Hello amazing family! Hey everyone! It's been another seriously awesome week here in Urawa, and to top it all off today was temple day! It was so awesome to go and be in the temple once again today! Last transfer we actually weren't able to go, but it was really so awesome to go today and feel the Spirit there. :) It was especially super awesome today because I got to see my old MTC companion Elder Turley! He's finally made it to the field, and it was really such an awesome blessing to see him, give him a super big hug, and just spend some time with a good old friend. As well with all the elders at the temple today, it was just such an awesome feeling of being surrounded by your brothers, and it's been a feeling I've been so thankful for these past few weeks. I love being a missionary with all my heart, and I'm so thankful for this amazing chance to share the great message of the gospel, and do all I can to help spread this awesome news. Today during the temple session, my mind was thinking so much about the things I've learned this past year, and I felt such a strong feeling of peace and appreciation for the brothers and friends I have gained here in the country of Japan. Heavenly Father truly does prepare the people we meet in this life, and I'm so thankful for the people in this missionary experience. They've all blessed and changed my life so much, and I'm so excited to just keep going forward and looking for my brothers and sisters out there!
Okay one really awesome somewhat funny story today! Today we were riding the train back, and August in Japan is the hottest month of the year! Basically the train was like a sweat box, and I was finally able to grab a seat next to a young Japanese father and his family. We started talking about the church and volunteers, and what I was doing in Japan as a missionary. He gave me a way nice compliment and said I looked like David Beckham! Clearly the man was using his eyes incorrectly, but I thought it'd be fun to joke around a little bit, and I told him I actually used David Beckham cologne, which makes you smell the way I did! Which wasn't great...but he thought it was funny, and we had a chance to talk about the importance of finding joy in life, and having fun. :) It's the best to be able to now bring some of myself into the Japanese, and I always love joking and having fun while sharing this great message with the Japanese people!
Also this week! I had the chance to meet Nori and Yamaguchi, two 40 year old skate boarders! They've actually been doing this for 17 years or so, and they meet every day after work to skateboard, and have great times with their close friends while boarding. It was awesome to sit down and talk to them more about Heavenly Father and how He gave us those things in life so that we could have joy, and they both said they'd like to hear more of the message! It was awesome skateboard dendo!
I just wanted to say again as well thank you all so much for all of the awesome emails! Your kind words always uplift me so much, and bring me so much confidence and desire to give my all every day. Being a missionary has really shown me the type of family I hope to have one day, and I know I'll be modeling so much of the pattern of our own family into that. I miss you guys a ton, but I'm so thankful for this time to learn and grow, and especially to be here serving the Lord. It sounds like you all are doing so awesome! I was so stoked to hear about all the fun things you're doing, and all the great blessings going on in the family! Whit it sounds like and looks like Seattle was such an awesome trip, and I'm way pumped to hear that the ward hopping was fun! Haha, also Lexa it sounds like you're just having tons of fun in the Bay Area! I love telling some of my companions and friends that you hopped out of Provo, and are now tearing it up in CA! It's definitely your place, and I'm super stoked for Sid! He sounds like someone so prepared by the Lord, and I'm so happy to hear he's making that decision to be baptized! It'll be the greatest decision, and he's truly surrounded by brothers and sisters that love him a ton! :) Actually keep an eye out for a Sister Dorff! She's apparently serving in the San Fran area, and she's the daughter of the stake president here in the Urawa ward! He's the most awesome guy ever, and his family is super great! Tyler as well it looks like you're having such a great time in Utah, and I'm way pumped for when we can ride some bikes together, and spend some awesome time together! Just wanna say I'm sorry about some of those lame arguments in the past man...Definitely wasn't worth and I just want to say I love you ton! You've seriously made such a huge impact on the person I am today, and your decision to serve a mission truly influenced and blessed my life so much, and I'm so thankful to have such an awesome older brother that decided not only to serve, but serve fully, and with all you had, and just be such an awesome example to me. Love you tons man!
Also today I just wanted to send out a quick special note to Mom and Dad. :) Yo I'm coming up on twenty years! How gnarly is that?! I just wanted to say thank you so much for being the most awesome, chill, loving parents in the whole world. :) I've gained kind of a reputation in the mission to always be smiling, Californian Missionary (sometimes called Sunshine, haha) but I seriously owe that attitude all to the home I was raised in. Home was always just a place where there was a lot of laughter, smiling, and so many great feelings, and I'm so thankful for the effort and love that you both put into making home such an awesome place. Thanks so much for everything, I'm really so sorry about some of those days I was so easily upset by such little things, and I'm so sorry for the way I behaved some of those days.. I'm striving every day to become just a little better, and I'm really so thankful for the love and never ending support you always give to me. :) Love you so much!
Next I really wanted to write Mom a more personal note for her awesome birthday!! I can't believe it's already the second one I'm missing, it seems like the first one was just yesterday! I was riding in a car, not understanding anything that was going on, and just thinking about how awesome Mom is! Well, one year later, not much has changed, haha, but I still know and just want to say Mom is the absolute best! Seriously the Mamma of all Moms. :) I'm going to do all I can to prepare something sweet for your birthday, but I just wanted to say thank you so much for all you do Mom. :) You've seriously blessed and changed my life so much, and I'm so thankful for all of the wonderful memories that we have together. Whenever we drove down to Cottonwood together, or just anywhere, I really felt like I could open up and just say anything with know, and I was really never concerned about judgement or anything. I know you would always listen, and always give the best advice. I love and appreciate you more than I can say, but I just wanted to say thank you so much for all you do for me. I love you so much, and you make my heart sing!!
I love you all so much, and hope you all have such an awesome week! I'm always praying for you every day by name, and I'm so thankful for this awesome chance to share the gospel with the people of Japan. This short time has changed and blessed my life in so many ways, and I'm so excited to just keep going forward! Transfer calls are coming up next week, and I'm so excited to go forward into the next transfer! It's going to be such an awesome time, and I'm so excited to keep going forward and strive every day to give my whole heart and soul to this great gospel. I know that the gospel is truly that key to finding true happiness in this life, and I know that before we began this life we were living and loving side by side our Father and Heaven, and we all were so anxious and eager to start the journey, and come to this earth to have these experiences that we are having everyday. I love being a missionary so much, and I'm especially thankful for the awesome friends and family in my life. :) I love this message with all my heart, and I'm so excited to go forward with faith! The gospel is true, the book is blue, and God loves you!!!