators and even members because it has so many great resources. You can go on and look at members' profiles, watch cute videos about family values, and read simple statements about Mormon beliefs. It's such a great tool to share the gospel with your friends. I love how the church is making such great use of social networking. Check it out: http://mormon.org
I hope you guys all have fun! Eat extra cornbread stuffing for me, and give Friday a big squeeze-your-eyeballs-out hug! Love you!