Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Stage Name in Progress

My daughter Elisa has loved singing for years and has taught herself how to play guitar (and then took a class in school which she said was too beginning for her) and is starting to learn piano. She wants to blend all of that to major in vocal performance in college next year and then on to her dream of fame by being a singer. Not just any singer, but a singer who everyone knows her name....only she doesn't know her name yet. Her stage name at least. She doesn't want to use her real name, but nothing has jumped out at her yet.

I've been encouraging (or pushing) her to perform at an open mic night locally, but she hasn't done that yet. I've also been encouraging her to make some new videos and she finally did!! Yeah! This is her first solo singing video and the first where she is playing the guitar. She writes her own songs I in my slightly biased, but still legitimate opinion, they are amazing----AMAZING! So far she only wants to do covers for her videos, and she's working on her second video now. Hopefully she'll start adding her own music too. If you know her, you should encourage her to do that.


If you like it, she would be so excited if you subscribe to her channel Elisa G Music, like it, share, comment--- any or all of those!

Crysta, Elisa's best friend growing up, used to sing all the time with her. Crysta is also a very talented piano player and guitar player, which go along with her beautiful voice. They sang in a competition together and although they didn't win first place, they did win a trophy and time in a recording studio. That really spurred Elisa on getting to have so much fun (and lots of work) in a studio. Even though these are 3 years old and some are blurry, I want to share Elisa's earlier videos she made with Crysta on their old YouTube channel. Someday when she's famous these will be golden. Hehe


Monday, September 28, 2015

Neverland

A few things from Alex's email to me:
I can't believe that Elder Scott died! Soon all the apostles that have been around for all my life will be gone.

(His comment when I mentioned something I saw while watching the LDS series about missionaries called The District.) The District is one of the things that is in all the apartments of missionaries, and we watch it a lot; especially as we train or get trained. It is interesting to try and figure out what those missionaries could have done better, and sometimes I wish I could have someone filming me so I could do it for myself. 

Recently the elders were having a talk in our apartment how all the
members grow up while the elders are always the same age, and how that
makes missionaries seem like Peter Pan; we never grow up. Where as all
aspects of my life don't seem to be like I'm living in Neverland,
sometimes I feel like I will be here forever, and most of the time I
wish I could. If it were not for the chance to meet my family again,
as well as the eventual saving ordinances I will receive with a to be
eternal companion in a temple of God, whoever that may be (both of
which aren't allowed as a full time young missionary of the Church), I
would more than willingly live this life, with these people, until the
day I die.

The kanji of the week is: 最近 pronounced "sigh-keen" and means "recently."

Monday we had a picnic with the ward, and an English class student and
one of our investigators came. It was lots of fun, and the closeness
of a park to the church was helpful too (there is a big pond and a
park right next to the church). Right after that we emailed for a bit
more (we didn't have too much time before hand to do so), and did all
the basic preparation day stuff. In the evening, the members left some
of the leftovers for us at the church, and it took us all evening to
get it packaged and clean all the dishes. It wasn't exactly what I
wanted to do, but it had to be done.
 
Tuesday we went to go visit a less active, but no one answered the door. We also tried to visit Brother Yamamoto (one of our investigators), but he wasn't home. We then went to try and find some free English or Japanese classes to try and find that way, but that day was a holiday, so everything related to city run things were closed. Nearby was a sword exhibit, and there were a lot of people going in and out, so we thought we'd try and talk to people there; unfortunately not much came from it though. After that we went and tried to visit a less active member, but there was a guy there who said he wasn't the person we were looking for. So, we went to Brother Nakamura's house (a member). We did a practice lesson, and it went well. We also got to talk and get to know him better. He loves birds, and calls himself the Morioka bird man, so I was happy to talk about birds with him (yes I like birds, although I don't know much about them). We also went and handed out fliers for English class in the evening.

Wednesday was wacky. I don't know if that's what I would call it, but
I wanted to alliterate. In the morning we went to try and try out a
sign language circle, but it was a holiday again (this week is called
silver week in Japan), so they didn't have it. We went and had lunch
and did studies, and then went to Brother Yamamoto's house. We watched
the restoration video with him and talked a bit about it afterwards.
We then went to the church and one of the English class students
brought a kimono that she let the elders try on. She also showed us
how to properly fold it, and some other cool things about how you wear
kimonos depending on certain conditions. Not too long after that, we
had English class. Everyone is still pretty quiet, but they're pretty
good at English.

Thursday we had district training meeting in the morning followed by
going on splits again. I went back to Miyako, but this time I went
with my old companion Elder T. We first went to visit a less
active with two other members and read the Book of Mormon together. It
was a good read, and the atmosphere was good. We then went to the
church and had a lesson with an investigator that we went to last week
on splits. There wasn't too much focus this time on anyone's part
because of the investigator's kid, but that should not have been an
excuse, and isn't. After that we finished our studies.

Friday was spent entirely in traveling and weekly planning, so I don't
have too much exciting things to talk about that day.

Saturday we went over to Brother Yamamoto's house, but we didn't
really get to talk about the gospel too much, because he was very
talkative. After that we did street contacting, and got two copies of
the Book of Mormon out, and one of them we might play ping-pong with
soon. It started raining towards the end, so we abandoned our endeavor
(we didn't have umbrellas), and went to the church and set up for a
meeting on how to improve English class. That was how we ended the
night.

Sunday was a pretty normal morning and sacrament meeting. We got to
also have a lesson with Brother Yamamoto who came again during the
second hour, and a member came to help out. It really did help,
because Brother Yamamoto was very focused and could feel the spirit.
After church and studies, we went to visit a less active, Brother
Imamatsu. We have been meeting with him at least once each week, and
he is starting to really progress. He lives far away, so that was just
about all we got to do.

That's my week! I hope you all enjoyed it, and got something out of
it. Love you all! 
 Love, 
 Elder _____________ 
長老


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Lazy Day Workout Videos Part 2

All the way back in April, I did a post called Lazy Day Workout Videos Part 1, but I hadn't done a Part 2. Yesterday I decided to try a new workout on YouTube and quickly found one of many workout videos by Cassey Ho on her channel Blogilates. I did 4 different "6 Minute" sculpting workouts, which I am posting here, but she has lots of different workouts on her channel and also videos about healthy eating, etc. 

I think the original name of the blog post "Lazy Day Workout Videos" isn't very accurate, even though none of these 4 require shoes. These are short videos, but they are pretty intense. I have so far only done them yesterday and today and I can already feel a bit more muscle under my flab. 



This requires no weights, but don't let that fool you. Your arms will burn! Kinda reminds me of the arm exercises my dad would do with us kids when he was in the army. "Keep your arms up."





Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Utah Local: Let's Talk About Bums!

It's not what you were thinking. This post is about a new, original musical playing right now in Provo that I got to see yesterday. I love plays, but I don't like to watch the same ones over and over so when I heard this one was original, I was happy. And I really like to support local talent and Stephen Gashler, the playwright, is, along with the cast and crew and director Adam Cannon.


"In the rip-roaring 1920s, a daydreaming businessman named Edward feels trapped amid the hustle and bustle of city life. Inspired by the example of Dirty Dan, the self-proclaimed 'king of the bums,' Edward wants to forsake the rat race, but going against the grain brings on the resistance of his fiancee, his family, the corporate world, and a political machine. Why won’t society just let him be a bum?"

I do have to mention that I know Jennifer Mustoe who brillantly plays Beulah Brummel, running for office and wanting to clean up the streets, with her daughter always close behind (Beulah's daughter, not Jennifer's). And I have to thank Jennifer to letting me know about the play.
The play was lots of fun with many laugh out loud moments and catchy songs and energetic dancing. You can even buy the soundtrack to keep enjoying the tunes at home.






You can listen to music from the play HERE.

Bums! is playing at Echo Theater 15 N. 100 E. Provo. Just go up the stairs when you walk in and the box office is right behind the wall. You can buy the tickets online HERE or at the box office. The building is just south of La Dolce Vita and east of Los Hermanos. So make a Provo night of it and eat at a great restaurant and then drop by the theater for wonderful laughs and music and take a big group of family or friends for a fun night together. Then come back and tell me what you thought of it!
AND I'm not done yet. If you or someone you know is looking for a FREE, fun musical for your school or community theater to perform, Stephen Gashler is allowing you to produce it with no royalties or fees to help get the word out about it. Here he is to tell you about that:



So stop by Echo Theater for a fun night before it's over. There are performances every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday until October 3. Hurry!

**I have to mention that none of these photos are mine. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Missionary Work for All

I recently read a quote from Elder Holland about the things that
missionaries are supposed to do from an address given at a school (I can't remember which one). As I have gone about doing things that missionaries do this week, I have really thought about what we really are doing. In missionary handbook "Preach My Gospel," there are many methods mentioned about how to find things to talk about with people. As I read them, and thought about the quote from Elder Holland, I came to the realization that another word for missionary is "friend." All the methods mentioned are things that you would use to try and find common ground with someone in a class room or some other setting. That's the real reason we go out every day: to find friends. I'm sure everyone would agree that the world needs more friends, true friends, and that's what we try and become.

This is very helpful in understanding the famous quote from
Presidents past, "every member a missionary." In other words, "every member a friend." Now that sounds a lot easier than becoming a missionary, yet they are exactly the same. I challenge all of you to try and be friends to those around you, no matter if they're friends to you right away or not. If you do so, I promise you that people's hearts will be opened, and you will become happier. Through doing that, we can all come closer to Christ together.

The kanji of the week is: 楽しい pronounced "tah-no-shee" and means "fun"!

Monday was a pretty normal day, and I don't have too much to say about the daytime hours. At night, however, we went to a restaurant called "bikkuri donkey" (it means surprise donkey, but don't ask me why) with a guy who helped us last week find a member's house. It was fun, and he asked a lot of questions about us, what we do, and even what we believe in. He seemed to have interest, and this week we're meeting with him again.

Tuesday we went to the church and had a lesson with a less active. It was really good, and I think he's beginning to have interest in the
church again, because he was asking lots of good questions, and
honestly trying to understand everything. After that we went back to our investigator Brother Yamamoto's house. We talked about how he thought church was, and he said that he is really jealous of how happy everyone at church looks. I really hope that we can help him feel that happiness more. We then went to a members house and had a practice lesson. I can't remember what the lesson was about, but it was really good--one of the best we've had this transfer.

Wednesday we went to try and go in the morning to a sign language circle here in Morioka. We can't be alone (as a companionship) with women of any number, and there were only women at the circle. So, we're going to go next week with the other elders. We finished our studies, and then Elder M. planned for our district training meeting until we needed to go to the church and prepare for English class. Class itself was fun, and the students are starting to open up, so I'm happy! They're pretty tired most of the time.
Pond right outside our church
Thursday we had district training meeting in the morning. It was fun, and I learned a lot (like how I need to work on my way of teaching missionaries). Shortly after the meeting, President Smith came and had interviews with us. I am always excited to talk with President Smith, and this time was no exception. At the end of our interview, he said a prayer that honestly made me feel like I was one of the Nephites at the time of Christ's visit: "And tongue cannot speak the words which he prayed, neither can be written by man the words which he prayed" (3 Nephi 19:32). Now, this was not necessarily the exact same thing, but I definitely felt something that I cannot describe from the way he prayed. After our interviews, Elder T. and I went to Miyako on splits. We had a lesson with a member's husband, and it went really well. He talked a lot towards the beginning (diverting from the topic quite a bit), but towards the end, he was quieter, and seemed to really be taking in the importance of what we were saying (it also helped that we had two members with us). After that we went to a Japanese class. That was fun, but unfortunately the only people we could have talked to that weren't the teachers left before we could talk to them. We still got to talk to the teachers a lot about what we do, and who we are, so that was good.

Friday rained almost all day. That morning, we also got a call from
President Smith regarding the earthquake in Chile. Because of that
earthquake, there was a tsunami coming our way, and we were in a city "on the border by the seashore." We called the branch president about if we were high enough, and he said that we were well above the 2011 tsunami elevation, so we would be fine this time. Shortly, the other two elders arrived, and Elder Mitabi and I went back to Morioka. We did studies and weekly for most of the day, but we did also get to go streeting bit, and also visited Brother Yamamoto again.

Saturday we went back to Brother Yamamoto's house with the other two elders and did some more service. We cleaned up the front of his house, and also got some of the inside of his house cleaned. He has two sibling kittens (a boy and a girl) that he hadn't named yet, and he told me that he named the boy "M____" after me. I was very surprised, and don't know what to think about that. As we continued talking and cleaning, he asked me if I had any siblings and their names. I told him that I had two sisters and said their names, and he said "Ah. Shall we name the girl cat 'Elisa'?" I wasn't sure what to say about that either, so now there's a cat in Japan named after my sister, and a cat bearing my family's name. We also went to a members house to practice teaching tithing. It went alright, and they had a lot of useful tips on how to teach it simply. After that we went and did some street contacting. While there, we found a senior high school student boy who had interest, and who wants to play ping-pong with us.

Sunday I gave a talk in church, and I was asked to talk about my
mission so far, and how my experiences have been. I tried to apply it to the members, not just members, and I hope that all that came got something from it--including our investigator who attended. He is struggling right now to understand some of the things we are teaching, so we're going to not move on until he understands it. After church and lunch, we went and visited a less active member, and read the Book of Mormon with him at a nearby park. It was really good, and I think that he's getting more interest in what the gospel has for him individually, and is curious about his relationship with God. Besides that, we just did studies and district leader stuff for the rest of the night.

That's my week, and I hope that you all could have gleaned something from it! I love you all, and pray that you can feel the spirit of the Lord, and desire to keep His commandments as they are the only way to true happiness.

Love,

Elder ________
長老

Monday, September 14, 2015

Weekly Email (Alex's title)

This week was really good, and full of lots of good things. I don't
have much else to say here, so let's get into the weekly routine. 

The kanji of the week is: 心理学 pronounced "sheen-ree-gah-coo," and
means psychology.

We made cups out of bamboo, but they only lasted one use.


Monday; I don't really have too much to say about the day, and the
evening was spent street contacting.
 
I will honestly say that I don't remember too much from Tuesday. I
know that we went and visited/did service for our only investigator
that day. If I remember correctly, that was the first time we met him
(the other two elders passed him to us so that we would have at least
something to do), and we weeded his front yard (which was all weeds).
It was fun, and we also got to talk to him about the Book of Mormon.
We also tried to get to a member's house for a practice lesson, but we
got lost. We asked a guy to help us, and he took us where we needed to
go (we all rode bikes). Today we'll be going with him to dinner, so I
look forward to his friendship. 

Wednesday we went back to the investigators house and took a tour of
it (it's a pretty decent sized house, especially for Japan). He is a
really nice man, and he has been having lots of problems lately with
his family, so it has been really good for him to be able to talk
about it with us (he's kind of old and as far as I know doesn't have
kids or a family of his own). He is a really nice guy though, and
started to read the Book of Mormon. We also found a sign language
circle here in Morioka, so we will hopefully be able to go there. In the evening we had English class, which was lots of fun, and I like
the students here. They are a bit quiet at the moment, though that can
change with a little help! 

Thursday we went to a potential investigators restaurant for lunch,
and it was really good Indian curry. After that we went back to our
investigator, Mr. Yamamoto's house, and helped him out some more with
cleaning his house. That was fun, and after that we went to a member's
house and had a practice lesson with him. It was a decent lesson but
went over longer than it should have. After that we tried to visit a
referral from the sister missionaries, but they weren't home. There
was a lot of traveling that day, and we were able to get a Book of
Mormon out to a high school student we met on the street. 

 Friday was Zone training meeting, and it was really good. We had good
trainings, and good special musical numbers. Asides from that, the
only thing we did was weekly planning. 

Saturday was splits, and I went around with my Zone Leader, Elder
N. We did lots of Zone leader stuff because we were in his area,
and we didn't get to do much actual missionary work. We did get a
lesson in with a less active, and we also made cookies for the other
two in the last bit of the night before they came home. 

Sunday was a usual day, but our investigator came to church. He said
that he really enjoys the company of the members, and that he really
feels like he was guided to this church. He loves the church so much,
and wants to be the best he can. He has even said that when he dies he
wants to give all he has to the church. We did some other stuff, but I
can't remember any specifics.

That's my week in a nut shell! I love you all, and hope you have a great week! 

Love, 
Elder _________ 
長老

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Why You Shouldn't Follow the Golden Rule


I grew up playing this song (and all the other My Turn on Earth songs) over and over and over on our record player so I had to include it in this post.

Do unto others as you would have other do to you.

Many people have used this for a very long time as the "golden rule". If you follow this rule, how can you go wrong? Well, of course, we should be kind and courteous to others. Help people when they are in need. Try to show our love for others.

BUT that doesn't mean that they want you to show that love in the same way that you would have it shown to you.

This is not a new concept, but I'm writing on it today since I've been thinking about it lately. I saw this happen the other day and I bet you've seen it before too since it's not the first time I've seen (or had happen to me) the same thing.

One person punches the other person, playfully, but forcefully.
"Ouch! That really hurt."
"No it didn't. Hit me that hard. It won't hurt me."

Does that make any sense? Just because it wouldn't hurt one person doesn't negate the pain that the other person feels. We don't all feel things the same or have the same needs.

Many people have read one or more of Gary Chapman's Love Language books that discuss this at length and are great. I have learned by observing and by experience that we don't always make someone happy or meet their needs by doing what we would have them to for us. If someone you love feels that cards and notes are special and show your love, but you do not give it to him or her because it's not important to you, that is not meeting their need. If your teenager wants you to go to her game or concert, but you stay home and show your support by paying for her uniform or cheering her on before she leaves, that isn't what she needs. I imagine we all have stories we could tell where our needs weren't met or where we missed the mark on showing our love to someone else.

We must be observant, communicate needs, being willing to give what others need in their way and being willing to change as their needs change with time. And if someone says something hurts them, don't do it even if you don't think it should hurt them. I know this isn't easy and I'm struggling every day to figure out how to show my love to my children in a way that they each individually need it because none of the three of them are the same and none are much like me.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Cuban Chicken & Black Bean Quinoa Bowls with Fried Chili Spiced Bananas & Spicy Mangos

After I saw the photo for this recipe onHalf Baked Harvest I just had to make it and I was not disappointed! Yes, the ingredients list is really long, but they're all easy steps and nothing too hard to find at the store if you don't already have it on hand. It's called Cuban, but parts of this dish aren't very Cuban. Doesn't make any difference to me if it is or isn't cuz it's good--juicy, flavorful chicken with sweet salsa and bananas.

Cuban Chicken & Black Bean Quinoa Bowls with Fried Chili Spiced Bananas & Spicy Mangos

Chicken:
1 t. cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red chile, seeded
Pinch of pepper
3/4 + 1/4 cup orange juice, divided
Juice of 4 limes + 1 lime zested
1 t. honey
1 t. soy sauce
1 lb. boneless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
2 T. butter
Quinoa:
2 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups dry quinoa
Black Beans:
2 c. cooked black beans, rinsed & drained if using canned
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
Bananas:
2 bananas sliced
Chili powder, if desired
2 T. coconut oil
Spicy Mangos:
1 mango, diced
1 red chili, seeded + chopped
1/2 of 1 lime, juiced
1/4 c. fresh cilantro, chopped

To a blender, combine the ingredients for the chicken marinade. Add the cumin, 3 cloves garlic, red chili, pinch of pepper, 3/4 cup orange juice, lime juice and lime zest, honey, soy sauce and a handful of cilantro to the blender. Blend until smooth. Next, add the chicken to a bowl or a plastic sealed bag and pour half the marinade over the chicken. Toss to coat and allow the chicken to sit for 20 minutes, or even overnight, in the marinade.

Meanwhile, work on the quinoa. Heat a large high sided skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot add the oil and onion. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until the onion is soft. Add the red pepper and quinoa, cook another five minutes until the red pepper is soft and the quinoa is lightly toasted. Now pour in 3 cups of water or chicken broth, bring the mixture to a boil, cover and then simmer over low heat for 25-30 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked and fluffy.

Once the quinoa is done cooking, push it over to the side of the pan and add another drizzle of oil to the skillet if needed. Add the black beans, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook until warmed through. Alternately, you may just stir the black beans into the quinoa.

While the quinoa cooks, fry the bananas. Remove the peels from the bananas and slice into 1/2 inch thick slices. Set a skillet over medium to medium-high heat and add the oil. Lay down your banana slices and sprinkle with chili powder if using, fry for 4-5 minutes on each side. Be sure to watch the heat and turn it down if the bananas are browning too quickly. You want enough heat to caramelize and brown the slices, but you don't want them to burn. Remove from the skillet and place on a plate. Sprinkle with sea salt.

In a bowl, gently mix the mango, red chili, lime juice and cilantro.

To cook the chicken, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add a drizzle of olive oil. Add half the chicken and cook, 3-5 minutes or until browned all over and cooked throughout. Remove and repeat with the remaining chicken. Once all the chicken is cooked, cover with foil. Add the remaining marinade and 1/4 cup orange juice to the skillet and bring to a boil. Add the 2 tablespoons of butter and cook about 5 minutes or until reduced slightly. Stir in some chopped cilantro if desired.

To serve, divide the quinoa among bowls. Top with chicken, black beans, mangos and bananas and sprinkle chopped cilantro on top.

Monday, September 7, 2015

No Subject in Mind

The transfer went smoothly, and it's been good so far. I definitely can't say that anything could have gone well this last week were it not for the goodness of God. It never can be, because all truly good things come from God. My companion is from Okinawa, and he likes video games, and anime. We like lots of the same stuff, so it's pretty cool. His English is really good too. He likes sports too. I can't remember specific sports at the moment though. It's going well, and we've been getting along fine.

This week has been tons of fun with my last days in Hachinohe, and my
first few days in Morioka. This week was a bit different than normal
transfer weeks, and I didn't get to my new area until Thursday. I have
had fun so far though, and I look forward to at least a month in this
big city.

Kanji of the week is: 月曜日 pronounced "ge-tsu-yo-bee," and means Monday.
Alex with his new companion

Monday was pretty normal, as far as going to email, eat, and
groceries. Any free time we had was taken by packing all  of our
belongings to send to our next area the following day. In the evening
we went and tried to have Family Home evening, but no one showed up
but our investigator. That was fine, because we had fun messing around
on the piano and talking, and even taught him a bit about some
questions he had for us.

Tuesday, in the morning our luggage was taken away from us, and sent
to our new areas. We finished our studies, and then left to figure out
the schedule we had been given from the Assistants to the President,
and that took longer than we thought it would. Eventually, after going
a few places and more than a few calls to the Assistants, we got even
more confused, and they told us to do something different than on the
schedule. I decided to go to the church, because the times weren't
lining up on the schedule they sent and on the schedule at the bus
stops, and looked up the train schedules on an approved website. As
soon as I did that than I figured out that the schedule they had sent
us was for the train and not bus. So with all that figured out, we
returned home because I wasn't feeling too well, and we did stuff in
the apartment to prepare to leave.
These 3 photos are from a lunch trip he and his former companion Elder T. had at a dollar sushi place



Wednesday, I still wasn't feeling good in the morning, and we had
studies, but besides that I was bad enough that I needed to rest a
little. I ended up spending the rest of the day in bed, but I got
better in time for English class in the evening. We went, and no one
was expecting us, because usually people transfer on Wednesday, and
the sisters thought we were in Sendai. It was good to talk to all the
students one last time, and I didn't have to teach, because one of the
sisters prepared a lesson thinking that there wasn't going to be
another person to do it that evening.

Thursday morning was normal studies, but soon after lunch, the new
elders arrived. We said hello, gave them their stuff, and headed out.
We eventually got to the train (we walked to the station, with some
interruptions by some of my stuff falling a few times), and rode it
all the way to Morioka. When we got there, we didn't know where to go
and looked all over the place to find the elders that we were supposed
to have met at the station. We prayed a few times, called the mission
home a few times from a payphone (we didn't have a cell phone on us),
and finally during the last prayer I remembered an email I got a while
ago with the numbers of all the areas' church phones. I thought we
should call it, and sure enough when we did there were elders at the
church and they told us what bus to ride to get to the church. It was
a good answer to my prayers (and my companions), and we got to the
church safely and had fun with the elders at the church and some
investigators before going home.
Beef Kimchi

Friday we had a fairly regular morning, but found out that one of the
new missionaries was sick and had to stay in Sendai for a while, and
that the missionary supposed to train him was going to get a new
companion and meet him at the Morioka station. So, after a quick
weekly planning, we headed over to the station and got that all
figured out. We then went to a bike shop and got new breaks for my
bike, because the tires were completely worn out, and changed them
back at the apartment. That took up just about all the day, except for
a tiny bit of streeting towards the end of the day.

Saturday we went to visit some less active members, but none of them
were home, so we went to a pond nearby the church (literally in front
of it), and did some proselyting there. It was fun, but not too much
came from it as far as people accepting more than an English class
flier. We were going to do something with the other elders and a less
active member to get to know him, but he ended up not having any time
after the lesson to do some relationship building, so we went to the
station and ended up talk to a guy for quite a while. He asked some
good questions, and eventually accepted a Book of Mormon. Hopefully we
hear from him.
Corn and Dragon Fruit, which isn't bad, but doesn't have much flavor

Bread shaped like Totoro from My Neighbor Totoro

Sunday was great and I got to know the members quite a bit. We also
had some time after church to talk to them and get to know a few of
them. After that we spent a big chunk of time with a member going to
less active member houses and introducing ourselves to those who
answered. Besides that it was studies and a tiny bit of Streeting
where we talked to a boy who hopefully will read the Book of Mormon we
gave him like he said he was going to and calls us.

That's all for my week, and I hope you all enjoyed hearing about this
week's adventures. I love you all and pray that you have a great week!

Love,

Elder _______
長老
 This cat sat completely still for a long time next to a shrine. It was weird.
Alex didn't send info with this photo, but I'm guessing he took it since the name of the apartments is in Spanish. 

Alex's new companion, who doesn't usually wear glasses, but they were left behind in the apartment so he put them on.

Pepperoni, Mozzarella & Broccoli Pasta Salad

I have been making this for a very long time and can't believe I haven't blogged it before. My family got this recipe when my sister...