Tuesday, February 24, 2015

If you don't stop being a missionary when you die...

"Why not be a good one?" A cool quote from Elder Ballard, who visited
Tokyo and spoke at a combined North and South mission conference this

Hello, how are you?

I'm fine, thank you! And you? Fun week, and more ahead!

Weekly Questions!

Would I like to work retail? Like at a mall like my little sister?
That would be pretty chill. I really just wanna get started working as
soon as possible.

What kind of shape are my suitcases in? Do they roll without problems?
I only have one of my original three left, and that's the one that
exploded, but luckily I was able to repair it rather well, so it's
still in good condition. The one other bag I have came from a Samoan
missionary in the MTC, and it's more like a duffel bag with wheels,
and not very stable ones at that! But I can still stick everything I
own in those two bags, so it works out fine.

Do I have a lot of stuff to pack and bring home? Are my cases going to
be really full?
Mmm... That's actually a good question.... If I were to get rid of all
of the stuff I don't need and pack well, I could potentially have
quite a bit of room. As my stuff is now, my bags would be pretty
packed if I were to load them up.

Is there something I want to buy and bring back home? If so how, big is it?
Mmm, not that I can think of, actually! I'd love to bring some friends
home, but that's prolly illegal and I'm not sure they would appreciate
the plane ride inside my bag...

What are you not asking that I want to tell you?
I love you! I dunno what you would ask to get that answer, though...

Any last wishes?
Be good to each other, and PARTY ON, DUDES!

We had another lesson with Yusuke this week and finally helped him to
pray out loud! Yey! Now to help him receive baptism!

~~~~~~~~~~Transfer Update!~~~~~~~~~~
1. Sister Feist goes home and Sister Eyring is training a new missionary!
2. Elder Ikeda transfers to Sagamihara!
3. Elder Van Vleet stays and his new companion is Elder Masaki
4. Elder Maurer transfers to Kanagawa to be zone leader
5. Elder Cook stays and his new companion is Elder Someone
6. Elder Taylor transfers to Yamate to be companions with Elder Strain
7. Younger Elder Brooksby stays and becomes companions with Elder Gonzales
8. Kawasaki A & C switch apartments, so my companionship will be a
two-man apartment and it will be Elder Cook and Elder Van Vleet's
companionships together in the other apartment

We were originally going to stay in the same apartments, but then
President had one of his "Transfer Call #2" moments this morning and
switched our apartments, which upset Elder Van Vleet quite a bit. I'll
take that as a compliment, haha

Random Story Time!
We visited a member's house to eat and share a message, and it was
pretty fun! They made a ton of good food and shtufts, and they even
served fruit punch! Fortunately I saw that it had pineapples in it,
and since I am allergic to pineapples it generally better that I don't
eat it, ne? But unfortunately I just thought "Oh hey, it's prolly
alright if I just dodge the pineapple and drink the other shtufts,
right?", which normally works, but when I took a sip or two I noticed
that old familiar tingling in the back of my mouth. I turned to the
sister next to me and asked "What kind of liquid is in this, besides
Calpis(They had mentioned that one)?", and she turned back to me and
said "Oh, just some kinda fruit juice, I think. Something like mango
and pineapple?" And thus I was sick for the rest of the day. Wahoo!
Those of you with allergies, check ALL of the ingredients, not just
the visible ones!

We had a fun music activity that was fun. Yey.

That's about it!

Younger Elder Brooksby

Monday, February 16, 2015

Melted Cookies!

I didn't make them, but I didn't help either! We tried to make cookies
and they died. We made no-bake cookies later and they were awesome, so
we determined that it was the Japanese oven's fault.

Heyo heyo heyo!

Times are rollin' beast! Gotta love life, ne?

Weekly Questions!

How's it going this week? How is life in the mission?
It's going awesome! I haven't died yet, ne? Just something to add to
the awesomeness! We have been working on some problems this transfer
and they are taking more out of me than I would like, but day by day,
step by step we're getting closer to where we need to be!

What hobbies have I picked up on my mission?
I play Sudoku when we're just chilling at the apartment during meals
or after nightly planning, or sometimes I organize something, but
those are both things I kinda did before my mission as well... just
not as frequently, I guess!

What way does the Spirit talk to me the most since I have been out?
Through logic. One of the biggest parts of my testimony of the Book of
Mormon comes purely from the fact that I've never come across flawed
or contradicting information in it in all of the times I've read it.

Which are my favorite rides, Rollercoasters or spinning rides?
I prefer roller coasters, I think. You can ride a roller coaster and
still walk, most of the time anyways, and therefore can ride other
rides and shtufts without all the recovery time.

What is my favorite american food?
Mmm... I would love to eat an American hamburger right now, actually!
Like a big, juicy, grill-cooked hamburger... that would be heaven
right now!

Has my handwriting improved since serving a mission?
Yupp! I didn't want to lose the advantages of messy handwriting, like
when nobody but yourself can read your notes, so I learned to write in
good handwriting, casual-but-readable handwriting, and the messy one
that closely resembles grafitti.

What advice would I give to someone who is planning on going on a
mission in 6 months?
Do it bro. Don't drink the orange juice.

What is the first movie I want to see after my mission is done?
Whatever's on, I guess? I'm sure I'll get around to all the movies and
shtufts I've missed eventually, so I won't worry about it.

My companion pointed out to me this week that I'll be in Japan with my
family for General Conference! I'll get to see all my friends again!
At least, I'll see some I'm not planning on hanging out with, ne? BTW,
if anybody in Japan that wants to hang with us somehow gets this
message, send my mom a message on FB and plan it out, 'cuz I have no
idea what's going down haha. Speaking of, I found out that my MTC
companion, Elder Peters, is also hanging around Japan for like, a week
or so, and he never told me! Dangit, bro! Ima have to track him down
as well, ne?

Random Story Time!
Normally when missionaries go in and do our every-other-transfer
interviews with president, they get supa' nervous because some intense
shtufts goes down sometimes. This last week we had interviews and I
came out and told the other elders "I feel like my interviews with
president get shorter and shorter every time, and every time all we do
is just reminisce about old times.". It's quite true, and it's always
a good time! Elder Van Vleet said he wished his interviews were like
that. I guess that's the advantage of growing old with your mission
president, ne?

This p-day we walked about 10 kilometers to get to the extreme edge of
our area, also the edge of Japan next to the ocean! Elder Taylor has
wanted to walk out to the industrial section of our area for a while,
and it was pretty intense, actually. They had really big factories and
trucks and pipes and towers shooting bursts of flame into the sky. We
took a picture of two, then hopped on a bus and rode back. It too
longer that we hoped it would, hence me typing this after planning and
all of you receiving it the day after p-day, but it was fun

Love you all!
Younger Elder Brooksby


It only has to be as perfect as you are!

Something I told some missionaries as we were cutting out paper hearts for our valentines party at English Class.

Heyo heyo heyo! Younger Elder Brooksby here, lovin' everybody!

We went to Enoshima today! Sadly, I didn't get Elder Taylor attacked by sea hawks this time. Too bad, ne? Well, there's always next companion!

Weekly Questions!

So how is your favorite Missionary doing?
Assuming that's me, pretty good, I think!

Is it starting to warm up at all here?
Maybe a little bit? I didn't think about it until today, so if it has been getting warmer it's not quite noticeable yet!

So am I interested in seeing a show while we are in Korea?
See a show? What kinda show? I guess it'd be fun? I call an NEI!

Do I like to ride bikes?
I generally prefer to walk. You pass too many people on bikes, and often your only focus is to get to your destination.

What would be the worst thing to mistake while in Japan?
I would not recommend getting on the wrong train in a big station like Shibuya. That'll get you lost for hours!

Does the Spirit direct us to which subway or bus or any form of transpiration to get us where we need to go?
Well, the spirit generally speaks to me through logic, or will point shtufts out to me, and that's how I normally travel, so I guess the answer is yes? It's not like I have a voice that yells at me "Get on that train!" or anything like that.

What advice do I have for someone getting ready to put papers in for a mission?
Do it bro. Don't drink the orange juice. I've decided that that will be my advice when anyone asks me for shtufts like that, but other advice I would give would be to spend some time living away from home, if it's early enough, and after you get your call, spend some time learning about the culture, if you're unfamiliar with it, and if you are familiar with it, spend some time on things specific to that culture that you won't be able to do as a missionary.
Before I came to Japan I had seen some anime and shtufts, so I had a fairly clear idea of what the culture was like before I came, but it would've helped as well to listen to some modern Japanese music or learn some shtufts about their government or something.

What is my favorite holiday (besides Christmas) and why?
Mmm... asking me right now, it would prolly be Valentine's Day, because I transferred to Hodogaya the day before Valentine's Day last year, so that day was my first full day in my favorite area.

I know it is late but... Will I be your Valentine?
I think Ima need a legal contract including all the details of becoming said "Valentine" before I accept your offer!

We walked to the all of the most extreme sides of our area(Yomiyuri Land, which is a theme park, the industrial section of the bay of Tokyo and kodomo no kuni, or land of the children, although when we arrived it was dark and we couldn't really tell exactly what it was) this week! In total we walked 96.6 kilometers from Monday to Sunday, and another 7.3 if you include today! That's over 60 miles!

Random Story Time!
Wow... Fun bit of drama that makes my random story this week, along with the story I was already planning! I'm writing this on the train on the way home from Enoshima, and across the aisle from us is this high-school couple that look like their on their way back from a date or something, and they're being all cutesy and holding hands and the girl is all resting her head on the guy's shoulder, all the classic couple shtufts that is supa' embarrassing but everybody loves anyways, until we pull into the station. Then, all of a sudden, the guy sits up, says something to the equivalent of "Oh crap oh crap oh crap!" and gets all anxious and nervous, with the girl asking him over and over what's wrong, and all he does is lean forward and rock back and forth until the train stops completely and the doors open. Then after a couple of seconds another guy with the same uniform runs up along the train to the door that was nearest them and steps onto the train. They all stare at each other for a couple seconds, then the second guy, kinda breathing heavily from running basically the entire length of the train, says something to the effect of "Wow, you've been working hard, huh?" and the couple guy says back "You know it. What are you doing here anyways?" and the girl is all silently freaking out and Elder Taylor and I are just kinda sitting there watching this epically tense scene going down and just kinda laughing, then the other guy just says "My gosh this is so awkward. We'll talk later." and ducks outa the train.
From what I could catch from what the guy and his girlfriend were talking about afterwards after they had a bit of a breakdown moment, I guess that they were students in the same class at school and that guy liked the girl he was with, who was not only his girlfriend, but was actually his girlfriend-as-of-a-couple-of-hours-ago girlfriend. That was like, a scene from a movie or something.

Random Story #2!
We aren't allowed to start conversations on the street of in trains or basically anywhere with people of the opposite sex in our mission because of it being Japan, but sometimes you're on a train and you can tell that someone wants to talk to you extremely badly, but is just too nervous to do so, and that's way annoying 'cuz you can't do anything about it but hope they muster the courage to say something. I finally did this new tactic this week while we were on splits that I've always wanted to try. There was a girl across from us that I could tell could speak English that really wanted to talk, so I started explaining to Elder Cook in English that I would love it if we had some kind of tag underneath our missionary name-tags that explained that we can't talk to girls unless they talk to us first and things like that. It actually worked, kinda! She asked just before we stopped where we were going and where we would change trains, and we all got off at that stop, but then she got nervous as she got off and said "I used to live in New York!" and ran off. It worked, but it just has to be the right timing, I guess... either way, I won't likely do it again; it was kinda freaky, actually.

That's all for this week! Thanks for reading!

Love you. I friggin' love you. I love that I can tell you that with the electronic messages that I love so much.
Younger Elder Brooksby

Monday, February 2, 2015

273 Meters in 40 Seconds.

Japan's fastest elevator is in Landmark Tower and it moves at the rate of 750 meters per minute. I don't know what that is in mph. It's very pretty up there, an excellent place to propose to someone or something of the sort!


We taught Yusuke again this week and I can see that he's actually changed quite a bit. He used to only be interested in learning about religion, but now I think he's honestly searching for truth, and it's way cool to see!

Weekly Questions!

How is the weather?
It's pretty cold recently, but we're surviving! Too bad hot chocolate is supa' expensive in Japan, ne?

How are you feeling?
I'm feeling alright. I think I'm getting a bit sick, (Shhh... Don't tell my companion!) but other than that I'm doing sweet!

Excited to get home this year?
Mah, life is life. It goes. Something I told Elder Taylor this week, "I want to be where I am, unless I'm going somewhere else." Or one from Elder Maurer, "I get tired at 10:30".

What are your plans for home life?
My plan is to have no plans, just to go with the flow. I have some form of bucket list somewhere amidst all of my notebooks and things, but that'll come out when I get back.

Any cool spiritual ideas to talk about?
Umm... The spirit is cool? I'd have to think about that one...

Do you remember what it's like to have a mother?
What do you mean, "Do I remember"? I still have one, don't I? Maybe I haven't had the chance recently to clean her bathroom and rock out to "Supermassive Black-Hole" with her, but she's still my mom, ne?

What is your favorite amusement park ride?
Mmm... I dunno, actually! I guess it would depend on the park and who I was with. Like, if I'm with a short and very attractive girl I prolly wouldn't be going to the Buzz Lightyear shooting game in Disneyland, would I? And likewise, I wouldn't plan to take a 3 year old kid on Screamin' either, right?

Who is a spiritual giant you admire?
I admire Jesus.

Which General Authority speaks to you?  From which one do you always hear talks that I enjoy?
I really enjoy quite a few of them, actually. It depends on what message I need to hear at the time, I think.

When was the last time you felt the Spirit?
Just now as I was thinking about someone we saw on the street, when I took a second to remember who they really are.

What is a challenge you have overcome?
I overcame pride. I feel like that's a bit ironic to say, but I have destroyed every little bit of pride in my achievements and have replaced it with pride in my God. I don't think pride was ever a big problem for me, but throughout my mission I've had the chance to improve it, and I've seen how much awesomeness comes from every effort to improve.

If you were a candy, which one would you be?
I would say Twizzlers, but I don't think so... Maybe Gushers, 'cuz they look pretty straightforward, though varying in color at the same time, and when you least expect it, BANG! a whole burst of flavor you hadn't ever thought could be contained in such simplicity.

Kinda a fun thought of mine recently:
Apathy is the epitome of destruction, not because it rearranges or disorganizes things that have been created, but because it nullifies them, makes them lose meaning, causes that which is affected lose the desire to be active, be good, or to become anything at all. The opposite to apathy is imagination. Imagination is the epitome of creation, one that motivates to see, learn, hear and do more. Imagination increases desires, inspires, and looks higher, beyond what you know to what you can know, beyond what you do to what you can do, beyond what you are to what you can become.

Random Story Time!
On Sunday we went like normal to our morning correlation meeting, talked about some shtufts, partied hardcore, then randomly at the end our ward mission leader walks up to us and asks us if we could teach the Gospel Principles class 'cuz they didn't quite plan as well as they intended to. I mean, what's the problem with teaching a class of 9 people for an hour with only 45 minutes to prepare, right? So during priesthood we prepare an awesome lesson on the lesson of the day, "Family Responsibilities", when, as we get up to teach, one of the sisters calls out "Excuse me, but would you mind changing your lesson to prayer? One of the sisters is praying in sacrament meeting for the first time today, and I'm sure she would really appreciate it!"
And so we taught a lesson hour lesson on prayer with literally no preparation. It was actually pretty good! I would love prep time next time, but times like that make you more aware of your abilities.

We had FHE at President Wada's house, splits with our district and zone leaders and a dinner with a couple from New Zealand. It was an entertaining week!

That's about it! Loves!
Younger Elder Brooksby