Sunday, November 3, 2013

Arrival of Missionaries!!

June 26, 2013
12 new missionaries - 11 American and 1 Japanese

Welcome treats for the missionaries. Made by my Auntie Vicki.

New missionaries
Sister Wada, President Wada, Me, Paul, Brother Uemura, Elder Rindlisbaucher and Elder Olsen 

Trains, Trains and more Trains . . .

They have been getting used to getting on and off the trains as well as figuring out the train schedules. Gerry has been created a listing of her many train adventures:

Train Incident #1:

"Got on the train okay and was our usual packed sardines because of rush hour. We were about 2 minutes away from Nakano station when the train came to an abrupt stop. Everyone went lunging forward. Don’t know if anyone fell down, but it seemed as though everyone was okay. The board read that there was a passenger injury at the Nakano station. We were stopped for 10-15 minutes, but it seemed longer because we were packed in the train car and standing for that long. It was interesting how everyone seemed so unaffected by the delay. There were people quietly talking on their phones. I am assuming they were calling work to let them know they were going to be late. Most either texted on their phones, listened to whatever was playing in their earphones, slept, or just sat/stood quietly. If people talked they usually spoke in very low voices. The only voices I could hear were two older ladies. Then the fun began!!
When we arrived at the station, when we stepped out of the train, there were throngs of people on the platform. While the train was stopped, the crowds continued to load the platform so they could catch the train. People from the bottom of the platform continued to go up the escalator, not knowing themselves how crowded it was upstairs on the platform. Being on the escalator, it just shoved them into the already crowded platform. We maneuvered our way through the mass of people and onto the escalator. Little did we know what was to await us at the bottom.
At the bottom of the escalator there is a long corridor with about 8 escalators or stairs moving up or down on either side of it. The corridor is jam packed with thousands of people. Escalators are pouring people into this corridor making it even more crowded.
We were poured from the escalator into the even greater mass of people trying to either enter or exit the station, get on escalators to go up to the platform, or people coming down stairs/escalators from the platform. People were being shoved to and fro or moved with the mass. You had to push your way through so that the mass wouldn’t move you in the wrong direction because people are trying to get to their destinations. Paul had to yank his backpack through the crowd and other people were getting their umbrellas and purses caught on other people. While I was in this crushing mass of humanity, I was thinking about the poor people at the soccer games that were crushed and killed in the crowds. Also there are old and physically disabled people. I hope they were okay."

Train Incident #2
"We left for the train station at 9:00am. We had to put money on the Passmo (train card). We have two trains to catch. Kichijoji to Tokyo and Tokyo to Chiba. It should take us about 1 hour to get to Chiba. We made our connection to Tokyo okay. For the connection to Chiba, we were to take the JR train line. I don’t think we went to the right place to catch the train. Paul kept thinking we should catch the red line train (Keio Line). It should only take us 30 minutes from Tokyo to Chiba. After 35 minutes passed, I asked Paul if we were on the right train. Luckily he can read some Japanese and when he checked the train schedule, he said he didn’t think we were on the right train. After an hour and 15 minutes later, getting off the first train, transferring to another train, and asking a few people, we were able to make it to where we were to meet the group. We arrived about 12:00pm. One of these days the train Gods will be good to us."

Train Incident #3
"We didn’t get on the train until after 8:00am We found that was a big mistake. The train was overly crowded. At each stop, more people would push into the car. They would step backwards into the car and begin to push everyone back. It was as crowded in the car as it was in our first train incident. You’d think if you saw that the car was jam packed that they wouldn’t attempt to get in, but they do! Each time we stopped and if I saw people starting to turn their backs to the car, I knew we were in for more smashing. I think the train driver was new or not well trained because he was very jerky in starting and stopping, which made it even more difficult for people to keep their footing. The trains are wonderful for getting us around, but not so fun when packed."

Train Incident #4

"The Harrisons gave us directions on how to get to Hiro-o station, Vicki’s place. We finally made the transfers without incident and surprisingly the train wasn’t too crowded. The thing we haven’t figured out yet is what exit to take out of the station. Of course, we took the wrong exit. The exit we should have taken takes you right out next to the church office and their apartment. We ended up having to walk a ways to their apartment."

Train Incident #5
"We figured that the train shouldn’t be that crowded leaving that late at night. Well, we were wrong.
We were going up the escalator at the first transfer. Paul was about four people ahead of me. Well, when he got to the top of the platform the train was already there. I heard him holler at me to hurry, so I did. Just as I approached the train, the doors began to close. There was Paul on the inside and me on the outside. I don’t know what kind of expression I had on my face, but Paul quickly stuck his arm into the door so it wouldn’t shut, but it didn’t want to open. Another man standing next to the door, helped pry it open and I was able to get in. When I got in the car, Paul said “I told you to hurry.” Not the right thing to say, but he said it kindly. I noticed that the man who helped Paul was just smiling and must have thought we were a hopeless couple. I was just glad that we didn’t get separated because he had the phone and directions on what trains to take home. I think Paul is going to have a good bruise on his arm from the door shutting on it. I’m so glad that we won’t be taking the train every day now. Trains and us don’t seem to get along well."