Sunday, November 17, 2013

Week 110 - November 18, 2013

It's been a good week. I've fallen more in love with the people and the church members of Japan. I think I'll be fine with any seat on my way home. Thank you. I'll look for a watch for Keanu today. Today I have an interview with President and then we'll have dinner and a testimony meeting tonight. Tomorrow we have a big conference with Elder Evans, President of the Missionary Department. We'll combine both the Tokyo Mission and Tokyo South Mission for it. Then I'll be on my way to the airport. Time has really gone by quickly, but I'm really enjoying it.

The baptismal service this past week was great. Stake conference was also great. I'm really grateful for the opportunity I was given to speak.

Would it be okay to go straight home from the airport and have a family home evening? I really want to have that time together as a family while I'm still set apart as a missionary.

I love you,
Elder Rindlisbacher

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Week 109 - November 12, 2013

Everything's been great. We had mission leadership council this past Thursday. Then on Friday we had two conferences (half-mission each) for a special companionship language study training. The companionship language study training was to teach the missionaries how to help each other learn English (for the Japanese missionaries) and Japanese (for 
the English-speaking missionaries.)

We were able to go the temple today. We stayed in the celestial room for a while and it was really nice.

I've been asked to speak at stake conference on Saturday. The theme is 'Hastening the Work of Salvation.'

On Saturday we'll have a baptismal service for Takahashi-san, one of the Kichijoji Elders (Elder Piland, Elder Fernelius, and Elder Nebeker) investigators. I did his baptismal interview this past Sunday and he's prepared. He's probably in his 70's, and the elders met him at a train station just a couple months ago.

Time has flown by. I can remember reading Nathan's emails home when I was in the MTC. He was just about to go home then. It feels like yesterday. I'm so grateful for this time that I've been given, and for the time I still have. I'll see you next week.

I love you all so much,
Elder Rindlisbacher

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Week 108 - November 5, 2013

I was able to go on two exchanges this week, one with the Machida zone leaders and another with the elders in Takao. They both went well. With my exchange to Takao I’ve been to every area in the mission but one, a place called Yamato. It doesn’t look like I’ll be getting out there but I guess it’s okay to leave at least one thing undone.

In Machida the zone leaders are Elder Newsom and Elder Larson and they’re training a new elder, Elder Hadlock. They’re all doing very well together. Elder Hadlock is the elder who played guitar at our concert recently. They're obedient and diligent and have a lot of fun as they enjoy each other's company.

Elder Etchu and Elder Mak are the elders in Takao and they’re doing well too. Elder Etchu is Japanese and Elder Mak is American. They’re both very young missionaries with Elder Etchu being transfer three and Elder Mak transfer two. They work very hard to communicate with each other as both don't speak each other's language too well yet. Elder Mak is working very hard to learn Japanese and Elder Etchu is doing the same with English. I was very impressed by both of their language skills as well as their patience with each other as they talk. Elder Mak is completely fearless and will talk with anyone. Not just walking down the street, but walking into a store, train, or other building he’ll always strike up a conversation right away. He'll easily talk with many, many people a day. Elder Etchu is a little shy, more typical of Japanese elders, but he and Elder Mak are a great combination. They both have a great desire to be the missionaries the Lord would have them be.

I've been trying to teach missionaries how to fish versus fishing for them. I feel like it's gone really well with the past few exchanges I've been on. I feel like the missionaries really gain skills and confidence.

On Halloween we had training for most of the district leaders. It didn’t include all of the district leaders and some other missionaries who aren’t district leaders were asked to participate as well. It was a day full of what we call ‘mogi’. Mogi in English is role-play, so it was a day full of practicing. There is information training and there is skill training. Thursday was almost all skill training, trying to pass teaching skills on to the missionaries.

We had an English Speech Contest held here in Kichijoji on Saturday for the top 15 high school representatives from throughout Japan. The speeches were very good and you could tell that there was a great amount of effort put into them. The winner received a trip to Hawaii to stay with a family there for a little more than a week. The contest is put on every year by BYU-Hawaii and open to all high school students in Japan.

This past Sunday Elder Medeiros and I taught a PMG study class to two YSA’s planning on going on missions, Yoza Masaaki, a member of Kichijoji ward, and Ikezaki Kenzo, a member of Urawa ward. Later that evening we went to the Saito Family home for dinner with Masaaki and Kenzo and had a nice discussion on missionary work. Apparently they wanted to have a good talk about mission work with me before I go home. We had a great time.

So it’s about two weeks from today that I’ll be heading home. I’ll see you on the 19th of November. I’ll write once more before then, probably on the 12th. I hope everyone’s doing great. I’m remaining focused on the work here, but I do have many goals and plans for when I return home. I was wondering who will be at the airport that day? I guess I’ll arrive in the early afternoon. If it’s alright I want to go straight home from there.

I love you so much. Thank you for everything. Have a great week!

Elder Rindlisbacher

Monday, October 28, 2013

Week 107 - October 28, 2013

About four weeks ago a man walked into the church after services had all ended and was met by two of the the elders serving here. They sat down with him and listened as he explained that his mother had recently passed and he was now left alone in the world. He was lost and scared and depressed. They began teaching him about our Heavenly Father's wonderful plan of salvation and soon realized that they were in need of member help, somebody that could relate and communicate better with him. They went to the bishop who suggested the Kubota couple, an elderly couple in the ward. They joined the lesson and Junichi cried and cried and cried as they taught him about how God loves him and about how he can be with his family forever. He left the church that day with a smile on his face.

He came back later that week for English class, sports night, and another gospel lesson. He progressed quickly in the gospel and was baptized this past Sunday evening. With his mother's death he was at a point where he was seriously contemplating taking his own life. He had the courage to seek help and was connected with the missionaries and the church. He says he was, "given hope, something that we cannot live without." He also says, "We can't live in the world alone." His life changed when he learned that he had many brothers and sisters who love him. His heart was changed when he learned through prayer that God was there and truly loved him. We've had a great week here in the mission.

We were blessed to experience the miracle of Junichi being baptized yesterday evening. It was a great service. The sisters serving here, Sister Brown and Sister Lopez, sang 'My Heavenly Father Loves Me' in Japanese accompanied by a member Yoza Masaaki and his own arrangement of the song. The chapel was filled with a truly angelic and beautiful chorus. It was awe-inspiring. Junichi bore testimony and it was so pure and sincere.

I've felt the spirit more lately than ever, something I've been striving for. I have felt joy in my heart often and it brings tears to my eyes. I spoke last Sunday in sacrament meeting. It was a spiritual experience in itself as I bore my testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have a thriving testimony that the church is true. The gospel is true. I love my family. I love serving.

I had two other opportunities to bear my testimony in a large setting this week as we had two zone conferences, one on Tuesday and another on Thursday. They were both great and very spiritual meetings. They both went from 9:00 am to about 6:00 pm (although scheduled to end at 5:00 pm.) The returning missionaries bore testimony in the end and that's always a very spiritual and inspiring experience for everyone.

Last week Saturday we had an activity with about 70 YSA's from the mission and a little of the surrounding areas. We were able to coordinate for 50 missionaries from our mission to participate as well and we had a great day. We began in the morning with some training, mostly from President Wada but a little from Elder Medeiros and I. Then we were assigned companions and areas, had a quick lunch, and some time to set goals before we headed out for a few hours. Everyone came back with various experiences and things they learned. The missionaries returned to their areas and the YSA's had a nice testimony meeting to conclude. We had two overlying goals/purposes with the activity. One, to inspire the YSA's to serve missions. Two, to inspire and help them to nurture their friends with the gospel. We feel like we did very well in accomplishing both. It was a great day.
Our sacrament meeting this past Sunday was put on by the primary as they had their yearly presentation. It was great as always. Then Sunday evening before the baptismal service the YSA's of Kichijoji ward had a family home evening activity in the Wada's home. That was a lot of fun and very good for them.

The Friday and Saturday before then we were on exchange in an area called Hodogaya. I worked with an Elder McCarty from Stockton, Utah and Elder Medeiros worked with Elder Stevens from Gilbert, Arizona. They're a young companionship and working very hard. We had a wonderful time and talked to many people. We kept track, and out of the about 7.5 hours we were able to spend out talking to people we had meaningful conversations with 65 people between the two companionships. There was a typhoon that hit during the exchange, but the timing of it couldn't be better as it hit during the night and
passed just as our morning study and lunch finished up. There have been a few typhoons lately and more to come, but they aren't as strong as we normally consider typhoons/hurricanes to be in the states. They're strong rain and wind storms, but nothing really scary.

We've been doing great although I hope Elder Medeiros and I can begin teaching more. We've been doing a lot of finding lately and making a lot of new friends, but we've been a little busy and haven't been able to set teaching appointments with many of them.

I love you all so much. Thank you for all you do and are. Take care.

Elder Rindlisbacher

P.S. He was Maui right.

Week 105 - October 14, 2013

What another indescribable week. It feels impossible to describe the things that have happened and truly convey all of the feelings that come with. It has been an amazing week and an amazing day. It's hard that days and weeks can be so good!

I guess I'll start with what's most fresh: today. And I guess that will also take us through some of the earlier part of the week as well. We had an amazing event today which we called 'October Cultural Fest.' It was amazing. It was basically a concert, which we've been planning for the past good while with our investigator Jett, church public affairs, and the stake. We're still counting, but I'd say we probably had a turnout of over 500 people. This would be by far the most successful event I've participated in putting on since I've been in Japan. The last few months and weeks of a mission are generally the most effective. As far as entertainers we had a group of YSA institute students called Little Witnesses, a hula halau based out of Hilo called Hula Halau O Kou Lima Nani 'E Tokyo, a very popular singing/dancing group called Bless4, and Jett and some of his band member friends.

We were happy to see so many people at the event, members, nonmembers, and missionaries. The music wasn't missionary-approved music (but good music nonetheless), but missionaries were allowed to come and participate in the event provided they brought people with them. We were proud to see a completely packed cultural hall. Along with that, there was something I was very proud of personally. This past Tuesday we had 21 new missionaries arrive. They came into Narita Airport around 4:30 pm and we got back to the mission home around 8:00 pm. We had dinner and went off to bed. The next day was full of training and English class in the evening. Everyone had a great day, us and new missionaries included. After English class we had a quick wrap-up of the day in the mission home, talking about things we learned and what we should do as a result of what we learned. Following that meeting I was talking with one of the new missionaries, Elder Hadlock. I asked if he played any sports in high school or before his mission and he said basically, "Not really, I basically just dedicated my life to music before my mission." I asked how he was at guitar because I had been talking to Jett the day before about the upcoming concert and about having missionaries participate on stage as well. He said he would probably keep his keyboard person and drummer, but someone playing guitar might be good. Elder Hadlock said he was pretty comfortable with jumping into a band and being able to play along so I asked if he wanted to get on stage at the upcoming concert. He said he'd love to if he was able so I continued to coordinate with Jett and we got a few mp3's sent to Elder Hadlock for him to listen to to prepare. Elder Hadlock and his two companions (who are zone leaders; we have so many new missionaries we have a zone leader companionship training as well.) were able to get a guitar and amp from their bishops son this morning and got here between 10:00 am and 10:30 am with time to spare for the sound check at 11:00 am. Elder Hadlock really tore things up with the guitar and I'm so glad I was able to get him on that stage. He hasn't been here a week but I think he feels like he really contributed to something great. And he did. Everyone loved him. I have some great pictures and videos of him that I want to put on a small flash drive to give to him.

There's something I realized tonight. Something I've known for a long time but that just came into my mind in words tonight. This sentence, "There's always people to help out." Today at the cultural fest I feel like I spent the two hours it lasted along with the few hours of setting up and preparing and breaking down and cleaning up just walking around doing things for people and saying a lot of, "Thank you." It felt so great to do things for people, talk to people and have meaningful conversations, and just say, "Thank you." It was so good to look people in the eyes as I said that and see their joy! Those times are the times when it is impossible to say that people are not of divine origin with divine spirits within them! It makes me want to just tell people I love them and thankful for them all the time of the day, all the days of my life!

In other news, now it's Elder Medeiros and I as assistants here. Elder Olson returned home on Tuesday. It feels really weird to not have him here. I've been with him 24 hours/day for the past six months! We grew so much together and really came to love each other. We were able to work so well together, especially during the ending portion of our time together. Now he's on to another journey and I hope the best for him. I'm sure I'll see him after I return myself. Elder Medeiros and I are doing well together. We're always too busy to do otherwise! He's great and it's fun to be with a missionary from Hawaii. I began with a Hawaiian companion and will end with one. I've been a missionary for over two years now (as of October 5) and it's really nice to be so comfortable with the way things work, etc. I love Japan and I love The Work.

It's truly scary to be heading home soon, as it will be a big change. And of course it is very exciting to be heading home soon. I have many goals and plans and thoughts for the things I will do. One of my biggest desires right now is to return home spiritual and consecrated, healthy and clean. I hope I can take a lovely spirit home through the way I live these next few weeks.

I love you all so much. I hope you know I do. I hope you know you're on my mind always and that my desires are very much centered around you. I love the work here. I love my mission. I hope I can be a strength to you my family and my friends. Because I love you. Thank you. Take care, and have a great week!!

Elder Rindlisbacher

Pictures attached:
0257 - Hula halau
0279 - Bless4
0293 - Jett and his group
0328 - Elder Hadlock
0357 - Beginning to clean up following the event

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Week 103 – October 4, 2013

Alright, it's been about two and a half weeks since I've sent a decent email. Sorry it's been so long. We've had so     many things to do that we haven't taken a decent preparation day where I can email since the last one I sent. But    with many things to do there are always so many great experiences. It's hard to know where to begin! And at the      same time I don't want to bore everyone with an email that's too long. 
Two weeks ago Elder Olson and I went o exchange to Shonan. President Wada recommended we go on exchange withthem to help them to find more investigators. We had a great time and I think it was really an inspired exchange. I  worked with Elder Allred and Elder Olson worked with Elder Allred's companion, Elder Peters. We talked with many,  many  people and met some great new potential investigators. I tried my best  to give Elder Allredas many opportu- nities as I could to speak and share insights as we were talking to people. Overall the exchange gave a great boost of motivation. 
The next day we had a conference for the 13 district leaders in the mission and a few sisters. Conferences are always special. It's great to see the missionaries and to feel of their dedication and faith. Sister Hathaway was invited be-     cause we want her to receive some training as she'll probably be asked to serve as a sister training leader sometime  in the future. 
The next Monday we met with the Nagatomo Family and went to a place called Kamakura. the Nagatomo Family is    the one with the 12 year-old son and who we went with the father to a baseball game a few weeks ago. Kamakura is a very historical and popular place in Japan. I believe it was the capitol, over 1,000 years ago. We spent a great day with them and they drove us back to Kichijoji that evening. We took them into the chapel and talked about the gospel and taught about the restoration. They cried as they shared how they were feeling. The spirit was strong. 
I had a great exchange with Elder Larsonand Elder Connell in Tama last week. They are both amazing missionaries    and are doing very well. We were able to have many meaningful conversations over the 24 hours as well as teach      two lessons. I had so much fun constantly talking with people and enjoying the company of Elder Connell and Elder    Larson. 
We took brownies to a few member families the Sunday before last. We made them that morning before our meet-    ings before church and then delivered them in the evening. We  had time to take some to two families The first familywe had planned to take brownies to was our ward mission leader. He's been really busy lately but tries very hard anddoes well with fulfilling his calling. We took his address from our member list and headed over to his apartment... we thought. We got there and knocked and the door. Brother Nishio (not the ward mission leader) came to the  door and we asked for Brother Ito (the ward mission leader). Brother Nishio said he wasn't there and we were confused and    asked where he was. He said he didn't know and that this was his and his younger brother's apartment. They're both  in their 20's. Anyway, there Elder Olson and I were standing in front of Brother Nishio, Elder Olson holding a plate of  brownies, and me holding a note for Brother Ito. Elder Olson looked at me and then turned back to Brother Nishio andyelled, "Just kidding!" and handed him the brownies. I just put the note I had in my hand behind myback. We thankedhim for all he's been doing to help us  (which is a lot and we would have loved to take him brownies as well) and       wished him a good time. We had a good laugh after we got back into the car. 
From there we went to the Maritini Family's home. The Maritini's are the ones I had dinner with last Thanksgiving andwho had us over for dinner with Jett recently. We put the brownies in front of their door and I rang it and ran. They    live in from the street in the middle of a narrow path about the width of a normal sidewalk. Elder Olson was hiding     down the path a ways and it would have been good for me to run to where he was after I rang the doorbell but at the time it was easier for me to head the other way as I ran out of their gate. So I ran down that way and hid.After a few minutes I began to walk quietly down the path to where Elder Olson was so we could head home, but just as I was in  front of the Maritini's home their door started to open. I tried to back up quietly and quickly but realized that I wasn't going to get far enough away in time so I turned and sprinted. I waited a few minutes again and then was able to     make it to Elder Olson and we had another good laugh in the car. The Maritini's gave us a call just as we got home     and thanked us. Also, the  Nagatomo's attended church here on Sunday and had a wonderful time.  
Last Thursday we went with President Wada to Yamate to prepare for a special mission leadership council that was    held this past Thursday. We went there to check the location of what is now a park but was where  Elder Heber J.      Grant and a few other missionaries dedicated the land of Japan for the preaching of the gospel. After that we had       ramen at a place of President Wada's recommendation. President Wada really likes to eat good food (not necessarily  expensive food, just good food.) I'll send a picture of the ramen. I had Hokkaido Ramen (North Japan), Elder Olson   had Shinshu Ramen (Central Japan), and President Wada had Kyushu Ramen (South Japan.) That white/yellow-ish     thing on my ramen is butter. It was delicious. In mine there was also pork slices, corn, and potato wedges along with the vegetables and of course noodles. 
This past Monday we met with Angel at a small bread shop. Angel is a man from Venezuela that Elder Olson met in     Hachijoji when he was serving there about a year and a half ago. They had a very special moment on the street as     they talked and Angel opened his heart and shared feelings that were very personal to him. Elder Olson transferred    soon after and Angel didn't want to meet with other missionaries because he said he had had a special experience     with Elder Olson and not them. Elder Olson's called him a few times since then just to see how he's been and we wereable to meet with him this past Monday. It was such a great meeting. He is such a good person. We had a great talk  and he opened his heart to us. He cried as he talked about the joys of raising a child and he cried as he talked about  how he hopes he can live a good enough life to make up for past sins. He said many things that were very touching.  One thing he said, through his tears, was "When I was young I thought I was having fun. And I hoped I could live     many days so I could have fun. Now I hope I can live many days for redemption." Towards the end of the conversa-   tion he said, "This meeting really means a lot to me. It means a lot for the rest of my life." I hope to keep in contact with him and hopefully meet him at least once more before I return home. 
This past Wednesday we spent some great time with President and Sister Wada. We had lunch at a Thai restaurant    and when we walked into the restaurant it felt like we were in Thailand (although I've never been there.) We had a    great lunch and got Wendy's frostys afterwards. There aren't many Wendy's in Japan. Then we went to the temple fora 2:00 pm session. It was such a great session. The spirit was strong. Driving home from the temple Sister Wada       looked out the window and pointed out a nice big rainbow. She was trying to get a picture of it with her phone when  we went around a curve and there was another one. So two big rainbows next to each other. There was special        meaning in that for us that I'll explain later in this letter. 
We held our special mission leadership council this past Thursday. It went great. We held it in Yamate this time           instead of Kichijoji in honor of the dedication of Japan and to bless our newly opened mission. This is something         President Wada has been talking about and planning with us since he arrived here. We took the missionaries (just       over 20 of us) to the area where the dedicatory prayer was given, sang hymns, shared testimony, and prayed. We     used the same format for the meeting that the early missionaries used as they held the meeting there for the dedi-    cating. We sang 'We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet', had an openingprayer, sang 'Now Let Us Rejoice', had testi-    monies shared by each missionary, a special prayer was given by President Wada, we sang 'Come,Come, Ye Saints', and had a closing prayer. That was the morning portion of the council and the afternoon was spent at the chapel therein Yamate. The afternoon went great as we spoke of and trained on the work. 

Today we've been really busy. This morning at 5:30 am we taught seminary to the Wada boys. That is always great,  they're wonderful young men. We made and had breakfast with them after that and they went on their way to school.Elder Olson and I went on a run and found a nice park not far from the church/apartment. Right from finishing our     workout we got in the car to go pick up Elder Medeiros. Elder Medeiros is my new companion and the new assistant   as Elder Olson returns home next Tuesday. I've spent the last four transfers, just over five months with Elder Olson.  We feel like we've been able to unite like no other companionship in the mission, especially as it's unheard of in the  mission to have a companion for so long. Elder Olson and I aren't very similar in our personalities beside the fact that we're both very stubborn, so we weren't two that connected right away. But I know that President Budge had a lot of wisdom and inspiration as we were called to be companions and to assist the Wada's in opening the mission. We've   grown and learned so much from each other. I'm excited to work with Elder Medeiros over the next six weeks. You  might remember but I lived with him in Kanagawa for a transfer. He's from Wahiawa. 
Today we also met with a member, Masaki Yoza, who's preparing to serve a mission. He's extremely smart and just about as full of love as anyone could ever get. We meet with him occasionally to study from the scriptures and           Preach my Gospel. After our meeting today he showed us a short video of Joseph Smith that had very beautiful back- ground music. After the video he said he wanted to do something for Elder Olson before he leaves the mission and      that he'd been practicing the music that was on the video and wanted to play it for him. We went into the chapel and  were touched by the beautiful music and the love that could be felt through it. 
Other than everything else that's been going on we've been going to each zone with President and Sister Wada for      interviews. Once about every three months each missionary has an interview with President. It was a lot of fun being there and getting to know each missionary better as they waited outside of the room as their companion was being    interviewed. We talked with each missionary to see where we have opportunities for future training and strengthen-   ing. We'll be compiling the results of that within the next few days. 
I love you all so much and am so grateful for you. Thank you for your support and examples back home. I have six    weeks left in the mission. I'm very grateful for this next six weeks as I wouldn't have them if I wasn't able to extend. I hope to make the best of it and serve as much as I can. I love you! Take care! 
Elder Rindlisbacher 

P.S. Sorry if you find the letter long, I wish I could express my feelings and emotions better as I share these             experiences with you. I am having the time of my life! 

I forgot to say that the meaning of the two rainbows was that our decision to have Elder Medeiros come in as the nextassistant was right. That's what we took it to mean because as we left the temple, President said he had had two       distinct impressions, one being that Elder Medeiros was to be the next assistant. Everyone in the office is now joking   that the two rainbows are the two Hawaiians now in the mission home. 
Love you! 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Week 100 – September 9, 2013

We've had a great week. It's been eventful and it's hard to remember all that's happened! I guess to begin, it's been great meeting with Jett recently. He's an interesting guy and it's been an adventure teaching him and learning from him. We met with him at a bread shop on Tuesday and talked about the plan of salvation. It was a great meeting, as all of the others have been. He's been having a lot of spiritual experiences. We invited him to be baptized on a specific date and the conversation got pretty intense for about 30 minutes. He drilled us a lot about the priesthood and a little about a few other concerns. It ended really well and we ended up meeting him again the next day, Wednesday. He had a meeting with President Wada and a man from the church offices to talk about the event they're planning. After that meeting we went to the chapel with him and President Wada. We had the sacrament set up and we talked about that for a little and had a discussion on the restoration. Jett was able to really understand things a lot better. Jett's been really calculative with everything he's been doing with us. He, for example, wore an all black suit with a black shirt and big cross pendant the first time he came to church. We, nor any other members didn't think much of it and he told us later that he wore that on purpose to see the reaction. He said we passed. Nobody acted any different to him and everyone welcomed him greatly. So anyway, at this meeting with him on Wednesday he said he meant to be really hard on us the day before to see how we would stand up for our beliefs. He said it was great to see us firm in what we were teaching. That discussion went great.

Then last night we went to dinner at the Martini family's home. Maybe you remember the family I had dinner with last Thanksgiving? Same family. They live in our ward boundaries here in Kichijoji but the father is the bishop of an English ward in Senzokuike, a place about 45 minutes from here. The missionaries of that ward can't visit or have dinner at the Martini's home because they live in different missions as of the mission split. We meet the Martini's often and have a great relationship with them so they had us over for dinner since they can't have the missionaries from their ward over. We had Jett over as well and we all had a wonderful time. Bishop Martini is the President and General Manager of Franklin Covey Japan. To conclude dinner, we shared a message about a new Mormon Message called 'Daily Bread - Patterns'. It's actually from a new series of short videos, watch them when you have time!

Anyway, then we met with Jett this morning again. He had another meeting with President to talk about the event coming up. On October 14 (a national holiday) we're going to have an 'October Cultural Fest' where Jett and a band will put on a concert. Jett will put together a gospel choir to perform, we'll have some missionary performances, and hopefully some other well-known performers and groups from around Japan to entertain. Everyone's getting really excited. So after Jett's meeting with President Wada we all met for a little to discuss Jett's progress with the gospel. Jett's really ready to learn all he can so we'll continue to meet two to three times a week. He always says, "It couldn't have been anyone but these two," when he talks about our first encounter on the street and he wants to get as much out of us before we return home. So he's doing great and we're having a lot of fun with him. We'd love to begin teaching his wife and daughter as well sometime soon.

Other big news from this week would be that Elder Olson and I went out to Yokohama to visit the Nagatomo family. If you remember, the Nagatomo family is the family Elder Olson and I played catch in a park with a little while ago. I sent a few pictures home. So we went to Yokohama to see them and especially to see Kazuma, the little boy (12 years old.) He's had Crone's disease since he was little so he's had a few bouts in the hospital. We went out and visited Kazuma at the hospital and he was about to get outside for the first time in two weeks so we played a little basketball and catch while talking. He's a champion. He's always happy and positive no matter what's going on. After meeting with them at the hospital Kazuma's father took Elder Olson and I to a baseball game there in Yokohama. They originally wanted to go as a family (Kazuma and his parents) with us but Kazuma wasn't well enough to be released from the hospital. Kazuma's father really wanted to take us to a game still though. We went to a Yokohama BayStars vs. Hiroshima Carp game. The Nagatomo's (and Elder Olson) are huge BayStar fans. It was a whole lot of fun and we had a blast. Baseball games in Japan are completely different than those in America. There's a lot more celebrating, yelling, and cheering. There are chants for each player on the team that the fans all yell when each player's at bat. After the game (Yokohama lost 5-1) Nagatomo-san took us to a beautiful lookout in Yokohama that overlooks part of the bay and the city. He said because we don't have permission often to stay out after curfew (by now it was 9:30 pm) he wanted to show us the lookout at night while we had a chance. We went there for a little while and it really did a lot to change the mood from a lot of baseball fun to reflecting more on life. From the baseball game we were planning on taking the train back to Kichijoji but when we got into the car to head to the station Nagatomo-san said he was going to take us to the lookout then we'd get on the toll road and head to Kichijoji. Elder Olson and I said we we'd be more than happy to take the trains home instead of have him drive us, but we weren't took persistent as we knew if he took us home we'd have a lot of time to talk in the car. Anyway, we drove home and had a great conversation. Nagatomo-san was so grateful for all of the love we have for his son and he said that he would welcome us teaching his son about the church. He said he trusts us completely and we can teach him without them there if it needs to be more private, and that his son can do what he wants with what we teach him. Elder Olson's been friends with the Nagatomo's for a while and it's wonderful to see how service prepares people to hear the gospel. When you have time, read Alma 17-18 and see how Ammon's service to King Lamoni softens his heart. They are a wonderful family and we hope to meet with them once more before Elder Olson heads home.

Other things that have happened this week would be mission leadership council on Thursday and teaching seminary on Saturday. We've begun teaching Tyki and Takuto, the Wada boys, seminary each Saturday morning. We'll go through two lessons each time and then they have a class where they go through two more each Sunday. Then they need to finish one on their own. We had a great time with them, they're great boys. Tyki is the one that was in Mikela's weightlifting class over the summer and is 18 and Takuto is 15. Takuto is very much like Keawe in personality and he's very athletic. We're excited for seminary with them each Saturday morning.

So that's our week in a nutshell. It's been great. We've had a great time. The sort of cliche phrase 'best two years of your life' is true, at least in my life until now. I do plan to continue to make my life better and better as time goes on. A better phrase perhaps may be 'best two years for your life.' I love the church and I love the gospel. I hope you all can find opportunities to share the gospel in your daily lives, and that you continue to live it as well. There is a very complete sense of peace and joy that is felt through that. It's just a nice feeling. I love you all so much!! Take care and have a
great week!

Elder Rindlisbacher

P.S. There are a few photos attached. :)

Week 99 – September 3, 2013

I hope everyone's been great. Everything's going great here.

We had the new missionaries come in late Tuesday night. They were supposed to fly into Narita around 2:00 pm but their flight was cancelled and they ended up coming into Haneda around 11:30 pm like they have in the past. They found out their flight was cancelled after getting to the airport in Salt Lake early in the morning so waited until the afternoon flight. We had 10 new missionaries come in, seven elders and three sisters. Three of the elders are Japanese. They're a great group and we had a good time training and being with them until Thursday afternoon. We were able to get outside and talk to people with them and everyone had a good time. The new missionaries are always the best because they're so ready to just work hard. They don't really know how to do things, but they're ready to give all they can. The first time getting them outside for them is always humbling, but very motivating. We have a testimony meeting after and it's always great.

We're continuing to meet with Jett. He's working a lot with President Wada and the church offices to get a big dance/concert type event going at the church here. We're excited. He says he welcomes the day when the spirit prompts him to be baptized, so we're working with him to further understand and seek after confirmation that what we're teaching is true and that he needs to be baptized.

We had a ward natsumatsuri (Summer Festival) on Saturday and had a great turnout. Almost or maybe even more than half of the people in attendance were nonmembers. The members invited and brought many of their friends and the missionaries did a great job of bringing people as well. Elder Olson and I had a bunch of friends come including Jett and his family. We called everyone we could think of and had a lot more people come than we had planned. It was a lot of fun.

Elder Olson and I went with President and Sister Wada to Yamate on Sunday. Yamate is where missionary work began in Japan, on Fast Sunday September 1, 1901. There was a meeting held from 6:30 am to 7:30 am, so we left the mission home at 5:00 am to get there on time. The meeting was great and consisted of reading a portion of Alma O. Taylor (one of the four elders present at the time of the dedicating)'s journal and a testimony meeting. The hymns were arranged the same as the ones sung on that morning in 1901.

This is the journal entry that was read:
"This being fast day we ate no breakfast, but went out into the woods about eleven o'clock to hold a prayer meeting. After about a twenty minute walk from our rooms, we came to a secluded spot in a small grove situated on the south slope of one of the rolling hills lying to the south of Yokohama and about mid-way between the foreign residences on the Bluff and the bay. Sitting down in a circle on the ground, we opened our meeting by singing, "We thank Thee O God for a Prophet." Bro. Grant offered the opening prayer which was followed with another prayer by Bro. Kelsch. Sang, "Now Let Us Rejoice in The Day of Salvation", after which Bro. Ensign continued in prayer and without changing from our kneeling position our supplication was continued, myself being mouth. The principal features of our prayers were expressions of thanksgiving and praise to God; invocations for strength to preform the duties that rested upon us as missionaries in this land; and also that the Spirit of God would rest upon Apostle Grant to the extent that he would be able to offer up an acceptable dedicatory prayer: for the main object of our going into the woods was to dedicate this land unto the Lord for the proclamation of the Gospel. After the four prayers had been offered up, we sang, "Come Come Ye Saints." We again knelt in a circle and Bro. Grant offered up the dedicatory prayer. After this dedicatory prayer had been offered up, we sang, "The Time is Far Spent.""

Following the early morning meeting we had a meeting with the Yamate ward bishopric, ward auxiliaries, and Yokohama Stake President, followed by dendou chousei shuukai (missionary coordination meeting.) Then we attended the meetings there and were priviledged to have a member from Kanagawa ward (my former area and neighbor to Yamate) tour us around the city. We went around to places like where Elder Grant stayed when he was in Japan and where the dedicatory prayer was offered. We're planning a special mission leadership council in October there in Yamate. This week we're busy getting ready for mission leadership council to be held here in Kichijoji on Friday.

Elder Olson returns home in about five weeks so that means I have just 11. It's hard to believe that time's gone by so quickly. This transfer there will be a few days when both Elder Olson and I have been missionaries for two years, but it doesn't feel that long. We're busy and striving to be more productive servants in the Lord's vineyard. We'll continue to give all we can.

Have a great week! I love you!

Elder Rindlisbacher

P.S. Attached is a picture of missionaries in Tokyo in 1902 (Louis A. Kelsch, Horace Ensign, Heber J. Grant, and Alma O. Taylor.)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Week 98 - August 26, 2013

We've had a wonderful week here in the mission. So much has happened! Today's Monday and things that happened this past Tuesday or Wednesday feel like they were a lot longer than just six days ago! I hope everyone's been great back home. Are both Kauluwehi and Mikela back home now? I hope Keawe has a good time playing King K soon.

We had a conference for new missionaries (transfer one and two) and their companions this past Wednesday. We spent almost all of the day practicing teaching. There were about 40 missionaries in attendance and we split into groups of about four to five. We had group leaders, who were experienced trainers, zone leaders, or Elder Olson and I, who coached each group of missionaries throughout the day. We mostly practiced how to begin teaching lessons, extending the baptismal commitment, teaching the Restoration using the pamphlet, and reading the Book of Mormon with investigators. Elder Olson and I also demonstrated a bunch of ideas and tips to better find people to teach and trained a little on language (Japanese) study. We had a great time. The missionaries definitely got enough practicing in and hopefully skills have been transferred and they can begin applying them. We're blessed with wonderful young missionaries. Is Elder Hathaway still in the ward? His sister, Sister Hathaway, was at the training as she's training a new missionary now.

We had a lot of time on Friday to be out talking to people and we made a lot of friends. It's always great to get out and talk to people about the gospel. There are miracles to participate in as you exercise faith and open your mouth to everyone around you.

Church on Sunday was good. The missionaries and a few members (about 11 people total) sang in Sacrament meeting. We sang 'Nearer My God to Thee'. We had an eikaiwa student, a boy that comes to our sports night each week, and an investigator who really likes music come to hear us sing. Sunday evening we had a devotional with Brother Matthew O. Richardson, second counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency, and Brother Randall L. Ridd, second counselor in the young Men's General Presidency. It's great to serve in here Kichijoji because the church building accommodates more people than any other in the country and almost all large devotionals are held here. We had a few hours to be outside talking to people before the devotional and when we got back to the church there were two Chinese people we had met on Friday waiting in the foyer. They had been shopping nearby and decided to come stop by the church, not knowing about the devotional. So they stayed with us and we also had Jett come as well. He really enjoyed it and made friends with many members and church leaders after it finished. We're going to begin planning a big inter-faith concert type thing with him and a bunch of the church leaders to be held here in Kichijoji. Hopefully it can become a regular thing. By the way mom, I wonder if you've received a call from Brother Richardson? If not, you might. We talked with him for a little after the devotional was over and he took your phone number down to possibly give you a call and say hi. The talks given were great and I took a bunch of notes.

Tomorrow we have 10 new missionaries arriving. The time between each group go by so quickly. This time, though, we're having them fly into Narita instead of Haneda so they arrive at about 2:00 pm instead of 11:00 pm. It's a farther drive than Haneda but it should be nice because we can get everyone back in time for them to interview with President and have dinner and a testimony meeting before getting to bed by 10:30 pm. Everyone won't be so tired on Wednesday that way.

I'll end with a thought from Brother Richardson at the devotional last night. He gave a great talk, I'll just share one thing he said, "If you go against what you know to be true, you will always be searching for something to fill you." I believe that's true and know that on the contrary, as we do and follow what we know to be true, we will feel peace and inner joy. For example, we know that chastity and morality is of God and true. If we separate from that, and God, we will begin a journey of trying to fill a void that can't be filled without repenting and doing what we know to be true. The days to say things like, "I'll be good in the future, a few years from now." are long gone. We need to do now what we know to be true. That brings to mind a scripture, which I shared with a recent convert of Elder Olson's we met today, D&C 59:23.

"But learn that he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come."

It's true. I know it is. I hope you all have a great week! I love you. Take care.

Elder Rindlisbacher

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Week 97 - August 20, 2013

We took P-day today and went to the temple with Musashino Zone (about 20 missionaries). We've decided to have the missionaries go to the temple each transfer as zones instead of as a mission and I think it's really good. Today was very reverent and spiritual whereas it sometimes got really full and busy when we went as a mission (about 175 missionaries).  

A member family took all of the missionaries serving here in Kichijoji (10 total) to dinner tonight and Elder Olson and I also took two potential investigators as the family told us we could bring anyone else if we wanted. They both had a great time and made good friends with the missionaries. As a message we used the pictures in the Restoration pamphlet to share the message of the Restoration very simply.

Yesterday afternoon we had dinner with an investigator and his wife and the Wada's. It's so nice having President and Sister Wada and their family here. We're always introducing our investigators and friends to them and they really help to love and fellowship them.

Lately we've been busy of course, with things for the mission as well as our own appointments, and it's been really good. Tomorrow we have a conference with all of the new missionaries and their trainers(about 40 missionaries). We'll be doing a lot of teaching practicing.  

The mission continues to improve and improve. The missionaries are getting better at teaching and learning to really love their investigators and receive inspiration for them. Everything is going great. Thank you so much for your prayers and love. Have a great week. I love you!    

Elder Rindlisbacher 

P.S. Attached are a few pictures from last week Tuesday. We met with a family that Elder Olson is very good friends with from one of his previous areas and had lunch and played a little baseball.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Week 96 - August 12, 2013

I hope everyone's had a wonderful week. We're doing great here. The weather has been fun lately with huge, unexpected downpours and lightning storms hitting every once in a while. Elder Olson and I are blessed to be able to drive places if it's raining; normally we'd only have the choice to either walk or ride bikes. We try to talk and take the trains as much as possible because that way we can talk with a lot of people, but sometimes we don't have time and use the car.

This week we said goodbye to five great elders. They've each worked hard for the past two years and have been blessed to participate in many miracles. It's bittersweet to let them go. Most of them were elders that Elder Olson and I were in the MTC with. Elder Olson and I are the oldest companionship in the mission at transfers 15 and 16. We don't feel that old, though. Of course we feel like we just got here as we still have so much to learn and do.

I went on exchange with Elder Ige this past Friday to Saturday. Elder Olson and I went down to an area called Odawara (almost two hours by train from Kichijoji) and worked with their companionship for 24 hours, myself with Elder Ige and Elder Olson with Elder Ige's companion, Elder Staheli. Elder Olson and I both agreed that it was one of the best exchanges of our missions. We had an amazing time. Elder Ige and I had a great time reconnecting and working together. We haven't worked in even the same zone since we've been in the field so it was really good to work together in a companionship. We saw miracle after miracle as we worked hard to find people to teach. We ended the exchange with long lists of new friends and soon to be friends. 

Elder Ige and I were walking down a street and there was a man sitting on the side drinking a can of beer. We went to talk with him and he was very nice. We learned that he had been working at a big company but had gotten sick and couldn't continue to work. Then he and his wife divorced four years ago and he hasn't really been living for anything since. He told us he really wants to come to church on Sunday and we exchanged phone numbers. Later as Elder Ige and I were passing out flyers for eikaiwa we met a few groups of high school students and one of them really liked us and invited us to come to a school festival they have coming up. On Saturday we were passing out flyers again and a Japanese lady with her young son walked up to me and said with surprise, "A Mormon missionary." We talked and ends up she used to live in Rochester, New York about 20 years ago and attended church there each Sunday and has read the Standard Works. She and her family moved from New York to England and they began attending another church nearby because of convenience. Now they're living in Japan again but not attending church. She said it had been about 20 years since she'd read the Book of Mormon so I told her it's time to read it again. I explained where the nearest church was and hope she will begin attending again. While Elder Ige and I continued to meet many great people, Elder Olson and Elder Staheli were doing the same. They met two younger Filipino boys who were excited to attend church this next Sunday. Overall, exchanges just go really great when the missionaries are 'on the right path' in a sense. When they understand their purpose and do all they can to fulfill it, there really is true joy to be found, and exchanges are just great fun. 

Later that day, Saturday evening, we had a great devotional with Brother Brad Wilcox of the Sunday School General Board, to make the day even better. It was a truly wonderful devotional where I felt great appreciation and gratitude towards the church and the opportunities I've had in my life because of it. There was much humor and laughing as well as great spirituality and humility. I really enjoy the things Brad Wilcox has to say. I've read the talk he gave two years ago at BYU, 'His Grace is Sufficient,' probably about 20 times now.

Some of the things he shared (as the devotional was geared towards parents raising families):

"Sometimes I feels like we're testifying of the best breakfast cereal, but nobody eats breakfast anymore." We live in a world where the majority thinks and believes that there is no need for church. The youth are greatly influenced by that, and sometimes don't realize the greatness of the spiritual blessings of the church. Thus he outlined many of the temporal blessings of the church that we must be sure to help the youth know and understand. He began his remarks with a story from when he was a mission president in Chile. There was a mother who had been less-active for many years. The missionaries visited her and she ended up returning to activity. Her young son who wasn't baptized soon desired to be baptized. His mother was overjoyed, however his father said, "If mom wants to be a part of a crazy church, that's her problem, but my son will not!" The elders went to then President Wilcox pleading for help to convince the boy's father that it was okay for him to be baptized. He said he'd do what he could and set up a meeting with the father. They met, shook hands, and the very first words out of the father's mouth were, "So what does my son get for being a Mormon?!" President Wilcox shrugged his shoulders and said a little sheepishly, "Salvation." That didn't convince the father much because really any church can promise that. Anybody can say that in the world to come there will be roads paved with gold and lined with mansions. So President Wilcox put the spiritual blessings, which are immense, to the side and did his best to explain the temporal blessings of the church. He doesn't really remember exactly what he said to the father but it must have done something because the boy was baptized. The father was at the baptismal service. The boy was dressed all in white. One of the elders all in white as well. The boy's mother beaming with joy and a few tears. And as President Wilcox watched the boy's father as the baptismal service went on he knew that he was feeling the spirit. A few months later there was another baptismal service in that ward, this time for the father. President Wilcox walked up to him and said, "So what do you get for being a Mormon?!" The father looked around and said a little sheepishly, "Salvation." The focus of the talk was on the temporal blessings of the church, things such as an international network of friends, a stronger family and better marriage, and a culture focused on education. It was a really great talk. Elder Olson and I were able to have a friend of ours, Jett, whose Gospel music class we went to, and his wife in attendance and they had a great evening. They were befriended greatly by the church leaders in attendance. President Wada thought the evening with Jett went so well he asked me to document the experience, so I wrote a small article type thing:

"Jett’s a middle-aged man born in North Carolina, moved to California, and lived in Japan for almost the past two decades. We first met him on the street. It was later in the evening and already dark when we called out to him as he was with his wife and their daughter on bicycles. He told us he was busy saying he, “didn’t want none of our Jesus talk.” We persisted a little and he stopped long enough to tell us he’s very Christian and that he teaches a Gospel music class every once in a while. We traded numbers and off he and his family went. We called him the next day and had a great time at his Gospel music class the day after that. In return, two weeks later, Jett attended a sacrament meeting and an hour of Sunday school where he really seemed to enjoy himself. We sat with him and a great member on the third row of the chapel during sacrament meeting, and he met Sister Wada as well as she happened to be attending meetings here in Kichijoji.

Since that Sunday we’d been in touch with him a little but not yet able to meet again. Then this past Saturday we were blessed to have Brother Brad Wilcox of the Sunday School General Board speak at a wonderful devotional. A few nights before the devotional we gave Jett a call to invite him to hear what Brad Wilcox had to say. He was excited and ended up coming with his wonderful wife.

The devotional was really great as Sister Wilcox, Brother Wilcox, and Elder Whiting, (newly called to the Area Presidency,) spoke. Jett really connected with Brother Wilcox’s talk about “What you get for being Mormon.” Along with spiritual blessings and salvation, Brother Wilcox outlined many wonderful temporal blessings such as an international network of friends, amazing role models, and a culture focused on education. Brother Wilcox was very animated and Jett was laughing for much of the meeting. Elder Whiting ended the meeting on a very humble and spiritual note.

The truly amazing part of the evening, however, was actually after the devotional ended. President Wada asked the church leaders present to talk with Jett. In turn, he was able to not only meet, but really become friends with, Elder Ringwood, Elder Whiting, Brad Wilcox, Bishop Martini of the Senzokuike Ward, and President and Sister Wada. Jett told Brad Wilcox, “Who wouldn’t want to be a Mormon?!” and Brad Wilcox replied, “I’d love to attend your baptism!” They exchanged email addresses and plan to continue communication via email. President and Sister Wada also set an appointment to have him and his family over for dinner this next week.

Our investigators need to be converted not only spiritually, but also emotionally, intellectually, behaviorally, and socially. Remember that that is how they continue through the entire path of the gospel. This night was a huge step in Jett’s conversion. He felt the Spirit, he understood many of the blessings of the gospel, and he enjoyed good company and made many great friends in the church.

Some lessons to be learned from our experiences with Jett thus far would include: Love and do things for your friends and investigators. Attend their Gospel music class if they have one. Bring your friends and investigators to meetings and other events. There’s much growth and progress to be made when surrounded by wonderful people listening to a wonderful speaker. Ask members and leaders to talk with your friends and investigators. One member to fellowship is good, but it’s amazing when a group of members, church leaders, or even an entire ward lovingly befriends an investigator. There is power in church meetings and events. There is power in the fellowship church members and leaders can provide.

This is the wonderful work of salvation!"

Saturday was just a really great day. I wrote in my planner at the end of the day, "One of the best days on my mission."

This week will be another good and, of course, busy one. We have two two-zone conferences coming up this Wednesday and Thursday. We'll basically be reviewing all of the training we've given the zone leaders. I know that there is true joy to be found in the world. I know that that is within families centered on the gospel. I know that there is great joy to be felt through sharing the gospel. I know that we are children of a loving Father in Heaven. I love you!! Have a great week!

Elder Rindlisbacher

P.S. Pictures:
0023 - Dinner with Bishop Hasegawa and family (8/12/13)
0010 - Dinner with the Matsushima Family (8/6/13)
0003 - With Ryuichi, investigator from Nakano who came to see us here in Kichijoji (8/3/13)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Week 95 – August 5, 2013
We've had a great week. Elder Olson and I have had a good amount of time outside vs. in the office and it's been a lot of fun. I received the book. Thank you so much for sending it. It got here really quickly. And I did also receive Mikela's email. I remember (Elder) Keith. He's from Canada and I think he's married now.So many things happen in just a day it's so hard to keep track of everything at the end of a week. Elder Olson and I are always asking each other, "What happened this week?" But when we sit down and do our best to think about it(and take a look at some of the past pages of our planners) sweet memories and great experiences are relived for a moment.
Elder Olson and I went to the temple on Wednesday because one of his former investigators was going through for the first time. We thought it'd be better to go by car, but we ended up getting stuck in some traffic and didn't make the session. We were able to do a few Sealings and then wait in the Celestial Room. We also had another Mission Leadership Council on Thursday. We've been having them so often lately. I guess in reality we've only had three in the past six-ish weeks, but time goes by so fast it feels like they're all just a day apart. It was a great council though, maybe the best since the mission has opened. The zone leaders have so much to cascade to their district leaders and zone members because we've just been teaching and training them so much lately.

We taught Ryuichi with President Wada on Saturday. Ryuichi's actually an investigator from Nakano who came down here to see us. It was a really good lesson and it's always great to learn from President Wada as he's a great teacher. Hopefully Ryuichi will be baptized soon, he's a really great guy and has been an investigator for a while. It's been great becoming his friend.

We have a lot of potential investigator friends that we're working with. Our goals is to find 95 potential investigators before the transfer ends in a few weeks. With making so many friends we've been able to start having more appointments and lessons. The 'cream rises to the top' in a sense as we start to see who is truly interested in the gospel. We've been doing things like going to lunch and/or playing sports with potential investigators a bunch lately. It's a lot of fun and it's really great being able to share the gospel in a very natural way.

Anyway, the work is great. I'm having a great time and we're safe here in the wonderful Japan Tokyo South Mission. I love you and am so grateful for you. It's great to hear that everyone's doing well. Be sure to read that book. Take care!

Elder Rindlisbacher

Monday, July 29, 2013

Week 94 – July 29, 2013
Hello Everyone!
Elder Olson and I have had a great week here. President Wada was actually in America this week so we used it to go on companion exchanges. I was able to go to Machida, Atsugi, and Kanagawa.
My time with the Machida Elders (zone leaders,) was a lot of fun. We worked as a three-man and I tried to teach them to always be talking to people whenever and wherever they were. I know that great friends and investigators can be found through that. Elder Olson is a great example. We found many new potential investigators and saw a great miracle as we were ending the exchange. At the station waiting for Elder Olson, we met and talked with a small group of teachers from a nearby international school. They invited us to come and visit their school next month and meet their students!
My exchange with the Elders in Atsugi was really interesting. Elder Hoshino and Elder Takaya aren't zone leaders or anything, I just felt like it would be good to go on exchange with them. I've actually been on exchange with Elder Takaya probably ten times now, but this was my first time working with Elder Hoshino. Atsugi isn't a very metropolitan area, but still not extremely rural. On my mission I've been used to always having a lot of people to talk to, but walking down the streets in Atsugi, there are a good amount of buildings and homes, but not really anybody in sight. I guess they all head into Tokyo for the day to work. I think we all got to know each other better and learned and grew.
With going to Kanagawa, I worked with my former companion, Elder Hill, and Elder Olson worked with his MTC companion, Elder Young. Elder Hill is a great missionary and I was inspired, as always, by his faith and diligence. We had a great time preaching the gospel together.
Other than our exchanges this week, yesterday Elder Olson and I went out and had a bunch of great conversations. We had about four hours on the streets and met many great people. We received six phone numbers from strong potential investigators and hope to begin meeting with them soon. We also had an investigator, Jett, attend sacrament meeting and Sunday School and have a great time. If you remember, he's the one whose Gospel music class we went to. Anyway, we've been trying to always have our investigators sitting on the third row with a member and it's been working really well. Sister Wada also attended the meetings here as President Wada was away (they're normally at different wards each week speaking) and she fellowshipped Jett and bore great testimony. We're hoping we can have him and his family to the Wadas' home for dinner sometime soon.
Last night Elder Olson and I went with Sister Wada to pick President Wada and their youngest son (of two,) Takuto (who's 15 going 16), up at the airport. We got back and to sleep around 1:00 am. I guess that might not sound so interesting to you as you don't have a curfew to be in bed by 10:30 pm, but after getting up at 6:30 am and going to sleep at 10:30 pm every day for a year and a half it gets pretty crazy to stay up until 1:00 am. Not getting much sleep has caught up and I'm pretty tired today, but will probably get some good time to rest. Hopefully, at least, as this week will be another busy one! 
We have a few appointments with investigators this week. In addition, we'll be having a training for a few missionaries to improve their translation skills for upcoming conferences, we'll attend the temple as one of Elder Olson's former investigators will be going through for her first time, and we'll be having another mission leadership council. Also, this Saturday is Elder Olson's 21st birthday. This week, as all others, will be as good as as hard we work. That's normally how it works, the more you put in the more you get out.
I have one favor to ask of mom. I'll send in another email the username and password I'm using to apply for BYU because I'll need you to help get transcripts from Kamehameha Schools and UH - Maui sent. If you also see other information that you can enter in it would help out a lot. If possible, would you be able to have that done by the end of the week?
Other than that, is there anything anyone would like to know? If anyone has any questions about my area, the mission, Japan, etc, I'm sure I could make my letters a little more interesting. Anyway, I love you all so much!! Thank you! Have a great week! 
Elder Rindlisbacher

Monday, July 22, 2013

Week 93 - July 22, 2013

It sounds like everyone's doing good. It's been an eventful week here in the mission. I've been driving a lot and I'm sure by the time I head home it'll take a little while to get used to driving on the right side of the street again. Driving on roads not as narrow as these will be nice though. It's like a video game every time we get in the car.
On Tuesday Elder Olson and I were able to register ourselves as now living in Kichijoji and I was able to pick up my license. That night the new missionaries flight was supposed to arrive at Haneda International around 11:00 pm but it was delayed and ended up arriving around 2:30 am. We left the mission home a little before 12:30 am and waited at the airport for a little under two hours before the missionaries, 4 sisters and 3 elders, came through customs around 3:15 am. We arrived back at the home at 4:30 am and got to sleep around 5:00 am, as the sun was beginning to rise. Then it was up at 6:30 am to begin the day! We had an amazing breakfast made by Sister Wada and President Wada trained through the morning. Sister Wada had a great lunch made and Elder Olson and I trained through the afternoon. We sent the missionaries out onto the streets for a little so they could do some of their first proselyting and give a few copies of the Book of Mormon out. They gave it their all and came back excited and with a stronger desire to be 'more profitable servants in the Lord's vineyard.' We had eikaiwa Wednesday night and the new missionaries all had a great time. The trainers came in Thursdsay morning for breakfast, we announced companions and trained a little, and sent everyone out to their areas around 12:00 pm.

The next day we had mission leadership council with all of the zone leaders and sister training leaders. That was great of course. We had a full agenda, but the main focus of the council was to teach the zone leaders and sister training leaders how to teach the Restoration using the pamphlet. The Spirit was felt strongly.
Our Saturday evening was spent first in Hibarigaoka where we went actually to have our pictures taken for a new flyer the church office will be making advertising family eikaiwa lessons. We hear it's supposed to come out in about a month or so. From there Elder Olson and I went to Machida, Sagamihara (one of my previous areas), and back to Kichijoji, as an elder had hurt his feet and will need to stay in the mission office for a few weeks until he's able to return to proselyting. So we went to pick an elder and his things up to transfer him to Sagamihara, then brought the hurt elder with us back to the mission home. We got back and in bed by 12:00 am that night.
Other than all of these various events and things going on Elder Olson and I have been making as much time as we can to get outside and invite people to learn about the gospel. We've met and made friends with a lot of people and hope to start seeing who of them have the most interest and who we'll be able to begin teaching.
 The work is great and I'm excited for all that the future has in store. Of course we always want to become, as President Monson said, "more profitable servants in the Lord's vineyard," so it's an ongoing process of work and growth. It feels like the time's gone by very quickly, but at the same time it feels like it's been a good while since I've been out on my mission. I've definitely grown and learned a lot. The memories and, best of all, friends I've been able to make here are wonderful. I have a testimony of the gospel and know it's true. I love you and pray for you!! Take care!
Elder Rindlisbacher

P.S. The address of the new mission home is:
Japan Tokyo South Mission
1-7-7 Higashicho Kichijoji
Musashino-shi Tokyo
180-0002    Japan