Sunday was commissioning day for the new missionary, and it was nice. My friend "Eclecticmass" (That's his screen name for you bloggers out there) came over for the morning. The whole thing went rather quickly, actually. The pastors said some words; I said "I will, and I ask God to help and guide me." I don't know what I agreed to really ... the words all seemed to blur together. I probably agreed to give away my first born child and stuff like that. Whatever -- I'm flexible. Anyway, then the pastors put their hands on my head, and poof....I'm commissioned.
In all seriousness, it was wonderful to be able to have a ritual in my home congregation like that. They've been waiting as long as I have for this day. Now I am in Chicago for orientation. I'll spend three weeks here. The first couple weeks are ecumenical, so I am meeting missionaries from the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Reformed Church in America, as well as all the ELCA missionaries. I met the other three people going to Tokyo on the J-3 program, and a family going to Japan to teach at the college level in Kumamoto.
Also, new news: Today I received my airplane tickets!!! And the housing arrangements for Tokyo. The two other J-3 women and I will be living in a 3-bedroom house and there is a guy who will have his own apartment. We will be in Tokyo until March learning Japanese. In February we will each be assigned to our jobs and move in March.
That's all for now. Keep watching for updates!