Monday, July 28, 2014

Gotta be there in 30 minutes?

Take this crappy bike some random dude gave you and ride it through the pouring rain to your member visit, where you end up arriving completely soaked and have to use some clothes from the dad, who happens to wear clothes 20X larger than anything you ever wear! Feel free to blow the tires to the crappy bike on the way back, too! I dunno whose advice I followed, but it was ill-founded.

Heyo everybody!

Ooohhhh shoot.... I just looked at the transfer roster and it's not looking good for Younger Elder Brooksby... Wait in suspense!

Weekly Questions!

How's everything going?
It's going great! Although I'm writing this in a restaurant where some people just canceled on us, so that's a bit of a bummer...

Was I transferred? Did I get transferred?
You will have to wait for my transfer summary! I enjoy the suspense that I know nobody feels but I imagine they feel anyways. It's a game of mine.

Do I want to teach "Muffin" Japanese when I get home?
I would love to teach Muffin! It would help me keep my skills up and keep me from becoming a recluse that sleeps in my room all day trying to recover from a two year mission and no rest!

Have I eaten anything crazy this week?
We had legit American/Mexican tortillas last night! It was great!

Have I been to a castle in Japan yet?
I've been to a couple of shrines and temples, but I dunno if I've ever been to a castle... some of the temples were definitely big enough to be castles, though.

What is my favorite thing to do on Pday?
Chill and sleep, maybe after going to a recycle shop or some other cool store to just look at all the cool shtufts.

Have I been to the beach yet?
Several times. In my first transfers I only went twice, both times for zone p-day, but since coming to Hodogaya we have been in the same district as Kamakura which is right next to the ocean, so I've been a couple of times on splits.

Do I know what the "Northern Japan" missionaries are called?
Aka. Do they have a nickname among us southerners? The answer is no, we don't call them anything special. When we refer to them, we either say something like "Yeah, they went north." or "They are serving in the north.". The missionaries in the far north missions, particularly Sapporo, get the nickname "The Frozen Chosen." occasionally.

What is my favorite Japanese Temple (Pagoda)?
Any that has the Tri-force on it. It's a Japanese family crest and it's quite frequent, but it still makes me think of Zelda every time I see it.

What do I want to do when I'm back?
I dunno yet. My game plan is to ask mom to find me some possible jobs to apply to right after I get back, then go to college somewhere when the school year starts and just pick the subjects I think I would like, and maybe go on a date or two. Maybe.

How're my language skills?
They're alright. I really only learn new words through talking to Japanese people, but I could probably use a bit of practice on speaking without mixing up grammar and shtufts, and I'm not particularly skilled in the art of reading, although I do understand most simple characters. The best way to improve would be to get a trainee and speak only Japanese outside of the apartment.

We had a way good dinner with my favorite member family this week! It was way good lasagna!  Haven't had lasagna in forever! We also went to a couple of festivals and wandered around a park cleaning up trash for two hours. It was a good time!

1. Sister Hokanson stays and gets a new missionary as her companion.
2. Sister Blake transfers to be dreaded jungles of Kofu!
3. Elder Otsuka transfers to Yamato to be companions with Elder Fernilius, my old companion and Zone Leader.
4. Elder Kennedy stays and gets a new missionary as his companion.
5. Elder Bates transfers to Sagamihara, my first area, and gets Elder Murakami, a transfer 4 Zone Leader, as a companion.
6. The mission splits up Zone Leader companionships, so Zone Leaders will be in different apartments from each other from now on, generally with District Leaders as companions. Elder Otsuka and Elder Bates will both be those District Leaders. The purpose of this is likely to train the leaders more efficiently so as to not lose necessary experience through young missionaries.
7. Younger Elder Brooksby transfers to Kanagawa in the Yokohama zone, a whopping 30 minutes by train from here. His new companion will be Elder Parks, known as an interesting missionary for wishing to become Japanese and learn incredibly archaic kanji and Japanese.
8. Along with Elder Parks, an already interesting person, Elder Brooksby will be hanging with Elder Thurman, one whom I have previously managed to thoroughly upset, and Elder Gammon, and interesting fellow in his own right. It looks to be quite an entertaining transfer. To quote Elder Bates "Woah, that looks like a nightmare!"

Yeah, I didn't know who was in my apartment, so I called them but they were getting on a train and never called back, then messaged them and they never replied, but after I asked again I was told just to check the roster. I guess Elder Thurman is still mad at me. Yey.

Random Story Time!
Because we are missionaries, we love service, right? So we headed out Thursday morning to go do some! We wandered through so much humidity and high heat that made it feel quite literally like we were standing under a sauna that was draining as a waterfall over our heads. Elder Bates' shirt actually completely changed colors from light to dark green. It was quite awful, actually, but I had an awesome time regardless! Then, right after that we had another service project where we wandered around and bought cat food with a ton of old people. It was a day of service and one of my favorites.

Dang, it's a massive bummer to be leaving... I knew I would, I actually requested a transfer and President Wada said I would, but it's a bummer nevertheless... Yet at the same time I am way ready to get started on making the next area the best, although I don't think I will ever have another area take first place in my 心 on my mission, because that is reserved for Hodogaya and the persons here. I will miss you and will return to retrieve stolen items, no matter the cost! Peace, you awesome persons!

Loves to you all!
Younger Elder Brooksby

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The storytellers guild.

I wanna create an organization of master storytellers that roams the
land like the bards of old, stopping in various cities and towns and
telling stories that inspire the heart and mind. It's gonna happen.

Hullo, everyone!

I wonder how many people that I send these e-mails to actually read
them... Mah, it can't hurt, ne?

Weekly Questions!

What was your favorite thing from Trek?
I enjoyed the hats. I dunno why, but I thought they were fun.

What was the funniest thing about Trek?
On the bus ride over I folded my arms, put my hat over my face, leaned
back and woke up three hours later in the exact same position and
nobody had noticed, so I escaped the Cheetos and marker treatment,
which was sweet.

How's it going?
It's going great! This area went from being probably the least
productive area(just before I got here) to one that President Wada
talks about in zone conferences as a great example area! I'm not
saying that my presence has anything to do with it but... haha
anyways, it looks like I will be transferred out most likely on the
31st. It actually looked like I might be emergency transferred because
of a certain situation, but President Wada said I could stay for the
rest of the transfer if I passed along an important message for him,
which I did this Sunday. It actually took more out of me than I
thought it would.

Any new news? Any new stories?
Of course not! Beyond answering questions ima put the exactly same
message I sent last week! Aren't you so excited?

How's my companions doing?
Pretty good, I think. He's getting a little stressed because this area
is fairly uneventful, generally speaking, and he's had the same
companion for two transfers to top it off. I can testify in his behalf
that that is never a good time, at least generally speaking haha

Elder Otsuka just gave me a bowl, a fork and a banana and said "Here,
smash this while I go to the restroom." and when he came out he was
like "Dang, that was way fast!" 'cuz I had basically puréed it. I'm
glad I was finally able to put into use those long years spent
practicing my banana-smashing skills.

Random Story Time!
This is a story about Saturday, 'cuz Saturday was just a party and I
am way tired. To start the day off we traveled about 1.5 hours to a
sports arena with some members and investigators from other areas(all
of our buddies bailed on us) to play Footsal, or indoor soccer. I
kinda surprised myself by really getting into it and I actually didn't
do too badly. After playing that for a really long time, with my team
in 2nd out of four, Elder Bates and I headed to a members house for a
lunch appointment. Sadly, we planned on them having showers at the
sports center, which they did not, and we ended up taking longer than
we thought so we didn't have time to run back to the apartment for a
quick shower, then when we got about two stops down we realized that
we still had about an hour to walk and we had to be there in 15
Noticing this, Elder Bates opens his bag and puts his running shoes
back on in the middle of the train and says "Elder Brooksby, get ready
to hate life." and we got there only 15 minutes late. I pretty much
almost died, but at least then our excuse for being sweaty wasn't that
we didn't leave in time for a shower, it was that we had to run the
entire distance to their house, which they found impressive. I've been
quite sore for the past two days!
After an awesome meal and a role-play lesson, we headed back to our
apartment, took a quick shower, got dressed into other non-sweaty
normal clothes, then headed to a ward party where we played ping-pong,
ate noodles and beasted at dominoes with my best member friend's
daughter. We totally wiped the floor with them all, all he while
whispering very loudly to each other how sneaky we were. After that we
packed up shop, went home and passed out into bed, after planning and
changing, obviously.

I had a thought that I thought seemed pretty cool, so I thought to
think to share that thought. Or I thought so, anyways. But yeah, I was
thinking about technology and how the older generation has trouble
using it as easily, then I wondered what the principal behind that
I figured it's because they are focused on what should be done with
it, or the proper way to use it, whereas the younger generation is
concerned with what can be done with it, or the limits they can
stretch with it. I think that that mentality has carried from
technology to pretty much every aspect of human life for both
I think what the world really needs is a mixture of the two, searching
for the things that can and should be done, or the proper way to
stretch the limits. Not rights, but responsibility, for is it not our
right to be responsible?

Younger Elder Brooksby

Russian Roulette, Japanese style!

We put Tabasco, mustard, wasabi, chocolate, honey, and some other
shtufts I can't remember into seven different Gyoza or pot-stickers
that we hand-made, then had a party. I'm still not sure what I got. We
then ate 164 Gyoza and a massive parfait and somehow survived.

Hullo everybody! Here's Brooksby! Did'ja miss me?

Weekly Questions!

How is the life of a survivor!?
It's not much different from a regular person that continues to live,
even under extreme circumstances, I would assume.

Did I feel the Earthquake?
I dunno which one you might be referencing, but prolly. There have
been at least four this week, although one of those was large enough
to wake us all up except Elder Kennedy, oddly enough. He is generally
a very light sleeper. I have to save bathroom trips at night to avoid
feeling guilty in the morning.

Did I sleep through the storm?
You mean the recent typhoon? It kinda showed up Thursday afternoon
just long enough to destroy my companion's umbrella, but it was just
really windy. Then the next day, which was supposed to be the big bit,
actually ended up having no clouds in the sky and just being
ridiculously hot. All in all somewhat disappointing, but as well, some
adventures are cooler when left to the imagination, ne?

Am I dying of the heat or humidity yet?
I dunno about dying, but it is quite hot. I think it is the same
severity as a Vegas summer, but they are different and I think overall
I prefer the Vegas differences to here, but it's not too bad. I also
think that the fact that we are missionaries and just walk or stand
around all day changes my point of view on it just a little bit.

What have I been doing? Anything exciting happened?
Lots of shtufts! Yeah, but it's more of a developing situation that is
actually way annoying that I can't or shouldn't tell you about.
Nothing bad, just complicated.

Was I transferred last week? Where am I right now anyway?!
Nah, transfers are in two weeks for us, actually! I am in the Hodogaya
area, my favorite area!

Did I play any sports even though I was mostly homeschooled?
I did Ultimate Frisbee the summer before I left on my mission and that
was way sweet, but other than that, I'm actually to small physically
to play any serious sports without being broken in a myriad of ways,
none of them pleasant. To give an idea, once a girl smaller than me
pushed me over into snow and I broke my arm. I'm planning on bulking
up a least to a regular level after I get home, but I've found out
that it's almost impossible out here. No matter what or how much we
eat, everybody loses weight.

I made an ironic joke! A dude points at a guy wearing a shirt that has
"Ironic" written on it and says "You're quite ironic!"
Ironic dude says "You're evil for saying I'm ironic and judging me."
Oh the irony.

Random Story Time!
The ward put on a talent show and we got to participate, which I think
would've been cool if I had any talents haha. Anyways, we did a skit
about gum that doesn't really apply to American humor, so I will leave
out what we did, but the Japanese people loved it, I think. We also
sang the national anthem and I think we actually sounded pretty good,
at least when we were rehearsing. Elder Bates gave us all the starting
pitch when we went up and it ended up being lower than it was supposed
to be. We all made it through it, but it didn't sound quite as good
that way. Then the YSA's did a three minute cooking skit that lasted
about fifteen, we had some little kids doing karate and some little
girls singing a song from Frozen in Japanese, a lady who played a
medley of all the Frozen songs, and some other shtufts that I forget.
Right at the end they asked if anyone had some hidden talents and
wanted to share, so one of our former investigators who loves chicken
and Colonel Sanders went up with Elder Bates and they sung "In my
life" by the Beatles and didn't sound half bad. It was sweet shtufts.

Yeah... There's not a whole lot going on that would be helpful for me
to write about... I may have surprised my mission president again, but
in a loving way? I'm prolly gonna get transferred out, almost for sure
actually. I also got a haircut today. That was sweet, but the hair
cutter guy was one of those ones that asks a trillion questions about
everything and I dunno how well it turned out, 'cuz I can speak
Japanese, but I'm not so good at the hair words...

Anyways, loves to you all! Peace in and out!
Younger Elder Brooksby

Just one more level!

I have learned how to do two layers of the Rubik's cube but I don't
have the algorithms for the last level! It's annoying...

Heyo peoples!

We just got back from a fun day of temple and shopping and are glad to
get to relax for a bit!

Weekly Questions!

What do Japanese people do for their Independence Day?  Do they have
one? What day is Independance day for them?
Nothing, nope, I don't think they really do one. I think they
celebrate the emperor's birthday, but that changes with the emperor,

Can I see pictures posted on Facebook?
We're supposed to block the posts from people who might be
distracting, but we're allowed to keep our family members and cousins,
Japanese people, people living in Japan and people back home that we
can help stay active or help re-activate, so yes, from those people I
can see posts and pictures. We're also allowed to like
missionary-work-related posts and pictures as well. If any Japanese
members message us about missionary work related shtufts, we can
answer that, as well as any messages any non-members send us. The
rules on being alone with girls doesn't really apply 'cuz it's over
the internet as well, but our companions have to watch our screens, or
at least be where they can see it easily, and they also have to
proof-read anything we send, just for safety's sake.

What is my favorite Japanese word?
Sora or sola, meaning sky. Ima name my first daughter that, after
consulting with my wife, obviously.

Is there any fruit here that I don't remember in the states?
There's a fruit called melon that is just melon, not watermelon or
honeydew or anything like that. It doesn't exist in America as far as
I'm aware, but they flavor everything after it here.

Who is the first person I want to talk to when I am excited about something?
Right here right now, I would want to talk with my favorite member,
but most of the time I would just talk with my companion 'cuz he's
always accessible, while my favorite member is not.

Do I want to build a snowman?
That would be great, but it might be a little hard at this time of year, ne?

What holidays do they celebrate in Japan?
Lots of them, but really, I think there aren't as many as in America.
The only one that I can think of that is kinda the same is Valentines
day. Oh wait, they have Mother's Day and Father's Day too, but there
is also a children's day, which I don't remember having in America.
They kinda celebrate other big ones that we do in America, like
Halloween or Christmas, but it's more of a commercialized thing and
they don't know what they come from or what they mean. Other ones
include Boys day, White Day(reverse Valentines Day), the star
festival, old people's day, green day, etc. etc.

How long do I want to live in Japan after I finish my mission if I do?
Would I like to live here to teach English?
I dunno... I think I wanna do some schooling in America, then maybe
finish up in Japan, or maybe I'll just stick to America, or maybe I'll
just come straight back after getting on the plane. I'm just planning
on seeing how life goes and riding the wave of blessings into eternal
life and exaltation and maybe some fun adventures along the way. I
think a lot depends on what happens during the rest of my mission as
well, so we'll see! But if I come back here some of the options I've
thought that I could do would be to live in America but come here for
business trips and shtufts, or I could live here permanently and visit
America occasionally, or I could just live half and half in both
places, which would be cool too.

What's my favorite spice here?
Mmm? I dunno what spices are in anything, so I don't really have any
idea what my favorite would be... Elder Bates says curry should be my
favorite 'cuz curry is a spice. I didn't know that.

Who is a hero I have in the scriptures?
Aaron, Moses' little brother. He screwed up a couple of times, but he
ended up being one of the greatest supports to one of the greatest
prophets. I look to be a great support to people and don't get down
just 'cuz I mess up every so often, even if sometimes it's a big
enough mistake that they end up creating new mission rules because of
me. I've done that before haha

How tall am I now? And how do they measure here?
I'm about 183 cm or 6 feet almost exactly, which kinda answers both
questions, ne?

Sunday was fast Sunday, so when people bear their testimonies I like
to take notes to better pay attention, 'cuz it's kinda hard to do when
everybody's speaking in Japanese, but I don't know a lot of their
names, so I'll give them funny nicknames in my notes to remember them,
like "Old Samurai Turtle Guy" or "Cocker Spaniel Lady" based on their
appearance or activities I've seen them do. Here are a bit of inspired
words from MeroMan: Are the fun memories worth the unpleasant ones?
The good greater than the trial? The growth greater than the pain? The
message worth the fight? Everything you see, hear, feel and learn
should be geared towards becoming a better person.

Random Story Time!
We were going down our regular route and got to the end which is a
convenience store, where we normally stop by and get a drink or snack
or maybe use the restroom before we head back into town. Andywaydids,
we were entering when we saw a guy with funny looking hair standing
outside smoking a cigarette, so obviously we said hello as we entered.
He said hello back and we complemented his English pronunciation as
the sliding door closed behind us, so we forgot about it and went
about our regular business. As we went to walk out the door we saw the
man standing next to his car in front of the door holding some papers,
and as we walked out he held them out to Elder Bates and said "Here,
this is for you!" And gave them to Elder Bates. It was a big file
concerning research on testing cosmetics on guinea pigs with all the
math and biology involved, which he explained was research he himself
conducted as a senior scientist at his company, which is actually
based in definitely the most sketchy section of Tokyo, which pretty
much guarantees the most in all of Japan. Anyways, he then pulled out
some drawings which I was going to take a picture of and send, but I
forgot, but they were pictures of math and biology and science drawn
as art with random other anagrams and crosswords that the dude made
up, and it was actually pretty intense looking. Then he told us to go
back in the store and print off copies of one of them for all of us,
then ended up giving us four other ones as well. He basically ended up
writing us his business cards on the back of some other business cards
and inviting us to eat yaki-tori(Fried Bird?) with him sometime. That
guy had green, purple, gray and white hair, green fingernails, some
with sparkly stones on them, some without, an old watch with
spray-painted rainbows on it and zebra striped shoes. He was quite the

For game night this week we held a tournament of nine people, each
person playing two games, each against a different person, and by the
end only Ai-chan and myself had own both matches, so we faced each
other and I gained from that epic ping-pong match the nickname "The
Ping-Pong Zombie". Who do you think won? She was a fair opponent,
regardless of the result! I guess being in Japan around all these
Asians just gives you a bit of ping-pong ability. I wonder how well my
family members have been keeping up their skills!

Younger Elder Brooksby

心理と恵みって、何のコンビネーションですか?I dunno which characters to put together how...
And be nice!