Hello amazing family! I hope you guys are all doing so awesome, it was such a great week here in Urayasu! Today we received our transfer calls, and it turns out Elder Higashi is heading out and I'm staying here in Urayasu! My new companion is actually an Elder who was in my zone back in Urawa, his name is Elder Templin! His family lives in Texas at the moment, but he's actually from Okinawa, and half Japanese! Which makes him my fifth Japanese companion! Haha, hopefully my Japanese is getting a little better by now. ;) But he's such a great missionary, and I'm so thankful for the chance to work with him!
We received the call today from President Budge, and I was really thankful for the kind words he shared with me on the phone. Apparently Elder Templin has been struggling for the past little while overcoming some shyness, that has really affected his work. Apparently he and his last companion had a lot of arguments due to this, and President Budge is really focusing on making sure he feels love and that joy of the work. He told me that as they were praying where to send him, "We thought we should send him to a solid missionary, who is always happy, smiling constantly, and really enjoying the work. Someone we knew he'd love serving with. We thought of you!" I was really so blown away by that, and really so thankful for the kindness of President Budge. He's been such an amazing mission president, and one I feel so thankful to be serving with. Recently they just announced the new Tokyo Mission President, but unfortunately I'll never meet him! My group will be President and Sister Budge's last, and I'm so thankful to have such amazing mission presidents. It seems so insane that I've come down to the last 3 transfers of my mission, but I'm so excited to work hard, and keep giving this work my whole heart and focus! I love being a missionary so much!
As well this week we had the amazing Elder Aoyagi conference, and the interview went so great! Elder Aoyagi was so kind, and we had a really great talk together all in Japanese! We discussed charity, what it really means, and how we can more fully gain it in our lives. We talked about how we can look at others as our brothers and sisters, withhold any form of judgement, and simply love them as the Lord does. As well Elder Aoyagi was so kind and said he could feel that I was a missionary with lots of love for others, and he could feel it as we talked. He as well said I must have really amazing parents, which I told him I do! Haha, I also told him my family is the coolest family out there. :) It overall was such a great experience! From there the conference was just a huge blast, and so many great memories were made. As well I talked with my old companion who was serving as Assistant (except today he got transferred!) Elder Sakamoto, and I just felt thankful for the companions that Heavenly Father really blessed me with serving as a missionary. They've all truly impacted and blessed my life so much, and I'm so thankful for the amazing eternal friends, and examples they have become to me. I love the companions I've been blessed to serve with!
I just want to wish Dad another way way way happy birthday! I'm so sorry I wasn't there again, but I promise I'll be there, or we'll Skype for the next one! I hope you had such an awesome day, and know I was thinking lots about you! You're the most awesome dad ever, and I just want to say thank you so much for the father and priesthood holder example you have been for me. :) I hope you enjoyed the birthday videos! You're the greatest Pops, love you!
Well it sounds like everyone is doing so great! I miss you all so much, but I'm so thankful to know that pretty soon we'll have such an amazing reunion as a family, and I'm so thankful for the chance Heavenly Father has given me to serve as a missionary, and strive to become a better son and brother. I'm so thankful for the changes He has brought into my life, and I'm so excited to keep going forward and strive to become more of the missionary and son that the Lord wants me to be.
I hope you guys all have an amazing week, I'm praying for you by name every day! Thank you again so so much for all of the kindness and love you constantly share with me, and the incredible examples you set. I can without a doubt say I have the most awesome family ever, and I'm so thankful to serve as a missionary and help others see and feel how they can have a family relationship that is the same. I'm so thankful to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the purpose and joy it brings to my life! Thank you guys so much for everything, have an amazing week! The gospel is true, the book is blue, and God loves you!!