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, May 26, 2014

DD 7.65 ... Happy got a letter from Awesome day!! ...

Do you have a key to the church? Or is it just unlocked for your use?
Please ... they wouldn't just leave the church unlocked all the times; Japan is safe, but were not crazy.

Are your feet completely healed? Any more problems?
Meh, still some bacteria crap, but other than that I'm just fine!

Have you water proofed your shoes?
I did once ... And since then not really. Polished em up real nice though!

Do you tract every day at apartments in this area? or at train station?
Both, but mostly the stations ... Everyone that lives here works in Tokyo for the most part.

Have you been running again?
Not really.

Have you heard about transfers yet?
... Seven weeks

How was your devotional? Did Elder Cook come?
He did ... It was legit and more. More on that later.

Are there stop signs in Japan? If not, how does traffic work? Stop lights??
There are a lot of stop lights, but when there are not any, people just stop and go based on who is the nicer person ... pretty much bikes just go wherever and cars adapt to them ... I'm totally safe though, don't worry about it (Mom).

Did you see anyone from your old areas at the devotional?
Yup, pretty legit! We all pretty much got in and out as fast as possible because we wanted to show our urgency for the work so we didn't really talk, but I saw em all!

Who cleans the church building in Japan?? Members?
Members for the most part.

Are you still doing your burpees?
Sometimes ...

Are you still getting up early to study by yourself?
No, recently I've been too tired to do that.

What is the most interesting thing you learned this week?
Probably the kanji word for antibacterial soap ... We had to go and get some for my feet ... Fun day. :\
Used all dat der stuff in me pocket ... #TalkedToEerBody
Front: Griffiths Choro; Back:  Kuroiwa Choro
What was your funniest experience?
I made a model plane and flew it around our apartment for like ten minutes one night ... ...

Where did you learn to play ping pong so well?
Hello, I'm in Japan. In America we have basketball courts, in Japan we have ping pong tables ... we play every Friday here, and in Chiba we played like three times a week with people.

What percentage of the time do you use your camera? Ipad? We won't feel bad. Be honest!
I don't really take that many pictures ... most of the ones that I do take though I take with the IPad -- it's just easier.

Or, what is the ratio of pictures taken with your camera versus taken with your Ipad?
Pretty much the only pics I take with my camera are when I'm leaving apartments and I want pics of the people or at district meetings.

Do you eat fruit in Japan? If yes, what kind??
Yes, bananas, apples, grapes, oranges, and nashi; which are pretty much giant pears ... I love fruit BTW, it's so good. I really miss peaches ... Sam, peach pie when I get back ... Ooh I also found awesomeness at McDonalds, they sell apple pies, and ice cream cones for 100¥ each. Buy one of each, dip the pie in the ice cream, devour, be happy ... I love fruit.

Have you played soccer lately? Softball?
Neither, just ping pong! :)

Did dad find your apartment (See Picture from Google Below)?
Sometimes it's just creepy how effective you are.
All I gave you was some roof tops out the back window
Father ... Once again. I'm amazed at your skill! All I sent was a picture from my balcony ... Just how? I'm baffled. Anywho, I'm glad that work is going well for you! Thanks for the update on everything else that's going on. Thanks for the picture of the apartment, I'm sure mom loves seeing where I live all the time.

Mom ... I can totally imagine you driving the truck ... And honestly, it's hilarious!!! Thank you for the expressions of love. I've needed them lately, but honestly, I'm a missionary, it's hard not to feel loved by your parents all the time. Don't worry about sending your email late. I can just imagine y'all getting an email from me and then freaking out because you haven't written me yet. Worrying about what I would think if I didn't hear from you. I know you get so busy helping everyone else! Thank you for all you do. Especially helping those in need. Thanks for all you do!!!

Smashed potatoes ... How are you? Looking forward to the picture of Stormy Wormy. PSU, I'll be there. I really do love Seattle, and I feel as though I'm really gonna miss all this rainy weather when I get back to the desert which is Utah ... So maybe for my masters in Japanese engineering ... Sounds legit. So I just went through your email again, and the biggest tragedy was the lack of four extra free tickets for your film festival at work ... (major first world problem) What are we gonna do?! Only one new movie from now on!? Maybe JanDee could come up with us, get the tickets and go to the other film? Life is about to get so rough. Deeply sorry about that.

Wormy? No ... Stormy wormy ... Hilarious story! When I get to heaven I am totally watching you chase after the butterflies and then climb over that fence like a kindergarten teaching bear ... and it's gonna be awesome!! Also typing on the iPad -- not so peachy as it seems right? It's way hard! Now imagine that your auto correct signs change English words to Japanese words that you've spelled in romaji on accident ... It's awful what I've done to this poor iPad's memory ... Anyways, hope that your visiting friends in Logan goes well!!
Missionaries from the Tokyo and Tokyo South missions gather together
@ the Cook Choro Conference
So our conference with Elder Cook was so good! We got together with the south mission and I got to see some peeps that I know, way fun! Pretty much we talked about the urgency of the work, but the main thing that I got out of it was living up to our potential. Ideally we are all sons and daughters of a living God and we have the potential to become such ... none of us do well on this earth, but that's okay. We all have the guidelines of what we can achieve told to us in our Patriarchal Blessings. Frankly I've been reading mine a lot lately. Between that and going to the temple last week, it's been pretty intense. I've decided that I (just like all of us) have some potential that I have not yet accomplished. There is this great person that I can become that is not even close to who I am right now. I want to become the person that I have the potential to become, but there is also a part of me that is content to settle for much less; the not so saintly version of my maximum potential. The natural part of me - as King Benjamin would say - wants to take all the covenants I've made, all the promises that have been given to me and throw them away for the cheap thrill that our not so dear friend Lucifer so kindly offers up to us, like an apple in the roasted pork's mouth sitting on a shiny diamond platter.  Honestly, it looks fun, it looks exciting and it really is quite an attractive offer. But that's all it is, an offer. There is no promise from him. No real value. Nothing lasting.
So two of the Shamai from my old district, Dunn and Takita are the Shamai Training Leaders here, they did a training on companionship unity and made our apartment do the practical application ... Nominees hands are on the floor as we see pretty solidly there ... And pretty comfortable except my dear companion ... Mwahahahahahahahaha I have bony shoulder blades ...
... Using our engineering brain ...
Back:  Griffiths Choro, Watanabe Choro
Front:  Kuroiwa Choro, White Choro
Story Time: So on our iPads, we have this thing called Air-Drop, and everyone usually Air-Drop's stuff to everyone when we get together ... Normally I find it ridiculous and reject everything ...
... but it's Holland Choro; giving a thumbs ups ... you just can't turn it down.
That's pretty much what I learned this week. Hope that all y'all is doing well ... Also, peach pie ... Sounds amazing, I'm coming for your dessert Sam ... And Its gonna be delicious!

It's so good to hear from you all!!
Pretty much my whole life ... Kanji, Reese's, & Planes
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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

DD 7.56 I don't always lead us around Tokyo but when I do ... we're early #LikeABoss

We read somewhere on a Sister Missionary's blog that this is a 7 week transfer. Is it? If it is, why not a six week transfer?
Yeah, the churches fiscal year for some reason adds to this transfer or something. We're also having a special conference this weekend.... a member of the 12 might come--can't say for sure though.

How is the weather? Monsoon season yet?
It's hot and humid (delightful), but still not too rainy.

What are some areas you think missionaries should better prepare themselves in? ie: learning to work, money management, cooking skills etc.
I wrote this whole thing but my email got deleted. I think learning to throw your trials out of the way and love the work is important. You only get two years, and it flies by ... ask any missionary whose been out a year, it's crazy! Love the work and only it. It's the best way to do it, be excited about it!
Best Ice Coco ever!!!
Dad again, can we get a picture of a meal with diacon in it?
If we cook with it ever again.
Have you found a favorite place to get curry in your area yet?
Meh, it's all right here.
Everything holding up ok? Like clothes, shoes, socks, shirts, pants, suits, belt, bike? Luggage?
Everything is good! My shoes are a little worn, but still beautiful ... just polished them yesterday.

How is your investigator, M. coming along?
Isn't coming a ton at the moment ... not even to the church of ping pong ... I suspect it's cuz he's sacred of losing to me though ... I'm a master.

Did you ever dry clean any more of your suits?
I will ... soon(ish).

Did anyone new come to church? How is the work going?
Meh, it's a bit slow right now, our people are sick or busy lately.

Do you wash your sheets often? Are they holding up ok?
I wash them never sometimes ... ... it's all good.

Parentals!!! Sounds like, your week was crazy!! I'm a glad to hear that everything in life is working out so nicely at the moment! I'm even more glad to hear that y'all are seeing the Lords hand in it all ... I am so proud of you guys.

Smasher pants ... Sounds like a religious week! Look at you, being involved and crap. I say go for the rock climbing shoes ... I wanna get some when I get back (unless of course you just buy me some while I'm gone ... just a thought) Then we can go climbing together!! If you have a harness it's nice, but I mostly just like Bouldering so I'm a little biased. The Real game sounds intense ... so jealous!!! Love soccer!!!

PS. You're going to get a message or something from a Sister in Arizona ... Her family is hilarious!! They saw us on the street by the Eki and had to get a picture of the elders ... they are going to send it to you on FaceBook ... or they might just tag me ... check my account! They're good people.

Stormmmfkwofjeofjwkkfjrfoek Remember when you said that you would eat your own poo? Has me asking that question made it on the blog yet? Sure hope so, that would be funny. (Note from Sam: 10th week in a row, we're finally givin in) I'm sorry that you have some rough kids in your class right now, that's no fun ... But word on the street is that your hanging out with some pretty chill peeps ... it would be helpful for Sam and I if they didn't all have the same names though ... it's hard to keep track. Try and branch out ok? Hehehe remember when I took math with one of the Chases? That was pretty cool.

So this week, I learned a lot about humility. I've decided that it's not just a lack of pride, it's wholly and completely turning our will over to God. When we can do that, and in turn do what God wants us to do with a smile on our face even when we don't know what will happen ... especially when we don't think that it's worth it ... that is when we are really humble. I think this is when we are able to become the people that God intends for us to become. This week I also learned that it sounds easy, but it actually really, really stinks. There are so many things that we need to be doing, and so many more that that we probably should be doing, and even more things that it would be cool if we were doing, but we just have a hard time doing all of them. I know that I do, but I also know that when we try to do those things, even especially when it seems impossible ... that's when we grow the most. That's when we become closer to God and that's when we become the people that he wants us to be. This week, I would like to invite all who read this, to join with me in trying to give our will to God. To give him the reigns and do the things that he knows are best for us. Warning: it might seem awful at first. Truly the hardest thing I've done in my whole life, but doesn't that mean that it just might be the most worth it too?

Well, I've gotta run, but I just wanted to say that you're all amazing, and I love and miss you all so much!!

Love, Elder Griffiths
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Monday, May 12, 2014

DD 7.45 ... helping people more effectively, which is through baptism ...

(Our Mother's Day phone call started right at 7:00 PM and lasted 40 minutes ... shortly after the call, we received two Mother's Day related messages ... "Dearest Mother Dear" & "Poem Time")
Screen Shot from Skype Call on Mother's Day...particularly lovin Abi's face.. 
Will you send us a picture from your balcony today? or sometime?
Looking Southwest
Looking Southeast
What did President Budge teach you that you didn't know before …
We talked about how baptism is the gate that leads to eternal life. In order to get there, we have to go through it. We focused a lot on helping people, but in meaningful ways. Recently we have had a big push on focusing on people, but it hasn't really helped as much as it should have. What ended up happening was people started making friends ... and trying to turn them into member referrals ... but we transfer every six weeks, so it was rough. We focused on helping people more effectively, which is through baptism ... And on how we should be doing that.

… IOW, what is it that mom forgot to teach you?
Something that mom forgot to teach me ... tough question ... Probably how to cut vegetables ... I nicked my finger twice ... ish ... not badly, but I needed a band aid.

As you are riding, what do you hear, see, or smell?
We walk everywhere ... we hear the cars and the trains, see the people and the cities, mostly smell the river that we live by. You can feel the breeze come off of the plains and smack you in the face like a ton of bricks ... You knew that that sentence was going to be poetic going in didn't you? It's wonderful here that people are nice, the view is gorgeous, and the ward gives us lots of food, so it's all good!

Do you still have enough time to read and write eMails?
Yeah, just enough.
Love ya!!

Ooh, depressing story. So we are meeting with this guy named Brother M. Former investigator. His wife died eleven years ago. He told us that his dream is to live a healthy life where no one has to take care of him, and then when his health starts to decline he wants to commit doctor assisted suicide ... ... yeah, depressing I told you it would be. We're working with him still. We are trying to raise his vision of what we can accomplish in this life and the next ...

Love ya
Elder Griffiths
Best Drink Ever
... because it has a crazy bunny in a race car ...
Poem Time
For you see my mom
Is literally the bomb.
She is just so great!
Words simply cannot articulate
The awesomeness that in her dwells
Well ... words cannot tell.

From early morn to late at night
Her love is like the noonday light,
Everywhere I ever goes,
I simply always knows,
That my amazing mother dear
Is waiting, and I should not fear.

A text at night, to say go to bed
Or at first light, to say get up sleepy head!
Sometimes her words are a little eighties,
But that's okay ... Nothing rhymes with eighties...

I love my mother yes I do, I love my mother how bout you?
Maybe on this special day we'll all say a special hey,

To all the women that helped us grow
To overcome life's dreary woe.
Thank you mother for all your love
Thank you from him, whose up above.

Sorry that my poetry is not that great ... hope that it is not to terrible ... I was never the poet ... we all know it ... that was dad ... and it was just a fad ... well that was just sad ... but I can't stop ... ... perhaps I'll pop ... ... okay I'm done ... maybe one last ... ... one ;-)

I Love You Mom!!
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Monday, May 5, 2014

DD 7.35 ... Well ... I really wanna see Abi graduating like a bear ...

How is your foot infection? Medication?
Pretty much all better, Neosporin twice a day for two weeks, but I'm feeling much better now, I will continue treatment to make sure I kill off all the super germs.

Who is Elder White's companion? Is he cool?
Kuroiwa Choro ... a fourth transfer Nihongo ... He's way legit, love him to death.

Saut├ęd Diakon
What is diakon?
It is a large radish ... that's way cheap, and delicious!!! It's like a 100¥ for a huge foot and a half long thing of awesomeness ...

How were splits with the DL on Wednesday?
They were good ... a learning experience ...

Are you riding the train at all? Or just biking?
Biking ... mostly. Some places are just too far.

Is it monsoon season there? Super rainy? How is the weather?
We are just getting in to it ... the time is coming.

Do you need more contacts yet? about how many do you have left?
A lot ... too many to even count.

Does your neck ever bother you anymore? or did the new Nihon Bag totally fix it?
Totally fixed it.

Did you get the birthday wishes from Sam? Or the package? or Grandma's card?
Got them all, along with a card form my trainer (Watanabe Choro) and the Budges (Mission President) ... not gonna lie, my trainers card was awesome ...

Did you feel the earthquake this morning?
6.0 magnitude earthquake near Tokyo, Japan on 5 May 2014 @ 5:18 AM:
Epicenter: 34.862°N 139.312°E depth=155.1km (96.4mi)
98km (61mi) SSW of Tokyo, Japan
Yep, sure did, @ 5:19 in the morning... delightful!!!

Any word on the Mother's Day call?? Thanks for the info.
How about Monday my time at ten? So Sunday at seven for you?
(Note from the Kaichou:  Please make your phone calls between the 11th and 13th at a time that is convenient for you and your family.  Please remember that you may use Skype to call your parents or you may have your parents call your telephone.  Please keep your [phone calls] short (preferably no longer than 30 or 40 minutes) as stated in the white handbook.)

Do you have SKYPE available on your Ipad?

Is FaceTime an option for your phone call??
Sadly no ...

Do you still meet with your district on a weekly basis, can you give us a quick report on the district. How is everyone doing?
They are good, we all need more people to teach, but everyone is good.

How was your interview with the mission president?
It was good, it made me look at the gospel in ways I never had before.

This week was pretty good. Got the package and all the letters, it really made my day. The unexpected transfer resulted in a rough couple of days, but all the love from the fam made it worth it.

Parentals: ... you’re so inspiring. I just wanted to say thank you for all the love that you've shown us during our lives ... you really are great parents. If I'm half as good a parent as you two, then maybe there will be hope for my  kids. You’re awesome!!!

TeJay and Crystal and fam and unnamed awesome child number two: I like Spencer myself, but I’m sure that whatever you decide will be an amazing strong child full of self-confidence and joy,  pouring out humility and love to those around him, just like the rest of his family.

JanDee and Jaden and children of my heart: thank you for the birthday wishes!! It meant a lot!! It is moving to know that you are all watching out for me!! I loved the cards from the boys ... I feel as though I have gotten quite a bit fatter though ... I'll just come home and go work out with my wrestling nephew to get back in shape I guess ... Love you guys!!

Sam ... You creeper. loved the pictures ... good to know Abi is using my old phone ... and still not gotten one. Love it. I'm interested in these two other people who rock climb ... you should hook me up.

Stormer ... Storm trooper. Remember that time when you said that you would eat your own ...? And now here you are. With the future of the nation in your hands ... shaping lives beyond measure, inspiring others to greatness, raising those who have fallen into despair. Yet still ... we have a picture of you ... graduating like a bear ... love it. You’re a boss, congrats on school being over!! Congrats on all the job offers!! I'm a little confused at what is going down with your living sitch ... are you working in SLC and living in Cache Valley? That’s a long commute dawg.
So this week was good. I ate a lot of sugar, got some shirts and a tie and some candy from the other Choros in my apartment  ... , it's all good, to be honest I really just wanted to dendo all day and not think about it.

Looking back it's been an interesting year. I've pretty much been a missionary for all of it, but I feel as though I have learned so much. I dislike being twenty ... mainly because I can't say that I a dumb nineteen year old anymore, but I think that I’ll get over it. It's been a fun and crazy year, nothing has ever been harder, but I wouldn't give it up for anything in the whole world. There are days when I feel like giving up, when I feel like I should just go to the apartment, crash on the floor, and eat until I die, but then I remember what Christ did for all of us, and how uneasy it was for him. So I forget going back, forget how tired I am, and knock on that one more door ... and frankly, it's usually not that door, but like a hundred more later that we find someone who actually needs the gospel in their lives. It's really a joyous time, but it's really, really frustrating sometimes. But, growing is always hard right? If it were easy, we would not grow so much. Sad but true.

Well, a picture is worth a thousand words, so I will send some now.  I love you and you’re all so amazing, I’m looking forward to Monday’ish, don’t quite know when yet.

Love Griffiths Choro ... who is now twenty.
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