Sunday, December 30, 2012


Well, we have gotten nearly a month behind on updating the blog.
In our defense, there has been more than December's usual amount of crazy stuff happening here at home.  Lets just say that we are down to three dogs (two more than we had in November), I am not working full time anymore, oh, and I finished school.

With all of that said, The boy is doing great, looking good, and seems happy.  He has been very busy and has not been so great at sending photographs this month, he has sent a short email to us every week.  I love this email thing, I would never hear from the kid if he had to put pen to paper for a letter home.  We were able to skype with him on Christmas Eve, he and some other Elders sang Christmas songs in Japanese.  :)

As of our last contact Jeff had not received our Christmas packages, but that was earlier this week.  I'm hoping that he has gotten them by now. 

We received an online Christmas wish from the Japan Tokyo Mission, I'm including the link here for your viewing pleasure
 --------->  Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Well the weekly email from Elder Mosdell was on time, but very short. We wanted to know how things were going in the new apartment and got this reply:

"The new apartment is doing great, a little dis-organized from how crazy things have been... and how sloppy we are :P
I'm glad you've been enjoying getting to tell everyone about me :P I feel a little lame for the lack of photos so far... I really don't think I"ve taken any since I transfered... Oops..."

So no photos for a couple of weeks now. I guess that's not bad considering what most missionaries send home, but we've become accustom to weekly or bi-weekly photos even if it's just a couple of them each time. We are grateful for what we have, especially the fact that he can email each week. If we had to wait for written letters we'd be lucky to get one a month and would probably end up with one every six months! We were also looking at transfer schedules for the next months and realized the next transfer is after Christmas. That means he'll have access to the military base (and the members there) during Christmas! So his only Thanksgiving and Christmas out of country he's in a place where there are lots of U.S. citizens and an English speaking ward. What a lucky, blessed kid! He's putting together a package to send home for Christmas and can use the PO on base to send it at reduced cost compared to sending it using Japan Post.

His weekly update on the work came in a second email.

"I am just amazed at how much faster the weeks fly by now than they did before. I feel like I have less and less time to do more and more things. I'm sorry that this letter is so late...
______ is doing great, she passed her interview and we're making daily contact with her to make sure she's all set for the baptism this coming Sunday. She'll be baptised Sunday afternoon, and she'll be confirmed next Sunday.
This week we weren't able to really do a lot of finding investigators, and we weren't able to teach very many lessons this week, I'm a little confused on how to really work in this area because it's very different from my last two areas. But we've been going through the area book and talking with missionaries that have served here before to get some good ideas of what works."
Sounds pretty typical for being transferred into a new area with a companion who is still new to the mission.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Holidays and a new area

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving and it sounds like the Elders did too.

"Thanksgiving was fun, I got to go onto the base and eat dinner with one of the ward families. We had prime rib roast, and it was WAY good. :) I haven't gotten the package yet, but I think it'll come on Tuesday."

Jody is participating in a "Christmas Around the World" at the elementary school she's working at. So in our email we asked what Christmas was like in Japan.

"Christmas in Japan consists of not much to be honest. Maybe I'll try to get more information this week, but all that I know is that it's not really celebrated here. They eat some kind of little cakes on Christmas eve, but other than that it's just a buying season. >.< I'll try to get all the info I can this week.

Sadly I'm not the District Leader anymore. They changed the districts around and made a third district in the zone so that they would be more manageable, sadly the way they had to rearrange them ended up putting the original two DLs into the same district. So they kept the more experienced one. *shrug* Oh well, maybe next time.

Weekly Update:

Well anyways, this week has been a lot of fun. I've enjoyed working in Fussa, the members are a lot of fun, and the base members are a lot of fun too. I'm enjoying working here, we're almost up to the Mission Standard for our area. I think it helps a lot to have two wards. :D
I think our focus this next week is going to be on teaching more lessons. We're going to start studying how we can get more lessons during our companionship study.
Sunday we had a lesson with an investigator named A. and she told us she wants to be baptized as soon as she can. We set the date with her for the 9th of December, and we'll probably set up an interview the week before. I'm so excited. :D
I'm super excited to be in Fussa with Elder P., we're getting ready to see a ton of miracles in this area. It's going to be a lot of fun to work for them!"

This post is a week late because we were waiting for photos that the boy never sent.  He's been a bit busy and hasn't taken any lately.  The brat.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Baptisms and Transfers

Our emails from Jeff have been several days late for the last three weeks. Due to temple day on 11/12 and transfers on 11/19 we got 4 short emails from him each of those weeks. Hopefully now we'll be back to a normal schedule. We did get more pictures on the 21st that cover several weeks. It's really nice to get pictures regularly, especially when he's in them :) We think he needs to get a hair cut soon but other than that he's looking great.

Email from 11/13

"So this week was a little bit of a bummer, we had a few of our lessons fall through, and didn't find anybody this week. :\ This coming week though we're really looking forward to a much better week. We think we'll even be able to exceed the standard if we really work for it.

Brother T didn't make his baptismal date this week because at his interview on Tuesday he was still drinking coffee. I guess when we taught and reviewed it that we didn't focus on coffee very well. Regardless, he quit the day after his interview and hasn't had any since. We probably could have gone ahead with the baptism and it would have been OK, but we wanted to make sure so his date got moved to next Sunday. He's looking very promising though. :)

______ still is having a lot of problems. We were able to do a short lesson at a member's house with her, but we haven't heard from her since. I'm really worried that she might not make it to baptism anymore. She still hasn't really recieved her answer, but she does want to know for herself. She hasn't been coming to church because she doesn't think it's very effective if she hasn't recieved her answer yet. :( Apparently we didn't teach her how important coming to church is for recieving answers. She's still planning on coming to the baptismal service next week to see a confirmation.

______, the Mongolian woman that we found through Eikaiwa, was able to come to the Family Home Evening that the Single Adults had Sunday night. It went really well, and she was able to get to know a lot of the members her age. I'm hoping that she'll be able to come to church this next Sunday, but she has work in the mornings, so she may not be able to."
Ninja boy with his origami star
Christmas on Nov 2? Near Tama city center
Tunnel of lights with ocean animals on it, must be Japan :)

Tama is home to Hello Kitty Land

Email from 11/20

"Here's a really brief update that I'll finish later: I'm follow-up training an Elder named Elder P. He's from California. We're serving in Fussa, where there's an American Base. We have two wards, English and Japanese. I'm also District Leader over two Sisters, six Elders, and a senior couple as well as Elder P. I'm not sure why I got so much leadership responability put on me all of a sudden, but I'm excited to work hard. ... other than the lack of time I'm going to start having. *shrug* oh well!"

And the follow up the next day, some of it he duplicated :)

"When I got the call from the Assistants that I'd be follow-up training Elder P. and that I'd be District Leader I was so excited! We're serving in Fussa, where there's an American Base, and we have two wards, both English and Japanese. I love working in Fussa so far, even though we've been SUPER busy it's been very nice to get to work with so many people already. I love all of the missionaries in this district as well! I'm District Leader over two Sisters, six Elders, and a senior couple and of course my companion.  I think I've met almost all of them before and I'm excited to get to work with them.  I'm not sure why I got so much leadership responability put on me all of a sudden, but I'm excited to work hard. ... other than the lack of time I'm going to start having. *shrug* oh well, I'm not complaining!

In recap from what happened last week in Tama though, Elder O. and I a lot of work to do, but we fell short of the standard sadly. We weren't able to find anybody new, and we didn't get to teach as many people as we'd hoped. For some reason a lot of the people we were working with we lost contact with. I'm really sad that I've not been able to contact them recently, but hopefully I'll be able to still email them from Fussa. Plus I know that Elder O. and his new comp. will be able to take over the area very well.

We were also (as you already know I'm sure) able to see a baptism the Sunday before I left. Brother T's baptism was amazing and was a lot of fun to see happen. The ward was so excited, and they all were so happy to have their first baptism this year. Everyone in the church was so happy that day, it was WONDERFUL!"
"Tama Eikaiwa, the last week with me"

Brother T at his baptism.
From left to right, Brother T. (Ward Mission Leader), Elder O., Brother T, Elder Mosdell

FHE at a member's house, fellowshipping the new member

Friday, November 9, 2012

Finally more photos!

Yet another crazy week here and in Japan! Our email from Jeff was late so that makes this post even later. He's doing well and is very excited for the work they are accomplishing. We do have some photos from last week, but not this week. And emails for the next two weeks are going to be late due to temple day and transfers. Here is an excerpt from his email.

"Odds are I'm going to transfer in two weeks. No official word yet, but 4 transfers is a long time for someone to stay in an area, and I'm coming to the close of #4. Also, I'll be at the 1/2 way point in my mission and I'm still in my second area, which is also very rare. :) 3rdly, I'm on transfer 3 with Elder O, and as of yet there hasn't been a companionship that has stayed for 4 transfers together in like 3 years, so I don't think it'll happen. :) I suppose it could, but I don't think it will, it's far more likely that I'll be packing my bags and dealing with the messy paperwork of being a foreigner and moving in Japan... gross >.<

This past week has been another fun, busy, and crazy fast week. I'm surprised that it's over already, and that we're now almost a full week into November.

We were able to meet with ________ a few times this week, and everything seems to be going great for him! Sadly he had to go to work again this last Sunday, and so was not able to come to Church or meet with us, but he has still come enough times to be baptised. We're having his interview on Tuesday this week, and then he'll be baptised on the 11th (this coming Sunday). I'm super excited for him, and for Elder O to get his first start to finish baptism. ________ was truly prepared for baptism. We went over the questions with him yesterday to prepare him for the interview, and he did great. I'm so excited for the interview today, and then his baptism on Sunday.

Yesterday for P-day we went to the Studio Giblee Museum (the group that made Ponyo, Castle in the Sky, My neighbor Totoro, and other such movies). It was a lot of fun! I won't be able to upload many photos since I forgot my camera... but I'll be getting some photos from the missionaries we went with instead. I'll probably upload them next week. In anycase, it was a blast. :)

I think that's it for this week, other than maybe that yesterday I rode on the most crowded train I've been on to date... It was CRAZY how many people were on that train... wowz'ers..."

Birthday cake from Eikaiwa (English language class).

Origami made using the books he got as gifts.

Halloween party at the church.

Elder O is helping with the pinata.

Looks odd... tasted odder, still no clue what it was.

More origami, interlocking cubes and a happy boy!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

We've been running a bit behind lately

Sorry, we have been more than a little bit over scheduled lately.  This post is nearly a week late, but hey - at least it's here.  It sounds like Elder M is expecting to be transferred this time, I guess a 4th transfer with Elder O is very unlikely.  We should receive regular email on the 5th, but email for the following two weeks will most likely be at least a day late.  We'll get some of those photos uploaded soon.

Weekly Update:

This last week was interesting;

Sister ___________ has been busy and hasn't been able to meet with us for over a week now. Not exactly ideal, but she's still progressing. We've kept in contact, and she's been reading the Book of Mormon daily. She's still waiting for an answer about if the church is true or not, but she truly wants to join a church because she likes the teachings. Hopefully we'll still be able to help her be baptised before I transfer on the 19th.

Brother ____________ has been doing great! At least spiritually that is... He got the flu this weekend, so he was unable to come to church, and also missed a lesson, so his date will have to be the 11th of Nov. Thankfully however, he's been having several spiritual experiences, and is extremely dedicated. He wants to be baptised so bad, and was really sad that he had to wait an extra week because he got sick. He's amazing, and I'm super excited for him.

Other than that, there was a Halloween party this last Saturday at the church. I've uploaded photos (for reals this time) of that, and of the origami stuff I've done recently.

We had a chance to go on exchanges with the District Leader again this week. This time I went with Elder ___________ to Sagamihara. It was a pretty good exchange, and I was really excited that I was able to help him learn. I love newer missionaries, they're so much fun to work with!

I think that's about it for now... sorry I forgot to upload photos last week.. I got busy afterwards and forgot to upload them.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Happy Birthday to boy!

He finally got the birthday package we sent.

"I got the package on Tuesday... I think. It was great. :) Everything got here in one piece, and I made the cheesecake later that day. :D It was super good. :D *yay* I've got so much junk now though I don't know what to do with it all haha. It was a fun package. :)

My language is getting better, I just finished the second 200 entry grammer book, and now I'm starting a review/test of all of basic grammer principles from the first book. I'm also starting to study a lot of kanji, because I've found that it helps me remember words a lot better. I'm still far from perfect though, that's for sure."

Weekly update:
 This week has been another interesting week. Elder O. got sick on Tuesday, so we had very little time to go out and try and find people. Fortunately we were able to still teach all the lessons that we had planned, and even were able to set a few more lessons up. He's still a little sick, but he thinks he's good to go out and try and find again. Hopefully I don't come down with the same sickness. >.<

<Our female investigator> only had one chance to meet with us this week. We learned about Tithing in Sunday School, so we taught her that lesson after church. It went OK, but she was a little surprised at it. She also still doesn't have a super strong understanding of why Christ is important, so we talked about the atonement and it's importance, and how we go through Christ. I think she understands more, but she still has some doubts, and because of these doubts she wants to move her baptismal date again, but this time she was thinking of moving it back until January! >.< We're planning on calling her tonight and seeing if we can set up her date for the 11th or the 18th of November. I'm not really sure how to help her at this point anymore. She doesn't really know if Christ is important or not, so this week we think that watching "Finding Faith in Christ" might be a good lesson.

<The young man we're teaching> has been doing amazing! We also taught him the Law of Tithing, and at first he had some concerns, but after the lessons he was super excited to follow it once he's baptised. He mentioned how he's been following all the things we've been teaching him, and as he follows them his life has been getting better and better. Everytime we teach him something he wants to start following it right away because he knows that it will bless his life. We're thinking of moving his baptismal date from the 11th to the 4th, but only if we can meet with him enough times in the next couple weeks. I'm excited for him.

After Eikaiwa class this week (Wednesday) the ward members that come and some of the class members threw a little party for me. It was fun, and I guess all of the Single Adults in the ward got together and got me some origami books since I'm so into that now. :P I'll upload some photos of a few of the things I've been making in the spare time I had since Elder Oman was sick, including a 30 piece star... I'm going to start working on a 90 piece one next I think."

We're still waiting for pictures but thought we'd post this and add them later. Always grateful to hear good news from Elder Mosdell. Thanks for your prayers on his behalf.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Post that didn't post

So this post was created last week but didn't get published for some reason.

Jeff's birthday is this week so we sent him a package. In our email this week we listed what we had sent.

"Whoa... that's a lot of stuff in the package... you trying to make me sick?! :P haha Just kidding, thank you! I doubt there'll be problems, though I've not gotten it yet so I don't know. I actually do have a favor to ask of you, can you give me the metric conversions of the recipies you gave to me? So far all I've done is make (very) rough estimates, but it seems to have worked out OK. :) I found some cinnamon sticks and cloves at an import shop the other day, so we made wassle today. Elder O. thought it was crazy good, though it deffinatly wasn't quite as good as when we made it back at home. Sadly I think that has something to do with Japanese sugar/brown sugar not being as sweet. *shrug* oh well! Thanks for sending more cloves and cinnamon. :D"

Wassle = Wassail, a holiday drink we make with orange juice, apple cider, sugar and spices. He told us the weather was starting to cool down and he was craving some but they couldn't find cinnamon or cloves in their local market. Looks like they found a source, but he's still grateful for more from home.

"The girls are on band tour eh, first time w/o an older brother to torment them... hope they're enjoying themselves and not getting into TOO much trouble. :P" I think he misses them.

Jeff is excited to hear that some of the girls he knew in school are now planning on going on missions because of the new announcement regarding the lowering of the age. He's also excited for some of the boys who now get to leave earlier.

"Weekly Update:
This last week sadly had a few less lessons than I had been hoping for, but I'm hoping that this coming week will be a little more promising.
When we met with <our female investigator> this week we were able to address some of her concerns and help her to realize that just because she wasn't born into the church, and that just because she's not really a Christian doesn't mean she can't learn. She's been worried that she won't be able to truly have faith in Christ. Her Baptismal date is now the 4th of November, but we think that we might be able to help her feel ready for the 27th or 28th. I'm so excited for her to progress and grow. She was able to come to conference, and loved the session she came to.

<The young man we're teaching> is doing very well, and was also able to make it to General Conference. It was really fun to see him come in a nice suit. He acted and looked exactly like a member already. His baptismal date is next Sunday, and we think that he'll be able to make it if he can start meeting with us more during the coming weeks, though it's possible that he won't be ready until the beginning of November.

We weren't able to find anyone this last week, but today I had a really strong feeling to go and work in a particular area, I really felt there might be someone there for us to help today. Turns out there was a lady that knew about us, and was doing her own research about our church and others. She expressed to us that she didn't have any interest in pursuing any church right now, but that she'd wanted to continue her own research for awhile longer. We got her address though, and will try to visit her about once a month or so.

That's mostly it, I'm uploading photos from the "hidden city" that we've been working at for the last few days, including today.

As for my birthday I actually have no clue what we're going to do, we were originaly planning on going to the Tama Zoo today, but we found out that the zone leaders want to do that later in the transfer, and the district leader wants to go to the Studio Ghibly museum in a few weeks as well, so I might just go do those and call them "for my birthday". *shrug* we'll see.

And with that I'm going to go eat dinner and prepare for tomorrow. :) Love ya all!

A portion of "Hidden City"

Some of those are bamboo, not trees!

A large spider web - very Halloween!

And the spider that built it

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Transfer 7/16

Well, we're running a little behind again this week.  We did get email from the boy and he is doing wonderful as usual.  He and Elder O. will be staying in Tama for at least another 6 weeks.  From what we are hearing the boys in Tama are doing a great job and I guess you don't fix what isn't broken. :)

Weekly update:
"This last week has been interesting... We spent a lot of time prepping things in case one or the other of us transferred, but we didn't transfer. Sadly we still had a lot of cleaning and things to do today... we're not done yet. :\

One investigator is still progressing towards baptism, but kind of felt a little rushed, so we moved her date to the 3rd of November. She still hasn't received a firm testimony of the Book of Mormon, but she definitely agrees that if the book is true, than the whole church is true, and everything we've taught her. She's been able to apply a lot of the Book of Mormon to her life, but she's not yet really felt like she's gotten an answer about the book. We're going to work with her a lot in the next two weeks, and we're hoping that when she comes to General conference (next weekend in Japan) that she'll hear some good testimony's about the Book of Mormon. She's excited to go, and so are we!

Another investigator has been pretty busy lately, and so he's not been able to come to church, but he still has interest, and we've been able to meet with him about once or twice a week. This week (tonight) we're going to be going to a member's house and doing family home evening with him. We're excited, and we're really hoping that he'll be able to meet more in the coming weeks. He should be coming to General Conference.

We found a new investigator this last week while going through old records, and she's been looking at Christian churches for the last few weeks. When we called her she wanted to know right away where and when our Church meets. She came to last weeks sacrament, and said that she enjoyed it more than any of the other places she's been to in the last few weeks. We gave her a book of Mormon, and between yesterday morning to today she read the testimonies in the front, and still has a lot of interest. We're going to be meeting with her on Wednesday morning, and we're going to try and invite her to come to General conference this week.

And that's it for the last week of transfer 6... Starting today I'm now on transfer 7... the transfer where I'll hit my 1/2 way mark... @_@ Wow it's sure moving fast!"
We are, of course, keenly aware that he is nearly to his 1/2 way mark. We rejoice in all the work he is doing, but we also miss him here at home. We love him and look forward to hearing from him each week as well as seeing the photos that he sends. 
Naturally this weeks photos have no captions, so we are left guessing at what they are all about, not to mention seriously wondering at some of the items on the kitchen counter.  Boys are odd creatures I think.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Compliments for the Tama Elders

So we finally got an email! He did give a reason for being late and it wasn't the typhoon. They went to the temple and met with Jeff's trainer Elder W. He's finished his mission and is going home Monday! They got to spend some time together and were late getting home so they didn't have time to email on P-day. The typhoon wasn't very strong when it hit them. There were gusts of wind that were stronger than usual, but Jeff says it reminded him of the nightly canyon winds here at home :) There was a lot of rain in some nearby areas but not too much in Tama.

With transfers coming up next week we got this from Jeff: "We find out about transfers on Friday this week, since Monday is a national holiday in Japan, and we have to go to the city centers before we transfer. Although I don't think that we're going to be leaving Tama. It sounds like from President that since we're one of the leading areas right now, he wants to keep us here."

Since his birthday is coming up soon we asked if there was anything special he wanted. "Hm... I can't think of what I wanted in the birthday package... I don't really need much of anything that I can think of, but if there's room for a few more jello packets that might be nice. I just finished off my last one yesterday, but other than that... surprise me? :)"

Sadly they've lost contact with one investigator. Another family has said they're not interested in the church right now but they still want to make friends with some of the members and of course the missionaries. The Elders will continue to help the family build a good relationship with the ward and let the members examples help them along. There is another young man who is very interested in the Church but Jeff is worried that he's only interested intellectually. The Elders are inviting him to do things that will grow his faith. But the best is better in Jeff's own words.

"We were able to go to a baptismal service in Hachioji with (the investigator), which was great. She really liked it, and was surprised at how simple it seemed. She's super excited for her baptism. We're getting into some of the bigger commitments with her this week, but she's built up a lot of faith, so we're confident in her! Can't wait for the 20th! We also just found out the other day, that she gave all of her tickets for a classical music concert every Sunday, so she can come to all of church and learn more. We were super excited because we'd being trying to decide when we were going to teach her the ten commandment and keeping the sabbath day holy. We're SUPER excited that she's progressing so well!

Other than that, I think that's mostly it. The Stake President came to our ward today, and when he talked with us before church at the doorway he mentioned how we were leading the Stake right now, and that he appreciated it. We were very excited to get the compliment from him, and we're excited to work even harder now in Tama!"

We had to read the part about the tickets a couple times to make sense of it :) Sometimes his English comes out with a Japanese accent! We are waiting to hear about transfers next week. He and Elder O. get along so well it would be nice if they could stay together, but we know the mission president is inspired by the Lord to do what's best for everyone.

Jeff's trainer Elder W. during their last visit.

The 6'2" Elder O. in Japan :) Silly boys!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

No email or photos from the boy this week.  We'll keep you posted if we hear anything.

Monday, September 24, 2012


So a short email and no photos this week. He commented on a few things going on here at home and then supplied this:

"Weekly Update:
This weeks highlights mainly include going on splits. From Tuesday to Wednesday I went to the 4 man Machida area (for the 4th time), this time with my district leader. We housed some brand new houses, and actually had a lot of success finding people for him and his companion to teach. Thursday to Saturday we went on splits, this time I got to stay in Tama while Elder O went to Machida with one of the Zone Leaders. We went to a richer area and tried housing (because it seemed to have worked in Machida earlier that week), but we didn't have any success. We talked with one person on the street that had some interest, but we had to hurry home and spend the rest of Friday evening in the apartment. :\ Sunday was a pretty good day, we had three of the six investigators we were hoping would come to church come, but we had both of our baptismal candidates come so we're very happy with that. We're excited for all of the new investigators we're finding lately, We think we'll have a couple more dates after this week. And that's pretty much it this week, remember that next week is temple week so I'll write on Tuesday!"
Hopefully next week we will get our usual email with more information. We're just glad we get something regularly. He even remembered to remind us about temple week with no prompting from us!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Awesome Sunday meetings!

 Elder Mosdell and his companion have had a few bad weeks with some investigators but their patience, hard work and prayer paid off big this week!

"This week we had a couple lessons with (a female investigator) again, and she's doing really well. On Thursday we taught her about the plan of salvation, and she really liked that because it means she has a purpose to work for, and that God loves her enough to create a plan so that she can be happy. :) It was an awesome lesson! On Sunday was the other "lesson" which was technically Sunday School class, but Elder O helped teach about half. Anyways, The lesson was on the Word of Wisdom, and it went pretty well. Unfortunately we weren't able to focus just on her during the lesson, but more on that later. After church I talked with her for a minute about it, and she said that it would be a little hard giving up coffee and tea, but that she would pray about it. She wasn't able to find any information about the Book of Mormon when she searched, and we were able to answer her questions that she had during the lesson on Thursday.

Church was absolutely CRAZY this week. We had 5 investigators come, which is more than double what I've ever had before. We filled the classroom for  the Gospel Principals class, to the point that we had to go on exchanges and I went to a different class so that we could get everyone in the classroom. We were a little spread out, but it all turned out really well. The family that we found a few weeks ago came, and they have a TON of interest in Church. The wife felt the spirit super strong in sacrament meeting, and the husband really liked what he heard, and wants his future kids to grow up learning the traits of the church. I'm super excited for them! We also had another 19 year old come. We met him a few weeks ago, and he was interested in coming and learning about the purpose of life. He was SUPER confused after sacrament meeting, and felt like he shouldn't be at a Christian church, because he knew nothing of what was really going on. I (with the help of a Single Adult from the ward) was able to explain a lot of what was going on, and that as he comes to the other classes everything will start to make more sense. He really enjoyed learning about the Word of Wisdom, and how it helps us to live healthy lives. After church we were able to meet with a man who met the missionaries over a year ago but they never followed up with him after that day. He's been wanted to come and learn about church ever since then. We toured the church with him, and we were able to teach him about prayer as well as set a baptismal date for the 28th of October! I'm amazed at how many miracles we've seen this last Sunday, and I can't wait to see them continue. We'll likely have 6 people at church this next week!"

Look what we found at the import shop next to the train station!

Just to prove it wasn't from a care package. The soda had a label too.

They biked 42km around the border of their area on P-Day. This is the view from one of the tallest hills.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Splits and Donuts

"Weekly Update:
This week in Tama we were able to go on splits with the District Leader on Tuesday, and I really enjoyed it. It was fun to go to another area and spend time working with a younger and Japanese missionary. This was my first experience with being with any missionary newer than me. It was also nice to get to speak and practice Japanese all day again with a native speaker again.
We had two lessons with (the investigator who thought I hated him) this week, the first one seemed to have gone pretty well, but the second lesson today sadly did not. We asked him to fill out some of the information on the baptismal form, and he didn't feel safe giving his birthday, address, and parental information. We weren't able to convince him that it was safe, and I'm a little worried that he might still have problems with me. I feel really bad if that's the case, because to be honest I've been wanting to help him learn and progress to baptism since I first got here, and I've never said anything hateful about him. Sadly he also told the Bishop (before our lesson) that he was willing to give us the information and fill everything out. The Bishop said that he seemed "very good to go" in the interview, but in our lesson it was the opposite. After talking with the Bishop we decided to stop lessons with him for a few weeks and then start working with him again. I'm really not very happy about having to drop him... but I guess what has to be done has to be done. Meanwhile all we can do is pray for him and follow up once or twice a week.
Sadly we've also not been able to meet with any of our other investigators this week. :\ One investigator has been busy with work and a dog show this week, and was unable to come to church today, but she is still super interested, and reads the Book of Mormon a lot. She's searching for a general history of the Book of Mormon to help her understand it (she's getting through 2 Nephi now). We emailed her today and told her we can get her "Our Search for Happiness", but it sounds like she's also already gotten a hold of some other books. We're just hoping they're of decent quality...
Elder O and the District Leader found a Potential Investigator on Tuesday. When Elder O and I visited on Saturday we were lucky and we were able to teach a short little doctrine at the door to her and her husband. They want to come to church this next week, and she's got a lot of interest in the Book of Mormon and church. Her husband doesn't have much interest, but he's willing to check it out for her. They're a pretty fun, and very bubbly couple, and I think they've got some good potential. :)"

A huge moth, a bit tattered though.

An empty train, maybe Elder Mosdell needs to shower! LOL

A nice sunset in Japan

Wow! Beautiful sunset. What a difference a few minutes makes.
Mmmm donuts!

I'm thinking the donuts were a consolation for having troubles with the first investigator. But they did end the week on a positive note with the new family they met.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Arm Wrestling for Cookies...

"Weekly Update:

 So this week was a little interesting. Elder Oand I taught a lesson on Thursday, and about 10 minutes into our lesson with (the investigator) he stood up, and very angrily stormed out of the church, shouting "Hate you" at me on his way out. We were both in complete shock, because it seemed to be out of no where, and we weren't sure what to do. After trying to call him once we ran outside and jumped on our bikes to chase him down and find out what was wrong. Fortunately for us, most missionaries can bike FAR faster than people in Japan, so we were able to catch up to him as he was going up a hill and flag him down. So yes, we did "chase him down up a hill". :) But anyways, we managed to get everything sorted out, turned out for some reason he had thought that I'd been saying I hate him behind his back, and because I had a slight cold that day I wasn't talking much during the first part of the lesson, which I guess made him feel like I didn't like him so much that I wouldn't even speak to him. In any case though, we got it all worked out and he's back on track for being baptised.
(Another investigator) is doing as good as ever. She's read all the way through the introduction and first Nephi in the Book of Mormon, and is continuing to read and pray about it. She hasn't gotten an answer yet, but things seem to be going good. We were able to finish off the entire first lesson last Thursday, and we'll likely be teaching lesson 2 tomorrow... if we can find someone to join for the lesson... there's now a new rule going into effect in our mission. From this week forward we can't teach a female investigator (or do practice lessons with sisters from the ward) if there's not an 18 or older male there. This makes teaching here a little bit harder.

 On Saturday last week we got our shipment of Book of Mormons at a zone conference. We were almost out of them in our church, and at our apartment, so we ordered 40 (30 Japanese + 10 English)... of course what we forgot to think of when we ordered them was that it's a 30 minute walk from that church to the train station... and 30 Books of Mormon plus my quad and PMG weigh A LOT! >.< but that's OK, I made it back in one piece so. :)
Oh, and at that conference there was an arm wrestling competition for the extra cookies that Sister Budge brought. I won. :) It was kind of fun to have a little rivalry between MMHS and SF (two local high schools) for my first match too (btw the score was 2-0) ;D.
Other than that my week was pretty normal. :) Hope you all enjoy your week!"

Yep, limited news this week and no photos until next week.  Kind of a bummer, but we did get a lot of neat photos last week so I guess we'll forgive the boy this time.  He seems to have a knack for winning extra food, I don't think I'd want to go up against him in an arm wrestling match - I know how that would end!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Transfer 6/16

Elder M. is staying in Tama with Elder O. for another 6 weeks.  Last week they set a date for a baptism for one of their Eikaiwa students who is "intent on understanding and knowing everything about the gospel". The boys also had the chance to go to the Tokyo Temple,  Asakusa, and Skytree with an investigator.  They were able to see a lot of very neat things while they were out and were able to share some important information about eternal families.  A third investigator has also set a baptism date for mid September so they are keeping busy, working hard and having fun!

Here are some of the pictures (there were many) that Elder M. sent home this week - Enjoy!
The same rice field he sent pictures of in June, now grown.

"Look Ma, no hands!"

Building at Asakusa

Asakusa temple

Skytree tower from the ground

Looking down from the 1st deck of the tower

Looking down from the second deck of the tower
The highest point you can stand in the tower

View from the tower.  "So. Many. Buildings!"

Disney Tokyo

Funny Elders
Mt. Fuji

Mt. Fuji

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Splits, Investigators, Food

Oh wow! This week has been a wild one.  To start things off it was Temple week for our missionary, so email was a day late.  It also happened to be the first week of school for the rest of us, so we are more than a little bit behind with the post for the week.  Sorry about that!

Weekly update:

"On Tuesday we went on splits, and I went with Elder H. again (like last transfer). Since I can't remember if I've mentioned him yet or not I'll just pretended i haven't. Elder H. is also on transfer 5, and he was my zone leader in the MTC. It was a really fun day with him, and we taught a lesson to Mr. Y.. In that lesson we committed him to be baptised on the 15th of next month. He feels like the end of the world is coming up soon, so he feels a little more committed to making the baptismal date happen.

On Thursday we spent most of the day purging the phone of all the old names and numbers that we have no idea who they are. We wrote them all down as Potential Investigators, and actually called one on Friday and asked if he'd like to meet with us on Saturday. We got to meet with him and some other Potential Investigators, along with some of the youth and played ping pong. Everyone had a lot of fun..

Sunday we had another lesson with Y., we've made a teaching schedule for him, since he's been taught everything we're just going to go down the baptismal interview questions with him, and then spend a few lessons helping him with the things he has problems with.

We also found a new investigator housing on Sunday. At first when the person opened the door I started with just simply explaining that we were missionaries, and that we were from a near by church. After that though I hardly remember what I said to him, just that I was able to talk about what we believe about God and that by coming to church we can receive answers to how to find personal happiness. He was interested in coming to church next week and learning about what church has to offer. I was so surprised at my Japanese, because I've never been able to just hold a conversation like that. I'm way excited see him next week at church, and that my Japanese is really coming along.

Yesterday (Monday) We went to our last district meeting this transfer, and then out to Indian style curry. It's pretty good, and the bread (called nan) was all you could eat. :) So we had a good time."

Photos for the week include:
A golden carp

A beautiful sunset

Hachioji district August 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

All Mission Conference and District hike

Not only did we get an email from our Elder, but we also got an email from another missionary mom whose son had been on splits with ours.  She wanted to let us know what her son had said about Elder Mosdell being "a hard worker and a great guy to be with"  That's always nice to hear!  I also want to remind everyone that next week will be Temple week and the following week will be transfers- emails and posts for both weeks will probably be late!

In our email from Elder Mosdell this week we got this weekly update:

"I'm really excited for the changes that are happening in our mission right now. I LOVED the conference on Friday. Even though it was rather long (9am to 5pm), I felt like it was the most effective taikai (conference) I've been to.
August 2012 Mission conference photo from the mission blog
Elder Mosdell is in the front center of the group
Sunday we had a talk with our Bishop about what exactly he wants to happen while we're in Tama, and I felt like it was extremely effective to have done that. He told us about the things he feels are prohibiting Tama ward from growing, and we agreed on what needs to change. From here out we're going to be working hand in hand with the Bishop here in Tama, just like it should be.

One sad thing that happened this last week was at the taikai we listened to the missionaries that were returning within the next 12 weeks... Elder W. (My trainer) is among the missionaries, and it was kind of sad for me to think that I'm not going to get to see him around the mission anymore. I LOVED his testimony though, it was super helpful to me (as has everything he's said) among my favorite lines was "God doesn't create junk." He talked about drawing confidence from the fact that we're sons and daughters of the Almighty God, and that we have the potential to become like him.
Today (Monday) We hiked Mt. Takao as a district... Elder O. and I had this idea that it would be a lot of fun if we biked to the base of the mountain to save on funds, and so that we can bike past Takao Church, thus being able to say that we've biked to every church in our District... Here's an estimate on the distances; From Tama Center to Takaosanguchi (the base of the mountain) by bike was about 17km, then a 4km hike up the mountain, followed by the return trip of 4km and 17km... Grand total is 34km roughly by bike, and something like 8-10km hike. We're WAY tired right now >.< but it was fun.  I've got a few photos I'll post today, but I've got a ton that I'll get from the other Elders that went with us, and I'll post them up next week."

He sent a lot of pictures this week!

"This is Takaosanguchi station... Those are our bikes... we rode them... Yeah..."

Elders in the district hiking Mt. Takao.  Yes, that is my barefoot son who they called "Hobbit" a lot that day.

Elders.  Again Jeff is barefoot. "I hiked the whole mountain that way."

Elder O., Jeff's companion

The life story of Budda (1)

The life story of Budda (2)

The life story of Budda (3)

The life story of Budda (4)

"Look how big this thing is! Whoa!"
"Pretty cool little guy, way fast too."

A beautiful panoramic of the view from Mt Takao "No clouds this time"

Mt. Fuji