Monday, August 14, 2017

The Family Legacy – week 51

Editor's note: if you are paying attention to the weeks, next week is the halfway point for Elder Orgill. He would certainly love to hear from you. He can see e-mails daily but can only respond once a week, usually Monday evenings in the U.S.

So big news. Ya boy is getting transferred! Going from one of the least population-dense areas in the mission to the number one - the one and only Kamisugi in Sendai. I'm a big-city kind of guy, so I'm confident this is an inspired call. Anyway, my sister served there four years ago and my dad some 35 years ago, so I guess we're just going full circle. Was it destiny?!?!?! *Illuminati music starts playing*

Anyway, it's a food paradise and apparently the missionaries get a bunch of MEAT from the ward so just a testament that the Lord knows all of us individually and cares about the little things, I testify of that from the bottom of my heart. Tender mercies are real, yo.

So some crazy stuff happened this week. First off - it's Obon, so we had 23 people at church, which is double what we normally get. Everybody is coming back to their hometowns and cleaning the grave sites of their ancestors and all that good stuff and apparently there's the belief that during Obon people's ancestors come back and visit them, so if you believe in ghost apparitions and stuff it might get SPOOKY, but I'm too ironic to see any of that kind of stuff so I don't think any dead Japanese old people are going to be appearing to / haunting me, but I have been haunted by memories and old pictures of me in middle school so there might be something supernatural with that...... *UFO noises*

Bit of a slow week here but we did have one kinda funny/crazy experience. I found a little thing in our mail slot this last week with a phone number written on it, and I figured "hey, it's written in pen, maybe I should call this", so I did. Turns out its some kinda Buddhist church who wants to talk to us. I told em we're busy and can't really meet, and he was super insistent and I kinda told him "dude, we're missionaries for our own church, it's chill", but he called again a couple days later and my companion picked up so I couldn't dodge the call and I found myself talking with this guy again and I had the idea "hey, if we listen to his thing we can probably share our beliefs and stuff too, this'll be sweet and we'll have his undivided attention for however long we want". Well, long story short we met up after church across the street and it was him and his friend, and we suggested we go back to the church and we talk while sitting and also eat because there was a 食事会 (little after-church meal), and these two 30-something year old men pulled the stranger danger card. And then invited us to sit in their car. Red flags. They asked us some questions and we made sure not to give too much personal information (didn't ask the name of my first pet or first car), and we shared some of our beliefs and stuff. Then they launched their thing and talked about how you can tell whether or not somebody becomes a Buddha or not after they die by the color of the skin, and then you can also use some unexplained ritual they have to cure any illness ever. And then they said "yeah, we'll teach you, just get in our car and we'll go to this guy's house and teach you, it'll take like 15 minutes" and were suuuuuuuuper insistent and we kinda had to lay down the law of "bruh we ain't getting in your car and going to learn this black magic shiz with you" (btw this homie was like 5'4 and max 100 pounds so if he started throwing fists, I wasn't super intimidated), but anyway it was just kinda weird and we got kind of a not-so-good feeling talking to these guys and we missed some of the food, but hey, we got to share what we believe and met a real life Korihor priestcraft-doing homie, so that was interesting.

So I read this super-fine talk this week called "No Other Talent Exceeds Spirituality" (actually a BYU devotional from 1976), and it was absolutely excellent and gave me a number of things to think about. We have daily scripture study, and sometimes I feel like I just drink in the scriptures and the lessons and all that, and sometimes I just feel like I'm reading words on a page and trying to keep myself awake as I plough through the 18th war chapter in a row. Well, sometimes I think of spirituality as being able to constantly draw a ton of good information and things I want to learn from the scriptures and stuff, but nah. It's a lot more of the attributes that come along with that, and doesn't necessarily start from a killer good personal study every day, it starts from a desire to be more spiritual and more like the Savior and a desire to serve others. The best personal studies I have ever had where I felt like the scriptures came to life and I felt like everything I read was speaking to me were the times where I was desperate for spiritual knowledge and strength, when I got put into a position that I knew I was not qualified for, and I needed the patience and charity just to survive. And I think that as we all try to serve more and think about others more and love more and be more selfless and stuff, we will start to become more like Christ and our spirituality will go up. And I think good scripture study doesn't drive us to be more spiritual, I think good scripture study follows us trying to be better and more loving and improve ourselves.

Then again, that was just a block of Elder Orgill nonsense.

Oh yeah, other cool stuff, I gave a little talk this week about the concept of eternal progression. I am going to be at my year mark in just over a week, and hooh boy, I've progressed a lot. And hooh boy, I still have a really long way to go. But the cool thing is we have so much time, we have an ETERNITY to become perfect and we just have to do as much as we can in this life. But remember to not compare yourself with others - it doesn't matter what your f(x) is, it's all about the f'(x), the slope of the tangent, the rate and direction at which you are progressing. And if you're progressing, keep it that way. I have a favorite saying from the one and only Big Ron – “if you don't change directions, you'll get where you're going”. So think about where you're going with the path you are on right now, and if you need to, change directions. And if you're on a good path, don't change directions.

Love y'all. Keep it lit.
オーギル長(Elder Orgill)

"American car | soft filter"


Yakiniku ramen with pressed aged garlic

"Accurate (district + mogi squad)"

Chinese food y'all

Monday, August 7, 2017

This week I proselyted in an apron – week 50

This week was absolutely amazing. I'll run you guys through the highlights.

There are these things called gacha in japan (it's an onomatopoeia for the sound of a gumball machine) where you can get little trinkets and pointless stuff. I saw one this week which had spinney light thingies in it (which look like the orbit I had back at home) and I saw it and really wanted one so I put in my money and what do I get? A little plastic battle axe. I think "Who am I? I am Elder Orgill and I ain't no sucker" and try again. I get a little mini figure of a Japanese baseball player. Japanese people may call em a gacha because of the noise, but I think the real meaning comes from getting prank'd and it going "Got ya!" So RIP my money.

On splits with Elder Holdaway we met a 6'3 girl from Senegal in West Africa and she was way chill. I thought she was probably 25 or something (she told us she was in Japan playing basketball), nah, she was straight up 18. But she was super cool and really interested in English and possibly in the gospel so hooray.

Also while on splits with Elder Holdaway, we decided we would try and use our talents a bit and take a more creative approach to missionary work. So I put on my apron, grabbed a cookbook and spatula, and stuffed my pockets with English conversation class fliers. We then went out and talked to people about the recipe for happiness and related having a recipe to having the scriptures. Didn't actually find anyone who was interested but we did see other miracles like.....

Shimizu 兄弟 (Brother Shimizu) my straight homie from 石巻 (Ishinomaki) just randomly popped up in 一関 (Ichinoseki) this week as we were walking around with apron on, turns out he was up here on work and I got to catch up with him and talk to him and share a little message with him too. That was way cool, I love that guy.

We met a couple ladies from Brazil who were way friendly at the festival and talked to them a bit and it sounds like they might be coming to church (also they're super good friends with one of the less active members here) but the Brazilian way of saying goodbye involves a little kiss on the cheeks, right? Well yeah, apparently I gave the most horrified look (kissing girls in general is waaaaay bad as a missionary; I have no idea what the deal is in Brazil or France but I pretty much saw my life flash before my eyes and had an out of body experience where I saw myself walking off the plane dishonorably) so she kissed the air instead and we were in the clear. Scariest half a second of my life and my companion is just sitting there trying not to flipping explode with laughter.

We met a ton of homies at the festival in Ichinoseki; we got tight with a high school baseball team. They all talk tough game, but I threw down the challenge that I'd buy some yakisoba (fried noodles) or karaage (fried chicken) or something for anyone who could go up to a random girl and flirt and get her number or line or something and they all straight wouldn't follow through. Japanese flirting/dating game is straight weak, it's a lot of not talking to members of the other gender and then flirting a little bit with one person if you legit have interest in them and then low-key professing your love for them and asking them to be your girlfriend and then if they say yes yay you're a couple and you walk together without holding hands every once in a while and if they say no you are humiliated and a social outcast. Almost makes me want to study sociology or use crazy science to reanimate Charles Darwin and ask him to explain it for me.

We were super super #blessed this week because we got to go to TWO fireworks shows this week. One in Ichinoseki with the members, and one we just managed to go to in Kitakami before we started splits (the second time this week) with the members of the district. They were both SUPER cool, there was a member in Ichinoseki who was absolutely hilarious, he was talking the whole time about how much Japanese people love fireworks and crazy experiences he had with doing his own fireworks and he's got the heart of a 14 year old and it's a shame he never got the chance to be a scoutmaster. Kitakami fireworks were way cool as well, it was an hour and a half of different themed fireworks over the river and we got to sit right next to the river and it was straight prime. Festivals in Japan are the best thing ever.

So I was thinking this week about the "recipe for happiness", right? Ever cooked without a recipe? Tried to cook something COMPLETELY NEW without a recipe? Yeah, pretty gnarly right? Sometimes it comes out OK but most of the time it's pretty gnarly. Well, in life, we ain't really got a recipe, right? But we have the scriptures, and they tell us what we need (ingredients) and what to avoid, and other cool stuff (don't put in yakiniku sauce too early or it'll burn like crazy). Anyway, scriptures are the best and you all should read them because you'll get guidance and they're the bomb. You're all the best and I love you a bunch! Enjoy some summer festivals!

オーギル長(Elder Orgill)

Yakiniku (cooked meat) party after doing some service

Elders in the rice paddies

District Meeting

Kitakami District

Weekly obligatory food picture -- Indian curry

Taking to the streets with the apron on

Chance encounter with Brother Shimizu

With Tsuyoshi

Little homies


Riding the train with some post-festival people who are feeling good

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Episode 5: The Alpha Omega Strikes Back – week 49

This week was like Japanese meat Christmas. 土用の丑の日 (“~dog days of summer”) AND 肉の日 (“Meat day”) both in the same week?!?! COULD IT GET ANY BETTER? Well, yeah, if I'd had money to spend on grilled eel and meat that would've been good, but I spent it all on quadra-discounted ice cream last week; ya gotta pick your battles.

What is this magical day dedicated to eating grilled eel? Did I talk about it last week? It's a day invented by unagi (grilled eel)-sellers a long time ago in Japan to sell more grilled eel because apparently it "is super healthy and helps you not get heat fatigue", but hey, any excuse to eat grilled eel is a good excuse for me (except the fact it's insanely expensive). And there was the 29th, 肉に日, which is meat day which is always a party.

We went out to try a traditional dish of Iwate-ken called “hatto” this week with a friend of ours from our Hiraizumi Eikaiwa (English conversation class), and it was pretty sweet; we ended up teaching the grandma working there some English. The funny thing is it seems like everyone knows everyone in Hiraizumi (the little town next to Ichinoseki with a very long history). It's hilarious because everyone there has mad connections and knows every single shop owner and chef (kinda reminded me of Sayeed – a tour guide we met in Morocco).

Zone Conference this week was absolutely awesome, I came away from it with so many new ideas for things I want to try and apply in my work. We focused a lot on skills this conference, President Sekiguchi talked about how we have the spiritual maturity, we're doing the work (as a mission we talked to 10,000 people a day during the kekko [rejection] contest!), and all we need now to bring it all together is the skills. “Because girls only like guys with skills... You know, like nunchuck skills, bow-hunting skills, computer hacking skills.” But all Napoleon Dynamite quotes aside, if we step up the usage of our skills and "level up" our work, we can see mad miracles. One skill I'm going to try to use more is making people laugh. My Japanese joke game is nowhere near as on point as my English joke game, so it's gonna take a lot of hard work in language study and a lot of trial and error to step it up, but I have faith!

And then there was coming back from zone conference. The train we usually end up taking back from Zone conference is the most busy train of the day, but it was way cool because we ran into and got talking to a friend we met a couple of weeks ago on the same train. And then, a few stops later, we got talking to these two high school girls. And one of them randomly says "hey, you wanna see something cool?" And I'm like, "yeah, of course!" So she straight points both of her eyes into different directions like a straight chameleon. Quite possibly one of the coolest things I've seen in 11 months of being a missionary. And what's even better, Elder G was super freaked out about it and he gets the heebey jeebies every time I bring it up haha. But that's OK because he likes to poke literally every spider he finds with a stick or something, and bruh, I don't do spiders. At least not Japanese spiders.

So yeah, this week we found out we live in the middle of a jungle. First off - there are spiders everywhere. EVERYWHERE. And they're huge. Also, there are these massive beetles (Cicadas) which are super loud and make the craziest hissing/buzzing/kind of like a baby crying but in a bug form. I think they're edible though, so there's a part of me which wants to deep fry one. And then this week, we were walking by this little shrine surrounded by foliage and we thought "hey, let’s stop and enjoy the scenery and take a couple pictures!" And as we were looking around, I looked up in the tree and spotted probably a four and a half foot long snake climbing its way through the tree. It literally climbed onto a telephone wire, slithered across about 8 feet of it, and climbed onto another tree.

Hey, FOOD TALK. Found out that tajin isn't just good on watermelon; it's also amazing on watermelon flavored popsicles. Also, I completed my collection of tubs of Chinese miso this week. And I tried to make Mexican-ish food and it was pretty good. Me and Elder G also ate a kilo (mostly Elder G, that boy has the heart of a true Korean) of kimchi in three days. END OF FOOD TALK

So yeah, I learned something interesting this week. D&C 60:2 "But with some I am not well pleased, for they will not open their mouths, but they hide the talent which I have given unto them, because of the fear of man. Wo unto such, for mine anger is kindled against them." Sometimes I think "man, I ain't got that many talents", but by simply opening our mouth we share our talents, which is pretty dang cool. Other scripture I liked: D&C 24:12 "And at all times, and in all places, he shall open his mouth and declare my gospel as with the voice of a trump, both day and night. And I will give unto him strength such as is not known among men." First of all - it says “voice of a trumpso that's pretty funny. Anyway, I definitely have experienced this: me opening my mouth and talking to homies despite having no idea what to say, and ya know what? I end up seeing straight miracles and somehow not saying tooooo much dumb stuff. And I like that whole "strength as is not known among men" part, it kinda motivates me to not be as afraid about stuff. Anyway, I just really liked those scriptures last week. Also, my mom sent me an article about rejection this last week with a homie who did a 100 day rejection challenge and it got me thinking. I didn't really think of anything profound, but I definitely wish I had a different view of rejection before I started my mission, and I'm beginning to see rejection in a much more positive light than I used to.

Anyway, love you all a bunch, have a good week!

オーギル長(Elder Orgill)

"Straight homies at the hatto restaurant"

"Jungle Shrine Turnup"

"How do you feel about having to wait an hour to take the Shinkansen/Bullet Train
cause they randomly canceled our train which we woke up at 5:00 a.m. to

Feelin Froggy - *engine noises that sound like a lawnmower*

Attempt at Mexican food - note the bottle of tajin at his side

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Week in Which I Won a Dance Battle in an Attempt to Use My Talents to Share the Gospel – week 48

Is food an effective motivator for bringing about the salvation of souls? What really IS the most effective way to talk to a large number of people in the town of Ichinoseki? Why do Japanese people eat grilled eel on the 25th of July? Does rejection bring about any good? Will Elder Orgill and Elder Garaycochea win the all-you-can-eat shabu-shabu?

I will endeavor to answer these questions and more in my analysis of the week of 7.17-7.23.

So yeah, this last week was straight ridiculous. President Sekiguchi extended a challenge the mission, a call to action, an earth shattering proclamation involving all you can eat meat. For the three companionships and one district in the mission that receive the most rejections this week, they will be treated to a dinner of shabu-shabu, steak, or something else of their choice. Now you're probably thinking - do missionaries really need food to motivate them to go out and try to find people to teach and bring unto salvation? Nope, but a challenge like this did really change the way we work and try to find people. I'll talk about all the groundbreaking things I learned later, though, it's time for FOOD TALK.

DO NOT READ IF HUNGRY Not much special food this week, tried a killer good ramen shop in Morioka while on splits there, the coolest part about the place was probably that they had ALL YOU CAN EAT FRIED CHICKEN. I don't know if you've ever had a "黒豚ラーメン" (black-hog/Berkshire pork and soy sauce ramen), but it's good, and it's even better with fresh-pressed garlic, and it's even better topped with fried chicken. One of the best bowls of ramen I've had in Japan, thick base, good noodle texture, and pretty cheap. Other than that, I made a Korean teriyaki chicken and rice bowl this week (it's Korean because of the spicy miso) which is my new favorite; I think I'm starting a Korean food phase. It's the end of the month, so we're running out of money to spend on fun food, but you best bet next month is gonna get INTERESTING. END OF FOOD TALK

We change the method of finding this week to talk to more people, and we saw some really cool things come out of it. We did a lot of finding on the street this week, except Ichinoseki it's not very big, so we mostly stuck around the train station and talked to as many people as we could. We met a guy on Monday night and ended up talking to him for about a half an hour, and then we ran into him on Tuesday night, and then we ran into him again on Wednesday night. We're pretty good friends now, and even though he doesn't have any interest in the gospel, he bought us ice cream the third time saw us, so MIRACLES. We met a super nice guy from Nepal, a cool couple who walked all the way from Yokohama, a Japanese girl from London who spoke perfect English and Japanese, a guy who spilled sake all over his shirt when we started talking to him, a guy that got two inches away from my face while we were talking, and made a few other homies as well. The funniest guy we met was this guy who scolded me for calling him お父さん (“father”) and corrected me to お兄さん(“older brother” - sounds kinda weird if you try to explain this in English), and then scolded me for not knowing Japanese cultural history and said I need to study more like Elder Garaycochea and going off on random stuff and then he gets a call and says his girlfriend is waiting, and corrects Elder G's pronouns for him from お兄さん (“older brother”) to お祖父ちゃん (“grandpa”), and tells us good luck and was on his way. Basically he was straight messing with us and I didn't even realize it until after, but Elder G has been roasting me ever since telling me that I need to study more. We got rejected 508 times this week (which is pretty dang good for being in one smallest areas in the mission (technically the fifth smallest area because Yokote and Odate and Miyako and Misawa are smaller)) but it was way cool because I was super happy this week and it kinda turned my perspective around from a rejection meaning I didn't do my part or talk well enough or anything like that, it was more of me realizing that I gave somebody the chance to hear the gospel, and that's pretty dang cool.

We had splits with the zone leaders this week and I got to work with Elder Price who's a straight stud of a missionary and we put in a ton of work and found a couple of people at the end of the night which was pretty dang cool, I learned the power of testifying simply and from the heart, it means a lot more to bear a simple testimony about how these things have helped you feel joy and become better than it means to bear testimony of things they don't even understand about. Also, Morioka is amazing, there are so many people.

So I got thinking a lot about the contest this week, and found myself thinking about why President Sekiguchi would put something like this into place, why an inspired leader would put a contest like this to see how many rejections we could get. From this week, I learned a lot. One of the interesting things was how to get rejected. There were certain approaches I could go with that led to instant rejection almost every time, and others which grabbed people's attentions bit more. Another was how to read people - nobody is going to feel the spirit testify of the message when they're worried about a train to catch or just really don't want to be there talking to you. By keeping them there against their will, all we do is build an image of missionaries as annoying Americans who are inconsiderate of peoples' time. I also learned more of how to open my mouth this week, because until you open your mouth you never know if someone is interested or not. The two best contacts of this week were two guys straight hauling on bikes (also, the faster they are going on a bike when they stop has a direct correlation with their probability of being super prepared to hear the gospel). The two we met on bikes, Sato and Gen (my homie from Nepal) weren't necessarily interested in the gospel, but by opening our mouths we were able to build a relationship quickly and strengthen the image of the church. In everything I did this week, I tried to talk to people in a way that the next time they met missionaries they would just smile at the sight of them, and I think for 95% of people I actually did succeed in strengthening the image of the church. It's interesting how a challenge just to get rejections to win all-you-can-eat meat changed the way I think, speak, and do missionary work, and I think the way I think and do missionary work has changed far beyond just what I did this week, I have learned things I will be applying for the rest of my mission and life. I now know very well what DOESN'T work, and now I just have to do the things that DO work.

Rejection is great, it helps you learn and grow, and I challenge you all to do something this week where you expect total rejection, and if you do get rejected you lose nothing and if you don't then that's AWESOME. Love y'all, have a great week and get rejected a bunch!

Elder Orgill オーギル長老

P.S. I forgot about the grilled eel thing, it's apparently really good for your health so they eat it so you don't get heat fatigue, but it's actually just something clever eel salesmen came up with back in probably the Edo period or something to sell more unagi. But hey, an excuse to eat unagi is an excuse to eat unagi, so I have no problems with that.

P.S. #2 Oh yeah, the dance battle was just we talked to some homies in high school and they were chilling in one spot on the main street in Ichinoseki and just not moving and kinda making fun of us and I decided to just chat with them a little more and just mess around and I asked if one of them danced and he threw down and then I threw down; good stuff.

"I love 7-11 spicy snacks"

"Gains Borough"

Went to a ramen shop this week with a garlic press and all you can eat
fried chicken

Our buddy Kumagai

Monday, July 17, 2017

This week was Groovy - week 47

Hey everybody!

This week was SUUUUPER sweet. And by SUUPER sweet, I mean that there was not all that much crazy or cool stuff, it was pretty normal. Not a bad normal, just normal normal. But hey, we might be going to a 1000 year old golden temple today, and we went out for sushi twice this week, so that was pretty sweet (just so you know, はま寿司 (Haha Sushi) is better than スシロー (Sushiro) which is better than かっぱ寿司(Kappa Sushi), it's all about those five different types of soy sauce and crazy wide selection of fish).

I decided to make chashu this week (Chinese sliced pork that you put on ramen) and I don't know how I did it and I would never be able to replicate it, but I basically made the best-tasting chashu I have ever had in my entire life(well, second best, the first time I ever tried chashu at 優勝圏 (literally "winning place") it straight blew my mind). I also ended up making ramen soup-base while I was making it, so I made up an Elder Orgill from-scratch ramen and it was amazing. If anyone wants to co-found a ramen shop in Utah, I'm down. Also tried a ramen shop we found in Kitakami while we were there for interviews and I found a hot and sour ramen, which also blew my mind a little bit, basically the ramen version of my favorite soup ever so #blessings. Also added sweet and sour pork (酢豚)to the recipe arsenal this week. And, I got to try mustard-flavored soft serve at the festival, which was actually waaaay better than I was expecting. 


The coolest thing we had this week was probably the little festival we went to on Saturday. We heard about a festival in this town just north of 一関 (Ichinoseki) called Hiraizumi, and we thought we'd go and make a showing and talk to some people and be friendly and try to pass out flyers for our English class. So the festival is based around people picking up and carrying these big arc-of-the-covenant-looking-altars down the street in cool blue judo gi-looking things, and I'm pretty sure people just dump water on them as they march by. Super cool, right? Super Japanese-y. But turns out the big main festival was yesterday on Sunday, and Saturday was more of the family event version where basically all of the first graders in Hiraizumi get together and put on their little costumes and pick up little versions of the arc and march around and wow, it was the cutest thing I have ever seen. This one kid saw us and just started pointing at us and said ”外国人、スゲ! which means "foreigners, cool!". He kept spotting us whenever we moved around, and we were play-shooting each other with ki blasts and basically we made some good homies. We met some cool guys from Australia too (I see you Elder Barr), and one of the guys was using words like "groovy" unironically, and it kind of made me question my entire descriptive vocabulary. We also got given a couple of bottles of green tea tea by a guy who we were talking to, which is the funniest because we don't drink TEA. But yeah, met and talked to some really solid people, sharing the gospel one chubby six year old Japanese kid at a time.

The other super cool thing this week was 手話 (sign language) circle, where we learned hand language and it was legit! We show up randomly and it turns out the missionaries used to go all the time and everybody there loves missionaries and is hilarious and super nice and we met two people who used to be investigators and we spent an hour talking to this super chill fifty-something year old deaf guy who was HILARIOUS and has good taste in ramen and used to play AMERICAN FOOTBALL?!?!?! when he was younger, and we became homies right off the bat. It still surprises me how much I can say in my very limited 手話,(sign language) probably all the Gift of Hands (that was a gift of tongues joke). From what I have seen, deaf people in Japan are a lot more American-seeming than most Japanese people, there are some cultural nuances they either don't pick up on or just don't follow, and they end up being a lot more fun and outgoing and loving and all that, I love Japanese deaf people. Also his six year old granddaughter was there too and being kind of annoying and it was adorable to see the grandpa-granddaughter relationship, basically 手話 (sign language)circle is now my favorite part of the week.

So in interviews with President Sekiguchi this last week, he was talking to me a little bit about how I can use my talents for good and I ended up telling him about how I am using my little sampler to take samples of the sounds of Tohoku, and he thought that was really cool and basically wants to get me an interview with a newspaper and maybe television station and use that as a tool for finding. Crazy, right? crazy COOL. He's an inspired man and he has a lot of love in him for his missionaries. I am excited to work with him and try to use the special talents I have as a way to help, serve, find, and teach others. You all have talents too, you might not even recognize them, but try to find them or maybe ask a friend or family member to help you find them. Identify them and strengthen and use them, and it will change your life and the lives of those around you. Do it. And maybe read the parable of the talents in the New Testament if you want to, that's also a good one.

Love all y'all and I hope you have a wonderful week!

オーギル長老 (Elder Orgill)

(Random fun stuff, it's like 90 degrees and a billion percent humidity every day here, but turns out I actually like the heat; I guess I really am from California)

Panorama from Motsuji (temple)

Obligatory weekly food picture -- awesome ramen

Picture planted in a rice field

"Ya Boy"

I don't know what this is but it was cool

"Waiting Princess Waterfall". What is she waiting for? Probably more
pictures of Elder Orgill's food

Literally built into a rock

Gorge near Ichinoseki

The lads at the Gorge

Look at this GORGEous photo
get it? GOREGEous? Because it's a gorge. Haha. Nice.
Video from local festival