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,

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.
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

Monday, October 2, 2017

Week 39


This week we received our transfer calls and I'm going to Izumi!!!! It's one of the areas in Sendai, so that will definitely be quite a change from what I've been working with up until now. Supposedly, I'll actually have people to talk to when I walk the streets. That will be fun. I'll also have a native Japanese-speaking companion, so hopefully I'll be able to get a better grip on this language.

I'm sort of at a loss for what to do with my new Facebook privileges. If anyone has any suggestions for a missionary on how to use Facebook in order to invite people to come unto Christ, I would be glad to hear them at or on Facebook messenger. :)

Have a great week,
Elder Mitchell

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Week 38


The main thing to happen this week was definitely the arrival of facebook to our mission. We are very excited but have no idea what we're doing or how we should be doing it. So it will be a good learning experience to figure out how to reach people through Facebook. But as far as I can tell I'm allowed to be friends with whoever wants to be friends with me, so I will welcome all new friend requests. I think my name on Facebook is just "Ben Mitchell". :)

The other thing to happen recently is district P-day which took up all of my email time today. We went bowling and then walked through the American stores that they have on the military base. I happened to do very well at bowling and scored a monstrous 120 points. The nicknames on the Elder board are courtesy of the blonde one, Elder Fowler. He's a pretty funny guy...

Hope you all have a great week,
Elder Mitchell

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Week 37

Hello World,

Not a whole lot to say this week other than the fact that I'm still alive and mostly healthly. Also this transfer is going by really fast. I'm four weeks in and still feel like I just got here.

Other than that there's the fact that I was able to ride the bullet train this week. It didn't disappoint and delivered speeds comparable to those that I reached on the track in high school. Or even to the ones that I reached in the baby truck when I was late to early morning seminary. :) While I was transferring here, the bus ride from Morioka to Hachinohe was a little over two hours. On the bullet train the same trip was only 27 minutes. That was pretty cool.

There is also some uncertainty about what next transfer will bring. 17 new Elders are coming in and so I'll almost definitely receive a new companion and possibly another new area. Crazy stuff.

No pictures this week.  Sorry.

Have a great week,
Elder Mitchell

Pictures from the latest zone conference (acquired from the mission Facebook page)

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Week 36

Brothers and Sisters,

This week went really fast. I feel like it was just yesterday that I waited 2 1/2 hours for an argument that cost me $10 and a bad haircut. But it was actually last Tuesday. It's crazy how that happens.

Since my last email we had a zone conference during which we learned that Facebook would be coming to our mission. It was funny to hear it from our mission president, because he seemed to have no idea that our mission was even being considered as a Facebook mission until he got a letter from church headquarters somewhere. It probably won't change my day-to-day life very soon, but it will be interesting to see how all of that plays out.

I also learned that for a mission conference we'll be having next week I'm supposed to say a prayer (fortunately they asked me this time. Usually I just show up and see my name on the program) and I get to ride there on a bullet train. So I will be arriving in style. :) I'm really excited because I haven't been on a bullet train yet, and it should be a pretty cool experience.

We also had an old investigator of this area call us and say that he wanted to talk. It was funny because my companion is the one who talked with him on the phone, but he thought that the guy sounded like a lady, so we both went to the church expecting to meet an old lady. When we got there, we were both quite surprised to find that it was actually an old man.

Our referral from the branch president's wife is progressing, but she's worried that she won't be ready by the date that we helped her set. So we might have to push her baptism back a couple weeks. She seems to be pretty golden though. She asks good questions and really wants to understand everything that we tell her.

That's all for today.  Sorry I don't have any new pictures this week.

Have a great week,
Elder Mitchell

Week 35


I am writing to you from the inside of a rather questionable-looking haircut shop about three minutes from our apartment. We are currently next in line, but all four seats are currently occupied by old women. Hopefully we don't have to wait too much longer...

Something interesting that happened this week was on our way back from a dinner appointment we saw a car on it's side. It looked like there were three cars involved and I'm not sure exactly what happened (it was a really low traffic evening on dry roads with a speed limit of probably about 30 mph), but the individuals involved seemed to be doing fine. It was recent enough though that the cops from around the corner hadn't showed up yet.

I'm converted to the idea of getting a motorcycle when I get back.

I was also complimented for being muscular this week by a 15 year old Japanese high school boy.

And finally, this Sunday my companion and I had the opportunity to teach a referral from our branch President's wife. This was the first time that I was able to meet her because last week she wasn't able to make it to the church. But the reason I bring it up is because we extended a baptismal invitation and she accepted it! We're really excited to continue meeting with her and seeing her progress in the gospel.

Have a great week,
Elder Mitchell

Two pictures:
One before I wrote this email
And one after :)
Still patiently waiting in the haircut shop...

Monday, August 28, 2017

Week 34

Dear friends,

I am writing to you from inside the largest church building in the mission. The branch here is only about 25 people or so, but the American ward meets here too so it's a pretty good-sized building. Missionaries here in Misawa are very blessed to have the Air Base here because it means that we get a lot of dinner appointments and a lot of real American food.

I am now comps with an individual known as Elder Jensen. He is probably about 6'4" and ways about 2 kilograms less than I do. He grew up in Tokyo, but his family is from Ogden(?), Utah. I guess there was some kind of English-speaking school program and that's what he went to. So he didn't speak very much Japanese before the mission.

I went for a run with my new comp yesterday. It was pretty fun. I'm glad that I've been able to run a little bit with both of my last two companions. It makes me feel like my physical condition isn't a totally lost cause. :)

I have had three dinner appointments so far and they were all really good. The first was with the Beavor's who fed us stew. Then with the Hafen's who fed us spaghetti. Then with the Woodburry's who fed us fajita's. I ate a lot of fajita's last night. :) The ward here is way cool and they're generally pretty young. The average age is probably in the mid-thirties. There are also a rather large percentage of them that took an interest in my best mile time. I suppose it makes sense because they're all in pretty good shape for the military.

Also while I was leaving Miyako I got a super fancy pen and notebook, a really nice grey tie, and a couple boxes of sweets. I love the members in Miyako. :)

Lastly, I would like to invite all of you to read The Book of Mormon every day. The Book of Mormon really does testify of Jesus Christ and it is the most true book that has ever been written. I recently read Alma 42 which is part of Alma's counsel to one of his more wayward sons. It talks about how we all have a need for repentance and that anyone can come unto Christ and repent through his atonement.

Have a great week,
Elder Mitchell

 Me and Elder Jensen

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Week 33

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This week was an interesting one. We got our first transfer calls from President Sekiguchi and they were a couple of days earlier than normal. Normally we don't have to worry about them until Sunday, but this week they were on Friday. And... I'm transferring. Miyako is dropping back down to a two-man area, so three of us are leaving and one is coming in. My current companion will be returning to America this week and I will be headed up North a little bit. I think my travel time is about six hours split between two different buses and a train, but the name of my new area is Misawa. There is a American Military base there so I get to go to an American ward as well as the Japanese branch. And supposedly I'll have meal appointments most days and will get spoiled like an American missionary. So that should be fun.

I also cleaned the sink earlier this week. I was so proud of it that I took a picture of the finished product. I like to think that I'm a charitable person, but if I had known I would only appreciate it for a couple days there is a high likelihood that I would not have cleaned it. :P

I would also like to put in a short advertisement (directed to all those who know any interested women... or anyone else living in that vicinity who happens to be interested in a missionary homecoming:)) for my companion returning to America:
He is single. He does Tae Kwon Do and is a blackbelt. He has gone jogging with me a couple times for exercise time and isn't half bad at that either. The only problem is that his English sometimes comes out a little weird. But I'm sure that with some TLC he will be back up to speed in no time. :)
Here's the info for his homecoming this Sunday: "My homecoming is 55 N. Main at 9:00 on the 20th. An open house will follow at 140 S. 200 W. in Springville, Utah."
The first address is also Springville, Utah. I've attached a brave picture of him. And one of the sink I cleaned.

Have a great week,
Elder Mitchell

 Elder Reber

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Week 32

Hello World,

So today is pday. We still don't actually know the real reason why pday has been changed to Tuesday because the AP's are some interesting people, but they listed a few of the side effects of changing pday to Tuesday:
1. About 40% of work holidays are on Mondays, so tracting will theoretically be a little bit more productive some days.
2. A lot of stores and haircut places are closed on Mondays
3. Also something about Elder Reber's group going home
Those are actually the only reasons I can think of right now. We assume that another resson is that President Sekiguchi likes to mix things up just to make sure that we don't get bored.

This week Elder Reber and I went on a local radio station. They didn't really want to hear about church stuff, but we just talked about our experience in Japan, things that we like and don't like, and hopefully some people listened and will be more friendly in the future.

We also had Zone Leader splits in Morioka. While we were there they had to fix the washer because some Elders put some really muddy shoes in it and clogged it up. We also tried to change a bike tube and then realized that they had bought one with an American valve and that we didn't have the right pump for it. Then we went to a famous bread place. Then we housed for a while and caught the tail-end of a matsuri. (Festival) There were a pretty decent number of people there. On our way back we were trying to find our bikes (which we had put next what we thought was a pretty easy place to find next to the biggest red building in the vicinity) and the building seemed to have disappeared among all the other ones. Morioka is quite a lot bigger than Miyako. We had to hustle on the way back.

We also had a testimony meeting sort of thing with our branch mission leader. It was above the beaches at Jodogohama. We talked about missionary work for the branch. It was fun. We took some pictures afterwards.

Have a great week,
Elder Mitchell

Monday, July 31, 2017

Week 31

Hello world,

This week was a pretty good one. We had a way good zone conference on Thursday which happened to be President Sekiguchi's first ever. It was way good though. For part of it we had baptism invitation practices and we were divided up into groups of three. I was with a full-Japanese Sister and a half-Japanese Elder who is fluent in both Japanese and Portuguese. So I was the only English speaker. They both gave me some constructive feedback. :)

I've also been jump-roping a little bit since being in Miyako. I've decided that my current level of fitness is not satisfactory and jump roping is one of the ways that I'm trying to resolve that issue. But anyway, I have some pretty good marks from when I missed and got some backlash. They've mostly faded away by now, but they were pretty clear for several hours.

I also sewed a button on some pants.

And last but not least, I had my first investigator come to church yesterday!! He left after the first hour, but we're supposed to meet him again on Wednesday and it sounds like he'll probably come again next week!

Thank you for reading,
Elder Mitchell

Excerpt from the family letter: I've also decided that I can play another song on the piano and I'll probably send a video of me playing that today. I'm pretty close on 'God Be With You Till We Meet Again', but not quite there yet. Maybe by next week.

 The picture of my button.

The result of my disagreement with the jump rope.
Elder Reber and I after having triumphantly housed an apartment complex.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Week 30

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This week was a rather interesting one. A few days ago Elder Reber and I were on our way to check on one of our people and we saw this guy sitting on a bench in front of a grocery store. So we stopped and talked to him for a while. After half an hour or so we asked if his house was nearby (assuming that it was because he seemed to have walked) and he actually just took us to his house. We talked for a bit there and got a return appointment for two days after the initial contact. Since then we've seen him every day and he seems to be progressing pretty well.

I also saw a Ford Escape and a couple small Chevy cars. They were all a little different than the ones that you'd see in America, but it was nice to see a little American influence.

On Friday Fatoma shimai called us right after we had just had some instant ramen and said that she was with the other Elders at an all-you-can-eat curry place. We couldn't tell her no... so we had two lunches that day. :)

We found a little store near our apartment that sells a bunch of fresh produce. So we visited that this morning and got quite a few vegetables. I'm pretty excited to eat them all this week. :)

We also heard from the ZL's that the office Elders in Sendai got arrested for trying too hard to talk to people. I don't really know any of the details, but they were just hanging around the train station and someone didn't like it so they called the cops. We all thought it was pretty funny. :)

Have a great week,
Elder Mitchell

An excerpt from the family: Okay so another thing that might be worth mentioning is the kekko challenge that we had this week. So President Sekiguchi has heard of other mission presidents doing like a "new investigator" challenge but the missionaries haven't really liked it because it's too depressing. So he decided to make it a challenge of how many people could reject us. It's sort of funny in a rather far-off and removed sort of way because all of the missionaries were using the words "contact" and "kekko" almost interchangeably. Kekko just means "I'm good" with the implication that they don't want to listen to you. Apparently it's supposed to be a really polite thing to say. But anyway, the numbers of rejections and contacts were very close. We had about 300 contacts this week and got four people that were willing to talk again. The one in the first paragraph was the first. His name is Sugimoto kyodai. The other three are a little questionable, but we got the go-ahead to come back again which apparently makes them investigators.

Week 29

Dear friends,

I got my tablet back on Tuesday, and then was able to reinstall all of the missionary stuff back onto it on Thursday while waiting for interviews. I have been happily using it ever since. Some of you who know me well will also remember the fact that I have a rather strong bias against apple products, so the return to Samsung was very welcome.

We had a branch party that about 30 people came to and only about half were members, so that was pretty cool. I'll probably send some pictures of that. At that party, a potential investigator (who happens to be young 20s) came and even brought a friend. The friend didn't seem too terribly interested, but it seemed like the PI might be down to learn more. We'll see how that goes I guess. Interestingly, she told me that I was fluent. All I am going to say is that if there were one demographic who would be the most likely to tell me I was fluent in Japanese, it would be the young female demographic.

I also gave a talk this week in Sacrament meeting. I talked about how I'm trying to spread happiness as a missionary. I said that I find joy in running, but I don't go around as a missionary telling people to run because I know that not everyone enjoys that sort of thing. I said that we're all children of God, so we can all find joy through the Gospel. I think some people liked it. They also told me my Japanese was really good and that Elder Reber was a good... example I guess. They said senpai which I guess just means that he's senior to me. But anyway, all of their compliments were out of pity.

I also had my first three experiences with Sushi in the last two weeks. All of the other Elders were like 'dude how have you not had sushi yet?' and I was like 'dude no one has bought me sushi yet'. But now three people have bought me sushi. Two of them actually made it themselves. It was okay. The last one was at a members house and it was actually pretty good. I voluntarily ate a couple of extras.

Have a great week,

Elder Mitchell

  A few pictures of the branch party that we had.

  A couple pictures of a car that we passed when we were a little early to a 
lunch appointment today. Not really something that I would drive but it's 
quite a lot more interesting than most of the other cars that I've seen lately. :)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Week 28

Hello friends,

This week was rather interesting. We had the opportunity to meet our
new mission president. He's a really cool guy and it looks like he'll
do a great job. He already has several different things that he wants
to try out. He's also way into cycling and has done several really
long bike rides including one across the entire United States. I'm
pretty excited to work with him.

Another cool thing that happened this week was my companion's
birthday. I have a video of a restaurant full of Japanese people
singing happy birthday to him in English with karaoke. I think he
enjoyed it. :)

We also had a service project for a less active sister in the branch.
She had us move some rocks from a pile that she had across the street
from her house. It was a bit of an adventure. The rocks were just up a
dirt road far enough that it was rather difficult to carry them all
the way by hand, and the wheelbarrow that she had us use seems to be
made out of the super thin metal stuff that you might find on a
dollar-store broom handle. But we survived.

I've also been reading through 1 Nephi a bit and it's interesting to
me just how obvious it is in the Book of Mormon that righteousness
brings blessings and that rebelling against the commandments of God is
always a bad idea. Laman and Lemuel are a pretty good example of this
principle. :)

Have a great week everyone,
Elder Mitchell
The last one is my comp and I just before we left to see our new
mission president.
The first couple pictures are from the rock moving service project.

My comp and I just before we left to see our new
mission president.