Mission Purpose



Favorite Scripture

Alma 29:9

I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some sould to repentance; and this is my joy.

Monday, February 25, 2013

2nd Week in Japan

So its another Monday, well, I guess Sunday for you. But regardless, that means I'm sending a letter again! Woohoo! First off, let me apologize for one thing. On Japanese keyboards, apostrophes are in a different spot. To get them, you have to hold shift and push the number seven. the normal apostrophe spot just gives you this ":" (in doing that, I realized that quotation marks are moved too.) So don't be bothered if I ignore apostrophes. :P

Well, what can I say about this week? It went by really fast actually. But we still hadn't met any of our investigators until Sunday, for various reasons. We taught an Eikaiwa class on Tuesday, which was fun. It was nice not having to worry about speaking Japanese, but seeing Japanese people worry about speaking English. Mwahaha. But it was really fun. Last week, after we emailed, we went to the city center so that Waterbury Choro could "check in" to the city of Kakogawa (加古川) and we met a really nice lady that wanted to come and learn English. Unfortunately, she didn't come, but hey, maybe tomorrow! On Wednesdays, a Brother Taniguchi teaches a guitar class at the church, and one of our investigators goes to that sometimes. We went, but no one really showed up, so we left. On Saturdays, we help teach another Eikaiwa, but this one is for seniors. That was fun, and afterwards, we went around and visited less actives or part member families. And then there was a ping pong tournament that happened at the church. We went to that too to see if any investigators went to that. We waited for a while, played a round of ping pong against the bishop, and then left because no one was coming. Yesterday though, before church, an old man that the previous missionaries had found came to church. He came right before sacrament, so we just invited him to that, and then afterwards, we taught him a lesson. He was way nice, and we're teaching him again next week at church. Right after we finished teaching him, one of our investigators showed up, and we went to elders quorum with him. After that, we taught him a lesson too. Before I could even ask him to read the Book of Mormon each day, he said that he was going to read it, and decided for himself that he would read three pages every day. Last night, we called him because we had missed a call from him, and he had already read the introduction (which is two pages in Japanese.) He's an awesome person. Also yesterday, we had dinner at the Kanno Kazoku's house. It was way delicious. It sure beat the boring simple meals that I make myself. :P Actually, on Friday, we had a district meeting in Akashi-shi. After that, we went to an Indo curry place. It was way good. Tonight I think we're going to go eat some Japanese food.

Its fine for you to email me Mom. That way I can actually get your letter! I've only gotten one letter since I've been here, and I'm sure it took a long time for it to get here. I actually found out that I'm allowed to receive emails from my friends. Not entirely sure if I'm allowed to send them though. That would be cool, even if to just send a quick message to all my friends who have left. What day does Bean go in again? I'm way excited for him. And for Jared, who I know is going in the same day as Annie Mack. (I worked with her at the Owlz. also her dad was my branch president in the MTC) But, I might have forgotten which day that was too. :-/ I'm pumped for Austin though! That's way cool. But yeah, if you want to give my email to friends and such, they can send me some. But letters are nice too! *hint hint*

The weather here is cold right now. But from what I hear, its going to be really hot in the summer. So its kind of both extremes. bleh. I know that I'll learn Japanese. I'm progressing a little each day. By the time I leave, I'll be pro. But actually, hopefully it happens before that time. :P

Well, I know that I'm supposed to write a long letter, but I'm kind of running out of time. I hope you're all doing alright at home. I love you all! Oh hey, you should Dear Elder my emails to my friends who are in the MTC so they can get them. Anyway, I'm going to call this good. 愛しています! \(・-・)/  :D :D 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Well, I'm in Japan!

So yeah, I'm here in Japan! it's way fun here. If only I could actually talk to people. Its actually pretty cold here, mostly because there are no heaters here or anything (just these small wimpy ones that they have on the walls. Most rooms have one, but our apartment only has one for the whole thing) so I'm glad that I got that hat that you sent me. I bought a bike the other day! It's really nice. I'll have to take a picture of it and send it. It actually took me two days to pay for the whole thing, because for some weird reason, my card didn't work. So we walked to a 7-11 (there are a ton of them in Japan) and used the ATM. But it only lets you pull out 30,000 yen a day, and my bike was a little under 60,000. But we bought it the second day. It was funny. In the bike store, they play American music. I thought that by going halfway around the world, I could get away from Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, and Call me Maybe. Nope, guess I thought wrong.

You want to hear about my plane ride here, but there wasn't really anything to say. the plane was kind of set up like this. |xx xXx xx| where the x's are seats, and the big one was mine. One person sat to my left, but immediately started watching movies and eventually fell asleep. Then another person moved over behind me and just fell asleep, so I didn't really get to talk to anyone. Eventually, I needed to go to the bathroom, so I woke up the person to my left and went, but when I came back, both the people were asleep again, and I felt bad about waking them up, so I sat on the row behind my seat. King choro was sitting there, and no one had sat next to him. The plane wasn't all the way full so there were actually a ton of empty seats. So I sat away from my seat for a long time, until one of the people by my seat got up to go to the bathroom. At this point, we only had like 30 minutes left in our flight, so I told King Choro that I was just going for it, and that it was my only chance. I got back to my seat finally and stayed there the rest of the time. It took forever to go through customs because they had to pull us aside and give us these foreigner cards. So yeah, that took awhile.

Anyway, now I'm in an area called Kakogawa. Its only half an hour away from Kobe. Its pretty fun here. I think that if we work hard, we're going to do some really cool things here. I plan on working hard, even though I barely speak the language at all. I'm not really used to just going out of my way and talking to people that I don't really know, but I'm sure that will come as I just work hard.

That's really sad about Jared's dad. I don't really know what to say. It's times like this that our knowledge of the Gospel, especially the Plan of Salvation, really helps us. That's just a huge shock. But hey, Jared, if you're reading this, I love you man. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Just keep working hard.

Hmm... 2 or 3 paragraphs about my Mission, well, I'll try.

Hello young men and young women of the Aspen stake! Obviously you're reading this because you're at the Becoming a Missionary thing the stake puts on. Let me just say right now, everything that anyone says about being a missionary is true. Sure sometimes it is hard, but it is way worth it. I'm pretty new here in Japan, and its evident when I try and talk to people, but I know that as I trust in the Lord and work hard, it'll come. So far, one of the big things that I've learned is the importance of trusting in the Lord. This is a big work, and there is no way any of us would be able to do it alone. But that's the great thing! We are not alone. This is God's work. He is here helping me, and helping every missionary in the field today.

In order to get all the help you can though, you need to help yourself. I don't have any crazy awesome mission stories yet, but I just came from three months of the MTC. If I could leave you with one piece of advice, I think I would tell you to start preparing now. I went to the Stake Mission Prep class before my mission. It helped me so much. I became comfortable teaching in English, and that is helping me as I try to teach in Japanese. Work hard right now so that when you have your mission call, when you're in the MTC, when you're in some foreign country, you have a foundation to build on. Don't be afraid to bear your testimony with anyone, and make sure that you read the Book of Mormon everyday. There is power in that book, and if you use it right, you can change lives.

Like I said earlier, missions can be hard sometimes. But it is so worth it. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything. I love being a missionary, and I'm so excited for all of you. This is really the best time in the history of the world to be a missionary. The Lord is hastening his work. I'm excited about the age change, and all the people who are now going on missions. I'm so excited. Its like a wave, and you all are right on top of it. So work hard, and get out here. The marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men.

Well, alright, that's it. I really don't have anything else to say. I'll think of more as I go throughout this next week. I'll wrap this one up now. Well, I love you all! :D Until next week! :D:D:D:D:D:D:):):):):]:]:]:]:]:]:]

Here's some pictures of me and Waterbury Choro!


Saturday, February 16, 2013




This past week we had our new missionaries arrive!  We always look forward to this time.  Normally they leave the MTC on Monday morning and arrive here Tuesday evening after which we return home, have dinner and look forward to training and interviews on Wednesday.  But Monday we noticed there was a mistake made with our group and they were not leaving the MTC until Tuesday and arriving here Wednesday.  What a scramble!  We had to rearrange our training schedule.  The missionaries were all such good sports.  They arrived Wednesday evening very jet-lagged but stayed awake for training that night.  They had to arise very early Thursday morning to begin training at 6:30 am.  Breakfast in a bag during the meeting was the only way to go!  By 11:00 am their trainers were here and they were set to meet.
We felt so bad on Tuesday as we were all ready for them but had to wait another day.  And we could only think that they were wondering why they weren’t traveling with the missionaries heading to other missions.  We hope they know that it wasn’t because we didn’t want them yet!  We wanted them more than ever… and we are glad that they are here!
The airport pictures aren’t the best, but it is still fun to see them coming around the corner with all of their bags!

We were able to quickly find time to sign the True Disciple Quilt.  This is always a special time for us!  We love that they have a desire to be True Disciples – One and All!  (In Japanese, Makoto no Deshi – Hitori to Mina)

Elders Casper and Waterbury

And getting to know each other a bit…

President and the Assistants training the new companionships.

They are all now settled into their new areas, and the work begins again!

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Well, I'm in Japan now! Yesterday we traveled ALL DAY. This is pretty much just a short message to let you know that I'm here now. I don't know who my trainer will be or anything. It sounds like P day is monday, so that means watch for an email on Sunday for you. it's thursday morning in Japan! So it's pretty different. Real quick cool fact I learned. The Kanji for Kobe is 神戸 which means God's Door. How neat of a name for a mission is that? Anyway, like I said, real quick note today. I'll send another one on P day. Until then! :D :D :D 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Week 10

So yeah, this is my last week here in the MTC. Last week, we got our flight plans! Well, everyone but Lazaro長老 got theirs. But after a quick discussion with the travel office, he got some too. It seems like everyone is going to be able to leave. Everyone leaves on the 11th, except for the six of us going to the Kobe Mission. That's me, Yoshida長老, King長老, two nihonjin Onizuka長老 and Uryu Shimai, and one sister from the advance track who came in here only a few weeks ago. I leave the MTC at 5 am on the 12th, and I leave the Salt Lake City Airport at 8:30. I'll be in Seattle for around two hours sometime around 10 and 11 MST (9:45-11:45 in PST). After that, it's a flight right to Osaka, which I should arrive at at 4:30 PM on the 13th. :P So it should be fun! I'm excited to leave. I'll probably call you while I'm in Seattle. Don't worry about sending a disposable phone or anything. There will be phones for us to use.
So it sounds like you had a pretty crazy week! That's cool that all my friends were there for a bit. I miss them a lot. Guess we'll all just have to party and play monopoly in two years. Also, if I can call them out on it, I wrote all of them last P day and haven't received a letter from any of them yet. :P I wrote like 12 letters last week. It was a new personal record for me. Actually, I forgive Andrew, because I can just talk to him tomorrow. Speaking of which, my district was asked to be hosts tomorrow! So there's a chance that I could be Andrew's host! So Andrew, if you're reading this, you better be looking for me tomorrow. I'll be the one in the suit with the black name badge on.
Yeah, I'm way excited to go to Japan! :D Too bad I don't have my Japanese name tag yet! Yesterday, all of the missionaries that are leaving to Japan next week had a meeting thing with Brother Mills, the director of international relations here at the MTC. He went to Nagoya on his mission and was the mission president for the Fukuoka mission, so he likes to give all the Japanese missionaries a talk before they leave. He talked about how we can't set any expectations for ourselves about what Japan is going to be like on a mission. Some people say that it's a hard mission, but if we get into that mind set, it will be. So we just need to follow the Lord's expectations. He also told us about when Heber J Grant dedicate Japan for missionary work. He said that Japan would become one of the most successful missions in the world, and that temples and church buildings would cover all the land. He said that the work would be slow at first, but it would soon grow to astonish the world. So I plan on going and just working as hard as I can, with none of the limits or expectations others have put on my mission.
So, really fast, I want to write a little to Andrew who's coming into the MTC tomorrow, and all my other friends who are coming in soon. The MTC is an interesting place. You'll have spiritual experiences pretty much every day. Your companion and district will become your good friends. But it's still hard here. Focus can be hard, especially when you are in the same room for like nine hours out of the day. And if you're learning a new language, it can be a humbling experience. The first day, probably even the first week, your teachers will only speak the mission language to you. Its an awesome opportunity to learn and grow, but don't let yourself become discouraged. I know that over the past ten weeks, I've felt really bad sometimes at my ability to speak the language. But on Saturday, Webber 長老 and I taught 3 Nihonjin, instead of any of our normal investigators. Each one of them said that we just need to stop worrying. If we are worrying, we will become less effective, less in tune with the Spirit, and will stop paying attention. Its not really about what we say, but about us showing our love for the gospel and bring a feeling of love and the Spirit to the lessons. We taught a sister from Tokyo who was here for TRC (No skype, woohoo!), and she was a convert to the church. One of the missionaries that taught here was a new missionary who could barely speak Japanese. She didn't understand a lot from lessons, but it wasn't the missionaries that did the real teaching or conversion. She felt the Spirit during the lessons, and was able to be baptized. So don't ever worry about the language. The main thing I've learned here in the MTC, above Japanese, above effective scripture study, was that I just need to trust in the Lord. If I just do what I can and start walking, talking, whatever, God will guide my path, He will give me what to say. And maybe its not giving me what to say, but it could be helping the investigator feel the Spirit.
Anyway, out of time today. I'll be able to call you from the airport and email you after I get there to let you know I arrived. Meanwhile, check my mission blog for pictures of me arriving in Japan next week! And Andrew, I'll see you soon! :D
PS :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):D:D:D:D:DD:D::D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D O_________________________________________________________o

Friday, February 1, 2013

Week 9

So. Here I am again, writing the weekly letter again. Seems like only last week. And yet, nothing really has happened. I'm glad that you liked the pictures. I figured it was about time to send that card off so that you could see what it's been like here. I'll try and get pictures with my teachers before I leave to Japan.
Speaking of going to Japan, it's in only two weeks!!!! Actually, two weeks from yesterday, which interestingly enough, was my two month anniversary of being a missionary. It's weird to think that I'm already 1/12 of the way done with my mission, and I haven't even set foot in Japan yet. Next week is my last P-day here in the US. As if it's not hard finding enough time on P-day as it is, I'll have to actually be worried about shopping for food and buying stuff to survive the week, while trying to write letters and going to see all the cool sights in Japan. I'm excited, but also a little terrified. I really don't know enough Japanese to survive in Japan. Plus it's going to be cold there, right? sounds like a party. Well, I'll learn Japanese soon enough I guess. I just need to trust in the Lord.
Those pictures of my friends were great! Its good seeing them all again. I'm so glad that all my friends are able to hang out without me and still have fun. (small inside joke reference) I think that it'll be awesome in two years when we can all get together and share awesome mission stories and stuff. But until then, I'm just going to work as hard as I can while I'm here.
Dad, I know you've always said that I've only got one gear. Well, I'll have you know that my record for putting on my suit was 1:27 after gym. It was pretty intense.
Anyway, want to hear something really awesome. Our investigator, Ohama Shimai got "baptized" on Saturday. It was pretty cool to be able to ask her the interview questions and everything. In two weeks, it'll be for real.
So today, all I've done is write letters. My plan was for at least 15 letters today, but I don't think I'll get all of those done. None of them are super long, so my apologies to people expecting more.
Is there a way for you to find the Mission home address for the Tokyo, Nagoya, and Fukuoka mission? I don't really have any friends going to Sendai or Sapporo, but some of my MTC friends are going to those missions, and so I can always write them sometime.
I miss you all, I love you all, but I wouldn't trade the experience I'm having for anything. It's been great. I can't wait to get to Japan, even if I can't speak the language, I'll definitely do everything I can. Maybe I'll buy one of those cool Densha-Jisho (electric dictionary) things sometime while I'm there. But yeah, it's exciting seeing people that I know from high school getting their calls, and even seeing some here! So far, I've heard of three other people from my high school getting called to Japan! But I'm the first one. One of them was actually called to Kobe, so that's cool.
But yeah, I love being a missionary. It'll be hard stepping out of my comfort zone and just talking to everyone I see in some foreign language, but when you step outside of the comfort zone, that's when miracles happen. I know I'll be able to learn the language, and I hope that I can work hard enough to become the missionary that the Lord and I both want me to become, and the missionary that the people in Japan need me to be.
Just think about it. In two weeks, this email will be coming to you on a Monday at like 1 in the morning. How exciting is that?
The MTC is fun, I'm going to Japan, I'm a missionary. in two weeks, I'll actually have some cool stories to write home about.
Anyway, I guess when in doubt, leave a smiley face attack.
well.... that was an effective use of my time. Anyway, あいしています、みなさん!
--- キャスパー長老