Monday, August 31, 2009

Our Man in Japan

Dear Family and Friends,

I trust you`re all doing well. The other day in the morning I mentioned to my companion that his hair was getting a bit long. He thought so too so asked if he could borrow my haircutting kit. I helped him out at first but he said he always cut his hair back home and would be fine. I went back to my desk to write in my journal when I heard a shout come from the bathroom. `Oh no. I made a mistake.` I went to the bathroom to see he had cut a patch of hair ridiculously short. He accidentally used the hair clippers backwards... I then tried to fix his hair the best I could. His hair is pretty short right now but it should grow back soon.

What else happened this past week... Some random nice old man in a park gave a Melon bread. Oh yeah, church was canceled this past Sunday in our ward. Some scout troop went up to Mt. Fuji last week but some of them ended up getting sick, maybe with the pig flu and came home. A couple other members may have possibly gotten sick, I don`t know. Anyways we ended up going to the other ward`s sacrament meeting, it`s closer to our apartment anyways.

I was trying to think of pictures to include in the email but I couldn`t think of many so there`s just the before and after shot of my companions haircut as well as the cockroach traps. I hope you enjoy the pictures.Well that`s all I have time for this week. Tomorrow is transfer calls, it`s crazy how short the transfers are.

Take care, love you.

Elder Andrew West

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I feel pretty, oh so pretty....

Sunday night at our house...this is what happens when Rebekah gets hold of a bottle of fingernail polish. Unfortunately for my boys, I don't currently have any fingernail polish remover.
And now we sing....

Monday, August 24, 2009

School is on its way....

...and it's being shipped via UPS.

I hate doing all the paperwork involved in registering a child for school. Hate it. So....when I was getting Danny all registered for high school of course I missed a form. Of course. I finally faxed it in last week. He is now officially registered with WAVA for 9th grade - and his books are on their way. I got the UPS tracking number this morning - by Friday afternoon we should be the proud owners(?) of the 9th grade curriculum.


Our Man in Japan

Dear family and friends,

I`m emailing from this place today

Another week is already over. The summer should hopefully be cooling down pretty soon. I mentioned that a typhoon was maybe headed this way but it ended up going through the north part of our mission. I don`t think they`re that big of a deal, they`re yearly things for this part of Japan. I think the season goes until part way through September.

The cockroach war is still ongoing. We found two crawling around over the past week. I also replaced some of the cockroach traps I had out, there were about 8 cockroaches in the 4 traps I threw away. I also put more back out. I cleaned our back porch this morning because it was pretty filthy, I`m hoping if bugs aren`t living on our porch they won`t come in. We have a few ants that come in occasionally. For some reason I don`t understand they seem to like crawling on the tissues in the tissue box. I went to blow my nose but paused to see what the black specks on the tissue were and realized they were ants...

My bike is alright for the most part. I`ve adjusted to not being able to use gears 5 and 6, and not being able to apply much pressure in gear 7, unfortunately I don`t have a gear 8. I just have a really short year left so I may just let it be.

The language is going fine. I obviously have a lot to learn still but I don`t have any really big problems with it.

Are you finding people to teach? What do you spend most of your time doing - contacting, teaching, working with members? It varies from transfer to transfer and area to area. Right now most of our time is spent finding and then teaching and then every once in a while working with members.

How often do the members feed you and do you like the food? About once or twice a month on average. I like the food for the most part. Except for curry, but I eat it when someone serves me some. It`s not really something I want to bother getting used to. I don`t know why but I just don`t like Japanese curry.

Things are going well and I`m doing good. I hope all of you are doing well too.

Well that`s it until next week.

Take care.
Elder West

Friday, August 21, 2009


I had a dreaded dentist appointment this morning. The dentist (my new one) numbed my mouth, then did a thorough scraping/cleaning. After that she left me for about 10 or 15 minutes to go work on someone else. That reminded me of Dr. Elliot. He used to numb us and then leave us to let the Novocaine wear off. This Novocaine didn't wear off. When she came back she did some drilling and filled cavities (those darn faulty dental genes....).

After the appt. Steve and I headed for home. We live about 30 minutes away...and I needed to use the "facilities" in a bad we stopped at Target. Before I got out of the van I looked in the mirror to see if I had anything on my face - and then I ran my tongue along my teeth. I noticed that the hygienist had left one of those cotton rolls between my gums and my teeth - since I was so numb I hadn't noticed. Steve and I both agreed that we wouldn't want our new dentist to do surgery on us - she might leave something behind.

At Target I got some Junior Mints because I was starving and you don't have to chew Junior Mints....and this all ties together in this clip....

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

How cute are these?

Steve hadn't ever heard of pear tomatoes. At least, that's what he claimed. I had fond memories of eating them as a child. When I saw the plant at the nursery a couple of months ago, I knew I had to have it. They have just starting ripening...I think we'll just eat them straight off the vine. The pear tomatoes are less acidic than their red cousins...and they don't squirt when you bite into them, like cherry tomatoes. Yum.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Our Man in Japan

Dear family,

Another week has come and gone. I hope you`re all doing alright.

Last Monday night after email since my bike didn`t work Elder Imai and I walked to a nearby station to talk with people. When the end of the night came and we decided to catch a train home we discovered that train line was temporarily closed. Further down the line someone had been hit by a train so they were dealing with that. There was also a message saying a Typhoon may be coming and if it did the trains would be closed for that as well. So after about 15 minutes of trying to figure out what to do we finally decided to start walking home, about an hour and a half away by foot. Fortunately we were able to arrange to simply walk to the next station down and borrow the Sister missionaries` bikes.

I did get an old tire from the Mission Office that was in alright condition. I took it to a bike shop and they straightened it for me. Now if I could only get gears 5 and 6 to work...I`m afraid I really don`t have much to say this week.

Elder West.

Did you finish working on the backyard yet?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Beach Bums

This past week Steve, Danny and I went camping and hiking with Tia, Brady and Ana. A good time was had by all. We camped at Sequim Bay State Park. On Tuesday we went to Rialto Beach and Forks. Wednesday we hiked out to the lighthouse on Dungeness Spit (11 mile round trip).

(I think I had my camera settings messed up - sorry for the poor picture quality!)
Steve was having a little fun swinging around a bull whip...I mean seaweed.

Ana was a trooper.

We got to see a variety of wildlife up close...including this adorable baby seal. Later on a couple of female deer and a fawn walked slowly between us....awesome.

All six of us managed to squeeze into the top of the lighthouse. It was a tight fit.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Going to the Dogs

Soooo.....we were waiting in line for the ferry to Kingston.....
...when an officer walks up to us and asks us if we would mind.....

....if he planted some drugs on our van for his dog to find.

He found them. Now I'm wondering if the front of our van still smells like drugs, and if so, should we take it to the car wash and do a little under carriage cleaning?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Our Man in Japan

Dear Family and Friends,

I hope you`re still doing well. I would have emailed last week but we couldn`t email at the regular place last week and I didn`t want to go hunting for a different spot... I let the other Elders do that so I didn`t have to go searching for a decent place.These past two weeks have been pretty good. Though they`ve passed pretty quickly. This transfer is almost halfway over already, it really is going fast.

Let`s see if I can remember what happened since two weeks ago. We had zone conference a week and a half ago. We`re focusing on language study more as a mission now. Not so much spending more time on it, we still only study language 30 minutes in the morning. But making sure everyone is using their time effectively and practicing outside of language study time. The main points of it are reading 1 page out of the Japanese Book of Mormon out loud daily, 2-3 for older missionaries. Studying one kanji a day in order to read the Book of Mormon more fluently. Practicing speaking Japanese with your companion. And studying grammar. I`m doing alright on those at the moment, hopefully I can keep it up. The other focuses of conference were teaching skills and inviting people to church.

Besides that we`ve been doing a lot of walking. My bike got hit by another bike and the back wheel is bent out of shape. We carried the bike home and have been walking since, every once in a while we take the train when we need to. I should get a used back wheel from the Mission Office tomorrow.

Nobody`s been asking questions recently so I`m out of stuff to write about I think.

Elder Andrew West

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Some people might consider tents and sleeping bags a high priority for a camping trip. For others it could be the food or the firewood. Maybe an air mattress or cot...

Since we're going camping Monday morning, today is the day for us to pack. I made up a menu with Tia...I don't have to buy any groceries - it's all down in my "bunker". We have plenty of camping gear (5 boys + 1 husband + Scouts = beaucoup camping gear). I need to finish up laundry before I gather up clothes - I have one load left to do.

That left my morning free to download some new itunes and create a new play list ("car tunes").

And now we dance....

...and dance....

...and dance...while we drive.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Ready or Not Here We Go Again....

This summer is nickle and diming me to death. A few days here....then home for a week or so...then a few days there.....then home for a week or get the picture. It seems that I just get the laundry done from one excursion, then it's time to pack again.

This Monday is the last of those...we're going camping with Tia - over on the Olympic Peninsula. I'm looking forward to it - really I am - I love our yearly camping trips together. Usually we head down to Oregon, but this year Tia is coming up. So that means less of a road trip for us, right? Well...sort of. If you don't count waiting for ferries and taking a ferry ride, it's a lot shorter.

I need to download some new tunes...we've done so much travelling that I'm heartily sick of my current play list...

We need to sing-a-long to something different....

What are you listening to in your car?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Day at the Beach.

I love the beach at Oswald West State Park. Not only do I like the name, I like the hike to the beach, I like the fact that it has flush toilets down near the beach, and I love to watch the surfers not surfing. The water temperature is a tad chilly off the Oregon coast, so all of the surfers (and surfer wannabes) have to don black wetsuits before heading out. A good time was had by all...until they got home and examined their sunburns. Nathan had limited cell phone reception.
Alex and Sterling enjoying the view.

Nathan getting spun around by the tide.

Danny, Ana and Laura....

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Word of the Day

(-fěn'ĭ-strāt') tr.v. de·fen·es·trat·ed, de·fen·es·trat·ing, de·fen·es·trates
To throw out of a window.

As in:

In a discussion during dinner I mentioned to my husband that he isn't allowed to die before me. I threatened to dig him up and defenestrate him if he did.