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Friday, November 20, 2015

Home Again

I played a lot of video games growing up.  Some of those games had a world map, with a little dot that showed where your character was in the world.  In a way, the distance between your little dot and your home town was a measure of how far ahead you were in the game, how much you'd grown, the challenges and monsters that you now had the power to overcome.

One day last summer, sitting at the kitchen table in the mission-office apartment, I happened to open Google Maps on my iPad.  I zoomed all the way out to look at the world.  I saw the Great Salt Lake, and the cities and valleys next to it that had been my home for almost a decade.  And then, all the way on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, I saw that dot.

In that mind-blowing moment, I realized I could go anywhere in the world.


I've been home for two weeks now.  (Two weeks exactly, now that I think about it...)  I wanted to write this post a few days after I got back, but it took me a little longer than I expected to get things together.  It wasn't until I started pulling boxes out and unpacking them that I realized how much stuff I left at home.  I wiped my computer and I've been using a new email address, and I got a new phone a couple days ago, so it's been a fresh start in a number of ways.  

But, home is home.  Most of everything is right where I left it.  The biggest change is inside myself.  Even though I'm basically going back to doing the same thing as before my mission (college and work), I feel like I can do it better now.  Like my capacity has grown.  A lot.

It seems like there was a bit of an eruption of noise and controversy right when I got back, with some uproar about an updated Church policy, and terrorist attacks in France, and maybe something else.  (Something's telling me there was a third thing, but I can't remember what it was.)  I feel peace, though.  Direct experience from my mission tells me that God is still firmly in charge, and thus everything will work out fine in the end (however much it hurts in the meantime).

Right now I'm planning on setting up a new blog, though I'm not quite sure when exactly I'll be doing that.  I may also keep this blog up as a place for Gospel-related thoughts directed towards members of the Church.  We'll see.

^_____^

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Ghost of Halloween Past

Well, it's my last week.  I fly home on Friday.

I'm not sure what I feel.  It's sad, to some degree, to leave Japan, but through Facebook I'm already connected to so many people here, so it'll be easy to keep up relationships.  It's almost like when I moved from Pleasant Grove to Hooper, except this time I'm going back to a place I've been.  I'm looking forward to seeing my family again, and being with them for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  The gospel will stay with me, and so will all the growth I've had on my mission.  I guess it mostly just feels like moving on to the next chapter.

It just occurred to me that one thing that might feel really weird about being home is not having an iPad anymore.  The missionary iPads were intended to replace the paper-and ink Missionary Daily Planners, and so while some other missionaries have been desperately hanging on to paper planners (they're kind of a rare commodity now), I quit using them altogether as soon as the iPads came out last year in January.  I've been relying on this iPad to keep track of things for the past two years.  My family has a cheap smartphone waiting for me when I get back, so we'll see if that can replace it.  :P

We got permission this year to wear costumes at ward Halloween events if the members asked us to.  I ended up just wearing a cardboard sign that said「好きな仮装を想像して下さい。」(Please imagine a costume of your choice.)  We had a talent show and a trick-or-treat (using the church classrooms) and a costume contest and piñatas.  Halloween isn't normally celebrated in neighborhoods in Japan like it is in America, but there's Halloween decorations up in all the shops and some people put together Halloween-type events.  And then yesterday, our investigator was showing us pictures from Shibuya on Halloween night.  (Shibuya is a major downtown area of Tokyo that's outside of our mission boundaries.)  Apparently there were a lot of people in costume there.  

Two years ago, Halloween was my second day in the MTC.  I remember that night back in the dorms so well; the decreasing disorientation, the anticipation of our first lesson in Japanese the next day, the older missionaries running around crazy and throwing candy at everyone and hiding acorns in our closets.  A year later I was in Atsugi, surprised at the huge crowd ofkids that were running around wild at the ward Halloween party.  Somehow we had ten times as many kids at that party as there were in the whole ward.  We had piñatas there, too.  Piñatas are fun.

I feel like I've had a strange mission... but looking back at it now, I don't think I'd have it any other way.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Penultimate

So, I only have so much time and energy available for emails each week, and lately I've been using it for personal emails (mostly to my mother) rather than these blog posts.  In stark contrast, my brother (who started his mission last month) has written a novella of a weekly email every single week so far.  o__O  I wonder if he'll manage to keep it up.

It's interesting to see the contrast between my brother's mission and mine.  Down where he is, people love to talk about Jesus, and he finds six or seven investigators in a week.  (That doesn't happen very often here in Tokyo South... at least, not yet.)  But then again, it sounds like he still has roughly the same level of challenges.  

This week is the last full week of my mission.  It's kind of surreal, and quite the mix of emotions... honestly, it is sad to leave.  I love Japan.  I love the language, I love the busy city, the narrow streets, the food, and especially the people.  It'll be sad to leave, and at the same time I'm really looking forward to seeing my family again, and to see what's waiting for me in the next chapter.  And just recently, I've been learning so deeply-- not really anything new; but it's like a lot of the things I've known or believed in all my life just make sense on a whole new, whole deeper level.  And they feel real.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Kouhoku Castle

So, I got transferred again for the last six weeks.  This makes ten
areas and fifteen companions over the course of my mission.  My last
companion is Elder Ikeda, a native of the Kansai area.  I've been in
the same zone or district as him for more than half of his mission, so
we knew each other fairly well already.  He was a railroad worker for
seven years before his mission (doing electrical work for the electric
trains, I think).

The area is called Kouhoku.  The ward building (which happens to also
be the stake center) is shared with the Kanagawa ward, and because the
number of missionaries in the mission has gone down, the Kouhoku and
Kanagawa areas are now the same district.  Up until yesterday I'd been
going to church at 10 am every single week, but Kouhoku Ward meets at
1:30 pm.  It makes for a somewhat different Sunday experience.  :P

The missionary "apartment" in this area is actually a two-story rental
house on the edge of a sizable cliff.  It was opened last year while I
was working in the mission headquarters, so I got to see it between
the furniture getting put in and the missionaries moving into it.  I
moved into it myself last week, and when I got there the owner was
around back looking for leaky pipes with a jackhammer.  Turns out that
it's a much older house than I realized.

Monday, September 14, 2015

We went Christmas Caroling

The elder's quorum in our ward planned this "Super Home Teaching"
event, which originally was going to be a thing where everyone went
out and visited less active members.  We had four elders from the
quorum and four missionary elders (including myself) show up, and
somehow it was decided that what we were going to do was go all
together and visit three not-less-active households and sing to them.
The first one was a new member who was baptized last week.  When we
piled out of the two cars and were next to his apartment building
discussing what song to sing, someone suggested a Christmas song and
the elder's quorum president was like, "That sounds good!  Let's do
it!"  and so we went up and rang his doorbell and sang Angels We Have
Heard On High as soon as he came out.  XD

The next family got to their apartment complex at the same time we
did, so we didn't get to ring their doorbell.  They invited us in,
though, and we ended up singing Joy to the World and Ye Elders of
Israel.  The family was quite entertained.  :P  We just sang Ye Elders
of Israel at the third house.

I get my last transfer assignment this Saturday.  My current companion
and I are going home on the same plane come November, so if they keep
us together for this last transfer then they'll have to whitewash the
area the next transfer, and that probably wouldn't be very good.  So
we're pretty sure one of us is going to transfer.

We got a pretty good earthquake the other day.  It happened early in
the morning and woke us all up.  It doesn't seem like it damaged
anything, but afterwards all the trains were running late that
morning.

These pictures are from the JMA website (http://www.jma.go.jp).  If
you look up Yokohama in Google Maps you'll see roughly were I am.



Monday, August 17, 2015

Castle on a Mountain

The Kamioooka (上大岡) area is full of hills and hills and gigantic hills.  (That's why it has three of the letter o in its name.)  There are some flat parts, but other than that it's all hills.  We live in a really nice (and very visible) apartment complex on top of a really, really big hill.  It's basically a castle on a mountain.  This area is also very densely populated.  Any square meter that's not a park is covered in buildings.  

They had the Bon festival last weekend.  I wish I payed more attention to what it was about (it has something to do with ancestors) but it was a good chance to talk to people.  Apparently there are going to be a lot more festivals coming up here soon.


Lanterns floating down the river in the Bon Festival


These two were going at this drum for hours... and then one of them got on the stage and started dancing with these clappers.  I talked to one of the drummers afterwards (the one who's drumming in this video), and he said he'd been doing it for eighteen years.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Closing

I'm being transferred to Kamioooka!  My new companion will be Elder
Kennedy.  He was in my MTC district.

Another reason I felt weird last week is that I had a pretty good
image of what life after my mission will look like, but I had no idea
what the last three months would be like.  I was pretty sure I'd be
transferring, but I really had no idea where I'd be or who I'd be
with, no idea what the ward would be like or who I'd be teaching or
what kind of finding we'd be doing.  It was a big, black void in my
forecast of the future.  That kind of uncertainty hasn't ever bothered
me before, though.  Oh well.  At least I have half of that filled in
now.  :P

We saw Elder Cluff off at the train station this morning.  He'll be
well on his way across the Pacific Ocean by the time we go to sleep
tonight.  In the meantime, I've been attached to another companionship
because transfer day isn't until Thursday.  My companionship is
closing this week (there are going to be four elders in this area from
now on, instead of six), so I'll be making sure that my investigators
are set up with the other elders.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

I don't know what time is anymore

This is Elder Cluff's last week in the mission field.  We've got a
busy week set up, too, between lessons with investigators, and members
who want to have us over for dinner before he goes.  I just hope we
have time for him to pack before he has to go.

In the meantime, I've been having weird feelings.  I feel like I'm
almost done with my mission, but at the same time I know all too well
that an awful lot can still happen in the three months I have left.
(For example, I could go through two new areas and two new companions
(assuming no emergency transfers) and it wouldn't be surprising given
how it's been for me so far.)  I also have a nagging feeling in my gut
that I haven't accomplished enough yet and that I need to make the
most of what I've got left.  And at the same time I feel like my
mission so far has been a success...

It's going to be an interesting three months~

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Summer Heat

Elder Cluff has been calling up all the people he knew when he was in
the area last year, and we've been able to start meeting with quite a
few of them again.  He was here in Sagamihara quite a bit longer than
I was, so he had more and better connections.  Incidentally, Elder
Cluff is known as one of the biggest goofballs in the mission.  He can
make people laugh.  We've been having a lot of fun.  ^__^

It's been raining for the past couple weeks, but over this weekend
it's all cleared up and the sun's been out in all its glory.  It's
humid.  And hot.  Even the wind is hot.  I feel like I'm swimming
through the atmosphere.  The sun reflects off the sweat on the back of
my hands.  I want the rain back.  :P  I'm glad I was working in the
mission office last summer (air conditioning <3).

We got news (from a member of our bishopric, who saw it on Facebook)
that they have Meet the Mormons translated into Japanese and they're
going to send a copy to each ward.  That's really exciting.  :3  We've
already been using it in the mission, setting up movie nights and
providing our own interpretation.  It's going to be a lot easier to do
that once these new copies show up.



I saw this at the supermarket across the street, and I knew someone
 was going to want to see a picture of it.


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Green Mountains

They changed the transfer schedule again.  We're still getting transfer announcements on Saturday but transfer day is Thursday again (instead of Monday, which apparently caused some problems when they tried it lat time :P).  My companion is transferring out this week, and my new companion will be Elder Cluff.  This is going to be his last transfer, and he's coming back to his first area.  I've been charged with making sure he doesn't get "trunky".  

We went up to the furthermost corner of our area last week (a place called Tsukui), and I realized that I'm relatively comfortable with Japanese city culture, but I'm a bit more clueless when it comes to country culture.  o.0  Fortunately the country people are a lot more laid back, so it's not as bad to mess up.


Tsukui



This is the most bizzare No Soliciting sign I've ever seen.  (It says something more like "we refuse all soliciting", which is normal in Japanese, but that cat...)



Monday, June 22, 2015

Interpretation

For all the zone meetings and mission conferences and what not in our
mission, it's done in English with someone interpreting it
simultaneously into Japanese for the native missionaries.  The mission
office has a set of interpreter devices (radio receivers with
earphones for the listeners, and a transmitter with a microphone for
the interpreter), and for most meetings the interpretation is done by
older missionaries (or missionaries who happen to be at least fairly
fluent in both languages).  When a General Authority comes, usually
interpretation is done by a member who does interpretation
professionally.

(By the way, "translation" is for written language, and
"interpretation" is for spoken language.)

I got invited to an interpreters' training last week, and it was a
really good experience.  A lot of the principles we talked about apply
to missionary work and to life in general.

Japanese and English are some of the hardest languages to interpret
into each other.  In order to get the meaning across with our
abilities without falling too far behind, we usually have to simplify
and sometimes reduce to the most important parts of each sentence.  We
just have to remember (and this is one of the principles I really
liked) that they'd rather get 40% or 50% than 0%, so we just work to
get that percentage as high as possible and let the rest go.  It's
like that in missionary work or the rest of life; there's a lot of
things we just can't get perfect, but when it has to be done, 70% or
50% or 30% is better than 0%.

Some other principles were things like understanding the speaker's
feelings and what not, and imagining how what you're saying sounds
from the listener's perspective.  Brother Wessman (who was giving the
training) said that changing complex sentences to simple ones is the
same skill as tailoring the message of the Gospel to people who aren't
familiar with it already.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Meat and Vegetables

I got word the other day that my brother got called to the Little Rock
Arkansas mission~!  He reports to the MTC on September 9, so he's
going to be in the field about a month before I get back home.  I'm
excited for him.  ^__^

We had a ward BBQ last Saturday.  In Japan they don't really do
hamburgers and hot dogs, but they had all other kinds of meat.  It was
pretty good.  They had potatoes too, but those all got eaten before I
got to them.  We got to bring along some investigators and students
from English class, and they all had a good time, too.  :3  It was
kinda cool because I was here for last year's ward BBQ, too.  Last
year they did it down by the river, but this year it was up at a
campsite place up in the woods.

We found this out in the farm country.  Basically, you drive through
and buy things from machines.  They had food, drinks, and other really
random stuff.



Monday, June 8, 2015

Persecution :P

So, last night, my companion and I parked our bikes in the parking lot
of an apartment complex and walked down towards the end of the parking
lot, getting ready to knock on some doors, even though we suspected
that most of the complex was uninhabited.  Then we got an email to our
phone, so we stopped to check it.  There was a big guy in a red
tank-top behind us walking in the same direction, and I was getting
the feeling that he might be some trouble (not particularly dangerous,
but troublesome.)  While we were looking at the phone, this guy came
up to us and asked us what we were doing, and then he yelled at us to
GET OUT.  And my companion asked him "why?" and the guy just started
yelling and ranting.  So I'm like, yeah OK I get it, and I just turned
and started walking out.  (The guy, in his rant, did mention that
nobody lived there, which more or less confirmed our suspicions.)  My
companion said afterwards that he was really tempted to just start
yelling back in English, but he turned and followed me.  I started
pulling out my keys to unlock my bike, but the guy started following
us and yelling louder, so I just picked up my bike and walked out.  I
didn't pay much attention to what the guy was saying; it was mostly
along the lines of "hurry up" but he did rant something about
religion.  After we were out of the parking lot and on our bikes again
we just picked a different block to work on.

Interestingly enough, that's the only time on my mission (19 months so
far!) that I've been yelled at like that.  I hear missionaries in
other places have to put up with that kind of thing a lot more often.
Japanese people are really nice.

  "And blessed are all they who are persecuted for my name's sake,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  And blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute, and
shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake;
  For ye shall have great joy and be exceedingly glad, for great shall
be your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets who were
before you." 3 Nephi 12:10-12

Just before that we had visited a really cheerful elderly fellow who
was very happy that we stopped by, and on the way back into our
apartment we passed another guy who greeted us with a smile and a
"good night!"  It's interesting to see the variety of attitudes in the
world (all in the same city, too).

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Is This Real Life?

There's a religion (?) that started in Japan, and in English it's called Happy Science.  (In Japanese it's 幸福の科学 kōfuku no kagaku, which means the science of happiness, well-being, and abundant life.  I'm pretty sure it was the Japanese founder himself who came up with the English title, but I'm not sure.)  We pass the local Happy Science building every time we leave our apartment, but last week was the first time I ever met a Happy Science member.  It so happens that he's the oldest Happy Science member in our area.  And he was a pretty happy guy.  xD  We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon.  Apparently, as part of their philosophy, they take all the best teachings from all the different religions in the world and put them together.  

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Back to the Countryside

I've been transferred back to Sagamihara!  I was here exactly a year
ago.  I even got the same desk in the same apartment as last year, and
the same side of the same closet.  I'm sleeping in the next bed over
from the one I slept in last year, though.  :P  I'm looking forward to
seeing the members again on Sunday.  It's going to be interesting
serving in the same area with completely different missionaries.  And
it'll be really nice now that my Japanese is a lot better than it used
to be.  :3

Monday, May 11, 2015

Birthday, Mother's Day, Transfer Day

We finally did my birthday cake the other night.  Only about 50 days
late.  :P  It was a two-layer cake with the bottom layer made from
cookie dough, and it was all cooked in the rice cooker.  It was kind
of a crazy venture and it turned out looking bizarre, but it was
delicious anyway.  :3

Today I talked with my family via Skype for the last time before
coming home.  My family video-called some of my other relatives during
the call, so I said hi to my grandparents and a couple of my aunts
through my iPad through the Internet through my laptop through a
smartphone through the Internet through their computer...it was kinda
cool :P  My next oldest brother will most likely be out on his mission
by the time I get back, so I'm expecting that the next time I'll see
him is over Skype this Christmas.

We got word last week that they've altered the transfer schedule.
Instead of getting our transfer announcements on Monday next week and
transferring the following Thursday, we're getting the announcements
this Saturday and transferring on Monday.  o.0


The top layer was made like a normal cake.  The bottom layer was made
from cookie dough.  It's half cake, half cookie cake.  And buttercream
frosting.

Elder Wallace made it for us.  :3



Exactly 50 days late, if I'm calculating correctly...





Screenshot from today's Skype call.  This is the last time I call my
family before I actually go home in six months~~~





Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Open House

May 3-5th in Japan is a string of three different holidays right in a
row.  Because of that they call this week "Golden Week" and have
festivals all over the place.  We saw a Pokémon festival going on up
by Landmark Tower today, and there was a J-pop culture festival going
on in one of the parks the other day.

For Golden Week, Yamate Ward turns the church into a temporary
visitor's center and opens it up for tours.  There were displays set
up for family history, temples, the Book of Mormon, and the history of
the Church in Japan, and a room with lemonade and cookies and movies
playing, and organ music playing in the chapel.  They had missionaries
and members come from all over the stake to help give tours, to stand
out in front of the church to direct people inside, and to go out into
the parks and hand out fliers to the crowds of people.  That was my
Monday and Tuesday.  Our P-day got pushed to Wednesday as a result.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Young people, old people

This past week we've met with a few different 60-ish-year-old men.  One of them is trying to get us into the Chinese medicine business (he says that it'll help us raise money for our missionary work), and another is a retired English professor who's trying to get us to study Jewish history and academic theology (he thinks that'll make us more qualified for our missionary work).  They're really quite passionate about their respective fields, and they have good intentions, but they talk so much and listen so little that we haven't been able to explain to them that our missionary program doesn't work that way!

It's got me thinking about how the missionary program of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints does work, though.  Young men get sent out on full-time missions for only two years, and they have to be younger than 25 years old or they're not allowed to go.  This by itself means that from an academic perspective, the elders will never be as educated as our professor friend.  We're not required to have the same kind of training that some other churches require of their ministers, either.  The Book of Mormon says "they shall teach with their learning, and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance" (2 Nephi 28:4).  We have to rely on the Holy Ghost to make it work, and it does work!  And then, once the two years are up, we go home, go back to school, and usually pursue majors and careers that aren't religious!  We become engineers, doctors, lawyers, programmers, entrepreneurs, and so on.  

From a worldly perspective, it's a really weird way to run a missionary program, eh?

Monday, April 13, 2015

April Rain

This past weekend was Japan's weekend for General Conference.  An American family in our ward invited us over for the first two sessions Saturday, and they got pizza from Costco in between the sessions. :3  And then we went to our ward building for each of the other sessions. It was the first time they'd shown it at the local ward building (before that, everyone had to go to the stake center in Hakuraku).  Only a handful of people showed up, though.  Apparently most of the other members either watched it at home or went up to the stake center anyway to see their friends from across the stake.  It was the quietest General Conference weekend I've seen here.

It's been raining a lot lately.  The cherry blossoms didn't last very long this year... maybe because of the rain.  But we definitely enjoyed them while they lasted.  ^__^

I got invited to a district leader training conference this week. This might mean I'm going to get assigned to be a district leader.  Or it might mean nothing at all.   :P  I honestly don't think I care either way.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Pictures

This guy is totally juggling fire.  This actually happens all the time in this area~

 




The sakura (cherry blossoms) are out again~




Monday, March 23, 2015

One Does Not Simply Rice-Cook Cookies

So, there's this setting on our rice cooker that we thought said
"cookies", and we wanted cookies, so our fearless district leader
mixed up cookie dough and put it in, and then he was like, "Oh, that
says 'cake', not 'cookie'."  And then he pushed start.  We didn't
exactly get cookies out of it, but it was really good.  :3



Mission Reset

We had our combined mission conference with Elder Russell M. Nelson
last Wednesday.  It was for the next phase in testing technology for
missionaries.  Elder Evans (the member of the Seventy who's in charge
of the missionary department) was with him.  He said that when they
were coming up with the title for the conference, they figures they
couldn't just call it "Mobile Device Training" because Elder Nelson
wouldn't like that.  So they came up with the title "Missionary Work
in the Digital Age" and took that to Elder Nelson, and he in effect
said, "If that's what you're doing, I'm not going."  They ended up
settling on the title "Disciples of the Lord in the Digital Age".  The
reason for that is, it's not just about doing missionary work more
effectively; they want to help us develop good technology habits now
so that we'll have them for the rest of our lives.  That was more of
the focus of the conference.

As far as the test goes, the Tokyo Mission and the Tokyo South Mission
were given test iPads last year, and then a few months later we
started using Facebook.  Now they're rolling iPads out to the rest of
Japan, and they're doing a "reset" on the Tokyo missions and giving us
the same training that they're giving to the rest of the missions.
Half the mission (including me) traded in the test iPads (white 16GB
iPad Mini) for new ones (black 32GB iPad Mini 2), and the other half
is trading theirs in at another event this week.  The training is
going to be in three phases: teaching & learning, planning &
record-keeping, and social media.  To start with, the other missions
are just getting the apps that help with study and teaching (they're
still using paper planners).  We still have the Area Book Planner app
(because otherwise we'd lose the records and reporting mechanisms
we've been relying on for the past year), but they disabled Facebook
for now.  We heard we'll probably get it back around May, but that's
not for certain yet.  The Quorum of the Twelve is overseeing the
training schedule.

Also, apparently the Church decided that only missionaries in Canada
and the United States will be paying for their iPads, and they have
the option of taking the iPads home with them.  Other missionaries get
to use them for free and they don't get to take them home.

Aside from that, we got some new apps in the past few weeks.  They
made Quizlet (a flash cards app) available to us the other week, so we
can use that in studying Japanese.  It's actually really nice.  The
Church is also developing a pamphlets app.  It has interactive
pamphlets for all the missionary lessons.  :D  It's up on the App
Store already (under the title "LDS Pamphlets").  I don't know if it's
up on Google Play or not.  They've only got them in English currently,
but they're working on Japanese.


On a lighter note, I found this funny sentence in my dictionary:

Monday, March 16, 2015

Old Friends

Last week, in an area on the other end of the mission, an investigator
that Elder Strain (my companion) once taught asked for Elder Strain to
perform her baptism.  So yesterday, we went to the other end of the
mission!  Fortunately our mission is geographically very small.  It
took about two hours by train.  It was a very joyful baptismal
service, and while we were there we talked to one of her friends and
helped her understand what was going on.  Her friend is really
interested.  It was a great experience overall  ^__^

This week, we have a conference with Elder Russell M. Nelson about
digital missionary work on Wednesday, and then we all get new iPads on
Friday.  (We're handing in the "test" iPads and getting the "official"
ones, which are a later model.)



Here are some pictures of my area~ It goes all the way out past Landmark Tower, which is about a 45-60 minute walk from the apartment.






There's a lot of history in our area.  We came across this memorial one day as we were exploring.




Also, you know how some people, when giving a presentation, toss candy to people who answer their questions?  Our mental health advisor gave us onions instead.  o.0


"Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded."  

--2 Chronicles 15:7