Monday, May 21, 2018

Week 72.5

Hello. I'm Baymax. How may I be of service?

I think that's a line from Big Hero Six.

I don't have too much to say today. I love my family. I love going fast. And I love eating food. Probably in that order.

I also love the gospel and learning more about Jesus. I feel like I don't know hardly anything about the gospel and somehow I got recruited to be a representative of Jesus Christ to share it with everyone in Japan. But there's a line in the scriptures somewhere that says that "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass". My being "fat and simple" should then theoretically increase my chances of bringing great things to pass. There are some other scriptures I like too. Like the "line upon line, precept upon precept" one in 2 Nephi 28:30. I think that means that if I study really hard for a little while then I'll start to be less simple. And Ether 12 says something about "weak things [becoming] strong". I think that means I still have a chance of growing into my white shirt sleeves.

I love running. I'm not sure why running was prematurely taken from me but I suppose there's probably some kind of reason for it or something that I can learn from not running. Maybe if I had kept running I would have gotten too full of myself and tried to skip a mission. Or maybe I would have broken too many world records and no one could have ever broken them again. ;) I'm not quite sure. But I do know that it was part of God's plan. And that there was a reason for it even if I don't understand it now.

I hate shopping. It's a miracle that I survived the shopping that I did today. I only had three short-sleeved white shirts and one got red white-board marker on it last week (or two weeks ago?). Anyway, I figured it would be good to snag another shirt or two. I ended up with three shirts for what would be $45 I think. I also got three pairs of socks. Because my current socks are pretty dang thick and I regularly sweat through them. But it was painful. And slightly mind-numbing. I plan on marrying someone who will do all of the shopping for me.

Just kidding I said a lot today. Oops.

I love you the most,

 The district

 FHE Minute to Win It at the church.
P-day lunch.
Mission Leadership Training

Week 72

Excerpts from letters from Elder Mitchell and his Dad in the fast few weeks. . 


I hope you had a good birthday and had a hot date with mom at some kind of fancy restaurant somewhere. I heard that you got some new blazers and white shirts. That's pretty cool. :) Unfortunately I've recently taken a little bit more interest in clothing. Not enough to actually go buy some though. I don't think my interest will ever overpower my dislike of clothing stores.

I love you the most,

Thanks Benny boy!

I did have a good birthday. We went to Indian food about a week ago and got some Chicken Korma, Chicken Saag, and Chicken Hyderabadi. It was pretty amazing. I do love Indian food. Mom made 12 dozen cookies and brought them to Church to share with the Ward. She is pretty amazing. I did not expect that at all. That was quite the surprise. . .

Well, it is quite late and I need to get up early for a flight to Spokane tomorrow. Great fun.
I love you! Keep working hard and doing good!


I did have one worry about something that I heard last week and it was that I would be driving the baby truck in Provo. I'm not sure that the baby truck can drive too much in the snow. As much as I love that silly mobile. Also it only has two real seats so if decided I didn't like my date partway through I'd be stuck alone in the car with her. Or I'd have to make her walk home. Have fun flying to Spokane!

I love you the most,

Benny Boy,

Good thoughts....which I have thought about too. Also the baby truck doors sometimes freeze closed. So what if we traded the baby truck in for a 4 door car (something sort of family friendly that a good potential wife might find reasonably appealing :) ) and then sent that down?

I love you!


My thought had been that we might ask Grandpa Kenison very nicely to pick one out and deliver it to me at BYU. I hadn't thought about trading the baby truck in. That would be a little bit sad. I did win high school drags in that hamster driven example of American engineering. I think I would probably get over it though. That truck isn't getting any younger. It's older than Jessica. But I am a little bit worried about your " sort of family friendly" suggestion. I hope that is not an indication of 1/4 mile time or lack of a clutch pedal. I think that an STi would be a good option. I think it's a pretty good balance between a Toyota Corolla and a Honda NSX. And they're great for snow because they have AWD. And all of the good potential wives like Subaru. Brother Lewis will agree with me I'm sure. :)

I love you the most,

Monday, May 14, 2018

Week 71

A good quote from my companion this week went something like this, "Elder Mitchell I thought you said elevators were for old pregnant children". This quote followed some whining about not wanting to walk up six flights of stairs and a proposed compromise that we take the elevator next time. My original statement was something like "Elevators are for senior citizens, pregnant women, and small children".

We had a new face at church this week! He's already a member, but he recently moved here from the Phillipines and didn't know where the church was until he saw us out knocking on doors and came over to talk to us. We talked to him for a few minutes and happily shared our church address with him.

We had district pday today and went to an all-you-can-eat place. We also went bowling. I bowled a solid 115. Not the best I've ever bowled, but I was still proud of myself. :)

Have a great week,
Elder Mitchell

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Week 70

A few things I've learned on my mission so far:
Japanese is hard.
Patience is more than just tolerance.
Eating good food requires a local restaurant or some branch members.
The Book of Mormon is as true as my high school car was slow. I love you mom. :)
Those who are actively trying to be more like Jesus Christ are happier than those who aren't.
Time waits for no one.
Successful missionaries (and people) are the ones that always do their best.
God loves all of his children. And he wants all of us to return to him.
Things that are hard are the ones worth working for.
Agency is a blessing.
Our time on this Earth is limited.
Shopping in Japan is slightly more enjoyable than shopping in America. But still unpleasant.

Here's a picture of four missionaries getting some curry this afternoon.

Lots of love,
Elder Mitchell

Elders Nashino, Parkinson, Bunderson and Mitchell

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Week 69


This week was transfer calls and I'm staying!!!!!! I'm now an 11th transfer missionary and this is my first four-transfer area. Moving all over the place is fun for a little while, but it got old pretty fast. I'm so glad to be staying in Iwaki again. Iwaki is the best!! The biggest change that will be happening this transfer is this: our apartment will now be home to four missionaries instead of just two. I'm sure that will be fun, but we have a pretty small refrigerator. Elder Bunderson and I have been filling that thing up every week and then eating it all over the following six days. Elder Bunderson suggested that righteous missionaries do a lot of fasting...

I came across a scripture that I really liked in 3 Nephi this week. It's a chapter very similar the Sermon on the Mount that Jesus gave in Matthew 5. Here's the part I liked:

3 Yea, blessed are the poor in spirit who come unto me, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
5 And blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

So if we're poor in spirit, come unto Christ, and also happen to be meek, then we get the kingdom of heaven and inherit the earth!! You all can probably guess which Christlike attributes I'm going to be working on this week.

Until we meet again,
Elder Mitchell

Excerpts from letters to the family:
 I did have to give a talk last Sunday but it was still an okay Sacrament meeting I think. My talk was about keeping the Sabbath Day Holy. I said that keeping the Sabbath Day Holy should be super easy because Heavenly Father is so nice. He gave us six days for ourselves and asks only for one in return. I told Iwaki that if I were Heavenly Father then I would make every day the Sabbath and make everyone keep all of them holy. :-)
We had some interesting weather this week too. We had 27 in the shade one day and then 14 the next. It was pretty interesting. Those are both Celsius. I think in Fahrenheit that would be 81.6 and 57.2. We wore short sleeves both days. The second day was slightly more chilly than the first was hot. 81.6 doesn't actually sound that hot. The thermometer in the sun read 32 the first day. That would be almost 90. Either way it was a pretty crazy temperature change and we were not ready for it to be that cold yesterday.

I'm not very good at taking pictures so here are some from a long time ago. One is with my MTC comp and the other is the drinking fountain in my first area's church building. It's not very tall.

Week 68

68 is a really big number. I'm a pretty old missionary.

I don't have too much time for email today since one of my favorite members called us this morning and asked if we wanted to go out to lunch and head to the beach. I am happy and healthy. I'm still learning a lot every day about the gospel, Japanese, and how to be a good missionary. Missionary work is a great opportunity to learn and grow, as well as to help other people and share the joy of the gospel. There are definitely hard times too, but they've all been worth it so far and I have faith in Nephi's famous testimony: "I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." The Lord helps his servants.

Lots of love,
Elder Mitchell

Monday, April 16, 2018

Week 67

This week's email takes a rather unique format. Since I failed to write a mass email last week this one will cover both weeks. Normally I write my family first so that they can read it before they go to bed and then I'll correct the major punctuation/grammatical errors and maybe tone it down a little bit to make myself sound more like a missionary. You may notice that the first section of this email is written as though I think that Easter was two days ago. This is because most of this was taken from the email that I sent to my family last week. Here it goes:

I'm on the bus and guess what: it has wifi!! I think Iwaki might be my favorite area. Our buses between areas in the zone have wifi, we have a member that gives us donuts all the time, our branch has the Igari's in it and they're amazing, and Iwaki is a pretty big area so I haven't gotten bored with it yet. We also have our apartment on the first floor which means that I can do all the jumping and crazy exercise in the morning that I want to. And the grocery store right next to our apartment is almost like a famer's market and it's the best store I've shopped at my whole mission. I've also seen a golden lamborghini on two separate occasions and a red ferrari. This area also has one of my favorite branch mission leaders. One sad thing about Iwaki is that our district only has two young Elders so we only get ZL splits once a transfer. We don't get any district splits.

This week we had a zone blitz. The whole zone came to Iwaki for a day and tried to find all of th einvestigators. It was pretty fun. We were in charge of figuring out areas for people to go and buying some stuff so tht the ZLs could make us all curry for lunch. Going to a restaurant witht 14 missionaries would have been a little bit more fun I think, but they were worried that people might have no money and just starve to death. I think that in total 14 new investigators were found that day which would mean an average of two investigators per companionship. It wasn't quite equal though because the ZLs didn't find any and the STLs found five. My comp and I did find two.

Two days ago didn't feel like Easter. It was still a fast Sunday for us since we have General Conference next week, and it felt like Easter just snuck up on me this year and was gone as fast as it came. It was funny during testimony meeting when the most energetic senior citizen in all of Japan (who also happens to be a sister in our branch) got up and at the end of her testimony mentioned the fact that our one young man in the branch bounced and went to America, and the other young dude who happens to be 28 got engaged and moved way down south. Her suggestion for fixing the bias of our branch demographics towards old people was to have the missionaries get married and move back to Iwaki. It's not a terrible idea. Except that I'm not sure that I could live in Japan as an ordinary citizen. Japan is great, but America is the promised land of the Book of Mormon and they speak English there, so I'll likely end up east of the Pacific. Not in the Pacific.

I've seen and heard some of the changes at General Conference on Facebook and in mom's email to me this morning. There were some pretty big changes. That's exciting. I'm interested to find out how the ministering thing is going to be implemented. And what a combined High Priests quorum and Elders quorum will look/sound like. And I don't know if you all remember this, but I actually got to eat dinner with a dude known as 'Elder Gong' during my time at the MTC. And he actually looks just like a dude that got sustained by most of the world as an apostle the other day. :) I think he was the mission president over Elder Turk's home mission when he got baptized. So when Elder Turk got invited to dinner I did too. :)

Okay this is the beginning of this week:

I'm about to get a haircut. There's a poster of a bunch of haircut options and I think I'll probably go for either the executive contour or the scumbag boogie. I think President would approve of either.

General Conference was way good. I was asked if we watch it in Japanese and the answer is no. We watched it in the room next to the chapel with the Sister missionaries and the door open. In English. Except for a couple talks at the end of the Saturday afternoon session because a dude showed up that we had invited. He's a bit mentally handicapped and we didn't quite realize before he got to the church, but it was still fun to sit in the chapel with him and watch a bit of conference in Japanese. Or sleep through conference in Japanese. That's closer to what happened. It's really hard to learn anything in Japanese. :) Another question that I was asked went something like this: 'Do you get as much out of conference in Japanese as you do in English' and the answer is no. I don't claim to get a whole lot out of conference even in English and the comprehension rate in Japanese is (astonishingly) quite a lot lower.. Haha I actually do get some things out of conference. For example: I really liked Elder Bednar's talk about meekness. And his line in the priesthood session where he said something about the Elder's quorum change not being a High Priest takeover. I also thought it was interesting to hear the number of times that President Nelson fixing hearts came up. Both literally as a surgeon and figuratively as a prophet.

I recommend some further study of the general conference messages over the coming week. I'll be doing that too. :)

Lots of love,
Elder Mitchell

 The cake that the Sisters made for my birthday. Their message was Youがoldだ.
Me with some cherry blossoms.