Monday, November 2, 2015

The Ghost of Halloween Past

Well, it's my last week.  I fly home on Friday.

I'm not sure what I feel.  It's sad, to some degree, to leave Japan, but through Facebook I'm already connected to so many people here, so it'll be easy to keep up relationships.  It's almost like when I moved from Pleasant Grove to Hooper, except this time I'm going back to a place I've been.  I'm looking forward to seeing my family again, and being with them for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  The gospel will stay with me, and so will all the growth I've had on my mission.  I guess it mostly just feels like moving on to the next chapter.

It just occurred to me that one thing that might feel really weird about being home is not having an iPad anymore.  The missionary iPads were intended to replace the paper-and ink Missionary Daily Planners, and so while some other missionaries have been desperately hanging on to paper planners (they're kind of a rare commodity now), I quit using them altogether as soon as the iPads came out last year in January.  I've been relying on this iPad to keep track of things for the past two years.  My family has a cheap smartphone waiting for me when I get back, so we'll see if that can replace it.  :P

We got permission this year to wear costumes at ward Halloween events if the members asked us to.  I ended up just wearing a cardboard sign that said「好きな仮装を想像して下さい。」(Please imagine a costume of your choice.)  We had a talent show and a trick-or-treat (using the church classrooms) and a costume contest and piñatas.  Halloween isn't normally celebrated in neighborhoods in Japan like it is in America, but there's Halloween decorations up in all the shops and some people put together Halloween-type events.  And then yesterday, our investigator was showing us pictures from Shibuya on Halloween night.  (Shibuya is a major downtown area of Tokyo that's outside of our mission boundaries.)  Apparently there were a lot of people in costume there.  

Two years ago, Halloween was my second day in the MTC.  I remember that night back in the dorms so well; the decreasing disorientation, the anticipation of our first lesson in Japanese the next day, the older missionaries running around crazy and throwing candy at everyone and hiding acorns in our closets.  A year later I was in Atsugi, surprised at the huge crowd ofkids that were running around wild at the ward Halloween party.  Somehow we had ten times as many kids at that party as there were in the whole ward.  We had piñatas there, too.  Piñatas are fun.

I feel like I've had a strange mission... but looking back at it now, I don't think I'd have it any other way.

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