Sunday, July 28, 2013

Recipes and Tips

Hey All!
Just wrapping up my day but I had a question/request.
Anybody have any delicious lowfat/healthy recipes?
Prefferably ones that don`t involve rice?

I would also love some healthy snacking tips, work out tips etc.
I`m a little bored of the diet of Missionary...

Thanks All!
Much Love!

Fireworks, A Festival and the Shinkansen

Hey Friends!

Well this week was another normal week here in Oyama! Nothing super exciting happened.
This past Thursday we all went to Urawa for a Zone Conferece. It was a really good conference and we recieved several trainings on Goal Setting and Accountability, and Talking to Everyone where we received the challenge to talk to someone in the situation it's hardest for you to talk in. For me it's the train. I have a really hard time talking to people on the trains here. Even so I had an opportunity to apply my training later that day. After the conference we went back to Okegawa so that Elder Kim could see Brother Machii (his first convert) and I got to reminisce on all the fun I had there with Elder Gallacher. 
We ended being there until it started getting late and when we missed our train we discovered that we would not be able to make it home before our 9:30 curfew which is bad considering I have to start my nightly district calls around 9:40. Tensions were high as we searched for a train that would get us there. We couldn't find any. It was then that I remembered someone saying the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) takes just 17 minutes to go from Omiya to Oyama. We bought tickets. The total cost was somewhere around 20 Dollars but we didn't realize there was a boarding fee and a travel fee. It technically was only 10 bucks, which is totally acceptable. We rode the Shinkansen home and got back to the apartment before 9:30. That was a crazy experience and it's one more thing I can check off my list of things to do.

This past weekend was Natsu(Summer) Matsuri(Festival) here in Oyama and they put on a huge 1hour and 30 minute firework show. Apparently it gets better every year. The fireworks were great but our view was a little obstructed and it rained all weekend, including the night of the fireworks so we missed out on most of the fun.

The pictures aren't great but they're sufficient. You will not believe how many people were there wearing Yukatas (Spring Kimonos) The colors were seriously awesome, and the food is to die for.
That's the update for this past week! I'm down to my last week with Elder Kim. We have Temple Day tomorrow and a trip to Nikko next week so I may not be able to write much. I'll be sure to take a lot of pictures though!

Transfer calls are also next week and It does appear that I'll be training. One of the Sister's in my District told me that President Budge told her that I am training. She's not one to gossip so I believe it. President Budge has been dropping me hints all transfer too. With that said I've got a lot of work to do around here! I'm excited to see what the future has in store. I don't know that any transfer could be worse than this past one has been. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Big Pork Sandwich and a Big Dissapointment

Hey Everyone
Well I'm sorry to report this bit of news but there wasn't a baptism this week. We planned one but our good friend got a little bit of cold feet.  We got an email 30 minutes before the baptismal service asking us to postpone it for a while. We still don't have a new date but this week we plan to follow up and work with her.  I guess she just felt that she'd committed to be baptized too early. It was a heavy blow for Elder Kim and I. We weren't expecting that result at all. Well.. there is no where to go but up. I think things will get better. We did have a fun time going to Lunch with a member this week. On Wednesday we all went to Lotteria and at the Big Pork Sandwich they offered for a limited time. It was 35cm in length and oh boy it was delicious. The pictures that Kiyotaka kyoudai took are super awesome.
Well that's all I have this week folks. Tune in next week for more fun in Oyama!


Monday, July 15, 2013


Hello Everyone!

I love throwing Japanse in these E-mails and imagining you scratching your heads as you try to decipher the strange glyphs that make up the Japanese Language.

This week was a big week for Elder Kim and I for two main reasons. Number one is that we are actually getting along now. He's a lot of fun to hang around.  Things still aren't perfect with our companionship but we're working together. That brings me to my second point!
Our investigator Kaori さん is getting baptized this week! She passed her interview last saturday. Her baptismal date is the 20th of this month. We've spent the last two days setting up the baptismal program for her. This marks my first baptism on my mission! We're really excited for her. She's been investigating for 15 months! She really has gained a lot of faith in the last few weeks. I'll be sure to take pictures and send them next week.
As District Leader I've been working closely with the Sisters in my District. During my nightly calls this week they informed me that they need a baptismal interview for their investigator too. I'm actually going over there this evening to do that. If she passes then my District will see two baptisms this coming weekend!
Oyama District all the way!
I find it interesting that all of these things are happening during the most trying time of my mission. The Lords timing is definitely not my own. That may even be the big lesson I needed to learn recently. Despite all the troubles I've had working through these past few weeks the Lord has blessed my district and I with some great miracles! I'm excited to see what's in store these following few weeks. It's been really hot in Oyama this week and we've spent as much time as possible working inside. As a result we've done some pretty funny stuff.
Elder Kim who's recently gotten very good at ukelele bought a Red Ukelele for Shohei, a recent convert, and then taught him how to play. It was pretty fun hanging out with these guys playing ukelele and guitar. Shohei has a unique talent where he puts on a wig and sunglasses and then transforms in Michael Jackson. (I'll explain later)  Elder Kim also has some well hidden incredible art abilities. He drew cartoon characters of me and of Sister Kubota. Sister Kubota's looks just like her, it's crazy.
We also had fun at music night this week.
That's the update this week!!
Love you all!
I'll write soon!

Monday, July 8, 2013


Well folks this is going to be a very short update today but just so that it's on the record I want you to know that it's summer in Japan. And I can tell you Utah and Arizona have nothing on the heat here in the concrete Jungle. We hit 33 degress celcius (91 farenhiet)  today with 95% humidity. I didn't know it could be this hot ever. Seriously. I'll take 100 degrees and dry over this any day.

On a brighter note I learned some cool stuff this week including how to spell my name in Korean.

While Elder Kim is really not the easiest person to work with he is a really cool guy. He taught me a little Korean and we went and bought fried chicken and rootbeer for the 4th of July. It wasn't the best 4th of July I've ever had but probably not the worst.  I gotta tell you though, I really missed America this past week. There's a good chance I'll be home by the next 4th of July. It's crazy how time has suddenly sped up again. The year mark goes so slowly but after that things just really start moving. I'm excited to see what new things I learn and what fun miracles I see these next few transfers.

Since arriving in an area that does a music night every week as a form of Dendo I found myself empty handed. Rather than learn Ukelele(which I have anyway) I thought guitar would be great but there are now travel guitars worth buying here in Oyama.

Today I recieved a Martin Backpackers Guitar in the Mail. I'm excited. The rule is typically no Musical Instruments unless you're good enough to perform. It would appear that I'm an exception :) I'm excited to further my talents with guitar every Monday and Thursday.
Well that's all for the weekly update. I hope you're all well!

Have a great week and I'll write again soon!

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Longest Week

This week was without a doubt the longest week of my mission. I'm not entirely sure what to blame for that. It could be that the mission was splitting, it could be that I'm still getting used to my area, or my companion, It could be that I hit my year mark this next week. I'm not exactly sure what it is. It's just been a really long week.

I'm excited to be here in Oyama, I've only heard good things about it, but I'm still getting used to it, doing my best to learn everyone's names etc. I've really enjoyed it so far. Elder Kim is a really fun guy too. He's working hard to get stressed or trunky since it's his last transfer. When we're teaching we teach pretty well together which is a good thing. I think If we didn't it would be a lot harder to work together. We have a lot of miscommunications and Elder Kim can be a little scary when he's frustrated or angry. Otherwise things are really good.  The ward is really excited to have 4 missionaries again (we got Sister Missionaries) and it's almost as if everyone has been sparked back to life. Half the ward stayed and watched the Work of Salvation Broadcast 

This week too. I'm a little overwhelmed in my responsibilities as District Leader. I'm doing everything I can to rely on the Lord and feel the needs of my District. (Have I mentioned that it's all Sisters?) It's a much bigger responsibility than I expected, but I do really enjoy it, I like a challenge every now and then. My first District Meeting is this Wednesday so I need to prep a training. I'm having a hard time thinking of what to do though. Almost half of my District are new missionaries. I really have no idea what to train them on. I know I have friends out there who have been District Leaders or Zone Leaders before. Any suggestions for trainings at District Meetings?

Great miracles are happening in Kiryu Zone and especially in the Oyama District. We'll most likely see a few baptisms this transfer between the three companionships here. Here in Oyama we have an investigator with a baptismal date. Her name is Kaori. She's super pure so she has a hard time remembering the doctrine, but she's super nice! Recently she's had desire to be baptised but didn't have the desire to match it. Elder Kim and I were really excited when she stayed for the full three hour program on Sunday. We're shooting for the twentieth of this month! (can you believe it's July already, because I can't.) This transfer is going to be one of mixed emotions, and we're going to be busy! 5 weeks to go!

"The challenge is to be more profitable servants"
-Pres Thomas S. Monson.

Love you all!

This is a Steamed Crab Donburi (rice bowl) ! It was really good.
I should have gotten the Unagi (Eel) though. that stuff
was magical. Real unagi is pretty expensive.

These are capsules from a Gatcha Gatcha machine. I love Gatcha Gatchas,
you always get cool stuff in them!
Some of you might remember these guys :)
Resetty from Animal Crossing
(とびだせどぶつの森 in Japanese)

 Olimar and a Blue Pikmin from Pikmin
(in japanese it's ピクミン)