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

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