Monday, July 27, 2015

Two Decades of Life, ACCOMPLISHED!

Hello. It my twentieth birthday today. It's pretty exciting. And I'm
down to 100 days of mission, so I'd better make the time count.

(Note from Alex's mom: his birthday gift was a book of 100 thoughts, one each for the last 100 days of his mission.) I got your package on Wednesday. Thanks for the present. I will use it well. It will also be a good exercise in self discipline. I've got to use some self control so that I don't just read all the cards and ruin the fun of it.

This week there were a lot of interesting things that I had to do. Such as getting called upon to go to another area in the district to perform in their music night. There's a sister missionary who can play the violin who is going home in just two weeks, so they had a mini concert. Or at least it was supposed o be mini. But their ward missionary wanted it to be 60 minutes long, so they needed more people to play. So I went. It was fun. I played a Japanese song from some movie that I've never seen. I got the sheet music from another missionary last year.

We also go to work in the fields of one of the members every week. And this week was pulling weeds in the tomato greenhouses. It was quite the afternoon.

The thing that just made my week though was getting a phone call on Thursday telling me that I would be giving a talk on Sunday about. . .wait for it. . .food storage. It's been the theme all month, so I was a little worried when I got the phone call in the first place. But with some preparation, it turned out pretty good, I think. Even if I did have to speak in Japanese. I think it was even long enough, too. Which has been a difficulty when I've given talks in the past. Like when my farewell talk only took up 7 minutes of the 10-15 minutes that I had been assigned. Oh well! That was a long time again.

My birthday has been pretty great so far. We had a lesson with an investigator this morning that went really well. I'm not sure he'll get baptized while I'm here, but I think he will eventually be baptized. The sisters of the area also decorated the church and gave me some cake. And you can tell I've changed a lot here, because it was cheesecake. And I ate it. And it was pretty good.

Here are some pictures:

package from home, including the traditional Thomas the Tank Engine birthday banner :)

So that was pretty great.

There's also an investigator who we are going to visit tonight when said that he would feed me shrimp fry when we went. So I'm excited for that

Anyway, I'm doing good. It seems like I'm doing better than I was on my birthday last year. So that's great!

Thanks for everything!

Elder Mueller

Monday, July 20, 2015

Faulty Typhoons

Hello. We had quite the week this week.

Nakatsugawa is really far away from everywhere in the district, and we have to ride trains just to get to other parts of our area in reasonable time, so money has been a little tight this week due to our having to go to Kasugai twice this week. The first time was for a companionship exchange. The events of which were eating pork chops, and visiting a less-active member who told me that I shouldn't settle for anything less than great and that I should do something awesome with my life. It was kind of a funny conversation, especially because he was trying to speak in both Japanese and English at the same time, but in all seriousness it made me think about what I want to do with myself once I come back to America.

I also presided at my first district meeting as a district leader this week. It was a little nerve-wracking at first, but I think it turned out good. At the very least, my companion loved it.

We were also supposed to have a typhoon this week, but the center of it went over land too quickly for us to experience anything more than some bipolar rainstorms. Nevertheless, one of them caught us off guard yesterday when we had no umbrellas and we got soaked.

All in all, things are going pretty well. I'm definitely tired, and this is still not the the easiest thing in the world day-by-day, but it's definitely been made easier by those who have extended their love and kindness. And I'm feeling better every day.

God is still alive.

With love,
Elder Mueller

Monday, July 13, 2015

Summer is Well Underway

Hello my friends,

I am doing great! Things seem to be working well. I get along with my companion, I enjoy my district leader responsibilities so far, and I feel like I've chopped through that incorrect thoughts and ideas that have held me prey for most of my mission, it's like finally getting to your machete and escaping from a python!

Elder J and I have been really busy this last week. We had to go to Nagoya twice. On Wednesday to meet the new mission president. That was great! I love President Ishii already. And I'm already pretty close to him after working with him in Toyohashi. And then the second time we went was for a Zone Training Meeting which we have every once in a while.

I have my first district training meeting as a district leader his week too. It's a bit nerve racking because the Zone Leaders will be there too. But I'm excited because I finally get to share some of the things I've learned on my mission.

There might be a typhoon coming this week too. If so we might have to stay inside all day.

We're also going to start using the iPads more in regards to planning and record keeping. I'm really excited for this because the paper records are a mess! It seems like nobody really got very used to using them the way they were supposed to be used. But now, it seems like everything will be a lot more organized and clear too.

Anyway, things are good. I'm feeling a lot better than I ever have. I also talked to my mission president about my fatigue problems and he said I should rest. "You need to be relaxed." So I can take a few minutes to nap or take a break if I need to.

I'm going to make it home in one piece!

With love,

Elder Mueller

Monday, July 6, 2015

A New Era

Hello everyone from Nakatsugawa Japan!

The weather is either hot or rainy, the hills are beastly, the branch has 15 active members, and I am having a great time.

It's hard work. There's a lot to be done, and there's a lot that you could potentially complain about, but I'm sure that you could do that anywhere being involved in anything at all. There's always something
to complain about.

Nevertheless, I feel good. I feel like I'm doing what I'm supposed to. Not that what I'm doing has changed much, mostly just my perspective. The church in Japan is still pretty young. But there have been many prophecies made concerning this island nation. And I will trust in
those. The Lord shall hasten His work in its time. So we missionaries need to be patient.

Elder J and I work really well together. He's still a pretty young missionary, having only come to the field about three months ago, so there are a lot of opportunities to help him. And he is really supportive of me. And he likes my cooking, so that's a bonus.

We're working with a new investigator that we found two weeks ago who is really humble and really anxious to read the Book of Mormon. We met with him twice this last week and we're going to see him tomorrow for another lesson. We actually just ran into him on the way to get my hair cut a couple hours ago, and he was pretty happy to see us. Hoping the he can get baptized eventually.
Elder Mueller's companion, Elder J above Nakatsugawa.

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