Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Work Moves Forward

Dear friends,

Hello! Toyohashi continues to be the best. We found an awesome new investigator this week named M...sawa, and have already had two fantastic lessons with him. There is a very big possibility that he could be baptized next transfer!

Speaking of next transfer, we had transfer calls a week early, because President Yamashita was asked to go to Utah for general conference (he being a general authority and all) so he won't be here this week. And. . .my companion is transferring. I'm a bit disappointed. I've gotten along better with him than I have with a lot of companions. And since he has only been here two transfers himself, and our relationship is great, I thought for sure that we would get another transfer together. ​But, thus is the way missions go.

My next companion is Japanese. . .again. His name is Elder T...ka. He is the first companion who I have known previous to actually being his companion. He's a nice guy. Though I don't think he is comfortable with being a missionary. And he is pretty quiet. Next transfer will definitely be an adventure. But it's obviously something I can handle, otherwise it would not have happened. But it will be very important to make sure to keep my head on straight so that I don't lose my mind in case things are more difficult than I anticipate.

Anyway, things are still good. God is still God. He still loves me and I still love Him and Jesus, too.

With love,

Elder Mueller


Monday, March 23, 2015

Special Mission Conference

We had a very, very special mission conference this week at the central ward in my mission, Meito. Elder Evans of the Seventy, who was actually a mission president here a number of years ago, came to speak with us. His current assignment as a Seventy is in the missionary department.

The reason for the conference is that the missionaries around the world will begin to use iPads from here on out. All of us knew that beforehand, so we were mostly going to the conference expecting to recieve training about doing missionary work using Facebook and things like that. However, we were wrong. What he talked about was being a disciple of Christ in the digital age.
When he first started speaking, he prefaced his talk by saying that we probably have never had a general authority speak to us in the way that he was going to speak to us that day. And then he proceeded to speak extremely frankly about pornography. I wish I could communicate the candor and clarity with which he spoke, but I don't feel that it is necessary. But he did acknowledge that many if not all of us had been exposed at some point in our lives to pornography and that many, many of us had struggled with this sin.

At one point he said that some of us might be nervous about iPads, because of how we have struggled before. But what he said was that this decision, which was made by revelation from the Lord, was a gesture of love to our generation. And an invitation to become clean from the sin of this generation. That less than being just about missionary work, this was about giving us a chance to learn how to navigate through all the evil in this world and not be affected by it. It was about trying to build a sin-resistant generation.

He told us also that we are agents. Able to act for ourselves. Able to choose eternal life or bondage.

I don't think that I have ever felt the Spirit so much as I felt it in the chapel that day. Neither have I felt more like the Lord knows me and has a plan for my life.

We'll receive iPads in a few weeks. Until then I am doing my best to prepare spiritually and to make sure I am ready.

With love,
Alex
Dinner with members and all the Toyohashi Elders.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Getting Better All the Time

Hello, It's Elder Mueller.

Toyohashi continues to be exciting. This week involved picking up a member of a strange Korean Christian church that believes that​ the Korean lady that runs it is the resurrected Jesus as an investigator, a fantastic practice lesson with the next mission president, as well as an amazing devotional broadcast all over Japan by Elder Nelson of the Twelve, Elder Evans of the Seventy who was a mission president here a number of years ago and Elder Ringwood of the Asia North Area Presidency. They spoke in English, but there were translators right next to them translating things in real time to the congregation.

The work is moving forward. Sometimes it's progress is imperceptibly slow. But it is the Lord's work. And we are his servants. All I hope is that I can do as he asks and be who he needs me to be.

With love,

Elder Mueller

Q&A with Elder Mueller

Q: You are getting iPads, huh? Does that mean you will start using social media in your missionary work?

A: We are getting iPads. And as far as I know, we are going to start using social media too. I don't know specifics yet, but there is a mission conference this week where we are going to receive the training for using them.

Q: Where is Elder M from?
A: Elder M is from Arizona.

Q: Do you have meals with the members sometimes?
A: And we do eat with members sometimes. I will send you pictures that we took when at a member's house this week.

Q: How are things in the kitchen now that you have been in Japan awhile?
A: Cooking is okay. I know how to make a few Japanese dishes now. They don't really have the ingredients for most of the stuff I knew how to make before my mission. We also don't have an oven. So everything we cook is on the stove. It's definitely an adventure.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Hard Work

Hello,

This week we worked so hard. I don't think I've worked this hard on my mission since I first came to the field. So today I am exhausted.

On Tuesday, we found a new investigator. I think she is going to be baptized. She accepted everything that we taught her. And she was going to come to church, but she couldn't sleep at all on Saturday night because she has really bad pollen allergies, so she didn't come. But we have an appointment to meet her tomorrow. We are really excited!

​In other news, I translated for the Japanese missionaries at Zone Conference last Wednesday. That was a new challenge. While extremely tiring, translating is fun work. I just love Japanese.

Elder M never ceases to be fun. He has been in the field for about 6 months, and already has very clear Japanese. It's really great to be able to work with him. He's a pretty charasmatic guy too. He was Student Body President while he was in high school. He likes literature a lot too. He likes Dickens a lot, but his favorite book is "A Farewell to Arms."

The other two Elders that we live with are pretty fun too. I'll try to take more pictures this week too.

We are going to start working with iPads soon, in just two weeks. It's definitely going to be a good tool. But missionary work is still going to be the same. I mostly excited just to be able to read all the church manuals, and to be able to use the video messages that the church has made.

The medicine came this week. It's supposed to start taking effect after about two weeks of taking it, so we'll see how that goes.

Anyway, the work goes on. I love you all.

Keeping the faith,

Elder Mueller
It's Cherry Blossom season again!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

I Think I Transferred to Heaven

This week has been one of the most relaxing, satisfying weeks of my mission. On Tuesday, after some serious difficulties (The heartless man at the train station wouldn't let me on the train with my bike handlebars sticking out of the bag. But then he left before the next train came, so we got through) I made it to Toyohashi. The weather is good here. It's a lot warmer. It gets pretty windy, but I can handle that.

One of the reasons it's been so relaxing is because I've just been feeling the Spirit so much. I'm not sure what happened. But I just feel like God is so happy with me for not giving up.

My new companion is the best. His name is Elder M, and we get along fantastically. We talk about books and life and stuff and it is just great.

This ward is also fantastic. So many strong members. And they all want to meet with us and lots of them want to do missionary work too.

Elder M and I made a goal through some serious revelation that we would baptize 5 people on the 28th of this month. We're pretty excited.

It seems like I've just been liberated from a lot of things. I guess that I learned what I needed to learn in the darker hours of my mission, and so now I get to have a break. I'm grateful for my suffering. Not that I would want to ever experience what I have in the last year again, but I am so glad I have learned the things I have, and that I have this amazing opportunity to change for the better.

Anyway, to sum it up, I feel like I have transferred to heaven.

With love,

Alex

Photo taken at the conference a couple weeks ago. Alex is wearing his "mission tie". All the Elders in the mission have the same tie and wear them when they get together.

The other elders in our area had a baptism this weekend!

From left to right:

Me, Brother M, Elder Tr, Elder M, Elder D.

Elder Tr is from Brazil

Elder D is my cousin, Nathan's, friend from school.

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