Friday, August 21, 2015

The Journey of a Thousand Miles...

Good afternoon Sports Fans,

It's pouring rain today, but that's ok because that keeps things nice
and cool. Speaking of which, I don't think I'll complain about the
heat in Nagano Prefecture ever again. This week I had to go to Meito
in the Nagoya area and it was ridiculous! It was nasty, sticky humid
and baking like an oven. The Lord definitely knows me and didn't
assign me to that area and to those trials.

Well this was my first week as Zone Leader here in 松本. It was a pretty
crazy week here. My new companion, Elder Tu'akoi, isn't the most
organized of guys and tends to run a little behind schedule so it felt
like we were sprinting back and forth to a bunch of different places.
We also spent almost two days in Meito for Mission Leadership Council
where all the  ZLs and Sister Training Leaders (kind of like ZLs for
sister missionaries) have a day long conference at the Mission Home.
It was a super good meeting where we discussed issues and improvements
to our zones. Tu'akoi and I were randomly selected to do a mogi (role
play) with President and Siter Ishii in front of everyone about how to
teach simply about the Atonement. We ended up doing pretty good. Of
all things Tu'akoi is best a teaching the gospel. He grew up in Osaka
and moved to Hawaii when he was 12 so he is fluent in Japanese and can
explain things very clearly and simplest in a way a 日本人 can
understand. There was a really good Spirit in MLC and I really
appreciated working with some of the best missionaries in the zone. I
felt kind of young and inexperienced there (being the youngest ZL),
but there's nothing else to do than to keep learning and improving
myself and zone.

No super good teaching stories from this week, but there was a 花火大会 at
the largest 神社 ("Jinja"=shrine) in Matsumoto on Monday that we went to
with a Less Active. 花火 means "flower fire" which in turn means
"fireworks" in the English tongue. Japanese fireworks are super cool
and they're pretty big and again they were tons of people on the
street watching. I also got a little tongue twisted while housing this
week. Instead of saying 末日(Matsu Jitsu) in 末日聖徒イエス・キリスト教会, I said 蜂蜜聖徒
(Hachi Mitsu) which means honey, so translated I said "The Church of
Jesus Christ of Honey Saints." Yep, almost a year as a missionary and
I sometimes mess up. Oh well, they rejected us anyways. We did bike
over close to the Matsumoto Airport while looking for some Less
Actives. It was super good to be close to an airport again and got to
watch a couple jets take off and land.

I don't know how many of you know but this Thursday is my one year
mark of my mission. It's crazy to think that one year ago I entered
the MTC and started the adventure of a lifetime. It's definitely a
strange feeling standing on the halfway point; you feel like you've
come such a long way but still have so far to go. At other times you
are worried that you don't have much time left and that you haven't
mastered the language or other missionary skills. Just over a year ago
I sacrificed my personal goals and dreams to come to this strange land
to serve the Lord and to bring souls to Christ. Some days I miss what
I left behind and then other days I love that I am here. I got to
thinking the other day that no matter what your life was before the
mission you had to give up something to serve whether it be
girlfriend, college, truck, job, or whatever, you gave it up. Every
missionary has sacrificed something and that makes missionaries
special I think. I know that each missionary will be eternally blessed
for their personal sacrifice. I have less than a year left of service,
but I am super excited and don't plan on slowing down! This work is
important and there are 88,000 missionaries around the world all
serving for the same cause. "The journey of a thousand miles began
with a single step." - J.R.R Tolkein

Thanks for everything this last year! Still got less than 11 months
left so don't forget about me! Don't worry I ain't slowing down!

I love you all a ton! I hope you are all safe and sound! Summer's
about over so make the most of what you have left!



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