Sunday, September 27, 2015

He's in Japan!

Konnichi wa Tomodachi to Kazoku,

Well, I`m in Japan!!! I am living in a city called Shimonoseki with about 300,000 people in it. It is not touristy in the slightest...the only non-Japanese people I`ve seen here are my companion and the other two missionaries I am living with. Anyways, update on the week. I`ll try to go chronologically.
  1. Last Thoughts on the MTC: Overall, the MTC was an incredible experience. I spent nine week total there and loved just about every minute of it. I lucked out with an incredible Australian companion who taught me how to love everyone and to enjoy the small things in life. I had an incredible district (12 people who I did everything with) who helped me strengthen my testimony in Christ and His Gospel. I am beyond grateful that I had the opportunity to spend so much time in such an uplifting, motivating environment.
  2. The Supposedly Long Travel Day: Around 3am on Monday, September 21st, my journey from Provo, Utah to Fukuoka, Japan began. Around9pm on Tuesday, September 22, my journey ended at the missionary home in Fukuoka. While it took three flights and lots of driving, the entire experience flew by. I have a unique skill to be able to sleep anywhere (on planes, in the car, in class, in church) that is both a blessing and a curse. When it comes to traveling it`s pretty awesome. I spend the majority of the time on all the planes passed out. It also didn`t hurt that I love traveling and was just excited to leave the gates of the MTC in Provo for the first time in two months.
  3. The Solution to Jet Lag: I learned that the solution to jet lag is to just not accept that is it a thing. Our first day at the mission home, they put us to work starting at 6:30am. We (18 other missionaries from the MTC and I) spent the morning sitting through training on the Fukuoka mission (bike rules, mission rules, etc) and then were paired with a missionary who had been out for a while and started talking to people in the street! I was paired with a native Japanese missionary who could also speak English. For about 3 hours, we traveled the streets of Fukuoka talking to people in the street and knocking on doors. I understood absolutely none of what anyone said.
  4. President and Sister Egan: All LDS missions around the world are led by a missionary president and his wife. Mine, President Egan, is in charge of 204 missionaries across 4 or so islands. He is from Utah and will serve in that capacity for three or so years. Quite the responsibility. He and his wife were the ones who picked us up from the airport and hosted us for the first two days in Japan. They are both some of the most loving people I have ever met. I am honestly pumped to be able to serve under them for the next two years.
  5. Intro to Missionary Work: On Thursday, Elder Tschirki (one of my travel buddies) and I set out for Shimonoseki. We took four trains total over the course of a few hours, but somehow made it to Shimonoseki on time. Our companions met us at the train station, helped walk our luggage to our apartment, and then immediately put us to work with weekly planning. My companion, Elder Madsen, walked me through all of the Nihonjin (Japanese people) we are currently teaching. After that, we hit the streets and started talking to people.
  6. The Missionary Schedule: I apologize for the length of this email. If you are already bored and want to stop reading, I won`t be offended.
    • 0630- Wake up and work out
    • 0800- Personal study
    • 0900- Companionship study (two hours for the first 12 weeks)
    • 1000- Language study
    • 1100- Lunch
    • 1200-2100- Trying to spread and teach the good word of God. Dinner is also somewhere in that time frame.
  7.  The Heavenly Food: Americans could learn a thing or two about cooking from Nihonjin. The food here is incredible!! Sure, we may have rice at every meal, but even the rice here is incredible. To be honest, I`ve only had three meals from restaurants/cooked by Nihonjin over the past week, but they were all incredible. All consisted of rice, a soup, and some sort of meat/fish. Later today a member of the branch is taking the four elders in my apartment out to a sushi place for Elder Flippo`s birthday.
Pictures for the Week
1) The five members of my MTC district at the Fukuoka, Japan temple.
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2) My last moments with Bauer Choro as we head to the Salt Lake Airport.

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Video for the Week


Thank you all for your emails and support. I apologize if I didn`t have time this week to respond, but I read them all and truly appreciate them!

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