Crowd of people? Carrying your bike? Just lift it over all of their heads #MuricaPerk #ImHuge ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... I don't always ask for directions on the train, but when I do, I end that conversation talking about God #Missionaried ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... Biking for twenty minutes to buy chicken and beef for dirt cheap? Worth it!! #NoRoomInOurFreezerAnyMore ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... We just made Raspberry Jam from Scratch, put the hot stuff that wouldn't fit in the jar onto ice-cream and ate it all ... Love ... my ... life ... #FatKid ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... I don't always lead us around Tokyo but when I do ... we're early #LikeABoss ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... Alright iPad, you think you can fix my spelling? #ChalngeAcceptprw #noSuggestions ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... We just ate $100 worth of sushi; you then took us to an Italian Restaurant and made us keep eating till we all want to die ... Of course we'll go to round 3 with you! ... #GoingToPukeAllOverYou ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... #NoImNot28 ... it's alright, you're like the 12th person to make that mistake ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... All we bought was potatoes and meat #GriffithsChoroWentShopping ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... Curry for Lunch, Curry for Dinner; #HappyPDay ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... Typhoon, worst one in 10 years? Please, my bike has missionary steroids, #DidNotEvenFallOver ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... Oh, you sell Melonpan? yeah, I’ll buy them all, right now #TheRecipeTooPlease ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... #YouMightBeAMissionaryIf you don't hear about the giant wall of water which will hit the city where you live until next Monday; because you only get eMail on P-Days ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... New favorite conversation starter "I don’t speak Japanese and if I don’t learn I can’t go back to America, please help me" #ForeignerPower ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... Whatever I just ate, exploded with little eggs all over my mouth #WhatDidIJustEat ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... Is it wrong that I want to ask the local tattoo artist if he can run the face painting booth at our Halloween party, I think he would be pretty good ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... Being a foot taller than everyone else in the whole country #GaijinNoMondai (Foregner problem) ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... Hitting your head on every door way cuz it’s made for people a foot shorter than you #GaijinNoMondai ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... Having a hole in the ground for a toilet? #FirstWorldCountry more like #FirstWorldProblem ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... Typhoon season #ComeAtMeMotherNature #Murica ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... Cow Piss? Oh you mean Calpis #YesIllTakeAllOfThem

Monday, September 30, 2013

DD 2.25 ... he wanted to meet with the missionaries ...

Our cell phone
One day we pulled it out & showed it to a policeman
as we walked by, they pulled out their'
and we became phone buddies.
I don't recognize the brand of phone we use, it is made by Sharp ... imagine a Nokia brick on steroids ... only the police and the missionaries use this type of phone ... you could say that its pretty durable. We use an application called EZNaviWalk, it is a GPS type application to identify where we are, what trains and stations to use and how to get from here to there using the least expensive route.

I only wear my rain pants when a tropical storm comes through … (like tropical cyclone 22, which is passing along the eastern coast of Japan) ... which, it turns out is quite often here actually; we have lots of tropical cyclones, less than half become typhoons; along the Asian coast we get twice as many typhoons as the Caribbean has hurricanes.

The commissarian’s wife fixed the hem on my slacks, I have yet to wash my white pants, and it still has a blue stain. I now have three futons to sleep on … I used to only have two … they are all right, more comfortable than I would expect, but I really miss my bed back home … actually I really miss my bed @ school too, that one was pretty nice too! Not as nice as MINE at home is though!!! It is still my bed.  I have noticed I am starting to develop a gap between my two front teeth. Can you floss or brush too much? Maybe its from the toothpaste, or from my retainer. Any research on this would put my mind at ease.

Williams Choro, Watanabe Choro, Griffiths Choro at Makuhari Station
Bike Lot at Makuhari Station
Experience has its benefits ... Williams Choro was able to get his bike the 1st week here; we were able to get his cash with no problems, much easier than when I tried it … turns out the District Leader’s companion called when his card didn't work, I got his problem resolved too … go me!!! When I said the other missionaries took our Internet, I meant to say they took the Router with them when they moved to a new apartment in Oyumino. There are five computers at the church, so we can all get online at the same time, and we all use the 90 minutes that we get. They say that we are all getting tablets and new internet soon, but they have been saying that since before I arrived in Japan; so it looks like we will be going to the church to use the computers for a while. I was able to modify the camera so it now takes smaller pictures, thus it won’t take as long to upload pictures into emails … butttttt, we can’t get any of the cameras onto the church’s computers … I know frustrating, right … sorry about no pictures!!! Speaking of church, we give a lot of church tours, it’s pretty great actually, we do tours to introduce the people to the church and what it stands for and what we do.

The photo book is just fine the way it is; I am going to start taking it to family dinners and stuff, we don’t really use it that often, mostly we use it to introduce ourselves to the ward members.

I would like you to send me a copy of my missionary call … apparently its really inspirational and stuff ... I haven’t read it in a while and apparently we are encouraged to read it every once in a while. If you could just send a copy in your next letter to Japan, it would be nice to have.

I’m pretty sure that Williams Choro was between Watanabe and me in the big group picture … maybe!!! His name tag should say Williams Choro on it … ohwaititisinJapanese and only I can read it!!!!!! MWAWA HAHA HAHA HAHA HAHA HAHA HAHA HAHA HAHA HAHA HAHA HAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Parentals, sorry that it snowed, I know how much you all like winter! I hope that things are going good and that you are able to deal with Sam moving out all right. I would really like a email or letter of peoples birthdays, so I don’t miss any Axton’s. Sam, sorry that I can’t do the Ragnar with you this year... 2015 for sure!!!!! By the way, I am now inhaler free for 4 months now ... and we ride our bikes pretty hard every day … :-P I also loved the picture you sent at the bottom of the questions. I propose you go home each week and attach one picture every week along with the questions ... that talk that you sent in the letter with the boys stuff was way good!! I loved it!!! And I read it all to. Abi, squid and octopus are actually quite good … and they are pretty healthy. Just throw on some wasabi, don’t touch it with you tongue, and its really good actually, I am glad to hear that you are doing missionary work in the confines of you apartment!!! I almost forgot to comment on my nephew's letters included with Sam’s talk on the 28th. It was so great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I loved it so much!!!! I plan on keeping it my whole life!!! I really want to show them to Waylon when he is preparing to go on a mission ... and turning in his papers … and preparing, because I know he’s already preparing like none other ... he is seriously such a boss! Axton too!


As for me, I am doing well. Mom, I don’t have a stain-stick for my white pants, I do have bleach and shampoo though, what should I use? Please help me .... Dad’s dear elder that he sent on the 13th, I received it on the 24th, so it took about eleven days ... a normal letter takes about twelve, so I say do whatever is cheaper ... also in that letter... I really wish that we had mattresses that I could swap ...

I realize I don’t speak the language … like at all ... but that’s alright. Last week I was talking to a guy, it was just me, we were passing out fliers, and such. But I have no idea what he is saying I just kept saying that the Book of Mormon is awesome and that he should come to church … I know, (read with sarcasm) this is really effective dendo work; actually it was a little better than that, he has a friend from Canada and he is from Japan, so he wants to come to our English class; he hopes that he can communicate better with her … yeah. So after a while of this, me trying not to laugh, cuz I have no idea what’s going on, we go over to Watanabe and talk to him … to see what's up; turns out he’s not in our area and we have to refer him to the Tokyo area Choros; but he was pretty interested ... so a couple days later we get a call from the Tokyo Choros, they just wanted to say thank-you for sending them such a prepared person, he said that he wanted to meet with the missionaries because I was trying so hard and had, “pure eyes and a great attitude.” Right! Who knew that my not being able to talk would be such a blessing in finding people ... well that’s my Divine Rendezvous for the week, you only have to try, the Lord will take care of the rest. I hope that all is well in the good ole state of Utah. Oh, I almost forgot, we have three baptism dates right now, one on the 20th of October and two on the 27th of October ... two of them are pretty soft dates, but one on dad's birthday is pretty solid ... so that will be a nice gift, right? A new member of the church!

Watanabe Choro, Kondo Choro (DL), Bischoff Choro
Griffiths Choro, Williams Choro
My companions are doing well, they are both, way great; I will try to send a picture if I ever get to use a computer that will let me again … maybe I can figure something out ... I don’t know! It will be interesting!!  We found a sushi restaurant where it is only like fifty yen a roll … yeah, I’m now poor and fat cuz sushi is so good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know, I feel wrong saying that … it goes against everything that I stand for as an American from Utah … of all places … let alone that I hated fish before I came here ... but its actually way good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! except that texture of tentacles ... the little rubbery pads don't really feel that great on your tongue …… but it tastes all right! Here are some pictures, Watanabe, Kondo, and Biscoff at the sushi shop, don't worry I promise I will never bring this to Thanksgiving,  unless my wife does, and then I'll be with Sam and the Peanut Butter Fingers.  Kondo Choro is our district leader, he is transfer four, while Watanabe is transfer five, he is the oldest in our district.

As you guys know, I didn't really date much before I left on my mission -- I guess Griffiths Choro is way cooler than regular Trenton. We do this thing called mitsutaikai, where we pass out fliers for our English class. Normally we are not allowed to talk to any one of the opposite gender, but during mitsu its alright because it is obvious that we are not hitting on them.  Anyway, these two girls, 16 or 17 in age, are walking across the station a good 20 meters away (I know, right, the metric system got me) but they are totally checking me out, so I nod my head; that was all I did, I swear!  Then they go talk to Williams Choro ... and then to Watanabe Choro ... by now I have realized my mistake and now I am freaking out ... when they leave, I go talk to Watanabe Choro to see what's up. He just starts laughing and says, "They just think that you are so FLY Griffiths Choro," by the way, they are coming back in half an hour to take some pictures with us ... way sketchy right? Well yeah, they come back and Watanabe Choro takes their picture with me and Williams Choro; then they just start taking pictures of me with their phones ... anyway ... I just thought I would clear up any awkward pictures that you may find, of me and my companion, on the internet. I would like it if y'all could give me some advice on how to control my "flyness."  I think this story is pretty funny/awkward/terrifying.

Thank you for all that you do!!! I hope that the girls will go home and visit the parentals sometimes, mom seems a little sad about everyone moving out ... hey, enjoy the food she makes for you! You never know when you're not going to be able to eat it anymore!!!

Love, your Little Brother who is just too Fly for his own good!


Monday, September 23, 2013

DD 2.15 ... fan the flame of your faith ...

Last week’s typhoon turned out to be pretty mild; lame actually; we stayed inside, no riding in the rain for us. I have considered getting saddle bags for the bike, it's tough to say...can't tell for sure yet.  My neck pain is getting a little worse, I have started to do the neck exercises, we’ll see if this helps ... I will look into the saddle bags, and maybe a different bag, I don’t know ... I’m thinking about it, I’ll let you guys know what's going on!  I am still debating about buying a rain jacket, it is only my sleeves which don’t repel rain so I’m still not sure if I need one or not.

I like the idea of a package coming my way, yes on the toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant and the thumb-drives. I don’t really need anything else.  Let’s keep it simple and we'll see if I actually get everything. Can you put a copy of my call letter in the package? Or in the next letter you send?  And in our next communication, can I get a list of everyone's birthdays?

My talk on Sunday was actually pretty great; I told a whole story in Japanese!!! I didn't know I knew that much Japanese--and it was quite moving too! Or at least I like to think it was...

Sister Montana Law serves in the Japan Sapporo Mission. She went into the MTC the same day I went in but I never had the chance to meet her while I was in the MTC; now that we are in Japan, she will always be way north of me, on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.
Circled:  Watanabe Choro, Williams Choro, Griffiths Choro
There are now 161 missionaries in the Japan Tokyo Mission
114 of whom have been here less than six months.
Watanabe Choro and I got a new companion, and we mean brand new from the MTC; he is from the Detroit area, his name is Williams Choro; he’s pretty chill, I hope that I get to know him better this week.  Training a new missionary is pretty cool, I think Williams Choro was expecting to find new people every day and to be fluent when he got here (sounds like me); and we are not finding every day, and he barely understands anything; sounds like normal to me … but he’s a little frustrated ... I try to help him, but its hard.

General Conference April 2013
(after the Priesthood Session, pre-mission)
We do get to watch General Conference, it will be one week later than normal, and I think that it will be in English. Let me know what your favorite talk is, who its by, and when it is so I can make sure to get all the good ones.

We have an app on our phone which tells us which trains to take, when to change, which station to change at, even where to go; kind of like an electronic Holy Ghost. It changes frequently based on which route is the cheapest. Dad’s guess is mostly right about where and how we get to places (The Inage Station on the JR Sobu Line is the closest station to Trent's apartment … the Keiseiinage Station on the Keisei Chiba Line is the closest station to the Stake Center … the Hiroo Station on the Hibiya Line is the closest station to the temple ... and ... We can't decide ... which of the following Trent uses ... the Shinekoda Station on the Oedo Line for the Mission Home ... or ... the Higashinagasaki Station on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line for the Mission Home). We usually get on at Inage, but then we switch lines and stuff ... we follow the phone; since I have only been here for a little bit I don’t really know what the station names are when we get off for the temple or the Mission Home. I’ll try an pay more attention to some of those details and pass them along.

I ate most of the Life-Savers when I was in the MTC, I didn't bring them with me to Japan … I didn't have the weight, so they were left in the goody box for the next set of Elders arriving in the MTC to take our place.  I have not had any other walnut, or other allergy events; which is always great!!!

I did receive the family letter in the mail, it arrived on the 17th of September … oops, I forgot to write when it was sent, I hope you have it somewhere. Dad’s monthly letter has not arrived yet, however, I did get one from the Stake Presidency.  I am currently 75 kilograms or 165 pounds; yeah I did all the math.  The commissarian is Harrison Choro, he does all the finances for the mission; his wife, Harrison Shimai, is the one who has offered to help fix my pants!!

Parents! I loved the traditions!!! I love hearing the news about home, I hope the fence will be way nice!!! I hope that all is going well in school!! I really do treasure all your letters and emails!!! Hey, thanks for the camera settings letter, it helped me out a lot!

Glad to hear about Waylon’s part in the Primary Program in Sacrament Meeting, that’s a hard scripture, I’m jealous I did not get to see him! Hope all is going well and Axton gets to be a doctor and football player when he grows up. They do have a league here in Japan, he could play here if you are concerned he would get hurt playing ... he is probably already bigger than some of the players here; I’m not that tall and I still stand above the crowd, literally.  Sam I love the engineering pictures!!! Sooooo funny!!!! I hope that you made a decision about the apartment! I loved the quote by Holland Choro in the letter. I am sorry that dad bought chunky peanut better, I have actually grown to like it quite a bit ... but that might be because it is my only option right now.  Storm ... sorry you had to go on Timp ... that must have been rough. I hope that school is going well and that things are going better with your roommate!! I hope that Tiff has been reliable!!  Paige knows you are in her ward now ... she asked me if it was you; so she recognized you!!!! It sounds like she might be interested in going to church together if you need a friend.

Sorry about today's short email, we have a lesson at 2:00 that we have to get to; we no longer have internet in our apartment; so now we come to the church to do our email.  The Choros in Oyumino moved out and took the internet equipment with them, hence, the visit to the church.  Watanabe Choro thinks 45 min is enough email time because we have so many other things to do today.

Wasabi - Watch Out!!
This week was way sick!!! We set two baptism dates; one of our investigators, took us out to Sushi! It was way crazy! It cost him like ¥8,000, and he paid for all of us!! He must really like us, right? It was way good too! I actually ate shell fish and octopus, I chickened out on the tentacles, I think i'll try them next time. I did try everything else, and it was all way good! Wasabi is way weird though; it burned my tongue and almost made me cry ... it was way bad!

The first week I was here, we baptized Brother C, he speaks Japanese and Chinese; he is from China. Today we taught a lesson, us speaking in Japanese with him translating it to Chinese; this brother that we just taught is the closest to baptism out of all the investigators we have ... it is a miracle that we have Brother C; we are now teaching three people from China; Brother C joins us for all of the lessons. What are the odds of us finding Brother C when the Lord needed to bring the gospel to three others; a tender mercy of the Lord. If only I could be as good a missionary as Brother C ... if I can, I know that the Lord will have made good use of me ... seriously though he is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love him to death!!!!!  I just thought that I would share this experience with you guys!!! I love being here and I am excited to be helping the church open up in China!!! I love the gospel!!!!

In closing I wanted to say that I found this way sweet quote by Elder Holland! “First and forever, fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe!” This has helped me out so much this last week! I really do love Holland Choro!!!

Sorry this letter is short, the keyboards here are terrible, and they are made for Nihongo so half the buttons switch me to kanji ... its muzukashii!!!


Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Traditions of our Fathers ...

I just wanted to take a minute to talk about some of the traditions you can have while in the mission field and make one or two observations.

When I worked with the Certiport and I interfaced with a lot of Japanese individuals, I found that they could read English better than they could hear it. If in doubt, we would communicate via eMail ... here's a thought, you may be able to communicate with Elder Watanabe via the written word ... write it up, in English, make sure you can read it, and ask some of your questions via writing ... something for you to consider.

Tradition #1 - Bear your testimony the 1st Fast Sunday you arrive in a new Ward; always share a tender mercy of the Lord after quoting the last half of 1 Nephi 1:20; use a personal blessing if you must, but using a blessing in the life of a Nihongo kyuudousha from your last area will show how the Lord loves the Nihonjin, and that you recognize that love and that you have come to understand his love for the Nihonjin.

Tradition #2 - when you get a new companion document his contact information, including his parent's names and contact details. The P-Day following your new assignment to a new companion, write a letter to your past companion's parents and tell them all the reasons you enjoyed working with their son & tell them about the successes you enjoyed together.

Tradition #3 - Documenting the times you use your priesthood, I would only document the times I acted as voice for an ordinance, including times you bless the sacrament in Japan (which I doubt you ever will, I didn't). I wouldn't record the times I stand in the circle. The only exception to this, is I would record the names of everyone baptized, confirmed, and who go to the temple for the 1st time when you are in the area; even if you just arrived and they are baptized the next day; even if you don't perform the ordinance of baptism or confirmation.
The Japan Tokyo Temple from

Tradition #4 - Take pictures with your companion, put your arm around them in the majority of these pictures, when taking pictures with special individuals, put your arm around them as well, always try to encourage a group hug in group pictures.

Tradition #5 - Catch the changing of the seasons in pictures. I found a really cool location to take a picture every time you go to the temple, the early morning hour would be best, after the sun comes up, but before 9:30 AM, that will get you a sky with the most blue. Try and duplicate this picture, it was taken on the shore indicated in the map below. You will likely get pictures of the spring blossoms, the leaves changing colors in the fall, and snow in the winter; as a bonus you will always get the Angel Moroni. What time do you usually go to the temple, can you arrive early ... for your consideration.

Tradition #6 - keep all of the mission rules, work hard, study always, and tell your companion you love him at the end of every prayer in your apartment; then butt heads. This is a family tradition, and now you consider him family too.

Love you lots,

Monday, September 16, 2013

DD 1.65 ... cuz it has all the answers ...

The email that I reply to should be attached ... which has all the questions that mom asks in it ... sorry; I didn't realize that all y’all weren't getting them ... that would make it significantly more difficult to enjoy my wondrous life and experiences. You should be able to click the ‘show all,’ or something like that, button; siblings please help the parentals.

I appreciate your concern, I don’t need a new planner; my planner is fine; after a few hours, well a day of sitting in front of the swamp cooler, it dried out quite nicely ... also, mom: no central air in this country, just swamp cooler type things ... right? (Note to tell Trent: not all cooling appliances mounted on a wall are swamp coolers, Trenton has a wall mounted air conditioner in his apartment).

Sitting on the floor in Japan has it’s challenges; even though I stretch every day, when I attempt to sit in my criss cross crapple sauce manner, all the nihonjin just get this concerned look on their face and say "are" (pronounced ah-re) which means they are extremely confused with the situation that has been presented before them and don’t know what to do ... I feel the same way. I stretch and stretch and practice, but my knees are still up by my ribs ...

Typhoon Season in Japan
My rain pants work marvelously!!! I actually got to try them out on Sunday!!! My legs were dry as can be! I've determined that the sleeves on my coat are the only part that is not water proof ... more on that later.

I plan to ask around about the rain coat sitch, maybe I’ll spend some of the money that grandma gave me on one. I’ll let you guys know what the plan is later. I will talk to my ward members that speak English about it.

My neck is doing OK  I think; I started doing the stretches which Sam sent last week, and I think they helped a lot. I am still nervous, because I really don’t want neck problems on my mission. My hope is to be proactive and do some stuff to strengthen the muscles; I do pull ups and planks every day to strengthen my shoulders, and do some sort of neck sit ups too.

Bikes are not allowed on the trains … I don’t think; maybe if they are in a bike bag ... but I’m not really sure. We do ride the trains when we travel far away ... we usually take the cheapest route ... unless time is a variable, then we can use the quickest; more amazing is that we have options.

The question from Mom is the best part. “If the mission home is 90 minutes away, how do you get there? Car? Bike? Train? Motor scooter and side car?” I really want to go by side car once to the mission home, but we usually just take the train. 

I will try to get a pic of me in the rain gear, but I make no promises. (Note to family: a picture of criss cross crapple sauce sitting would probably be more entertaining

My tender mercy bestowed upon me from the Lord this week was when I recognized the power of the Melchizedek Priesthood. Our less active member which we teach, is a Priest at the age of 60ish; he has a family and realized that he was unable to bless them in an emergency, we told him that we, as missionaries, would be happy to come and do it if he ever needed it, but we really tried to focus on the fact that he could receive the priesthood power for himself ... the next day he came to church for the first time in 40 years. I always knew the priesthood, that we (Dad, TeJay, and I), hold is the Power of God, but I guess that I never realized the amazing power that is has to bless families. This experience made me think of all the times when I have received a priesthood blessing, (Which by the way, was not often enough; I think this is a reflection of how proud I am as a person; this is something I have chosen to work on this transfer, being humble) but I realized when I have received these blessings, they are something I hold very dear to me, and I know it is truly the Power of God which is helping me in my life ... so, I would just like to say Thank you for being worthy of the priesthood that you hold; thank you mom, JanDee, and Crystal for marrying a worthy priesthood holder; now sisters who are not yet married, make sure they are a warty Melchizedek Priesthood holder; I promise you, you do not want to live without this power in your future homes. Please tell grandma I wish to thank her you for marrying grandpa, who held said priesthood, and for the wonderful things they taught me by word, deed, and example.

On a lighter note, I have recently started eating curry ... it’s not hot like in India, and its actually way sweet and really good. I have yet to find the soda that Jeff showed us, but I search every time we got to the store. Don’t ever buy tou, its utter garbage!

The thing that I like most about Chiba is the ward. They all have such powerful missionary fire, and a lot of them speak English, which is way nice for a new missionary because it means that I can ask them questions, I would try to take a picture, maybe before I transfer, of me with the mission leader here in the ward, his name is Brother O, he’s a total boss, he and his wife are genuinely concerned for the missionaries, and always ask us how we are doing ... they are just really nice and really truly care for all of us.

Look, they Match ... on so many levels
Here is the picture of the Match advertisement I promised; Match is a delicious soft drink; my district leader, is the Choro in front; I want to try and find an actual ad, take a picture, then create my own with my companion. Sick.

We travel about Chiba sometimes, but mostly we chill around the Inage station; there are times when we venture out to Makuhari; it’s like a 30 minute bike ride from our apartment.  I like TeJay’s tradition of buying a pastry before entering the train station, but I haven’t started any traditions yet; I think I’ll wait until I’m a senior companion, or have one that speaks English. I will suggest this idea to them ... maybe eating breakfast at McDonald’s ...

I haven’t washed my temple pants yet, I’m thinking next week since its typhoon-ing today ...  I have not received the family’s letter yet, I look forward to it though!!! It may come today!

The Japan Tokyo Temple
We go to the temple on the P-Day (Moved from Monday to Tuesday) before transfers. Transfers are every 6 weeks; transfer day means a new pair of contacts! The temple was way great!!! We didn't get to go while I was in the MTC at the end, the temple was closed; but it was so great!!! I got to see all the people that were in my MTC district; that was way great!!! I love the temple!!! I always feel such joy and peace when I go, it’s like all the cares of the world just melt away and I know that God is right there with us; watching over us and strengthening us to do the things that we are doing. I love it!!!!!!!!!!

So firstly I want to say that I love serving a mission in Japan, but don’t ever let me move back here ... people have to work 6 days a week, and without the constant companionship of the Spirit I don’t think that it would be a very conducive place to live; there are gambling shops on every street corner ... and there are like 30,000 suicides a year ... it’s kind of depressing; the life style really takes a toll. The gospel could help so many establish a more balanced set of priorities. Right now I just want to teach every one the gospel, but after my mission, I would have to work and stuff ... and I don’t want that kind of environment to raise a family in ... there are times when the school system here struggles … everyone needs to joins a club or team, then all the competitions are on Sundays! Right! So lame! It makes you recognize and appreciate home and the traditions of Utah. I do love being a missionary here though.

Secondly, I am not transferring; we are getting a third member or our companionship though. The Oyumino Choros, the other missionaries living with us who work to the South & East of Chiba, are moving out. It will just be three of us, eventually ... the two Oyumino will stay until they find a place and move out ... don’t really know what’s going on there ... my DL is transferring, Ormund Choro, he is going to an area which won’t be attending the temple on our P-Day, because he's assigned to the Sado Ward which is on Sado Island, so I probably won't see him again on my mission. Sad day, but all is well here!!!
Ormund Choro (DL), Griffiths Choro
Okay, so last week we went to the Aoyagi’s for dinner, dad knows who they are, and I just wanted to say that they are awesome!!! It is so obvious that he is a Seventy because of his amazing testimony!!! His wife and family are so loving and are so great!!!!! We had some cake, and his wife told our investigator, which we brought with us, that on his birthday, she is going to make him a cake! She then turned to us and said "this is what I call Cake Dendo" (dendo is missionary work) they are so awesome; they are in the Oyumino ward though, so I rarely see them.

In the white hand book it says that we can dedicate homes, have we dedicated our home? When did we do it? What about TeJay’s and JanDee’s?

This week I bought a Japanese Book of Mormon for like twelve bucks, it has all our scripture except the bible. So it has the D & C and stuff too (Trent was raised using Quad’s, we should have introduced him to the Bible and the Triple combination). I have marked all the PMG (Preach my Gospel) scriptures and started marking the "Questions to the Soul" in it and have been using it on the street! I stop people and after talking to them for a bit, ask them "If you could ask God one question, what it would be?" Then I show them the answer in the Book of Mormon, cuz it has all the answers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love it!!!! It’s way good. That’s all.

By the way, this coming Sunday I will be giving a “brief” talk in sacrament meeting; I’m talking on a time in my life where the scriptures have directly influenced my life ... I really should have written about this sooner, and gotten some stuff from you guys, but that just didn’t feel right ... procrastinating is soooo much better, am I right or am I right? I know. However, I would like for you to pray for me, at least once! That would be way great!!! Thank you for all that you do!!!!

Father, you told me to write down all the times that I used my priesthood; I really liked the idea, but was wondering, do you think that standing in the circle counts? I’m not sure what to think, is that something that you would like to be able to remember from your mission? Is this something we will want to think about? TeJay, what are your thoughts?

Lately I feel as though my eye sight has gotten slightly worse ... is there something that I can do to prevent this from happening? It’s not bad, and I think that i might just be paranoid, but still. I wear my contacts for six weeks, one transfer, and then get new ones, could this be causing my eyes to degenerate?

At the end of the movie Hachi
is this observation
Parentals: Dad, I loved your letter, they are always so inspiring!!! I am always so motivated after I read them!!!! It’s way great!!!!, I will have to go to Shabuya and see the Hachiko statue and get a picture!!!! ... I would really like one where I am riding him like a valiant steed that he was, but I feel that that might be frowned upon by the mission and the rest of the world ... so I won’t, don’t worry. Thanks for editing the names on the blog, I will try to include the first names of people in my letters ... but it’s hard, mostly because I don’t know them ... they’re just Choro or Shimai to me now. It’s way sad. Mom, good luck with your new calling; that will be a lot of fun!!!! My planner and watch are fine! Sorry that I am not there to do all that stuff that I usually do though! That must be a real bummer, but you do have more food ... even though it lasts a little too long in my opinion ... I am sorry that the girls don’t appreciate you as much as I do. The commisarians wife offered to do all of our sewing that we would ever have, so don’t worry about anything being sewed. I hope that all going well on the home front! How is school going? Do you like your teacher? I hope that it’s all good!!!

TeJay and Crystal! Firstly, how did you ever learn Chinese, we have an investigator, actually 3 from china, and a recent convert teaches with us, because he is also from China, and there are times when they just go to town in Chinese ... it makes no sense!!!! Everything sounds the same!!! I’m thoroughly impressed by you. I hope that your yard is coming along nicely and that your progress wasn’t hindered to much by the storms lately! That would be a bummer. I hope that Porter is doing well and growing up nicely!!!!

JanDee and Jaden! I hope that ll is going well and that the children are doing well, I hope that all is going well for Waylon as he starts school this year, I am so excited for all you guys!!!!! You are all so great!!!!

Sam: I love the USA!!!! Thanks for always adding it on your letters! I feel so patriotic when i read them!!! Sorry about the humidity.... its pretty bad here too. Thank you for putting that pic on FB ... I’m sure that it was a hit. I don’t know about the peach sitch here, I will try to find out and take you advice ... yeah, thanks!!!! The timer on my blog sounds interesting ... I’m concerned that I only have 600 days left. Mom sounds interesting ... let me know how it goes. Good luck living with parentals; tip: just start making something and mom will usually jump in an help ... its quiet nice and easy too!!! I hope that work is going well, and I am jealous that you get to tend the kids! They sound like so much fun!!!!

Abi: Get tickets to the Game!! Even if you have to take the night shift of waiting out with your roommates!!! I want you to text me a play by play of the game and pray that we DESTROY them!!!!!!!!!!! I know, it’s the Lords school, I just feel that they need to be humbled like none other ... also I like the shirt!!!! I am sorry that you have to go to church alone sometimes! That is rough, but at least you have a roommate or two that are Mormon, and you don’t mind going by yourself. That’s always good!!!! Just think of this wonderful opportunity you have to grow!!! I’m glad that Herbert is doing well!!!!

Well, I have been pretty good this week, getting a new missionary to start training with my comp will be fun, I hope that he is pretty chill and not a crazy!!! I look forward to getting your letter from the fam!!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

DD 1.56 ... didn't pack my rain pants ... a funny noise ... this is the way ...

I forgot to tell you guys last week that this week is transfers, so P-Day becomes T-Day ("T" for Tuesday or Temple, maybe both), which is today, a Tuesday, we are going to the temple now, I'll write you guys in a couple of hours!!!! (Note:  This was sent from Japan on Tuesday morning around 5:52 AM on Tuesday the 10th of September 2013).

In the morning, we wake up, work out, shower, have breakfast, have personal study, have companion study, do the twelve week training program, have lunch, and then language study; we usually leave our place at like 1:00. Then we dendo, way hard, all day. We come back at eight or nine for dinner. After dinner, we plan and fill out our teaching records, which is all online now if you were wondering. I live about an hour and a half, by train, from the mission home; they send all our mail to our apartments from there. So no, I do not go pick it up from the Mission Home like TeJay did in Hong Kong. I have plenty of email time, plus all my friends are missionaries, so they totally understand if I don’t write them for a couple weeks, but yes I have time. All your emails are fine, I love reading every single one of them!!! Please do NOT shorten them so I have "more time."

We go to a hair cutting place, you know a barber shop, it is pretty cheap; and it is just an item we need to budget into our monthly mission fund. I am not sure if there are Laundromats, I really am fine with our laundering solution, I just think that it is hilarious to hang our clothes outside to dry! My blog site is actually blocked ... apparently it is inappropriate for a missionary, so I don’t know what you guys have been putting on there; I think that we can only use Google translate, maps, the specific email addresses, and approved church websites. My watch still works fine, which is a miracle, see rainy story for more on this. About not having baskets at Wal-Mart, we don’t even have a Wal-Mart ... and we have to bag our own food here, the checkers take it from a basket, check it, and put it in another basket and then hands us bags and we bag the purchase ourselves! Talk about a major first world problem! We also don’t have carts! We have little basket things that fit in these containers with wheels ... now that is different!

There was no typhoon, but there was a hard core rainstorm ... more on that later, little teaser, the story starts with "So I didn’t pack my rain pants this morning” Even during typhoon season, we dry our clothes outside, we have a little balcony that is kinda sheltered from the elements, it works quite nicely. Yes mother, we have an iron. I’m in a first world country ... actually that argument is invalid, I hang my clothes to dry and beat my bed with a switch to get the dust off; and yes, I just used the word switch … I have discovered that when I am stressed my bowel movements suffer, but I have been feeling a lot better recently. On Wednesday there was a small earthquake, but it was pretty big for my first one, we were just chillin in the apartment when it happened though, it was sick!!! Or as they say here, Yabai

I have not made a funny noise in quite some time ... I feel so ashamed ... just kidding, I just made one ... and it was GLORIOUS!!!!!! (In our home if you think someone is stressed, frustrated, or upset; and they won’t admit it, we ask them to make a funny noise. If you can’t or won’t make a funny noise, then it forces the admission or it relieves the perceived tension. Thus, the question, “Have you made a funny noise lately?”) I received Sam’s letter which she mailed on the 28th on the 9th of September; so it sounds like I should get the next letter from you today … I think. I ate the fish at Zone P-Day; it was like three hours long, last Monday. It was a lot of fun, it helped that I was blind folded.  I have been doing well this week, I went on splits with one of the zone leaders and a kid from my MTC district on Friday, it was way fun! I was up in Narita for a day and it was way great!! I learned so much and had such an amazing time!!! I hope that I can become the type of missionary that I want to be!!

Back:  ..., Griffiths Choro, Ormond Choro, Aoyagi Shimai ...
Front:  ... Watanabe Choro, is next to Aoyagi Choro
I believe we interview with President Budge once a transfer. Usually people stay in areas for three transfers, and Watanabe Choro has been here for four now; Chiba is getting two more elders, so there is a good chance that it will be me and two new missionaries. I realize that I will be able to do whatever the Lord wants me to do if I have enough faith, and if am willing to work for it too! On Tuesday night we went and had dinner with Elder Koichi Aoyagi and his family, he is in the Second Quorum of the Seventy; here’s a picture.

So, Sunday morning, I forgot to pack my rain pants; I had my coat though, cuz I thought it might sprinkle a little bit, I also didn’t change out of my suit pants. We to teach a lesson at an apartment twenty minutes away, when it starts to rain while we are there. It just gets worse and worse, so after the lesson we went and housed an apartment building or two that were fourteen floors tall ... the rain just got worse ... so at like eight we start the trek back; it’s like a twenty minute ride ... so I put my planner and my watch in a "water proof pocket" of my coat, (i.e. the one on the inside with a zipper) ... so we ride!!! It was thrilling! My pants were soaked and my shoes were full of water by the time we rolled out from under the balcony, but alas, we sallied forth. Long ride short, by the time we got back to our apartment, we were soaked, so I take out my planner and watch, only to find out that the pocket was filled with water ... don’t worry, everything dried; but yeah, I can still use everything and my pants look like they will be fine, I think, but my planner is what I am most broken up about. I can still use it, but it just looks a little sketchy ... well actually, a lot sketchy. Is this where I say, “Whatever?”

Parentals, thank you for all that you do; especially you, father of mine, thank you for the information on my camera! It is very helpful!! I hope that all is going well with the turkeys; maybe they will kill one for you guys on Thanksgiving and let y’all devour it! That would be nice; I heard that there is also a parrot? I hope that they are making your lives all sorts of fun. I hope that dad does not go to overboard with the flowers boxes, remember that we will have to fill them all with flowers, and Abi is pretty much the only one who likes to garden. I hope that all is going well and that your eye is doing better mom! Sorry that it got infected, I know how much you hate eye things. Also father, thank you for the tip on working on understanding, I have actually been working on that a lot this week! I feel as though I can say a lot of stuff, but I have no idea what anyone says to me, it’s pretty rough, but I am praying that I will get better!!! I was delighted to hear that Porter likes to climb on things! That is always a good sign that he is going to be an active, healthy person!! Sorry to hear about TeJay’s throat, but hopefully it will heal up nicely (and maybe a little bigger). I am glad that you guys were able to get out and take a vacation! That sounds way nice actually! I am also glad that you were able to have sushi, I have yet to eat it here, but I hear that it is marvelous! Stay the course on teaching Porter to call me Uncle Awesome, a worthy goal for the next word after mama and dada, and whatever dad is trying to teach him for grandpa. Abi: sorry that Chases little sister died, tell him that I am sorry for him. I hope that all is going well on the Asian roommate front, and that Herbert is doing well, I hope that all is going well with school and that you feel as though you have made the right decision about things, and yes, when I return we shall make so much junk food it is going to be ridiculous (mom: I eat more vegetables now then I probably ever have in my whole life before) there are no sweets in this country, a single doughnut is like 130 yen, and a snickers is the same price!! It’s outrageous!! I hope that you are doing all right with school! I heard that Japan won the bid for the Olympics yesterday from some German actually, it was very interesting to talk to them about the world events that were going on, pretty much just the Olympics though. They were all on an airplane crew, so naturally I was way psyched to talk to them about flying!!! Sam, I hope that all is going well with you and being at work, which rocks that you get to sleep in a little bit more now! Also you should know that I love getting your letters, they always make my day!!!

This week has been good, we found a guy who is golden! His name is Brother E, and he really wants to know all about everything, I’m pretty sure that he will have no problem accepting the gospel! We are also teaching a Chinese man named Brother S! He’s a college student studying engineering ... he’s a boss. He loves learning and wants to know where we came from, why we are here, and where we go after this life ... right, I’m thinking we should teach the plan of salvation, and call it good. We also have an investigator named Brother H, also from China, he is Taoist, and pretty legit, he mainly just has a ton of questions. We also teach a chap named Brother O, from Japan! He’s a stud, he finally came to church this week! And is reading the Book of Mormon! We are teaching some less active members, one is from Bolivia, and some other people that are off and on about the gospel, I hope that they all come unto Christ and realize that this is the way to be happy! There are a lot of foreigners here in Chiba.

Not much else to say this week, I hope that everything is going well for all you guys and that you don’t miss me too much! Love you guys so much!!! I got out my white pants to take to the temple, and they had some blue stuff on them, suggestions? Can I wash them with my white shirts? I’m not sure what to do. Thanks for all your help!!! LOVE you guys!!  (Note from Sam: Are there just a million missionaries coming? Insane, and awesome, go missionary work. And go you! And for the record, I am still baffled that there are A MILLION people in your ward boundaries. I can't even comprehend! Crazy!!)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Tokyo will host 2020 Olympics

By Stephen Wilson
Associated Press
Published: Saturday, Sept. 7 2013 3:28 p.m. MDT

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Tokyo was awarded the 2020 Olympics on Saturday, capitalizing on its reputation as a "safe pair of hands" and defying concerns about the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

Tokyo defeated Istanbul 60-36 in the final round of secret voting by the International Olympic Committee. Madrid was eliminated earlier after an initial tie with Istanbul.

Tokyo, which hosted the 1964 Olympics, billed itself as the reliable choice at a time of global political and economic uncertainty — a message that resonated with the IOC.

"Tokyo can be trusted to be the safe pair of hands and much more," bid leader and IOC member Tsunekazu Takeda said in the final presentation. "Our case today is simple. Vote for Tokyo and you vote for guaranteed delivery. ... Tokyo is the right partner at the right time."

Tokyo had been on the defensive in the final days of the campaign because of mounting concerns over the leak of radioactive water from the tsunami-crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

Tokyo 2020
In the final presentation, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gave the IOC assurances that the Fukushima leak was not a threat to Tokyo and took personal responsibility for keeping the games safe.

"Let me assure you the situation is under control," Abe said. "It has never done and will never do any damage to Tokyo."

With Madrid's bid dogged by questions over Spain's economic crisis and Istanbul handicapped by political unrest and the civil war in neighboring Syria, Tokyo proved to be the least risky choice for the IOC.

"I think it was a choice between going to new shores and staying with a more traditional candidate," IOC vice president Thomas Bach said. "And this time they decided with the more traditional candidate."

IOC members have also been concerned about construction delays and other challenges plaguing preparations for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Opting for certainty in 2020 was a key priority.

"I think very much that could have been a factor," Bach said.

Japanese supporters of the

Tokyo Bid 2020 team

celebrate in Tokyo
Tokyo delegates in the hall screamed with joy, jumped in the air, hugged and waved small flags after Rogge opened a sealed envelope and read the words: "The International Olympic Committee has the honor of announcing that the games of the 32nd Olympiad in 2020 are awarded to the city of Tokyo."

Even though it was 5 a.m. Sunday in Japan, about 1,200 dignitaries and Olympic athletes who crowded into a convention hall in downtown Tokyo celebrated the news. Cheers of "Banzai!" filled the hall when the announcement was made.

Tokyo 2020 Venues
"It's a great, great honor," Takeda said. "I promise we will deliver everything we've promised for 2020."

In Istanbul's old city, a groan went through a crowd of hundreds of people.

In the first round, Istanbul and Madrid tied with 26 votes each. Tokyo had 42 votes, six short of a winning a majority. Istanbul then beat Madrid 49-45 in a tiebreak to advance to the final, which Tokyo won easily.

In their final presentations, Madrid made its case as the least-expensive option and Istanbul spoke of the historic opportunity to bring the Olympics to a predominantly Muslim country for the first time.

Madrid, bidding for a third straight time, had seemed to have gained the most momentum in recent weeks despite Spain's economic crisis and 27 percent unemployment rate.
Special Lighting Display on the Tokyo Tower

Monday, September 2, 2013

DD 1.45 ... trusted with the Lords hardest, most satisfying work ... clearly I need to study more languages ...

Alright ... let’s talk about some guide lines for sending me emails ... no more of this "let’s mention a ailment that someone has, or a trip to the emergency room, and then not mention what happens afterwards" crap ... is everyone all right? Is mom’s eye doing better? How is TeJay’s throat? Is Herbert (Abi’s Plant) still alive? I need to know people & I need to know now!!!!

My apartment from my desk,
with the laundry drying on the balcony.
We have a washing machine and we hang our clothes to dry outside, on our balcony … so it takes about a week for them to actually dry. You asked if the humidly has affected my complexion, I haven’t really broken out bad yet, but we shall see ... we shall see.

A flash drive would be nice, if we want to print anything we have to take it to a copy place, we don’t have a printer. I’ll be fine though, maybe at Christmas you guys could send me one ... or maybe I’ll just buy one here, I bet I could find a terabyte one here in the technological center of the world for pretty cheap. I received Sam’s letter on Tuesday the 27th of August (Sam sent the letter on the 17th of August).

We ate Gyoza at a restaurant this week; it was very good, the Berg version was very close. Let them know I appreciate them introducing it to me before I arrived. Today I got a haircut and ate a pregnant fish ... it was actually better than the cookie I ate; granted the cookie was smothered in Wasabi ... I was blind folded during a game at our Zone P-day. Our team lost ... but I got to eat a fish, skin, brains, eyes, and eggs ... the good news is that it had been cooked, but yeah ... it was pretty good actually. There is a 7-11 on every street corner here, we shop there often to buy food. This is me with my fly new haircut and my cookies which I bought there today, surprisingly good; along with two bottles of "Match." They have the funniest advertisement ever, I'll try to get a picture of it to send to you; it is actually way GOOD!!!!! and pretty cheap; its like vitamin soda! I love the stuff!
Me with my fly new haircut and cookies which I bought today, surprisingly good.
To follow-up on last week’s lawn mowing story, no, our apartment didn't include any scythes, we went and bought some mini hand held scythes at a dollar store; we also bought some shady gloves ... it looked like we was a goin’ a murderin’ ... This week rocked ... I used a Japanese Book of Mormon, a Chinese BoM - twice, a Spanish BoM, and an English BoM ... clearly I need to study more languages ... it’s really cool to see how the gospel is the same everywhere that you go … however, the bible is a different story, the Japanese version is way different than ours, obviously not the King James Version, just another of many different interpretations and translations. Eikaiwa is really fun actually, that is the English class. I really like it! Our ward assigned a coordinator, and his wife gave me and Watanabe Choro some elephants! They are adorable, they are made of stone, not real ones mom; I know, broken hearted. My companion attends the English class ... I teach with the sisters in my district ... well one of them, I am over the intermediate class most weeks; Christensen Shimai helps me out with that mostly, her companion is also a Nihonjin.

Typhoon season is beginning now, there is one that was supposed to hit tonight, maybe tomorrow ... so yeah! I’m way psyched for it actually, I love the rain and the wind, and I really want to dendo in it actually!!! WHOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for the details on the toothpaste, it really helped!! Thank you for all calling grandma; I’m sure you did; look at you, dutifully following a missionary’s advice; I feel as though I have such power over y’all!

I heard about the money from grandma, would you guys pay the tithing for me there in the States? We pay fast offerings each month through an ATM, though not through the bishopric, thus it is hard to pay tithing ... mainly because my vocabulary limits my ability to explain my situation to my companion ... I think it would be easier for you guys to just pay it anyway ... you see, the instructions are in Japanese... and since I can only read like three kanji out of the 10 ga-jillion that I would need ... I would love for you guys to just pay it for me ... thank you so much!!!

The guy that was baptized my first week here just got a new roommate. He started to pray one night and when he finished, the guy was all like, "sore wa nani o shita ka?" (what was that?) So Chou, being the new convert with all sorts of dendo fire going hard 24/7 said "sore wa inori datta" and that led into a whole discussion about prayer. As a result, we went to a member’s home on Sunday evening; met with him and had a nice little lesson all about the restoration ... yep, referrals rock!!!! We actually got like three new referrals this week!

My interview with President Budge went great, and Sister Budge even made me some cookies without pecans in, and they were so good!!!! I really do love them so much, they are the nicest family! It is easy to tell that they love missionary work! There are a whole lot of new missionaries coming into the mission with the next transfer – it is likely missionaries that came out with me could be training … there are that many new missionaries coming. Now that is scary, if I’m asked, I know that the Lord will help me, right now my favorite scripture is Alma 56:46 ... well one sentence of it. It’s all about the 2000 stripling warriors, they are getting ready to go kill all the Lamanites; so really only one line applies. Unless you think of me going about slaying the sinners of the world with the sword of truth and the shield of righteousness ... which is a really cool image so please envision that actually! It says "[Brother] behold our God is with us, and He will not suffer that we should fall.” That has been keeping me going this last week, I am being trusted with the Lords hardest, most satisfying work, surely I should trust him to "not let me fall" when I take that leap of faith! I love this gospel and know that it is true! This is the Lord's work and if his hand was not in the midst of it all the 19 year old's would have screwed it up a long time ago.

Love you all so much; say ey to Grandma for me and tell her that she rocks!
Elder Griffiths

Last thing, my shoulders have been hurting and I think that it is because I wear a shoulder bag; I switch shoulders a lot during the day, but I fear that I may come home with neck problems, kind of like TeJay’s. Are there any exercises that I can do to strengthen my shoulders/neck/joints? Any info would really help.

Storm I have two Asian roommates ... just think, at least yours speak English, right?

Tweets from Japan:
  • Being a foot taller than everyone else in the whole country #GaijinNoMondai (Foregner problem)
  • Hitting you head on every door way cuz it’s made for people a foot shorter than you #GaijinNoMondai
  • Having a hole in the ground for a toilet? #FirstWorldCountry more like #FirstWorldProblem
  • Typhoon season #ComeAtMeMotherNature #Murica
  • Cow Piss? Oh you mean Calpis #YesIllTakeAllOfThem There was no Calpis at the store today ... we all cried. We buy like four liters a week and drink them all. Tell Jeff thanks for the intro.
So its come to this ...
... I really miss Skippy
The big one is from america and the
small one costs the same amount.
So, I was showing the pictures of me on my camera to the Nihonjin and they see the one where I have a gallon of milk and a bowl of cookies; they were all like "What’s that?" … and I was all like "That my dear friends is called a gallon, and it is God’s most dear gift to man; it is about four liters, and IT IS GLORIOUS!!!!" They are amazed, saying that if they ever go to America I need to show them where they can buy a gallon of something ... I tell them gallons of milk are sold in every store imaginable ... even full of chocolate milk ... they almost die … and say, “no wonder America is so fat” ... then they look at me ... and say "uh, maybe not" ...

I am doing well and hope that all is well on the home front  I am sad that I was not able to climb Mount Timp with y'all, but when I get back let's go on the Saturday and Monday of Labor Day for two years to make up for the time that I missed ya? Sound like a plan Stan?!?!?!?

Stan wa keikaku o nandesuka? (What's the plan Stan?)

I love it here! Every day brings new challenges, but everyday I am reminded that I am in Crap Flippin Japan! It is awesome!
The bathroom in my apartment, its so small!!!
My knees are against the wall when I have to sit.
The city of Chiba; the view is NOT from my apartment.