I am so thankful that the people in this country are patient with me and
willing to help when I don't know what to do. This past week, my tire went
flat, so I pulled my car over and ran to the nearest gas station. I had
another English lesson to teach, so I prayed that my tire would be fixed in
time for me to make the appointment. One of the men at the gas station
recognized me from the last time I took my car there, so he asked me where
my car was and then went to find it. He had to call the gas station from
his cell phone because he couldn't find my car. The worker at the gas
station who picked up the phone tried to tell me that the man wanted to talk
to me, but it took me a long time to understand him. When he realized I
didn't understand his Japanese, he said, "Car not find." However, I thought
he said, "Car not fine." I thought to myself, "Of course it's not fine.
That's why I came here for help!" Finally, I realized what he was saying,
so I took the phone from him and tried to explain again where my car was.
After a lot of misunderstanding each other, he finally found it and was able
to bring it back to the station. I sat in the waiting area and studied my
kanji flashcards while he fixed my car's tire (the air tube - or whatever
you call it - needed to be replaced). He then told me that I should get
snow tires soon because my current tires would not do well on slippery
roads. I told him I had an English lesson to teach that night but that I
would get the new tires soon. After all that work he only charged me about
550 yen! So even though getting a flat tire is not something I would wish
for, it was a good experience for me because it forced me to communicate in
Japanese in a different kind of situation than I am used to. Also, I was
still able to make it to my English class only five minutes late. Praise
the Lord!

# by Melissa-log | 2006-12-09 12:28

あんこは、sweet red beans、餅はrice squares

あんこは、sweet red beans,餅はrice squares

Today I taught my nursery English class. The kids are between the ages of 2
and 4. They are all so cute! They have a lot of fun singing, dancing, making
crafts, and doing many other things. The youngest one, who is 2 years old,
usually has a fun time, but today he wanted his mother to take him home. He
screamed so loud that one of the girls said in Japanese, "It would be better
if it were quiet," or something like that ("shizuka no ho ga ii").

Later I went shopping and bought some yarn from a 100 yen shop. I am making
myself a warm hat because it's getting cold. Today was actually kind of
warm, though. I also bought some sweet red beans (anko) so I can make a
dessert I tried at my missionary friend's house. I don't remember the name
of the dessert, but it's really good. You boil the red beans, and you put
pounded rice squares (mochi) in it, so it's a little bit like soup. It's a
nice dessert for cold weather.

Later today I am going to my next class which I teach inside a church. It's
a new class; it just started two weeks ago. One of the missionaries is
helping me teach them for now. There are about ten kids, and their parents
like to watch, too. I get a little bit nervous sometimes, but I think I will
get used to it like I have my other classes.

Right now, I am looking forward to Thanksgiving!


# by Melissa-log | 2006-11-30 13:01


Hello, Here is my second blog.

Last Saturday, but I had a lot of fun spending practically the whole day
with friends at one of the churches here. We always get together to play
music and sing hymns and praise songs on Saturday mornings, and today
we had
women's Bible study, as well. After playing music, we walked to the nearest
convenient store and bought some lunch. After lunch, we kicked the four guys
out so we gals could start our Bible study. It was my turn to lead, so I'm
going through the book of Esther. I wanted especially to discuss with them
about chapter 4 verse 14's "...for such a time as this." We talked about the
fear of man vs. the fear of God and how Esther overcame her fear of King
Xerxes after Mordecai told her that God may have raised her to a royal
position at just that time to be the salvation for the Jews. We talked about
how we all have that struggle with fear, especially with our fear for our
own reputations. It was a good discussion, and I think we'll talk more about
Esther next month since some of them had never read the book before. We then
decided we'd sing some more. We ended up staying until about 6 p.m. I'm
already wanting to sing Christmas songs (which I normally despise doing
until after Thanksgiving). I guess Christmas and coming home are linked
together in my mind right now. I'm enjoying my time here and am glad I get
to return after my two week stay in the U.S., but I'm really looking forward
to seeing everybody back in the States.
My Japanese classes are going well, but I have not been doing very much
homework. There are people from several different countries in my class:
India, USA, Korea, Hungary, and China. It is so interesting to study with
all of these people!

# by Melissa-log | 2006-11-28 11:45


I have been in Japan for 7 months now, and I am having a great time!
I have made several friends, both Japanese and foreigners alike. I have
never had my own apartment before, so living in a Japanese apartment by
myself is a learning experience. When I first moved in, I didn't know how
to take care of the tatami mats, so they grew a lot of mold during the
rainy season! I didn't notice for about a week, but then I looked at the
floor, and it was green and hairy! I called one of my friends, and she
and her husband came over to help me clean it up. They were very kind.
They also had to teach me how to use my ofuro because bathtubs in America
are very different.
I like going to the different shops in my neighborhood. The 100 yen
shops remind me of the $1.00 stores we have in America, but the products
are very different. Right now I'm buying Christmas presents for my family
in North Carolina. I found some very cute kitty chopsticks in a
second-hand store (recycle shop). We also have a lot of second-hand
stores in America, but the American stores take almost everything, whereas
the Japanese stores only take items that are in really good condition.
I am here as a missionary associate, so I do whatever I can to help
the local Christian churches. I also teach private English lessons to
support myself. Right now I have Japanese and Korean students. They are
so fun! I have been studying Japanese very much while I've been here, and
I hope to continue to improve in my communication skills. I also hope to
be able to read more. I can read hiragana and katakana, but I am still
struggling with kanji. However, I really enjoy studying Japanese, and my
hope is to be fluent someday.

# by Melissa-log | 2006-11-04 10:57