Monday, July 29, 2013

7/29/13: Trying to follow in Dad's footsteps... Sometimes not the best thing to do


Today has been a very interesting day. We spent the usual 7-8 hours at church today between the Japanese branch and the English Ward. Following that we got to visit the Nuttal family for dinner and share a brief message with them before going home to do some Sunday evening finding. On our way home (we walked from the base gate) to pick up some things we left at the church we saw a VERY drunk man fall into a bush, so we stopped and helped him up and then walked him home. It took us almost 30 minutes to get him the 3 blocks to his home. Once we'd finally gotten him to his home we walked down the stairs and started back on our way when we noticed there were like 6 cops walking the streets searching for something. One of them stopped us, and asked if we were the two foreigners who were helping a very drunk man. We of course said yes and instantly the officer radioed the rest of his team to the street corner we were standing on. They bombarded us with questions that I only understood maybe a half of, and after 15 minutes of taking our personal information and telling us that even though we had intended well that we should avoid helping drunk people home in the future. Long story short, it took us over an hour to walk the 5 minutes from the base gate to home. Hopefully nothing too serious happened that I didn't understand. We're also hoping that nobody from the police station calls us... As fun as dad's story of getting arrested on his mission is, getting taken in for "mugging a guy" when really you're just helping him home doesn't sound nearly as cool as "assault and battery with a deadly weapon" for shooting pigeons with a PVC pipe and rocks...

A side from that we've had a very good week regarding Less-Active work. Elder N. and I feel very strongly that were are supposed to be working with the LA's in this area at this time. Of course we're not forgetting our investigators, but we'll probably be spending more time with the LA's for the next at least couple weeks. One of them is a recent convert who moved shortly after getting baptized and never received the AB lessons. We're going to being spending some time with him today and we're hoping to set up lessons with him at least once a week, hopefully more. There's a lot more we're working with, there's one family in particular Elder N. and I feel a very strong tie to, though we're not sure why. The mother has had some hard times and apparently some of  the Relief Society Sisters had passed the story around church, which really upset this mother. She's a return missionary and knows the church is true, she just really doesn't like some of the people in the ward for what they've done. To make matters worse, the primary president is, in her own words, "attacking her" with texts and calls and unexpected visits to get her to come to activities and Sacrament. When we heard that in ward council yesterday we felt really like the wonderful visit we'd had with this family just two days before was kind of being nixed. I'm not sure what to do right now to help the family but I'm sure we'll find something via revelation!

Sadly we didn't meet with any investigators this week, the Nagaii family's son's health regressed a little bit and so they were busy with the stress that came with that. They did come to the pioneer day activity on base last Saturday though and got to meet several more members. We should be meeting with them this week, they're planning on calling us today or tomorrow.

I'm so glad to get to work with Elder Nakayama here in Yokosuka. I know that this is where the Lord wants me to be, and that we're here for a specific purpose. Elder Nakayama works hard and has a good attitude. I love working with him, and I love working here in Yokosuka. I feel like Ammon, wanting to dwell among this people for however long it takes me to finish the work that the Lord had called me to do here.


Elder Mosdell

Monday, July 22, 2013

7/22/13: In the middle of a mountain? (山の中で?)

Having transfers in the middle of the week has been interesting. It's made it a little harder to accomplish all of the related tasks and still be on top of the plans we'd made for the week, but we did our best! I'm excited to have Elder Nakayama here in Yokosuka to work with. Elder Nakayama is 1/2 Japanese, comes from Hawaii, and speaks pretty good Japanese for how long he's been out (coming up on 8 months). He's defiantly very easy going, and is willing to do anything that is important. He may not be exactly obedient, but he has a good attitude and I think he's willing to improve. Hopefully we'll be able to see several miracles here in Yokosuka together.

As for things we actually were able to get done this week;

We had a great lesson with the Nagaii family last Monday. When we invited them to work towards a baptismal date, dad said that he wasn't sure if he wanted to make that promise just yet. But he IS willing to study and seek personal revelation on the subject. I don't know if we could have honestly hoped or a better answer than what he gave us. He hit the nail on the head as far as what we wanted him to do. He hadn't read yet when I followed up on Friday, but had been thinking about what we'd said and was going to read that night. Hopefully their son's leg will continue to improve so that they can make it to church and to the pioneer day celebration this Saturday.

While we were waiting for Elder Nakayama at the train station, Elder Addington and I decide to pass out English class flyer's. Elder Nakayama ended up coming over 30 mins late due to a train mix up, and during that time I met a man named Chris who knew about our church and liked how families are central to our believes. He was planning to come to church, though he didn't show up sadly. Point was though, everything happens for a reason. I'd never have met Chris if Elder Nakayama hadn't ended up taking a wrong train. :)

I got to go back to Fussa yesterday and see the baptism of one of the Spanish families I was working with while I was there. It was so good to get to go back and see old friends from the English ward there, including Jamie and her kids, I even got to meet Chris for the first time! Hopefully I'll get to go back and see them again before I go home when my cousin Lisa gets baptized in November. I also enjoyed getting to see Elder Squire again... I guess I just love reunions :)

We're hoping to do a lot of less active work this transfer, so hopefully we'll see a lot of success come from that!
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Playing with light and shutter speed

"whoa! ocean baptism are cool"

"Two elders from Spanish Fork and one convert
converted by a missionary from Spanish Fork long long ago..."

"mmmm Sushi Soba dish"

"Almost got the triforce out with a Qtip on fire.... almost...."

Sunday, July 14, 2013

7/15/2013: November 19th

Howdy all!

Well, transfer calls were supposed to come last Saturday and then be followed by transfers today, however President Wada has decided to rearrange the way we do transfers from here on out. From now on calls will come on Tuesdays, and transfers will be that next Thursday. Good news there is that transfers won't push P-day back ever again. :D So from here on out I'll be able to email every Monday!

I'm glad to have one more P-day to spend trying to get the apartment really clean and organized so that if someone transfers the next missionary can come into a nice looking apartment, instead of a dusty, moldy one. Hopefully we'll be unified in getting it done today...

One of the APs called and informed me of my new returning date. As many of you may have already guessed, it's Tuesday Nov. 19th, 2013. I'm glad to get to serve exactly to the 1 year anniversary of Brother T's baptism in Tama! I don't know if he'll be able to go to the temple before I go home, but I'm hoping something will work out. Also, it seems that I'll be here for another of my cousin's baptism (in Fussa) which is a pleasant surprise. :)

We haven't had a chance to meet with the Nagaii family, or the Hawkington family, though we have a lesson today with the Nagaiis, and we're planning to go visit the Hawkingtons sometime this week as well. I'm excited for both. :)
The work here in Yokosuka has been great lately, we've been getting to know the English Ward members better as well as helping the ward council with ideas of how to set a missionary example for the rest of the ward. There's also been a pretty big push from the Japanese Branch to really strive for the number of ward members to grow instead of diminish over the next few months (the two main families from the branch are moving).  We're going to be going with some of the Elder's quorum leaders out to visit every Less active we have on our lists and seeing if a.) they actually live there, and b.) If they're interested in having visits from the missionaries and other members. I'm hoping we'll find a lot of inactive members who will see how much they are needed, and start coming back. I'm praying that whom ever I'm with next transfer (whether it's Elder H again or not) is going to be willing to really buckle down and work hard through the summer. There's a lot of work that can be done in Yokosuka, the area just needs a united set missionaries who are willing to do it.

I guess that's it for this week! I'll be sure to get all the photos up of this transfer next week! (I have to "steal" several from Elder H first). Have a great week all!
-Elder Jeff Mosdell

7/8/2013: Akiya, long time exposures and families

It might take awhile for me to get used to writing President Wada in my letters, I was just getting used to the switch to Pres. Budge. ;P haha

This week has been pretty good, we've found two families that have interest in the gospel, and I'm excited to start to teach them. We have an appointment with the American family this coming Tuesday. I don't remember if I've mentioned them before, but they're the Nagaii family, the one who's son had an injury a few months ago and still hasn't healed, so they asked us for a blessing. Apparently we made a very good impression on them, and they can really tell that we care about their family. We're going to have dinner and follow up on their son, share a spiritual message about the Plan of Salvation, and then invite them to work towards being baptized. I'm super excited, because I know that right now their big fear is that dad isn't willing to give up some things (probably Word of Wisdom related) yet, but we feel that if we can have a good spiritual lesson where they all feel the spirit that he'll except the invitation to learn and continue to feel the spirit until he feels ready to make that change in his life.

The other family is a wealthy seeming family living on the other side of the Yokosuka peninsula from us. The Hawkington family invited us over to their restaurant so they could meet their son's "Free English Teachers". The meeting went very well, and when we gave them a "Do you know us?" DVD, mom was really interested in studying about eternal families. They were definitely more accepting than they were opposed to what we had to say. Our only concern with teaching them is that they live in a kind of remote part of our area. The best way to get there is to go up, out of our zone to Zushi Station, then ride a bus back down for 30 minutes to where they live in our area. It's kind of expensive to travel to, but we felt like a lot of the people there were very open and friendly, so we might try biking out that way a few times and seeing how people react to our message. Sadly it turned out that visiting Akiya (Fall Valley) was just as hot as every where else in Yokosuka in the summer... No cool fall weather, ;P

There's a lot of potential coming out in Yokosuka, I'm really glad to start feeling like we're getting somewhere again. Hopefully next week will be even better!
-Elder Jeff Mosdell
Mike Wazowski - I guess Jeff got a new keychain?

This must be the "long time exposures" he mentioned in the email title.
Not sure what it is, but it is a neat effect!

Monday, July 1, 2013

7/1/2013: Christmas in July!

Today marks the first day of the Japan Tokyo South Mission.  Elder Mosdell will serve the remaining months of his mission under President Wada.  Please note the change in mailing address, here is the accurate mailing address:

Elder Jeff Mosdell
1-7-7 Kichijoji Higashi-cho
Musashino-shi, Tokyo

With that said, here is your weekly update from the boy!
This year we decided to kick off Christmas in July so we can get a little more use out of our Christmas music on our missions. Now we're just waiting for the "MSF fairy" to deliver out funds so that we can go P-day shopping... But anyways, on to the report!

We just watched the "Hastening the Work" broadcast with our English Ward leaders last night (I find it kind of ironic that being 15 hours ahead causes me to be a week behind on church broadcasts >.<). It was a great broadcast, it's going to be neat to watch how the members respond over the next 4ish months of my mission. I'm also excited to get to be part of the change after I go home as well. In some ways I'm even more excited to be on that side of the work! (I have a feeling that a lot of it won't fully be implemented until then). To be honest though the only new thing as far as the missionary side to me was Facebook. We've been using Skype and such for my entire mission. I hear we may even be "upgrading" to tablets pretty soon as well! (I kind of think of that as a downgrade... but w/e I guess). The part I was the most excited for was the encouragement for the members. I'm really excited to see the work take off as the members step up to the plate!

In other news, my third Mission President (President Wada) just landed Saturday night. So it's "good bye" to President Budge, and on to round three!

Things started really kicking in to gear even this last week before we watched the broadcast. We had a great lesson with a family who was referred to us by the previous bishop's family. Their son injured his leg at school several months ago and still hasn't healed. The family knows a lot about Mormons, and has had several Mormon friends over the years. Mom had received a blessing once before for an injury in her back, so they wanted to know if their son could also have a blessing. We gave the son a blessing of healing, and mom and dad a blessing of comfort and council. Afterwards we talked about the church and their interest level. Mom, who speaks Japanese, told us while dad wasn't paying attention (in Japanese as well), that she and their son would love to be baptized, but dad isn't ready to give (up) some things. They're waiting on him because she's afraid it might cause contention if they don't. Dad isn't very spiritual, however with the current situation of his son he's been willing to turn to anything that will help. Long story short, mom and son are completely ready to hear the gospel, and we feel that now is a good time to talk to dad about giving it a try. Our next invitation is to listen to the lesson and to work towards baptism.

Elder H. and I were just discussing how some people's missions seem to fly by, but how both of us feel like it's been pretty normal. He commented that it feels like it's been exactly 11 months, and I thought back on it and started to say the same about how long I've been out... until I realized that I haven't been out for 15 months, but rather 20... I can't believe it's been 20 months since I went to the MTC! Time really does seem to be speeding up as I round the last corner!

I think that's it for this week, so I'll write ya'll next week!

 -Elder Jeff Mosdell

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