Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Our Man in Japan

Dear Family,

I mentioned how there was the sewage problem last week. That wasn`t in the apartment, it was in the church. To be honest I`m a little grateful for that because no one had to stay in the church and deal with the smell. The carpet in front of the toilet was replaced so it`s fine again, even if they never did find the problem. The assumption is something was stuck in the pipes but then went down.

Thanks for sending the rules for Go. I ended up playing a game with an old man, I sort had an idea of how it worked. But I wasn`t quite sure on all the rules so I kinda felt like I was just randomly placing stones on the board with no idea of what I was doing which wasn`t far from the truth. I ended up with less than 0 points :P.

We had Branch Family Night this last Friday. We made soft tacos together. I made a lot of tortillas from scratch because they`re not sold in Japan for the most part (As far as I know). It turned out good. Everyone had fun and it was the first time most of them have eaten tortillas, taco meat, and salsa (The salsa was from Costco).

We ordered a new set of CDs for Sacrament and a new CD player so that we don`t have to worry about the music skipping. They`re both pretty old I think.

We`re teaching a man called Nagai the lessons. We met him around the beginning of the month and invited him to church. He ended up coming on the 21st and yesterday as well. We`re meeting with him again tomorrow. He`s a really good person and really has been searching for the truth. He reminds me of D&C 123:12 For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it—

Well I think that`s all for this week. Take care of yourselves.

Elder Andrew West.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Our Man in Japan

Dear Family,

*Gurgle Gurgle* went the toilet. I went to see what was the matter and to my surprise sewage was spewing out from under the toilet onto the floor. It kept coming and made it`s way to the carpet even. I threw some random rags at the flow to little or no avail. After about 30 seconds it stopped. Alas it was too late the floor around the bathroom was soaked in sewage and it smelled pretty bad. We called the apartment owner and he came over and couldn`t find out what had gone wrong. They dug a hole behind the toilet the next day but didn`t find anything. Anyways it`s working fine now so... They replaced the carpet this morning. I had to clean the bathroom.

Anyways, how are all of you? Good I hope. Despite having to make a hour long bike ride to email today I think this email will be pretty short. There`s not much else to write about.

I decided to go to BYU-Idaho, and will be starting in the Fall semester. My major will be Computer Science. I`m not sure what to do about continuing Japanese yet. I may have to study on my own, it would be cheaper I guess.

Elder West

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Our Man in Japan

Dear family,

You all sound like you`re doing good. We`re doing pretty good over here as well.

Probably the most amusing thing that happened this week involved me arm-wrestling a trio of drunk old men...

We went back to visit the half-drunk old man we came across on March 1st, I was hoping he wouldn`t be drunk this time. No such luck. As we approached the door to his tiny apartment we heard a bunch of voices inside. We opened the door and after a few seconds they invited us in and offered us a drink. They were having some neighhood lunch party with some beer. We told them we didn`t drink and then they noticed I was a foreigner. They decided they wanted to greet me in a Japanese style which they said was arm-wrestling. I beat the first guy, but lost to the second, and the third one beat me by using his body. I talked to them a little bit after that to keep their attention on me while my companion talked with a lady who wasn`t drunk and invited to church and gave here a Book of Mormon. She mentioned she believed in prophets but her church didn`t have one. We left right after that.

I played Shogi for my first time this past week. It`s fun but I`m used to chess so I made a few bad moves because I`m not used to how the pieces move.

I had a short phone conference on Saturday morning with the Elders who came to Japan at the same time as me. It was good talking to all of them again.

So is going to Granite Falls for church a temporary thing? Are they building a church on the hill? And if so is that where you`ll end up going?

I really don`t have a lot to write this week. Take care until next week.
Elder Andrew West.

This is from BYU-Idaho, I guess is I go it`s the Fall/Winter track. I do know Idaho is cheaper, but its Japanese program seems pretty limited, I`d just have to study it on my own. Anyways I`m not really thinking about it too much until I know whether BYU is a choice at the moment. Which track are Nathan and Rebekah on? I assume winter and ???

Thursday, March 11, 2010

CSI Marysville

I have to admit to a guilty pleasure.  I like CSI (the original is the only one that I've watched).  It's fascinating to watch the "scientists" piece together a crime.  When real crime scene investigators came to my neighborhood yesterday, I was not entertained at all.

Yesterday afternoon we had an "incident" that rocked our neighborhood. There was no crime involved - it was purely an unfortunate accident.  I was on my way home from the store when a police officer stopped me  - because my street was blocked off.  I sat and waited for about ten or fifteen minutes wondering what had happened just half a block in front of me.  There was a fire truck, 2 ambulances, and about half a dozen cop cars.  I'm pretty sure that constitutes the entire law enforcement and most of the emergency response vehicles in our town.  The officer finally came down to say that the aid car would be leaving shortly, as the life-flight helicopter had landed (where did it land?? I have no idea).

I was able to get home - passing several neighbors who were out on the sidewalk.  My next door neighber was in tears - it turned out that a 10 year old girl who was riding her bike got hit by a nice lady that lives down the street.  My neighbor was partly in shock over that, and also because her two little boys had been riding bikes just a few minutes before that and for a moment she thought that one of her sons had been hit.

These two families are in our prayers...the one with the critically injured little girl and the one that accidently hit her. 

Give your kids a hug and then lecture them sternly on bike safety. 

Drive carefully.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Our Man in Japan

Check out President McIntyre's blog - that's where I snagged these pictures.

Dear family,

It took me forever to get logged onto email this week. I`m sad to say it took me forever to figure out the problem. I was just pressing enter to login like normal. For some reason I needed to actually click on the login button.

Well what happened this last week... On Wednesday we woke up early and went to Wakayama (4 1/2 hours away) for an exchange. The exchange was pretty good, I was with Cutler and we biked around Wakayama city there were a decent amount of people around. I love Shingu but I sort`ve miss there being lots of people to talk with. We spent a little bit talking with some skateboarders and one of them came to English Class in the evening which was good. We also set up an appointment with someone else. The Tanabe Elders also came up to spend the night in Wakayama so we had 6 of us in the apartment.

On Thursday we woke up early and went to East Osaka for zone conference. It was pretty good, as always. There`s a tradition for missionaries on their last transfer to bear their testimonies at the end of Zone conference. It`s always good. Though it`s a little strange as the missionaries heading home are ones that didn`t come in that much more before me. After Zone conference we headed back and spent the night in Tanabe.

On Friday we woke up early (For the third time in a row) and headed home finally.

I wrote a lot in my journal this past week but not much I`m going to email.

As far as BYU goes, I still don`t know about BYU yet, and I don`t know which track for BYU-I it would be yet.

I`m out of time for now sorry.
Take care,
Elder West

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Have Sawzall, Will Prune

They talk a lot about deforestation in the rain forests.  Sure, but what about closer to home?

Steve decided it was time to tackle the aspen tree that is too close to the house.  It rubs against the roof when the wind blows, and we lost a couple of shingles over the past winter. 

Safety first!  Steve has a lovely purple rope tied around his mid-section - I think the other end was tied to the ladder on the back deck.  Let's just say I'm glad he didn't need to rely on it.  Alex is up on the roof with no rope.  Hmm...I'm happy to say they both survived this round with the tree.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Tunnel of Love

I asked Danny what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday.  His answer?  "Tunnel of Love".  Yup.  That's officially going to be our family name for the Tunnel of Fudge cake recipe.  (btw - even though the recipe calls for nuts, it worked fine without...since Danny doesn't care for nuts in cakes)