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