Sunday, July 27, 2014

The End of a Transfer


We had transfer calls last Saturday. And I am staying in Ueda, and getting a new companion, Elder T-yama. I haven't met him before. But, I'm excitied. He's Japanese, from Sapporo in the north. That's really all I know.

This past Tuesday, M...mi-kun chan took us and M...zumi-kun to a teddy bear museum. It was really fun and I took lots of pictures.

My companion in a bear suit

Me, Elder B and M...zumi

That was super great.

Also, we went to a festival last Saturday, and I wore a kimono that one of our investigators gave me:

And then Sunday was my birthday. And I had a talk in sacrament meeting that went pretty well. I prepared a lot for it this week, so the Stake President, who was visiting yesterday was really pleased. We also visited the Ides and they fed us because it was my birthday. And they gave me this really cute tie:

I don't really feel different. Maybe it's because we didn't really do much for my birthday. But now I'm 19. And I'm on my sixth transfer as a missionary. That's exciting.

Anyway, Have a good week.

-Elder Mueller

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Japan Q&A

From Alex's Mom: Alex is having a busy P-day, so he just sent an email to me. But he answered some questions, so I thought I would share his answers with you!

Q: Did you ever resolve your sleep issues?
A: As far as sleeping issues, I bought a sleep mask, so I can sleep a little better, but unfortunately it still lets some light in, so I usually wake up once before it's actually time to get up still. 

Q: Are you eating much with chopsticks?
A: I have eaten pretty much every meal every day for the past seven months with chopsticks.

Q: Have you seen any odd English or signs?
A: There is a lot of strange English in this country. Every once in a while I'll see a person with a t-shirt that makes absolutely no sense. And sometimes stores have funny signs too. I remember going past a Pachinko parlor called Concorde in Numazu with my trainer that had a sign that said, "Have you tried the Pachinko and Slot of Concorde? If not it will repent of most your life."

Q: How about any weird products?
A: I can't think of any weird products off the top of my head, but there is this really weird store in malls sometimes called "Village Vanguard." The only way I can think to describe it is that it is a "hipster" store. It has a lot of strange things. Weird books, weird clothes, sunglasses, toys, and lots of other stuff. I'll take some pictures next time I go by one.

Q: How are your investigators doing? We are praying for them!
A: We don't really have any investigators who are progressing right now, which is unfortunate. But maybe things will change soon.

This week is transfer calls and also there is a member who is throwing me a birthday party, so I will take lots of pictures and send them home. 

Okay, I love you.


Monday, July 14, 2014

A Really Good Weekend


My really good weekend started out with an exchange with my District leader, Elder Y. On Friday It was really good, he had a lot of good things to say to me, and he's really interesting to talk to. And I finally found a good book for learning kanji that he showed me. 

     The next day, we we took the train to Matsumoto in the morning so that we could go to interviews with the Mission President. We were there all day, until we had to rush back to Ueda in the afternoon with a Ueda member who was also in Matsumoto so that we could get back in time for the talent show. 

     At the talent show, I conducted the bell choir that the Ueda members, Elder B ate a bowl of cereal without milk in front of everyone, and I played the piano among other things. Unfortunately we were late so we missed some of the acts. But one of the coolest things was that Brother W..ashi and his friend from the neighboring branch of Sua played their guitars. They used be in a band together with another guy. I got a video of one of their songs on video. I played "Let it Go" from the movie Frozen -- I got the sheet music from one of our investigators a while ago -- and "Claire de Lune." Lots of people came, including member's friends and some people from our English class.

The next day, Sunday was Ueda's Branch Conference. The Mission President, His wife, and other people from the mission and stake presidencies came, so we had about twice as many people as usual there. It was great! And everyone brought lots of delicious things for lunch. 

That night, we had an appointment to teach English and the Gospel to our investigators, the Ide family. It went really well. We've mostly been focusing our efforts on the daughter, M..ami, but when we talked about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, the dad was really interested in it. 

M..zumi isn't getting baptized this week. He keeps telling us that the timing isn't good right now, and that when his life settles down a bit, then he can get baptized, but I think that he has some other concerns or problems that we don't know about yet that are holding him back. But I think he will be fine. 

This is M..zumi:

Oh yeah, one other thing happened this week. On Thursday, we weren't allowed to go outside at all because of the typhoon. . . it was severely underwhelming. It didn't come. So we just sat around all day. So exciting!! I'm glad that because it didn't come, no one was hurt or killed or anything. But I was really looking forward to seeing a crazy storm. Here's a picture I drew that day on a little whiteboard:

The Japanese on the right says "Innochi no Ki" or "Tree of Life."
I also made Elder B play chess with me:

I won.

Anyway, that was this week. 

-Elder Mueller

Monday, July 7, 2014

An Update from the Mom

Hi, Everyone!
Alex didn't have time to send out a general email this week. He is doing well and is staying very busy.

There is a major storm headed for Japan. Where Alex is shouldn't get hit very hard, but the entire country will definitely see LOTS of rain this week and the south (like Okinawa) will definitely have to deal with high wind. So please pray for the Japanese people and for the missionaries.

It's Alex's birthday at the end of the month, so I'm sure it would be an awesome gift if he heard from you this month! Thanks for being such a great support to him.


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