Friday, December 28, 2012

Dec. 25, 2012

A very special Christmas Card  from the Japan Tokyo Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Elder Rindlisbacher can be seen on the 4th row if you look really hard.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Week 62 - December 18, 2012
Tomorrow, at least here, is your birthday dad! Happy Birthday!! I'll be thinking of you. Know that I love you! I am so grateful for all that you've done and continue to do for me. You are such a great example of faith, love, and hard work. Thank you so very much.

It's hard to believe that another week has already passed, but it's been a good one in Hibarigaoka! I hope that everyone is healthy and happy. I just read the Rindlisbacher Review, and am hoping that Keawe's fully recovered from his minor concussion. I can sympathize with Kauluwehi about the humidity! It's pretty dry here now and I think there's probably about four times when I thought my face/hands were going to fall off. But I bought some lotion and it's a lot better now. It's definitely cold here now, but will continue to get colder. I think it's getting somewhere around 5 degrees Celsius right now.

We were able to visit six less-active members/families this past week, something we haven't been able to do too much in the past. Some of them were really happy to see us, while others weren't, but we'll be continuing to try to help them receive the full blessings of the gospel again. We had five investigators planning on coming to church but only two who actually came, Johnson and Richard (two Camaroonians.) Both of them are progressing as they're reading the Book of Mormon. We will be setting a new baptismal date with Ozeki-san very soon. We were planning on him being interviewed this past week, but something came up with him and he wasn't able to meet for it. We'll be working to have it happen this week, then we'll just need to meet with his father before he's baptized. We had two great role-play lessons with members (one active couple, and another inactive couple.) The spirit's guidance was strong throughout both of them, and we were really able to build strong relationships of trust with them. Hibarigaoka ward is truly amazing. The ward is SO full of dendo fire, it's almost unreal. Consequently, Elder Healy, the Sisters, and I are all loving it here!

The district is doing well. Each companionship is healthy and happy. I really love serving as district leader. It does take more effort and work, but the blessings and joy always outweigh the sacrifice. I was just talking with another missionary a few days ago, about the blessings we personally receive from missionary work, and I said, “If the things we personally receive from missionary service (lots of great friends, leadership skills, ability to speak Japanese, etc.) really are just the icing on the cake, then the cake is completely smothered with icing!” Honestly, thinking of it that way, it seems like you would never be able to find the cake. But the cake is actually also enormous. So, said easily, missionary work is amazing - the best. Next week is week six of  this transfer, the week we're normally able to go to the temple, but that Tuesday is Christmas, so we were able to go today. I am grateful for the temple. There is great peace and joy in knowing who you are in relation to God.

I truly believe in the Gift of Tongues. Missionaries here are able to learn Japanese with amazing ease. I've been here in Japan for a year as of the 20th, and Japanese is a difficult language, but the Lord has blessed me so very much.

Anyway, I love this work and gospel. Thank you so much for your love, support, and prayers. I always think of you and am so grateful to have such an amazing family. Take care, and a have a great week!

Elder Rindlisbacher

P.S. The husband of the less-active couple we had a mogi lesson with is a documentary director. He recently made a documentary called “A gift.” It's about the health benefits Vitamin C has in relation to radiation. It looked pretty interesting, so if you have some time and seem interested, try to find it somewhere!

P.P.S. As for calling on Christmas, I was thinking it'd be best to call on the 26th here, so it would be Christmas there for you. When will everyone be home? I am able to call on the 25th, 26th, or 27th for about 45 minutes. Get back to me as soon as possible with a day and time. You need to call here though. Our number (ready to call from the US to Japan) is: 011-81-80-2149-6139. We can also use skype, so add us: HibarigaokaMissionaries100. I look forward to hearing from you. I love you!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Week 61 - December 10, 2012
Aloha family!  
If you haven't sent the box out yet... I have a few more favors to ask. Could you also send a Sonicare Toothbrush base if you have an extra one? The one I have here just stopped working. And also a 2013 Calendar of Maui. I've been using a 2012 one that the Hanohano's sent me while I was in the MTC, but now we're about to begin a new year.

Anyway, I hope you're all doing great!! As for us in Hibarigaoka, we had an amazing week and an especially great Sunday!

This past Tuesday I went on exchange with Elder Larson (2nd transfer missionary.) We taught an investigator, Masaki-san, a lesson on the Atonement that went really well. We also met a really old lady while Housing (going door-to-door) who asked us to teach her about Christ, so
we've referred her to the Sisters. We also met another man, Toda-san, who came to our Sunday morning eikaiwa yesterday. Elder Larson is a great young missionary - not hesitant to talk to anyone despite just beginning to learn Japanese. He's really on top of things, and we really had a great time together.

Yesterday, we had Johnson, Damian, and Richard - three Camaroonians - in Sacrament meeting, with a member translating. We found Johnson our second week in the area and have been teaching him since. Damian and Richard are two of his friends. We also met a Nigerian man, Kingsley, at the eki later in the day who said he had heard of us and will be coming to church this Sunday. The good word is spreading amongst the Africans in Hibarigaoka!

After church we met with Uemura-san, a new eikaiwa student, for a shokai lesson. He said he has interest in commandments (the first time I've had someone interested in commandments on their first lesson,) so we have an appointment this next Sunday to teach him some!

After Uemura-san's lesson we met Takahashi-shimai (a member of another ward) and Tanabe-san (a man she met last week and introduced the gospel to) at the station, went to the church for a tour, and taught the Restoration. Tanabe-san is a really good guy, who seems a little busy, but is very willing to begin to take lessons and learn about Christ! He isn't too excited to read the Book of Mormon as he doesn't enjoy reading, but he seems to really love prayer. He says he'll do his best to be in church this upcoming Sunday.

We met with Ozeki-san tonight and taught him more about repentance. His baptismal date was for this past Saturday, but we have yet to meet with his father. He's 20 years old, legally able to be baptized without parental permission, but we along with bishop would like to meet his father first.

You asked about giving to Christ this Christmas. Sorry I didn't get back to you earlier, but it's interesting the ward did that because this Christmas every missionary in the mission actually wrote a letter to Christ, telling Him what they were going to give for Him. My letter was all about being a peacemaker. Basically, developing into the person described in Moroni 7:45. And I actually trained at this past district meeting on love, so it's been a focus of a lot of my studies lately. Maybe you can use this for a family home evening or something, but here's parts of my training:

This transfer I've begun every district meeting with 10 minutes just about Christ. This past meeting was really basic and focused on His birth:

Foretold by prophets of old - Isaiah 7:14; 9:6
On the American Continent - Mosiah 3:5; 7-8
Then came the night - Luke 2:10-11
Wise Men - Matthew 2:2...and thus began the spirit of giving. 

I had asked Elder Healy beforehand to bear a quick testimony on Christ, so he did then.Then I've always had a minute of quiet time to ponder Christ, and another minute to just be especially grateful for everything. Christ feels our joys and our sorrows, so why not be especially grateful and happy, for him!

We continued with a quick discussion on what love is, and I like one-liners, so I shared four I've heard President Budge say, along with some study references I found:
"Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care." (and see it) PMG Pg.185, 1st paragraph.
"'Trustworthy' is a word, 'loveworthy' is not. Everyone is worthy of your love." PMG Pg.118, 2nd paragraph.
"The opposite of love = lazy. It takes work and effort." PMG Pg.121, Pres. Benson Quote.
"The great destroyer of unity is pride." Proverbs 13:10; Mosiah 4:11-12.

Then Moroni 7:45, "And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things."

That might seem like a tall order. Maybe it makes you ask yourself, "Am I long-suffering? Am I kind? Am I humble? Do I think of others first? Do I hold my temper?" But, we must remember, that charity is a gift. These attributes are not simply a to-do list. They are a description of how we will be when we are in full possession of the gift. The gift which comes from Christ, and through His Atonement. Charity is not something we necessarily develop; It is something we receive, something we are 'bestowed.'

So how? How do we receive it? Continue reading, Moroni 7:48, "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure." Pray. Ask in faith. 

I had asked Elder Larson beforehand to testify on love, so he did that then.

And we continued more on how to receive the gift of charity with 1 Timonthy 1:5 (Paul explaining when God blessed us with charity,) "Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:"
Pure heart - righteous desires
Clear conscience - repentant
Faith - when we believe steadfastly in Christ's Atonement - it's power to change us, and it's power to change anyone. 

So according to Paul, when we have those three things, we receive the blessing described in Epheisans 3:17, 19, "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love... And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might
be filled with the fulness of God." THE FULNESS OF GOD!

Love changes everything. When you truly love, everything is changed! Because, I believe, your attiude, your frame of mind, is exactly as it should be. We ended the meeting with a discussion on how we can all be better, and made sure that we would be accountable for the things we
committed to do (I'm following-up with each district member daily.)

Anyway, back to being a peacemaker... I really just want to be as it says in 3 Nephi 12:9 and Matthew 5:9, "blessed are all the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." - I want to be, and am willing to work towards, truly being called a child of God. I am working to be as loving as you, dad. And I want to be as my Father in Heaven. Maybe you can take some time to look at a family picture. We all kind of look alike, and we have many of the same attributes. As children we're always looking up to you, mom and dad, and trying to be like you. And we have the potential to be. Now imagine our Father in Heaven. I'm sure we look like him and have some of the same attributes. And we definitely have the potential to become like him!! That is so true!!

I hope you've all had a great week. I hope everyone's safe and enjoying this wonderful Christmas Season. I love you all so very much! Take care, and have a great week!

Elder Rindlisbacher

Monday, December 3, 2012

Week 60 - December 3, 2012

It's been another good week here in Hibarigaoka! I'm glad to hear that you're all doing well too.

The apartment is very nice. It's probably the nicest apartment in the mission. The computer-thing next to the toilet controls the heated toilet seat and bide/oshiri  water pressure and temperature; it's really nice. The apartment isn't in a high rise building, it's just a building with four apartments (quadplex?) There was only 37 pictures sent last week, the 38 I wrote was a typo.

I'm not sure about the collapsed tunnel, I haven't heard anything about it besides from you. But if it was 50 miles west of Tokyo it probably wasn't in our mission. That is Sister Long in one of the Thanksgiving pictures. She's serving in the area below Hibarigaoka. I'm glad you all had a good Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving weekend. How was Keanu's interview? And thanks for the video, I was able to see it. I have that song on a jump drive so sometimes we listen it. Also, I read that talk by President Hinckley when I was a new missionary in Inage with Elder Casey; And I know that it is true. I could see and feel many of those things soon after coming to Japan.

I had two great companion exchanges this past week; One with Elder Takaya and another with Elder Loud. They're both great missionaries, we had a lot of fun, and saw many miracles. I'll be going on exchange with Elder Larsen (2nd transfer like Elder Healy) tomorrow morning.

One of the sisters’  investigators was baptized yesterday; It was amazing. She has one of the strongest testimonies I've ever seen from a recent convert, and she's only been meeting with the missionaries for a month. We're working on getting her conversion story written down, and I'll send it to you. I'll also get some pictures out next week. The four missionaries sang, 'I Believe in Christ,'  a capella.  Sister Nagamine (from Okinawa, transferred in a few weeks ago) and Elder Healy melody, Sister Walbeck alto, and myself bass.

Ozeki-san is continuing to prepare for baptism, and is doing pretty good. Right now we're working on getting him to attend church each week. We met with him today and taught more about the importance of keeping the Sabbath Day holy. He isn't attending church every week, so we don't want him to become less-active as soon as he's baptized. Brother Fukuda, former mission president and great member in the ward, joined us in the lesson and contributed with a great testimony. We'll also be meeting with Ozeki-san this Wednesday and Friday.

We also received a few referrals this past week and are excited to work with the members to introduce their friends to the gospel. We've been having mogi lessons with many of the members - building better relationships, and improving our teaching abilities.

We had P-day as a zone today - pancake party. We all gathered at one church, made and ate pancakes, and played basketball. It was a lot of fun.

As far as the package, things I need are just deodorant and toothpaste, pretty much everything else I can get here. The one other thing I would ask for specifically would be poi... but I'm sure that that's pretty much impossible.  Is there anything anyone would like from here?

Anyway, I love you all so much. Thank you for your love and support. This work is great. This church is true. Everything professed to be, is. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. It guides and comforts. Through daily prayer you can build a strong relationship with our Father in Heaven, and feel refreshed – something  Erina-san who was baptized yesterday has a strong testimony of!  I love you!  Have a great week!

Elder Rindlisbacher

P.S. Faith Abo may be Elder Healy's aunty, Fay Abo? And I'm really glad to hear there are more ward members preparing mission papers!!!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Week 59 – Nov. 26, 2012

Thank you for the prayer Keanu!! Your Japanese is pretty good! Thanks for the pictures of Keanu's Science Fair, mom. It looks like it was fun.

I'm sure you're all doing well back home. As for things here, they're great!

The new apartment we're living in is probably the nicest and cleanest apartment in the mission. It's a little far (20-25 minute bike to the station, 15 minutes to the church), but it's really nice.  It's exactly
what is needed for working effectively and feeling the spirit! I'm sending a lot of pictures (38 to be exact), mostly of the apartment (kind of a small picture tour,) but also some of our Thanksgiving, etc. I'll get a picture of the outside of the apartment and send it next week.

We have interviews with President Budge tomorrow and I'm excited. Oh, and some new news since my last letter: Our zone was recently split (a few days after the transfer began) from two districts to three, and I was called to be district leader over our new district. So this will be my fourth transfer as district leader. I'll be super busy, working hard to train and set an example for Elder Healy, and fulfill my district leader responsibilities. But that's how I'd always prefer things – Busy! Elder Healy's been keeping me working hard. I think I might be getting a small (very, very small) taste of what it's like to be an actual parent; It takes work! But this past little while has also of course been a whole lot of fun. So being district leader I'll be going on companionship exchange tomorrow with Elder Takaya, who just transferred into the district, to train him. This is actually my third time as his district leader. Interviews are being done a little  differently this time around. Usually they've been done while having a zone conference, but this time we just have times that we're supposed to be at our church (or a nearby one) and President will be there to interview us, and we can leave right after.

This past week went well. We always have many things that we need to improve, but we are seeing miracles every day, and having a great time!!

Ozeki-san is continuing to work towards baptism on the 8th of December. He is ready for an interview, we just need to work with his family more. We are meeting with him about 2 to 3 times per week. We
are feeling like Suzuki-san (12/15 baptismal date) needs to take things a little slower for the time being. It seems as if there's been too much change too quickly for him, and he's very stressed. We have many
other investigators with much potential, that we need to get progressing more! Many of them are very busy, making it hard to meet regularly.

One of the Hibarigaoka Sisters’ investigators, Oota Erina-san, is great. She builds my faith every time I see her. She's 21 years old, with a three year old daughter, and so prepared to receive the gospel! She has such a strong desire to grow closer to God, and bless her small family. I'm really excited to be able to interview her for baptism this upcoming Wednesday. She will be a great member of Hibarigaoka ward. Our church meetings each week are from 10am-1pm, but yesterday she came to our church eikaiwa at 9 am and stayed after church until 4:30 pm talking with members! Her daughter has also made great friends with many of the other children as well.

Our Thanksgiving was great. We went to the bishop of one of the English speaking wards’ home (Martini Family,) along with eight other missionaries and four of their investigators. We had an investigator
planning to come with us, but he had a last minute job interview that he needed to take and wasn't able to make it. We ate a lot, and had a lot of fun. I've had two great Thanksgiving while on my mission. The
first was while I was in the MTC, which I absolutely loved. We had great devotionals and food. I had such a great time in the MTC. And this Thanksgiving was just as great. We had really great food, strong
testimonies shared, and a great spirit felt!

This Christmas transfer and season will be amazing. The Spirit of Christ(mas) is what this work and this life is all about! I love Jesus Christ. I love all of you. I love this work. Take care, and keep up the great work. You are in my thoughts, work, and prayers.

Elder Rindlisbacher






Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Week 58 – Nov. 19, 2012                      

The investigators we had preparing for baptism are still preparing for baptism. Ozeki-san has a new goal/baptismal date of December 8. Bishop still needs to meet with his father to talk about his son being baptized. Bishop has talked with his father over the phone a few times, but before Ozeki-san is baptized he would like to meet with him face-to-face. Ozeki-san is 20 years old so he doesn't legally need parental permission, but he has some mental problems and it would be good to have his father fully supportive of this change in his son’s life. I've talked with his father over the phone a few times, and he's very welcoming of the church as he's seen a big change in his son for the good since he's begun to meet with us, but because of his son’s mental problems he has some hesitations about his son making big changes in his life. When Bishop is able to meet with his father, Ozeki-san will be baptized.

Suzuki-san received a priesthood blessing and quit smoking for six days, but went out with some of his friends (members of his former church) and began smoking again. He was doing so well! But because he wasn't able to completely quit for good, he's lost a lot of his hope. He doesn't believe that he can quit anymore, but we're working hard with him, meeting about twice a week and talking on the phone a lot. He is beginning to build faith again, and has a baptismal date of December 15th.

The sister missionaries have an investigator who is planning on being baptized on the 2nd of December. And we're  actually having Elder Kusume of the Seventy in our ward that day too, so it will be a nice sacrament meeting for her to be confirmed in. We won't have fast and testimony meeting, just Elder Kusume speak. She's 21 and married with a really cute three year old daughter. She became an investigator about two or three weeks ago, and she fits in with the ward perfectly. She and her daughter really seem to love church a lot. Hopefully her husband can begin to learn about the church as well. I'm not really sure about what the situation is with him yet.

Today is actually the first day of another transfer (yes, already another one!!)  But Elder Healy and I are still here in Hibarigaoka, thank goodness! I really love it here. And with the new apartment, it's even so much better. I spent a lot of time organizing and continuing to unpack today, and it's really coming together greatly. I'll be sure to take and send some pictures with my letter next week. I have a few, but not many (actually only of the laundry and shower,) pictures of the old house. I'll attach what I have. I'll also attach a picture of a spam and cabbage okonomiyaki (more like pot pie kind of thing) I made the other day. )  One of the Sisters, Sister Stankowsky, transferred, and an Okinawan Sister, Sister Nagamine (same as the Nagamine photo company people on Maui, right?) came in. We're all looking forward to an amazing transfer!

I know Elder Tohara. He's training a new missionary right now too (my companion’s  MTC companion,) and I was actually his companion for a few days while we were waiting for our new companions to get into the mission. We're in the same district so I see him about once a week. This is actually his last transfer, then  he'll be heading home and going to Snow College in Ephraim.

I'm hoping the best for Keanu and getting into KSM!  I'll be praying for him to do well with his interview on Saturday. His reply to you, mom, sounds exactly like what I can imagine him saying.

Is Kauluwehi stressed with finals coming up in a little while?
It sounds like she's having such a good time out there. Does she know a Kat Healy? She's a freshman at the Y, and  is my companion's younger sister. She's living in Heritage Halls, Young Hall. And when did you serve in the Okayama Mission, mom? Elder Healy's mom also served in Okayama!  She was Sister Abo back then. Did you, (Sister Kam) train Sister Abo? Haha, because that'd be pretty funny. Oh, and did you ever serve in Kurashiki? If so, did you know the  Hiramitsu family?

Tell Mikela congratulations with cheer. I'm proud of her and how hard-working and diligent she is; an attribute of Jesus Christ. I'm hoping the best for her and the Y. Be sure that she applies for all the scholarships she can find!

I hope Keawe's foot is doing okay. Tell him he better get amazingly good at Basketball (and Football if he plays) for his senior year, because that's when I'll be back to watch him (I think?)  I'll help him get his name out for scholarships, etc.  I hope he's working hard with schoolwork. If his grades aren't doing well let him know that two prophets of God, (Dieter F. Uchtdorf and Thomas S. Monson) have said, "For members of the Church, education is not merely a good idea—it's a commandment. We are to learn 'of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad' (see D&C 88:79–80)," and, “In academic preparation, I have found it a good practice to read a text with the idea that I will be asked to explain that which the author wrote and its application to the subject it covered. Also, I have tried to be attentive in any lecture in the classroom and to pretend that I would be called upon to present the same lecture to others. While this practice is very hard work, it certainly helps during test week!” If his grades are doing good, congratulate him for me and say お疲れ様です(O tsukare sama desu: basically, way to be such a hard worker.)

Are both Mikela and Keawe going to seminary every morning? I'm not trunky (with this talk of going home) but when I get home I plan on going to seminary with the students every morning.  I wasn't the best example for them before my mission... but I can be after.

I'm glad to hear Elder Hee is doing well. It's beginning to get cold here in the Tokyo area, so I'm sure it's already pretty cold up there. Good luck with the garage sales and cleaning things out a little.

I remember you writing about the Amian family! That's so great that they were able to go to the temple and be sealed. They sound really great and I look forward to meeting them sometime.

Thanksgiving is coming up. We'll be going (along with about 6 other missionaries, I believe) to a member's home for dinner. This family are  members of one of the English speaking wards, but lives in one of the areas next to ours and has invited us over for Thanksgiving dinner. The rest of the missionaries in our zone who don't already have another appointment, will be going onto the U.S. base nearby and having dinner with individual families that live there.

It sounds like you had great Sunday meetings. Is it funny having Brother Wunder in the ward every Sunday?  He was stake president for nine years, right? I'm glad Amber Carvalho and her mom are doing well. I'm sure the ward is all doing great. What are Hoku's plans now?

Did you know that you can get a copy of Mama's patriarchal blessing? If you go to you can find the form for it under sign in/tools. If you do get a copy of it, would you be able to send me one?

We have a decent pool of investigators we're working with now, but we're always in need of building it. The ward and area are amazing, and we're having a great time. We just compiled statistics for last transfer (it's all about the people behind the numbers) and we taught 47 lessons (and 4 mogi lessons)  last transfer. I don't think that's too bad for white-washing in, but we have a lot of work to do, and we can do so much more!  I love Jesus Christ and I love His gospel. We can always do so much more, and work so much harder, to share and help others accept it and receive the blessings that come along.

I love you so, so much! This work is amazing, and I hope you can each find more opportunities to share the gospel, especially with those you care about most. It is happiness. Take care and have a great week!

Elder Rindlisbacher