Elder Michael Ellsworth Arrives home on: December 20th, @ 3:17pm

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Missionaries become men!!!

   This was part of an e-mail conversation Mike and I had Sunday night.  Some of the conversation was personal as we talked about a certain family, and their daughter I talked to on Sunday, and whose identity I will remain silent on!

   Yo yo yo! How you doin my good man! Miss ya. This week was pretty hageshii, I got the flu really bad and its lasted up until today, I have a pretty bad cough. But I almost blew out my voice learning an Avenged Sevenfold song on the piano as my companion Emailed haha. 
You`d be proud. I can pretty much play anything on the piano if I have an hour to learn it. come to think of it, I should learn some hymns haha.
   Yeah, I had it real bad. We went on splits this week when it was at its peak and it was hilarious. I ate at the same Ramen shop I went too two days before the earthquake in my old area Izumi, remember that extremely hot ramen I talked about? He kept dumping mounds and mounds of cayenne pepper in it. I went into there again and comitted the man to seriously read the BOM, and he did. My old comp Lundell was way surprised, he`s never comitted yet. Anyway that was nostalgically weird... Plus the fact that I wanted to pass out and had to answer like 5 calls whilst trying to hold in hakumono... the urge to throw up. Way hilarious..
   Haha, going out with a package, (we just sent him his last care package) . Nah, havent gotten the package yet. Hopefully I get it before splits this Thursday. The mission overall is pretty dang good. Other than all of last week getting a shot because I had a terrible flu, and my throat was on fire, and I had a fever, it was the whole ten yards.. So I got that flu, I went to the drug store, bought some cold medicine and that really effed me up... I guess I`m not used to Japanese drugs or something, or like they aren't meant for Americans, because I got so messed up haha. I was like running into the wall, and stuff.
Yesterday we went to church, but the Members were telling me to go back to the apartment because I looked way sick, so we chilled there, and I think I`m all better now, besides this like crappy darui.. Like lethargic felling that`s probably a remnant of the drug still flowing through my blood stream, like a robber through a bank. (very funny) ... But other than that, last week was good.
   Good, thinking. (test out in Japanese when he gets home) I`ll see how many Japanese credits I can get right of, off the bat. I figure if I can understand Paul's writings in Japanese I can understand a Japanese test. So that`s one of the goals I`ve set, obviously not for that reason but that inevitably ends up occuring. The bible is crazy in Japanese.
I have to tell you what happened.
  (The Bathhouse)
(First of all, Michael's brother-inlaw Grahm had been telling Mike to go to a bathhouse before he left Japan, and this was his first opportunity
As we visited this member who lived two hours away by bike a couple of weeks ago, we saw a sign that say 桜温泉, or bathhouse, in Japanese.. `We have to go there..` I told my companion. Last week on P-day, it seemed like the opportune moment to go, so we started the long bike ride to this bathhouse, in the middle of nowhere. We arrive to see that it costs about 6 to seven dollars to enter. We buy this ticket. Hand it to the person working there then enter into the locker room.
``What on earth?!` I think to myself as I see like 5 dudes naked walk into the locker room acting like nothing is going on. 'Why on earth is everyone naked?! I think to myself... `Shoot what?!` I remember Grahm said something about how you had to be naked when you went into the bathhouse, but I`d forgotten up until the moment it was too late?
`So you don`t wear a towel when you go in?`
I ask my companion trying to sound nonchalant amidst `21 years of not being naked in front of people,` sanity being crushed to pieces, by a warped societies unwritten rules.
`Yeah, you are completely naked when you go in`
I ask my companion, he says to me without the slightest hint of something weird or detecting the battle going on in my head.
Okay I thought, whatever.`
It was the weirdest thing ever, so much different than America, it`s so weird being in a room where nobody cares about being naked or takes notice of anyone else.
But, it was great. The bathhouse was way cool, there was a part outside that was like a really hot Jacuzzi pool, and a sauna inside, and a bunch of different pools with different purposes inside. I love saunas, they`re way great. Ultimately, I got warped by the Japanese societies idea about being naked. It`s such a weird thing. But it was ultimately, probably, the most relaxing two hours I`ve ever spent in my life, why on earth I hadn't done this sooner I have no idea why? ...Thank goodness Rasmussen President came so I could have the opportunity.
Haha, I didn`t even think that philosophically about it. It was way relaxing to me, the sauna was great. I`m just way sick of being sick, this cough just won't fregging go away! I`ve tried singing it away, beating at the piano, but nothing seems to hack it.
How the family doing right now?
(Dad speaking: Okay gotta stop here. Maybe being nude goes back to Samurai days, no weapon, no cuttin' off  heads!  I guess it a good way to have a meeting!
   The weather has been really weird. Sometimes it randomly starts raining and its pretty much different every day.
(Mom's missionary report on Sunday:)Tell the ward I can`t wait to see them again, it`s going to be waaaay cool when I get back. But I can`t think about it! I have something like 7 or 8 weeks left! Holy cow, I`ll be back in no time! Wow, what on earth do I do with so little time?!
I need this sickness to go away so I can go crazy. I`m really tired of it.
I`ve had to help my japanese companion a lot too. He... was pretty much just living life, like a normal person up until the moment he left on his mission, haha. So I`ve had to help him... the Book of Mormon and stuff, and its been crazy.
The story of my mission? Help people... on their mission... Kinda hard but, it`s strengthened me quite a bit. there is pretty much no subject of doctrine that I haven't had to put down with the scriptures, or truth, so its been good. Some dark times though.. I`ll have to tell you about some when I get back.
Yeah, I`ve definitely been made. there have been many times where I could`ve given in but I promised to myself that I wouldn`t let that happen.
Mom told me something about it before I left. I do remember [just]before I left on the mission, Mom and I went bowling, and, I saw this old woman probably in her 70`s, ordering some nachos, and she was giving the worker so much bad attitude. `She`s had 70 something years to figure out how NOT to be that way.` I said to mother, `I can`t believe that. I promise I`ll never let that happen.`
   The mission has almost been proof of that idea. I`ve tried so hard to make the most of the time that I have whilst I`ve been here, experience a lot, become better at communicating with people. Recognizing the Spirit more clearly, understanding doctrine more fully, enduring high pressure filled situations, obeying leaders regardless of there being NO reason to do so, helping my companion in the midst of a crisis, Getting over obstacles, staring in the mirror and practicing smiling every day.
I`ve really tried hard to get over my weaknesses over the time of my mission, and sometimes I`ve gotten prideful, I`ve had to humble myself quite a bit I'm always carrying a piece of paper with my favorite inspiring quotes on it along with the picture of the family that you guys sent me last year when everyone went to the beach.
   I`ve learned to be prepared even when theres no chance you even need to bring anything. teach powerfully, interestingly and effectively so everyone is edified, and take the time to just sit and listen to my companion so that he feels like he`s really important to me, whilst trying to keep a schedule. Sometimes its way hard, and I fail, but I try to get better at it.
   Man, the mission is quite a ride.. like a rollar coaster you ride whilst your eyes are closed, most of the turns are controlled by A track you can`t see, `Mission president/revelation` and most of the time it`s like bungie jumping into a hole you can`t see the bottom of, you only know that you`ll come back up. Or at least you`re told you will haha. I have a couple hilarious dreams about the mission and I plan on sharing a few when I get back in my homecoming talk.
(talking about how hard it is for people to recognize the Lord's voice in our lives, 3 Nephi 10)
   It`s really interesting as well, that the people had to listen twice before understanding the voice. the heard the voice but they understood it not, I think that`s what it says. 
   Will enjoy that package and look forward to talking to you guys next week, Freak.. the time is so short and I feel like there is so much to do.... No time to waste.
Tell everyone I love em, talk to you guys next week.
(Now, this is an email every person wants to receive from their missionary!)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

2 more months to go-and still working hard!

Okay, I may have pushed it a little too far this week...

The special zone conference was extremely fun...
   Last week, I sat reading the 9th chapter of Corinthians in Japanese (I have a goal to finish the writings of Paul in Japanese by the end of my mission) and was completely and totally hit with an exploding flash of insight. In Japanese the verse reads , by now its memorized. ``すなわち、自分の身体を打ちたたいてふく順させているのだ。 Not sure what it says in English, but in Japanese it means to hit your body and submit it, so that while you speak the gospel you dont get disqualified. right then. [So] I grabbed  my Kanji pen, wrote it on a piece of paper. Told my companion we`re going finding right now, got up, grabbed a Book of Mormon, put a pamphlet inside, we said a prayer, got out of the doors and started walking. `Where are you going?` my companion said. I was walking the opposite way of where the bikes were. `Finding`. He went and grabbed his bike. And I started sprinting down the road. Talking to everyone. I stopped using my bike. Now I sprint everywhere. One small word of advice, Never fast for more than 3 days... especially if you sprint everywhere.
I really realized what `keeping your eye single to the Glory of God` meant this last week, sprinting throughout the streets of Furukawa talking to every single person. Some of the members think I`m crazy, haha. Some hilarious things happened this week.
-Well last week, I started running everywhere, I lost 4 pounds haha. The members were noticeably saying that I looked thinner haha. I started a fast and it went 4 days, then as we were reading the white handbook, I realized it said you shouldn't fast for more than a day, so I stopped it.
 Lets just say yesterday I was unbelievably exhausted and sore, a week of sprinting and fasting really took a toll on me. I have a strong desire to show a good example of `to the death prosthelyting` to my comp. I think he saw it. Its really weird what happens when you remove basic desires from your body and do the exact opposite, your mind becomes super clear. I never bore testimony and confounded... more strongly more in my entire life, I wish I could tell you some of the things that happened in contacts, you`d be rolling.
-  I`ve been eating oatmeal and fruits and natural things only, just hook it up with the beef jerky.. they pretty much have Any american food I`d ever need here besides beef jerky..., and cheese, for some stupid reason they dont eat cheese here very much, haha;  but dont send cheese haha. I`ll think a little bit more. ohh by the way, I saw some combos the other day and started laughing, something like jalapeno flavored, I remembered how much you love those. (Dad)
-I`ve tried a ton of ways to lose fat on the mission. One constant. Eggs. No yolk.. If you hook it up with some candy, `ll have a piece and hook my companion up with some. I still need to lose more weight, I can see a small outline of a six pack, but I`m not even close yet, Remember Fiji water? (They have loads of Fiji water left over from the Quake, so Mike was given some.)
-I can`t believe Jaxboy (Travis Jacks)  is engaged! Holy crap! I`m just shocked at some of the things that happened. The very first time I realized Clayton (Stewart) got married is when I saw of picture of him and someone outside of the temple, flipping the picture and seeing `Clayton and his wife` I was like What the heck?! 
-Mo ii wa... Haha, yeah, Gonna be a lot different when I get back.. I`ve made a ton of friends on the mission as well, one really good friend who lives in Colorado springs.
-Can`t wait until we can go bowling, and watch some Masterpiece Theatre.
-(Swan's General Conference picture)
Yeah, I was way surprised. I was like. Hey! That was my young mens leader! Pretty funny. I was super exhausted though from running all week, I was really useless yesterday.(Conference Sunday in Japan)
-Yeah, it was pretty good. I was laughing way hard with  (Elder)Hollands talk, holy cow, that brother was way strong! I kind of had to pick my companion up after that talk haha
-Okay, I think I`m going to go now, As for stuff for the haloween package...I`m sure you know what kind of things I like. the Oatmeal really has helped a ton, thank you so much, Really saved me. I`m gonna do my best to finish my race here on the mission with flying colors. Just imagine me sprinting through the streets of Furukawa talking to everyone, that`s what I`ll be doing.  Yeah, (Elder Yamashita's) his was a good talk. I didn`t even realize, but I watched the whole thing in Japanese..... that was a first, usually people watch it in English. 
Love you all,