Knowing My Limits

It’s hard to believe that I am now more than halfway through my language course at JLCC (Japanese Language and Culture Centre, Sapporo). Every morning I have two 45-minute one-on-one language classes, and the rest of the day is self-study. Once a week there is also a cultural orientation, such as when we visited a local Shinto shrine to see Japanese religious practices in action. At the shrine there was a poster stipulating to the exact degree how much one should bow while praying!

I am finding the language classes enjoyable, thanks to my eccentric (in a good way) teacher, however full-time language study is more difficult than I anticipated. It is quite a leap to go from two hours a week of Japanese class at home to almost two hours a day. It’s made more difficult when I’m having a bad arthritis day – you can’t zone out when you’re the only one in class! However, the staff at the centre have been very understanding and accommodating.

I am very glad that I decided to come here for a month before committing to anything longer after I finish my degree, because now that I see how truly intense the process of becoming a missionary is I am coming to the conclusion that my health is simply not up to it at the minute. I now appreciate all the more how accessible healthcare is at home, and also how much I rely on my family support network. Of course, my parents already told me all of this but I didn’t listen because I am impulsive. The main lesson I will take away from this trip is to listen to the counsel of elders and know my limits!

Picture from the Aquarium trip

I have been taking practical steps to make things easier for myself, such as not going for big cycles on my day off. I love cycling but it means I will be wiped the week after. I will leave that until my two weeks of travelling in September. For now, I use my days off to do things that are fun but less physically demanding, such as visiting the aquarium with friends or chilling at the rabbit cafe. I think the rabbit café should have a loyalty card, ten visits and you get a free rabbit. Perfectly reasonable.

I am not going to throw the towel in for these last two weeks. I’m going to keep giving it my best so I can make the most of this amazing opportunity. It certainly won’t go to waste. I may be incapable of being here long term, but there are plenty of outreach cafes for international students at Queen’s that I may be able to help with. Maybe there will be a Japanese student or two…


Prayer requests:

  • That I would stay motivated in my final weeks at language school
  • That I would feel physically and mentally up to the challenge
  • Please pray for all the amazing OMF staff that work tirelessly every day in order to teach and support us

2 thoughts on “Knowing My Limits

  1. Erin, thanks for your in depth report on how your doing.
    We pray for you often and we know that you’ll finish well, in Japan.
    The Lord watch over you and make His face shine on you and give you, health and peace.

  2. Hello Erin so good to hear what you are up to!
    That course sounds very intense and I hope and pray you are able to complete it.
    Have fun as well while you are there and enjoy time with friends.
    Keep in touch with your parents they will be worrying about you especially when you’re health is not so good!

    God will take care of you!!
    Bye for now
    Love from your ole friends Anne and Billy Glenn

    God bless!! Xx

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