Jane Laimana ('89-'90)
Da Train! Da Train!
I was serving in '89-'90. We were at the train station seeing off my companion. As we all know the trains in Japan
run like clock work. You can set your watch by them. Goto Shimai had a lot of stuff, so
being the helpful shimai I was I helped her board with her bags, I guess it took longer than 5 minutes because the next thing I knew I was
looking out the window and all the members that came along for the farewells started to shout at me, jumping up &
down waving there arms, I was confused for a split second until I noticed the train started moving. OH NO! (It
flashed in my mind that I was going with my ex companion to her new area.) Luckily the Members shouted Loud
enough so that they actually stopped the train long enough to eject me! We all had a good laugh and the members
told me that they have never seen them stop a train like that before.
Submitted by Barbara Doolin
Now, where were we going?
I still laugh at this experience to this day! My Companion, Vickie Smith, and I had been out dendo-ing one evening
and were ready to head home. As we were standing at the bus stop a car drove up and stopped. There were several men in it and they were offering us a ride. We politely declined. They drove off, but returned a few minutes later. (Much to our dismay.) We decided to go around the corner and seek assistance from a nearby home. Smith Shimai told me to follow her.
Remember, it is very dark and we are on unfamiliar "turf". We were basically tiptoeing along trying not to attract attention. All of a sudden I hear a splash and all I can see is Smith Shimai's
silhouette jolt in surprise as she steps into a fish pond! The water went up to her thigh! Of course this was in winter and she was wearing heavy stockings. I was laughing so
hard, she kept shushing me since we were trying to avoid our pursuers. Luckily it was only one leg! We did finally catch the bus and made it back to the apartment. Maybe Flashlights should be required for all
Submitted by Jared
If I remember correctly
it was my first branch dendo. I has just arrived in my first area, Hiroshima. I
was sent to dendo with David Linderman Choro in a high-rise apartment building.
Linderman Choro had only been in Nihon about six months. I think we started on
the fifth floor. When it was my turn to do an approach, I pushed a large red
button near the apartment door. I thought it was the door bell, but it was a
fire alarm. When the alarm went off, Linderman Choro leaned over the balcony and
said he was going to throw-up; even though he didn't. Of course, I didn't know
what to say so Linderman Choro had to explain to all the people running out of
their apartments that it was a false alarm. He was pretty understanding about
it. At least, as far as I could tell, he didn't call me a baka.
About six months later
we became companions. That's when he threw-up.
Submitted by Wayne
W. Summers ('56-'59)
When you read this
you'll think I served with Pres. Grant, but there REALLY was a mission in
1956-59, however, this story happened in Tokyo just before I was transferred to
Fukuoka Branch. Elder Jimmy Fox and I were 'greenies' in Oct. 1956 and went to a
public ofuro in Shibuya for the first Time. There was a young lady in the men's
side cleaning up, straitening, etc. Elder Fox and I started to get undressed and
saw her and said NO Way! We asked for our 10 yen back (3 cents American in 1956,
360 to 1) and left. We didn't go to the ofuro for 2-3 weeks. The Japanese Branch
Pres. who spoke very good English (There was NO Japanese Language MTC in 1956)
finally called us into his office and said, "The Br. members are
complaining Elders. GO TO THE OFURO!" if the Pb/B.P. calls you must go,
desho! How embarrasing!
Submitted by Gordon
There were four of us
in a dendo-sho in Yatsushiro. The Lord was blessing us greatly with wonderful
contacts - we went from 1 member to nearly 20 in six months! My dode at that
time was Jeff Crandall from Mesa, AZ. He taught me how to enjoy being a
missionary and not be so serious while also accomplishing the work. I know he
had a very quick mind that worked in very interesting ways, but that didn't
fully become apparent until one night when he had already gone to sleep and I
was just falling asleep. He started talking in his sleep and uttered the
following phrase: Mikan! Mikan! M-I-C-K-E-Y se-n-kyo-shi - All to the tune of
Mickey Mouse club! At this, the door between the two rooms opened and the DL
looked in to see what was going on. Crandall-kun woke up and told us he'd been
dreaming that we were standing above him throwing mikans. This was his way of
telling us to stop. We must have laughed for a good 1/2 hour after that before
we finally went back to bed.
This is from Lynn Roe
who served from 1974 to 1976...
train ride...to Gojo.
While in Japan for only 2 weeks I had to participate in a ZL exchange. One of
the ZLs in Fukuoka was coming to Kurume, my branch, to visit and I needed to go
to Fukuoka to be companion to the other ZL. Getting to Hakata was no problem.
Getting back was. Reese choro and Sylvester choro put me on my return train at
Hirao Eki. Reese choro told me which train to board so I got on. Going to
Fukuoka from Kurume I remembered stopping in Futsukaichi and then continuing
straight on to Fukuoka. So when my return train stopped in Futsukaichi and went
back out the way it came in and on a different track, I knew something was
wrong. The train stopped at a 'futsu' stop called Gojo. I got off only to watch
the train I needed back to Futsukaichi, leaving. I sat and waited for the next
one. Once back at Futsukaichi, being inexperienced with both trains and
language, I proceeded to guess which train would take me to Kurume. My guess put
me back on a train to... you guessed it, Gojo. Ma!
king the round trip again didn't build my confidence. Once again back at
Futsukaichi Eki I went looking for a phone. I knew that if I went through the
ticket turn-stiles that I wouldn't be able to get back to the trains. Guess
where the phones were. So, not using the phone, I went back toward the trains.
Saying a prayer that I would be directed, I headed for the noriba that felt
right. Still not sure if I really could communicate with my new language, I sat
on a bench next to a mother and daughter, forming the words to query a question
in my head. Looking down the track a train was fast approaching. I needed to ask
now! I didn't want to go to Gojo again. Turning to the mother I asked 'Kono
kisha ga Kurume ni ikimasu ka?'. The reply went completely over my head. I said
'Wakaremasen'. She said something else. Again I said 'Wakaremasen'. Finally she
said 'Dame'. That, I understood. Watching the train, it stopped in front of us
but the doors didn't open. It then left the station. !
Sitting awhile another train approached, a Tokyu. The lady stood up and motioned
me to get on this train. I got on and it was off to Kurume. Once to Kurume Eki I
excitedly caught a taxi, saying 'Minami machi Yubin Kyoku no mae'. The entire
trip had taken about 3 hours, normally 30 minutes. Thinking my companion,
Campbell choro, would be worried I rushed in to find Salisbury choro sitting on
the genkon step polishing shoes. I asked if they were worried but they hadn't
even noticed. I felt I needed this experience just to show myself that I really
could use my language. Thanks Reese choro!
This is from Bruce
Brunger, who server from 1980 to 1982...
I was a greenie fresh from the MTC with my first dode, Jeppsen Choro, in north Sasebo, where we had a small
dendo-sho. It was a cold December morning and we were waiting at the bus station for a bus that would take us downtown (bike riding on the icy streets would've been hazardous). Two little girls in their shogakko uniforms were across the street from us, giggling at us and pointing, as most kids do when they've never seen gaijins up close. They decided to run down the underground pedestrian passway to emerge on our side of the street, and tease us, then run back over to their side. Jeppsen choro and I got a bright idea: when the kids submerged again in the pedestrian tunnel to come over to tease us, we'll sneak down our side of the tunnel, wait on the stairs, then jump out and scare them for a good laugh.....Well, we saw the kids
run down their stairway into the pedestrian tunnel as if they were going to come over and tease us again...Jeppsen choro and I promptly sneaked down our side stairs, and waited carefully around the corner, listening to the kids giggling voices as they approached....it sounded like they were just about to round the corner to our stairway, and Jeppsen choro was ready to lead our pounce....I grabbed his arm to hold him back, because I wasn't sure if the kids were close
enough...Jeppsen choro jumped out into the tunnel anyway with a blood-curdling roar...but then his face froze with horror, and then he hightailed it up the stairway in fright, leaving me on the stairs...just as I turned my head away from my fleeing
dode, I saw a little stooped-over obaa-san waddling around the corner...she probably skipped a heartbeat when ol Jeppsen choro's hulking figure jumped out at her....all I got from her was a pained, confused look as I also ran back up the stairs......!
This story is from Phil Roundy,
who served from 1976 to 1978...
I was serving in Kumamoto with Elder Welker. We would stop sometimes at a bakery and get mimi pan. Some times when yen permitted we
would indulge in some, not sweet enough, japanese pastrey. The whole front of the building was glass windows with two sliding glass doors of each side. The doors were always open, or a least they always HAD been. We stopped by one day in the evening on our way home. The sun had just set and from where I was parking my bike I noticed that I could see the sunset in the whole front of the building. It reminded me of how clean they always kept all the glass, including the glass in the doors, that were for the first time, shut. From where Elder Welker was standing he couldn't see the sunset or the clean glass,,,,, or, because the glass was so clean, that the doors were closed, and he walked right into the glass door that was covering the opening he was attempting to enter through. The whole building shook as I realized and called out, too late. When we got inside the look on all the girls faces made me think that they must of thought that it was an earth quake, at first. I couldn't help but laugh. I laughed even harder when we exited the building and we closed the door behind us we noticed that there was a nose and forehead print on the glass of the door. I thank heaven that the Japanese are good glass makers and that Elder Welker was somewhat smaller than some of the
BYU, 300 pound football players that go out on missions.
This is a story from Kenny
Gleed, who served from 1978 to
When I served in Kita Kyushu the two "dode" sets in our apartments went out on the fourth of July to a small park to light of fireworks in celebration. We soon found ourselves in a war among a few young Japanese teenagers shooting roman candles, bottle rockets, etc. at each other. The ruckus finally ended when we saved our best weapon for last. It was some sort of huge fire ball at least 6 inches in diameter...We never had any return fire after that. We did feel bad about essentially acting "out of character" but it was fun!