Life has been good this past week. I've been getting really worn down by people usually by the time Sunday comes around...new relationships are exhausting...but I am learning how wonderful the concept of having a Sabbath is. My Sabbath is Monday because it is my day off and the beginning of a new week. I am not allowed to do anything with people on Mondays. And by the end of Monday, I am almost always ready to open up and go out and meet people with a friendly, enthusiastic face again.
Even aside from Monday and resting, this week was pretty good, though. My Thursday class and I are improving our relationship quite a bit. Last Thursday I brought in an article for them on "doyo", which are Japanese children's songs. This week, we're going to translate a doyo in class. I normally don't let them do translation, since these are advanced students who need to learn how to think in English to get the kind of fluidness that they need. But I think this will help them. Apparently the songs are very difficult to translate because the Japanese is very simple, so if it were translated word for word, it would lose the meaning for English speakers, who need language to be a little more wordy and complex. So, the idea is that we will need to translate ideas, not words. I hope it goes well!
I gave another message at the English service Sunday night. I think talking went all right, but many things went wrong. One of those moments where it was like...oops. Forgot to tell prayer buddies about tonight ahead of time. First the copy machine had a very random malfunction. There was no error message. It scanned and copied the first page, but refused to scan the second page. It was fine to keep making copies of the first page. Only three people came to the service, which was a pretty low turnout. Last time I had fifteen or sixteen. It is weird to prepare a message assuming the people I will be talking to will be mixed Christian and non-Christian, and then have a group of three Christians to talk to, two of whom are missionaries and one of whom is very active in a neighboring Assemblies of God church. I'm really glad I only have to lead the service once a month, though. It is very difficult for me to focus on both God and preparation details, or God and playing the piano, or God and the people who are worshiping. I remember my dad saying that communion was the best part of the worship service for him because it was the one time when his back was to the congregation and it was only him and God. If you pray for religious leaders, there's something to pray for: that they would be able to truly know God's presence in the midst of being a leader and that they would have others in their lives to take over leadership sometimes so that they can focus on God and nothing else during times of worship.