Monday, October 26, 2015

Mission Accomplished!

Do you realize that this is the last time you'll get an email from me before you see me?

This week was great. Working with Elder M again is a blast. We work well together. Teaching is really fun with him because we have really good balance. I also just like teaching. That's something I've found out on my mission.

Last Tuesday we went to go drop off Elder N and on the way home we went through Toyohashi, which is where Elder Mitchell and I werecompanions earlier this year. And we had dinner with the Elders there at this restaurant that we used to go to all the time called Katsu Sato. It was really fun to go back there, especially with Elder M.

Of special note this week was the opportunity I had to play trios. There is a member in Shizuoka who is studying the cello, and she set up a time for us to go over to her teacher, who apparently is pretty
famous in this area, and he played for us a little bit. I'm not sure how, but they had found out that I play the violin, so they invited me to play something. And so we played together. Due to years of not
practicing, I was pretty rusty, but all things considered it went really well, I think. At the very least I had a good time. It made me want to practice though.

We also had a stake sports day. There were lots of little events like seeing how many plastic balls one team could throw into a laundry basket on a pole, and a relay, and a tug of war, and a speed walking race. It was great! But because I wore shorts, which I don't usually do outside, my calves got sunburned. That was pretty unexpected. But not really surprising since my legs are so pale now.

Well, I guess I should write about my impressions concerning my two years as a missionary now.

To be honest, I was never too excited about serving a mission when I grew up. Especially since as a teenager my life was not at all in harmony with what someone who planned to be a mission should be
living. But I knew it would be hard for me. And it was, in many ways I did expect and also many ways that I didn't expect. And I'm still not sure how I made it through the darkest of times that I've ever experienced. I have no explanation but the grace of God.

But it hasn't been all bad. It hasn't been something that I've just had to grit my teeth and bear. In fact, because of Christ, even the bad things have had good effects on my life. It has been a privilege. And now, being on the other side and knowing what I know now. I would not exchange my experiences in Japan for anything. And the reason is because I came to know who Christ was.

I'm happier now. I'm healthier now. And I'm hopeful about the future.

I've already said so much about this in previous letters that I can hardly keep from repeating myself, but I am glad that I had this chance to be broken down, so that I could be built up too. I'm grateful that I had the chance to come to know God in my extremities while serving in the Japan Nagoya Mission.

I'll see you soon,

Elder Alex Mueller

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