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 bdmitchell@myldsmail.net 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.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Week 27

Hello everyone,

This was an okay week. We had zone leader splits in Morioka which meant a two and a half hour bus ride each way, but it was pretty fun. I got to work with Elder Price for a day. He's pretty cool and we had a really good lesson in the morning. Other than that we pulled weeds for a service project and then went finding in the evening.

We also had our switch of mission president's this week. As of the first of July we now have President Sekiguchi. We will get to meet him at a short meeting in Morioka this Friday. That will be pretty weird. I only had President Smith for about four months, but I had still gotten used to his way of doing things. It will be an interesting adjustment over the next few months.

And finally, I finished The Book of Mormon again this week. This time reading it for some reason was a lot more meaningful to me than other times when I've read it. It really is an incredible book and you can learn so much from it. As the missionary that I am, I would like to invite those of you who have read it to read it again; and those of you who have not read it to start reading it. The Book of Mormon is most of the reason that I decided to serve a mission and I really believe that the things it contains are true. As they say in Japanese, 読んでみてください. :)

Have a great week everyone,
Elder Mitchell

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Week 26

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This was an okay week. We had our last zone conference with our
current mission president before he goes home. That was a little
rough, especially for some of the older missionaries who have had him
as the mission president for their whole mission, but we all survived.
Our new president will take over on the first of July, and our first
opportunity to meet him will be on the seventh.

We also had district splits this week which just meant that I left the
apartment with one of the other two Elders that isn't normally my
companion. It was pretty fun. Elder De Leon told me that my Japanese
was good for being fourth transfer. I'm not exactly sure how I should
feel about that because I know that my Japanese is garbage. I guess
all I can do is keep improving little by little...

We also had a bit of an interesting housing experience this week. I
guess someone really important showed up and told my mission that
singing is a really good way to help people feel the Spirit and
recommended that we sing for people on their front porches (I said "I
guess" because this is all stuff that I heard from my companion, who said
it happened before I was in the mission). So he decided this week that
we would sing on someone's front porch if we got the chance. So I sort
of got roped in to singing "I am a Child of God" with Elder Reber, in
Japanese, on some random old lady's front porch . I thought it was a
rather poor performance, (Those of you who know me well will also know
that I don't claim to be any kind of proficient at singing. In fact if
I had to rate myself on a scale from 14 to 47, I'd put myself somewhere
around 19) but Elder Reber seemed to think that it had gone well.

Last thing: I'd just like to share a scripture that I think explains
the reason for missionary work pretty well. It's Mosiah 2:41 which
says: "And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the
blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God.
For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and
spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received
into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of
never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are
true; for the Lord God hath spoken it."
I've experienced the blessingsof living by the Gospel so I'm trying to
give other people the opportunity to try it for themselves.

Have a great week,
Elder Mitchell

 - Elder De Leon: He has some rather shiny sunglasses.

 - Me: Not dead yet.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Week 25

Hello world,

I suppose some of you may have assumed that I was dead after going two
straight weeks without receiving any communication from me. Or perhaps
that I no longer loved you. But fortunately I am still alive and I
still love you all.

So first I guess it would be appropriate to explain the rather long
vacation that I took from emailing. As a missionary in Japan I've had
a Samsung Galaxy tablet that, until about two and a half weeks ago, I
emailed from every week. I loved that tablet. But it seems to have
died slightly. On the day of it's passing I had been using it as I
normally did, had set it down for a moment to do something else, and
came back to a non-functional tablet. I tried several different
troubleshooting methods, but to no avail. It was not saved. I believe
that it's currently somewhere in the US on it's way to a Samsung plant
where they will rip it apart and diagnose the reason for it's death.
But until then I have an Apple iPad that was lent to me by the
mission. I'm not really enjoying the learning curve after having
already figured out how to use the Samsung, but I'll probably survive.

So I don't recall exactly what I talked about in last update, but I
guess there are a few things that I can talk about. One of the members
in my current branch is an Indonesian lady that apparently has more
money than she knows what to do with. And she loves the missionaries.
So she has taken us out to eat probably 6-8 times in the four weeks
that I've been here so far. And she takes us to some pretty nice
restaurants too. It's a bit of a luxury. :)

Also worth mentioning is the fact that last transfer was only three
weeks because of the upcoming change in mission president's that I
believe happens at the beginning of July. So that makes my current
transfer nine weeks and it means that I'll be killing Elder Reber. For
those of you who are not familiar with the ins and outs of missionary
life, that just means that my companion will have completed his two
years of service and will be returning to America. There actually
won't be anyone dying... probably. :)

That may be all that I have to say this week, so I guess I'll leave
you all there. I love you all and hope that you all have a great week.

Keep up the good work,
Elder Mitchell

A couple of pictures:

One that I got of my comp at our house the day that I got the loaner I-pad.

 One of me on the way back from a service project in front of a rather
fabulous parking spot marker. The kanji after his name is basically
just an honorific "Mr". But we decided that the owner of that parking
spot must just be a young single male who skips leg day and replaces
it with chest day. We're rather interested to find out what kind of
car he drives.
 And now a couple that I took just now. You'd think that I'd have more
pictures after three weeks of now sending any, but my old tablet also
served as my camera, and not having it meant that I didn't take any
The pink circles are pointing out how chubby my cheeks have
gotten since being in Japan. I've actually lost some weight since the
MTC, but I guess all of the rice is starting to catch up to me. :(

A tidbit from the family letter that gives a glimpse into life in Japan. . .
So I don't have a whole lot of interesting things to say at the
moment. I guess I don't really remember what you know. I remember that
a while ago the shower ran out of gas while I was in it and it went
from a little over 40 degrees Celsius to what I can only guess was
about 40 degrees Fahrenheit in about 12 seconds. 

When asked if the water heater had it's own gas tank. . . It does indeed have its own tank and we have to fill it up from some other tanks that we have. We just siphon it out of those little five gallon gas tanks. I think it's kerosene that it runs on. I actually haven't had to fill it up yet.