Hello amazing family! Wow, I can't believe that in less than 10 days I'm going to be a 20 year old... That is so crazy! Time is really flying by so fast, but this week I'm feeling really so thankful for this incredible chance to be serving as a missionary here in the Tokyo Japan mission. :) Every day is changing my life so much, and I feel so strongly that those little rough edges are being smoothed out, and I'm so excited to keep striving to be the missionary, servant, and son of God that He really wants me to be. This week there were some seriously awesome miracles, and I'm so stoked to talk a little bit about them!!
First off I just want to say thanks so much for being the most amazing family, and always sending such amazing emails that build me up so much. Starting up a new area here near Saitama University and having ten missionaries in the area has been such an amazing blessing, but as well there definitely is that weight of responsibility, and sometimes it's super easy to feel so overwhelmed, but! I can always count on the love from home, and the incredibly kind words that push me forward and keep me striving to be the best missionary I can be. Just want to say thank you all so much, and I really do appreciate it so much. :) I'm so stoked for the birthday package! I know it's going to be so awesome, and I'm so thankful for the time and effort you put in to send me this awesome little piece of home.
It sounds like you guys are all doing super great by way! I'm so stoked to hear Whitney found a super (FASCINATING) job. ;) Haha, no but seriously, it sounds like such a great stepping stone into Seattle! It's all going to pay off so much Whit, just keep it up! I'm so so happy as well for how much you're making Heavenly Father a part of what you're doing. I promise that doing that will bless you so much, and he's really going to show that personal love he has for you. You're an awesome example to me of chasing the things we really want out of life, and you're inspiring me so much with your determination to do what's right, and follow the will of the Lord. So pumped for you! Thanks for all you do, and as always the awesome example you set for me.
Lexa sounds like things are going pretty great as well! Thank you again so much for all you do to help and bless the missionaries in your area, I know that they are so thankful for all of the love and kindness you show to them. As well, I know that as you seek to help out with them, Heavenly Father is going to bless you so much. Missionary work truly is one of the greatest gifts and opportunities we have as members, and I can say from experience, it'll change and bless your life! You're amazing, keep it up! :)
Tyler! Loving the bike, brother. Haha, I'm so excited for when we can ride together next year, it's going to be so awesome! It sounds like things are all going so well, and I'm praying for you every day. Thank you so much for the incredible example you set for me in serving a mission, and just being such an awesome older brother to me. Love you tons, man!
Mom and Dad! Man... Just want to say I love you guys so much. :) Recently in Urawa we've been working a lot with the Hashimoto family, who are an awesome family with so much missionary fire. They actually have a son serving a mission in Kobe Japan, and it's so fun to see how they get so excited to share with us his pictures, emails, and his experiences, and it always gives me a little picture of what it must be like whenever the missionaries come by our house, haha. They remind me so much of our family as well, and Sister Hashimoto is such an amazing cook! Maybe not as good as you, but then again Japanese food and American food are very different. ;) I'm so thankful for the many many times we had the missionaries, and the incredible examples of service you always showed me. In being a Zone Leader I've really had to rely on that example you set for me, and the things that were taught in our home have blessed and strengthened me so much in this time in serving my mission.
This week was pretty busy, but overall so great! We had a Saitama Stake and Tokyo Stake Zone conference, and it was amazing to see 90 missionaries in this awesome Zone Conference! President and Sister Budge gave such awesome trainings on the power of love and charity in missionary work and in life in general. It was such a great opportunity to look at myself, and see more of the helper and more charitable missionary I want to be, but I'm so excited to keep going forward and doing all I can to change and improve each day. Recently I've been studying a lot from President Eyring's recent talk called The Priesthood Man, which talks a lot about the importance of being a Priesthood hero, and I've been learning so much from it. He talked about how we can focus on the three characteristics of the Priesthood hero, which are: a pattern of prayer, a pattern of service, and a rock solid determination to be honest. In focusing in on those three things this weeks, it's been so cool to feel the love of Heavenly Father, and really how striving to have those three characteristics can change so much of our daily attitude. It's been so awesome!
Well, I'm so excited for Urawa this transfer, and to just keep giving this work my whole heart. We're working really hard with our great friend Teshi, and he's looking great! It's been such an amazing blessing serving with Heavenly Father's children every day, and to witness the amazing miracles of this great gospel. I know that the foundations and principles taught in the this great gospel can truly change and bless the lives of all people and help us to realize and feel that we are literal children of our Heavenly Father. That he sent his son Jesus Christ to live and die for us, so that we could overcome all that seems unfair or wrong in this life. I love this gospel so much, and I love being a missionary so much! This short time has truly blessed and changed my life so much, and I'm so thankful for this chance to be serving here in the great country of Japan. Little by little each day I'm feeling more and more the truth that coming to this incredible country was decided long ago. It's a country I've really fallen in love with, and I'm so thankful for the incredible people here. I'm so excited for these next 9 months, and I'm especially so stoked for this coming Christmas! We've been talking a lot lately in the mission about what we will give Christ this Christmas, and I'm so excited to give Him all that I have. I'm so excited and so thankful for this chance to be a missionary, and I'm so thankful for the blessings Heavenly Father has given me every day of this special two years. I love you guys so much, and I'm so excited to keep going forward with faith! I miss you guys a ton especially around this time of year, but I know that pretty soon it's going to be such an awesome reunion, and I know that it's going to be a lot like Alma 27. :) I'm seeking to be a truly humble seeker of happiness! Haha, well anyways, I gotta get running, but I love you guys so much! Have an amazing week, and know I'm praying for you all every day by name! The book is blue, the gospel is true, and God loves you!! Have a gnarly week!