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!