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. . .

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Week 41

Some highlights of the week,

There was a soup party sort of thing with the ward on some island. It was pretty dang good soup. :)
On the way back from the soup there was a Ferrari dealer. And a couple businesses down was Triumph motorcycles. And next door to that was Porsche. That was fun. Also I saw a Ferrari on the road the other day.
I've only been here a couple weeks and I've already made an appearance at five or six different restaurants.
There is a store of peanut butter in this apartment.
I have a brand new bike right now.
General conference.
I'm over halfway on my next piano song.

There were some pretty seriously good talks this conference. Like maybe more than I ever remember hearing at one time. That could be because I was paying closer attention, but I'm going to stick with the former option I think. :) If I had to choose one idea that was my favorite from the whole conference it would be from the eclipse talk. He said something along the lines of "Even good things, if you hold them too close to your eyes can block out the light of the Gospel". Also Aunt Katie sent me some really good pictures this week which are impossible to not smile at. And I took some pictures in the last couple weeks too.

I love you the most,
Elder Mitchell

 Pictures from Aunt Katie that were impossible not to smile at. . .

 The cinnamon rolls from a member which conveniently appear 
to be inside my stomach due to the reflection in the microwave.
 A bandaid from my blood test.
 A ramen shop.


Week 40

Greetings family,

I see that you found a picture of me on Facebook. That's pretty fun. I got to this area and was asked to perform the baptism and I was like 'Huh. The first that my family will hear about this will probably be the mission newsroom'. I guess I was right. How smart I am. :)

I was asked by some interested parties for some details on how the baptism went, and I can't say that I have very many details besides that the water wasn't quite as warm as it was when we finished filling up the font (In fact it was quite a lot less warm). Brother Takuto is a bro, and we went to get curry afterwards. Also, a member gave us about $30 because he said that he wanted to go eat with us but was busy. That was pretty cool. :) Brother Takuto is the guy that just got baptized on Saturday. He met with missionaries for the first time in January. 

Also of note is the fact that this area has a ward, rather than a branch. I'm in Sendai right now (which is a city-unlike the other places I've been living lately) so there are actually people here. Which is very nice. I think I'll come to like the change. :)

I love you all 5000000,
Elder Mitchell

Questions:  What is your new apartment like? Do you feel like you are living in down town Seattle? What is the area like as far as talking to people? How is the new ward?

Answers: The new apartment has a very strange setup and is a little small. It's on the first floor though which is great because that means that we don't have any downstairs neighbors.  I feel like I haven't spent very much quality time in downtown Seattle, but probably something like that yeah. There are a lot of people. And some of them talk. The new ward is super nice.

The pictures/caption below were taken from the Japan Sendai Mission Newsroom on Facebook.
9月30日、仙台ステーク泉ワードで大学生がバプテスマを受けました。今まで教えてきたのは、マーシャル長老、クロスビー長老、ペイン長老、メイソン長老、ミッチェル長老です。
A college student was baptized at Izumi Ward on September 30th. He has been taught the gospel of Jesus Christ by Elder Marshall, Elder Myers, Elder Crosby, Elder Payne, Elder Mason and Elder Mitchell.   #sendaimissionbaptism