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, December 30, 2013

DD 4.35 ... Why are you still such a little child ...

Did you get to see Waylon and Axton on Skype? Did that go OK?
Yeah, they were all so good! It was great to see them all and talk to everyone!

What did you do on Christmas Day after the phone call?
We went and housed some houses and then taught English class.

How did your companion's Skype go?
Not as well as mine. We ended up going to the church halfway through because the computer was sketchy.

Was it OK you went a bit over your 40 min?
Meh, not really. I mean no one knows but me and the Lord ... so I guess no, it’s not really okay. I was only a couple minutes, like 1 and a half over though.

As district leader, do you just call sister missionaries every night or do you call elders as well?
The sisters and the people I live with are the only people in my district so I just call them and then talk to the Zone Leader Choros.

How many missionaries are you district leader over?
8 total, 4 sisters, my companion, the Zone Leaders, and myself.

What did you buy to give to your secret Santa person?
It was Dunbar Choro, so I got some boot covers, some pig socks, and some pens that he loves, but never buys because they are pretty pricey.

Did Brother M-San get an answer about the church and decide if he wants to be baptized?
Not yet, I think he’s actually been avoiding us.

Do the Nihongo celebrate our New Year’s Day or do they Celebrate Chinese New Year? (or is there a secret Japanese New Year)
They have a three day cleaning party on the 29th, 30th, and 1st, and then a three day party for the 1st, 2nd, & 3rd ... so yeah, a secret Nihongo New Year.

Have you crashed on your bike at all? (how is your comp doing on his bike?)
Nope, no problems recently ... I may have hit a truck, but it was stopped, and I was fine ... so nope, no problems.

Have you ever met Sister Law?

Have you heard from Kaleb lately?
No, not recently.

Parentals: sorry I made mom cry, that’s no good. It was really good to hear from you all though!! It was great to see everyone too ... and yeah, I was wondering about Abi's costume for the nativity,(Abi played the part of the inn keeper) but I’m glad that y’all still did it without all the cousins; grandma and grandpa would be so proud.

Actually I did know that my companion was a really good swimmer. He just missed the Olympic trials by like a couple seconds ... which is a bummer right? 

Children of the parentals ... sorry that y’all lost the Christmas Level ... I just can’t help but be a little competitive ... :D VICTORY IS MINE!!!!!! I’ll probably win the Mother’s Day level too ... Challenge Extended.

Sam and Abi:  The picture of Taylor is pretty great. I hope that all is going well in school and work, I hope that the cake at Sammy's wedding tasted as good as it looked; I heard from mom that it was like a tree in the forest and such. After hearing about Sammy Sue’s wedding, I decided that you can’t get married till I get back ... I really want some of your wedding cake!! Thank you for putting it off; or how about putting some in the fridge until I get home. Sam, who is this B? I think that I might know her, its way cool that she is meeting with the missionaries!

So in the past I thought that it would be really cool to be leader, because that means that God must really trust you right? Well, that was a little prideful of me I realize now!! So I've decided now that God made me a leader because he likes to laugh at me … I’m trying to plan trainings as such ... it’s so bad I swear ... right now I’m mid-planning for District meeting tomorrow and I have no idea what to train on ... I honestly feel like everyone else are better missionaries than I am, so it’s hard to know what to say. Other than that, things are pretty good here on the Nihon front.

I am doing pretty good actually. I haven’t been sleeping lately ... I don’t know why, but then our ward mission leader told me to read the book of Numbers … who knew, it works great! It takes less than a single chapter and you will sleep like a baby.

I feel like I have learned a lot here, mainly about patience with myself when I was a trainee, and then about patience with other people now that I’m training. I have also learned a lot about love, and seeing people as Christ would see them. The ultimate question isn't What Would Jesus Do, but How Would Jesus Feel while he did it? It’s made me realize how far from the Savior I really am and how much I need to improve. It’s hard getting humbled most of the time, but I learned that as long as I’m humbled and not humiliated I have nothing to be afraid of. I’m glad that Christ thinks the way that he does and that he looks past all of my shortcomings ... because let’s be honest, there are a LOT OF THEM. but I've learned that no matter what I do or have done, he is always willing to forgive me, and then later probably chuckle a little as I fall into the same hole and say "you literally just learned that ... what are you doing? Why are you still such a little child?" and some stuff like that. But the reason is that he is our older brother and that he is so willing to look out for all of us.

It was really great to see all y’all on Christmas. I know that it was Christmas Eve for y’all, but it was the best present that I could have gotten! I look forward to continuing this great work that I have been called to do here in Nihon ... and I don't know where I was going with that ... oh, well .... it’s AWESOME HERE! I LOVE THE GOSPEL!!! WHOOOOOO!!!!!!

I love you all so much and I’m so glad that you are doing so well!!
PS. A BYU boy band? Really Stormer? Really?
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Monday, December 23, 2013

DD 4.25 ... I'll see you on Wednesday ...

How has your life changed since becoming the district leader?
It hasn’t changed that much; I have to call the sisters every night and talk to them about the dendo that they did that day. It’s very interesting to hear what they do. Lately it has been a lot of caroling at the train stations.

Did you cut your own hair?

What was the new insight on charity did you get when you talked to the Assistant Hogue Choro?
Charity is not something that we can possess, but instead is something that we are possessed by; it is the true love of Christ and we should strive to love people as though Christ would love them. Just think, what did Christ go through for that person? There was a lot of other stuff that would take a long time to write.

Are you guys doing anything for Christmas besides calling home?
We are doing a Secret Santa!!!

Do you guys sing when you teach lessons at investigator's houses?

Do you ever sing on the street corners? Apparently that's a thing ...
Sometimes ...

This week was pretty good. We had an eikaiwa Christmas Party and I read The Grinch book. We also had a Zone Conference which was really good, the DL’s had a training with President Budge which was way sweet! We also taught some lessons in English and some in Japanese ... it was really good actually. I did most of the talking and such, but Neilson Choro did a little bit. It was pretty good. We didn’t set a date, but Morot San said that if he gets and answer he is going to get baptized ... so that’s good. Hopefully we can reach our goal of seeing three baptisms in January ...

So not much to say this week ... it might just be better if we talk about it all on Wednesday ...

Januari, thanks for the pics of the kids! They are still adorable! I can’t believe how much they have grown up already!! It amazes me!

Abi sorry about your Secret Santa, that’s rough ... hope that you had a happy birthday!!! It was a pretty exciting day here too, it was Nielson Choro’s birthday on the 22nd so we got some cake and some stuff for him too!

So yeah, I’ll see you on Wednesday!!! Not much happened here this week, I’ll talk to y’all about it more on Wednesday!!!
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Saturday, December 21, 2013

DD 4.23 ... Happy Birth-got-a-letter-Day 2 Abi ...

Christmas Card from Griffiths Choro
I know it’s not much, but still, Coolest Card EVER; RIGHT!!!! Seriously, best card y’all ever got in the mail. So by the time you read this, I’ll probably have just talked to y’all on the phone; the thing is, I’m not sure how long it will take for this letter to get to you. I also wanted to send Grandma a letter, but maybe I’ll just eMail the family, have you proof read it, print and deliver to Grandma … just so mom doesn't find out what I’m writing to Grandma … those were the days in the good ole MTC.

Anyway things here are pretty good. Thank-you again for all the packages; I just read that you are sending me 3. I’m not gonna lie … I feel more loved than TeJay … which is a pretty good feeling. The only thing that really feels Christmassy is there is a lot of stress right now. I remember mom and Abi freaking out last year and now here I am freaking out … I really okay though. I know that I’m stressed because I want to do a really good job at whatever calling I have. It just happens that the mission is really young right now, and I just happen to be … well I really don’t know what I happen to be, but it’s someone who gets called on throughout my life … I really do want to thank y’all for raising me right. Seriously, there are a lot of missionaries who are good missionaries, but they all have these stories of how they never went to church as a kid because they really disliked their parents of didn’t want to conform to their parent’s ways. It’s made me realize how amazing and supportive you all are to me. I really can imagine life without an amazing family like you all!! I am also thankful for this wonderful church … like seriously, there are a lot of different religions in this world … for example, the church identifies who everyone will marry because God chose Adam for Eve … Yeah, I got dendoed by one of their missionaries – that was weird, BTW.

I’m so grateful that our church is true and that you all know it too. I love this Christmas time of year where everyone is thinking a little about Christ … I mean it’s literally CHRISTmas … it’s pretty sweet actually. Being a missionary this year has really made me think a lot about the true meaning of the holiday and stuff; and frankly a lot about charity … which has been on my mind a whole lot lately. You know, Charity is an ironic subject. The more I think about charity, the more I realize I’m not yet possessed by it, which makes me want to be more charitable, but I never quite get to it … it’s immensely frustrating because if I ever try to say I am Charitable, I’m not being humble … which is pride … which is the opposite of charity … Anyway … CHRISTmas has me thinking a lot about Christ.

I just want to say that I love you all so much and that it’s always greate to hear from you, but also when I don’t its okay too; it just makes me think you guys are busy … which is really good in my mind.

PS. I sent Abi an eMail, but I also just wanted to say again … Happy Birth-got-a-letter-Day 2 Abi; from Trenton!!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

DD 4.15 ... new companion ... and a baptism ... what a week ...

What do you spend your money on? What bills do you pay?
We don't really pay bills, so we get like ¥30,000/month for food and travel.

Are you wearing your thermal underwear yet?
Yes I am; I'm quite warm.

How did the baptisms go? When were they?
They were good, they were right after church on Sunday. I had to baptize Sister Y twice and Brother S three times ... but it was all good. Budge Kaichou & Shimai came too; it was a lot of pressure, and the font was messed up so there was like half the amount of water that there should have been, but it was all good. It was a really cool experience, and one that they (and I) will probably never forget. (for additional details about the baptism, see McAllister Shimai's weekly entry).

Who confirmed the people you baptized?
They will get confirmed next week; they were baptized Sunday after church.

What did Elder Hogue tell you that changed your life?
We talked about charity.

Who is your new companion?
Nielson Choro from Alpine Utah; we have already got his bike; he is awesome ... he sang in high school ... and he swam ... apparently he's really good (barely missed the Olympic Trials) ... you could say that we get along quite nicely … he’s pretty cool ... he’s a really good kid too, full of desire and all sorts of good such! I'm honored, if not overwhelmed, to be responsible for his training!
32 new missionaries arrived in Tokyo this week
Circled:  Nielson Choro of Alpine, Utah

Are you still in the same apartment?

Occurred atLatitudeLongitudeDepthMagnitudeRegion Name
13:06 JST
14 Dec 2013
35.6N140.8E50 km5.5Chiba-ken
Did you feel the 5.5 earthquake this week? The epicenter was just outside of Chiba.
It felt like a really little one.
How did your haircut go? Does it look ok?
It’s okay ... I need some more practice, but it’s not bad.

Did you get any of our packages yet?
I got the one with the ward Christmas tree in yes, but there was no letters so I was very confused.

So this week was really interesting, being a District Leader is really stressful; but not quite as stressful as being the senior companion & training. Training is good, but it’s really hard going from the companion that doesn't really have to teach the lesson to being the only one who can ... I’m glad that I had the companions that I've had; I was able to learn from them; I didn't realize how much, but I would still like a little more training ... anyways. The baptisms were good, they were long, but good.

I also taught a lesson this week; it was good, but not great … but it was good ... I need to get a lot better at teaching ... and a lot of other things too.

I think that we should try to use Skype, which I’m not really sure how to work; for me, I think that the 25th, Wednesday, around 10:00 AM (JST) would work best for me. For now let’s plan on that and I’ll get back to you when everyone else here is planning their calls. We only get 40 minutes BTW.

Mom, sorry that i made you cry ... that’s no good. But it’s good that I won the Christmas Decoration level!!! Thanks for the good luck wishes with the training and stuff; I feel like I’m turning in to Abi, the stress level is seriously so high right now, it’s crazy, I understand how you guys feel now ... it’s not great, sorry that I wasn't more willing to help out more when I was at home ... and yeah, I was pretty good at planning before I left.

Dad, the house looks really good! I’m sorry that it took me so long to get you those names. we have literally been running back and forth from place to place the last couple weeks, I kinda miss being that busy, but it's nice to have a P-Day every once in a while. The picture of grandpa was really cool too! Thanks for pointing it out!!! I hope that all is going well on the home front and that you aren’t getting too stressed out. Stress is no fun! Love you!

Picture Sam sent to Trent this week
Sam. thanks for the pic, I felt like I was going at warp speed indeed ... it made me miss winter a little bit actually. there is literally no snow here ... its barely even cold actually. Its pretty lame; the Logan winter hardened me beyond belief ... this is nothing here ... I’m glad that Jazz game was fun and that you got to whiten your hair for the day. Also that you got your Kindle and new glasses, they sound pretty sweet. Sad day about R-Tec though!

Stormer ... I’ll pray for you some more ... I think that Clydesdale is just cutting out a little bit, I named my bike Clyde too, and I think that somehow he may have gotten wind of it and is just a little jealous ... sorry about that. I hope that he stops misbehaving soon ... karma is rough, but I don’t believe in karma. I just believe that God gives us lots of opportunities to grow ... often making us feel really bad about ourselves first. When something really bad is happening; something really good is about to come! So to quote Batman, the night is darkest just before the dawn ... so keep strong and keep looking on the horizon for that beautiful sunrise peaking over the mountains of adversity! "YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!" said in that awesome Mexican voice that only I can do!

This week was really good! I really have gained a love of prayer ... I mean, I did before, but now on a whole new level ... it’s been a rough week, but I know that through God’s power I will be able to do whatever he asks me to do! Dad’s scriptures have helped a lot lately, as well as Sam’s and all her talks that she has sent me over the last couple months ... as well as conference; Elder Holland’s talk this last one was really weird when I heard it, but it really helped me out this week. Well, at least my notes have helped … the one’s that I took when he delivered it.

Thank you so much or all that you do for me and for everyone else!!
I love you all so much and pray for you guys a lot!!

Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!! and a Happy....
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Monday, December 9, 2013

DD 3.65 ... a Baptism for Christmas ... best present ever ...

When you go on splits, can you give us the name of the area? Have you done splits in Kisaraeu?
Yes, I went on splits with the Choros, but we were in Chiba.

Did you ever find Grandpa Griff on page 126 of the November Ensign?
I never did, but mainly because I didn't know who I was looking for.

Let's talk dollars. Do you usually have money left over in your account? if so, how much?
Well this month was crazy, but now I have nearly ¥12400 extra as well as about ¥17500 on me.

What kind of pie did you have for your Thanksgiving dinner party?

How did your song go?? (It Came Upon a Midnight Clear)
It was really good. I got a lot of compliments on how low my voice was.

Would you like a gray sweater for Christmas? Or anything else you can think of?
It might be good, but I’ll be ok without it; if there is not room or anything like that! Whatever you guys feel is best.

Have you had any more experiences with nuts??????

Do you think you might be transferred again before Christmas?

Did you go to the temple this week?
Yeah, it was way good, and then while the Zone Leaders were at the Mission Leadership Council, I got to dedno in Tokyo with some peeps.

Had any more haircuts?
Not yet, we are thinking about trying to cut my hair, Dunbar Choro has been doing it since before his mission, so we'll have him give it a shot.

How do you figure out what day you'll be calling around Christmas? (Since apparently there are a few days it could be)
I’m not sure.

Have you started wearing your boots/murder gloves yet?
Not yet, but I did buy some cheap magic gloves at the hundred yen store.

Did you ever waterproof your shoes? (also how are your shoes doing? ok still??)
I did once, but now it stopped raining.

So this week was pretty good. The lady I was going to baptize had to go to the hospital with her daughter, so it got moved to next week, with Brother S, our investigator; so now I get to baptize both of them!! Wahooo, cool right, I’m honored that he requested me to baptize him! That was a really good day, hopefully all goes well this week.

This week we blitzed two areas who might not make the Christmas goal, so we tried to help them out, we think that it worked and they too could see a baptism by Christmas.

This week I was also able to go on splits with Hogue Choro, he is one of the Assistants to the President, he is going home this transfer; anyway on Thursday, he was here working with the Zone Leaders, we had dinner together while they were teaching a lesson, we talked a lot about charity and goals and stuff like that ... and for some reason, I don't know why, leadership came up ... more on that later … but pretty much he changed my whole mission and life in about five minutes ... yeah, I guess you could say that he’s a pretty good missionary. That was the highlight of the week, not much else happened … except oh yeah, transfer calls came this morning … did I mention that I'm pretty sure ... well I don't know what I did this time ...

… so I’m staying in Chiba and I have been asked to train a new missionary right out of the MTC, but I've also been assigned to be the District Leader for the Chiba district ... so it’s me and my elder new guy, the zone leaders, and two sets of sisters ... none of them are transferring either, just picking up a kouhai. This should be a way sweet transfer.

TeJay, it was good to hear from you, sorry that your work is all hectic and such, that’s no fun, but the travel part is cool.
Gravy ... rock climbing ... still that’s so cool, I love it so much!!!
Stormer ... WHY DID YOU KILL MY CAR!!!!!???!?!?!?
Oh well, tell your Home Teacher that I love him for all that that is worth … and that he should stay friends with my sister. A lack of Fifth graders, they are a tough age, but it doesn't surprise me at all that you still miss them so much. Give it time, serve others and you will find that they will fill the void you are filling.
Parentals. sorry about not getting the names on the pictures, not a lot of time this week, I find myself saying that a whole lot these days actually ... but I look forward to talking to you around Christmas time ... not sure when though, but it should be really fun!!!

I love you guys so much and hope that all is well on the home front!
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Thursday, December 5, 2013

DD 3.61 ... T-Day ... too busy ... no P-Day this week for us ...

We did not expect a letter on Monday because T-Day is scheduled for Tuesday this week ... no, letter arrived on Tuesday, sad days for mama, who is fighting a cold, no eMail only made it worse.  We read Paxman Choro's entry for the week and enjoyed the spirit of his recent success; also went out and read McAllister Shimai's entry and found this picture of their Zone and gained some insight about last Sunday's Christmas Program in Matsudo ... thanks everyone for sharing ...
Back: Asato Choro (Zone Leader), Dunbar Choro (Zone Leader)
M-Kneeling: Griffiths Choro, Higbee Choro, Macaravey Choro, Lefever Choro, Shimoji Choro, Burgin Choro, Ricks Choro
M-Standing: Kondo Choro, Lutz Choro, Stembridge Choro, Bischoff Choro, Johnson Choro, Rassmussen Choro
McAllister Shimai, Willden Shimai, Dunn Shimai
Good news ... we've got mail ... Thursday evening 8:19 PM (JT) ...

Sorry, this week we have had literally zero time to take a P-Day ... we haven't even bought food for the week, but I just wanted to say, "Hey," really fast while I had some time. This week we had a lot of lessons and did some baptismal interviews for the other areas ... we also blitzed two areas this week and hopefully found some people that could be baptized before Christmas this year.

The sisters in my area are having a baptismal service on Sunday and didn't have anyone yet to baptize her so they asked me to do it. Should be fun, but I'm a little nervous ... not sure why really. But yeah should be a great week.

So we just got back from taking an investigator we have been trying to meet with some melon pan ..  and while he hasn't been that happy with us, today he freaked out tonight, in a good way. He was so happy that we brought him some melon pan ... apparently its like his favorite food ever and so he was really happy ... yeah, go me, my suggestion rocked it way good.

Thats about all I have time to say right now, but i just wanted to say that you are all so great, I got the kids' letters a couple days ago and it really made my day, they are so great! I got dad's letter too!!

Thank you so much for all that you do for me and those around you!!!
Elder Griffiths
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