Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Ya boy pulled a wind / operation BLT – week 84

Hey y’all -- so not much time this week but I’ll get y’all the highlights.

This week I got to go to a couple of the Zone Conferences which was cool.... Until I caught a cold (literally can be translated as "pulled a wind" in Japanese). Which had me out for the next couple of days, me and Elder Livermore just kind of died in the apartment and ate a lot of cough drops. For a period of two days or so my voice was deeper and gravelier than normal, which was cool and I thought it would’ve been cool to record some vocals or audio recordings buuuuuut I didn’t.

One of the big things at the conference last week was the so-called OperationBLT, and I’ll spare you the details, but it’s a contest to see how good all the missionaries can get at getting referrals from people. And the really cool thing that came out of it was that it mostly came out of my interview with President. And then got presented to everybody the next day. Just shows the value of throwing out ideas and trying to make them into something.

Editorial note: Elder Orgill is a HUGE fan of bacon. His wallet looks like it is made of strips of bacon. If he had his way, he'd top everything with bacon.

One of the things I’ve been thinking about recently is the idea of strength and tenacity. I like the example of the Brother of Jared (yeah I talked about this last week but still thinking about it cut a brother some slack), when he was going to cross the ocean in the boats, he told God “We need some sort of light”. It wasn’t really a necessary thing, I mean they would’ve been ok without it, but he wanted it and he went for it. He asked God, and was told to propose something. So he proposed something, used his God-given knowledge and creativity and ability and came up with an idea, and then pitched it to God. Doesn’t tie in super well, but what I came away thinking is that if there is something you really want, and it is a righteous desire, go for it. Just go for it, don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t come to you immediately wrapped in a nice bow or on a plate, just go for it and go after it and you can achieve it. If you don’t have goals or direction or things you want, you’ve gotta be happy with what you’re given, but “ask and ye shall find, seek and it shall be given unto you”, so I really want to think about what I really want and what is really important to me and I’m going to pursue it. I have a few goals right now which I’m working on setting in stone and once those are set, I’m going to achieve them or die trying, and I know that if I am humble and obedient I will have God’s help. And with God’s help, all things are doable. Yeah.

Love y’all, have a solid week and don’t get sick because not being able to do missionary work is lame.

-A more intense than usual Elder Orgill (オーギル長)

This is a gyouza (potsticker) burrito ... an original. And he must have been really sick -- no ramen photos this week!

Elder Orgill's OperationBLT being explained by President Sekiguchi, a master at weaving in random topics

Titled: Spring Vibes

Titled: Wew

"You know I had to do it to em (I hope somebody gets this reference)" -- we don't get it but we hope that somebody does!

Dondonyaki yeah fam Yamagata specialty -- from the first area he served in

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Egg Tower -- week 83

This week was a party and by party I mean really busy with prep for various things.

A lot of my week was taken up by prep for Mission Leadership Conference. Not because I’m a Leader or that I even attended, I was just putting together some statistics and making a presentation for the homies. Found some interesting statistics too, some BIG stuff that I tried to talk about at the Koriyama zone conference but it was the first zone conference and everyone was tired and I was doing the whole training in Japanese and I’m not that good at explaining statistics in Japanese so it was slightly less lit and impactful for everything but It’s OK because I’m presenting it at two other zone conferences and then I don’t have to do it at the other two.

Time for some more run-on-sentences.

Last week P-day me and Elder Hubner went out to ramen with Koji (again) and then since I’d had my one for the week I couldn’t eat ramen for the rest of the week (I set a rule for myself). So what’s tough about that is I got Elder Nathan into all these different ramen shops over the last two transfers, and now the seeds of ramen addiction are beginning to sprout in him and he suggested we go to a ramen shop probably 6 times this last week. We had ANOTHER day this week where we went to a ramen shop and I didn’t eat ramen. But it’s OK because I got a chashu-don (it’s delicious pork meat on rice yo) and the ramen shop had all you can eat raw eggs and these really good spicy flavored bean sprouts. We went as five, but Elder Livermore didn’t eat any, and between the four of us we ate 40 eggs. Cracked em in ramen, over rice, drunk em straight, mixed with bean sprouts, all that goodness. It was G R E A T. Also my companion is a monster, Elder Nathan ate a large ramen with THREE extra kaidama (they bring you another thing of noodles to add into your soup), TWO gyouza-rice sets (Chinese pot-stickers), and a total of 15 eggs. And that’s after his stomach has been shrinking from a couple of weeks of dieting.

Seriously this week was mostly ramen and statistics.

You know, with how quickly I get tired of things you’d think I’d get bored of ramen, but I don’t.

Me and Elder Livermore also made ramen this week with bones that I bought from a woman and I went a little overboard on the making of the sauce for it and it is kind of like an explosion of every personal spice I have, but it worked pretty well.

We had a lesson scheduled this week and it was raining, so we had to walk to this homie’s house about an hour away in some crazy rain, and then he wasn’t there so we walked back an hour and a half uphill but it gave me some time to think and was pretty fun. I’ve been trying to think about how we’re going to find somebody who’s legit going to get baptized and how I can build relationships and leverage those relationships to help others and learned some fun interesting stuff.

This week I was reading in my scriptures from the beginning of Ether. There were a couple of things that stuck out to me in the beginning of the story of the brother of Jared. You know when they get their languages preserved and the flee and are just kinda chilling for FOUR YEARS? It took FOUR YEARS of inaction before the Lord APPEARED TO HIM IN A CLOUD to call him to repentance.

How awkward would that be? “Hey Mahonri Moriancumer, so it’s kinda been a while and I know we haven’t really talked recently, but remember the time I preserved your language and led you out of Babel and told you I have a land precious above all lands preserved for you? Yeah, well it’s still there and you guys are just kind of chilling on the seashore. Get moving buddy.”

I read this and it was like a slap in the face. The bro of Jared is a bro indeed; he, just like me, occasionally suffers from motivational issues and procrastinates important stuff. Wow. But you know what? He got called out on being a scrub and then he WENT TO WORK. And all this crazy stuff happened and he had crazy faith and all this good stuff but it really gets me that this is a legitimate problem. People get distracted and forget that they’ve got a work to do.

For some people, Satan can’t get them to do a 180 and turn into the anti-Christ and be evil, but he can distract them enough so they don’t do the good they could have done. You know that quote “for evil men to prevail, all that is required is for good men to do nothing”? That’s straight Satan, he doesn’t need to turn us evil, he just needs to direct our efforts away from righteous causes and rearrange our priorities. When we pick work over family, social status over faith, mindless vegetating (tv, video games, etc.) over developing our God-given talents, we might be choosing something that isn’t necessarily bad, but when compared to what we could be doing there’s a lot lacking.

Something kinda clicked in me this week with this, I get very, very distracted, but by prioritizing that which is really important and consistently refocusing myself I can bridge the gap between who I am right now and who I am trying to be. I don’t know what the Jared Gang was doing for four years before they got called to repentance, but they got called out, got back on course, and put in work. Hopefully for me it doesn’t take a slap in the face/visit from God in a cloud to get me refocused too.

Have a good week yall,

Elder Orgill (オーギル長)

Yes, those are empty eggshells
Panorama of the human vacuums
The Nagaokas brought us bread (from a famous bread shop that Elder Orgill's sister used to frequent)
Elder Orgill and President Sekiguchi
Self-titled "The Young and the Wild"
"Ya boy boiled some bones"
The weekly ramen trip
"perfect hair salon" (in his mind, at least!)
He made a salad ... see if you can find the lettuce!
Loving the seasonal sushi menu
"Office a e s t h e t i c"
A E S T H E T I C 1
A E S T H E T I C 2

Presenting the statistics

Monday, March 19, 2018

Interview Naps and Treasure Hunts – week 82

Hi diddly ho neighboroonies!(a nod to one of Elder Orgill's favorite Simpson's characters, Ned Flanders)

So this week was pretty dang funny. Elder Free is back in the apartment which is great, he is pretty much my favorite person.

Last week was super sweet because I finally got my interview with kaichou (the day after the transfer ended) and it was hilarious, he’s a super busy guy and he was exhausted. Here’s my interview by the numbers. 10 minutes about talking about my health and diet. 10 minutes discussing personal issues. 5 minutes of talking about random banter and ideas. 5 minutes of President Sekiguchi sleeping. And five minutes of him dying because the mint I gave him was too spicy. Long story short it was great, I learned a lot of good stuff and got a lot of stuff figured out for how to make this next transfer solid.

This last week I also got to go to the returning missionaries testimony meeting and do the camera management for the Facebook Live broadcast which was pretty fun. I didn’t mess anything up or cut off any tall missionary’s head (although there were some tall ones mixed up with short ones), so I’d say I did pretty decent, and it was pretty fun. I got to run into some straight homies too, the Nagaoka family is moving to Chiba really soon and my homie Shion is moving to Yokohama, so it was really really cool to get to say goodbye to them. And my homie Aron came as well so it was g r e a t. Sister Nagaoka gave me a big bag of bread from my favorite bread shop, Ishiiya, too, and it was amazing because they were so cool when I was in Kamisugi and she was baptized around the time my dad was there as well.

It was really sad to see this group of missionaries go home, I’d gotten really close to Elder Olivera and Pratt and Kudo, plus I’d had four transfers in the same area as Sister Shibahara and the American sisters returning were together with me in the MTC, so it a big chunk of the closest people in the mission to me were going home at the same time. I think I was more broken up about Olivera and Kudo than anything else I can remember, I’m turning into a softy.

Just kidding.

We had another crazy thing happen this week. I’ve really been trying to diet (since kaichou told me to watch what I eat (but then told me I don’t need to diet)), so I set a goal to only eat six ramens this transfer, one per week. I went out with Kouji Sekiguchi this last week (so chill he’s a straight bro), so I’d already used my one when I got out-ruled (3-man companionship makes decisions easy) and we ended up going to ramen for lunch. And then something spooky happened, it was like the world had been turned upside down. I ordered something OTHER THAN RAMEN at a ramen shop (meat bowl usually intended just as a side). Even weirder than that, Elder Hubner who ALWAYS spills didn’t spill. And to add onto that, Elder Nathan, the spill-less black hole food disposal, not only spilled, but got full on what wasn’t even the largest size they had. Strange things are afoot here in Nagamachi.

So I got some more funny stuff - on Sunday we were doing some translation for some American members in the ward (we have these little mic and headset walk-in talkie type things). Elder Nathan does the first couple talks, introductions by two of the missionaries, as well as the stuff for the introduction and everything. Now Elder Free grew up speaking Japanese, and Elder Livermore is the study-king, so they weren’t the easiest things to translate, but I was doing it under my breath and I was feeling more solid than usual. Elder Nathan passes me the mic and says “you wanna give it a go” and I’m thinking “heck yes it’s been like three weeks since I’ve gotten to do it I’m ready this is gonna be sick”. When you’re doing the translating and it just clicks it’s so cool and you’re just in the zone, and that’s what I was expecting. It was Souhei and Shinya, a high school student and 31-year-old medical student, so I was pretty confident they wouldn’t use super hard to understand grandpa Japanese too. And what commenced was the most head-scratching 30 minutes of my life. I knew the topics of the talk and everything, but rather than being something structured which I could latch onto it was just STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS TALKING ON THE SUBJECT, so I’m sitting there waiting for something I can latch onto because the topic changed every sentence and I spent probably a minute and a half at one point without saying much of anything. I thought once Souhei’s ended it would get better, but Shinya 兄弟 (Brother Shinya) gave the exact same thing. The most coherent thing I translated was “Well, my passing of the exam isn’t exactly sure yet, so if I’m here in two weeks it might be kind of difficult to say hi to me because that’ll mean I didn’t pass but I’m pretty sure I passed so there’s a good chance I’ll not be here but if anyone is interested in the loft bed I have right now...”... It finished and I was sitting there, mouth agape, feeling like I just walked out of the three hour ward council meeting in Yamagata that I attended as a new missionary on my first transfer. Then Kouji turns to me and says “It’s OK, I didn’t really understand what it was about either.”

So yeah, 30 minutes of terror on Sunday was great because it’s always good to get knocked down a rung and remember that your translation skills are still trash even if you can do missionary Japanese and ramen conversation fluently. Good stuff.

I’ve been thinking a lot about a lot of different things this week, and one of the things that has been going through my mind is “I just gotta figure ....... out”. It’s usually in the context of figuring those things out before a certain time or event as well. I think that ties pretty well into two important concepts. Nevermind one.

I tend to rush things a lot. I tend to not be very good at enjoying where I’m at. When I was in school, I was always impatient to advance to the next grade/level. When prepping to go on my mission with a few different things I was impatient to just get it over with. In the MTC all I wanted to do was be out in the field. In the field, I was impatient to be to the point where my language wasn’t a problem. And as time passed, I found myself almost being impatient to be home.

If I were to continue on this pattern, I’m eventually going to be sitting in a rocking chair impatiently stamping my foot waiting to be dead. As I look back, I’ve spent a lot of time waiting for the next thing which I know I would never be satisfied with.

Everybody loves the taste of progression (or at least most everybody, some more than others). The feeling of graduation, finishing things, achieving new goals to take on new challenges. With money and material goods it’s actually a lot of the same feeling as well, you buy something on amazon and within 48 hours of getting it you’re wanting the next thing. It’s all this sort of progression, if someone were to stay still at exactly the same everything forever and never go anywhere they’d go crazy. Sometimes we want money and goods as a substitute for the real progress - wisdom and knowledge, charity, love, overcoming challenges. But it remains the same, we need to progress because it’s a part of something bigger, it’s a part of why we are here on earth - to grow and become more like our Heavenly Father, who is perfect, and there’s no substitute for how that feels. We can’t be happy sitting still.

But then again, we need to be patient. I often want to go from here to there in the blink of an eye and miss all the fun along the way. Somebody said “Pirates are always looking for treasure when the real treasure is the friendships they make along the way” and jokes and stuff aside, we are supposed to enjoy the day to day everything. EVERYTHING. There’s sucky stuff, yeah, but patiently bearing through it will make us SO MUCH happier than wishing we were through the other side of the tunnel already.

And the key lies in understanding. When we understand that progress is an ETERNAL thing, that it takes an eternity for us to become perfect, we set our course and can enjoy the journey.

Love you guys and hope you have a solid week!

Elder Orgill (オーギル長老)


Monday, March 12, 2018

Who upp at real 13th transfer hours? Smash that like button – week 81

(his title, not the editors!)

Yo so I’m officially an old missionary (>75% complete) now, how crazy is that. 

This next week is gonna be crazy, the sisters from my MTC group and my past companion and two homies from the current apartment and a bunch of other people are going home, and since I’m staying in the honbu for another transfer that means I’m going to be really close to it which is going to be pretty crazy. It’s like witnessing the circle of life, new missionaries come into the mission and then the old missionaries “die” a couple days later, makes me want to say “yikes”. 

I don’t even need to say, you already know, but there was ramen eaten this week. 

Funny moment: me and Elder Hall were housing and suddenly we just hear this SCREAMING. Like a human imitating a pained animal, just creepy as heck. Heard it a couple of times and then it just kinda disappeared, we just looked at each other confused. It’s not like one of those things where you can run to help or run from fear, it was just confusing weird screaming. It was gold.  
Highlight of this week was definitely going on splits with my main man Elder Hall to Yamagata, we tore it up for a day. I visited my old investigator Igarashi and he’s probably one of my favorite people in touhoku, he said his life has gone downhill a bit since he stopped meeting with the missionaries but he’s still doing so much better than when I first met him. We took him out to ramen and he told us it was the first time he had even out to eat in a year (he’s a instant ramen every day every meal kind of guy). The last time he went out to eat was when Elder Fono and I took him out. I think it was really good for him to do something with friends because all he does is literally work and sleep and eat instant ramen and that’s not an exaggeration. He’s a self-proclaimed “super lazy guy”, to the extent that he doesn’t pursue the things that would make him happy, but I think we all have times where we choose not to do the things that make us happy as well. Anyway, I love the guy and it was good to see him. 

I also got to do my first ever lesson with Akiba and Saitou. I found Akiba on splits a year ago with Elder Sato and he invited his fried Saitou and mom to listen to the lessons ad all three of them ended up getting baptized. Hearing him talk about the change that has come into his life because of the gospel was pretty amazing because it all sprung from a moment where I decided to talk to a guy taking out his trash about God at the end of a long split right before going home. Way cool. 

So I’ve had some difficult stuff this last week or so and I’ve been a little quieter than normal (it happens, I do shut up sometimes) and was doing some solid journaling and just trying to prayerfully think over my problems and find answers in the scriptures. I’m not super good at studying or consistently journaling or any of that, but I really tried to 思い切り do it and whats crazy is on splits, there were at least four instances where something I had been dealing with or studying or thinking about gave me additional insight with which I could try to help someone else. Wow. People always talk about how you get insight while doing service and turning outwards, but for me it was just trying to use some downtime on the bus and get what I could out of personal study, and then I guess trying to turn outwards and listen brought additional clarity. It was like I could see the same problems I was having but just applied to a different person, and I think it brought some empathy that I don’t normally have. It was crazy. It makes me think about the principal of how we can’t choose what happens to us, but we can choose how we react to it, and sucky things that happen to us can be a springbboard for us helping others. Neat, huh? 

Have a weekeew a evah ,

オーギル長老 (Elder Orgill)

Let's start this week with a ramen picture!

"I'm eating ramen ... must be time for a selfie!"

Switching it up ... soup with noodle, pork, egg, and seaweed on the side.

Monkey see
Monkey do

Getting through the day with a secret stash of chocolate

Shot of a shot from the mission video/photo shoot

Nagamachi District

Newly discovered line of Japanese-made gourmet chocolate

Monday, March 5, 2018

They call me the Bone Man (nah they don’t but I didn’t have a title for this email and I bought bones this week) – week 80


So this week was cool. And by week, it was like five days because Last Thursday was p-day so yeah.

VERY LITTLE INTERESTING STUFF HAPPENED. I did a fair amount of stuff on fixing up our reporting so it shows better statistics and is more consistent. I’m trying to idiot-proof it in case I transfer, although idiot-proofing things proves to be harder than I initially expected. The video for our song is going to be out in a couple of days too, so stoked on that. 

I made miso ramen this week and bought four pounds of pork bones (tonkotsu) yesterday so basically it’s gonna be a party (Tonkotsu ramen party, that is). 

In the returning missionary testimony meeting this last week, one of the things I heard that really stuck out to me was Sister Savage’s advice to love your companion. That sounds like a super basic, simple thing, but it just kinda made me … , ya know? I think it extends a lot beyond just our companion, there’s a lot of value to showing love and kindness to those around us. I’ve had times where my companionship relationships have been TRASH and guess what? During those times EVERYTHING SUCKS. Whereas on the other times there are times where I have a better relationship, precipitated by an effort on my part to have better, positive communication, to say nice things, to serve, and no matter how tough the work or other challenges are, I find myself able to push through positively without getting overwhelmed or depressed. In the relationship equilibrium, I think it took me way too long to realize that the more you give, the more you receive. As I’ve reflected on this a little bit, I’ve realized that I’ve been a pretty trash friend, and being selfish in those relationships ended up having little to no gain, whereas if I had endeavored to be kinder, I would’ve had so much more to gain. 

I have a little challenge for each of you. Pick one person in your life, and over the next week, three times a day, tell that person something positive (compliment, gratitude, “I love you”, etc.), and I PROMISE you that you’ll see the joy that you get out of that relationship increase like crazy. Do it. 
Love you guys, have a good week! 

オーギル長老(Elder Orgill)

The much anticipated homemade tonkotsu ramen

Aesthetic pano

There was no description, but we think we know who was doing the flip (in his suit)

... and apparently lost his glasses

Snow lanterns made during the Japan Sendai Mission conference

Group of missionaries at mission conference

Note the mountains of snow and the two Bay Area native missionaries who didn't think it necessary to wear coats

... yes, no coat, and one of them decided to wear short sleeves!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Mission Conference – week 79

So this week was pretty lit.

We had a MISSION-WIDE CONFERENCE this last week at BANDAI near AIZUWAKAMATSU that was REALLY fun and we made the music VIDEO and RECORDED for the song we’re doing for the 2011 EARTHQUAKE memorial, HANA wa SAKU. (If any of you get the reference, I’ll be really impressed, but you won’t).

Hana wa saku video link

It was really cool, and I was able to be reasonably involved with some of the different aspects of it (helping the homies who came up from Tokyo for the filming and recording, doing some assistant stuff). All the interesting stuff is going to become pretty apparent within a week, but basically prep for this is what has been keeping us busy for the past few weeks and is why we went to that studio in Sendai and all that. It has been really cool to be involved, even in the littlest amount, from the start to the finish of this, and I’ve learned a lot of really cool things as well about everything from studio engineering to film to leadership to wedding planning. I’m definitely a more rounded person from this project (and not just because of chocolate I stress-ate).

There were a ton of activities too, the snow lanterns (pics and full story will come later), the mission-wide snowball fight, the ofuro (hot-spring bath), all that cool stuff. The place we stayed is kind of like a big nature retreat/ski resort, and there was a lot of snow to play around in. It’s actually where they did the YSA (Young Single Adult) conference back in November too. I really enjoyed getting to talk with and interact with the whole mission. This last week I hit my six-month mark as well, which means the sister missionaries who were with me from the beginning are going home, and that was crazy too because I got to talk to all of them and hear their testimonies before going home. They’ve changed so much, and in reflection I’ve changed a ton too, but I’m still not ready to go home, there’s still work I want to do and things to sort out with myself. It was so great to talk to all the missionaries and get a little bit of a different perspective, there are a lot who are doing great and loving it, and there are a few who are really struggling, and the rest are kind of in between, but I liked being able to see and remember back to different points on my mission by talking to these other guys and hear about their successes and the things they are struggling with. I’m at the point where there are very few situations where Japanese really intimidates me, it’s more of an issue of whether or not I’ll know situational vocabulary or be able to convey a specific meaning in a tactful manner or say something concisely enough, but it was interesting to hear about the struggles of others and reflect back on a time where I was worrying about just being able to communicate basically with people on the street or a Japanese companion, or just order in a restaurant.

I came across a picture talking about cycles of artists that illustrated how your perspective on yourself is based on your ability to see versus your ability to perform, and I think that’s how it is with life as well. It’s got two lines going upwards and crossing back and forth, kind of like a y=x+sinx and y=x+cosx type of thing, and one represents your perspective and the other your performance. In the context of the art analogy, there are periods where despite your constant improvement, there’s still the persistent “I’ll never be good enough”. Then, on the other hand, there’s the periods where your skill exceeds that of your vision, the “I am great and my art is great” periods. In the context of life, there are times where it feels like we are doing great and achieving a lot, and then there are other times where it feels like we can’t even live up to the simple things that are expected of us. With our limited perspective in life, it looks like a sideways y=sinx type “good days and bad days” rollercoaster, but if we remember that our rollercoaster-like performance is in relation to constantly increasing personal and external expectations and demands, we can get the bigger picture that even if we are having a hard time, we’re still miles beyond where we were even just a couple of years ago. Now I wish I had a graphing calculator and some paper to draw some pictures and explain this a little further, but long story short, we’ve all got periods where we feel like we aren’t quite making the cut and other periods where we feel totally awesome, but we need to take it all in perspective of a long-term journey we’re all. It’s all a process, but getting more perspective has helped me to step back and enjoy it more.

Take care y'all,

Elder Orgill

Note he listed Oakland as where he was from because he was concerned that people might not know where Danville, CA or Incline Village, NV are located.

View of a local ski area from the Denny's close to the conference location

He does more than just eat ramen ... we promise!

View of the conference center in the mountains of Japan

Selfie with Elder Nathan

Selfie with half-photo of President Sekiguchi in charge of the Japan Sendai Mission

Monday, February 19, 2018

太麺 (futomen - fat noodles) Miracles – week 78

I’m just gonna get the ramen talk out of the way.

This week on splits with Elder Hubner we went to a place called Minamotoya which is connected to the Togashi-Group, which is amazing. They had a monthly ramen, which was a ginger miso ramen that was way good, it kinda blew my mind. It was strong and thick and the ginger packed a nice punch while not being overwhelming. I didn’t know ginger ramen was a thing, but I’m a fan now. The other ramen this week was eaten with Elder Nathan and our buddy who we met at the studio week before last, Takuya, at the other Togashi shop in Sendai. I had their 油そば (oil noodles) and it was great. And then last night, I made noodles and cooked em up this morning and topped with ground pork and a combination of Sichuan seasonings for some home-made 汁無し担々麺 (soupless tantan noodles). I’m surprised how easy it is to make ramen noodles, and I’m trying to think of ways I can scale up my operation when I get back and start dishing out bowls in Provo. Probably not gonna happen, but a man can dream, can’t he? Oh yeah and I made something I dubbed the “Jiro burger” this week too, it was magnificent.  

These past couple of weeks have been good. I mean, there have been a whole lot of challenging things, but a lot of good stuff to balance it out. We have been busy as heck because of prepping for a big thing as a mission which is still kind of on the down low, but that involved going to a recording studio week before last, which was really cool. I talked a good bit with the studio tech and got tight with him and he showed me a quick rundown of what he actually does in the mixing and mastering stages, and was super cool with some advice about getting into the audio/studio industry and stuff. And we clicked on our favorite ramen shop, and ended up going together that evening. And then we set up another appointment and went together again last Friday night. It was really nice just talking to him and getting tight with him, and he actually expressed interest in our message as well, we’re meeting him again this week! And to think y’all were doubting that ramen could help me find investigators... Haha anyway we went out on Friday and chatted and ate and talked about missionaries and the church a little more, and afterwards we went to get some ice cream at a family mart. As we’re looking at the ice cream I see his eyes widen. “THEY HAVE IT”. We look and he’s grabbing this brick-sized cardboard box of what appears to be, well, an ice cream brick. He tells “I told myself if they had it I would buy it”. So next thing we find ourselves standing outside of the konbini (convenience store) trying to eat this monster of an ice cream with disposable chopsticks and plastic forks (futilely). Keep in mind, this was the closest konbini to Sendai Station, so there are a lot of people, particularly a lot of high school girls, walking around. There was another group standing in front of the store and they were giving us kind of weird looks as we gave up and broke the ice cream monstrosity and ate it with hands. It was actually a pretty good amount when divided in three, but long story short it was a really good time and he had a good time as well.  

So on splits yesterday with Elder Hubner we had a solid time, found a couple solid people, and had some solid funny experiences. We were housing and this one grandma came out and said “Oh, sorry I can’t do this” and she put her hands together, and closed the door. I turned to Elder Hubner and said “do you think we should have tried to explain to her you don’t have to clap your hands at church?”. It was funny. That was my attempt to try to explain one of the “you had to be there” moments because believe it or not, my life is hilarious and it doesn’t really seem to come out when I’m trying stuff.
Our main man Aihara looks like he’s getting baptized, but the date got pushed off a bit more. He really wants to get baptized, but quitting tobacco is proving to be a challenge for him, but I’m excited that he’s seen and showed so much change. I just wish I’d had a bigger part of it, I’ve only taught him a couple times (Elder Ito in Kamisugi Ward is teaching him too), so I don’t really feel like I’ve done much. Still cool to be a part of it though.  

We’ve been keeping in contact with Aron-kun a good bit as well and I’ve gotten really tight with him. Since we can use Line, I’ve been line-ing him in the evenings a bit and keeping in touch and we’re trying to help him prepare to go on a mission.  

I guess I don’t have too much else to say, but one of the things I’ve been thinking about recently is something I read in an Elder Holland talk recently. The gist of it is that sometimes we look to the past, even long to be in the past. Sometimes we are dragged down by past mistakes, failures, or whatever, but we need to be 100% engaged in the present, and look towards the future with faith. When I started at BYU, I was thinking back to some of the experiences I had in High School and kinda looking back to the past. That looking back to the past affected me a lot, and I ended up making a lot of my first year kinda negative. However, if I had “remembered Lot’s wife” and not looked back but looked forward with faith and confidence, I think it would’ve been a lot different. So in the spirit of looking forward and not backwards, I have been giving a bit of thought to what I want to do when I get back, and I am really excited for the future and to leave past things behind. It’s cool to teach investigators that too, that they can leave behind the not good things that have happened before and move forwards, because that’s pretty cool. Everybody’s holding back to something and looking back in some way, and I challenge you to recognize it, change where you’re looking, and don’t look back.  

Love you guys!  

Elder Orgill (オーギル長老)

Super thick "katsu-don" (pork cutlet in egg over rice)

Abura soba - "oil noodles"

Ramen boys

Ginger miso goodness

"This could be your view when you eatin ramen, but u playin games and I’m servin the Lord"

"Don’t worry, its supposed to be black"
Hand-made soupless noodles
P.S. I’m actually trying to diet, I promise. Honestly. Really.