Monday, April 30, 2012

Week 30 – April 30, 2012

  • Sagamihara
Shin ai naru kazoku e,
(Dear beloved family)
Thanks for the email, mom! The new area and stake presidency sounds great. President Auna's son was working in the MTC while I was there. He served in Italy. Maybe there's only one stake on the Big Island, but he was in the same stake as Elder Coakley. I think his son's name is Jarom. We had a workshop each Saturday night and we saw him a few times because he was always working at those. Also having two Upcountry priesthood holders in the Stake Presidency sounds great. I'm glad to hear Upcountry is doing so well. There are so many amazing and strong families!

Today we biked out to Costco again to shop, and because I have a family membership card (that I bought with another elder) in order to add Kauluwehi to my card she'd need to have the same address as me. The Costco here doesn't have everything as the one back home, but it has mostly everything.

As far as earthquakes, there's always a few small ones going on. I think the one you wrote about was in Chiba, the prefecture I was in last. It was early in the morning, about 5:25am, so we were still in our futons. It was actually two back to back, lasting about five minutes total. But it wasn't really bad at all here in Sagamihara. My companion and I woke up when it first started, but just went back to sleep.

The area that I sent pictures of is actually probably about 30-40 minutes by bike if we were to just go directly there. It was nice, just at the bottom of the mountains, but still city. The farthest I've biked is probably only just over an hour. There are days that we stay on the bikes all day, we just don't go far. Both of my areas have been pretty small, but my companion and I would like to make some time to visit a family in our ward who lives just about a two-hour bike ride from the apartment. There's an area in the mission in which the church is an hour from the apartment.

As far as an oven in the apartment, we have a small toaster that can also be used as an oven. Last transfer it wasn't really toasting things well so we were able to get a new/used toaster from the mission home. Just before throwing our old toaster/oven out we decided to keep it because of the oven feature. I'm glad we did because I've used it a bunch of times to make a few foods and desserts.

To Keanu: Hello Keanu! My week was great. Many exciting things happened. How was your week? I am doing well, preaching the gospel. Macaroni and Cheese sounds great. I think right now I am the same height as before, but I wonder how tall you are? Do you think you've grown? Do your clothes still fit? Did you go to fun factory for a special occasion? I'm sure it was a lot of fun! Every day we usually preach the gospel for about eight hours. We study for about three hours every morning though. It is a lot of fun! I miss you too, but I think before I come home, maybe you can come visit me here. Wouldn't that be fun? Japan is a fun place. But right now, my plan for when I go home is to spend time with you and the rest of the family. I love you, Keanu! Have a great week, have fun with Basketball, and work hard until school ends!

This last Tuesday we went to the early-morning seminary again. I made lemon bars the night before, using the recipe you sent, so I took those. I think everyone enjoyed them. On Thursday night we had dinner with a new family in the ward, the Kanzakis. Sister Kanzaki served in Hiroshima about 10 years ago. She said she served in Okayama. Brother Kanzaki graduated from Utah Valley State University and they lived in Chicago for three years because of his work, so they speak pretty good English. They have two kids, a five year old son and a three year old daughter. After dinner we taught the parents a mogi (practice) lesson on the gospel of Christ. After, we talked a little about how dendo has changed over the years. With the Tokyo mission being the technology pilot of the world, we have access to so many more technological resources now. We have laptops in each missionary apartment and phones with GPS navigation and infrared technology (to send/receive numbers and information from people on the street.) It's interesting seeing how many aspects of the work has changed. Also with the introduction of PMG, so much has changed with how lessons are taught, etc.

We taught Shimizu kyoudai (the two elders who transferred's former investigator) on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday we reviewed the gospel of Christ and taught him the Word of Wisdom. He was really surprised with the Word of Wisdom. He's a pretty quiet and mostly unemotional person, but when we taught him about coffee and tea, his jaw dropped. He couldn't believe that almost all of the people in church each Sunday are following it. He committed to keeping it this week to see how he feels about it. It looks like the hardest thing for him will be tea, so I think we might go out and buy a few teas that are okay to drink and give them to him as a gift. If he doesn't have any teas that are okay to drink in his home, then it will be extremely hard to keep. The Word of Wisdom really is a commandment given for our physical and spiritual health though, and as long as he can understand and realize the spiritual benefits, he will be okay. Really, people who use tobacco or drink alcohol know that it is not good for their health, but of course they still continue. I think the thing that really enforces the importance of the Word of Wisdom is the long list of spiritual benefits. On Sunday we talked with him about how to increase and strengthen faith, and we reviewed the Word of Wisdom a little.

Saturday night we had our "tower game" outreach activity. It was only my companion and I and Okamoto kyoudai, so we each had our own pack of 100 chopsticks and our own box of rubber bands. Even though there was only three of us, it was still a lot of fun. But we've coordinated with ward leaders more and we hope to see more people come out each Saturday.

Sunday night we had dinner at the Yasuda family's home. Yasuda shimai is from Taiwan and speaks Mandarin Chinsese, Japanese, and English... and maybe more. Yasuda kyoudai is Japanese, a little Turk (not Turkish), and a little French, and speaks Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, English, French, and German. They had many people over, including three of our investigators (Okamoto kyoudai, Shimizu kyoudai, and Atsushi kyoudai) and it was a lot of fun. It was great for our investigators and building kankei (relationships) with a few members.

We didn't teach our PMG class this past Sunday because there was a stake PMG class, but we really want to get our weekly class going. We've got so many young single adults and youth (both the largest in Japan,) that they could really benefit from learning more about the text that the First Presidency and Twelve Apostles have given us to guide and help in missionary work. The week before last we had two YSA's with mission calls, another young man preparing, and another sister in the ward who just wanted to learn more about missionary work. It was fun, so we hope to get it going more and more.

Our zone theme this transfer is to "Rise up and Build our Eikaiwas." Our zone leaders used the example of Nehemiah to illustrate the theme. Nehemiah, a cup bearer to the king, was given the opportunity to "rise up and build" the walls of destroyed Jerusalem, it was made an even more monumental task because he was persecuted and threatened constantly by neighboring people. He was diligent and refused to stop working. He refused to come down from the walls he was building and he finished them in a remarkable 52 days. All knew that it was by the power of God. In our companionship we want to start kubari'ing (handing out flyers in front of the train stations) daily and working and coordinating with members a lot more to get their fire going. I found a talk given by Dieter F Uchtdorf where you an hear more about Nehemiah.
Two weeks from Yesterday is Mother's Day, so I'll be able to call then. I was thinking maybe around 6:00 pm your time on Sunday? That means it would be 1:00pm on Monday here. It can be earlier or later, let me know what you think or if there would be a better time. We're pretty open with our schedule right now. And we can use Skype video call if you think it will work. Otherwise, our phone number is 080-2149-6144. There's probably a prefix that you need so I can send that next week.

Also, here's a link to a cool article if you'd like to read it. It was posted on our online portal for us to read and use with investigators and I thought it was cool. It was published in the NY Times and is about a few elders in Uganda. It's really favorable towards the church, and explains a little about full-time missionary work in a fun way.

All in all, the work is good and I'm doing well. Thank you for your prayers, love, and support! Our investigators are progressing and we're seeing small successes each day. I love my mission and I love the gospel! Matsu Jitsu Seito Iesu Kirisuto Kyoukai (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) is founded upon truths restored in these days through Joseph Smith, the prophet of our dispensation. God loves us. He has a plan for us. And Christ lives! He is Risen! Have a great week. I love you!

Elder Rindlisbacher

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Week 29 - April 23, 2012
  • Sagamihara
It's the first day of this transfer and I'm still in Sagamihara! Elder Richmond is staying here too, but it's now a two-man area. It's been a little crazy working to be sure that there is a smooth hand-off of everyone the other companionship has been working with. It's a little overwhelming receiving all of their investigators, etc, but we're definitely grateful for the opportunity and responsibility! On Saturday after we received our transfer calls, we jointed with the other elders so that we could get to know one of their investigators. It was a great lesson on the Atonement and Gospel of Christ, and we set a baptismal date for 5/12. He's a really great guy and seems like a really strong investigator. From here we'll work to keep his transition to us teaching him as smooth as possible. The ward’s help and participation will play a big role. Elder Richmond and I will also need to work harder to keep our eikaiwa and outreach activities going. In order to keep both eikaiwa classes (beginner and advanced) we'll need a few more members there each week because we can't teach two classes with just two elders. But we're excited, and ready to work!

Other than that, it's been a pretty short week since I wrote last, because we had P-day and went to the temple on Tuesday. The other three elders and I participated in seminary on Wednesday and Friday morning. It starts at 6:00 am here. Sagamihara ward actually has the largest seminary class in Japan, with about 23 students and a few other members each morning. Most seminaries in Japan are just done in a member’s home with a few students. Elder Richmond and I are planning on going to seminary each Tuesday and Thursday from now on. It's such a great way to build a better relationship with the youth of the ward.

Wednesday night's eikaiwa was fun. We had a lady come with her son and son's friend. Elder Richmond called her while we were doing area book dendo. We'll need to schedule a shoukai (introductory) lesson with her this upcoming Wednesday. We only taught Okamoto kyoudai once this week (Friday) because it was raining the other times we were supposed to meet. He's continuing to progress, slowly but surely. He comes to church every Sunday, but doesn't read or pray daily as of now. I think he'll realize their importance in time.

For Saturday night outreach we had a "teamwork game night." We played three games that involve teamwork, then brought out the takkyu (ping-pong) table because we wanted to play fufu (blowing) ping-pong again. It was a fun night. This upcoming Saturday we're planning a game in which two teams have a few hundred chopsticks and rubber bands and need to build the tallest and strongest tower. I'll report on how that goes next Monday!

So it's the start of another transfer. I love my mission and I love the gospel! I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to help children of God everyday as a full-time missionary. And I'm grateful to be able to learn Japanese along the way!  It's definitely difficult at times, but I enjoy it, and look forward to the day when I can speak comfortably. I'm grateful for a loving and supportive family. I'm so grateful to be sealed to my family. Let us all work together to ensure that there are no empty chairs in the Celestial Kingdom! When you have a little time, read or watch the general conference talks. They will help and bless you. God leads and guides us!  Thank you.  I love you.  Have a great week!

Elder Rindlisbacher

P.S. A picture of my district this last transfer is attached. From left to right, top: Me, Elder Kerr (my kohai), Elder Richmond (my companion), Elder Igarashi (district leader, used to be in Sagamihara with us, helped me a lot with my Japanese), Elder Barino sticking his head out (from Hanapepe, Kauai), Elder Campbell (zone leader) behind Elder Barino, Elder Nelson (zone leader) sitting on the far right. Bottom: Sister Lundy (my MTC group), Sister Derricott (Kent Derricott's daughter), Elder Piland (used to be in Sagamihara with us, my MTC group) standing.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Week 28 - April 17, 2012
  • Sagamihara
Hello from Sagamihara!!
I hope you're all doing great! It's hard to believe it's already April. It feels more like February! Time is flying. We just got back to the apartment. It's the last week of the transfer so we were able to go do an endowment session in the Tokyo Temple. We got to the temple around 9:00 am, so we were in the 10:00 am session. It was great, of course. After the session, we went over to the little distribution center next to the temple and I was able to get a new gappon (Japanese triple combo) because I gave mine to Okamoto kyoudai last week. Then we went out to Akihabara so that my companion could get a new electronic dictionary and camera. It's now about 5:00 pm and we'll leave the apartment to work at 6:00 pm.
Anyway, this week has been great. The sakura trees all got a little more full in the beginning of the week, but now they're pretty much done. They just come and go, only lasting about a week.
On Saturday we held a 'mini sports night' outreach activity. We had fufu ping-pong (blowing ping-pong), paper basketball, and mini bowling. It was a lot of fun. I'll attach a few pictures of it. With blowing ping-pong we basically just put five people on each side of a normal ping-pong table with no net (poles, but no net), put the ball in the middle, and nobody was allowed to lean on or touch the table with their hands. If the ball fell off the table on your team’s side, it was the other team’s point. Like normal ping pong, we went up to 11 points. For paper basketball, each team had two small garbage cans that they had to fill to the top with paper balls. There was a line of tape that the teams couldn't cross. Each team was allowed one person to sit by the garbage cans to throw paper balls back so the teams wouldn't run out from missing too much. With bowling we set 50 small pins up at the end of one of the church hallways and each team had one roll per team member. The winning team was the team with the least pins still up after all team members had rolled.
Our bishop’s son was baptized on Sunday after church. It's so great seeing baptisms, whether they're eight year-old member baptisms or convert baptisms. Seeing a child of God making the commitments and receiving ordinances that are needed in order to enter the Celestial Kingdom is great! After that, we got on our bikes and rode out to the Machida church as quickly as we could because Kent Derricot was speaking. His daughter is in my district, serving in Machida. We weren't planning on going out, but there was an investigator who we found out was there, so we had to get there. We were able to see the last 30 minutes of him speaking.
Yesterday, Monday, I had a companionship exchange with Elder Piland. He's one of the other elders over Sagamihara area. His companion, Elder Igarashi, is our district leader so he's supposed to split with as many missionaries in the district as he can. We went out to an area I've never dendo'd in. It's a really nice area, I'll probably attach a few pictures from there as well. It took us a little over two hours to get there, stopping to talk to everyone along the way. We housed for about an hour and half, then started on our way back. We were planning on finishing up some housing in a huge apartment building near the church, but it took us about four hours to get back, because there were so many great people along the way. Overall we ended up meeting six new people to teach. An amazing number for one day! One 19 year old boy we talked to is already married with a young child, so that would be seven to teach if we can work with them more. So many miracles are seen on companion exchanges! Elder Piland is my doki (MTC group) so we were just two missionaries finishing up our third transfer. We're still pretty young in the mission, and can't speak great Japanese, but I have a testimony of God's guidance in the work! I know that if I do what I am supposed to do, think what I am supposed to think, and work together with my companion, the Lord will place people in our path and miracles will happen. Elder Piland gave an analogy that I like. He said that his father has a really nice knife that is always clean, sharp, and well cared for. He takes it with him whenever he goes camping or anywhere he'll happen to need a knife. He also has a knife that he's had for a while, but it is rusted and dull. He basically just keeps it because he's had it for a while and he likes it, but it gets no use. It's the same with us. The Lord will use the missionary, or member, who is the sharpest and cleanest. He still likes the dull knife, but it doesn't get used nearly as much. And when we're a tool in the Lord's hand, we are blessed!! It's a win-win situation. You are doing what is right and makes you feel better, and the Lord blesses you!
So it's already almost halfway through the last week of this transfer. We'll get transfer calls this Saturday to see if we're going anywhere new and if anyone new is coming here. It's exciting. The work is great. The gospel is the plan for our happiness. Jesus is the Christ, our Savior and Redeemer. And I know that that is true. I have felt his love in my life and I am so thankful for my opportunity to serve him full-time. Thank you for all of your love and support! Have a great week!
Elder Rindlisbacher 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Week 27 - April 9, 2012
  • Sagamihara
How did everyone like conference? We just saw it this past weekend. Thanks for the cookie recipe, mom. I'm sure the kids will love it. It's great to hear that everyone's doing well. I want to try to get a small package out to you sometime. Because we have a member who lives on the U.S. Base, he can send packages from there for not too much. I'm glad Keanu got the letter. What position is he playing in basketball? And Keawe's probably had about three track meets by now? He'll have a lot of fun at EFY. I'm glad Mikela had fun at prom. Logan is a great person to take. Grandma sent a bunch more good recipes and I've used a few of them already.

It's been a great week here in Sagamihara. Tuesday we had the storm you saw on the news come in. We had a lesson with Okamoto kyoudai at 1:00 pm. The member who was going to joint with us wasn't able to make it because of the reports of the storm coming in later that day. After his lesson at about 3:00 pm, Elder Richmond and I went to a fishing store and to buy kappas (rain suits) in preparation for the storm. It was already starting to rain and getting windy. Just after we got in the store we received an email from the mission home telling us to go home. We bought the rain suits anyway and got back to the apartment. The storm was a pretty big one. A lot of the people we've talked to called it a typhoon but I don't know if it was really an actual typhoon. I know all planes were grounded and trains were stopped in at least Tokyo, Chiba, and Kanagawa prefectures. There were 40 meter/second winds in Shibuya (about 85 miles an hour.) We were safe in the apartment looking through our area books and getting things ready for upcoming activities. By about 6:30 pm it had calmed down a little so we decided to try to go to our Japanese class (only about a two minute walk from the apartment) to see if it was still being held. The walk wasn't bad at all, we had our new rain suits so we were completely dry when we got there. But everyone had taken the night off, so we just talked with a few people that were still in the building and went back to the apartment to make dinner.

It was interesting as Wednesday rolled around because the skies were completely clear and the sun was shining. We went out in only white shirts, no suit coats or anything. After a few hours of streeting, we called an investigator that we've met with only twice this transfer. He's really nice and I think it's really great for him to meet with the missionaries every once in a while, he just isn't interested in progressing much right now. We met with him and went to get cocoa at a local shop. He had a friend pass away recently so we talked to him a lot about the plan of salvation, and there being a whole lot more than just death as the end. He's having a hard time believing that there is a Heavenly Father that loves him. For our Eikaiwa spiritual message that night I told the story President Hinckley told about ten years ago in a general conference. The story about his father and uncle, instead of hiding a pair of boots they saw on the side of a road, putting a silver dollar in each boot and waiting to see the owners reaction when he found them. There's a great Mormon message video about it on called, 'Lessons I Learned as a Boy.' Elder Igarashi translated into Japanese as I told the story.

There was great weather on Thursday as well, so we were out in just white shirts again. We had a lesson with Okamoto kyoudai scheduled for 4:00 pm and as we were on the bikes going to the church, we stopped a guy riding his bike down the street towards us. His name was Frank and he's Chinese. He said his American friend gave him the English name of Frank. He doesn't really speak any English though. It was interesting because just barely after stopping him, after getting to know each other for probably only about a minute, he asked for our phone numbers. We told him we were missionaries and he said (in Japanese), “Oh, let's go to the church.” We of course just said, “Yeah! Let's go to the church!” So we showed him where the church was. He had an appointment for something but said he wanted to come to church. So we will be trying to work with him and get him to church on Sunday. We had a really good lesson with Okamoto kyoudai with Sakamoto kyoudai (our ward mission leader) as a joint. We talked to him mostly about prophets, the spirit, and the word of wisdom. Okamoto kyoudai really wants to change his life. He's said often that he wants to and will be baptized. He just needs to really have a strong desire to repent and overcome his addiction to tobacco. After his lesson we (the other two elders, Okamoto kyoudai, and Sakamoto kyoudai) all went over to a members home to help him move. The member's new apartment is still in our area. We just helped move boxes from his apartment to three minivans parked outside the apartment building.

We visited Shibuya-san on Friday. If you remember, Shibuya-san is the man we met while housing a few weeks ago. He was an investigator about ten years ago. He was really nice and invited us in to talk for a little. We read from the Book of Mormon and he asked if we could pray. I gave a prayer and asked him to pray. He gave a nice short prayer and we left. Looking through the area book we found his records. It looks like he was doing really well with commitments as an investigator before, he just never really gained a testimony.

Conference on Saturday was great. It was held at the Machida church, about a 30 minute bike ride from our apartment. The first session started at 12:00 pm, Okamoto kyoudai came in the evening at 6:00 pm for the priesthood session. Conference started at 10:00 am on Sunday and Okamoto kyoudai came to both sessions then. After conference on Sunday we called Bikash, an Indian man we met last week. We met with him in Sagamihara and gave a quick church tour. He's studied a lot about religion and scripture and actually made a Mormon friend when he was in the Himalaya's for a short trip to learn more about religion. He works as a researcher at JAKSA (no idea what it stands for, but pretty much the Japanese version of NASA.) Elder Piland, one of the other elders here in Sagamihara, is really interested in it, so we'll probably stop by one Monday to see their little museum. We gave him a Book of Mormon, and I'm sure he'll read a lot of it quickly, seeing as he's so interested in scripture and religion. Sunday night, we had a dinner appointment with the Osaka family. They have a son serving in the Kobe mission right now. We had a great time talking about how great the work is.

Paul E. Koelliker spoke in the first session of conference and started with something like, “The mission experience is like a mini-life packaged in 18 to 24 months. They arrive as spiritual infants with a serious appetite to learn, and they leave as mature adults, seemingly ready to conquer any and all challenges placed before them.” I've thought about this a lot as I've been out here. This really is a mini-life. There was a time while Grandpa and Grandma were visiting us a few years ago. Grandpa was sitting out on the lanai on the lazy boy chair and I was sitting on the rug leaning against the couch reading a book written by Lance Armstrong. Grandpa started talking to me about how much missions prepare for life. He told me about how many people in the world can't see how taking two years off of school or work could be beneficial to someone’s future. But he said that a mission would provide far more growth than two years of college ever could. I believed he was right then, but I didn't know. Now I know. I know that he was right. I haven't been a missionary long, but I know that the experiences I am having now are laying the framework for my life. The opportunities I am having to help people in gaining their own testimonies is sending the roots of mine deeper than ever. Learning how to maintain a good relationship with companions I am with all the time is a great blessing. And seeing people improve their lives so much through the gospel of Christ is so rewarding. I love my mission, I love the gospel, and I love my family. Thank you for all of your love and support. Have a great week!

Elder Rindlisbacher

P.S. There are a few pictures attached. The sakura (cherry blossoms) are starting to blossom!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Week 26 - April 2, 2012
  • Sagamihara
Another week gone by in the Japan Tokyo Mission! Sagamihara is great. I hear Inage is great as well. I saw on the portal (our online mission portal) yesterday that an investigator named Quang has a baptismal date. Elder Coleman and I met him during a companionship exchange last transfer. It's really great to have so many technology resources here in Tokyo.

I'm sure general conference was great. We won't see it here until this upcoming Saturday and Sunday. The talks are all already online, but I think I might try to wait to hear them before reading them.

How was Keanu's birthday? I really hope it was great! Did he end up with a rib dinner like he said earlier?

I forgot last week to write to say thank you for the package. It probably got to me either the same day or day after Sister Saribay sent it from Narita. I've already used a bunch of the recipes. I think the other elders in the apartment really liked the lemon bars. I wrote a letter to Keanu, but be sure he knows I appreciate the Valentine's heart he sent!

We visited the Ando family last Monday night. Their father wasn't home, and their mother asked us to try to visit another time when they were both home. So we'll be heading out their way again sometime this week. It would really be great if they could come to church eventually! After visiting them I stopped a man walking down the street. He was on his phone, so I thought he wasn't going to want to talk, but he had to have a chance to hear the gospel. He stopped and stuck the phone out to me. I asked a few times who he was talking to, and he just kept a straight face. I asked if it was his wife and he nodded his head. I took the phone and was greeted by a pretty angry wife. We testified to the man about the happiness that comes through the Book of Mormon. We told him that we're still young, and haven't been married or anything, but that we know that the Book of Mormon contains what he needs to be happy. While holding a copy of the Book of Mormon he just asked, "Do you believe this?" We told him that it was true, and that we knew it. He ended up taking a copy of the Book of Mormon and our phone number. Hopefully he comes to church or gives us a call sometime. It was definitely an interesting experience.

Tuesday we had a lesson with Okamoto kyoudai. He's continuing to progress, slowly but surely. In the Book of Mormon, he's just starting Mosiah now. Tuesday night we had our Japanese class. It was my first time going, and it was pretty interesting. There were about 15 students total between the two classes. The other two elders over this area had an investigator there.

As always, we had Eikaiwa Wednesday night. It was raining during the day, so not as many students came. But it was still a lot of fun for those that did come. Our topic was "work," with next week’s topic "helping," so for our spiritual message we shared a talk entitled, "What Have I Done For Someone Today?" by Thomas S. Monson.

We taught Okamoto kyoudai again on Thursday. His lessons are normally each Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. He really has a desire to be baptized. I think his biggest problem is his addiction to cigarettes. He doesn't say it too much, but I think almost all of his concerns can be traced back to that problem. I know that the church has an addiction recovery program, so we'll be trying to find it in Japanese for him. Thursday night was our dinner on the nearby U.S. Base. So I actually went to America a few days ago. It was really nice. They have three small children so our message was really geared towards them. They love Star Wars so we used a little object lesson teaching them how to have "the force"/spirit with them.

On Friday we had a five-zone conference in the Kichijouji chapel. There was probably about 100 missionaries there. I really enjoy the big conferences. The spirit is amazing. The assistants shared a talk by a former mission president (I'm not sure where) named Lawrence E. Corbridge entitled "The Fourth Missionary." It's really a very inspiring talk, at least for me as a missionary. It basically outlines four different types of missionaries, and deciding what kind of missionary to choose to be. Essentially, what kind of person to become. If you have a chance, look it up and read it!

Saturday evening we were stuck in the apartment because of a big storm. The mission office emailed us at about 4:00 pm asking us to stay in the apartment because there were gale winds in Kanagawa-ken (prefecture) and Chiba-ken. Sagamihara is in Kanagawa-ken while Inage is in Chiba-ken, so the wind warnings were issued for the two prefectures on each side of the bay. That evening our zone leaders did a check of our apartment. Each zone leader companionship has been going around to each apartment in their zone to see what needs replacing/fixing. President Albrecht is really getting everything perfect for President Budge to come in.

Sunday was a lot of fun as always. Okamoto kyoudai fasted. Our testimony meeting was all youth and Elder Igarashi as the last person to bear testimony. Our stake had youth conference this past weekend, and it apparently really had a huge impact on many of the youth. Probably about 15 of them bore strong testimonies in sacrament meeting.

Today we made another Costco run. It's always interesting trying to get all of our groceries and things back to the apartment by bike. We went to Costco because we wanted to get some nonperishable food for the apartment. We got some crackers, peanut butter, canned fruit/vegetables, etc. to put in a box as storage for the apartment. Today I also got a reply from Elder Nitta! It sounds like he loved his first week in the MTC. I didn't know I would be so excited to see him go on a mission. It's really indescribeable, how much I've come to love my mission and how I know he will too.

This Sunday being Easter Sunday, here's an excerpt from an email the zone leaders sent a few days ago:
"Today (April 1) is the first day of the Passover celebrations! That means it's also the first day of Passion Week. In other words, it's the first day of the last week of Christ's mortal ministry. If we were living 2000 years ago, today Jesus would triumphantly enter Jerusalem hailed and cheered by many. Tomorrow, he will clear the temple of moneychangers and others who defile our Father's house. Tuesday will be spent at the Temple, making final rebuttals against those that oppose Him, and giving final instruction to the people. Wednesday will be spent amongst His Apostles and close friends. On Thursday, he will introduce the Sacrament and give final instruction to His Apostles. From there he will go to Gethsemane and atone for the sins of the whole world. From there, betrayal and trial. On Friday, the Crucifixion. On Saturday, His body will be in the grave, while His spirit will begin the ministration of the dead. Then the glorious Easter Sunday. The bands of death are broken and the resurrected Savior makes it possible to be free from the fiery pit of death and hell.

I'm so grateful for the scriptures as they beautifully portray that one week. The literary beauty and spiritual power is unsurpassed. One cannot read them without feeling like they are with the Savior at the temple, or in the upper room, or in the garden. And one cannot read them with an open heart and not feel a deeper love of, gratitude for, and testimony about Jesus Christ. That's why we would like to invite the zone to read with us this week about the last week of Christ's life. Below we have a day-by-day breakdown with recommended scriptures. As we go through the week, we will also be inviting companionships to send to the zone their testimonies of Jesus Christ, His Gospel, His Atonement, and His Resurrection. We hope you all join us in this opportunity to grow closer to our Savior."

Sunday: Mark 11: 1-11
Monday: Mark 11:12-19
Tuesday: Mark 11:20-33;Mark 12; Joseph Smith Matthew; Matt 25
Wednesday: No Record
Thursday: Matt 26; John13-16
Friday: Matt 27
Saturday: D&C 138:11-37
Sunday: Luke 24

So that's what I'll be doing this week. I challenge all of you to follow along as well! I know that I am so grateful for Jesus Christ. I'm grateful for his gospel and the blessings that I have received as part of a family in the church. Really, one of the main reasons I am on a mission is because I have you, a loving family, and I've seen the Gospel of Christ work to bless and strengthen us. I've felt the love of our Heavenly Father in my life. And I know it's real.

Thank you for your love and support! I love you!! Have a great week!

Elder Rindlisbacher

P.S. I'll attach a few pictures of last week’s Outreach activity with the young single adults. I don't have many of this area, but I'll send some other ones later. In the first picture, my companion, Elder Richmond, is on the far right.