Monday, June 29, 2015

This is a Good Place

Hello from Nakatsugawa!

This place is hot and hilly. My legs are going to be pretty strong when I get back home. I just need to make sure I'm getting enough water to beat the heat.

I like this place though. We have a lot to do. And the ward members are really anxious to work with us. The branch is pretty small though. Apparently there are about 15 active members. So it's like being in Ueda again. It's a lot different from Toyohashi and having 70 people at church every week. It makes it a lot easier to learn everybody's names.

Being a district leader is so far a lot more fun than I anticipated. I really like just having conversations with people. And the people in my district are great! It's just that there are ten of us (usually there are only 6 or 8; sometimes even only 4) and so I have a lot to do. Just a lot of volume of work. But it keeps me occupied, so I'm not complaining.

I'm really, really tired right now though. I've just been extremely fatigued again. I'm going to call the mission doctor today, but do you have any suggestions for what I could do? I haven't been sleeping very well lately. Maybe dad knows something.  Maybe I just need permission to take a break. It's just kind of precarious, because even though my psychological health is better, when I'm tired like this all the time, it's easy to slip into depression again. Anyway, I'm sure I will figure it out.

In addition, this weeks adventures include:

-visiting three times the recent convert (and by recent I mean "of two weeks") in the hospital because his kidneys recently both failed
-watching my companion slip on his bike while it was raining
-teaching English to a group of little girls aged 4-10 while their moms giggled at my funny Japanese
-making puns in our other English class
-visiting less active members with our super intense Branch President

 just to name a few.

Anyway, I love you all!

Elder Mueller

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Beginning of the End

So, another transfer has come and gone, and I'm leaving Toyohashi, and
so is Elder T...aka. The number of missionaries in the mission is going
down due to the bubble of missionaries that came after the age change
going home today, so there are a lot of companionships that are
closing, and ours is one of them.

I'm going to Nakatsugawa, in Gifu-ken. It's not too far from here, but
it is a lot smaller town than here. But it is in the same stake, so I
will probably be able to see everyone from here again. It's also in
the same zone as the mission home, so I'll be closer to there than I
ever have on my mission. Which will be nice, seeing as I'm already
friends with the mission president. It's right up next to the
mountains in Nagano-ken (the volcano that erupted last year is in my
area) so it should be pretty, but it's also notorious for being one of
the hottest areas in the mission during the summer, so I will have to
be careful about drinking water and such.

My companion is named Elder Jo.... I've never met him before, but I
talked to him on the phone yesterday, and he sounds like a nice guy.
He's going to be the youngest companion I have had yet, only having
been in the field for three months. But I'm sure we're going to have a
great time.

Also a bit of a surprise, I'm going to be a district leader this
transfer! I didn't think I would ever be a mission leader, but it
happened. There are going to be ten people in my district, which is on
the bigger side. But I'm excited to carry out my new responsibilities.

I've learned and grown a lot in Toyohashi. Met some great people. Made
a lot of new friends. Had some adventures. Have worked and played.
Have been sad and tired at times, and happy and full of energy
sometimes. And I feel like I've done what I've needed to. And I've
taken a huge step forward, not just for my mission, but for my entire
life.

Nakatsugawa is probably the last place I'll serve in before I return
to America, so I'm going to make sure my time counts there.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Transitions

Good morning,

I'm doing great. I think I finally did something that helps me more
than anything else. And that is realizing that everything is going to
be fine. And that a mission is something good, and is going to be of
benefit to the rest of my life, but it's not everything. It's only two
years out of eternity. And it's not a saving ordinance. And anyway, I
am here. And I'm doing what I can, so who can ask anything more?
Especially when I have occasionally thought that perhaps just going
home would be a better choice. Who can complain that I'm still here
trying my best?

There are some things that I don't think I will ever get used to about
the mission field. Like just the way that they encourage us and ask us
to do things. Or the way that it seems like we all need to become like
the same person in order to be good missionaries. Or the fact that I
just don't feel like me or my difficulties are understood very well by
my leaders. But God knows. He made a point of telling me that twice in
a blessing that I got a while back. And, I'm relying less on my
judgement, and more on the words of the scriptures, so I've been much
more successful in recognizing bad thinking patterns and replacing
them with good ones.

The senior couple missionaries in our area are leaving tomorrow, so
things are going to be a lot different. And President and Sister
Isshii are going to leave for the MTC this week, and are going to be
going to Nagoya to replace the Yamashitas in two weeks. So a lot is
going to change in the next little while, but it's good. I think I'm
ready for a change.

I really don't have that long left, so I'm trying to make the best of
the time I have. The next five months are going to go really fast.

Transfer calls are this Saturday, and I don't really want to transfer,
but I'm hoping for the best. And I'm sure I'll go or stay wherever I'm
needed.

With love,

Alex

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Mosiah 4:27

Hello everyone,

I've been trying to make sure that I don't try to "run faster than I
have strength" this week. And have finally come to the satisfying
conclusion that it really isn't the end of the world if I'm not "the
best missionary in the mission" or anything like that. I just need to
do what I can.

Elder T...aka and I are doing great. We're both pretty tired most of
the time. But we have fun together. This week, I've been trying to
help him think of good things to do to practice English, specifically
his listening and speaking skills (He, like most Japanese people, can
read English pretty well, due to the way the school curriculum is set
up). It's been a challenge. We still haven't thought of anything great
yet.

As for my language skills. They are great! I think that learning
Japanese has been one of the most enjoyable, satisfying things about
my mission here. I'm going to make a solid effort to make use of these
language skills when I return home too. I've been translating for my
companion and other Japanese missionaries at meetings, and it's quite
a fun experience. We also have a lot of young missionaries in the
District, so this past Friday at District Meeting, I had the
opportunity to translate from Japanese to English when the Japanese
Sister shared a message. I've never had to translate that direction
before, so it was a good experience too.

In my studies, I'm trying to focus on my reading skills, studying the
characters. And it's like a game. It's fun to find that I can read a
lot more signs and things when we are out and about.

As for the work, it's going well. We have a good investigator, and
he's making progress, reading the Book of Mormon and has good
relationships with the church members already! It's exciting! I'm
probably going to transfer from here before he is able to be baptized,
but I'm just excited that I got to meet him and teach him. I've
learned a lot from being able to work with him.

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