Monday, January 30, 2012

End Chapter 1, The MTC

The sun has set on the first chapter of Jeff's mission.  He is on his way to Tokyo!

It will be another 21 1/2 months before he sees our mountains again. 8)

He'll be looking at a lot of sky and not much else until he gets across the ocean after a 10 hour and 20 minute (approximately) flight.

Jeff said that he's under weight, as usual.  Well, his bags are under weight, even with extra towels, blankets, and shoes from some of the other missionaries traveling to Tokyo with him.  There are other missionaries too, but Jeff isn't sure how many or where they are going exactly.  He sounded happy and he's looking forward to landing in Japan and getting on with missionary life.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Last P-day in the USA

Jeff is on his last P-day in the MTC. He sent a few emails this morning. He's looking forward to calling home and grandparents Monday and wants to call from both SLC and Seattle. We are all looking forward to hearing his voice!

We will be expecting a package next week from him, apparently he has some more things to send home. Unfortunately he doesn't think it will have much written in it so we may be scratching our heads wondering why he sent certain stuff home and what does he want us to do with it. It's been fun sometimes trying to figure out what he was (or wasn't) thinking as we've been getting boxes and even letters from him. The only things we know that will be in the package are the extra stamps he won't be able to use in Japan and his extra MTC name tag. He will be getting full Japanese tags once he gets to Tokyo so he only needs to keep one from the MTC. He did leave some instructions for what to do with the name tag (there may or may not be pictures posted later). And I think we can figure out what to do with the stamps. 8)

Sunday he will be bearing his testimony in Japanese during sacrament meeting. Apparently it's a tradition and he's very nervous about it. I'm sure he'll do fine.

Jeff has been reflecting on his childhood recently. I have been helping Anna with her science project so I wrote a little about it in my letter to him. This was his reply:
"Funny thing, I was just thinking about the science project I (ok you) did for Chase and I in 5th grade, last night. I know we didn't really do all that much work and it probably was super frustrating, but it did mean a lot to me, and I have fond memories :) I'm sure Anna feels the same way."
I'm glad to know he remembers the work we did. I thought it was a great time and now I'm glad to see it paid off! It's always rewarding as a parent to have your children remember something you did, either for them or together.

Jeff is glad everyone likes the photos he's been sending home. He can't wait to get some really good ones from Tokyo and share them with us. I (the geek who sometimes saves the day) have set up a site for him to share photos with us. He can also create documents and other files and share them too. Maybe we will be printing and mailing letters from here to those who don't have email or don't use it regularly. From what we've heard his P-day there will be on Tuesday (Monday here) so it may be almost a full week before we hear anything from him again. We are hoping he gets time to email us when he's in the mission home the first night. It would be very comforting to know how he's doing and how his flight was. I suppose if we're extremely lucky his mission president will let him call home for a few minutes. One can always hope right?

Jeff also had this to say:
"Let everyone know that I'm sorry for not writting back (I do mean EVERYONE), I've been super busy and only able to send off the 5 letters to home, plus 2 to 2 of the several other people that are sending me mail. I'll likely not write home much after this week, just email weekly. That'll save me a bunch of time, so let everyone know a reply is coming... slowely :\"
So please be patient as you wait for a reply and know that he plans on writing everyone sometime, someway. I suspect some of you may be getting your replies as a post on this site. 8)

Friday, January 27, 2012

No Email??? =(

We have been waiting all day for emails that never came.
Nothing in my inbox...   :(

Then we had the brilliant idea to pick up our mail.  DUH!

Hooray! Mail from Jeff!  We got a very short letter that basically said:

Stop freaking out mom, I've got it all under control.
P.S. P-day has been changed to Saturday this week.

Ha ha, apparently I'm as nervous about him flying as he is.  That gave us a bit of a laugh. 8)

So, I guess you'll have to look for an update tomorrow, assuming he has time to email somewhere in his travel preparations.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


A close up of Elder Mosdell's face
AFTER it met the marble stairs in the Provo Temple last week.
Did ya have a nice "trip" Elder?

A bit swollen, but he says he's fine. 8)

Jazz hands?  We love you this much? 
I'm really not sure what this is, but it's fun.

Elders and Sisters preparing to go to Japan!
(There are a few other shots that include some elders not shown here)

I'm not sure who sent this to Jeff, he didn't say,
but it's AWESOME in so many ways!

3 hour layover in Seattle

Well, we got short letters, a photo copy of the travel itinerary, and an SD photo card in the mail today. 

Jeff's letter to me was semi incoherent.  I'm guessing that has something to do with the language difference.  From what we could figure out he wants me to send his replacement shirts, he loved the stories that I copied and sent him from Elder Brimhall's blog, he doesn't want me to send him any more paper even though he's almost out because it's really cheap in Japan, and he's still nervous about flying. 

There should be more info in a few days because Jeff has one last pday in Provo.  After that things will be a bit spotty until he gets a routine established in Tokyo.

From the itinerary we have more information about what times he may be calling home on Monday next week.  Jeff's flight leaves SLC at 8:30 AM and lands in Seattle at 9:45 (10:45 our time)  his next flight leaves Seattle at 1:05 (2:05 our time) and lands in Tokyo at 4:45 PM (12:45 AM our time) on Jan 31st.  Why am I telling you this? Because I will not be taking calls from anyone but Jeff from 4 to 8:30AM and 10:45AM to 2:00PM on Monday.  Just don't even bother calling me between those hours.

41 images on the photo card!  We had bit of a problem getting the photos off the card which made me sick and I even cried (the computer said that the file was empty and the camera said that the card was not usable).  The good news is I married a geek. He saved the day.  Again.  I'll be posting photos as soon as I look through them, so be looking for that very soon! Once Jeff is in Japan he will just upload photos to what ever site his dad sets up for that purpose and there will be no more of this lost card/dead card stuff.  Again with the geek man saving the day.  It is the main theme here folks. 8)

OH, one last thing.  If you would like to write a letter to Elder Mosdell and have it be at the mission home when he gets there on Tuesday NOW is the time to do it.  Postage to Japan is $1.05 and it takes 5 to 7 days to arrive.  Please write him as often as you can, he would love to hear from you!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Travel Information!

We got letters and a package from Elder Mosdell yesterday.  The package contained mostly a couple of his shirts that had manufacturing defects (the right sleeve fabric was pulling out of the cuffs on both shirts) and needed replacing.  There were also some things for us to put with his storage here at home, you know, stuff like Christmas decorations that he doesn't want to haul to Japan and carry around for the next two years.  We ran to Mr. Mac yesterday, showed them the shirts and within minutes we were on our way home with brand new shirts.  I'm sure glad for that!

The letters were a bit less exciting.  Mostly he talked about how nervous he is to fly for the first time. 

Today we got emails which contained much more exciting information.  Elder Mosdell received his travel documents today!  He will be leaving the MTC at 5:30 (AM I assume, he didn't say) going to the Missionary Travel office in Salt Lake, and then on to the airport where his flight for Seattle is scheduled to leave at 8:30 (again I'm assuming AM).  They will have a 4 hour layover in Seattle, board a flight  and arrive in Tokyo about 5 PM on Tuesday January 31st. If I'm correct, that puts his arrival time at about 2 AM our time, won't that be lovely. Now, I feel it important to remind you that some of the schedule information was calculated using MY math skills.  Don't be too surprised if there are corrections made to this info. 8)

He asked me to post the address of the Mission Home (it is located at the end of this post and will be on the right side bar by the MTC address) so people can send him mail, he's worried about not getting letters once he leaves the country (remember that postage for a letter to Tokyo will cost $1.05).  He also asked me to share the following story here on the blog:

"We climbed the stairs down to the Missionary changing room in the bottom of the Provo Temple, as I climbed the steep stairs I thought to myself "these are really steep, one of these days some poor accident prone person is going to trip and fall." I went on my way, not thinking much of it again. After our session we were headed up the stairs when I had a panic attack, "OH NO!" I thought to myself as I reached both hands into my pockets, "did I remember my MTC card?" I sighed with relief as I felt the card in my pocket. But then a look of terror spread across my face as my foot caught one of the stairs and I started to fall. Quickly I went to put my hands down to catch myself, Alas... they were still in my pockets. Quickly I put my knee out, then rolled and caught most of the fall with my hip and shoulder, but sadly with the steepness of the marble stairs, my head still caught the edge of the last step... right in the mouth. I've got a lovely swollen lip and cheek... but that's OK. I'll send a photo of it on the card :)"

If all goes as planned we will receive an sd card with photos from the MTC before he leaves and then we'll have an alternate solution for photo sharing once he's in Tokyo.  We'll post additional info as it becomes available, in the mean time consider spending $1.05 to send the boy a letter this week so that it's in Tokyo when he gets there.

Elder Jeffery Mosdell
Japan Tokyo Mission
161-031 JAPAN

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Letters and Email

Its beginning to look like our routine has changed some.  For the last few weeks the letters have arrived on Thursday and of course the email still comes on Friday.  With all of the crazy stuff going on here I'm just a little late with the post too.  This week I asked how many of the elders and sisters were headed to Tokyo and were the cookies good - His response?

"In my room, all 4 of us are Tokyo, in my District, 5/9. In my zone I don't really know, but I know most of the Tokyo missionaries are in my district. And yes, the cookies were great :D"

So I guess the good news is that in less than three weeks Jeff will be in Tokyo having an entirely new experience with entirely new people.  I think a change of companion and roommates will be a really good thing.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

This week's package? Cookies!

As per request I'm sending the boy some home made cookies this week. 
Chocolate/chocolate chip/white chip.  He's also getting a rather large stack of letters and some various silliness.  I've only got a couple of weeks left to send him packages before it starts costing nearly 9 times as much to send a package about 1/3 the size.  8/

I haven't gotten a letter yet this week, not sure that I will because of various craziness happening (you know how life gets) but again I have some info supplied by one of his friends. By way of explanation Choro is what the Japanese call the elders instead of elder, so Jeff is Mosdell Choro rather than Elder Mosdell.  Shibuta San (Andrus Kyodai) is, I believe, their investigator that they have been practicing with in the MTC.  So, here is a few interesting bits from a letter Jeff wrote last week (postmarked Jan. 6th) which were shared with me:

"I can hardly believe that it's 2012 already, if you only look at years, I come home next year! It's crazy to think that I've been here almost two full months!

My holidays were pretty good, New Years was...interesting. There were a lot of elders that tried to party all night, thankfully not my zone.

Elder Bednar was wonderful! I really hope we get one more 1st pres. to come before I leave, it was super inspirational. There's only two rooms of kohai on our residence floor, and I don't see one of them often.  In the room next to us is James Choro, Kim Choro, Larsen Choro, and the elder from Brazil...I don't know how to spell his name.

Justin left just this last week, and I'm super jealous of his less than 3 week stay. I have a 4x as long stay...

We had a HUGE lesson with Shibuta San (Andrus Kyodai) yesterday (1/5/12). He's been getting less and less actively progressing, but we really nailed him with our lesson, and GUESS WHAT?! I bore an amazing testimony to him, IN Japanese!"

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Short post for short emails

Well most of the family got emails this week, but they were all short. It think Laura got the shortest, 2 sentences. Jeff is getting excited to leave the MTC and get to Japan, but he's nervous about flying. He's never flown before and the idea of a 12 hour flight makes him a little nervous. He's doing well, at least from what we could gather from such short emails. He is hoping to be able to call a few times from the airport during his layover. We are looking forward to getting letters next week. He promised to write long letters, we'll see what we get 8)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Murphy's law in action

Yep, the letter I've been waiting for came today.  You know, after I gave up and decided I wasn't going to get it before his email tomorrow, after I sent his weekly package in which I told him if I didn't get a letter soon next week's package would be filled with chicken poop, and after I told him that the package a friend was expecting hadn't arrived (it arrived too by the way).  Isn't that just the way of it?  If you want someone to call you should eat something or use the restroom, boom! Guaranteed they'll call.  Right? Yeah.

OK, so, the crazy story of the week is that President Mills (a former member of our stake presidency who moved away) works for the MTC and is somehow involved with the international MTC's specifically (this wasn't exactly clear to me).  So President Mills was at the Provo MTC on the evening of January 1st and he spoke to them about the other 14 MTCs. Afterward Jeff was able to visit with Pres. Mills.  Jeff said "it was very cool".

I'm even more grateful for the pics of Elder Mosdell and Elder Brimhall that we received yesterday because Jeff managed to delete all of the photos he had on the card that he was going to send home with the letter, so no more new photos until next week (hopefully he'll send some then). I think I'll send him the photos because I'll bet they were among the ones he lost. =(

Jeff will be leaving the MTC in just over three weeks , in 10 days he will have been out for two months already.  Hopefully we got his papers in early enough that there won't be a delay because of his visa or anything like that, apparently another elder was stuck in the MTC for an extra 3 weeks because his visa didn't come through.  Current plans are that Jeff will be leaving the MTC on Monday Jan 30th (likely at some crazy early hour) flying to somewhere on the west coast (possibly LA or Seattle) for a layover at which time he will be allowed to call home, from there he will board an international flight and go on to Japan where he will arrive on Tuesday Jan 31st. Japan is 15 hours ahead of us and time zones really mess with my head so I hope this is right.  He'll spend the first night in the mission home and be in his apartment Wednesday night.  I assume we'll get mailing instructions and an address for him at some point in there or shortly after his arrival.

Finally Jeff was amazed at the figures I sent him concerning the number of blog views we get here, the average per day views and the total views for December, here is a message he asked me to post for you all:

"Howdy everyone! 
It's good to know that you're all so supportive of me and my mission.  Sadly there aren't many things to talk about yet from the MTC.  Hopefully Japan will be far better. 8)  Thank you all for writing me over the holidays, if I've not replied yet I promise I'm working on it.  I got a little backed up."

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

No mail yet, but good stuff just the same.

Well, the funny thing about expecting mail is I haven't gotten any.  I guess that's like a watched pot never boiling or the mother's curse ("Get out of that tree, you'll break your arm!"). 
On the bright side my super secret spy network (aka Jeff's friends and their parents) have provided some information to fill the void for the first half of this week.
First up we have a little tidbit of info about an injury.  From what I understand, Jeff managed to get himself a minor cut and bled on his t-shirt and one of his white dress shirts.  At least it didn't sound like anything big, I assume they'd call us if it was a major problem.  Anyway, Erin's spot removal advice has hopefully solved the blood stain issue, Thanks E! ♥

Next up was a super nice surprise from Elder Justin Brimhall's parents, a couple of photos of our boys together in the MTC.   Justin has left the MTC and is in his first area, Albany GA as of yesterday (Jan 3rd). 

 Go get em' Elder Brimhall!
By the way, Justin has a blog too -
If you know him you should definitely check it out.

 And a super HUGE thanks to the Brimhalls for being so truly awesome - Thankyou!