Sunday, December 3, 2017

Week 48

Hello World,

I had two Thanksgiving dinners this week. One very Japanese one put on by the ward here, and another mostly American one put on by the senior couple in the office with the best they could get at Costco. Both were very good.

I also had an interview with my mission president this morning. Last night I made a bit of an attempt to guess at the things that he would say and some of the ways that I might respond. I think I'll share a couple of those here.
Things I thought President would say:
Hello, how are you?
Carry on my wayward son
You are loved
Let it go
Don't stop believin'
If you need me call me

Things that I planned to say:
I just wanna run
All my friends are heathens
I've got oceanfront property
I am a Child of God

That's basically how the interview went. As you can all see, I was exposed to a rather wide variety of music before my mission. Maybe that makes me a cultured individual. Maybe not.

We went to the zoo today for district P-day this afternoon. It was pretty fun to walk around the zoo with our group of nine missionaries, eight of whom were from somewhere in America. I think that we had the most fun at the monkey exhibit. I might get the pictures that the sisters took at English class tonight and send them in next week's email. Today all you get is the selfie I'm about to take. Sorry. I really need to be better about picture taking.

Lots of love,
Elder Mitchell


Week 47

Hello World,

Some of you are already aware of this fact, but my favorite number is 47. If you didn't know you can now consider yourself informed. :)

This week I learned that Costco can be ordered online and dropped off at our mission office. All I can say about that is that it blew my mind. I can't think of very many things cooler than Costco ordered on the internet. One would be Koenigsegg's fancy pneumatic valve system, and another would be the brand-new kerosene stove that we got for our apartment this week, but that's all I've got.

This transfer is a short one. It's only five weeks. So with the recent pace of my transfer calls that means that I just have three more weeks until I get a new area. Lol hopefully I stay here for longer than that.

I'm starting to settle in as an office worker. I'm not totally caught up yet but I'm close. For some reason there was a huge flood of missionary orders, phone problems, and a couple other miscellaneous things that came in the first week I was here. And I didn't really know how to take care of any of it. But I think I've mostly learned now.

I don't think that I've really said anything about my new companions yet. Elder Ito used to do some hip-hop dancing and karate before the mission. Elder Nathan enjoys eating and is about 6'4". He is very talented at playing the piano and can supposedly play the viola very well too. I'll attach a picture of the three of us today.

Love you all,
Elder Mitchell




Monday, November 20, 2017

Week 46

Week 46:
I'm now in the mission office. It's a blast. We just took a picture. It's a little blurry. Also I didn't pose very well for it. I'm actually in a trio right now but only one of my comps was in the picture because the other one was busy. So Elder Dance bravely served in his place. I love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Mitchell

Excerpts from a letter to the family:
Being the commissarian is interesting. I updated the phonebook this week with a file that I was given from the previous commissarian but it had a few problems with it. And then the program that we use to update was being a little finicky too. And a few missionaries messed it up on their individual phones so I had to resend it to each of them individually. It was a little inconvenient and I still have several things to do to fix it this week. Today is P-day so I don't have to do anything today, but it will probably take several hours this week. And I'm way behind on sending out missionary orders. I'll probably survive though.

I'm currently in the back of a corolla with four other missionaries. According to my best estimate, our combined weight is about 860 pounds. It's pretty fun. I'm in the back middle. We're on our way to some mall somewhere so that a couple Elders can go shopping. You can imagine that I won't be participating. For one I don't have any money and for two I don't hate myself. I don't know why people like shopping. It's okay though. I can still be friends with people that do like shopping.

We are in Aeon mall. I am sitting on a bench waiting for one of the Elders to finish shopping . . . .

I'm about 15 pounds lighter than I was when I left the MTC. It's only half by choice. Eating in Japan is very difficult.

I have a bed. It's pretty okay.

I spend a decent amount of money on Apple juice.

I don't know if I can be friends with shoppers anymore. We've been inside this mall a really long time. And there's no Wi-Fi.

I remember why I don't go shopping.

I might actually die if we don't leave this mall within the next 30 seconds. I think I'll have to hire a fashion person to go shopping for me when I get back too. This is unbelievable. Stores are the worst.

We are out of the mall. It's 4:45. I don't want to say it was a day wasted (yes I do), but we did absolutely nothing.

Back in the apartment. Finally. It's almost 5:30. I think mom wanted to hear about my area, comp, and something else but I don't remember what. My area is good. My comp is funny.

I love you the most,
Ben


Week 45

There was a bit of a disagreement between my mother and I about what week I'm on. She thinks I'm still on week 45. :)

Anyway, this week was transfer calls and I'm transferring again. Yes, this will be my fifth area. And yes I will be a seventh transfer missionary. And yes that is a little bit strange. Usually missionaries stick around for a while in each area. But it's okay. I'll be working in the mission office so I'll get to party with the mission president and the senior couple that work there on the daily! This will be my first experience working in an office, so I guess I'll get to see whether or not it's anything like the TV show that I watched so much of with my roommates at BYU. :)

The highlight of this week was our meeting with the other American missionary couple. It was a little bit of a challenge to control the balance of the conversation because they had so much that they wanted to say, but in the end we got in a quick explanation of The Book of Mormon and a commitment to read it. They didn't go for a return appointment (I think partly because they're scared that if they meet with us again they'll want to join our church:)), but they said they'd keep our phone number. Either way, it was my last time meeting with them since I'm going to Nagamachi. But it was a really good opportunity to help them understand a little bit about how our church is different. And if they really do read The Book of Mormon with a sincere heart and real intent then they'll know it's true like I do.

We also got an announcement from the mission office saying that we should throw away the old pillows in our apartments and they'll give us new ones. That's a well past-due announcement. Some of the pillows look like they might have needed replacing 25 years ago. :)

Lots of love,
Elder Mitchell

A picture of a car held together with zip-ties. I think I can sort of picture in my mind's eye the look that he was going for, but I think he missed it. In more places than the zip-ties. Maybe if we talk to him we can convince him of the need to repent. :)




Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Week 44

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Yesterday we ran into an American couple who are here as missionaries from their own church! It was really cool to talk to them in English and also hear some of the things that they had heard in the past about Mormon's. They were some pretty chill individuals and seemed down to have us come back again sometime in the near future. We're super excited to talk to them again talk about our church.

We also had a fireside with the mission president this week. It was for investigators/recent converts/friends of missionaries and it was pretty fun. We all had dinner together in the mission home and then had a message from President Sekiguchi. I think that our RC and his friend both really enjoyed it.

Our ward halloween party also happened this week. It was pretty fun. I wore six ties and a pirate hat. I might have had the scariest costume at the party.

And we have a mission photo shoot this week. I think the results are going to become our new mission pass-along cards.

Have a great week,
Elder Mitchell

 My fancy new badge in English.

Our costumes for the Ward Halloween Party.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Week 43

Ladies and gentlemen,

The week counter on my emails is pretty close to the percentage of my mission that I've completed. So at 44% I guess I'm almost half done. That's weird.

This week we had zone conference and mission president interviews. At zone conference we got new nametags. Our mission president decided that having our nametags written in Japanese was counter-productive so he got us all English ones.

We also had a really good after-baptism lesson with our recent convert, Brother Takuto. Brother Konno, a super cool member in the ward, joined with us on it, and we had a really good restoration discussion. This same recent convert has also talked to a friend of his at college and they will be coming together to a fireside this week. We're pretty excited to see how much interest his friend has in learning about the gospel.

Have a great week and share the gospel with a friend!

Lots of love,
Elder Mitchell

For P-day, we went on some island somewhere and one of the sisters took a lot of pictures. I might get them eventually. I took one. For some reason I couldn't really get the running pose right. I guess I haven't had enough practice running. We also went to a little Ramen shop. It was okay. Nothing worth writing home about... lol

 (Ben's picture was in response to this one his sisters sent him 
from Seaside, Oregon, a few weeks ago.)


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Week 42

Hello world,

It has been a little while since the world has had a confirmation of my existence. In fact, I think it may have been three weeks. I'm sorry about that. Fortunately, not a whole lot has happened over the last three weeks, so there's not a whole lot that I need to write. :)

I am now in Izumi which is an area in Sendai. I think that Sendai might be comparable in size to Seattle. I'm not exactly sure though. Anyway, there are several times more people here than there were in Misawa, Miyako, or Hirosaki. So that's good I suppose. The pace of life is quite a lot faster here.

I also have a new companion. He's half Japanese, but speaks it natively. His English is really good, but obviously not his first language. He's a really funny guy and a really hard worker. He's actually a really old missionary and will be dying after next transfer. So the middle of December I think.

Something of note: the apartment that I currrently reside in has a three-part mirror so the two sides fold out. So this means that I can look in the mirror and see myself from three different angles! I really appreciate it. Maybe a little too much. :)

I love you all,
Elder Mitchell

The pictures:

Hot dogs that were given to us by a member.
All of the really cheap juice that I bought last week. We ran out on 
Sunday so it's been a juice drought for the last two days.

I'm not generally a soccer (or football) fan, but the inside 
of a track should be green. This is a screenshot 
from google maps of a track near where I live.

And the mirror that brings me joy. . .