Monday, November 29, 2010

November 28, 2010


How`s everyone doing?! I`m going to start asking for an accounting from each of you! Yes you too Matthew! I get emails from Mom and Dad, but I`d like to hear from my brothers, if possible.

My mouth was definitely watering after I read about the monkey bread and the delicious turkey. I myself had turkey as well! All of the Okinawan stakes (2) hold a big get togethers each year on one of the American bases and eat a real Thanksgiving dinner. It was way better than anything else I could`ve eaten in Japan, although it doesn`t compare to what I normally would eat with you! I had turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing (nowhere near the Gregory standard), and rolls. So good! After the meal, I went and played some basketball with some Marines, which was a fun. Member Marines are hilarious. Most are converts and have tattoos and probably used to have a language problem. So now they say things like crap, shoot, and crapshoot. Pretty funny stuff.

So Miles, how was videos games with the Craig-micester? Have you been played Battlefield Vietnam or some other crazy game? One of my MTC district members always talked about Red Dead Redemption...sounded pretty ridiculous haha. Hopefully you`re focusing on the important things like pulling weeds and getting up at 5 to milk the cows. Haha, just kidding little keep up the good work though. If you learn to work hard, it`ll really prepare you for a mission. Oh, and ride your bike everyday if you can. There might be some massive hills where you`re going.

Thank you Mom for your prayers. They say if you mom prays for you, no harm or accident will happen to the missionary. Keep praying! I`ve had some ridiculous close calls with poles, cars, etc, but I won`t worry you. The Lord is looking out for me and I`m being as careful as I can.

I wrote the family letters this last week so you should be getting those soon! Except Brittany...I didn`t have time to finish it so I had to wait till today! Yours will be in the mail soon! I`ll be better about sending letters regularly, they`re way nice to receive! Well family, I love you all. Stay safe, be happy, and help out the gilbert missionaries! Member lessons are the way to go!


Monday, November 15, 2010

November 15, 2010

Hey Family!

So it`s been another great week in Japan and it went by really fast. Other missionaries have been telling me that this is my slowest transfer so I`m a little nervous for what the rest of the mission is like! Shoot, it`ll be two years before I know it! I am absolutely loving it here, I love the people, I love the work, and I never thought I`d say this with as much emotion but, I really love learning! It`s great and I`m learning a lot and I`m being humbled alot. I make a lot of mistakes with regards to Japanese, but I suppose it`s the best way to learn.

Sundays are pretty crazy. To get to church, there are 2 monstrous hills that we have to bike up and it`s killer. I thought my legs were being prepared in the MTC from all the stairs I had to climb, but yonabaru has some beastly hills. Whew, at least they`ll keep me in good shape! But anywho, sunday meetings are great. I actually had to give a talk in sacrament this last sunday, which was intense. I wrote about half a talk in english and I just went up to the pulpit and said what I wanted to say in Japanese with more. Meetings go for several hours and as a missionary, there are meetings after church. So much fun!

I actually have one quick memorable mission story from this week. It rained. Like no where in America. I put on that raincoat we bought (and I had no rain pants either) and the raincoat became so saturated that it soaked through. To my bones! So I was drenched for 5 hours on Saturday, and we were able to teach one or two lessons in my soaked condition. I really did feel the Lord strengthen me though, and I survived! I didn`t get sick, which is a miracle! So I needed Japan strength rain gear which I actually got from an elder who is going home next transfer! So yes! That is all taken care of!

I`ll see if I can translate that poem today!

Well, it`s time for us to go, sorry this email was short. I love you all!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

First email from Japan


It`s another P-day in Japan and the time is just flying by! This last week has been great too. There were a few days where we could not get a hold of anyone and very few people listened to us while we housed and streeted. The Lord really blessed us the other day though, and we saw huge success. The mission is just an awesome place of trials and blessings.

So I didn`t get a chance to write you all letters last week but I promise, I`ll be sending some today!

Matthew sounds like a very mature young man! It`s great to hear that he`s trying to make new friends and is doing better at accepting people.

This last week I met a guy who was Protestant which is way mezurashii...err, rare. We talked for half an hour about how there is a need for a prophet and he ended up telling my companion and I that he and his friend were prophets because they felt that they could receive revelation from God. Which is definitely true! Except for the part where he thought that he was a prophet. It made me better understand and realize that other religions do have true doctrine, such as being able to receive revelation from God, but that something gets skewed and it changes God`s true gospel.

Happy belated birthday Dad! I thought about you and your 51st birthday friday night and saturday morning here in Japan, which would`ve been november 5th back in the states. I hope you really enjoyed it and had fun with the Quiroz`s at dinner! I really can`t believe that you are 51! You can be Supaman and I`ll be Julius and we`ll grow old together (name the movie).

Christmas. Hmm, I can`t believe it`s getting to be that time already. Fun fact. In Japan, most everyone eats KFC for Christmas. The KFC mascot/person/dude is dressed up in a Santa suit outside a KFC here in Okinawa which I thought was hilarious. Anyways, I can`t think of anything I really need except for more pictures! And letters!

My companion and I went tracting near the beach the other day and the water was so clear! And there were only 5 people at this awesome beach. It was nuts. Okinawa is the poorest prefecture of Japan...I suppose the don`t have time to go play at the beach here.

Well, I love all of you. Let me know when you get my letters, so I know how long it takes.


Monday, November 1, 2010

October 31, 2010

Hey family!

It`s finally my preparation day again and I am emailing you from Yonabaru in Okinawa...the Hawaii of Japan! My companion Elder Hardy is a stud and we`re getting work done here in Yonabaru. It`s such an interesting situation...we`re white washing this area which means that there were two elders here before and they both transferred out, and then we were transferred in. So bascially neither of us know too much about the area. But the Lord is on our side and we`ve already made 2 new investigators after about 5 hours of dendo`ing (proselyting). This area hasn`t had a baptism all year and we`re hoping to have 2 people come unto Christ and be baptized this transfer.

So fun story. I was delayed coming to Okinawa because there was this crazy T4 typhoon here and it`s the strongest they`ve had in a long time, like years. So I stayed in the mission home an extra day, and I was able to meet all the dying missionaries (the one`s that were going home in the next couple of days). They imparted me with their knowledge and I had some awesome dendo`ing experiences.

So I need to tell you about my mission president. He is the nicest man ever. I thought that when I got to Japan, it was all going to be about "numbers" and having no fun. It`s all about the love. He is the most loving man ever and every missionary here is so happy. It`s weird to say this but I`ve been told countless times that there are just not any bad missionaries in this mission. Every missionary here is way good and I`ve met a bunch of them already because I got stuck in Fukuoka. Thanks a lot T4 typhoon! No but really, it`s such a great place. The first day I went out and passed out muryo eikaiwa`s (fliers for free english conversation classes). It was so fun singing on random street corners (in english) and talking to everyone (in japanese) and giving them stuff. Ah! So great. That night we went streeting too and this elder, Elder Shaner (he`s the best) and we talked to a ton of people. I felt prompted to talk some some guy who was sitting on the side of the road smoking and drinking. So I did it. He was way nice and he really needs Jesus Christ. We talked and I gave him a Book of Mormon! It was the best. Elder Shaner had gotten a phone call too, and so I got to do it by myself.
The other day I went out to buy a bike and it was way difficult because I didn`t have enough money on my card! Elder Savage...a senior couple missionary had to lend me 10000 yen so that I could but the bike. Apparently the Japan is in a stage of deflation so the strength of the yen to the dollar is increasing. It was like 87 yen to the dollar when i went into the MTC, so the money I had then would`ve been close to what I needed for a bike, but now it`s like 79. I am going to need to pay this brother back in the near future. Onegaishimasu! I don`t really have any more money needs except some time in the future I might buy an electronic dictionary. I`m actually making it pretty ok without one though so we`ll see.

One more good story.

Yesterday, I went to pick up a guitar from a member after church so that I can play for a ward activity on Wednesday. On the way there my brand new bike(totemo suteki which means very nice) got a flat tire. I was way bummed. So I had to walk my bike to the members house and back and carry a guitar and such. Elder Hardy just laughed and we had the best "boken" (adventure) ever. So many things went right after I my tire went flat. I was really annoyed at first but I came to see that Heavenly Father gives us trials, only to make us see something or appreciate something that we didn`t before. We had so many tender mercies walking there. We found a public phone. We found a port a potty (which was important)! And as a background to why these were tender mercies the city I`m serving in is very inaka which means it`s out in the countryside and houses don`t have addresses. On top of that, me and Elder Hardy are white washing the area (explanation of white washing at the beginning of the email). So, we`re walking our bikes and we happen to run into some kids outside a house who were members! There are not many members here at all...that was a miracle! And then they led us to another brother`s house who could help me fix my bike, so no worries there! And then to top it off, the guitar fit into Elder Hardy`s backpack (sort of) which made it easier to carry back.

Well, I love you all. Just for the record, Japan is about 15 hours or so ahead of you, so it`s a little after one thirty in the afternoon on a monday here in Japan. I`ll write you today!


PS If you are going to send me a package send me...hmm, maybe tortillas, and peanut butter and salsa. Those things are way way expensive here in that`d be great! Oh, and some taco powder/seasoning and drink mixes (the great value ones were way good)! Thank you so much family!

PPS An apple here in Japan is $2 an apple! How crazy is that?!