Monday, May 4, 2009

Our Man in Japan

Dear Family and Friends,

I hope things are going well for all of you still. I`ve been transferred to Mikunigaoka. It`s still in the Osaka area. I`ve been near the center of the mission for all my time so far. I expect to be here until at least August but we`ll see.

As far as Mother`s Day calls go it`s pretty simple. You`ll call me on Sunday at 6 PM Pacific time (Probably 10 AM my time). The phone number is 080-****-**** which is a cell phone number, I don`t know how that affects things on your side.

This past week has been fairly good. The trip to Kyoto last Monday was nice. We visited the former Kyoto Imperial Palace. We went with a few English Class students and a few other missionaries. The weather was wonderful. The Palace itself was interesting and nice but the gardens there were wonderful. I probably won`t bother going back again though. It`s one of those one time things to me. On the way back we hopped our way across the river on some rocks, it was a nice place. I got some good pictures of the palace and gardens but we were the last group going through and the workers there were herding us like sheep through everything so not quite as many as I would`ve liked. :P.

On Tuesday transfer calls came and I spent most of the day packing and shipped off my luggage that evening. On Wednesday we went to some Osaka stake Undokai (Exercise Event) which was pretty good. Lots of people came thankfully and the weather was good... a little too good. Elder Bahr and Elder Murphy got a little sunburned.

On Thursday I headed off to Mikunigaoka. Once again I`m in a 4 missionary apartment. There`s really not that many in the mission I hear, but I couldn`t say for sure since this is my third 4-man apartment. They`re more interesting and fun for better or worse, and get messy really quickly if you`re not careful.

My new companion is Elder Stufflebeam. He lived in California till he was 14 and then his family moved to Utah. He goes home in July of this year. We`ve set some goals together that are going well so far. One of goals is to speak only Japanese except for a few special instances. We`ve also been getting up at 6 AM and jogging about a mile or so. We also managed to read from the Japanese Book of Mormon together for 30 minutes before personal study time a couple times so far.

The other Elders in my apartment are pretty good too. Elder Kunihiro (Japanese) and Elder Obata (From Brazil). Elder Obata studied some English back in Brazil but couldn`t really speak at all but his English is pretty much fluent now. He`s learned it pretty well on his mission, well enough to teach English Class. He also speaks really good Japanese as well. Anyways they`re a couple of good missionaries. Elder Kunihiro is a really good cook, I think he used to work at an Italian/Western restaurant of something.

The ward here, as always, is really good I think. The ward mission leader just got back from his mission a month or two ago so he`s been pretty helpful.

Thanks for sending the letters and emails I appreciate them. Yes my Visa card was in the package. I was wondering if you had activated it or not, it`s good to know that you have. I was able to open the picture of your new garden and it looks really nice. Way to go. :)

Things are going well here and should only continue to get better. I guess that`s it till next week.


Elder West

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