Sunday, June 7, 2015

Last post! The End....

Wow.... This is it, the last email. Never saw this coming. When I started this mission I never thought the end would come. It wasn't bad, two years just felt like an infinite amount of time. But dang, did that go by fast. I have spent a lot of time this last week reflecting on my past areas, past companions, past members, past investigators, past memories, the good times and the bad. It's been a roller coaster of a two years, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I know that my mission has been perfect for me. Every experience, every area, every person, has been just what I needed at just the right time to grow and become the man my Father in Heaven wants me to be. I've learned so much, and I can't even begin to describe all of it in one email. This has been an incredibly surreal week, and a great one to end on. We've had lots of fun, and we've had lots of good times with the members here. They threw a farewell party on Friday that we invited lots of investigators to, and had a great time. We had dinner with the bishop and his wife last night, which was great. He is stinking one of my favorite people. Gave me lots of good advice about life, marriage and what not. And at church, I went to the young women's class instead of gospel principles.  Elder Skinner and I got asked to bear our testimonies and share an experience about the priesthood, that was a blast. And now today, we are going to asahikawa for the flipping third time. Haha! So much travel this transfer, it's been crazy.
    I've really felt the sweet presence of the Holy Ghost this week, comforting me and pressing me to keep going to the end. And telling me that the lord is, happy with my work. Particularly yesterday while taking the sacrament, I was praying, and I just had the most overwhelming feeling of gratitude and love for the lord, and for my mission. I probably looked pretty silly, crying up on the front row.
Hehe. This really has been the greatest two years of my life. I've been able to prepare for the rest of my life in ways I never could've imagined. I love the Lord. He is my Savior. I love my Heavenly Father.
And I so desperately want to return to them for eternity with those I hold dear and near to my heart. This church is true. It is inspired of God, and led by his prophet.
   I know. I really do know. I can't wait to see all of you again soon. Leaving Japan and my Japanese people will be the hardest thing to do, but I know that this has to be. Thank you for all of you're undying support and love for these two years. I love all of you.
   With all my love, 

       Elder Dialogue

Monday, June 1, 2015

Japan week #94

This was another great week! We were busy, and this upcoming week is going to be even more busy.
  Last Monday Elder Israelsen and I went on splits, and went south to the boonies of Ebetsu, and found the coolest forest and hiking trails, and a flipping baseball stadium! And it was open! So we got to go and throw a couple pitches. Haha! But we had a really fun day, and a member in the ward fed us that night, which was very nice and fun.
   On Wednesday we took an hour and a half long train ride to a place called Takikawa to go teach English since its two Japanese elders only. And that was really fun too! The branch president came and picked us up at the train station, and fed us dinner, was very nice of him.
   Friday we got to do some good dendo and then went and played soccer with one of our investigators and some of his buddies, which was a BLAST. We got to build a much better relationship, and meet some other really cool kids. And then we all went to a tenpura place for dinner, which was super good. And it made for a really fun day.
   And that was about it for this week. I cannot believe that I am starting my very last week of dendo... We are CRAZY busy with dinners, and investigators, and parties, and activities, and all sorts of other stuff. Should be crazy fun, but busy, and too fast. Time to rock the last week. This is it. I love you all, talk to you soon!

  Love, Mike

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Japan week #93

This week was a crazy week. It feels like it's been months since last pday. Feels like lots has happened, but really not too much happened.
  Last Monday we went to a place called Fireburg for lunch. I mentioned last week that we were going to lunch with our investigator that randomly comes to church, but won't tell us his name, that kid.  But anyways, we went to Fireburg, and at Fireburg, they have a food eating challenge. It's four pounds of meat, spaghetti, fries, and rice. And elder israelsen and I decided to give it a go! And that was a mistake... I feel like I could have put down all the food, but it was just disgusting. The meat was burned, the fries weren't cooked all the way, the rice was meh, and it was just not good. The meat was making me sick... So we failed, and it was embarrassing. But it was fun, and we had a good time. 
    This week we got to see lots of potential investigators, and made some of them into new investigators! Which was nice! Also got to meet some crazy nice new people, like an old woman that said that Christ is the best, and that he showed love to the whole world, even though she has no idea whom Christ is. It's been that kind of a week.
   And last Thursday, we met Y San, and was able to teach him a lesson, and made a baptismal date with him!! It was really good, and we're so happy that he's made the commitment. I'm so gosh dang grateful that the end of my mission has been so stinking blessed.
We've been working hard, being obedient, and the lord has been keeping his promises.  I have a testimony of that more now than I ever have before.
   Thanks for all of your support and love, love you all, and I can't wait to see you all soon!

  Love, Mike

Friday, May 22, 2015

Japan week #92

 One more week down... And boy was it fast! We had a crazy fun week, with lots of craziness... First off, pday was a blast. There is a big memorial tower in atsubetsu, about a thirty minute bike ride for us here in ebetsu, and it flipping looks like the isengard tower from lord of the rings! :P It's pretty stinking awesome so we went and spent some time up there. There's lots of walking trails too, so we had a blast walking and pics and what not. Even took a music video on one of the walking paths, be excited! :P haha!
  And then we had a zone conference in asahikawa.... Again... So we caught our train on Wednesday and headed up there. It was cool, and president gave some good workshops, but I didn't get as much out of it as I could've because of elder numano. He woke one morning last week with stroke like symptoms, like, his face is half paralyzed, and he's pretty sick. So I was trying to make him feel better the whole time, since we're super tight, and he's one of my favorite companions. So for that reason I didn't get too much out of conference, but I feel like the time was still well spent. Elder numano went home with a smile, so I feel that my mission was accomplished. There's only so much I can do with with the time I have left.
   And the with the rest of our week we got to dendo hard! Had some good teaching opportunities, got to talk to lots of people, and we're able to bring an investigator to a members house last night for dinner, so things are looking great here! We also got to see our baptismal date investigator, and he's just stays stinking awesome as ever! Making good progress! We also have this weird kid who's an "investigator" now... He came to church last week just randomly, but he's not normal, I think he has some crazy social anxiety issues... He won't tell us his name or anything, or what he does, and he isn't super interested in hearing anything about the church, he just came to church for who knows what reason. And he came again this week! And it was the same way... We're going out to lunch with him today though, so hopefully we can make some progress with him, and figure out if he even needs baptism or not. But he's a nice kid :) and I love him.
    Thanks for all you're support everyone!! Love you!

    Love, Mike

 Sapporo Temple
Sapporo Temple

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Pictures from March and April

Japan week #91

Hey everyone, it's been another great week! Elder skinner and I have been working way hard, and we've had lots of opportunities to teach, which has been incredible. We had zone training meeting on Tuesday, my very last one of my mission.  We rode a three hour train to asahikawa and spent the night in the same place we did last transfer, suehiro. And ztm was really good. I was asked for my last testimony to give my words of wisdom. They gave me twenty minutes to just talk about what I wanted to so I did. Before my testimony we sang because I have been given much, and I was bawling like a baby, and then my testimony started and I was still crying. But it was good. I got it together, and I ended up talking about work, comp relations, and putting your heart into the work, and it was wonderful. Bearing testimony is really the best thing in the world. I don't wanna ever stop.
   And then we also had a bbq with the ward, and had lots of investigators show up, and it was wonderful! Really was a great week, we also got to meet our baptismal date kid this week, and it was epic! He's such a dang kinjin! Have a great week! Bye bye!

    Love, Mike

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Japan week #90

Hey! This was a great week, honestly, nothing really happened. We had transfers, but that was pretty uneventful for elder skinner and I, we're staying together for my very last one! Which is exactly the blessing I wanted! We've been working super hard, and seeing lots and miracles, and so I didn't want to change it up for my last transfer.
We have some crazy goals, and we're going to be working way hard. I am not even close to be being trunky, and I don't think I'll have any problems at all. It honestly doesn't rally feel that much different.
The only thing that I really feel is different is my sense of its do or die. I've always had that, but the closer you get to the end, the stronger it gets. And I'm so happy that I get to die with my dendo sons. Elder Horne is now my zone leader, and my second son is still my comp so, this is going to be a great transfer! Looking forward to a great one! Love you all!


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Japan week #89

This has been a great week to end a marvelous transfer! We have transfer calls tomorrow, and I'm not excited at all. I don't think elder  skinner and I are going to switch, and I don't want to have another companion! I would love to have him end my mission with me!
We've seen so many dang epic miracles, and we've both grown so much this transfer, it would be the biggest blessing to be able to work to the end with him...
 But! This week was a blast! On Tuesday we had dtm as per usual, but president and sister nakatsuka came! We had interviews with president nakatsuka after dtm, so they came and participated in dtm with us, and it was a blast! It was probably my last interview with president before my LAST one in the mission home before I go home so... It was kinda intense. But not really.  He just asked me how I was, how dendo was, and if I had any questions. And when we were done talking about that he asked me a few questions about the mission and what I think could be done to improve it, and then it was over! It took all of fifteen minutes. Everyone else was taking like, 30+ minutes. And so while I was waiting for everyone else to finish up, I hung out with sister nakatsuka, and we talked about what all Japanese older women talk about! Girls and marriage! It was way fun. :P she was like, you got any one you've got your eyes on? Any plans? And the she talked about marriage and gave me some great  motherly advice. Haha! Gotta love my second dendo mom! Love her to death!
  And then on Friday, I had splits with elder Suzuki. You might remember him from when I was zone leader in atsubetsu. I went on splits with him then, and now he's my dl so we got to go on splits again, and he was super nervous, because I was zl back in the day. But I assured him I was way happy for the opportunity, and we had a GREAT day! Saw a ton of miracles, and got to teach lots of lessons! It was super fun, and we were just goofing off and working hard. And by the end of the day he was saying how badly he wanted to be my companion. It was a great day, and I sure love elder Suzuki! And that's basically it. The rest of the week was awesome, but nothing super special to report! Thanks for all your love and support!

Love, Mike

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Japan week #88

Hey everyone! This has been quite the crazy week. We have seen some crazy cool miracles, and had lots of fun this week.
We had ztm on Friday, and, you guessed it...iPads. Woooo...  I'm not sure how much time I want to invest into it since I have NO time, But whatever... It's ???????! Getting to ztm was a nightmare though. We had to travel to asahikawa which is about a two and a half hour train ride from ebetsu, and no one told us our travel plans, or the money situation or anything, so since I'm the oldest missionary in our area I was nominated to figure it all out. So Thursday was all phone calls and stress figuring out how I was gonna get $300 together, but it worked out and we all made it to asahikawa safely and on time. We stayed in the suehiro elders apartment which was WAY nice! It's one of the nicest apartments in the mission, so that was nice. haha!
   But aside from ztm, we had a GREAT week. We were really blessed, and had some epic miracles. We met our investigator H San on Tuesday, and taught him one of the most intense lessons I've taught in a long. It was literally the make or break it lesson. He was thinking about self dropping, and not seeing us anymore, and we had planned that lesson to invite him to baptism. And so when we invited him, he was way taken back, and got almost...mad at us. It was intense. And at first he said no. That he wouldn't make a baptismal date, and so we talked about it, and about what would be holding him back, and in the end, we made a baptismal date with him for the sixteenth of May!
We're super happy, and so dang excited! He also came to church this week. So he's going very well. We unfortunately can't meet him this week so at sucks but... Not much we can do about it.
   And we went to go teach our college student investigator sato K last night, and had an INCREDIBLE lesson. We did some Book of Mormon follow up, and talked a bit about our purpose in this life. And then we talked about Christ and how we believe in him and have faith in him and then talked about why. Taught the atonement, faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the Holy Ghost, and we invited him to also be baptized, and he said yes! His date is for the Fourth of July, and it's way strong. He really wants to know if this true, and he wants something in his life that has more meaning than what he has right now... He's incredible. Th spirit was so strong, and when I was testifying about receiving my testimony, and about how he can have the same experience, I was just blown away by how strong the spirit was.
This work is so true!!
   And aside from that, we just had lots of dendo and lots of fun times! I can't believe this transfer is already over! Basically...
Just one more week and then transfer calls. And in just five weeks we have received so many blessings in helping this area flourish. 
    Have a great week! I love all of you!!

   Love, Mike

Monday, April 13, 2015

Japan week #87

So this was another great week! Elder Skinner and I are killing it! Teaching lots of lessons, finding LOTS of new people to start teaching, and it's been glorious. We were worried about not having lots of time to work this week, because of conference, some stupid ipad online courses thing, :P and bicycle maintenance. But we got our work on, and we busted out some great times. No super cool stories really, but just lots of hard honest work, which has been wonderful. :) I LOVE working like this for this's the single greatest experience. :)
  We FINALLY got our bikes back on Wednesday this week. My poor baby was HAMMERED from the missionary that had to temp use we got our bikes, and spent two hours or so fixing them all up. I had a couple spokes that I needed to tighten, a punc that needed some work, I had to tighten up some breaks, and a host of other junk, and then do it for all the other elder's bikes since they didn't know how to do it on their own. :P Turns out I had a HUGE piece of glass in my front tire...thanks other elder! >.> And had to replace the tire, so I found a nice tire for 25 bucks, put it on myself to save some cash, and after greasing up all the unseemlies, she's working great! :) Not as cool as motorcycle maintenance but...made me feel good to work on even just a bicycle. :P
  General conference was also amazing. Spiritual highlight as always, and it blows me away that it's my last one as a missionary. My how the time flies.
  And that's about it! We are getting ipads on the 17th, this Friday, so that'll be crazy. Not excited for it, at all, but whatever. :P I'll get used to using it after a month and a half, and then come home... いいんじゃない. Love you all, thanks for all your support!

 Love, Mike 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Japan week #86

This has been another incredibly amazing week! We have been working our BUTTS off, and we've been reaping in the blessings. We were about to increase our teaching pool again by about 4 people, and we're looking forward to working with all of these new people! We have a few people that we're planning on inviting to baptism this week, so that'll be epic! Hopefully we can make some baptismal dates, and start getting people progressing in the right direction faster!
   Nothing too crazy happened, no super crazy stories or anything, but we did have one really sad experience. We met a lady called N San last week, I think I wrote about her in my email, but we went to go visit her, and it felt like we were fighting with nail and tooth for her salvation. We met her, and she said that she had read some of the Book of Mormon, but that when her JW friends found out, they got SUPER pissed, and were yelling at her to burn it, and not talk to us, and all sorts of stuff. And so they super scared her away from us, and so during the 15 minutes we got to talk to her, it was GAME TIME. We were bearing hard testimony, and doing everything we could ot not lose her. Elder Skinner and I have high expectations for her, and we met her under such coool circumstances, so we don't want to lose her. But nothing we said could deter her, and she doesn't want anything to do with us anymore. We said at a future point we'd come back one more time, and if she still felt the same, we'd leave it at that, so we can still go see her one more tie, but we were crushed. In this work, you get the greatest happiness, and the greatest sadness, its nuts. And that was more or less our week.
  I'm looking forward to watching general conference next week! Can't wait! :D
 Elder SKinner and I are having a BALL, and we're loving each and every single day. The work is amazing, and I'm so dang happy, everyday. :) This is true. I know it, and I will not, cannot deny it. :) Have a marvelous week, my prayers are with you!

 Love, Elder Dialogue

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Japan week #85

I don't have much to write about this week, seeing as how it's only been like, 4 days but, it's been an INCREDIBLY AWESOME four days. :D Elder Skinner and I are getting along like non other, we're working till we drop dead every day, and the miracles are already coming. In this first week we put out better numbers than Elder Skinner and his previous comp's max from last transfer, so Elder Skinner is on a high. We are just rocking it up out here, and we're seeing the blessings coming from working with this kind of energy. :)
   We did meet one particularly cool lady who is a SUPER strong potential investigator. We are going back to see her again this week, so we're super excited. We were trying to find some former investigators around where she lived, but I messed up the addresses, and we were in the completely wrong area, but we had no idea. But it led us to find her! We were walking, and she was just standing outside of her house, in the cold, with just a long sleeved shirt on, watching the forest. And we ask her where we're at, and it turns into an hour long lesson. :) She told us about how when she looks at the trees, and hears the birds, and ponders nature, that she feels like there has to be a God, and that this all wasn't an accident. But though she feels like she knows that God exists, she doesn't know what he wants her to do, and she doesn't know what she should do to be closer to him, so we bore hard testimony, and gave her a Book of Mormon. Elder Skinner and I were walking away, and I said to him, 'that's the single greatest mistake I've ever made.' And we both laughed, swung our arms around each other, and walked away, two super happy missionaries. :) That's been this week. The Spirit, sweet experiences, and flipping JOY, working the vineyard of the Lord. I love it, and I love you! :D
 Love, Mike

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Japan week #84

Hey everyone! This has been a GLORIOUS week. :) I have been transferred! And because of a big ipad training meeting we had on Monday the 23rd, we transferred late, and that's why I'm emailing today. I have been transferred to an area about thirty minutes from Shiroishi, called Ebetsu. Just a small little community that sits on the outskirts of Sapporo, and there is NOTHING here. :) I love it! It reminds me quite a bit of Otofuke, but just a tich bit bigger. So it's obviously not a very exotic area, but dang do I love it! :) My new companion is Elder Skinner, on transfer two. So I am his new trainer! Which is WAY dang cool! The funny thing though, is that his name is very misleading. He's Japanese. :P He's a half, Dad is American, but he's lived in Japan his whole life, and although he can speak English, his Japanese is much better, and much more natural. So it's a weird situation, but we get along DANG well. :) He is a VERY dedicated missionary, and wants to be super strict and obedient and WORK. Which is my life so... :D We're going to have a great transfer. ;) HAHA!
    I got to Ebetsu Monday afternoon, and we've been working our butts off, and it's been great. We don't have any investigators right now, which seems to have been the pattern for my whole mission. :P I always go to areas that need investigators. I love the area, I love the members, and I have a drive, and a fire, and a passion to work and do all I can in a way that I've never felt before. I have SO MUCH desire to put EVERYTHING I have on the streets these last two transfers, and come back home in a body bag. :) Cannot wait to see how these last two go. I am no longer ZL, and I'm not a DL either. I am just a trainer, ready to work. When Elder Skinner and I had our first weekly planning session I was telling him about what we were going to do this transfer, and about what I'm feeling, and he was like, 'What kind of missionary are you? I LOVE IT!' So we're DANG excited to work together. :)
   My last week in Shiroishi was very good, and very sad. I have LOVED that area, and I miss everyone in it so badly. Since we had a week before transfers I was able to say goodbye to lots of people, and that was nice. They will forever be a part of me, and I can never forget the great time I spent there. :)
    I love this work, I love Japan, and I love what I have learned, and am learning. I know that this is EXACTLY where I need to be, and I wouldn't trade this for ANYTHING in the world.
  I love you all, and cannot wait to see you all soon! :)

 皆様への愛を込めて、Elder Dialogue

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Japan week #83

This has been a crazy week! We have had NO TIME in our own area, since we had splits, and meetings, and all other sorts of craziness. I keep thinking I'm gonna get time to work in my area, but it just doesn't work out that way. :P this has been such an incredibly busy transfer, and now it's over, feels like it's only been a week. Can't believe it! We had a busy beginning of the week with District Training Meetings, and Stake Mission meeting. Since we're the zl's, we were invited to attend, and talk with the stake leaders about the work in the surrounding areas, and talk about how we think we can move forward better with the members and what not. It was way cool! It's my second time attending it! 
  I also had my temple recommend interview with President Nakatsuka this week. Can't believe it's already been that long! :P 
    And then on Friday, we had a fun day of splits....a VERY exciting day of splits. During personal study, my split companion gets a phone call from President Nakatsuka, asking if he can come dendo with us today. :P So we ended up just working with pres all day. We did LOTS of housing, and had one lesson, and it was a BLAST. Freaking President Nakatsuka is SUPER good at dendo, and it was a blast getting to spend so much time with him in such an organic normal situation. It was super cool. AND SUPER out of nowhere. We were freaking out after the phone call ended. Dendoing with Kaicho...nerve wracking, but dang did I learn so much! :) 
  And then this sunday I was able to go a broadcast of Elder Russel M. Nelson speaking from Tokyo! Was way great, and he was super bold to the Japaense members, talking about now is the time to step up our game, and just testifying hardcore. :) LOVED it. At one point he asked all the full time missionaries, where ever they were, to stand up and show ourselves to the members. And it was way cool. :) And that was our week!
 This trasnfer has been unbelievably fast, and I can't believe that it's over...Calls are tomorrow, and then I 've only got two trasnfers left until this is over....Can't belive it. I've loved every second of it, and I can't wait to slay the rest! :D Love you all so much! Thanks for your constanst  support!

 Love, Mike

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Japan week #82

 This week has been NUTS. We had lots of meetings, training, and other craziness. Had a bunch of elders basically spend the week with us for all of was nuts! I had three comps of mine the same apartment! ;) It was way fun! Got to party hard with Elders Dobashi, Kojima, and Strachan! Had a great time!  
   Elder Ringwood from the Asia area North Presidency came and had a workshop. Which was  a blast! It was such a spiritual highlight of this week, and dang is he so cool! He's a way smart guy, and SUPER funny. Had a great time talking about teaching, and about how to be happy while dendoing. It was super great. :) And then we had our mission leader conference as per usual. We were with President from 8 to 5!!! PHEW! Elder Dobashi and I came home and died. :P We were EXHAUSTED from it! 
   And that was basically it for this week! Going to go play ball today for pday with some other missionaries, so that should be a blast! :D 
 Have a  great week! LOVE YOU ALL!

 Love, Mike 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Japan week #81

This has been a pretty uneventful week. I have no idea where the time's crazy how fast it goes! I do not like it! I wish the time would slow down, and that I could do more but, this is always how it goes, right?
  We had one huge miracle this week. Remember Y San from last week? Well, she came to church yesterday! :D She was only able to come for the first two hours, so she missed the best part but...that's ok! She wants to come again, and we really wanna meet her and start teaching her so, we're super excited about that! She is a very wonderful person, who REALLY needs God in her life right now, and we had a great time at church teaching, testifying, and feeling the Spirit. :) I LOVE THIS WORK, and I never want it to end! 
  This week is going to be pretty exciting. We have the Asia Area North President, Elder Ringwood, coming to do a conference this Thursday, so that'll be dang fun! :D And Elder Strachan is coming to basically stay with us for the week because of it and our mission leader meeting so...I'M STOKED! ;) Haha! 
   Elder Dobashi and I have been working way hard, and it's been paying off. Investigators coming to church, lots of lessons, it's been a flipping great three weeks since we became companions. I can't believe how fast it's been! 
   Aside from that, this week has nothing too much to report on. I just wanna let you know that I love you all, and that I am so incredibly glad for all of your wonderful support, love and examples for me. I love this work, this gospel, and have really come to know for myself how true it all is, and how much it can help everyone. Have a great week! WITH ALL MY LOVE!


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Japan week #80

Hey everybody!! 
    This has been a fantastic week! We were able to work hard, and saw lots of really cool miracles! We have really been blessed, and it's super cool to see how this area has come from nothing, to having lots of good happening with the ward, investigators, and others. It's been fantastic.
    I'm not sure if you remember O San or not, but Elder Kojima and I found him, and he came to church yesterday for the first time! :D And had a great time! It was epic! And another one of our investigators is really close to accepting a baptismal invitation, and she also really wants to come to church! :D And we met a SUPER COOL lady this week. I went into a store to go buy some ice cream (since I'm CRAZY) and when I was buying it, the lady working the register was just staring at my name tag. Super obviously, and super intently. So I said hi, and she said hi, and then she asked me if we were Christians. So naturally, I hold up the line behind me, talking to her. End up giving her a flyer, my phone number, and ask her to please contact us. It sucked that I couldn't get her number or anything, seeing as how she was at work, but I had faith! And as soon as work was over, she called us! And said that she drove to the church to look at it, and that she is SUUUUPER interested! :D HUZZAH for buying ice cream in the middle of Hokkaido winter! :D
    And so we're looking forward to getting to work with her.  And that was our week! We have a zone activity today, so that'll be way stinking fun!
 Love you all! 

 Love, Mike 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Japan week #79

Hey, boy has it been a crazy week! We had a big zone conference with the health specialists from Tokyo, and then a zone training meeting the day after that, and then the snow festival, and then splits, and we've been BUSY. We've had almost NO time to work, which is lame, but it's been an effective week none the less. 
   Our ztm was crazy epic. I had a really cool experience. We originally had two workshops planned, but then we ended up only doing one for the whole three hours. I twas going so goood, and everyone was really feeling the Spirit, and Both Elder Dobashi and I were feeling the Spirit, and just knew that we didn't need the other workshop, and that that one was what our zone needed. It was so dang cool. I love being a leader. It's so amazing getting to see all the individual missionaries, and getting to see them in a way that Lord does through the Spirit, it's incredible. I was looking at each person's face, and I could just feel so much love for each one of my zone members, and could feel how much the Lord loves them. It was a very special experience. :) LOVE THE MISSION!
    And the snow festival was a blast as always! :D Got to troll around with some of my old buddies, Elder Numano, Elder Nielsen, Elder Kojima, Elder Yamada, it was epic! :D 
 And that was really the bulk of this week. Other than that, not much to report! The picture is of me and elder Dobashi! We are having SO MUCH FUN. I really do love him a lot, and we're going to wreck this area before we're done! :D
 I love you all so much, and I can't wait to hear from you all again! 

 Love, Mike 

Pictures from October-December 2014

Monday, February 9, 2015

Japan week #78

This has been one crazy week. Transfers happened, and my beloved brother Elder Strachan transferred! :( It was incredibly unexpected, and we were both very very sad. He didn't want to transfer at all, and I didn't want him to transfer alt all. It was rough. But, such is life. 
  My new companion is Elder Dobashi, from Saitama Japan. He is a WAY dang cool guy, and he and I are having a lot of fun already. Get along just great. :) He is way into cars, and is a huge basketball guy. He's one transfer ahead of me, which means that he ends his mission at the same time as me, so still with doki members! ;) HAHA! 
  Because of the transfers and mission leader meetings and what not, nothing really happened this week. Next week is a big zone conference, zone training meeting, and lots of other we're going to be BUSY!! Love you all, and thanks for your support!

 Love, Mike 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Japan week #77

Hey everyone! This has a fast week, and a fun one to end the transfer on. We had lots of splits, and not a ton of opportunities to see our investigators this week, so dendo was a bit slower. Just one fun story this week.
 Two years ago, with Elder Lee, we had a surprise man party with the priesthood at the church on Saturday evening. This week, we got randomly invited to a sister's house for a lunch appointment, and we were excited to go, but weren't sure what to expect. So we go, and it turns out, that it's a relief society party! And we were the main guests! HAHA!! We hung out with all the grandmothers in the ward, the ten or so of them, and ate AMAZING food, while just having a blast. :P It was the greatest! Elder Strachan and I were like, that was EPIC! Gotta love them surprise obaachan relief society parties! ;) HAHA!

 Love you all, have a great week!
 Love, Mike 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Japan week #76

Hello everyone!!
      This has been a great week! 
   We only had one really crazy cool experience this week! We've been working hard, and we're seeing lots of people, which has been FANTASTIC, but this week we had a SUPER cool, probably SUPER prepared lady led to us. We met her last Sunday night, she just stopped us on the street and starting talking to us. We then met her last Monday, and she told us that she wasn't going to stop us that night, but as she was passing us she could see light coming from us, and she said we looked like angels, and so we talked, and had a great time with her that Monday evening. And then we saw her again and taught a great lesson about the restoration, and she is SUPER interested. She is stinking amazing, and wants to learn and talk about Christ, a LOT. She has been christian for thirty years, but has never joined a church. So, we're looking forward to bringing her to the path of salvation! :D It's been truly amazing. I have really gained a testimony of how the Lord not only guides us, but also guides others to find us...It truly has been incredible. 
     And then we also had splits on Wednesday. I went with an Elder Francis, and turns out, he and I are meant to be together. We spent a bit of time talking about and seeing Dr. Horrible's sing along blog, Firefly, avatar, etc. And we dendoed like bosses! Taught some great lessons, and had a wonderful day! He's training right now, and doing a wonderful job. 
     And that's about it for this week. We had a member of the 70 who lives in Sapporo come to give a talk about church yesterday. His name is Ootahara. WAY cool guy, super funny, and after sacrament meeting Strachan and I were in the bathroom, and Elder Ootahara walks in, and we just start talking. About mashed potatoes. And how one of his mission comps was from Idaho and how they would eat it all the time. And then he walked out, and I looked over and Elder Strachan and said, 'Dude....We just hung out with a 70 in the bathroom, doing the guy talking at the urinal thing, about mashed potatoes...' And we just started DYING. It was great! :D
   All in all, a WONDERFUL week! :D Love you ALL! Talk to you soon! 

    Love, Mike  

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Japan week #75

Hey everyone!
     This has been a really good week! Elder Strachan and I are seeing more and more miracles when it comes to finding people to teach! We have a couple of people now who seem to have a bit of interest in hearing what we have to say, which is WAY cool! I have had a way hard time getting the work going in this area, and I'm glad that we're finally getting it rolling forward here. In particular we met a young mom with a family of 6 last week, and got to see her again two days ago. And it was AMAZING! First off, having a 4 kids in japan is CRAZY WEIRD, which makes her all the more cool, but because of that she has a lot of the same views on family, and wants to do all she can for them. And it just worked out perfect when we saw her again. Her younger kids were asleep so we were able to have some quiet time to talk, and we were able to get the lesson going super easily. I love the times when the person you want to teach goes into the lesson themselves with you there to kind of nudge them in the right direction! I love it! But because of it we were able to make a really good relationship with her, and got to talk a  lot about plan of salvation type stuff. It was very good, and the spirit was very strong. Unfortunatley, that night was also the blizzard that sent us home, so we were DYING standing on her doorstep talking. :P After our lesson was over we had to walk over an hour home in it to get home, and we took a pit stop at one point in a convenient store, and our hair, eyebrows, faces, everything was ice! I had ice just, frozen on my face. O.O It was NUTS! And then when I got home some of my toes were black! No wonder they hurt so dang bad! They're still black, but it's all good! Toes are still alive, no pain, just looks kinda funny! :) So don't worry about it! 
   Elder Strachan and I are still best buds, as is usual. Transfers are in two weeks, and we're thinking we don't stay together for another one. :( Which is way sad but, could happen! We're looking forward to working hard, and getting as much good going in this area as we can! Love you all!

   Love, Mike

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Japan week #74

Hey Everyone! 
   This has been another busy week! We had ZTM last tuesday, and had all of two days to plan for it, so we ended up taking almost all of sunday, and our entire pday to finish it all. :P It was nuts, and it was crazy hard, but we feel like we pulled it off super well. Had a LOT of help from up above, and the Spirit was very strong while we did our workshops, so that was such a huge blessing! 
   And that was basically the end of our crazy end of the year stuff. We're now completely back to our regular dendo schedule, and we're SUPER happy about that. We hit the streets way hard this week, and were able to make a lot of contacts, and met a ton of really cool people! We have still basically no investigators, and that's hard, but Elder Strachan and I are trying to be better than we ever have been before, and it's been yeilding lots of results so far! :) I had an interview with pres the other day, and we talked a bit about some of what I want to do in my last six months. And he talked a lot about there not being a big thing that needs to change to make it better, but how changing a lot of little things can have drastic results, which we obviously all know; but it was just super cool to talk about with him. Nakastsuka Kaicho is serioulsy Yoda. He's the dang coolest, smartest guys in the world. LOVE HIM!
    Thanks for all your support and love! Talk to you all soon!

 Love, Mike

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Japan week #73

Hey Everyone!!  
 It's only been a few days since I emailed, so I really have nothing to write about. We finsihed up our crazy schedule stuff, and now we're getting back to regular work and it's been great! 
  We did have lots of fun with the new years though. We had a lot of dinner appointments, and it was a blast. Lots of full stomachs, and members forcing more in, I love it! ;) Its great at this time of year to see how everyone here just opens up and shows so much love. For a very internal, not really interested in what's going on in other's lives kind of culuture that Japan has, I love seeing this different aspect of everyone. I'm sad that it's over, but it's been a blast, and an incredibly memorable one for my last in japan. Love you all! 

 Love, Mike

Japan week #72

Hey Everyone!1
  This has been a fun week! Well, ten days. ;) Haven't emailed since two pdays ago because of Christmas and the new year and what not, so our schedules got changed! It'll all be back to normal next week though! 
  We had so much fun with Christmas, and with new years, and with our parties and what not. Elder Strachan and I really had a great time. Christmas Eve was a huge party that the four ZL's in Sapporo were in charge of, and it was DANG fun! :) We had all the missionaries in the Sapporo area, and the president and wife and son, and the senior missionary couple and their son come, and we had a ton of fun. Games, spiritual stuff too, great food, music, had a great time. And then Christmas was normal. Got to hang out with our district for awhile, and then we got to relax for a part of the day, and then we worked. My birthday was also a regular day of work as well, and we were on splits for it. And so that night we were spending the night in the other elder's apartment, and they all surprised me for my birthday! They all got me gifts, sang to me, and it was  BLAST! :) Had a little party afterwards, and it made my day! I was actually way surprised, and had a great time. :) And then we've had some lazy days in the apartment cleaning, reading the book of mormon all day, and what not because it's impossible to work out here during new years time. So we've been chilling, having fun, and making good with the time that we do have. 
 And that's really all we've been up to. I'm looking forward to the schedule getting back to normal, and getting back on the streets!
 Love ya all!