Friday, November 25, 2011

Nov. 25, 2011

This week has been great. I hope that it has been for all of you as well!!

This past Sunday, my companion and I blessed the sacrament, which was fun to do in Japanese. We were both pretty surprised with how nervous we actually were, but it went really well. Brother and Sister Mack spoke after the two missionary speakers. You remember Watabe Sensei telling us about them? Brother Mack is in my branch presidency. During his talk, Brother Mack actually told us that his grandfather was Spencer W. Kimball. He brought a pair of his slippers to the meeting. It was a good talk on enduring to the end.

Tuesday was great. We held the traditional kohai vs. sempai yakyu (baseball/softball) game. Ige choro, Taylor choro (another sempai elder), and myself hit home runs. It was a really fun game and a great way to get to know our kohai better. I'm sure Hee choro had a lot of fun as well. Before dinner, Coakley choro from Kohala had a senior couple serving in his home ward come visit him here in the MTC, as they were in Utah for some doctor appointments. Brother and Sister Kelson. It was fun meeting with them. We actually found out that my companion, Elder Barlocker, has some family in Kona! He had no idea there were even any Barlockers outside of Enterprise, UT where he's from. I guess the Kelsons know some Barlockers who own a car dealership and work in the temple. Tuesday night at dinner, one of our kohai came up to me and asked if my brother was Keawe. His name is Elder Baker, he's about 6'5" and he's the Kims’ cousin! And now that I think about it, he really looks like Joel. I guess he was up in Idaho with the Kims at the same time as Keawe! At dinner I also met an elder serving in Ogden, UT from Kona. His name is Elder Poha-Pali and he knows Uncle Kenny and his kids.

Tuesday night devotional was awesome. Elder D. Todd Christofferson and his wife spoke on the Spirit and missionary work. Sister Christofferson focused more on learning to hear the spirit. I'm actually learning two languages!! Japanese and that of the spirit. Coakley choro jokingly says he's learning three because he isn't too good with English coming from Kohala. I really enjoyed the words of Elder Christofferson. Did you know that one of his mission presidents in Argentina was Elder Richard G. Scott? I thought that was interesting. Anyway, for a portion of his talk he shared some things he would put more emphasis on if he could serve again. Those were good to hear... a few were: outcomes/results(fruit), earning the trust of members, and Helaman 3:35. He gave an Apostolic Blessing... and all could tell that he was really being led by the spirit. His last line was: "God bless you. This is his. And you are his." I was sitting in the fifth row to the left, about 20ft. from him... and I'm convinced that he looked me straight in the eye when he said those last words. That really made me feel them more. And at that moment I knew that he was an Apostle of the Lord. It was overwhelming and amazing. Our district devotional review after went really well too. Our district always has some very profound insights. At times, I feel like I almost get as much out of our reviews as the actual devotionals.

Thanksgiving was great as well. Our day began with breakfast at 7:00am and we had a morning devotional at 10:00am. Elder Russel M. Nelson spoke to us. My companion and I were able to get two really good seats in the third row. At the beginning of Elder Nelson's talk, he said if we were to write down anything, write down that Elder Nelson said thank you! And to translate that to those who love us. So, Elder Russel M. Nelson thanks all of you. And so do I! Thank you so much for all of your love and support. Thank you for all that you've given and done to help me reach this point in my life. I'm blown away when I stop to think about all that others have and do for me. Thank you!!

After our morning devotional, we had Thanksgiving dinner. It was at lunch time so the cafeteria staff could be dismissed and have dinner with their families. It was good. I didn't eat too much... but a little more than usual. After that, we made sack dinners to eat later, and we had a humanitarian devotional with all of the missionaries. Following that, half of us went to the cafeteria to begin a humanitarian project. My district and I stayed in the devotional and had another Thanksgiving devotional. Two recently converted missionaries shared their conversion stories and the spirit was strong. We went back to our residences to eat our sack dinners, but one of our kohai's mom actually shipped him 18lbs. of precooked brisket and tenderloin. Yes, he's from Texas. So we cut that up and microwaved it. It might be because I've been here for eight weeks... but that was some of the best meat I've ever had. After dinner, we all went to the cafeteria and continued the humanitarian project. 8,000 injury kits (similar to first aid kits) were made and will be shipped to Sudan. I was a 'supply runner'... so 30 missionaries sat around each table and each had a specific job (put two band-aids in a ziplock bag and pass it down, etc.) and when any supplies ran low I ran to get more. The media staff had church songs put to different beats playing and it was really fun. I'm grateful for the opportunity we were given to help the people of Sudan. Our day concluded with 17 Miracles... It's actually a really, really good movie about the Willie/Martin handcart company pioneers. It was such a treat to watch an actual movie. And they had popcorn for us too! You should all watch the movie, I highly recommend it.

Well, it was a great day. I missed all of you... but had so many amazing experiences here. I know that it will be a Thanksgiving that I never forget.

Anyway, tell me about how your week and Thanksgiving went. How has school and work been? And how's the ward? I think about you all... all the time. We are here in our bubble of church things. I wish you could see it. It's an amazing place. We're all hard at work, and we get over-stressed sometimes. But we remember our errand. And remember that our sacrifice is such a small price to pay. Again, thank you for you love and support! I'll send another email to you, mom. I love you all.

In closing... I'd just like to say that God has something to tell you. So listen! I love you!

God be thanked,
Elder Rindlisbacher

Sunday, November 20, 2011

November 18,2011

Ohayou Gozaimasu,

How are you all? Life in the MTC is the same for the most part. All of our kohai are here. Elder Hee is living just two rooms down from me. He's in 431 and we're in 435. I'm sure these past two days have been long for him, but it seems like he's doing really good. I haven't had a chance to meet with all of the kohai yet, but they seem like a good group of missionaries. I thought that they would remind me more of myself when I came in, but I guess every group's different and brings a different feel to life here. It is fun to see where there Japanese is now and know that they will be speaking in no time.

This past Sunday at sacrament meeting I was asked to translate. There was only my district and the two others that came in with us, since all of our sempai were gone. A few family members of one of our Branch Presidency members attended and didn't speak or understand Japanese. It was an amazing feeling being able to translate a few talks from Japanese to English for them. I know that my language skills are continuing to progress and it's exciting. At the same time, I know it will be super hard to train my ear when I actually get to Japan... and that's intimidating.

Elder Tad R. Callister spoke for our Tuesday Devotional. We decided not to sing in the choir this week because we needed to get a lot more studying in before our test on Wednesday. So instead of going to choir practice we studied. Tuesday night, my companion and I were the first ones in line so we were able to get enough seats for our district, about 6ft. from the pulpit. It was a good meeting about the Apostasy and Restoration, and has motivated my district and I to teach the Apostasy to our investigators a lot more fully. Oftentimes we don't go too deep into it because it's difficult to explain in Japanese... but it is super important.

Well, we've made our residence room really clean and it feels nice. It wasn't anything bad before, but now it really feels like a place of learning more than a place to sleep at night. All of our kohai are rooming on the same floor of our building as us, so we're their example in all we do.
Our test went okay. I think it was a wake-up call to some. I did really well on the oral and vocabulary portions, but not so well with grammar. We have yet to see our overall scores though.
I'm on my second planner... it's crazy to think that I've filled the six weeks in my other one up already. Time is still picking up speed. Some days are really long, but weeks definitely fly by.
The weather's been off and on. It's really cold some days and warm on others...just Utah weather I guess. We haven't had any real snow though. Which I think is a little surprising as it's already the middle of November. But, who's complaining?

I'm really grateful for the opportunity I have to serve as district leader. We receive training twice a week, and it's really good. It's hard at times, but I enjoy seeing my leadership skills grow.
Anyway, is there anything anyone wants to know? I really hope you're all doing great. Keep on keeping on. Thank you for all of your love and support! Thank you for writing and keeping my updated with what you’re doing back home. This work is good and keeping me busy. I'll write more when I get back from the Temple. Take care.

Elder Rindlisbacher

It's now 10:55am. We did sealings this morning. We got to the temple around 7:30am and got into a room around 8:15am. It was really good... having never done sealings before I didn't exactly how they went. It's amazing to think that I was representing people who have been separated from their families for so long. And that I am able to perform ordinances that will allow them to be together again and receive exaltation. Just to think that husbands and wives have not been able to be with each other or their children for hundreds of years in some cases, is crazy. The ordinances performed in the temple are so important. I know I've heard this a lot. But hearing names, birth dates, and birthplaces made it a lot more personal. I'm grateful for the opportunity I have to be in the temple each week and perform ordinances that people are in dire need of. And, it blesses myself and each week I have here. It's a weekly reminder that my purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ... through the entire gospel of Jesus Christ. Not just faith, repentance, baptism, and receiving of the gift of the holy ghost... but going to the temple and enduring to the end as well. And this purpose applies to us, as members of this church, just as much as it does investigators! Always strive to come closer to Christ. Live his teachings, SHARE his teachings, and endure to the end.

This past Sunday, my companion and I, taught a lesson to our district on enduring to the end.
D&C 14:7 "And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God."

2 Nephi 2:25 "Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy."

Both are scriptures that we've heard many times before... but which illustrate the point that enduring to the end is a glorious thing! It isn't a mundane and sorrowful thing. A person enduring to the end has qualities of happiness/joy and love! A simple message, but one with power and conviction. I know that this is true. I know that if you walk in faith, you will receive true happiness. A missionary in my district shared a quote, which I thought illustrated this point: "You need to step into the dark before you can turn on the light." Heed the voice of the spirit and develop your personal relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ. I love all of you with all of my heart. Strive to love and show love to everyone around you... and have a great week!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Nov. 11, 2011

Dear Family,

I hope you're all doing great.

It's about 5:30am now and myself along with the other three in my room have our laundry going. It's already P-day again!

This week has gone well. Elder S. went home on Saturday. He'll need to go to school for a little bit and get checked out by a psychologist and neurologist if he wants to come back out. And he'll most likely go state-side. It was pretty sad to see someone go, but it was a win-win situation. He seemed very relieved and happy to be leaving. Now we have just a district of six. Our district is great. Very unified and smart. We've gone over our progress towards goals as well as re-evaluated expectations, and we're motivated to push ourselves harder. In about six weeks, preparation time is over. 19 years... and 12 weeks here.

This has been my first week as district leader. I was called on Sunday. It comes with a little more responsibility, and I'm super excited to lead my district. We have the potential to be the best Japanese district by the time we leave here! I don't remember if I told you last week, but Elder Ige and Coakley were called as zone leaders the Sunday before last. Now that our residency room has them as two zone leaders and myself as district leader, the branch presidency has asked us to use our room as an example. So we really have to keep everything perfect because people entering the MTC will be brought by to see exactly how a room should be. It's good.

We have a midterm scheduled for the 16th of November. Myself and one of our teachers collaborated a little and put it together. Just for our district. It's going to be super tough, but it's definitely motivating everyone to study a lot more! We're all excited and nervous. It'll have a bunch of vocabulary and grammar principles, a section on PMG Ch.10(teaching skills), scriptural knowledge, we'll need to recite our purpose and the First Vision in Japanese by memory, sing a few hymns in Japanese without making any language mistakes, read the sacrament prayers in Japanese smoothly, and a few other language things.

Keenan came in on Wednesday. It was pretty cool seeing him again. He's living on the second floor of our residence building. We're on the fourth. I'll be checking on him every once in a while to see how he's doing. For now we just told him to make it to Sunday. I think he'll have a lot of fun here.

Our devotional speaker this past week was Eduardo Gavarett of the Seventy. He was an interesting speaker. He spoke on being 'full' and powerful missionaries through emptying our pockets of things we don't need(sins, etc.) and filling them with power/the spirit.

The weather's getting a whole lot cooler. I took the overcoat out of the closet this week. And started using those earmuffs. It's snowed here a few times, but never really stuck. Only about an inch on the grass a few times.

How's the Maui weather been? Has it been nice and clear with the trade winds? And have the waves been up? I'm sure almost all of the missionaries here wouldn't mind a little Maui weather at all.

Has Dallin left Maui yet? I'm sure he's excited and nervous. He will do great though. Our sempai are all gone now... so as for Japanese missionaries it's only my district and two others for now. My room actually got up at 4:30am on Monday to see them before they left for the travel office. It's crazy to think that they're all in Japan now! And that that will be us in no time. The thought of it is a little overwhelming and nerve-wracking... we don't have much more time to prepare.

How was Keawe's last game? Does he have another one tonight or tomorrow? Dad DearElder'd me about his game two weeks ago with his TD. I shared it with my district. Let him know that that's pretty awesome and I'm proud of him. Keep up the good work. And keep the grades up!! He's a student-athlete... student comes first.

When is Mikela's cheer competition? Be sure to let me know how they do! And how is Kauluwehi's senior year with college/scholarship applications going?

Let Keanu know I said hi and I love him!

Here's a good scripture... Alma 58:11 ''Yea, and it came to pass that the Lord our God did visit us with assurances that he would deliver us; yea insomuch that he did speak peace to our souls, and did grant unto us great faith, and did cause us that we should hope for our deliverance in him.'' It's a good pick-me-up scripture when you need a little boost. I don't know if they're going to have a plaque for me... but if they are, I'm still looking for a good scripture for it!

My companion and I... possibly along with a few other Elders in our district are planning on singing in the choir this week for devotional. I want to sing at least once, and since it's really likely that an apostle will speak for our Thanksgiving devotional, we're thinking this week - the week before Thanksgiving - will be a good time. We want to try to get really up close in the front for the Thanksgiving devotional.

An Elder in my district, Elder Burningham, received a letter in the mail from his mom with President Albrecht's (our mission president in Tokyo) account of the earthquake back in March. It was really interesting. So maybe try to search on the Internet for it. I forget its title, but it was about the recent earthquake and how they had 60 missionaries in the mission home that night. And all missionaries evacuated to other missions in Japan while the nuclear reactors weren't safe. Reading about all that the mission, and Japan, went through during that time is pretty interesting.

I enjoy reading Nathan's letters home. I'm proud of him and grateful for his example of hard work and diligence with this work.

Elder Ige's mom asked for our address... so maybe expect something in the mail? We aren't sure what she needs it for. As for the shoes that don't fit well, my companion might buy them from me. Otherwise I might be able to find someone else that could use them. That is the plan though, to find someone willing to buy them.

Anyway, I love you all. Thank you so much for your love and support. I enjoy your letters and DearElders. The 'Mormon Messages' and youth videos on are really good if you have some time to spare. There was a good one I saw about all of the influences we're faced with. In this day, we're bombarded by 'voices' telling us what we need to do and where we should be and what we need have. But, the voice we all must heed is the voice of the Spirit. Take care and always remember that we can go to Heavenly Father in prayer whenever we want or need to. No appointment needed.

Elder Rindlisbacher

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Nov. 4, 2011


I hope you are all doing great! How has your past week been? What has the ward been up to? And how's the weather? I hope you got my two letters in the mail with pictures.

This week has been good, but very frustrating and stressful... An elder in my District, Elder S, has been sick and having "migraine" headaches since Saturday. He's in a three-some, but we've been rotating through our district(6 Elders, not including Elder S) staying back at the residence with him. The thing is, he's only sick when it's convenient. He magically get's better for things that he wants to do. He's been to all firesides, devotionals, piano auditions and even a night outside playing soccer. The morning after playing soccer, he refused to get up, again. We are trying our best to continually love and support him, but we're being forced to miss class because he seemingly doesn't want to be here. It's hard, but we pray and hope that he'll come around soon. He actually came into the MTC six weeks before we did, but was sent home for two weeks because of this same "medical" reason... we can't do much more than wish for the best! He's helping all of us grow in a different aspect. And giving us experiences that will help us later, in the field and in life. Other than that, this week has flown by! Time is definitely picking up speed. It's been four weeks and two days now since I entered the MTC. We're in week five of our stay here. Our sempai leave on Monday and Tuesday... then we have a week and half before our kohai(the group Dallin comes in with) arrives. We're told time will really fly by then!

Mark 'Keenan' Kaaa arrives this next Wednesday, the 9th. We're hoping he rooms in the same residence building as us. If you see him before he leaves, wish him luck for me and let him know we're excited to see him!

Thank you dad for the DearElder! It was so great to hear from you. It was great to read a little about what you've been up to. It's great that you're beginning to paint again. Keep me updated.

I hope that everyone is enjoying school and work and life. We're blessed with so much! Never think otherwise!... we all have so much as long as we're obedient. Happiness is why we are here. And happiness is promised!!

How was Halloween? What did everyone dress up as? I hope the weather was nice that night. Here, my companion and I, bought a bunch of candy from the bookstore and gave it away before and after class. It was fun and nice to get people to smile just a little more.

Staying diligent with the Japanese language is paying off. I feel like I can understand and converse more with my teachers and progressing investigators. Our lessons are flowing better and we actually committed our first baptism yesterday. We still need to teach him a lot more and get him to be able to pass a baptismal interview, but it is still pretty exciting.

My testimony of prayer and of companionship/good companion relationships are two things that have definitely grown a lot while I've been here. Our knees are being used a lot! We were privileged to hear from W. Craig Zwick, of the Seventy, this past Tuesday for our devotional. He spoke mostly on prayer. It was a really nice meeting that reinforced a lot of good points of prayer and its extreme importance. Our district devotional reviews after each devotional are always awesome as well.

I just got back from the temple! It's 10:10am now... we were in the 7:40am endowment session. It's really a privilege to be able to do work there each week. I know that the weeks are so much better because of it! The weather is really nice today. Clear blue skies and it isn't too cold. We've had some decently cold days so far. Snow has come below the Y twice, but we haven't had any in the MTC yet.

Anyway, I love all of you with all of my heart!! I know that I could be in no better place than here, at this time in life! I pray for all of you constantly... and you are always in my thoughts. Your love and support provides me with great motivation and courage. Thank you so much. I Love you so much.

Elder Rindlisbacher