What a fun day!! I got to speak Japanese most of the day (which always makes me happy). I had my bi-weekly Japanese lesson for two hours, met two different, adorable college girls this afternoon and evening, and then randomly ran into my French friend who invited me to a party with lots of Japanese people at his apartment. I was so happy to be able to meet new Japanese friends who are my neighbors.

So…Wednesday night in my beginner’s class I had two new students for a total of four ladies. I asked them, “What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?” I told them I have eaten squid ink and frog’s legs. One lady said PIG EARS, another GRASSHOPPERS, and another lady replied BABY BEES! It reminded me that I am definitely in another country!

I have “graduated” to third grade in my KANJI studies. I am studying KANJI every day  – kanji are the Chinese characters that Japanese people use to read and write. I finished my second grade book and have moved on to third grade. Basically I know the same amount of Japanese as an eight year old. Great. Hopefully I can finish third and fourth grade by next spring or early summer – that’s my goal, anyway. I can recognize a lot of other kanji beyond this level but I can’t write them on my own so that’s why I am going through the kanji in a systematic way, to be able to both read them and write them well by myself.

I am still recovering from the Passion Conference. I wasn’t sure what to expect but it was an amazing night – about 2,000 people gathered to Shibuya, Tokyo to sing praises to God and hear a great message by Louie Giglio. I enjoyed myself so much and was deeply encouraged by Louie’s message about grace. The evening closed with Chris Tomlin singing, “and greater things are still to be done in this city, and greater things are still to be done in Tokyo!” as beautiful images of Tokyo came up on the screen. That really moved me to tears as I was reminded that God is really working in Japan, drawing people to Himself even though so few people here seem to respond to the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I am now unofficially planning and hoping to stay here in Nagoya for another year or so. I talked to my coach at MTW about staying on and I really hope God opens the doors for me to stay. Sometimes people ask me what I want to do after that but I can’t think that far!

Here are a few photos from the Passion Conference:

Here is the SCRAMBLE – a world-famous intersection in Tokyo near the CC Lemon Hall where the event was held.

Mary in front of CC Lemon Hall

My row

A video of “How Great Thou Art” by Chris Tomlin (IN JAPANESE!)