maandag 21 december 2015

Santa is in Town

Hello everybody!

Another busy week has passed in the blink of an eye. Where does the time go?

We did a whole lot of service... for kids. For kids? Does that mean dressing up like Santa and giving presents to innocent little Santa-believers while constantly going "Ho, ho, ho"? Bingo. It was surprisingly demanding to be Santa, especially because this Santa has to fold his legs and sit on the ground while trying to stuff food through his beard, speaking Japanese to enthusiastic boys and girls asking where their presents are. It was so much fun though and we will do more this week, too!

Christmas in Japan is so different from what I'm used to. Since Japanese culture and traditions are based on the Buddhist and Shinto religions, Christmas is merely adopted from Western culture and seen as a holiday of merchandise, shopping and... and... "Christmas cake" and "Christmas chicken " (KFC gets plundered on Christmas here in Japan). I remember my last Christmas before I went on a mission, in Germany. I still remember the lights, the carolers and this magical, quaint feeling in the air. I kind of miss celebrating Christmas like that. 

Yesterday, however, I felt something even more than that magical feeling. I felt the true Christmas spirit as I got up on the stand in front of everyone in the Abeno ward. As I was talking about the Savior and Him being the True Christmas Gift, sent for our eternal welfare and happiness, sharing the well-known John 3:16, I felt a fire in my heart, a feeling of love and of gratitude and I knew that what I was sharing was true. I hope that the members felt the same fire in their hearts as I did. Our Savior truly lives! I'm really grateful for the opportunity I have to share the true meaning of Christmas and the very first Gift of Christmas with a people that has never known. I'm glad I get to spend such a wonderful season on the other side of the world.

I wish you all a blessed and wonderful Christmas and I hope you feel the joy this season is meant to bring. I love all of you! Be safe!


Osaka Castle - 14 December

Hello everyone! No time! Went to Osaka castle with one of our friends! We got our transfer calls and me and my companion, Eccles長老 are staying! Wa-hey!
Hope you have had a splendid week, just like I did and I wish you a wonderful one! Lots of love!


Speaking of Christmas - 7 December

Hello everybody!

This transfer is almost over. We get to hear where we'll go in a week.
I just don't know where time goes anymore. It'll be Christmas in a
second! Speaking of Christmas, have you all seen the new "A Savior is
born" video? It's pretty darn good, but the web page is pretty darn
better! Take a look!

Gotta go! Have a splendid week!

P.S.: Made オムライス (Omuraisu). 'T was pretty darn good


Winter Time - 30 November

Hey everybody!

It's been a tiring week; I'm looking forward to hugging my futon at
the end of today. It's gotten waaaay cold all of a sudden, too! At
first it's kind of nice outside and then, before you know it, you find
yourself wishing you had a decent pair of gloves and a neckwarmer on
you. I love the winter, but it could have rung the door bell instead
of straight up kicking the front door down and rushing inside, if you
ask me. Seasons lack proper etiquette here in Japan.

We are getting some progress over here and momentum's building up
really quickly. A lot of stepping out of the comfort zone was done,
but it was so worth it. It's so easy to just stay inside the warm and
cozy bubble, rather than to step outside, into the harsh and
unforgiving cold. The Lord appreciates those who go out of their way
to accomplish what He expects of them. It is "expedient that [we]
should be diligent, that thereby we might win the prize" (Mosiah
4:27). As we throw aside our fears and do what we can to follow His
will, He will bless us with many tender mercies and make us capable to
overcome, accomplish and win. I love the Gospel.

Also! This has nothing to do with anything, but I went hipster and
took pictures of some food I whipped up. 

I took them before the noodles were cool.

Hey! I hope you all have a lovely wintery week! See you next week!


zondag 20 december 2015

Morning Exercise - 23 November

Hi! How are you?

Last week has been really busy. Long story short: first came chaos, then came order. A lot of problem solving, hasting and hassling happened last week. But we are 元気 as ever and ready for a new week of awesomeness!

Kind of random, bu I just want to tell you all how important (morning) exercise is. I suffer a lot from sleepiness and lack of energy. But by going running every morning lately, I have been able to get a lot more energy than I had before (keeping me awake during my morning studies and focused during our appointments with our investigators). Our bodies are a sacred gift from God and we should strive to maintain it. If we respect our bodies, we respect God and He will bless us with strength and health. We will receive health in our navels, marrow in our bones; run and not be weary, walk and not faint. The blessings in D&C 89 are real. If you feel exhausted in the morning, try working out. Because things will... well, work out.

I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH! Have a fantastic week :9


Good Stuff - 16 November

Hey everyone!

Dropping by to let you know how much I love all of you and how much I
appreciate your concern, your support and your prayers. You are
awesome. It's been a little busy lately. As a new transfer began, we
kind of uncovered the ancient trash bin that is Abeno and found that
there is a lot of trash we need to take out. We've been working hard,
exchanging lesson quantity for lesson quality and began tackling the
core of our area's problems. We're dead. But we're going to do a lot
of good stuff here, so I'm excited!

I hope you all have a wonderful week!


Forgive & Forget - 9 November

How have you all been?

I'm tired. Therefore I'm happy. Last week was a mess and at first I thought organizing everything would stress me out immensely, just like it did when I became senior companion for the first time in Ootsu. But I'm really happy! Because I realized that I know what repentance is. When I was a younger missionary, I knew what repentance meant in my head, but not in my heart. I didn't apply every principle of repentance myself, even though I taught it those around me all the time. Even though I would improve day by day, I would always look back full of regret for the countless mistakes I had made before.

Forgive and forget.

That's the one part I didn't understand with my heart. Everyone is imperfect and our paths to perfection will, without a doubt, be filled with flaws and errors. Instead of looking back and cringing, I now look forward with determination to improve and become better. "What can I do from now on?" When I noticed how much my attitude has changed, I felt invigorated and strong.

The Gospel has really blessed me with an improved understanding of myself. I am a child of God. The end of my path shines with glorious luster and fills me with joy and hope. I don't need to worry as long as I trust Heavenly Father and as long as I try to love Him with all my heart, all my might and all my mind. The reason I'm still standing is because of Him. I owe all I have to Him. He has put everything I need to reach my potential on my path. Be it high mountains to test me and to burn away my flaws or the many tender mercies to comfort my wounded soul.

It's been a marvelous week. I love missionary work and I love you. Thank you so much for everything you do for us and for the Lord. Tell your wife how awesome she is as well, please!

Have a great week,


Time is Precious! November 2nd

Sorry, no time to write anything. Here are some pictures. Love you all!!

Love vs Fear - 26 October

Good day to you, misters and madams!

We've had a really good week. Me and my companion have been sick, but we're way better now. This week would be less busy (when it comes to meetings), so we went out and destroyed everything (in other words, did missionary work like crazy). We also did a couple of exchanges with the district leaders in our zone. It was so good!! I can always learn so much from the examples of everyone I work with, as simple as they may be. I'm really blessed with a lot of opportunities to learn and I'm grateful to my Father in Heaven for it. 't Was a good week indeed!

Because I was sick last week, I was a little depressed and insecure about myself. Whenever I get exhausted or sick, I go into a slump of negativity and start having doubts about my abilities as a missionary. I realized that there were a bunch of things I was doing wrong and I kind of felt unsettled because of my constant errors and failures here and there (nitpicks, really). I felt a little hopeless, because I felt like I hadn't improved on the aspects I wish I had so far. BUT! We had the wonderful opportunity to attend the "Heartfull Concert" held here in Abeno, in which three members with incredible singing voices would come over and sing for us (only two, sister Takaku and sister Amarume, ended up singing, as sister Yutaka had been injured in an accident prior to the concert). Listening to their beautiful songs and the stories told through them really fired me up and made me want to be a better, more loving, more diligent missionary than ever before. I was listening to sister Amarume's song, 「ペテロのように」(Petero no youni), and I just cried. I really love Peter. I can relate to him really well. Before Christ's death, he was very spontaneous and desired to follow Christ with all of his heart, but as soon as adversity struck, he feared man, rather than God, to the point that he would  betray his Beloved Friend even three times. Peter loved Jesus so much. Can you imagine his anguish when he realized he denied he knew Christ? I felt it. I felt Peter's pain thanks to the beautiful and powerful rendition of his story sung for us in the concert. I don't want to fear man. I don't want to deny Jesus Christ. And yet I do it, over and over again. I pondered and thought about how I could overcome the natural man in me (the man who fears man) and soon realized that all I lack is love for Christ. If I really loved Christ and if I really knew His power, I couldn't fear man. I couldn't be uncertain or insecure. I would stand tall and unshaken before my trials. Love casts out all fear, is the most important one out of three (faith, hope and charity) and is the first and great commandment in the law given through Jesus Christ. How do I develop more love for Christ? I'm still thinking about it, but I've remembered something Jesus said at one point during His ministry on earth: "If ye love me, keep My commandments". Keeping His commandments is a way for us to show love and appreciation for Him. We will recognize the blessings that come from obedience and feel the Spirit in abundance in our lives. So I should do my best to keep His commandments. It will help me learn to love Him more and I will feel loved myself as well. And if you're filled with Christ's love, you can do anything.

Thanks for listening to my rant there. I actually learn more by talking about stuff than studying about it. I hope you all had a wonderful week! Love ya ~



Missionary Business -19 October mail

Hello everybody. Sorry for being late this time around. We had a lot
of important missionary business to take care of today. A-hem.

We've had the wonderful opportunity to be taught by our mission
president again, last week. It was quite glorious. I always feel like
I'm taught more than what actually comes out of his mouth. I love
learning through the Spirit; reading the Book of Mormon has also been
one of those things where I learn so much from just a single verse.
Sometimes what really helps me understand training and doctrine more
is if I step back and try and look at it from a different perspective.
I learned a lot just from looking at how the president and the
assistants were teaching all of us, for instance. GAH I LOVE LEARNING!

We also worked our rear ends off and took pictures of a nice little
place called "Korea Town" on our way home. There were a lot of Korean
people there. Speaking Korean. And selling super-delicious kimchi. Oh,
it's so gooooood...!

Aaaand we got a huge salmon. They way to an elder's heart is through
his stomach, right?