Monday, June 29, 2015


It's been a long week here in 松本.  I got here on Tuesday after a three hour long train ride from Nagoya Station.  The ride was beautiful through the mountains and it was good to catch up with Jones and Klein.  When we arrived in 松本 we spent most of the day getting me up to date on the area and the few investigators we have.  Looks like we have a lot of work in store for us here.  

We only have four investigators here and it seems like not a ton of work has been done here for the last couple of transfers.  Elder Klein and I hit off the week with big hopes to find and build our teaching pool up, but it turned out to be harder than expected.  Despite working harder to find than I have for the last transfer we have seen zero results from our efforts.  Our ZLs have been rocking it this week, but for us things are starting off slow.  We have faith that we can find and we are making plans to try some other cities in the area.  The 松本 area is huge, about 3x that of 豊田.  Missionaries have mostly stuck to the big city, but we want to try some of the undisturbed waters. 

So as you can see we are having a hard time finding our battle rhythm for 松本.  We just have to try and try, over and over, until the results start coming in.  We are hoping to try different things and we'll see what works.  We are promised to be blessed for our efforts.  It`s just kind of weird leaving a city that I knew really well and that had been pretty successful to an area I don`t know that hasn't had much success for a while.  Looks like we are going to have to fix this town.  

In all reality nothing super exciting has happened this week.  It's just been a lot of talking to people on the streets and a lot of doors knocked on.  We teach a lot of Eikaiwa here.  On Sunday after church we teach at a community building in town to a group of students who are going to none other than Salt Lake City in July.  松本 and SLC are sister cities and every year they do a program for students to go to Utah.  I am the only missionary from Utah in the area so it's fun to make comments and tell them where to go and what to see while they are there.  They showed a powerpoint of an "Average Utah House" and "Normal Utah Food" which was kind of funny from their perspective.  They think we live in gigantic houses and all we eat is Mexican food and burgers.  That was a good laugh and I got to make corrections.  I also crashed on my bike, but that wasn't any problem.  Both the bike and I are ok.  I just got a little close to a low retaining wall and my handle bar caught and I went down.  

That's about it folks.  Stay cool wherever you're at.  It's the 4th of July this week so get your BBQ ready and go shoot some guns for me to celebrate the greatest nation in the world's birthday!

Love you all!



Vid on the D-box

Also the Mission President just told us church computers are  off limits for missionaries and we are supposed to e-mail from our iPads only.  This means I may not be able to use the dropbox anymore.  I am trying to figure out a solution to this dilemma.  I might have to make an iCloud and post onto that.  I will keep you updated.


Moving out of 豊田

松本城 Matsumoto Castle (I am going there today)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

1200 Miles of Blood Sweat and Tears

Well this is it Sports Fans,

  Life just took a huge turn as of Saturday.  On Saturday morning I received a phone call during transfer calls.  Your boy Elder Hardcastle DL 様 is getting transferred to none other than the area he most desired of anywhere else.  MATSUMOTO 松本!!  My next companion is someone I happen to know fairly well because we have lived together before.  My new companion is none other than my MTC companion Elder Klein!  I will remain district leader for the Matsumoto/Suwa District.  I have one of the largest districts in the mission with 11 people in it. In my district I have four people from my group that came to Japan with me.  Elder Klein, Jones, Sister Uchimura, and myself.  I am super excited!  It`s funny because three weeks ago I guessed my area and companion exactly.  It`s funny because my investigator and great friend 森村 had been praying all week for me to go to Matusmoto.  Never doubt the faith of investigator prayers.  Now I am dealing with all of the stresses of getting all my gear shipped up north.  It`s crazy to think that I am leaving 豊田. 

Yesterday was a pretty sad day actually.  A lot of members I think honestly thought I would never leave the area.  The Bishop and Second Councilor both choked up talking in Sacrament Meeting.  One of our members of whom I adore, Sister Yamaguchi, was profusely sobbing.  I have pretty much become a member of the ward.  It was hard in the beginning and I didn't have all that much love for these members, but they have progressed with me and now I love them to death!  I feel almost like I am going on a second mission.  I am leaving my Japanese home ward to go to my new mission in northern Japan. 

I've learned a ton here in Toyota.  I went from Bean-Chan to District leader in 6 transfers (8 months) and had fantastic learning experiences from my companions, district leaders, zone leaders, and fellow missionaries.  I have biked 1200 miles since Christmas and I don`t even want to count the train miles. I could write a book about my experiences that I have had here.  In all, I`ll be honest, I`m gonna miss this.

This week was two companionship exchanges and quite a few member appointments.  It was a long week looking back on it.  Nothing too exciting happened except on an exchange with Elder Lehman we found a family to teach 30/30 Program while housing...a real house!  交換 Magic! We had a sports activity after transfer calls which was pretty successful where we played volleyball and badminton.  It was a pretty good end to my reign here in Toyota.

Today in the US is Father`s Day.  Yesterday was 父の日in Japan, which is the same thing.  I just wanted to shout out to my father who has been my biggest hero.  He has supported me through everything and has helped shaped me into who I am now.  I know more about cows than anyone my age and it is all due to spending treasured hours traveling around with Dad on dairy calls.  Thanks for everything Dad.

Happy Father's Day out there and have a great week.  You`ll be hearing from me next week from Matsumoto!



I knocked down all the doors in this danchi.

Yeah I went paragliding with an investigator this week. 

The District (without the ZLs)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Where Does the Time Go?

Holy crap the time flies.  This e-mail is being sent late because we had a District BBQ here in 豊田 today by the stadium.  We bought a BBQ and meat and we had some fun together.  The sisters didn`t come, but that was fine.  We kind of struggled with the charcoal, but we still managed to grill up some good steaks and meaty chunks of goodness.  I love my district to death! 

We had like no time this week to get things done it seemed.  We had a lot of appointments, meetings, and a companionship exchange.  It was lots of fun and this week is going to be busy too.

Tuesday I went on an exchange with Elder Pennington in 岡崎.  It was a lot of fun.  Several of you may remember Elder Pennington as the missionary who ran away several transfers ago.  Elder Pennington is actually turning into a really good missionary.  I really enjoyed getting to work with him and see the change that occurred in him. 

Wednesday was kind of a sad day.  We had a Zone Conference and it was our last time having the opportunity to see President Yamashita and receiving training from him.  He finishes his service as mission president on the 1st of July.  It just seems like yesterday I met him for the first time.  He is one of Japan`s greatest church leaders and he will be sorely missed by everyone.  Him and Sister Yamashita have been such good examples to us missionaries and all the members here in the mission.  That night after Eikaiwa, Sister Ichikawa (the mother of the missionary who just go home from Temple Square) asked me to give a blessing due to some pain she was having in her jaw that the dentists couldn`t find a solution to.  She wanted to go to Tokyo to the temple with her recently returned daughter and didn`t want to be hindered with pain.  I have never given a priesthood blessing in Japanese and was trying to prepare to do so, but they had me do it in English and the daughter translated later.  On Thursday morning we received a text that her pain was gone.  On Sunday she told us that the pain had only been absent for the duration of their trip, exactly what I promised her in her blessing.  Just a little testimony builder that blessings and miracles are truly around us.

On Friday I had DTM and that evening we biked out to visit a Filipino member out in Miyoshi city.  We were there a little long and we had to bike really fast to get back to the apartment before 2130.  I am faster than Coleman and at a light I turn and look back and he is not behind me.  I wait but he doesn`t come.  So I bike all the way back to where I last saw him and never saw him the whole way.  I called the Zone Leaders and told them I was missing a companion and then was told to pray for some inspiration and then call them back in 5-10 minutes.  I follow the instructions and called the other Toyota missionaries and tell them to check my apartment to see if Coleman made it home.  After 15 minutes they told me he was back in the apartment much to my joy.  As missionaries we are never supposed to be with out our comp.  By losing him I was not fulfilling my duty as a companion.  That`s why it was spooky for me.

This week we had a lot of member visits.  I have grown to really love this ward.  I know it sounds crazy for me to say it, but they really have grown on me.  It feels like my knew home ward.  This ward has grown so much!  It is also interesting to see their change their in view of me.  In the beginning I definitely felt like they didn`t trust us or the missionaries, but now they ask me for updates on how dendo is and they give me referrals.  It`s weird because the other companionship are older missionaries, but the ward leadership communicate through me.  This week on Saturday we have transfer calls again and members are tellling me that they don`t want me to transfer.  I have no idea what will happen this weekend, but if I do it will be sad to go.

Alight I`ll bring this long e-mail to a close.  A big shout out to my little bro, Brock, who is entering the MTC this week to begin his journey.  Best of luck kid.



Grillin` like a villain

Party Peeps

Good-bye Yamashita 会長姉妹

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Six Pack

Alrighty Sports Fans,

Here`s the SITREP:

We had a decent week out here in Toyota this week.  The week started out great last P-Day when we gave a a church tour to an investigator we found on the street two weeks ago.  The guy actually showed up and we showed him around the building and then watched the Restoration video with him and then gave him a Book of Mormon.  It was our first time doing a tour and it turned out great!  We are meeting him again tonight.  After that lesson last week a member named Chiba (a former Nagoya missionary) to us out to Yaki Niku King and paid for us!  What a great guy. 

A lot of the week was looking for less active members on the record and trying to see if they even still live here in Toyota anymore.  I started cleaning up the record two transfers ago and a lot of people have moved.  It`s like playing hide and go seek, but it`s a project to fill in the days.

I had my first companionship exchange as District Leader this week.  Part of being a District Leader means that I have to go on exchanges with the other elders in my district to see how their area is doing, give training, and give them a break from their companion for 24 hours.  I stayed in Toyota with a Japanese elder named Horio.  He`s a really fun guy and has lots of energy and he is one of the few Japanese people who understands sarcasm.  It was a fun time, but the dendo kind of sucked. One of our investigators dropped us and the less actives we tried visiting weren`t home.  It was still a fun time to hang with another missionary and it was great practice to talk in Japanese.

On Friday I gave my first DTM (District Training Meeting).  The theme I was given by the APs was becoming a Full-Purpose Missionary.  The way I took that was by asking questions that applied aspects of missionary life to an aircraft`s six main instruments known as the ``Six Pack``.  Here were the Six:

Speed Indicator: MAX Effective Power?
Attitude Indicator: Attitude?
Altitude Indicator: Spiritually High?
Turn and Bank Coordinator: Coordinated Companionship?
Heading Indicator: Where are You Heading?
Vertical Speed Indicator: How are You Handling the Ups & Downs

The idea is that if you are in the affirmative to these questions then you are a successful, full-purpose missionary.  We then listened to a couple of missionaries share some of their experiences with missionaries who were fulfilling their purpose and went over the six pack and assessed if they had met all six.  I hope DTM went well and that it was received well.  I figured I needed to try to make it authentic so I wanted to connect it to flying.

We also just barely committed Rei Takami to be baptized today!  The date is in September so I probably won`t be able to see it.  We are super excited for her. Being here in Toyota for so long is allowing me to see lots of fruits from my past companions and my labors.  It`s a long journey, but there`s progress.

I hope you all have a great week!



The field is WHITE!

Check Out My Six Pack