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|
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!!!
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!!