Monday, December 7, 2015

Weekly Deer Head Mail

Second last week of my mission, want to know what we did?
Bought a deer head and took lots of sub-par videos, had a huge Christmas party with Americans, taught a bunch of people including kids and went out to go housing with a recently returned missionary from Guatemala. He speaks English and Spanish, the two languages no one else here speaks, so we translated for him. We found some people and went back a few days later with him and taught them, probably one of the most interesting finding experiences I've had. I hope to do the same after my mission, but hopefully translating my Broken-Japanese-English to Bogan-Straya-English wont be too hard.
Our zone is seeing some incredible miracles, prepared people committing to be baptized are popping out of every corner in every area (literally), and it's because of the increase of faith everyone in the mission has gained recently. I can see the Lord's hand in the work more now than I have ever been able to. 
If I had one piece of advice to give to the missionaries back home leaving for their missions soon, I would suggest focus on showing your faith to God and baptizing people, instead of what many people do and not worry about baptizing because they heard not many people get baptized in whatever mission they're going to. That's a lie, in every mission there are missionaries with enough faith who baptize many - be that kind of missionary. If you are "serving your mission because you love the Lord" then serve to baptize our brothers and sisters, not to just "serve to grow personally." If you do that you will grow and have joy in bringing others to Christ (D&C 18:10-16). I was too ineffective for too much of my mission because I didn't have faith to baptize, to put it bluntly.
One week left, still a little too surreal to believe but no slowing down here. 

Photos: Christmas Party, free food, and the usefulness of English class flyers - you can never trust public restrooms. 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Weekly samuku nacchatta Mail

The second year of my mission was significantly better than my first, my last 6 months was better than that, my last 3 months was even better, and now I'm in my last 3 weeks and so far it's looking like it'll be better than the rest! 
The work is going great, we are teaching lots of people, four of them have Baptisimal dates. It's amazing how much work the Lord can really do through us, through our faith. We have been wanting and praying to find young people and now all of our investigators are younger than 30 - two are young teenagers that are really fun to teach! 
I have really come to be concerned about Japan - I want to adopt Japanese kids and bring them up in the Gospel so they can serve here and baptize, because we need more young people in the Church!
We had a specialized training yesterday that the Mission President came to and gave the Training he gave at MLC, I translated it again (this time it was only 3 hours), but it's incredible how much the Spirit can inspire and change us if we open our minds and hearts to it. My bean-chan Elder Reed was there too, seeing him completed my life.

Photos: Elder Reed & Taunisila at Specialized Training, preparing some vegemite treats for our English Class, Elder Keikyu (who I was in Nobeoka with a year and a half ago) and I after last week's Mission Leader Council (MLC), me and my coat during our three days of Antarctic-like weather, and then Elder Yamanashi (the other Okinawa ZL), Elder Bowler and a I on the plane to MLC.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Weekly Gunjin Mail

Tim was baptized last week! Super spiritual experience, I was just filled with peace and confidence in the Gospel the whole evening. His phone died so we couldn't contact him all day which caused a little bit of a worry, but overall it was another incredible experience that I will never forget.
We went to Missionary Leader Council (MLC) in Fukuoka with the other Zone Leaders, Sister Training Leaders, APs and President and Sister Egan, and I translated the 7 hour event which was a lot of fun. My faith really increased that day, through feeling the Spirit and committing to apply what I heard (and then said into a tiny little microphone). Heavenly Father really does work according to our faith, another huge lesson I have learnt during my two year service. 
Yesterday we were in Nago, north Okinawa, for companion exchanges, and just a few days ago it started to get a little cold. Less than a month left before I finish. This transfer I feel like I have become the best missionary I have been, yet at the same time felt the most adversity and temptation. There hasn't been a greater need to rely on the Lord than now, but doing so is always more worth that not!
My companion is sick as. We dendo. He picked up on the Australian habit of saying "as" and has been practicing it very diligently. We taught a blind as guy, ate at K-Fry which was expensive as, ate with an American as family, and my iPad is lost as in Fukuoka.

Photos are good, and self-explanatory.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Weekly Ginowan As Mail

P-Days have become a burden because with my e-mail home I'm reminded about how much time I have left. I hope by the time I'm finished I'm ready to move on to my next transfer.
Elder Bunker thinks he's killing me because it's my last transfer, but I'm the one trying to kill him. Our 9am-9pm all-day tracting efforts and lessons with Tim who is getting baptized this Friday are doing more than just refreshing us. We are working equally with the American branch and the Japanese branch now, with investigators and good member work on both sides, so it seems like everything is going the way we have been hoping.
Zone Training Meeting was fantastic, it was my last one but everyone said they enjoyed it. We talked about Faith, Goals, Success and Pushing the Rock. Very uplifting experience, probably more for me than anyone else! It was really humbling too. Although I have become a far more effective missionary over the past 20 months, I have been able to look back and see the Lord's hand in all of it. The miracles have and still are here, I'm just super grateful for the lessons I'm always learning and the help God has been giving me this whole time to make use of it all.
Tonight we are going to Fukuoka for Mission Leader Council and I volunteered to translate the event so I'm looking forward to that.
We have a lesson now so best be off. Next week's p-day isn't till Thursday because of Thanksgiving (you thought I was in Japan; wrong).

Photos: Ginowan zone and our Priesthood BBQ during a thunderstorm (which is why we were inside)

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Weekly Goodbye Uratra, Hello Bunker Mail

Elder Urata died and Elder Bunker became my companion.
Before that happened we went to Shuri Castle in Naha again. My neck is huge, just look at the photos of us sitting on the deck. There was also a parade in the way out so we joined it so we could leave swiftly as the footpaths were crowded.
Since Elder Bunker joined my companionship he brought over his investigators, so now we are meeting with a super smart guy named Tim who has been coming to church for a few months and is going to be baptized Friday week. He is in the military and comes to the military branch. He wants to be sealed to his girlfriend who is a member, and I've been chatting with him and catching up with him every week before Church on Sunday's but this week was the first opportunity I had to be in a lesson with him.
Teaching in English isn't necessarily hard, because he knows all the content and has a testimony and strong desire already, but up until this, my last transfer, I could have counted all the times I taught a lesson in English on one hand. Actually I had only done it once. But in saying that, members present at lessons are so crucial - they bring so much to a lesson that the missionaries can't. Their experiences, testimonies and explanations are necessary in so many ways.

So go out with the missionaries しなさい。

and help teach someone

Monday, November 2, 2015

Weekly Play hard but work harder, not the other way around, I promise Mail

Well what happened this week かというと my companion started dying (he finishes his mission this week), I took a million photos, we had a Double Zone P-Day, a Halloween Party and we ate a lot of food. We worked too, I promise.

Our Halloween Party was combined with both American Military branches and the Okinawa Japanese Ward, so there was upwards of 300 people who came. We had a dinner and a trunk or treat. I went as Super Saiyan Wheeler (complete with the kanji Goku wears at one point in the series (I'm talking about Dragon Ball for anyone who doesn't know)), and my companion Elder Urata went as a Redneck.

Our Zone P-Day was combined with Naha Zone (the south and less-cooler Okinawa zone). It was also Elder Urata's birthday this week so we morau'd some goodies from that too. Last night we had a farewell for him and also Elder Richardson who is leaving too.

Okay but here's the part where we worked hard! On Saturday we woke up extra early to complete our studies so we could head out at 9am and go tracting all day (till 9pm). That didn't quite end up happening though because we went to Kawahira Kyoudai's place to heart attack his door and he totally caught us in the act! So we went in and had a discussion and read the BOM together. So in the end it turned out great. For anyone who's wondering, he has been doing great since he was baptised 5 weeks ago.

We did other stuff but I'll let the photos tell the rest of the story.

Also a little birdy told me that I'll be staying in Okinawa but three Elders will be coming here.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Weekly 400 houses & 400 mouses Mail

This week it was my companions turn to be sick, but we're up and ready to go now!

Sunday's have become my favourite day, I'm so thankful to my parents for helping me to build the habit of going to Church every week because I can see so clearly how much of a benefit it has been to me!
It was great sitting with Brother Kawahira and sustaining him along with the rest of the ward to receiving he Aaronic Priesthood. I say "it was great" but of course I'm a lot happier about it than I can express over e-mail haha.

Another companion exchange, and it was a really humbling experience because I guess I kind of remembered that I can't do anything without relying on God. My Japanese or teaching skills aren't as good as I thought they were, but I am getting somewhere with my cooking! This week was Mexican food. Stay tuned to find out what next week will be!

Photos: Dinner with the Furugen's and our investigator Yasuha. He smiles a lot more in real life, trust me. Also a snap shot from our moving project - typical me, standing to the side taking photos instead of getting dirty haha.
By the way when old mate AB got his mission call to England I 爆発しそうになった!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Weekly Fully Sick Mail

I was sick so I got straight pera from studying Kanji all day. Had two companion exchanges that were way fun though. Probably got a lot of people sick from it.

Speaking of sick, Motoko-San dropped us because her sickness is back and because of it she doesn't think she can come to Church after her previously scheduled Baptism, it was pretty disappointing but we left a note for 3 months later for future missionaries to go visit her. I can't imagine her forgetting the experiences she's had with the Book of Mormon, with prayer or with Church so I will continue to pray for her, but there's only so much you can do for someone.

We have a bunch of other investigators that the members are all about helping and serving, the Okinawan members' examples are some of the things from my mission I hope to emulate and never forget. Very grateful.

Planes and jets from the Military base have been going off all day every day and I don't watch the news nor can I read Newspaper-level-Japanese (don't even get me started) but is World War
3 going on or something?

I didn't take any photos this week so I took a photo with my companion just now. He is good. I didn't blink.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Weekly 焦げた Brownies Mail

Eventful week! We held a Zone Training Meeting and it was the most fun I'd had with one yet. Our Transfer theme is "Become Missionaries Trusted by God."
We have a pretty big teaching pool - all Japanese investigators, with a few Baptisimal dates we are helping people working towards.
Motoko-San, who we have been meeting for about a month now, quit smoking and shared an experience she had when reading the Book of Mormon that brought her to tears. I wish you could all meet her and everyone else here, I really love the Okinawan people.
Companion exchanges, general conference, lots of lessons, just overall I'm really happy to be doing this right now. It's strange how little I think of myself, I'm constantly finding myself thinking about nothing but our investigators and members. Not perfect yet though - how many missionaries does it take to make a tray of brownies for the awesome members who do so much to help our investigators? Four, but it still gets over-baked. It's the thought that counts though, right?

Photos: Ginowan Zone, and some good statues (minutes before our haircut, I swear I'm not a hooligan)

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Weekly Kawahira Mail

Elder Urata and I are the oldest companionship in the mission.
Slightly daunting. We have been speaking two hours of English and two hours of Japanese on and off this week, we finally found a way to help each other learn and not just help ourselves.

Went to Missionary Leader Council in Fukuoka, and seeing that city made me a little trunky for mainland Japan - it looks a lot different to Okinawa where everything is made of concrete to withstand typhoons.

Motoko came to Church again and we have organised all the days we are going to teach her before her baptism on the 31st so she is excited for that as are we! We have a friend called Yuri who is a high school student, Elder Urata and I met her while tracting and she has been coming to Eikaiwa so I invited her to Church and she came with three other friends. It was all their first time but it was pretty fun explaining to them everything as we went along - prayers, hymns, sacrament, the topics people were talking about.

Last Saturday we visited a potential investigator who we asked to read Lehi's Vision in the Book of Mormon, and when we asked her how it was she started describing to us about this warm feeling that she had never felt while reading a book before, and that she could hardly explain it! Luckily, we could explain it. She believes that it could very well be God pointing her in the right direction, telling her that this is good.

We taught Kawahira every day and he was baptized on Thursday. The day itself was full-on, interviews with Mission President, two trainings from the Assistants which I translated for the Japanese missionaries (that's four hours of on-the-spot translating, someone give me a medal), the baptism which President and the APs stayed for, and then Eikaiwa. Really fulfilling day! Lots of people came to the Baptism, the Bishopric did a great job of being on top of it all - could never imagine a Baptismal service going that smoothly if I were the one to organise it. Kawahira brought his family who aren't members, he was a little nervous about it all, but after the ordinance he shared his testimony and oh my goodness, his testimony is incredible! He is doing all of this because he feels it is right, because he can tell the difference in his life and in the life of others who live the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and because he wants to be a good example to his son.
Wish you could all have been there! So many people's prayers were answered that day. On Sunday I participated in the confirmation, and he just couldn't stop smiling all day - it was so great to see!

My mission is worth it because of the incredible experiences I have been a part of, the incredible changes I see in people's lives, and the incredible growth I have seen in my own life. These last few weeks have easily been the best so far. My mission changed a few weeks ago, even our Mission President recognized it and told me how happy he was for me, while chastising me like nothing else for not changing like I had earlier haha!! My mission president is perfect for me, and I have seen how the Japan Fukuoka Mission is perfect for me too.

Photo: Elder Moe & Elder Inagaki at MLC, Kawahira before his baptism, shakeys and a Shisa.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Weekly Gunjin Galore Mail

I'll make this short, this week we taught more lessons than I ever had in a week. Motoko and Kawahira came to church, and it feels good to have people to teach who are progressing again. Kawahira is excited to be baptised this Thursday, so stay tuned for that. Motoko is planning on being baptised on October 31.

We have been spending a bit of time with the Military members, hoping to build our relationships, breaking away from the "I don't know how to do missionary work with you because you're not Japanese" kind of deal that we all have when we transfer to Okinawa. Basketball, soccer (I'd say I'm improving but that's a lie - at least I know what "offside" means now though), a Baptism for a members child, and a BBQ party at the beach. It was the only day it's rained in a long time but we had good shelter, good food and good company so it was for sure worth it. I'm glad I'm not American otherwise all this food would make me trunky. I know my Mum isn't the only one hoping it'll fatten me up a little.

Speaking of being trunky, that couldn't be further from the truth. To put things into perspective I have two transfers left (3 months), we are teaching more than I ever have before, and I've never felt so involved and excited about the work. Don't get me wrong, I had strived to be focused and hard-working my whole mission, but now with the finish line visible, it's made me enjoy and appreciate this all so much more. I'm also glad I still have as much time as I do!

Photos: Some of us from the Okinawa zone before the transferring missionaries left, Elder Mismash and the Teruya's who came to say goodbye the night before, and our wet weather BBQ beach party before it started raining.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Weekly Run Oki Mail


If you had of asked me last week how the week before that was I might have said something like it was the hardest week of my mission to begin with. If you were to ask me today how this past week was I would say it was the best week of my mission. Get ready for a long e-mail!

Transfer calls are in, and Elder Urata and I are staying as Zone Leaders in Okinawa. This will be his last transfer and my second last. 

When I first came to Okinawa I honestly felt like my mission was "winding down" or "coming to an end" as I was of course working hard but also excited for the future because of what I was expecting. I've had a recent reality check and all of a sudden there is this urgency to make every day, every hour, every minute count because even though I still have 3 months left - it's not enough! I'm not going to say I'm not excited for the future, but I have no idea what to expect, so I'm constantly reminded of what I'm doing now and why I'm doing it, as opposed to day dreaming about later. I feel like a different person.

We finally have a solid teaching pool, and three of our investigators have Baptisimal dates for next month. Our transfer goals were to find two people who will be baptised next transfer, find an investigator who would be a prospective priesthood holder and serve a mission, and to start teaching a part-member family, and as this new transfer is about to start we have been able to see a lot of success and the fulfillment of these goals. Out of all the awesome things hat happened this week I just wanted to share these three things:

Yesterday we had a lesson win Motoko who has a Baptisimal date for October 31st. She has a sincere desire to learn, come to Church and be baptised because she enjoys feeling the peace prayer and the Book of Mormon bring. I love meeting with her! She's really kind and finding her was a real miracle. She is the one who we found at 9am when we went to an appointment of someone who wasn't there and decided to dendou* a nearby apartment.

*You'll have to roll with me on this one, saying "decided to proselyte a nearby apartment" just sound as good as using the Japanese word 

Kawahira is an older brother of a long-time member who called us saying he wants to be baptised. We met and found out that he has met missionaries a lot, been to church a lot, was really familiar with the doctrine, and that it's been a long time coming but he wants to be baptised next week on October 1st. Last night we had one of the most spiritual lessons I've been a part of my whole mission. While Kawahira was reading the promise of Moroni in the Book of Mormon, he choked up and started tearing up. We talked about the Spirit and asked him what he felt, and he was able to realize that that was a confirmation from God through the Spirit that what he was reading was a true principle. 

Kawahira's lesson was straight after Motoko's, and after Kawahira's we came to the Church to meet Ryuki, a 22 year old who we met a few hours earlier and scheduled an appointment with. He wants to learn English so we taught him English for half an hour, then taught about God, Christ and Baptism for half an hour after that, and set a Baptisimal date with him, saying that if he learnt more of this message, was able to prepare for and continued to feel good about it, that he would be baptised on October 31 too.

I'm always writing about miracles but just this week I've felt so fulfilled and we have been really blessed to see the accomplishment of our goals, and to be a part of these wonderful people's lives. 

Photos: Elder Urata & I with Seika and Uehara Shimai at Seika Shimai's mission farewell after Church (she is going to the Sapporo mission), Elder Urata & I with Kawahira and another photo from the farewell.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Weekly Hope & Charity Mail

What a week!

Started off the week with bad news from home, which I couldn't help but let it bring me down for a day or two, but I have a really supportive district and great friends back home who wrote to me and they helped a lot more than I think they realized.

I studied a lot about hope and charity - two things that I think I really needed this week. Reading my patriarchal blessing brought a lot of peace, along with some quotes from Preach My Gospel:
“Hope is trust in God’s promises, faith that if we act now, the desired blessings will be fulfilled in the future." "Hope is an abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promises to you. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance." "When you have hope, you work through trials and difficulties with the confidence and assurance that all things will work together for your good. Hope helps you conquer discouragement."

With lots of prayer and lots of hard work, I felt like the Lord lifted me up and I was able to refocus on the work!

This scripture really brought peace to my heart, too.
D&C 59:23
But learn that he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.

Hope! There's that one checked off the list. Next it was Charity. From studying this topic I thought a lot about my application of it over my mission. Before my mission I wasn't very nice and if someone where offended by what I said or did it was always a problem with them. Since becoming  missionary it was never on my agenda to "become a nicer person" until I did, and realized how much happier it made me and others (missionaries, members, investigators, friends I'm e-mailing, etc). I want to love people for who they are and let that take precedence over hating them for what they've done. Perhaps before my mission I would have chosen to hate people who hurt me, justifying it. During my
prayers I felt that times like this are good opportunities to draw closer to God by becoming more Christlike, because it's going to take a lot, and already has, to be Christlike, but I feel like the past 21
months of my mission have prepared me a lot to do it. That, and I really know I can't do this alone nor without the Gospel. That's probably the biggest lesson I have learnt on my mission.

Through study, prayer, feeling the Spirit, working hard, the support of others I feel like I've been able to come to terms with and overcome my worries that I have had recently. To put it simply, I feel better than ever!

Now for some Dendo stories! Elder Urata and I went to an appointment early in the morning to a lady who wasn't home, so we talked to some people nearby, and one lady didn't have a lot of time but she said we could return the next day. We did and taught her about God, Christ & Baptism and she was so receptive to meeting regularly and coming to Church, exchanging phone numbers, telling us her days off and the lot. We were about to make a goal, a date, for when she can be baptized but she told us about a mental issue that she has, so we decided to hold back and instead continue teaching her to see down the road if her issue will be a problem. Mental issue or not, I felt like she was who the Lord wanted us to meet at that time, and she is so kind and lovely so I hope to be able to continue telling you all about her in future emails!

We also went on companion exchanges in Nago, it reminded me a lot of my mission before coming to Okinawa city - very rural with not a lot of people. It reminded me the most of Ishigaki, my first area. Elder Lentz and I worked super hard and saw so much success. The people in Japan are super prepared, we just need to qualify for and then follow the Spirit - which is what we did, which is why it was such an enjoyable experience. I love missionary work, I'll be honest :P

Photos: Before leaving Nago early in the morning we wanted to take a group photo. Most of us are still asleep. The other two photos are our Nago adventures.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Weekly Junkai Mail

Pretty busy this week! We had two companion exchanges, with two different districts. Lots of running, during one exchange we rode too far and ended up in my area and found 3 new investigators but we didn't realize it was my area until after, and during the other exchange we passed a house with two cars thinking, "perfect, a family, looks like the father is home too," so we knocked on its door and two of our favourite members opened up - a surprise for both of us!
We had a conference with Elder Choi of the Seventy, and it couldn't have come at a better time for me. I went with the questions, "How can I be a more focused & consecrated missionary," "How can I be a harder worker?" and "How can I benefit more in my future from my mission?"
Pretty generic questions but they all have a deeper meaning to me, as in they related to specific things I needed help with, and they were all answered! As soon as we started I was filled with peace and my troubles were literally swept away. I have decided to make sure that I am a 100% obedient missionary, as opposed to a 99% obedient missionary and my companion and I have committed to sing to people during finding (I'm still tone deaf but we're getting good at A Child of God in both languages). Last night we were able to sing to an old couple who seemed to really enjoy it!
A new stake president and Ward mission leader have been called in the American stake/Ward that we attend so we are hoping and planning for our work with Americans to pick up this week and next - something that I've been repentant about lately because up until recently I haven't given as much effort & love to the American side as I have to the Japanese side here in Okinawa. To start things off we have our first American family meal appointment this week, who knew that as a missionary in Japan I'd be able to experience the American culture too! Maybe I'll even put on a few kilos. Eh, unlikely.
Here are some photos of Elder Ngatai and I, one of the missionaries I went on exchanges with, during our dinner break.

Love, Elder Wheeler

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Weekly Faith Perfecting Experience

We had Stake Conference yesterday so all of Okinawa came here and I saw Tagawa Kaicho from my first area Ishigaki! He recognized me straight away and gave me a hug and said my Japanese was good, which he used to tell me all the time when I could never understand anything he said, as a bean-chan. I had the opportunity to translate the meeting for Sister Egan, the Mission President's wife, and I spent a solid amount of time thoroughly apologizing for how terrible it was. Translating from English to Japanese is no problem, I can understand English well enough that even if I can't translate word-for-word I can understand the meaning or the feeling and then use simple Japanese, but when I'm hearing complicated Japanese and then trying to figure out how to say that in normal English I end up missing the next few sentences, and on goes the downwards spiral to embarrassment and a humbling reminder that I need to improve my language skills. 

There was a couple from Naha (south city in Okinawa) who's daughter is serving in Brisbane. Their daughter met my girlfriend's grandmother - the couple called me a few days earlier asking if I'd be at conference and so when we met up we took a photo together. Interesting connection!

Mission President also paid us a visit during dinner yesterday and we're glad that we spent some time cleaning the morning before, but we cleaned the floor too nicely, and it's super slippery. Someone made the joke that when President came in it almost looked like we were going to be in need of a new President, but he managed to grab on to the chair before he slipped completely over.

This week was hard for a number of reasons, one was the lack of fruits from our efforts. What I mean by that is that we found so many people that would let us come back but when we followed up with them they were either not home or if it were over the phone they said they were busy, many didn't even pick up. For example we had 5 lessons scheduled one day and they all fell through. 

Through this I remembered something my last companion Elder Richards taught us just before he finished his mission - about faith promoting experiences and faith perfecting experiences. All those times we would walk away from a contact feeling the Spirit, feeling joy & excitement, with a return appointment, or just after we had given someone a Book of Mormon or invited them to be baptised, promoted our faith and reminded us of what can come from hard work. Then, this week, when it looked like nothing happened, when we, instead of teaching 5 lessons, knocked on doors all day, had a faith perfecting experience because though we didn't see the fruits of our work, we got out there, we worked hard, we looked for the Spirit in everything, and we continued doing the work of the Lord because we love Him and know this is right. And that is one of the greatest reasons why I'm out here, because I love the Lord (John 14:15, my favourite scripture from Seminary) and want to be here doing this work with Him.

Love this work and love all of you who read this :)

Elder Wheeler

Monday, August 24, 2015

Weekly Running Dendo Mail

Just a quick update today. This week we flew to Fukuoka for Mission Leader Council (MLC) with The President, APs, Sister Training Leaders and other Zone Leaders, got a lot out of it. Later in the week we had Zone Training Meeting and aside from that we've just been out finding - hard. 

My companion is killing me, well maybe killing isn't the right word, but he is certainly pushing me - we are running everywhere, walking has been limited to a p-day activity, we're on the move all the time and I've never been as tired during my mission as I was this week.

We have been trying what we call 'totsuzen other lessons' where we meet someone, ask to share a 5-10 minute message with them, pray to open & to close, and set a return appointment. They have been working really well and it's really interesting to see how much more people open up to us through these totsuzen other lessons in contrast to just talking to people and eventually leading into a Gospel discussion (both are great though!).

I had an experience where after running from house to house we got back on our bikes to the next area we planned on, and I felt so exhausted and kinda crabby, but I remembered what our Mission President said at MLC this week, "I loved just going out and dendo-ing for 10 hours a day, all day, every day, just get out there and work hard," so I kind of told myself to shut up and just work hard, and I remembered the words of the previous Mission President which he told us about 6-7 months ago (before they switched), "You really have no idea how much you are doing." I felt that even though I couldn't see that immediate success as soon as I got on my bike after running everywhere completely exhausted, that it was all worth something and that Heavenly Father was happy with what we were doing. And we didn't get any return appointments or have any particular special experiences that day but I came home feeling tired and fulfilled.

Photos: MTC companion Elder Inagaki & I at Mission Leader Council, group photo from Zone Training Meeting and another Typhoon photo (explanation can't do).