Monday, March 20, 2017

Week 12

Friends and Family,

Another week has passed and I'm still alive. That's good I guess. This week was rather enjoyable. I think I'm starting to get used to the day-to-day life of a full-time missionary. I've also started to figure out where things are in my area so that's nice.

There were quite a few happenings this week so I'll start towards the beginning. This week we dropped our only investigator. He had been meeting with missionaries on and off for ten years or so and hadn't really made any progress that we could see. So this week we just asked him if he was preparing for baptism and if he had any interest in the church. He told us that he didn't have any interest, so we told him that we wouldn't be coming back for regular visits anymore. It was pretty hard because he's a really nice older guy that lives alone and seemed to enjoy talking with us, and we don't have any investigators anymore, but we decided that the Lord's time would be better spent somewhere else looking for people who are ready for the Gospel.

That's probably enough sadness for this week. We started riding bikes this week as the weather has gotten quite a bit better. There's still a decent amount of residual snow piled up on the sides of the roads and sidewalks, but they're, for the most part, passable. So our gigantic area just got a little bit smaller. To get to the northernmost part of our area is about two hours by car, so that's still a little out of our range, but we'll worry about that when we've housed everywhere that we can get to on bikes. We also had a branch volleyball activity on Saturday which was pretty fun.

A funny story for this week: We were walking down the sidewalk on our way to some place that was probably very important, and we notice that there is a rather large group of high school girls walking down the street towards us. My companion has decided that he doesn't really like talking to high school girls so he usually just says "Hello" in English whenever we see any. This time was not an exception, and he said "Hello," in English on our way past this group of girls. Soon after this occurrence, and just as we were about to be past them, one of the girls replies, also in English, "I think I wanna marry you" more or less to the tune of the song. I was pretty much dying. It was so funny. It was easily the highlight of the week.

I love you all and hope you're doing well,
Elder Mitchell

 The first one is a sudoku thing that I was looking at on a train and realized that it was shaped like a house. I figured it was worth sharing a picture of. 

 This one is a little graphic. It's a couple of heads on sticks and the red coloring is supposedly real blood. One of the brothers in the branch took us to see them. They're called the spooky scrolls and they're only open to the public twice a year. I guess they were being shown on TV in the 1970's but somehow in the live coverage the eyes of one of the pictures were open. So that's fun. 
The last one is the bathtub after I put in one of my fruity bath salts. It smelled really nice.


I am alive and doing pretty okay. I'm starting to figure out the general lay of the area that I'm in and get used to real missionary life. I've started talking a little bit more (than zero) to people on the streets and in housing so that's pretty good I guess. I still haven't eaten anything really weird yet besides the octopus thing. We've made our own meals every time except maybe three. One time this random dude that apparently likes missionaries (and has for quite a while because he's in Area Book) chatted with us long enough that we could give him a message and then took us to an all-you-can-eat place. I don't remember if I told that story already. That was where I had the octopus thing. The restaurant was okay, but they seemed to think that I should cook the meat myself, so that was a little weird. I like it when other people do those sorts of things for me, especially when I go out to eat. Also for district lunch a week or two ago we went to this place called Pepe's that's supposed to have real American hamburgers. In hindsight it may not have been the best idea because even if they were really good it's like 'Wow I got a normal American hamburger,' and if they're not then it's like, 'wow I didn't get a good hamburger and I just paid an arm and fourteen legs for it'. It wasn't that good, and it was a little over ten bucks for a pretty tall but very skinny (small diameter bun and everything else) burger. It was rather unfortunate. Then the last time that we didn't cook for ourselves we went to McDonald's which was pretty okay. It may have been better than American McDonald's, but it wasn't that great. I'll probably end up going again eventually and trying out a couple other things but it was a small disappointment. So that's everything about eating... Just kidding no it isn't. I'm fairly comfortably under 170 again. Our scale only works in kg, but after the conversion on my tablet from kg to lbs last night I was 166.66. So I'm pretty much skinny.

This week we started riding bikes because it's a little warmer, but apparently it's supposed to snow again in the next week or two. So that's fun. The weather really hasn't been that bad because I've got that ginormous coat from the missionary store and then those gloves that Cleary got me.
Side note: Those might be the highest quality things that I've ever owned in my life. I've worn them probably every day I've been here except one or two when we weren't outside very much. But they are some dang nice gloves. I suppose it is a little chilly sometimes, but I'm pretty well equipped for it is what I'm trying to say.

We also had a branch volleyball activity on Saturday which was okay. 12 people showed up and five of them were missionaries. It wasn't terribly competitive but I still served fairly hard. I probably could have exercised a little more self-restraint, but I've never really been a terribly big fan of exercise. Lol

I remembered that I forgot to talk about my name on the program last week. I just had to do a short self-introduction and then a short testimony. I probably took up a whole 60 seconds. It was pretty long. It went basically like this: My name is Elder Mitchell. I have seven people in my family (I forgot to say where I'm from in my intro. It was rather embarrassing). I said that my hobbies were running and volleyball. I also said that my favorite food is oranges. People thought that was pretty funny. But one of my MTC teachers said that you should always say that in your intro to your new area (apparently that happens in pretty much every area you go to in Japan) because then members will give you a lot of whatever you say your favorite food is. I've gotten one orange so far. :) Then I said something like "I know that the church is true. I know that The Book of Mormon was translated by Joseph Smith and that we have a prophet today" and then I closed. It was pretty great. When that meeting went long I told Elder Free it was because I took too much time.

I also got a haircut today and I don't speak Japanese so I showed the guy a picture and he said something like γΏγ˜γ‹γ which means short and I said yeah. So I put my tablet away and he goes to town on the side of my head and there's a mirror in front of me and I was like 'Oh dang that's sort of short'. But he'd already started so I couldn't just say 'not quite that short' even if I did know how to say that in Japanese. So it's pretty short on the sides. It didn't end up being quite as bad as I thought it would be by the time he finished but it is rather short nonetheless. Here's a picture.

 Okay so I took two trying to get my hair and then I tried really hard to do a good smile so that you'd think I'm happy and then I took one while I was being proud of myself for taking pictures. Also my description of it makes it sound worse than it is. I kind of like it actually.

I also remembered that I took up sewing this week. I'm sort of a professional.

 P.S. The bag opened itself up while I was flying to Japan. It didn't really affect anything though so that's why I waited so long to fix it... or maybe try to fix it is more accurate. Either way, it has some character now. :)
P.P.S. Don't worry, it's not where anyone except me and my companion ever sees it so it's okay.

I'm failing to come up with other important things. Let me know what other things you'd like to know and I'll see if I can make them happen. I'll try to respond to individual questions too, but don't be offended if they're a little brief because I put my heart and soul into this one so I'm about all emailed out.

I love you all the most :),
Elder Mitchell


  1. He is probably my favorite missionary writer ever. I love the part about smiling so you'll think he's happy. . . Then being proud of himself. And of course the part about not liking exercise. πŸ˜‚

  2. Haha Ben! He is a funny one. I want to know what those scary scrolls say.

  3. I am reminded of a similar hair cutting experience that Scott had on his mission. πŸ˜‚The difference between a good haircut and a a bad haircut is about 2 weeks. πŸ˜‰

  4. Love that young man! God is blessing him and your family. Did you get together with Robin about cat sitting?