Hello amazing family! Wow, this week has really gone by so crazy fast, but I can't believe I'm going to be 20 in about 2 days! This past year has truly flown by so fast, and I can't believe all of the awesome miracles, and blessings Heavenly Father has given me in this short time. :) It's been such a life changing experience being a missionary, and it's something I'm forever grateful for. This week was pretty awesome, so I'm stoked to write about some of the cool things that happened this week!
A small list of things I've learned in the years of 19-20:
Japanese is still an amazingly complex and difficult language! But man, it sounds way cool. ;)
Cooking is a skill that takes some a lot of time! It's much easier to go to McDonald's.
Humor should never degrade. :)
Heavenly Father truly loves His missionaries.
Friends start seriously getting married at your year mark!
It's easy to remember your investigators, friends, zone members birthdays, but it's actually pretty hard to notice your own!
Being a missionary is one of the most awesome experiences ever.
In all things, be wise, and always wear a smile.
Buying small chocolate bars after a hard day is always a great idea.
Missionaries are the only people besides Mozart who can throw together a music night in less than 30 minutes.
Even though you're 20, you're still a kid at heart.
If you give your whole heart and will to The Lord, He can and will share that incredibly personal love he has for you.
It's still hard to NOT quote The Office as a missionary.
Although some days may leave you super confused and frustrated, being a missionary can bring you closer to your Heavenly Father and brother Jesus Christ than you ever thought before was possible.
Being an adult is gonna be AWESOME.
In all things, you have to have fun and love it!! :)
First off! I just want to say thank you all so much for the personal emails, and the incredible kindness and love you always share with me. I'm really so thankful to be apart of such an amazing family, and I'm really thankful for that love that is always shared in the home. :) It sounds like you guys are all doing way awesome, I'm so excited about all of the awesome things you're doing! Alexa I just want to say thank you so much for that awesome email, it seriously made my day. Love you so much, and I know I say it all the time, but thank you so much for helping and showing that love to the missionaries in your home ward. I know that they truly appreciate all you do for them, and you're storing up blessings for helping and loving them so much. :) Heavenly Father truly does have such a deep love of missionaries, and especially those that are loving and caring for them. Thanks so much for being so awesome.
Whit as well thank you so much for your email too! Wow, those pictures were seriously so pretty, and I'm so happy you're seeing such much good right now, attitude is seriously the key to everything! Just keep it up, and Seattle will be here before you know it!
Tyler, you're the man. :) Just want to say I really love you a ton man, and I just want to say again thank you so much for the incredible example you've always set for me in our years growing up. You've always been that example of humility and diligence to me, and I'm so thankful to have you as my brother. Love you man!
And Mom and Pops. :) I've been doing quite a bit of reflecting on these past 20 years, haha, and I just want to say thank you so much for everything. I really couldn't ask for any more amazing, hilarious, charitable, inspiring, spiritually solid parents. You've always taught me to be the best I can be, and also seek the Lord's will and timing. As well you've always shown me that perfect example of Christ-like love, and it's something I'm really so so thankful for. It's blessed and helped me so much as a missionary, and I'm so thankful to be your son. I'm way sorry about some of the trouble I gave back in the days, but I'm so thankful for the love and kindness you always share with me. At times it can be hard being so far away from you guys, but I know that during this time I'm just going to keep giving my whole focus and heart to this work, and then the reunion will be all the more awesome. I just want to say thank you so much, and know that I'm giving you all the world's most gnarly hug ever through this email.
This week was seriously way awesome! I'm super glad you enjoyed the music night videos! Funny story about that... That was 100% on the spot. Wing it? Yeah. Haha, so for family home evening they wanted to do a music night, and we all thought it would be super fun! Turns out they thought that the missionaries were going to take care of all of it, and we didn't learn this until the night before! It was seriously so intense, but through tons of heavenly help, it ended up being a great success! Lots of investigators came and attended, and the feeling was so great as we all sang songs and felt the spirit of the church together. Elder Shumway and I were talking recently, and we realized that as a missionary anything you set your mind to and work super hard to do well, it always works out! There definitely is a heavenly hand in all things as a missionary, and I definitely felt that at music night! But it was so great, and it was so cool to sing and play in public for the first time.
Other than that the Urawa 10 missionaries and Saitama East zone are looking great! We're just trying to do the best we can every day, and it's been so cool to see and feel the blessings Heavenly Father has been so abundantly giving us here in the Tokyo Japan mission. I feel so thankful every day to be serving here every day, and I'm so thankful for the changes and attributes that I've been really blessed to learn. I love this gospel so much, and I know that it is true. This past we had a YSA sacrament meeting here in Saitama stake, and we were able to attend with our investigator Teshi. President Dorff, the stake president, gave such an amazing talk on the power of the atonement and how it can erase every mistake, and turn every weakness into a strength. And I know that that is so true. I've felt it time and time again here as a missionary, and I'm so excited to keep striving to understand it more and more everyday. I love this gospel and I love this work so much. I'm so excited to be 20 and I'm so excited for these next 10 months out here in Japan! I love this work with all of my heart, and I'm so excited to keep going forward with faith! The gospel is true, the book is blue, and God loves you!!! Have an awesome week!