Saturday, May 28, 2016

Triple Ace

Good Morning ladies and germs,

Yes it's true; today is the start of my last transfer (Transfer 15) in
the Japan Nagoya Mission. We finished transfer calls this morning and
I realized that I have reached the point where I never thought I'd get
to. It's already planned out to be a busy transfer so there will never
be a dull moment and I'm looking excited for that.

This last week was a blast and a lot of good things happened. Our last
two lessons with our investigator 椿(Tsubaki) were really good. We're
getting a lot of support from the members and they are joining our
lessons and are helping to explain things to her and are
fellowshipping her a lot. She's progressing really well and I love
teaching her. She accepts the gospel and our commitments well and has
the desire to be baptized. Last week we taught the Gospel of Jesus
Christ and this week we taught about how that ties in with the Plan of
Salvation. We emphasized how families are eternal and that through
having faith, repenting, and by being baptized you can start to create
an eternal family. We are so lucky to get to teach 椿 and we are
praying for her.

On Sunday last week Jones and I were heading out to go house a 団地
(danchi-massive apartment complexes) and we were stopped by a white
guy before we could even stop him and that is when we met David St.
John. David had just arrived in Nagoya after biking two months from 神戸
(Kobe). He came to Nagoya to be a 杖術 (Jojutsu- a form of martial arts
where you fight with a staff) master and teacher in the nearby city of
瀬戸 (Seto). He's been in Japan for about 20 years and is way good at
the language and knows a ton of cool Japanese history (which of course
I thought was sick). He actually studied Japanese History and Language
at USC and then came to Japan and has done a variety of jobs out here.
He was super fun to talk to and he took us to his home to show us
where he lived and said we could visit anytime we wanted. We talked to
him for about two hours out on the street and became pretty good
friends. We asked if there was anyway we could help him and then gave
him our number so he could call us. He told us that he'd met
missionaries in all the other places in Japan and says of all the
Christian religions he respects ours the most (he never calls us
Mormons only Latter-Day Saints) and would love to meet again.

Later in the week I received a call from David and he told us that he
met 阿部, 狩谷, and 中塚 (Abe, Kariya, and Nakatsuka) on the street and he
was wondering if he could recruit our help cleaning and weeding his
yard. He said that in exchange he would love to listen to our message
and said he received a pamphlet from 中塚 in Japanese but said he'd like
an English Book of Mormon if we could supply him with one. I told him
that of course we could help and yesterday we helped out cleaning his
yard and then we had a lesson with him which was a way good
experience. First off you have to understand that David is a very well
educated person and his background is history and through a lot of his
comments since we met him he doesn't seem to like organized churches
very much. Anyways in the beginning of the lesson David told us to
teach him like we had know idea about how much he knew about our
religion. We asked more for his religious background and he just gave
us a torrent of his struggle with his one previous Protestant religion
because he felt that the churches he went to were not practicing what
they were preaching. Therefore he hasn't called himself Christian in a
long time. So we taught him the very basics from who God is and taught
about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. He was very attentive
and asked a lot of good questions and I was able to us my knowledge of
history to understand and answer some of those questions and Jones was
doing so good and testifying of the truthfulness of our message. In
the end he said he would begin reading the Book of Mormon and would
love to continue to discuss the church with us. It was my first time
teaching an American on my mission and it was a very good experience
that I will never forget.

This week's been busy with two exchanges. We went to 四日市 (Yokkaichi)
on Tuesday and I got to work with Tommy for the last time on the
mission. They had zone interviews to start everything off and after
that is when we started our exchange. It was a lot of fun and we were
busy teaching at a lot of less active member appointments. The people
in 四日市 speak this weird, mumbling, accented Japanese which is really
hard to understand and in fact we both didn't understand a lot of what
was said to us. We tried our best and is was still fun. Thursday we
headed out to 静岡 (Shizuoka) and were supposed to do an exchange but
石井会長 (President Ishii) was interviewing their zone that day and it
went really late so we did a four man lesson with one of their
investigators who was way cool. He is a retired Japanese Self-Defense
Force Navy helicopter pilot who has 7000 hours and is currently
learning and getting his license to fly Cessna Citation Vs. He was
really fun to talk to and it was good to talk about flying with

It's been a great week and it's been a ton of fun. I love being able
to work with so many people and have all of these awesome experiences.

I hope you all have a great week! Take luck!




Pic 1- My posterity. My bean, his bean, and his bean's bean. I'm a
great Grandpa!
Pic 2- Getting real in the 'hood. Found this outside a less actives house.
Pic 3- Us and 沼津 (Numazu) our chopper pilot friend.

Saturday, May 21, 2016


Good morning sports fans,

This has been a crazy week and time went by pretty fast. Life's been
pretty good. To kick things off our investigator 椿 (Tsubaki) accepted
a baptismal date for the end of next month during our lesson last
Saturday! She is such a miracle! The lesson was really good and we
taught at the church with a member and we taught about the restoration
of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the prophet Joseph Smith. It was
a really spiritual lesson and she was willing to accept a date to be
baptized and follow Jesus Christ. The next day she came to church and
made a lot of friends and wants to keep coming. We have another lesson
with her today and we are excited to see continual progression.

Monday I got the opportunity to return to 豊田 (Toyota) for a couple of
hours. A new Japanese elder, 中塚 (Nakatsuka), was called to become a
commisarian and we went to pick him up and because 豊田 is kind of
special to me I wanted to go and meet 森村 (Morimura). It was so much
fun. While walking down the street a member pulled off the side of the
road to say hi. They said the saw the missionaries and somehow
recognized it was me and turned around. At 森村's shop we surprised the
crap out of him and had a ton of fun talking to him. He is still
reading the Book of Mormon and an elder has given him a triple
combination and he still has all of my notes and scripture reading
assignments in it and is marking it. It was so good to see him and get
to talk with him for a while. While at 森村's 中塚 called me and told me a
member wanted me to meet with her daughter who I was friends with when
I served in 豊田 but went less active shortly after I left. So after 森村
I met up with the 市川 (Ichikawa) family at the church and got to talk
to there daughter 夏美 (Natsumi). I haven't seen them for almost a year
and they were way surprised that I could actually speak Japanese now.
The only memories they had of me was the first eight month of my
mission while I was still struggling hard with the language. It was so
good to see and talk to one of my favorite member families of 豊田 Ward.
I am so happy to have gotten to go see everyone again and see that
some of the success I saw there is still visible.

From Tuesday on our week got pretty busy. We went on three exchanges
in a row and pretty much traveled around the entire mission. We
started our "tour" in 野並 (Nonami), then 松本 (Matsumoto), and finished
out in 金沢 (Kanazawa). Elder Jones and I packed our bags, loaded the
bikes, hopped in the van, and had our own little three day long
adventure. It was a lot of fun! I got to meet so many people that I
worked with. In 野並 I called up a member family, the 落合's (Ochiai), and
asked if I could meet and they said yes and unexpectedly had a お好み焼き
(Okonomiyaki) party for Elder Callahan and I. It was so awesome to go
visit one of my favorite member families ever and have dinner and a
lesson with them. On Wednesday we headed to 松本 and spent most of the
day helping a sister missionary who got hit by her car while riding
her bike. Elder Warren (松本ZL) and I helped transport her damaged bike
with the van while she was helped out by some members at her
apartment. Warren and I also visited a LA Filipina that Elder Klein
and I used to work with back in the day. At night I visited my
favorite Brazilian family and introduce Jones to Aoki and Preto while
the ZLs had to go to a meeting at the church. It was great to see them
and reconnect once again. Our final destination was 金沢 where I got to
work with Elder Day. Him and I (and Elder Callahan) will be riding the
same plane home in a couple months. He is a way good ZL and has really
been helping the DLs in his zone and has been a huge asset up there.
It was a great couple of days to escape the 本部 and work out in the
field for several solid days.

We got back from our trip yesterday afternoon. At night we had to go
out to 一宮 (Ichinomiya) to go help bring some stuff the 福徳 (Fukutoku)
sisters needed from the apartment they left last week. After that the
week was all of a sudden over. We've got one week left in the transfer
and we'll see where that takes us. It's looking like it'll be a good

All's well here folks so I hope all's well for you out there too. Take luck!




Friday, May 13, 2016

Hot Wheels

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Been All Around the World

Hey folks,

Let's tell you about my week. I don't remember most of it so I'll try to sum up all of it in a couple of sentences. I had to roll out and take care of some emergency transfers and we drove from Fujieda to Nagano meaning we spent 14 hours in the car. We spent the night in Fujieda since we couldn't make it back before 2300.

When we got back and started working on transfers. And then we taught our Eikaiwa class all about Utah. On Thursday there was musical group practice and since I am not in it I went on a split with Elder Ence and it was fun. There was no one on the street but we had a good time.

On Friday we went to Fukutoku for ZTM and they went on an exchange with Elder De Spain. It was short but still a good time. This morning since we were in Fukutoku still we went to Nagoya Castle in the morning. It was bombed during the war and was rebuilt using original techniques. It was way cool on the outside and the inside was all redone, but for a history nerd like me it was cool.

That's the week. Take care out there.




Monday, May 2, 2016


Good morning sports fans,

This week was freaking crazy and I would be pleased to not have to do
it all over again. We had a whole bunch of work to do this week and it
was stressful for everybody in the office.

Everything started on Monday where Jones and I had to be prepped and
ready for a ton of events that we had throughout the week. We had to
finalize agendas for a two day long mission tour with Elder "C" of
the Quorum of the Seventy, we had an emergency evacuation drill, a
phone conference, and a whole bunch of other projects to try to complete
while we had office time. We stayed in all day with President Ishii's
permission because we wouldn't have time the rest of the week. We
were just rocking and rolling with staff meeting, creating docs,
sending emails, and  preparing the office for another set of Couple
missionaries coming in.

Tuesday was another long day. We started off with a phone conference
with some members of a recently created missionary musical group and
helped them get organized and set up their purpose and practice
schedule. The goal is to have them start touring the mission and
performing to help invite people to listen to them sing uplifting
music to better feel the Spirit of the Lord. After this Jones and I
had to call everybody in the mission and ask them to grab their
emergency go-bags and go to their safe evacuation point in their area
and for proof to show that they made it there safely we had them take
a selfie and send it to the 本部. Those got to be pretty funny. As far
as I know this is the first time this has ever happened  in the
mission and people were either super surprised or didn't even have a
reaction at all. The goal was to see if they had a go-bag like they
should and to learn if they knew where their evac point was. It all
went rather smoothly. When that finished we kept working on our
projects until we had to go to the airport to go get the luggage of the
new couple missionaries who will be working in the 本部 with us. The
Japanese elders who are responsible for mission records and
commisarian duties (supplies, apartments, mail, etc) are really
stressed because this new couple is supposed to help lighten their
office work so they can dendo more, but since they don't speak
Japanese they really can't help them much. We truly don't know what
this new couple's job should be but they seem nice enough and we'll
see how it goes from here.

Our middle day of the week was a DMV adventure. We spent from 0900
until 1530 there so Jones could get his license started. I tried being
productive while sitting in lines all day and we tried lesson planning
for an AB (after baptism) lesson that we had that evening. Jones was
able to pass his written test which is awesome, but his driving test
day is not until June 10th (which they would not change) which is two
weeks into next transfer so I don't know if I am going to leave the
本部. I am 80% sure that I will finish my mission here based off of the
need for me to drive. When we got back to the 本部 in the afternoon,
Elder "C" arrived shortly after us. He decided to interview all the
本部 missionaries and somehow I ended up being the first one to be
interviewed. It was a good interview I guess. I was told that I'm not
dendoing hard enough and that I should be baptizing more and that I'm
not really fulfilling my purpose as AP. He gave some advice which was
good, but I was really kind of expecting more from an interview with a
General Authority. But whatever, I'll just apply some of the advice he
gave and keeping working until the end. I only have ten weeks left so
I can't really destroy the mission.

Thursday and Friday were the big days for us. We had two multi-zone
conferences in Fukutoku and Meito respectively. The second was a lot
better than the first one. The first one was a huge stress because
Elder "C" didn't stick to the agenda and wanted to start early and
only half of one of the zones (including the ZLs) was there and so
Jones and I were running around asking for head counts and trying to
keep everyone quiet and respectful. The second day no one was late and
everything went a lot smoother. Elder "C"'s message was good, but the
conferences I think we're too long which allowed for the topics go all
over the place ranging from natto, to personal revelation, to eternal
marriage, to kimchi, to obedience, and to diligence. From both days my
favorite things talked about were diligence and sacrifice. From the
first day of conference the beginning main theme was about diligence
using the phrase "if you don't like it, like it." There are a lot of
things that we don't like in missionary work and we just have to learn
to like because it can't be helped and we have to do it anyways. For
example, I really don't like finding, particularly streeting, but as a
missionary we have to do it so I might as well learn to like it. Theme
that I like from the second day was about sacrifice. Elder "C" talked
about how we want to feel like we made a sacrifice and suffered all
things when we finish our mission. That way we can feel a little
closer to the Savior who suffered all for each one of us. All in all
it was a good mission tour.

On Friday Jones and I had a really cool miracle. In the Ishii's living
room in the 本部 we had a musical family home evening (FHE) that night
and right before it the 本部 received a phone call from a guy we
contacted on the street last week. *Back up story to this is last week
on Friday we went streeting (remember something I don't like) and I
was tired of being rejected and I just wanted someone to talk to us
and I stopped a college kid named Yoshiki and he turned out to be way
cool and he was starting his first semester of college. We had a way
cool conversation with him and talked to him about happiness and how
God brings us happiness and in the end we invited him to come to the
本部 FHE, but he wouldn't trade contact info with us so we just gave him
our phone's email and told him to contact us if he could come. I felt
way good after that contact.* Well Yoshiki tried mailing me, but it
didn't work so he called the number on our Eikaiwa flyer and asked if
he could still come just a little late. We said of course and it was a
way fun night listening to music and a lot of people came. Afterwards
he asked questions about our church and we were able to introduce our
message to him. He didn't accept to meet and hear more, but he might
be coming to our Eikaiwa and other activities. This was a huge miracle
for me because it showed me that I need more faith in people. It's so
rare for someone to ever give us a call back and I have started
thinking "what's the point of giving anyone one my email or phone
number if no one ever calls me?" That's the wrong attitude for me to
have and I need to have a firmer belief that there are people who are
willing to meet and talk and this experience proved that you never
know how far your influence can go. I really appreciate this tender
mercy of the Lord. I guess this AP doesn't completely suck quite yet.

Well folks that about it for my week. Lots of stuff happened and this
is a long email, but that's a glimpse of my life. I'm pretty excited
for next Saturday where I'll be calling home for Mother's Day and I get to
talk to my family again! I'm way excited. I hope all's well for you on
your home front. Take luck!



Pic 1- I forgot to mention, but we went to the Higashiyama Zoo last week with a member and her husband. They're the same ones who took Andrade and I to 上高地 (in October). It's the largest zoo in all ofJapan.

Pic 2- Back at the airport

Pic 3- At the musical FHE. Yoshiki is in the left bottom corner in the brown