Monday, May 21, 2018

“I might not live in Tendou, but this week was a 'ten' though” -- week 91

Hey y’all this is gonna be short cause we had a really fun District P-Day (preparation day – his one day where he has a few hours off) this week, we headed up to Tendou and saw the huge place where they do ningen shogi (Japanese chess with human chess pieces) and ate ramen and hiked and went to the mall and it was a 10/10 great balance and a lot of fun.

Me and Elder Strate were thinking we wanted to up the adventure this week, so we rode up to Tendou and down to Kaminoyama to hit up some homies who probably very very rarely meet missionaries and it was great. It was fun to bike there since the weather is great, and we met some cool people and everybody was really nice. We are thinking we want to spend a lot of time outdoors from now on and do as much of our studies and stuff outside as possible, we can meet a lot of chill people too doing it, it was awesome this week.

We’ve really been pushing hard, and with the three-month mark I’ve been thinking about pushing hard to the end. My mom did a 200-mile bike ride this last week cause she’s a beast, and I have been thinking about stamina and stuff. A lot of time I get tired out and worn out and want to take a break, but the more I push myself on the daily to hold out on resting and push through studies without falling asleep and push to do what’s necessary before what I want to do, it makes me stronger and stronger every day. And it’s the same thing spiritually, sometimes I feel like my faith is running out and door one hundred and something is just going to be the same thing as the last, but if I really push and remember the root of my faith and my actual belief in God and Him helping and providing for us, it helps me push through with faith and talk with more confidence and be happier and really enjoy dendou (proselyting).

This week was dope, love y’all,

Elder Orgill (オーギル長老)

No title needed

Engaged in his favorite activity


Yep, just do it (Nike rip-off, this looks like a cash loan center)

Living large in the mountains of northern Japan

It's a pug life

In the middle of nowhere, there is a 41-story building


Working in the "field"

Somebody has some trimming to do ...

Up on the rooftop overlooking Yamagata

Yamagata District missionaries

Too cool

Service project pulling weeds. Looks like there is a lot of work to be done, still.

And how could we not end the week without a picture of a bowl of noodles piled high with roasted meats?

Monday, May 14, 2018

Sneak Rejection -- week 90

So, I’ve been rejected a lot of different ways before, but yesterday was my first ever sneak-kekkou and it was glorious. We’re walking up to this house and a grandpa smoking on his porch behind a corner must’ve heard us and he hits us with the arm x and the “I’m Buddhist” from behind the corner and luckily, I wasn’t too hydrated because otherwise I would’ve straight peed my pants. 

We went to three days of a plant festival that was going on this last week and it was way cool, we went with some homies from Eikaiwa one day and it was super fun, we got to talk to a bunch of people and found some cool homies who are down to climb mountains with. And of course, you know we hit up all that good festival food including these corn dogs, except with mozzarella cheese instead of hot dogs in them. It was, as the kids say, ”lit”.

We’re trying to get one of our investigators to baptism but he is being a little difficult and not really taking us seriously, so we’re going to show him a little bit of tough love and give him a week off and see if he realizes that his life is sad and lonely without the light of the gospel. 

So, we were teaching him this week and I had a massive breakthrough/realization just through him normally talking and trying to teach. He was talking about how he didn’t want to go to church last week (and dipped) because he didn’t want to feel any guilt or regret. 

Sometimes we live in a way so we’re numb to regret and guilt by avoiding things that make us feel that. But that’s garbage, regret and guilt are the start to real change and finding the motivation to act. I wrote it a lot better in my journal this week, but basically remorse is the very first step to acting. Here’s a piece of what I wrote “I think remorse is one of the most powerful emotions we have if we use it right, and it’s the source of a lot of energy and motivation for change. If we get one step into it and feel overwhelmed because we’re guilty and we’ve wasted opportunities and made mistakes and we’re imperfect and all that, well, that’s the first step but we can’t start feeling sorry for ourselves and get depressed and wallow in our sorrow, we must move on from there. If we remember that we are children of God with infinite potential and the ability to change ourselves through the atonement, we can start to plan what needs to be done to change and take baby steps in putting that plan into action.

Guilt and remorse add that little pain after you miss doing something you should have done, it all hurts a little bit, but it sparks change and progress. However, if you never feel the negative effect of your mistakes, you’ll never learn and stop making them.”

It was one of those things that you can hear in a talk a billion times, but until you never really get it until you get it, and I learned it on another level this week which was WAY cool.

It was also the coolest thing ever to talk to my family yesterday, they’re way chill and I’m stoked to see them in a bit over 3 months (wow).

Have a good week,
Elder Orgill (オーギル長老)

This batch of pictures came with the following explanation:

"Just for the record this is a week and a half’s worth of ramen pics, we use it as a social thing, went with Tanno and Akiba and the other Elders (and I’m actually kind of on a natto/tofu diet lol)"

This one is titled "VICTORY"

The doesn't require a caption ...

Bowling with a friend

"I’ll let you guess who got 49..." | “Sports fact 1: Sometimes there’s crying in sports”

Yuushouken “Fuji ramen”

What happens when you let the 2-year-old take over on the Skype technology

We met number a member of Yamagata’s pro soccer team while housing and he was way chill

Sunset aesthetic

Haruuma’s “soupless junk”, actually way more light than I was expecting

English conversation class festival squad

“BLACK” ramen

Made some army homies

Karamiso ramen

Strate and Akiba, my homies

The lads

There was a challenge to see how long you can get your mozzarella stick to stretch...... and I just succeeded in looking really angry

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mother's Day Skype -- week 90

103 days until he's home!  Not sure we'll get a letter this week, but we did snap some screenshots from our Skype conversation. He is doing great and enjoying being back in Yamagata again.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The classic Pic n’ Ditch -- week 89


I was stretching this week in my chair and almost chucked my tablet out the window.

We worked really hard with, you know it, Igarashi again this week, that dude and his shenanigans, we talked him into walking alllllll the way to the church with us, took a picture with him in front of the church, and then he was like “ok bye” and dipped and went home, we were lowkey heartbroken but had a good lesson with him yesterday and he’s really starting to open his heart which is awesome. Went out to takoyaki (octopus balls) with him too at a place right by his house that he hasn’t been to in 10 years, slowly restoring his humanity and helping him remember what it’s like to smile/have a reason to smile. And I bought him the first copy of "one punch man" (?????) and gave it to him too this week, which was sweet.

Elder Strate and I have been doing a lot of finding and had some funny stuff happen, he’s a funny guy and it’s so fun to work with him. We ran into a grandma who said her conversion to Christianity is just like the movie Ben Hur, so we figured she probably worked on a Roman warship at some point. And then we had a Seventh-Day Adventist guy see us, pull over to the road, spend five minutes fishing around in his car (I thought/kinda hoped he was looking for like a gun or something) and pulled out a pamphlet and is like COME TO CHURCH and we’re like OK WE’LL THINK ABOUT IT. It was great.

I’ve been thinking about how important love is. None of us can really change other people, but by loving others, showing them the right direction, and encouraging them, sometimes they’ll do what’s necessary to change. Even if they don’t change you still love em. God loves us too, he wants us to not be stupid and just pick the easier(in the long run) path of following Him, and even if we mess up He still loves us, but He’s soooooo stoked when we do what’s right. I really stretched myself in a few things this last week and I think God’s really happy with me, and I’m gonna try even harder next week and it’s gonna be awesome.

Love you guys, have fun and make some memories!

Elder Orgill

Oh yeah we visited our homie at the dojo too, he’s a baller

Undoubtedly he would have titled this "a e s t h e t i c"

They managed to walk him to church ...

... and he "dipped"

Making friends while ordering ramen

And no blog update is complete without a ramen photo!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Comeback -- week 88

Oh man this week was so fun

I’m back in Yamagata, my first area , which is the coolest thing ever. Everything is super nostalgic, I remember all the apartments I knocked with Elders Barr and Fono (first and second companions in Japan who trained Elder Orgill), and the members all remember me, so I guess I made a bit of an impression for something or other, but I’m back, new and improved!

I’ve gotten to work with my homie Igarashi, who’s working towards getting baptized right now. I mean, kind of, it’s a bit of an interesting situation because he’s a really interesting guy, but we’ve been doing everything we can to be his friend and show him love. We got him out to church this week, but were thinking we should do something BIG to show him love. He doesn’t do a whole lot, hasn’t really been out to do anything with friends in 10 years or so, but we thought it would be awesome to climb a mountain with him and see the sunrise. So yesterday morning we woke up at 3, showed up at his apartment, and dragged him up a mountain to see the sunrise. I say dragged, because the way he talked he really didn’t want to do it, but you should’ve seen him scrambling up rocks and running around and having fun and all that, he had a really fun time. We got a ton of good pictures, but I’ve still got to get them off the camera, but we had a good time and it was kind of a spiritual thing too, being in nature, and we said a prayer at the top too. Gonna make a picture album and give it to him.

Elder Strate is a beast and it’s he’s so fun, we’ve decided to make this our hardest working and most fun transfer, so we’ve been riding around like crazy, eating ramen with people, making friends, and sharing the gospel with everyone. What I’ve learned is the more love you have, the more you can influence and help others. And working hard and studying hard definitely increases that love.

I loved the office and the work I got to do there, but it’s nice to be out and about, the weather in Yamaga is gorgeous and toasty and perfect for outdoors activities and sports and bike riding and of course dendou (proselyting). We spent a lot of time teaching this last week, but we’re gonna try to put a lot of time into finding this week and find some really prepared stuff.

Dude dendou is the best, being a missionary is the best; I love it. And I love YOU. Have a solid week!
Elder Orgill (オーギル長老)

Elder Orgill and his new companion, Elder Strate, back in Yamagata

Taking in the beauty of the morning

Transfer time! He used to have two suitcases of clothing. With his last winter behind him, he now has almost a completely full suitcase of spices ... note the fresh garlic.

Yep. Another ramen. Tsukemen, technically.

They "Hoover boys" ... sitting down to vacuum up some delicious Yamagata ramen

Elder Orgill and Elder Strate ... we're not sure if he is in pain or cracking another awful joke.

Locally-acquired sunglasses and his sampling synthesizer

Homemade noodeles

Shrimp tsukemen

Some local skateboarding homies

Remember that 1 ramen-a-week diet? This is another Yamagata specialty.

This is #4 for the week! He claims that he is riding his bike a lot so he's staying ahead of the weight creeping up on him.