Japanified Älplermagronen

This Wednesday, Ciera and I decided to go to Waseda University to talk to some students and invite them to the Bible Café. We went during lunchtime and ate in the cafeteria before exploring the campus. Although we were a bit overwhelmed by the size of the campus and felt shy about approaching people, we managed to have a short conversation with a girl we met. Unfortunately, we didn’t have much time left after that because I had a phone call with my mom scheduled for the afternoon. Despite our hesitation, we still considered our time on campus successful as we learned how the cafeteria works and familiarized ourselves with the campus.

In the evening, we attended power night where Christian discussed spiritual growth and highlighted the faith of Joshua and Caleb. It was an inspiring and thought-provoking session.

On Thursday we went to Waseda again, at around the same time, to do the same thing. This time around we were already a bit braver in approaching students. So we managed to stop three groups, talk to them a little bit and eventually invite them to the Takoyaki Party that would take place later that day. One group, of three girls seemed interested and said that they would love to come, until they saw the time when the party would take place. Unfortunately, they had a class then. The other two groups we stopped unfortunately didn’t seem as interested. After our third attempt, we decided to take a quick break before the other members of the Bible Café would arrive. at around 4 PM Zion joined as, and shortly after Christian, Naomi, and finally Yukie arrived. We had a quick discussion, prayed for the upcoming event and then split into groups of two to go out again and try to invite people to come. I was put in a group with Zion, and we talked to an exchange student from the Netherlands. This student had already made plans for that night but was interested in coming some other day. Amid our conversation, we realized that we were late for the Bible Café so we quickly exchanged our social media contact and said our goodbyes. At the Bible Café, we started with worship, then we played a quick icebreaker game which I had prepared, after this Ciera shared her testimony before Christian shared a quick message.

Finally, it was time for Takoyaki. We were all given some toothpicks and were instructed on how to separate the dough and turn the balls so that they would be golden brown.

After we had finished eating it was already time to leave the room we had rented, so we quickly cleaned everything before heading home.

On Friday I went to Shinjuku, to explore and walk around. In the evening I had my first English conversation class. My student’s English level was already really good, and her main wish was, to practice conversation, as she usually does not get to talk in English. It was a lot of fun and it didn’t feel like teaching. After our hour was over, I returned to Sengawa, to have dinner with Ciera before going to prayer night.

Saturday was full of fun. In the afternoon all of my roommates and I went to Shinjuku. Llyza wanted to introduce us to an Indonesian café, where we spent some time drinking coffee and talking. We then continued our trip to Futako-tamagawa where we went to eat Crepes for dinner. After we went to get Bubble Tea before heading out to meet some other church members. Instead of meeting at our usual outreach place, we decided to meet here, because there would be fireworks at the river that day.

We were overwhelmed by massive crowds of people who all had the same plans as us.

While waiting for Zion and Yuri, the rest of us (Llyza, Yuka, Ciera, Christian, Shinsuke and I) tried to start some conversations with people who were also waiting for friends. After Zion and Yuri arrived we started to walk towards the river, which turned out to be a longer journey than expected. In these massive crowds, we were only able to move slowly, and all the shortcuts were closed, so we had to take the long route. It took us about 40 minutes to walk, but the entire time we were able to enjoy the fireworks. When we finally arrived at the river, the final show was already being announced. So we stood there, and enjoyed the beautiful 4-minute show, before already starting to return. Once again, slowly in the massive crowds. Tired but also happy we returned home.

This Sunday it was my job to prepare lunch for the church members. As per Llyza’s wish, I decided to make Älplermagronen. This turned out to be more difficult than expected. In Japan, they apparently don’t know apple sauce, so I decided to make it myself. But, apples can only be bought individually and one single apple was surprisingly expensive. So I decided that this Älplermagronen would have to do without apple sauce. Potatoes and Pasts were also only sold in small portions, which was rather confusing for me, but understandable, considering that these are not commonly used products in Japan (the biggest bags of potatoes contained 5 potatoes, and the biggest pasta bags were 200g, except for spaghetti which can be bought in bigger quantities). For the cheese I had only one option to choose from, but at least they had big bags. I fried the onions at home and Yuka boiled the potatoes ahead of time so that I only had to cook the pasta in church and then throw everything together. My church members were all very happy with the food, saying that this was a very satisfying meal. In addition to this task, I was also assigned to the „Wellcome Team“ with Ciera. We took this job very seriously and shouted a loud, over-friendly „WELCOME“ to everyone who came. However, it was mainly church members who had briefly left the room and returned that we could greet in this way, but even they had their fun with our welcome greetings.

In the two services, Christian continued talking about spiritual growth and about snares and pits from which we should free ourselves. After the afternoon service, we once again sat together for a while and talked about various things. At dinner time, Llyza, Anna, Yukie, Cierra and I went to an Italian restaurant that serves handmade paste, and we finished the day together with great food and many laughs.

Ps. The fireworks apparently had no specific reason. This event was held simply because fireworks are great.