As an update to my last post, my favorite sumo rikishi (wrestler) ended the tournament with a winning record and the probability that he will move up in rank. That’s good. And, while he didn’t do well for awhile, in the end, he was the only rikishi to beat the Grand Champion. The champion would have been undefeated in this tournament, except for my wrestler. So, that says something. This tournament was more interesting than the one in September, since we have developed a rivalry in the house. My one housemate has taken to cheering for the Grand Champion. The tournament is over now, but the rivalry will come again when the next tournament begins in January.
My Japanese class is going fine, except for one tiny thing. In December we are going to have speech day. If you happen to find yourself in Tokyo on Dec. 16, you are invited to attend. Our teacher said we’d be expected to invite people to our spech day. She didn’t say they actually had to come :) It wouldn’t be so bad if we didn’t have to memorize our speeches. A speech in Japanese AND it has to be memorized???!! Yikes! I decided to tell a story about a cat named Yuki (that’s “snow” in Japanese, and she is a white cat. Not very creative, but my vocab is rather limited yet).
Also, I bet you wonder what I do on Sunday mornings, since I am here with the ELCA as a missionary. Each of us is assigned a different cogregation. My congregation is Hoya Lutheran Church. It is near my house, and it is a wonderful little congregation. The people there are so friendly and welcoming. There are two women pastors at Hoya; one of them studied at the Lutheran seminary in Philadelphia. Usually I practice my Japanese after worship during lunch, but it’s nice to know there are people who know English to help me along! I don’t understand everything that goes on during worship, because everything is in Japanese, but I know basic words, such as God, Jesus, worship and “Let us pray.” I can look up the Bible verses, sometimes following along (in English, of course, but listening to the Japanese). Also, I have joined the choir. Right now we’re singing “O, Holy Night” for Christmas, so I only have to work on learning the Japanese, and not the notes as much.
On Sunday evenings I worship at a different local church which offers an English service on Sunday nights. Last night I was the preacher, so that was fun. It was nice to be able to lead worship again. There is comfort in that role: in the midst of Japanese studies, when Japanese studies confound me, the rituals of worship calm and orientate me again.