Monday, May 8, 2017

Week 19

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This week was rather enjoyable. There was one event this week that will probably live in my mind forever because of how funny it is to me. Unfortunately it's not the sort of thing that I would expect to cause laughter in anyone else, but here it is. This week the back axle snapped on my bike. I've always told people that I'm really fat (and none of them have ever really believed me) but this is undeniable proof. :)

So actually none of the people involved seem to be of the opinion that my weight was the reason for the catastrophic failure of my axle. There are basically three factors that seemed to have a role in the incident. 1. The bike has been used by other missionaries for who knows how long. It's probably a miracle that it didn't break before I got it. 2. A long time ago while I was riding up a hill with a little larger than average desire to get to the top, I found that my bike started to make a weird rubbing noise when I would pedal. I can only assume that my extraordinary leg strength (I thought that self-compliment fit in very nicely:)) bent some of the inner workings of the bike and caused the rubbing. 3. The gears on my bike would sometimes just change of their own accord when I would pedal very hard or when I would go over a larger than average bump, so the resulting jerk on the pedals probably wasn't terribly good for the axle either.

The final moments of my axle's existence as a cohesive whole were on a wide sidewalk with no traffic and at a very low speed. So when the axle finally snapped at the inner extreme of the gear rack, it was easy to pull to the side and stop. Interestingly, I didn't realize at first that it was the axle that had broken. I felt/heard the pop and then heard the smaller piece fall out and land on the sidewalk. I thought something along the lines of "Oh that wasn't good" and then called for my companion to stop since I was following him at the time. But, this incident is also a small miracle. The miracle is that it was such a low-stakes situation when it actually broke. If I had been riding at any sort of speed, or had been amidst a bunch of car traffic without a convenient place to pull off, it could have been a very different story. As it is, I did not receive any bodily injury, and we are simply waiting for the mission office to send us another bike.

That turned into a rather long story, but I guess that's okay since I don't have a whole lot to say this week. Other than the bike problems it's basically been business as usual. We just pick an area, talk to all the people on the street in between our apartment and the desired neighborhood, and then knock on doors until it's time to come back and eat or sleep.

Lots of love,
Elder Mitchell

Excerpts from emails to the family. . .

So I was trying to figure out in the title how to use the word 'eve' to describe what this P-day is in relation to next one (it being Mother's day for you) since I get to call. I sort of gave up. This is the closest I got: Mother's Day P-day Eve.

Okay so I just got an email, and apparently someone wants to know what I've been studying lately. So um. I've been reading quite a bit out of the Book of Mormon, and I just finished Mosiah recently. I've been rather disappointed with how well I know the scriptures, so I'm trying to fix that a little bit. Lately I've noticed how many times it says 'keep the commandments'. I guess they're trying to emphasize its importance by including it so many times. Anyway, it often says something like 'keep the commandments and have love and charity, and you will receive eternal life'. And then after that it usually says something like 'but if you keep not these sayings you shall reap damnation to your soul'. So I guess we can just make the choice whether we want eternal life or eternal misery. :)

So I did think of another experience that I forgot to put in the regular update. We had a role play lesson with one of the members (who happens to be going to college right now in Hirosaki, but also served in the Sendai mission, like right before I got here) and I quite enjoyed it. I was still clearly the Junior companion (as in, I sort of just waited for Elder Anderson to ask me to say things), but there was quite a bit more back and forth than normal and there just wasn't a whole lot of pressure on me. It was really the first lesson that I've felt like it might be possible to become a decently good missionary in Japan. My self-esteem probably increased by about 47x. :) There is obviously still a quite large area from improvement (as in like I might have reached one or two percent of Japanese language knowledge), but I feel quite a lot better about it right now. It was one of the best experiences that I've had in Japan.

I think the only other thing that's worth mentioning is the seemingly really nice bag that I got today. I, unfortunately, don't have it on me to take a picture, but I might get one by tonight. I think it will be quite a lot better than the one I've currently got.

So um. I think that might be all for today. Tune in next week

I love you all the most,
Elder Mitchell

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