Sunday, December 25, 2016


Our Fruit Basket was loaded!

Merry CHRISTmas from the Kamakura 宣教師(missionaries)

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas! Hopefully no one got
any coal! If you did...well you have next year to improve :) I love
Christmas so much. In Japan, it isn't as big of a holiday as it is in
America and couples usually go on dates instead of people spending
time with their family. Nevertheless, it's still great!

From now on, I am going to try to keep these updates shorter,
especially this one. It was a slow week. We had Christmas Conference
at the mission home on 水。It was amazing! We enjoyed several talks and
food! The food reminded me of potlucks back at my home ward. We also
did White Elephant (gift exchanges). I even got to see my MTC kouhai!
On 金、the 鎌倉 ward had a Christmas party. Once again, super fun and
great food! The primary had a skit about the birth of Jesus; it was so
adorable! And by the way, Japanese children are sooooo cute! A few
nonmembers, investigators, and 英会話 students came too. A pretty great
turn out!

Church was cut short because of Christmas; we only had sacrament
meeting. Even though I could barely understand it, I still felt the
spirit. In Japan, wards have a "Fruit Basket" for the missionaries.
Every week, that basket gets filled with food and the missionaries
collect it after church. Due to Christmas, that basket was filled 2-3
times more! We are so grateful for the church members! For those back
at home, this is such a great idea! It helps us so much, especially
because we don't have too much time to shop for food. After church, we
went with Suzuki兄弟 and Tsuchiya姉妹 to Christmas carol at a nearby
carehome. I loved it! Music speaks to me on a different level so that
was extra special. Seeing those people smile just made me feel the
Christmas spirit so much more. After caroling, we went back to the
church. We met a super amazing guy, Imaeda-san, while walking home. He
shared a lot about his life, including the rough times. His wife died
recently so he has been living just with his 14 year old daughter. He
mentioned that whenever he walks past our church, he was curious about
what is inside. So we gave him a tour and talked a bit about the
church. We exchanged contact info and offered him a Plan of Salvation
pamphlet and Book of Mormon. He gladly accepted and agreed to meet
again. It was a Christmas miracle! He was definitely prepared by the
Lord! We then had a shokuji (meal) with the Matsumoto family. The food
was soooo good! And get this, it was an American-style meal! It
reminded me of Christmas dinner back home. The Matsumoto's are so
sweet! We also shared the "Light the World" video and talked about
service. What a great Christmas!

I hope all of you are taking the time to remember the real reason we
celebrate Christmas. God gave the greatest gift of all, His son, Jesus
Christ. Christ gave us the gift of the Atonement. I testify that
through Jesus Christ and the gospel, we can improve our lives and live
with our Heavenly Father again. I love everything about this gospel
and how it has changed my life. Even though Christmas is coming to an
end, I ask all of you to always remember Christ and always look for
opportunities to serve others. I know you will be blessed if you do it
from your heart. As always, thank you for the support and love. I wish
all of you a very Merry Christmas!! Please continue to spread that
CHRISTmas love!

-Elder Chab
チャブ長老 or 茶武長老

Sunday, December 18, 2016


My last few days in Shonan area have been an adventure! P-day was hectic, as usual. We went to Kaneko 姉妹's house in the evening to join the Harvey family and Tashibu family for family home evening. They are return missionaries! They are the best! They prepared some delicious food! It reminded me of home! Especially because one was similar to a dish my grandma makes, I called it Mint Chicken. Mom, you'd know what I am talking about lol. After eating we shared a message about Christmas. I am a bit sad that I won't get to see them anymore but I promised I'd visit them after my mission.

About the car incident.. Jödicke 長老 and I were heading back from church with more cookies. We were on the sidewalk; sidewalks aren't as wide as they are in the US. A group of 10 men or so were in front of me and I couldn't go around. Then there was this pole in the middle of the sidewalk. Another biker was coming the opposite way and the group moved closer to my side to make room for the biker to pass. Well they ended up bumping me towards the side closer to the street. Since I didn't have much space to begin with, my front wheel fell off the sidewalk into the street. The light also just turned green! Since I was trying to regain my balance, I couldn't move completely out of the way in time. A car going about 15-20MPH ticked my front wheel and I barely had enough time to move completely out of the way. The group of men asked if I was okay and then I took off to catch up with my companion. It was a miracle that both my bike and I were unharmed! This all happened in about 10 seconds. Hopefully that's the closest I'll come to an accident.

On 水曜, we went to the Chigasaki駅 to carol and kubari again. We didn't have much success as last time and no members came out. I was kinda disappointed and it didn't help because I was already feeling down during the day. We went to a soba shop for dinner and then headed back to the church for 英会話. It was great, except I had to say bye to everyone. The Tatebayashi's and Abe's were there so I talked with them and then we took pictures. I'm going to miss the Shonan ward so much!

Transfer day was also hectic. I said bye to Jödicke 長老 as he left to Kichijoji. The rest of us went to the station to pick up Poff 長老 and then went to the mall to study. Ayala 長老 had to leave next; he's going to Kofu, which is very far. We then went to Carl's Jr. for lunch. After lunch, we got our stuff and went to the station again. I got on my train for Ofuna and Poff 長老 for Fujisawa. Carrying a bag, bike, and a suitcase on my back was not easy! Luckily it wasn't too long of a train ride. I transferred to the Odakyu line and headed for Kamakura. I waited for Lind 長老 and Coleman 長老. Later in the evening, we met up with a PI, Haru, in Shichirigahama. We ate pancakes at a shop near the beach. Haru used to be a bad kid in school, until his teacher talked to him. He changed everything; his dream is to help the kids in Africa! What a great dream! And he is still in high school! We taught him about baptism and he accepted a soft invitation to baptism! He is very promising! We also met couple Mormons from Washington state.They were dressed as Santa Claus and Mrs.Claus; they just got back from a charity event at a children's hospital. So, my first day in 鎌倉(Kamakura) was pretty great!

We haven't had much success lately. We met with Nakachi兄弟 the other day; he's way cool! He got baptized in July and he loves the gospel! Other than that, we've been trying to do a lot of street contacting. Since 鎌倉 is a popular tourist site, everything dies down at night, so it's hard to do anything after 8. Most of the time we just contact people from the area book and try to visit  potential investigators.

My companions Lind 長老 and Coleman 長老 are great. Elder Lind is on transfer 5 and Elder Coleman is on 12. There are some crazy hills in this I don't have to worry about leg day. It's been an adventure so far and I'm sure there will be more, so I'm excited. Thank you so much for reading every week! I'm sorry it's so long but it's hard to sum up everything during the week. Since you won't here from me until the day of, MERRY CHRISTMAS!! メール・クリスマス🎄!

Family home evening with Harvey 姉妹と兄弟、Tashibu兄弟と姉妹 and Kaneko姉妹 last week! 

Lesson with Nakachi兄弟!

Kamakura missionaries plus the Zone Leaders Perez長老 and Gerrard長老

-Elder Chab
チャブ長老 or 茶武長老

Sunday, December 11, 2016

We made cookies for the members and investigators!

Kazushi and I! He wanted a nametag for the picture so my companion gave him his!


At Shakeys!

Christmas Caroling!

Nagai 兄弟 made a card of all the missionaries in the ward!

So this past transfer was only 4 weeks instead of 6. Our mission
president didn't want anyone to be traveling around Christmas time and
for missionaries going home, they can get home on time for Christmas.
With that said, I got my transfer email on Saturday!! It says:
"For this next transfer, you will be assigned to Kamakura A in the
Fujisawa East Zone as a Junior Companion. Your companion will be Elder
Coleman and Elder Lind. "
So I am going from the Fujisawa West Zone to the Fujisawa East Zone!
It's not too far away by train, maybe 30 mins or so. It'll be
interesting being in a trio! Traveling itself won't be so fun though.
I have to carry my bag, bike, and my carry-on luggage. It's going to
be a mess. Hopefully I figure it out!

Remember the potential investigator from last week? The one that
believed that the world was uncivilized before 1863? I'll call him
Fred for now lol My companion and I met with him at the church on
Tuesday. Fred read a little bit of the Book of Mormon so that's why we
decided to meet again. After we sat down, he began to tell us more of
his beliefs. He mentioned that there is a lot of evil in the world and
that the devil is everywhere..I mean, he isn't wrong lol After about
15 minutes (he can talk a lot), we decided to be a little pushy and
told him we wanted to start. We taught him how to pray and then said a
prayer. We talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was a very good
listener; he asked questions and we answered, we'd ask him questions
related to the principle and he'd give his input. We really felt the
Spirit during the lesson; we didn't feel a good presence before we
prayed. After going through the lesson, we asked if he would be
baptized when he knows our message is true. He didn't really give an
answer and then began to tell us more about his beliefs. He mentioned
that he feels that he is God. He also said he wants to help us by
teaching us his beliefs. We told him that we know the gospel is true.
We also told him we can meet again when he wants to learn more about
the gospel. Other than that, we won't really focus too much on him.

On 水曜日, instead of going to 英会話、we had an appointment with the German
lady, Susan, and her family, the Stahls. When we got there, the
husband just got back from the store with a bunch of snacks for
everyone. We didn't meet the husband on the previous visit so Susan
must've mentioned us coming. We thought it was so nice of them to get
food for us. The husband is French but also speaks German, Japanese,
and English. He also was Catholic when he was younger; so he knows a
little bit about Christ.We got to know the family a little more and
then we shared a message about Christmas. We mentioned that Christ is
the greatest gift of all and then talked a little bit about Christ's
life, Atonement, and a little bit about the Plan of Salvation. We bore
testimony after sharing some experiences. Susan said she couldn't
believe in what we said and didn't think she needed to because they
already have a good life. The husband looked interested but whenever
he would try to say something, he'd look at his wife (as if asking for
permission), and then wouldn't say anything. More or less, they
weren't really interested; they said they aren't too religious. But
they said we are welcome to come back if we want to talk. It's their
choice if they want to learn more. I have faith.It was a pretty good
lesson though. And they are soooooo nice! We might go back one more
time this week since I wont see them because I am transferring.

On 木曜日, we met with a ward member, Kazushi. He wants to serve a
mission! So we are doing as much as we can to help him. He reminds me
a lot of myself. When I was preparing to serve a mission, the
missionaries from my ward would have me go to lessons with them. They
also gave me some tips. Anyway, me, Jödicke長老、Ayala長老、and Gilbert長老
went to Shakey's (which is in Chigasaki) to meet him. It's all you can
eat for about $10; so we ate a ton of food! They had some interesting
pizzas like Marshmallow Chocolate and Brownie Chocolate. They also had
shrimp and corn, Mexican-style and much more. After eating, we met
with the sister missionaries back at the station. We did some
Christmas caroling and distributed 英会話 flyers. We also taped small
chocolate bars to pass along cards. And most of all, we gave out 14
Book of Mormons!! Nagai 兄弟 wrapped the モルモン書 in Christmas wrapping
paper; they looked fantastic! We had so much fun caroling! We did that
for about 3 hours. Then the sisters had to leave so we stayed another
hour or so. Then we took Kazushi with us to do some housing in
Chigasaki! The apartments we tried to go to were locked/needed codes
to enter. We spent about 20 mins or so looking for a place to house.
Then Kazushi decided that we should pray to find someone to talk to.
After the prayer, we walked across the street and found someone! He's
still in high school. He recently came back from Denmark for school,
but he's Nihonjin. He also spoke English, a little Danish, and a
little German. We talked about why we are here and then shared a quick
message about how God loves us and can help us in our life. We then
told him if he could pray and testified. We also gave him a Book of
Mormon! He was excited! Sadly he didn't want to give us his contact
info but we gave him a flyer with the church address and phone number.
He's a great person!

This Sunday was fast Sunday since we had Stake Conference last sunday.
During sacrament, I bore my testimony in Japanese! I still don't know
much but that doesn't matter because the Spirit was so strong! I also
said goodbye to the Shonan ward. They thanked and congratulated me for
my work. I am glad I was assigned here for my first transfer. I'm
going to miss them a lot! Later on in the evening, we were street
contacting. Before we had to go home, we found someone to talk to. He
spoke English! He used to live in the US. He knew a lot about other
religions including us. But he wanted to hear more about us so we
talked about the Restoration. He also said he reads the Bible a lot!
He didn't have much time to talk to us but he was very interested. He
took the Restoration pamphlet and said he would contact us he felt the

Wow! Lots of miracles this week! There were also smaller things but I
am running out of time! We have to end P-day a little earlier because
we have a FHE in Chigasaki to go to. We made cookies! I'll be packing
up most of my stuff tomorrow and sending my luggage over to my next
area. Wednesday will be a normal day and Thursday I go to Kamakura!
It's been a blast here in Shonan/Hiratsuka. I learned a lot within the
last month. As Christmas draws closer, I would like to remind all of
you to be a light for others! Watch the "Light the World" video that
the church put out and share it with your friends! Thank you so much
for your support! See ya next week! 愛しています!


Sunday, December 4, 2016


The nice origami lady that we met on the train!

Carl's Jr. with the Shonan missionaries!

Sweet new suit from H&M!皆さんこんにちは!!
Wow, it's Monday already. It's true when they say that weeks feel like
days and days feel like weeks. とにかく, I want to start off by saying
お誕生日おめでとう or HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my amazing little sister Melody and
also to my grandma! I hope both of you have another 素晴らしい year! Thank
you so much for the love and support you have shown me! I love and
miss you!

火曜日 (11-29-16) was very interesting. We met up with a potential
investigator; I will not mention his name for privacy. We met him at
the park in Chigasaki, about a 30 min bike ride from our apartment. A
ward member, Brother Harvey, who is a return missionary, came with us.
Long story short, he believes that before 1863, the world was
uncivilized. Like the Stone Age. He said everything we've been taught
were lies. He said the Book of Mormon was written in 1970 and that he
met Joseph Smith. He thinks the Book of Mormon is true though. He also
said he hears voices. We didn't really get to teach him anything. But
he took a Book of Mormon and we might meet again. We will have to
think about it.

We got Krispy Kreme donuts for district meeting!!! It was great! The
place is only open for a week and we knew it'd be a while before we
get to have it again so we went for it. 英会話 was amazing, as usual! On
金曜日, we had to go to Kichijoji for Facebook training. I got to see my
MTC district again! I missed Davis 長老, Cuff 長老, Jones 長老, and Sadler
長老 a lot. So as a mission, we are folding 1000 paper cranes. On the
train ride to Kichijoji, my companion was folding some. A lady saw him
and then talked to us! She said she loves origami and taught us how to
make a flower. She said she was Christian and she used to live with
Mormons. We talked about what we do as missionaries and she seemed
interested. When we had to part ways, we gave her a モルモン書 (Book of
Mormon). She was excited! Unfortunately we didn't get the chance to
ask for her contact info..But hopefully we meet her again or she goes
to church one day. It was a miracle!

Over the weekend, we had stake conference in Shonandai. I could only
understand about 40% of what was said. But I still enjoyed it.
Hopefully one day I will be able to understand all of it!

On Sunday night, we had dinner at the Shinno family's house. They are
so nice! Brother Shinno is a return missionary. He served in Sapporo.
The two of them got married back in March so they are pretty recent!
They prepared a dish called sukiyaki. It has beef, tofu, mushrooms and
other stuff in like a broth. It is dipped in raw egg and you eat it
with rice. I don't know what a lot of it was but it was goooood! As I
am out here, I am learning to be less picky. Mom and dad, I'm sure
you'd be happy to hear that lol

Today was a pretty good day. We went to Carl's Jr. as a district for
lunch. It was great and it kinda reminded me of home. The sisters left
because they had other errands. But we went to H&M to look around. My
companion bought some new slacks, Ayala 長老 got a Guns & Roses T-shirt
and I bought a blue suit! It wasn't that expensive surprisingly and it
fits great! I've always wanted a blue suit haha! Then we went to Lopia
to do some grocery shopping.

Overall, another great week. As you know, the Church came out with
some Christmas related stuff. If you haven't seen the "Light The
World" video, I highly recommend it. I encourage all of you to be a
light for other people, especially this month. I love Christmas season
so much! There is a much more positive spirit everywhere! Seek out
opportunities to serve others. I promise you will learn a lot and
become closer to Christ as you do so. Thank you so much for the love
and support you've shown me. It has definitely been a source of
strength. 愛しています!Have a great week!


Sunday, November 27, 2016


Very 面白い (interesting) week. Lots of ups and downs. I hope you were able to read last week's email/post. I had very little time and some email problems so I didn't get to confirm that everything worked. If you didn't get to read last week's post/email, I apologize. I hope it works now. 

After we got back from the Tokyo Temple on Tuesday evening, Jödicke 長老 and I borrowed Ayala 長老 and Gilbert 長老 bikes because we didn't have ours yet. They went to the doctor and we went grocery shopping. Mission advice #1: Don't buy too much if you know you'll have to bike home. It is difficult to carry all those bags and bike at the same time with only two people. After dinner, we went to a huge 団地 (danchi or apartment complex). Not too much success. But on the last door we went to,on the 11th floor, we found Suzanne Stahl. She is German! My companion is also German so they had a great conversation. I only know a little German so I couldn't say much. Although at some point, I understood pretty much everything. Basically, she isn't really interested in religion because she grew up without it and was content with her life and didn't think she needed it. She said we could come back at any time, especially since my companion is German. I think it is a miracle that we found her and that I was able to understand some of it. We will see how our next meeting with her goes! 

We went to church after lunch to do the usual "First 12 Weeks" our surprise, Jödicke 長老の自電車 (Elder Jödicke's bike) was delivered!! After our study, we walked/ran to あさひ (Asahi; a popular bike shop in Japan) to get my bike! The one I chose was a black road bike. It was about ¥49,980 or $499. It has 24 gears and only weighs 11kg! I also had to buy a lock, lights, stand, and the insurance; so the total was just under ¥60,000 or $600. It isn't cheap but it sure beats walking everywhere! Also, they take bikes very seriously here, hence the insurance. I also got to teach 英会話 (English class).  Gilbert 長老 and I taught the advanced class. For the game, we played "What are you doing?". 英会話はほんとに楽しかったです。(English class was really fun).

It snowed from when we woke up until 12ish. Biking was hard during the snowfall and the wind was icy cold. Most of the snow melted around 2PM though. We went to Nagai 兄弟's (The ward mission leader) house in the afternoon. We had a 模擬 (mogi: pretend, simulation) lesson with them and they fed us dinner. Most of it was food I have never had before; it was so good! 

I went on splits with Ayala 長老. We went to a near by park to dendō but there wasn't a lot of people to talk to. Then we went to the Yamashita 団地 (Apartment complex) to house. Not so much success; we just got the same response "Not interested" or "Go away". After dinner, we went to SEIYU which is like Walmart. We bought milk and I got this Japanese chocolate called "Black Thunder". It is like a cookies and cream version of Twix. We then went to the Yokouchi 団地. There are a lot of Latinos there! We ran into several Spanish speakers so I got to brush off the dust on my Spanish. It'd be super cool if my Spanish got better as well as learning 日本語。Ayala 長老 and I made flan for one of their investigators when we got back. Splits was a nice experience.

I've been 病気(sick) the last few days so it's been tough to dendō. We had district meeting today. The zone leaders, Gonzalez 長老 and Leach 長老, also came. After, we tried to visit Suzanne Stahl but she had company over so we couldn't. Housing didn't go too well either. We then went to the train station to kubari. Not too much success today..but I have hope.

Church was kinda hard to enjoy because I got even more sick; I caught a 風邪, better known as the common cold :( Despite that, I pushed through. We had a 模擬 lesson with Shinno 兄弟. He gave us some tips for street contacting and housing; he serve a mission about 10 years ago. We went home to eat lunch. And since my companion was also feeling sick, we took a short nap. It helped a bit. We then had an appointment with the Komine family; they live in Chigasaki, about 30 mins away by bike. In addition to me being sick, it was raining. So traveling there was not easy for me. They fed us SOOOO much food! I don't know what a lot of it was but it was GOOD! Then they had dessert, which was ice cream, cake, and jello( which we made). They are so nice! We shared a message about serving others and asked them to seek opportunities to serve others. Their oldest son, Kazu, wants to serve a mission soon! So we will do our best to help him prepare. 

I totally forgot... HAPPY LATE THANKSGIVING EVERYONE! They don't have that here so it kinda skipped over my mind. Very interesting week. I just wish I wasn't sick for the last half of it. A lot of the mission work in Japan consists of finding. It isn't easy. It can also be discouraging once you've had the door shut in front of you or heard "Not interested" over a hundred times in a day. But I trust the Lord and his timing. I know he will lead us to the people that he has prepared to receive his gospel. とにかく、I hope all of you have a great week! 愛しています!

I love snow!

My new bike!

Dinner at the Komine's! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


皆さんこんにちは!!! ひさしぶり!!
So much has happened! I wish I had more time to describe everything. First off, I am going to the Tokyo Temple today. When ever we go to the temple (which is once a transfer), our P-day is switched to that day. So technically I have P-day today instead of the usual Wednesday. Also, this transfer is 4 weeks instead of 6 weeks; this is so that no one has to travel around Christmas time. I am currently on the train typing this. It is super crowded; there is no room at all and we are all squished together lol

Now to sum up what has happened within the last week and a half. We didn't have any problems at the airport. However, while taking luggage off the bus, I twisted my left somewhat-still-sprained thumb back in to place by accident; to put it shortly, its back to normal and I can move it again! とにかく(Anyway), our flight was about 13 hours. We met the President Warnick and his wife. We took a coach bus to the mission home (which is in Kichijoji); it took about 2 hours.  After we arrived, we filled out some papers for our residency, had a short meeting and then went to bed. We were dead tired, especially because Monday and Tuesday were basically fused together due to our flight. 

On 水 (Wednesday), we woke up early and ran to a park close to the mission home and at some point, everyone in the park was doing aerobics together. It was fun and interesting. I also saw Heartshorn 姉妹 and Sumison 長老 (they were my dai senpai in the MTC). We had a lot of training meetings; budgeting, cleanliness, using pamplets etc. We then proselyted for an hour; I went with Battaglia 長老. It was hard because no one really stopped to talk with us. But towards the end, we found 2 college students who were interested. I didn't understand much nor did I talk much but I did my best. We then ate spicy soba noodles at a restaurant and then came back to teach 英会話 (English class). It was suuuper fun! 

木 (Thursday) was quite interesting. We finished up with a few more training meetings. Then we met our new companions and got our areas. My companion is Elder jödicke (ユディカ長老)。He is from Germany! He also loves music and plays the violin! We got assigned to the Shonan area. It is kinda close to the beach. I said my last goodbyes to the mission home and my MTC buddies. Then we went on our way. We took a 1.5 hour train ride to Hiratsuka Station. Then took a bus to somewhere by our apartment. My companion hasn't been to this area so we didn't know anything at all. We got what is called "white washed". After walking around for about 45 mins, someone came to help us and we found the apartment. We live with another companionship, Elder Ayala and Elder Gilbert (He was my dai senpai in the MTC). We ate dinner and then settled down before going to bed.

Since we are new to the area, we have to start over. We don't have any investigators at the moment. So we do a lot of street contacting. We might have two investigators by the end of this week. Two young men were interested in what we had to say so they gave us their contact info and we'll be checking up on them every now and then.

I had some money issues for a couple days. I wasn't able to withdraw anything over a certain amount from my personal bank account. Which was a problem because they charge a small fee for international banks and I couldn't keep doing that. I needed money to buy a bike; and thankfully I finally got my money issue fixed. I still don't have a bike though. My companion hasn't gotten his bike delivered from his last area yet so we are waiting for that before we go buy mine. So we've just been walking everywhere and taking the bus and train every now and then. We have to be careful with how much  we spend.

On 金 (Friday), one of the new members hosted a sweets party. A few people from the ward came to the church. He made us chocolate cream; it was so good! It's a fairly simple recipe; he wants to become a professional chef. 

日 (Sunday), we went to church. Its about a 20 minute walk from our apartment. All the members are so nice! Some even speak English! But I still didn't understand much during the meetings. After church, we ate lunch together as a ward. The food was amazing! I tried a lot of new foods. The ward mission leader is Brother Nagai; he is so energetic! He's the best! ユディカ長老 and I went with Nagai兄弟 to take the sacrament to two members. It was a good experience; I used to do that back at my home ward. 

It isn't easy, especially without a bike. Hopefully we get them soon. Also, we had an earthquake this morning!! とにかく, I won't give up. The Lord is my strength and I know he will help and guide us. I'm so happy to be here in Japan and serve a mission. I encourage everyone that is able to serve to go on a mission. I haven't been out for long but I know this is something I'll remember for the rest of my life. See you in a week! 愛しています!

District 5B and our teachers! Waddell 姉妹, Chau 姉妹, and Strauss 兄弟

Last MTC Zone picture!!

At the mission home with our new trainers!

My trainer Jödicke 長老 

The ward mission leader, Nagai 兄弟 during our sweets party! 

The view from the apartment

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


水 11-2-16
While playing some amazing volleyball with just my zone, I stubbed my left thumb on the ball really bad. It hurt super bad and then I found out that it was sprained. I couldn't move it at all. So that pretty much killed my P-day. We went to the temple as a zone though; it was so amazing to go together. The temple workers were surprised about how large are group was and thought it was wonderful that we did it together. Skype TRC was super fun as usual; we taught about tithing.

木 11-3-16
Thursdays (木) are always weird here. Everyone is just not as energized and there is just a weird vibe. It's equivalent to the outside world's Monday, if that makes any sense. My thumb was still sprained so I didn't play volleyball. Instead, I went with Davis 長老, Sadler 長老, and Jones 長老 to the gym to exercise. During dinner, Askew 姉妹 said she missed me at volleyball and wondered where I was. I never played sports in high school because I'm just bad at it. But during my stay here, I've come to love volleyball and I'm actually not that bad. So it was hard not playing it for a day. Every night, and elder from China comes into my dorm and talks with my roommates and I. His name is Elder Zhong. He is going to the Oakland, California mission. He doesn't speak much English but we can get basic conversations with him. Often times, he'll teach us how to say something in Chinese and we'll teach him the same thing in Japanese.

金 11-4-16
WE GOT OUR FLIGHT PLANS!!!!!!! I'm also the travel leader; meaning I'm in charge of making sure everyone is on the plane and that we are all together. I don't know why they picked the shortest person in the group though; it'll be tough to spot me in the airport lol. I'm so excited!!! I also played volleyball with one hand since my left hand can't move...I'm actually a little better with one hand ;p

土 11-5-16
Strauss 兄弟 had to go to a wedding today, so we had a sub, Taylor 姉妹. She is from San Diego, California! Waddell 姉妹 had us memorize our favorite scripture. I don't really have one but I just picked 2 Nephi 22:2. It's a great verse and really shows how evident God is in my life. Back at the residence hall, Snyder 長老 had a bag of Swedish Fish (Candy) and he was eating them with chopsticks. He took one, threw it up in the air, and tried to catch it with his chopsticks. He missed; it isn't easy because they are really small, they are a little bigger than a micro SD card. He tried again. This time, the candy hit the ceiling and came down faster than before...but HE CAUGHT IT! When he caught it, everyone was silent for a few seconds. Then we just started screaming in excitement! It was amazing!

日 11-6-16
It was fast Sunday. It was brutal, especially because we didn't eat a lot the night before. We had our first mission conference; the past fast Sunday wasn't a regular one. Cuff 長老 and I taught about baptism during priesthood. In sacrament, my district sung "Come Thou Fount" for the special music number. It was really good. Prior to the MTC, I never really liked singing and I never participated in any choir groups. For devotional, Jenny Oaks Baker and her family came to perform for us. Jenny is a professional violin player, she's been playing since she was 4! She is also the daughter of Dallin H. Oaks from the Quorum of the 12. All of her children play instruments; starting from oldest to youngest, violin, piano, cello, and guitar. They were so amazing! I love music and I hope one day, my future family will too!

月 11-7-16
We taught 3 lessons. We usually teach Yamazaki-san and Ota-san on Mondays and Aoi-san on Tuesdays. But on Tuesday, apparently 3 companionships were going to do that so we just decided to teach all 3 today. It actually went pretty well. It was our last lesson with Yamazaki-san before we go to Japan; we taught about enduring to the end. We had Chic-fil-a for dinner!!! I was so excited because I've been wanting that for so long and I wouldn't have it for 2 years. We tried to play volleyball but thanks to daylight savings time, it got dark really fast. So we played frisbee for a bit and then we just sat down on the grass and marveled at the beautiful sunset. We also practiced the missionary farewell song "I'll Find You My Friend" with the other dai senpai district.

火 11-8-16
We had our last deep dive with President Daniels today. It was amazing, as always. We set up the gym for the last time too. Brother and Sister Jones spoke to us for devotional. The dai senpai districts sung for the Robinsons because they won't be there to see us off to Japan. Then we all had devotional review together.

About those flight plans... We have to be at the travel office at 5AM. The Tokyo South missionaries (there are 10 of us) leave SLC airport to Portland Oregon around 8. Then we have a two hour wait for our next flight. We'll arrive at the Tokyo Narita airport at 3PM on Tuesday. In our group are 4 (out of 5 from my district, Crippen 長老 is going to the Fukuoka mission) elders, Miyagawa 姉妹, 4 姉妹 from the other zone and me. I'm so excited!!! We'll be packing up a little bit today. I can't believe how fast time flew. I enjoyed my stay here at the MTC and I learned so much. I'm glad that I stayed 9 weeks; I questioned it at first but now I realize that that's what I needed. For future missionaries, cherish your time at the MTC. Your mission begins right as you get to the MTC, not when you get to the field. The missionary that you are at the MTC will be the missionary you'll be in the field. So make the best out of it. Strive for exact obedience. 
So I hear that Trump won :o Well, it's a good thing I'll be in Japan for the next two years. To be honest, it's been a really peaceful experience to be cut off from the news and politics. I never cared too much about politics. But good luck everyone!!
For those that want to mail me stuff, please use my Japan address from now on!!! For packages it'll be a bit expensive so I wouldn't recommend doing it often, unless you really want to. I love getting mail because it keeps me linked with all of you! I know that some of you will be worried about me as I go to Japan. Don't stress, for I am in the Lord's hands. I know he will bless and protect me as I serve. I hope all of you have a great week..When you hear from me next time, I'll be in the Land of the Rising Sun.. JAPAN!!!! 愛しています!

Sometimes we just have to let all that stress out with a good ol' back massage!

Just enjoying the temple grounds!

District 5B and 5D with Brother and Sister Robinson

Well this is what I'd look like with glasses :o

So Cuff 長老 got some shoe bags in the mail..
They make great well as the MTC store bags

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


水曜日 10-26-16
Jones 長老, Cuff 長老 and I did laundry at the regular time. The rest of the zone got up at 4:40 AM to do laundry and then went to the temple after. That's way too early for me. After laundry, we had a shoe shining party. Then we went to the temple after lunch. We also had our first skype TRC today! It was so cool! We taught about missionary work. Before we went back to our residence, Chau 姉妹 came to our class and gave us our katakana name tags! It's so exciting! However, our zone can't wear them until we leave the MTC; no one else but the Japanese missionaries can read them.

木曜日 10-27-16
I played frisbee with the kouhai instead of volleyball. It was a nice change of pace. For the night class, McCarty 兄弟 taught with Strauss 兄弟. He is pretty funny and his 日本語 is amazing. We learned more grammar and the phrase "chisai densha dekita" or "the little train that could". I also customized my swooshy swoosh (the thing that holds your MTC card). 

金曜日 10-28-16
We finished the red bunpo book today. Then we played volleyball indoors and I got a crazy spike on Cuff 長老. Westoff 長老 hit the ball so hard that it went super high, hit the ceiling, knocked a panel out of place and caused it to fall to the ground and break. It was insane! We also introduced ourselves to the Nihonjin and kouhai that we got on 水曜日. Towards the end of the night, we went outside and it was raining. On top of that, the staff had just finished setting up the Christmas lights. So there were Christmas lights everywhere! It was an amazing sight. We took pictures and I'm glad we did because we won't be here when Christmas comes around and they don't turn on the lights again.

Relaxing day today. Strauss 兄弟 taught us about adjectives. He also gave Cuff 長老 and I some コーチング (coaching). He asked us to make a goal; we decided that whenever we are feeling down or out of it, we will serve others instead of worrying about ourselves. I encourage all of you to do the same, it really helps!Towards the end of PCL, Cuff 長老 and I helped Savage 姉妹 and McGuire 姉妹 with their 日本語 and got to know them a bit more. 

日曜日 10-30-16
Another great Sunday. I got to know the kouhai more. 西宮長老(Elder Nishimiya) and I even went on splits for bit because our doryos had to go to a branch meeting. We took pictures with our new nametags at the temple. Cuff 長老 and I taught during district meeting about repentance. Richard Holzapfel spoke about Characters of Christ and we also watched Elder Bednar's "Characters of Christ" again.

月曜日 10-31-16
We had another eigo danjiki today! We taught Yamazaki-san about the importance of testimony and Ota-san about the life of Christ. Pretty crazy moment during Ota-san's lesson. We shared John 8 with him; its about the woman who commits adultery and Jesus does not condemn her. I tried to explain it in 日本語. I didn't know another word for girl or woman other than "kanojo".  I wanted to say "This scripture is about Jesus and a woman that sinned". Instead, I ended up saying "This scripture is about Jesus and his girlfriend that sinned". Ota-san just started laughing like crazy. He told us that "kanojo" does mean "girl" but it implies "girlfriend". He helped correct the sentence after. Oh, and it was Halloween! Jones 長老 wore Bulbasaur sunglasses, Sadler 長老 was the Christmas card guy, Davis 長老 an accountant, and I was a samurai!

火曜日 11-1-16
We taught Aoi-san about the pre Earth life. Class ended early cause we had to setup the gym early. The speaker requested that we have choir practice at 4PM and dinner at 5PM instead of the other way around. Elder Nelson from the Quorum of the Twelve came to speak to us! He spoke about trusting in the Lord, preparing future generations, and how the gospel's teachings have never changed. We sung "Praise to the Man" for choir. It was an amazing arrangement. Although I had heard the lyrics before, I felt different as we sung. I grew to appreciate the prophet Joseph Smith even more. Cuff 長老's mom also sent homemade rolls, seaweed, Gushers, and raw honey from White Clover Blossoms. We put the honey on the rolls and it was sooooooo good! A great way to end the day!

Through out my stay here, I've had days where I just don't feel like I'm good enough to serve. I'm not the only one who has those days either. But I've learned that as long as we try our best, the Lord will make us the rest. Elder Nelson's talk reassured that. I trust in the Lord that he can make us not only better missionaries but better people as well. We get our flight plans on Friday...I really don't understand how fast the weeks went by. I am so grateful for my time here at the MTC. I definitely learned a lot. It was weird not being home for Halloween but I'll have to get used to that cause I have many more holidays that I won't be home for. Also, it would be nice to hear from you personally! My email is 
I hope all of you have a great week! 愛しています!

Christmas lights!

The Nihonjin drew Doraemon!

My new name tags!

Nishimiya 長老 and Yoshizawa 長老 with me and Cuff 長老

The Christmas Card Guy(Sadler 長老), Bulbasaur (Jones 長老), an accountant (Davis 長老), and a samurai (Me). 

Bulbasaur and Batman!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Week 6 DESU!

A great P-day! Crazy thing happened with Jones 長老's laundry. While doing our laundry, we sit and talk to each other. He went to go check up on his clothes; when he opened the dryer, some other person's clothes were in there. We thought someone mistook his clothes as their's and took off.We searched for about 15 minutes. When we were about to leave, we checked one more time. We found his clothes in the dryer next to the one we had first checked! Someone moved his clothes without telling him. That sure was a relief because it would have been pretty expensive to replace all those clothes. We went to the temple later on; it was great. TRC was amazing, as usual. We went in with no lesson planned, just vocab and a general idea of what we were gonna talk about. We taught about teaching the Sabbath day holy.One of the people we taught was in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir! It was so cool!

木曜日 10-20-16
We didn't do much today. We taught Ota-san about the Book of Mormon. He agreed to start reading it.

Japanese grammar is tough.Through out the week, we learned various concepts such as "ba" and "nara". Both are equivalent to the English word "if". However, "ba" is used for general "if" statements and "nara" is used for hypothetical statements. Word order is still a little odd; some things are said backward. The weirdest thing is the passive form. Passive form in English is already a bit odd but in 日本語, its even harder. I have hope that we can learn though. Cuff 長老 had to go to BYU's student health center to get an x-ray. Earlier in the week, his thumb and knee were swollen so the MTC clinic said we should get it checked out. During exercise time, we left the MTC and walked down the block to the health center. It was so weird leaving the MTC. The MTC is like a bubble. I felt like the main character in The Giver when he left his "utopian" world.

Strauss 兄弟 told us about "iijou desu" or いいじょうです. It roughly translates to "that is all". It can be said when you have finished saying what you have to say. It basically means you have nothing else to say. We were joking around and said we'd use it in our investigator lessons. Also, my senpai (which are the dai senpai) are getting ready to leave on Monday. They passed around their bye-bye books for us to sign.

Another departure sacrament meeting. The senpai sung "I'll Find You My Friend" in English and
日本語. I didn't tear up as much as when my dai senpai left; probably because there was 4 special music performances that meeting and there was only one this time. Either way, I'm gonna miss them so much. They have served as great examples to me and the rest of the zone. For devotional, Stephen B. Allen spoke to us. It was great.

月曜日 10-24-16
We woke up early to see our senpai off. We went to travel center with them and said our last goodbyes. I miss them already. Whenever we played volleyball, Howell 長老 would say "Avatar yip yip!" when he served the ball. It's gonna be strange to not hear that anymore. We went to the health clinic to view the results from the x-ray. Thankfully, nothing was wrong with Cuff 長老's thumb or knee. For Yamazaki-san's lesson, we didn't plan anything at all. We decided to focus more on her needs and rely on the spirit. We ended up talking about faith in Jesus Christ. We made her tear up a little; the spirit was so strong during that lesson. Ota-san's lesson was great too; we were gonna teach about the Great Apostasy and the Restoration but he wanted to know more about the Book of Mormon so we did that. As a district, we are singing "Come Thou Fount" for next Sunday's sacrament meeting. District 5D is singing this coming Sunday. And the last Sunday that we are here, district 5B and 5D will be singing "I'll Find You My Friend". Its crazy to think that I'm a dai senpai now. When we went back to our dorms we had some amazing pistachios...we finished the whole bag within 20 minutes lol.

火曜日 10-25-16
Elder Nattress spoke to us about Christ. One of the things that really stuck out to me were these 5 words "Be not afraid, only believe". Every missionary goes through the "I'm not good enough" phase, including me. The most important thing to remember is that we need to forget ourselves and depend on the Lord. So that's something I've been working on within the last week.

It's weird to believe that I'm a dai senpai now. I feel like I don't know enough to be one, and I'm not the only one that thinks that. We are getting more missionaries today, some are Nihonjin.I'm excited! I love my district and zone so much. I'm glad I decided to serve a mission when I did. I believe this is what I needed in my life. In a couple weeks, I'll be in Japan. It's an amazing opportunity to serve the Lord. For those that are able to serve, do everything that you can to do it. I promise it will change your life as well as the lives of others in miraculous ways. I'm not perfect and no one else is. We've all made mistakes. But don't let that keep you from serving. Christ didn't perform the Atonement for nothing. Repentance is very important. So once again, live the gospel and go on a mission! 愛しています!


My senpai, district 5A! 

Zone leaders Bateman 長老 and Jensen 長老

Stay classy my friends! Starring Cuff 長老, Westoff 長老, and Barbosa 長老

The senpai left messages on our board before the left to Japan!

Bateman 長老's mom made some amazing Japanese flag cookies!

Morning yoga!

Branch 5!

Wilkins 長老 and I!

A perfect picture of district 5B!