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

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

DD 5.56 ... No Mail This Week ...

... technical difficulties ... eMail was created, but lost while trying to send ... #Frustration
Mama was Sad

Monday, February 17, 2014

DD 5.45 寝たくてたまらない

Where did you get the shovels to sled on?
They were sitting outside of our apartment complex one day ... They are still good shovels.

Jump roping? Where? How? When?
My companion likes to jump rope, and brought some, so some mornings we go out and jump rope in the little park behind our house.

Did you replace your bike light yet?
Yep ... Now I have a mini spotlight on my bike ... You can almost see the beam shining up in the night sky ... it's nice

What were you looking for at the recycle shop?
A jacket, some shoes, a new snowboard, maybe a soccer ball. They have everything for way cheap.

Did you get the bike tool from Amazon yet?
Not yet ... Y'all know that I could have bought one here right? I just thought that if you were sending me a package the one I already had would be nice ... But whatever. (Note from Dad: no fun in just buying it in Japan, then I wouldn’t have had any fun finding and shipping the product from … harder than it sounds ;-)

Report on your district? How is your companion progressing?
The district is way good. Everyone has really solid baptismal dates ... well, everyone except us ... We have no investigators right now, but we're working on it. Elder Nielson is doing alright.

Did you fix your pants? or are you taking a picture of them so we can replace them at missionary mall??? We are hoping you send a picture of them!
I may have forgot to take a picture of them ... I'll do something

Did you hurt your head when you fell?
Yeah, it was bleeding all over the place. Elder Nielson had to carry me to the nearest store where he bandaged my gaping head wound with some magazines ... I lost a lot of blood, but I'm alright. No, my head is fine.
When I saw my bloody gory wound
Are you typing your e-mails to us on your iPad or on the church computer?
We are not allowed to use the computers anymore ... So pictures might be a little/lot more difficult ... we are also not allowed to take pictures on our iPads … maybe ... it's all very confusing.

Does it take you longer to send e-mails on your iPad keyboard?
No, I'm actually a little faster … years of texting prepared me for this day quite well.

How are your district leader training meetings going??
I dislike them more than anything in the whole world ... But they are pretty good. People say that they are good, so who knows.

Did you know Mom makes us think of one more question if we end on the thirteenth question??
Yet still you don't end on a multiple of five ... SHAME!!!!!!

Is your Japanese bag still holding up? Did you buy a Japanese umbrella? Rain pants??
Good. I have to yet to buy one ... I may just borrow one fromm the church every time it rains ... my rain pants are awesome!!!!

That pain in your neck, is it gone? still hurting?
It's gone!!,!,

Still doing those neck exercises Sam sent you?
Sometimes ... Trying to prevent my neck from getting fat though ...

So this week we just tried to find people all week. We literally had no lessons ... a first for me. It was really hard. We were taken out to dinner by a man named Brother N, he's Okinawan ... he spent like 10000¥ on Sushi for us, then made us go to an Italian restaurant where we ate pizza and some other cinnamon sugar bread stuff with cream on top ... and then we had to tell him that we had a curfew and had to leave before he took us to Baskin Robbins for round three ... I have never eaten so much food in my life ... Major bummer though, the next week was Fast Sunday and we were all so starving all day ... It made no sense.

Pretty much that was my whole week ... yeah, not that exciting I know ... I guess; this week I started writing all my emails in Japanese ... That's something new. Also for language study I downloaded all the I'm a Mormon videos in Japanese on my iPad and all sorts of fun talks and stuff. Now I have the apostles to listen too ... I figure they probably have some pretty good Japanese right? Well,  the only downside is that it's all church words ... I can have a deep discussion about the second coming of Christ, His atonement, and what the principle of repentance means in terms of eternal salvation ... but I have NO idea how to say "yes, I would like my doughnuts to go" ... it hurts my heart every time ... I know what they are asking me, but I have no idea how to respond ... and I wanna cry. Every Time ...

Dad: It's good to hear that work is going we'll and that you are keeping busy. I agree with you though, doing work that no one else wants to do is always good. Then you’re indispensable because you enjoy the work that no one else wants to do ... Just be careful. If it's really complex, don't be the inky one that is doing it and then mess up, you'll be the only person that they will blame.... But I am sure that you won't! You were always showing your work to make sure that you are doing things right ... Unlike me... I still just do everything in my head ... But whatever's. I got your letter in the mail today too, it's a really sweet Poem, I have never thought about peer pressure like that, it can be good or bad, it depends on who our peers are. Thank-you so much.

Mom: I'm glad to hear the Clydesdale passed his inspection.... even more pleased that auto correct has Clydesdale in it... It even capitalizes it for me! Whoo! I hope that all is going well with grandma and such. All the snow here is gone pretty much ... so don't worry about me, I'm plenty warm ... It's a bummer, I kiss the snow, it was way fun actually!! Hope that all is well on the home front.

Sam: best card ever ... should have gotten earlier .. oh wait, I never did valentines; say, go me! Good to hear that you and Abi are still chillin wid Brittany and Katie, can't believe that she is going to college this year, that's insane! I feel like she should still just barely be in high school, scary thought, by the time that I get back she will have more school done that I will at that point ... Samar day, but I’ll speak Japanese ... worth it ... Plus all the gospel experience too!! Interesting about law school ... Good luck.

Abi: I just spelled your name wrong three times ... I love spell check ... I'm glad to hear that you are proud to be driving Clydesdale. Remember when you drove him in high school and were so mad to give him up, and then you were so mad to have to take him back? Maybe that is why he was mad at you for a while, I hear that all is well now and that things are going better with him. It's good to hear that you are doubting your major a little bit. It's good to know that everyone can doubt the surest thing, and still come back to the knowledge that it was the right thing to do. Sorry to hear that Herbert (Abi's plant) died ... That's no good. Good luck in your D and D game next week, I would like some details about how it goes and what actually goes Xeon ...

So sorry for my spelling. Now instead of just random letters and stuff, my iPad is just changing the word to other words, and I can only imagine what it must be like to try and read one of my emails ... I truly am really sorry, I'm not even trying to do it, it just happens ... I really have a talent for this whole making stuff hard to read crap. Sorry

So this week, not much happened, and so it's hard to draw a spiritual parallel from nothing, but I guess that it just goes to enduring to the end. Sometimes life is really hard, sometimes life in the church is really hard, but sometimes you just have to keep going and try to make the best of it. It's not always great, it's not always lessons and baptisms and referrals, but sometimes it's walking through the snow for two hours to try to visit some people that may have had interest, only to have the door slammed in your face with a couple words, that mean you never go back, muttered under their breath. It's all hard sometimes, but if we just gave in to the pressure to quit, if we just gave up and stopped trying, then what would be the point of all that we had done? What would be the point of the promises we made before? What would be the point of all that we had learned? So I guess the point of it all, is to never give up, we have all had some spiritual experiences in our lives, some moment when we knew that what we were working for was the right thing to do. All we need to do is remember those experiences. I know that they are what will give us the strength to, in the words of a much wiser man then me, "sell our harmonica in order to find one last meal;" to give all that we have, just to keep going, just to keep holding on, just to keep our vision as high as our potential. So in short, yes, sometimes it's hard, sometimes it seems impossible, but was anything ever worth it, easy?

Thank you all so much for your support and love, I love you all so much.
Elder Griffiths.
PS. I've been out for like 8 months, and I only have 5,500 hits?!?! What is this garbage? But seriously, thank you all for reading about my silly life.

Part of a letter sent to Trenton in which he is responding to:
This month’s poem, however, illustrates the problem involved with blind obedience or blind acceptance of somebody else's direction. No matter where you are, or what you do Trent, you need to know for yourself why you do the things you do. I mounted a sign on my bike when I was in the mission field that said, "Ask Me Why I'm a Mormon". I hope your response is not, "Because I was born that way".
In response to your poem question, it's not just because I was born that way, that may have been the reason when I was younger, but it is not the reason now. Thank you for your love and encouragement and all that you have influenced me to do in my life and in making me the person that I am today.

寝たくてたまらない ... I'm dying for sleep
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Monday, February 10, 2014

DD 5.35 ... It all comes down to love ...

How much snow did you get? Are you wearing boots, hat, and gloves??
We got some snow, not that much though ... I still convinced my companion to let me ride my bike though :-D ... totally worth it!!!!! I busted out my boots to play in it with Asato Choro this morning ... We may have gone sledding on shovels and it was totally sick!!!! He has never seen this much snow before and everyone else here hates it so we just went crazy!!

Are you riding your bike in the snow? Or walking and riding the train?
Mostly we walk, but we ride a little too now that it's packed down a little bit.

I'm well aware of how crazy I look ...
We are sending your package tomorrow. Anything else you need or want?? last call!
My running watch would be nice to have ...

Did you get your iPad Mini's yet?
Check the bottom of this eMail ...

Are you getting any holes in your pants?
I actually got one in my grey pants, I fell on my bike, before the snow. See additional details below.

How popular is Chinese New Year in Japan?
Not very popular ... unless you’re Chinese ... Then they go all out.

Do you ever ride on the Yamanote line?
No ideas what that is. (Note from the parentals: it is only the most used and the most congested subway line in the world … It circles the Tokyo metropolitan area)

Do you need a tool kit for your bike? Do you have one?
The little hex wrench set that I have might be nice in the package too ... Thanks!!

Do you repair your bike yourself? Or does someone else help you with it?
Mostly myself ... Or the guy at the shop is way sweet and does it all for free here in Chiba.

How do you keep your suit pants out of the bike chain?? Rubber band?
I bought a little strap thing made for that purpose ... In a city of over a million bike riders they wolfed that problem a while ago.

Any problems with your feet? Warts?
They are tired from walking and jump roping and running around ... But that's all.

Should we try sending fudge again? Or should we try something else?? Ideas?
The fudge was delicious!!! More would be great!!! And this week was pretty interesting. BTW.

We decided to ride our bikes to the ocean one day for exercises, and it was amazing!!!! I'd forgotten how much I love the ocean. And we were there super early in the morning so we got to see the first rays of sun hitting the water coming from behind us ... It was the coolest thing ever ... Oh yeah, and I skipped a rock like seven times ... I know, way sweet right? So that was way good. The next day we got our new tools and it was way sick ... we are now showing all of our investigators ... even people we find when we are housing videos of the apostles and the bible videos that introduce our church ... it's pretty cool.

The only down side is that we have to be at the church to use the internet, so we have to come here a lot more now ... it's pretty nice though.
So we got some way sick hats from some of our investigators
and mine is Green !!!!!!!

So we went to visit some members one night. And there was NO snow ... but for some reason gravity decided to take me down a couple notches that day ... so I'm standing on my pedals and going down this hill, when all the sudden I'm just on the ground ... Bleeding from my knee a little bit ... but the worst part was that my pants ripped and my bike light got broken ... ... along with my heart ... the light was so sick … and red ... and now it's shattered ... and I'm crying … I’m totally fine though ... but then, coming home we got totally lost ... and so we stopped this girl (the only person we could see for miles) and we were like where is Inage Eki? And she was all like "Inage? Bruddah that's like way the heck over there!" And pointed exactly opposite of where we were going ... so she showed us to shun Kemigawa and then we were able to make it home ... AT 9:07 … I was so heartbroken ... we didn’t get home before 9:00 … barely not obedient. Hurts. My. Soul.  But we tried really, really hard ... We got back and I couldn't move my legs we had ridden so fast. Hopefully she comes to eikaiwa and we were meant to get lost to invite her to come unto Christ ... If not, then I just fell off my bike, got us horribly lost, and arrived late for no reason ...

So not much else has happened this week ... we always teach that in heaven we were all brothers and sisters right? But recently I haven't been thinking about it like that. But today actually I realized that everyone, not just our fellow ward members were with us too right? And who knows what happened in heaven when we were with those people? What promises did we make to them before we all came here, who did we promise to come and find? Who did we promise to never forget? Recently we have been thinking a lot about power as a mission, and how missionaries get power. Power to teach. Power to find. Power to bring others to Christ. I personally have decided that it all comes down to motivation. Why are we all out here, why are we talking to these people that we don't know? Why are we with the roommates we have? Why is the crazy guy down the street always, always asking me to help him out? Why do all the crazy happen stances always force me to branch out and bring new people into my life? Why does everything happen?

Because God knew what we would need to do in this life to help bring His children, our brothers and sisters back to him. If one of your children never made it back from school or some other learning opportunity, we would all be so devastated, devastated beyond belief right? I've decided that that is how God thinks. If we are able to feel a small portion of his love for all of his children, then we would be so much more motivated to work on their behalf...

Kind of lame right? It all comes down to love ... I feel like Dumbledore, but I guess he's kinda right? So my goal is to be more loving ... I hope you all try to do the same.

Love you all so much and pray for you all daily. We're going to hit a recycle shop right now, but I'll back for a little bit later on!!!
Love Elder Gridfithfkdkrkwlfmlxkdkgja
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Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Rare Heavy Snowfall Hits Tokyo

AFP-JIJI, KYODO; The Japan Times; 8 Feb 2014
Heavy snow and severe weather struck Tokyo and other areas across Japan on Saturday, leaving three dead and more than 500 injured, reports said.

More than 740 flights were grounded as the weather agency issued a severe storm warning for the capital, while more than 40,000 households lost power.
A child holds a ball of snow near a half buried motorcycle near Tokyo.
At least 27 cm accumulated, the highest snowfall in the capital since 1969.
The Japan Meteorological Agency issued the first heavy snowfall warning for central Tokyo in 13 years. Snow accumulation reached 27 cm, the heaviest snow in the Japanese capital since January 1969, the agency said.

"Tokyo only averages 4.3 inches of snow each year. The last time they picked up an eight-inch-plus snowstorm was Feb. 12, 1994," said meteorologist Nick Wiltgen.

Public broadcaster NHK said at least 494 people were injured in snow-related accidents only in eastern Japan, including 17 serious injuries.

It also said two female passengers, aged 88 and 90, died on Saturday in a car accident on their way to a nursing home in Ishikawa, central Japan. Police suspect one of the cars skidded on the icy road and caused the head-on collision.

A man was also killed in Nagano as a train smashed into his car at a railroad crossing, the broadcaster said, adding that 3,200 other accidents occurred across the nation caused by vehicles skidding in the icy conditions.

The agency issued a heavy snow warning for Tokyo, the first such warning for the capital in 13 years, calling on residents not to go out unless necessary. The agency also warned of strong winds and high waves in eastern Japan.

Japanese airline companies have cancelled at least 740 flights on Saturday due to heavy snow, NHK said.

Television footage showed hundreds of passengers queuing for reimbursement or a change of flights at Tokyo’s Haneda airport with departure boards indicating the cancellation of many flights.

Employees were hurriedly removing snow from the pavement in front of their shops and restaurants in Tokyo’s bustling Ginza district.

Some 43,800 households lost power in large areas of central and eastern Japan because of the heavy snow, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

In Tokyo, several universities delayed the starting times of their entrance examinations for the new academic year starting in April.
A man walks on snow-covered tree-lined road in Yokohama, Japan.
 Tokyo Skytree, the world’s tallest broadcasting tower at 634 meters, was closed from 11 a.m. due to strong winds, its operator said.

Monday, February 3, 2014

DD 5.25 ... so what does 'normal' mean ...

So, how would you feel if we scraped off all those stickers on your dresser drawers??
I would be devastated ... trying to destroy my childhood now are we? But if it must be done ... I guess I need to grow up sometime ... I should warn you though, I’ve tried, and it’s really hard.

Are there rogue dogs in Japan that chase you?
The only dogs here are Japan sized dogs ... they make Chihuahuas look large ...

Has it snowed again? (Sam read on twitter something about fall being over in Japan, does their winter just start in February?
No, I’m not even wearing a sweater right now cus it’s so warm.

Your ties: do you have enough? Way too many? Wishing you left some home?
I have just the right amount.

How is your camera holding up? Do you charge it often?
meh, I need to take more Pictures.

How was the Elder Whiting conference? Where was it held?
It was here in Chiba with just three zones, he is touring the mission. It was good, we talked about how as a mission we need to get more power ... we also raised our vision ... yeah, what we are doing is not enough ... it hurt, but it means that we can grow; right?

How did your "all in Japanese" interview for baptism go?
He has not had it yet, his daughters got way sick and has not been able to meet with the sisters in a while.

Did the Japanese people have pets? Cats? Birds? Dogs? Fish?
They have birds and fish and other small rodents that resemble dogs and cats, but are really too small.

Do they celebrate Valentine's Day in Japan?
On the fourteenth the boys get candy from all the girls and then later all the boys give candy back, I think that happens in March? I don’t know, but there is a lot of cheap candy happening now cuz of it.

How close are you to the ocean? Are the docks close? Can you buy fresh fish?
Yes, the fish is very fresh ... sometime killed on site ... it’s good though. We are really close to the water front, Asato Choro and I want to run to the waterfront for exercise one day. It would be hard, but we could maybe do it.

Have you ever seen a swimming pool in Japan? Is swimming big as a form of exercise?
It’s pretty big actually ... I have seen a couple ... but they are not really cool. I haven’t been inside to see one, just the buildings ... it’s too tempting.

Are any of your baptisms still on?
Maybe ... we have one date for us and he is good if we could just meet with him.

Parents: I hope that all went well with the Christmas lights ... I’m excited to try out dads new tool ... thank-you for all that you have done, for all of us, these last 35 years. You are both truly amazing!

TeJay: it is always good to hear about your adorable little family ... I am glad to hear that Porter recognizes my picture and such, and also that you are having so much fun at your job, good luck hiring people to do everything for you, should be loads of fun!!

Sam ... I’m dying to see the video of you climbing out the back of Tiff ... I also look forward to this guide book of dating ... I get the feeling I’m going to need a lot of help. Not only was I terrified of girls before I came to Japan, and then it’s like every mission in the world you are not allowed to talk to girls ... so I think that my fear has just gotten worse.  Man the pictures made me die ... I really do miss Oreos.
When Double-Stuff just ain't enough ...

Abi: sorry that Tiff is gone, that’s no good. But I think that she is in better place now ... plus you get to enjoy Clydesdale!!!! WAHOO!!!!! FUN FUN FUN!!! FUN FUN FUN!!!!! Wahoo! I’m glad that sitting criss cross crapple sauce is hard for you too ... it would be really rough for me if I was the only one ... and again ... looking forward to the video of Sam ... good luck with school I hope that your paper goes well!!!

So today we went to Costco and then to H&M, for Nielson Choro and Tuttle Choro ... I almost was peer pressured into buying a cardigan, but then I remembered that I was an American and would never live it down if i did ... good Job ME!!

I also meet these people from the Taoist Church this week. they invited me to the holy blessing, kind of like baptism for their church, but instead of getting baptized you get married ... that’s right!!! God through his chosen "prophet" picks who you will marry, just like Adam and Eve were right? Long story short, I’m very glad that I’m a Mormon and that we have a true and living prophet with the authority to act in God's name ... I love the priesthood!

So this week we went to a curry restaurant; I ate the level ten ... the hottest it can go ... it wasn’t too bad actually ... I was a little let down.
Photo Courtesy of Japan Tokyo Mission Blog
Other than that we had the Elder Whiting conference and learned a lot there. He made and interesting point, when he got home from his mission people always said that when you get back to normal we’ll go do something. So what he thought about was, what is the normal? He had just got back from Japan and being in a completely different culture and learning a not so easy language and was doing all this stuff to better serve the Lord and he had changed to much, and now all these people were wanting him to go back to being normal? So what does 'normal' mean? Being the person that he was before his mission, he said that there was no way he was planning on going back to what he was after he had grown so much … he said a lot of other stuff that I won’t bore you with; but it was very interesting … how often do we have these great spiritual lessons, whether it be a mission, a general conference, or even just a really great talk in sacrament meeting, and then afterwards we go back to being normal; we take what we troubled to learn and then what do we do with it? Do we just forget about it? Or do we just not have the courage to follow through with what we had planned to do afterwards? It was a very interesting train of thought ... I’ll let you know what goes down with it in a couple months ... I think, what, 16 maybe ... time really does fly. Well I gotta run, Love you all so much! It was really good to hear from you all!!
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