Tuesday, August 8, 2017


New Watch for the Birthday Boy! 
Saying Goodbye to Elder Strickland

Hello friends and family!

The transfer has come to an end and another has begun! To start off the week I had my birthday! Which was honestly a really fun day! My birthday fell on a Tuesday which just happened to be transfer call day for the whole mission so I got to talk to half of the mission to give them transfer calls so that was fun. A few elders and sisters had some cool surprises for me and I will send some videos later showing what they were. Then to finish it all off we went to the airport to pick up the new 8 missionaries coming into our mission! Overall it was a really good day and one I won't soon forget. It's hard to believe I am 21 though, when people ask how old I am on the street I feel like I should still respond with 18 or something haha.

The following day on Wednesday we had our orientation for the new missionaries and they are all so amazing! I was a little bit nervous with some of our best elders and sisters going home this transfer but after seeing the new missionaries and all the dendo fire they had I was put back at ease. That night we had the trainers training meeting where we trained all the new called trainers for the new missionaries. After the training they all got to meet their trainers and it was such a cool spiritual experience. Every trainer just seemed perfect for each of their new missionaries. It reminds me of when I got my first companion elder Harrell and looking back on it I can see just how perfect he was for me to start my mission off. I'm so thankful for all the things he taught me and showed me. My mission president always relates the story of how great of an influence his trainer had to him on his mission but I always tease him and tell him my trainer was better haha.

The next day on Thursday the whole mission was in action! All the missionaries that received transfer calls went to their new area whether it was by bus, boat, train, or plane! While everyone was coming in and out of the main train station my companion and I were busy driving return missionaries back and forth from the airport or train station and to the mission home. Most of the day we were driving but it was fun to get to see so many missionaries! That night luckily we had no issues with transfers and by about 9pm all the zones in the mission reported all the missionaries got to their areas safe and sound. Which is a huge relief because there is usually always at least one or two problems that arise that end up putting a little more stress on Kaicho and us. But it all worked out like it always does :)

The next day we see the returning missionaries off at the airport and I had to say goodbye to some really good mission friends. There were about 5 or 6 elders that I had either been companions with or had served with for a while on the mission so it was definitely a lot harder to say goodbye to them. While it is hard to see them off, I am grateful because I am coming back from the airport and not staying there to catch a flight. It's always an interesting experience because it helps you realize just how fast the mission goes and gives you some extra motivation to work hard until the end.

I have learned so much thus far on my mission from all my companions, different leaders, Kaicho and shimai especially, and simply just living in Japan trying to share the gospel. It has been so amazing and I wouldn't trade any of it for anything. My love and understanding for the gospel has deepened. My desire to become a better person and be more of a disciple of Christ has increased. Being a missionary is the best and there is no experience that can compare to it. I'm excited to see what the Lord has in store these next few months! I love you all, thank you again for the birthday wishes!



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