Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Elder Jenkins has returned home to get care for his injured shoulder.  He has an appointment Friday to get it checked out.  Your thoughts and prayers are still very much appreciated.

And he says "hi!"  :D

Monday, June 20, 2011

Two quick ones

June 13

Hi Friends and Family,
I don't have any time today because we are going to go hike Mount Takao!!  I am super excited, because I hear it's beautiful!  Don't worry, I'll take pictures.  ;D  Well, I have to go now.  Time is up!  LOVE YOU!!!!  :D  I will probably email after the mountain too just because I was left no time.  (>_<)
[He was obviously not able to get back to the computer after the mountain, because this is all we got!]

June 19
Hey Everyone!
I'm going to the temple!  No time!!  I LOVE YOU ALL!!
Jenkins Choro

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sendai service

Konnichiwa Friends and Family!!
Grandma and Grandpa sent a list of questions so I`ll just post it as I wrote it to them.
1.  Where specifically did you go  or where are you now?  We heard you were sent to "Sendai."
      We went to Higashi Matsushima.  It was just for a day; I am back in Tokyo now.  It was just a day of service.
2.  How many went?
      The whole Tokyo mission went.  We were separated into two groups and went to two different locations to work.
3. How long did you stay?
      We left Thursday night by bus, slept on the bus, got to Sendai at about seven in the morning, went to our different locations, did our assigned projects, drove twenty minutes away to see the ``off limits`` zone where water and rubble still is, went to a church to eat dinner, drove back to Tokyo, got back at about three in the morning, slept on the church`s floor for a couple hours, took the first train home in the morning at about six, showered at our apartment, and then went to a ward activity straight away.  :D
4.  What did you do?
      All we did was shovel three inch slime out of a man`s yard and then a neighbors fields.  The slime/sludge was a mix of oil, gas, sewage, ocean water, and what ever else.  We had to bag it all; there were piles of bags everywhere.  That was it though, sludge shoveling.
5.  What was your transportation to get there?
      Bus there, walking from house to house for the actual service, and then bus back.
6.  Why did you need to be insured?
     It was a requirement from the government for all volunteers to be insured.  It was about $1,000 per person.  It was really expensive.
7.  What did you learn?
     TV doesn`t cut it.  Seeing the rubble and destruction in first person was extremely humbling.  It was creepy.  The water has so much gunk in it that it steams.  It looked like a swamp out of fiction; like the Grimm Reaper should come out of the mist or something.  It was not a pretty sight.  We were taken to see the ``new`` shore line that jut cut through a neighborhood.  It was weird and really sad.  I get a sick feeling in my stomach just thinking about it.
8.  Did you enjoy your Sendai trip?
     Absolutely!  I am SO grateful!!  I wanted to serve so bad but there is nothing to do down here, especially in Kofu.  It was so nice to serve!!  Was it small?  Yes, but I was so glad just to do something!  It was good to see the wreckage, too.  That is not something I will easily forget.  I will send pictures.
9.  Any other questions?  :)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Family and Friends!!!!
Guess what!?!  WE ARE GOING TO SENDAI ON THURSDAY!!!!  YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We leave Thursday night and work all day Friday!!  Yay!!  We can do service!!!!  YAY!!!!  I am soooo excited!!  It is costing a lot of money!  A lot of money; to insure each missionary and for transportation.  I am going to an area called Tagajou.  I am so excited!!  I'm nervous about what it will look like and what I'll see, but I am just so excited to do some service!  YAY!
Well, we had transfers and I stayed!!  Yay!  For once I've stayed in an area!  We did go four man.  My new companion is Elder Bates!  He and I have sooo much in common!  It`s so nice to breathe and stretch in a way!!  The other two missionaries are Elder Keith and Elder Kuroki (Nihonjin).  We all went to the honbu to transfer, because all the missionaries returned to Tokyo!  President Albrecht ran into me in the hall; there were more than a hundred missionaries in the church.  He stopped me and grabbed both of my shoulders.  I tried to squirm out, but he gently pushed me against the wall.  I was pinned.  He looked right into my eyes and told me that he loved me and that he was proud of me.  That was such an empowering experience.  President Albrecht has so much love.  He is awesome.  :D
Okay, I have to go, because six people have to use this computer now. :)  I love you all!  I'll tell you how the Sendai service project goes!  I'm so excited!
Love you!!
Jenkins Choro!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Konnichiwa Friends and Family,
Well, transfer calls are tomorrow morning, which means more change.  All the Tokyo missionaries are returning!  However, not all of the areas are re-opening.  Our apartment is going to become four man!  We don't know anything else!  Well, I know that I'm staying; I talked to President Albrecht.  :)  I'll let you know what happens!
Spiritual Stuff:  1. So yeah, I talked to President and he was really encouraging.  :)  We'll have interviews next month, and I'm super excited!  President is so awesome.  2. Elder Fowers gave a talk in sacrament meeting this week, and I understood most of it!  3. I LOVE reading the Book of Mormon and the Ensign.  They have been a great support.
Cultural Thing:  The Japanese have a saying, "O-tsukare-sama."  "Tsukareru" means to get tired, and "sama" is an honorific version of the English: "Mr."  "O" just makes it more honorific.  Anyway so it means: "Mr. Hard worker," but that doesn't even cover it.  You say it to construction workers as you walk by, someone that does something for you, someone that does something busy, hard, or challenging, something the makes them tired, etc.  It's hard to explain; there isn't an English equivalent that I can think of.  Anyway, just a fun little saying.
Funny Stuff:  I've already had some fun encounters with the intoxicated.  :D  I'm sure there are more to come, too.  People act so weird when they're drunk!  Anyway, so the other night we were walking home and there was an old drunk man peeing on a wall right by the train station on a busy street!  The best part was when Elder Fowers yelled, "Otsukaresama!"  The man jumped and tried to hurry away.  It was pretty funny.
Well, I have to go, but just a few more things.  1. I've re-introduced olive oil into my life and I am so happy!  I had forgotten how good it tastes.  2. I love you all!  Thank you for your love and prayers!!  I am so grateful for your support!!  3. We still do not have any progressing investigators but we do have one baptismal date with Rodrigo.  He is from Bolivia, but has been in Japan for a while.  He's seventeen and likes church.  However, he has soccer practice on Sunday mornings.  :/  Pray for him please!
Okay, I have to go now!  I love you!!!!!!!!!
Jenkins Choro

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hello there

[Mom's note:  Sounds like he could use some mighty prayers!  Thanks in advance!]  :)

Hello Friends and Family!
Well, I'm still having a hard time.  :)  I repeat:  I have never done something this hard and I'm starting to think that I'll be saying that for the rest of my life.  Yay...  I don't have much to report.  We are doing 24/7 around the clock finding right now because none of our three investigators are progressing.  This is a tough situation to be in.  :)  We haven't even left the city we live in yet!  Twelve more cities to go!
Spiritual/Yes-I-cried-again Moment:  There is one family and one single man in the ward that speaks English so we have an English gospel doctrines class.  We talked about the nature of God.  Who is God; what kind of person is he?  Well, I cried as I explained one time that I really felt God's love, a long time ago (senior year).  I look like such an idiot when I cry.  :)
Cultural:  People work a lot here.  They commute far and work a lot of overtime.  It's interesting to see that affect church culture as well.  Activities are on Saturdays and Sundays because those are really the only days that work for the ward.  It's weird to see the differences.
I said I would write more, but I actually have less time than last week and nothing else to say.
I love you all!  Each and every one!  And I miss you!!
Jenkins Choro

Monday, May 9, 2011

Hope Ya Know I'm Having a Hard Time. :)

Hello Friends and Family!
This week I have been inspired by many things.  One:  My mom.  (:D)  Two:  A talk by Elder Cook called, "Hope Ya Know We Had a Hard Time."  Third:  My first good prayer in a long time.
Spirit Burst:  My prayers have been weak for a while.  Do I pray in English or in Japanese?  Why am I so miserable?  How do I be an effective missionary in these circumstances?  I let those questions really bother me and weaken my personal prayers.  They were short and to the affect of:  "Hope ya know I'm having a hard time."  My stubbornness created a wall that prohibited me from receiving help and consolation from those that could help.  I have never done anything as hard as this.  This is hard and I've hurt a lot and I'm only a quarter of the way done (I'm not counting; numbers courtesy of Rachel ;D).  This is NOT what I thought it would be.  Yet I was being such a stubborn bum!  Well, who better to help than my mom and on what better day than Mother's Day? (Trevik and Dad`s advice was similar and helpful.)  Guess what they all said. . . "Take it to the Lord."  And yesterday for the first time in a while I had a conversation with God.  I cried.  I told Him that I hurt, and I told Him where it hurt.  As I poured everything on the floor and offered it to the Lord my mind de-fogged.  I saw what problems I could fix, and then I saw those that couldn't be fixed by me.  I felt a strength to just deal with the burdens that can't be fixed.  Yesterday was a good day because of it.  My understanding of the Atonement deepened a little.  If you're hurt, take it to the Lord.  If you've been wronged, take it to the Lord.  If you feel alone, invite the Lord to stay with you.  I am still in the same situations.  I still have problems.  Nothing visably has changed, but I'm trusting the Lord to help with those things I can't do alone.  And I've felt it already.  I wasn't delivered from my trials but I am receiving strength that is not my own to bear the weight.  I'll survive.  :)
Elder Cook's talk: "Hope Ya Know We Had a Hard Time, "  President Eyring's talk: "O Ye That Embark," and the entire last General Conference have really inspired me.  I'm just doing my best and shipping God the rest.  :)
I don't have anymore time.  I will write more next week.  I love you all!!  Have a fabulous week!  And know that God can strengthen you to just keep going.  Hang in there!
With deep gratitude for all the love I'm getting from all of you,
Jenkins Choro

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Well hello there!  Guess what. . .
I'm back in Tokyo!!!!  I am in an area called Kofu (long o) and oh my, it is BEAUTIFUL!!  We are way to the west of the mission and in the mountains!!  I cried a lot (:P), because I really didn't like leaving the amazing branch in Itoman.  Alas, so it will be for the rest of this earth life.  Anyway, this ward is AMAZING!!  Since the missionaries have been gone for the last two months they have done the following:  called thirteen ward missionaries, have had a couple Preach My Gospel trainings, they completely cleaned the missionaries' apartment (dry cleaning the futons and sheets, scrubbing things down), they restocked our fridge when they heard we were coming back, they made us a list of people to contact, and the ward mission leader came by to introduce himself.  They are incredible.  This is an awesome area!!  This makes in four transfers: my fourth area, sixth companion, fourth prefecture/zone/stake, second mission, and third island.  :D  Now I'm in the mountains!
My new companion's name is Elder Fowers.  He is from Bountiful Utah, and he has been out for eight transfers.  :)  He just hit his year mark.  Oh, I forgot to say this.  Half the ward is Brazilian (PLEASE HELP GRANDMA, GRANDPA, and BECCA!!!!).  This will be very interesting.  :D
Well, I don't have much time because this isn't a complete P-day (we have two lessons today and English class).
Cultural Thingy:  Japanese people have this compulsory behavior of giving gifts.  When the Itoman branch found out I was leaving they gave me many gifts.  They're crazy!  Recycle shops are big in Japan because people buy stuff to give stuff.  The receiver usually doesn't have room to keep it.  This is what I am told and what I've observed.  Don't quote me on that.  ;)
Spiritual:  Kyan shimai again.  We told her about fasting and she didn't like how it sounded.  She said it was hard and nervously brushed off our invitation to pick a day for us to fast together.  The lesson ended quickly because her restaurant got busy really fast.  She is so amazing. . .  The next week at our next lesson, we asked her about fasting.  She said that she tried to fast during the week but she had a drink of water at four in the afternoon (once) and she thought that that ruined her fast.  I stared at her with my mouth open.  What?  We assured her that her effort was valiant because she thought she was a bad person for taking one drink during a self-committed fast by herself when she was surrounded by unsupportive people at work and that work is at a restaurant!!  Isn't she awesome!?!  I cried because I knew it was my last time seeing her.  She didn't know though.  :(
Funny Moment:  Elder Jordan can make the funniest voices; he should be a voice actor.  Elder Angell was trying to tell us a story but Elder Jordan kept randomly adding the same line:  "And he bit off my toes, one by one!"  He used an oldman-British accent.  It almost sounded like golem`s voice.  I was crying I was laughing so hard; poor Elder Angell couldn't finish his story.  It became a joke after that to randomly say that phrase.  We're goofs.
Flashback:  Dad was driving that horrible old truck again (I don't like that truck), and I was in the passenger seat with my head out the window.  Dallin sat in the middle.  "Dallin, want to drive?"  Dad says.  I immediately pipe out, "I don't think so!  You are not letting him drive!!"  Dallin of course is down for it.  Dad offers him the wheel by letting go of it completely.  I  start screaming and yelling, "Don't Dad!  This isn't funny!!  Let me out!!  Dallin, stop it!!"  Dad and Dallin just laugh; I start crying.  I thought I was going to die.  Dad almost gets angry as he says, "Would you calm down!  Look, he's not driving; I have my knees on the wheel.  Dallin wasn't driving this whole time."  Dad and Dallin laugh as I smile in realization.  "That's not funny!"  I stuck out my tongue.
Lesson Learned:  How many times do we, almost screaming, tell the Lord, "Don't let him drive!  I don't think so!!  Take the wheel back!!  Don't let him drive!?!"  I've said that a lot since coming on my mission, almost screaming and often crying.  Don't let him drive!  Yet I have reflected on that experience many times.  God still has complete control of the wheel.  It may seem someone else is driving, but they are not.  I have kind of felt God's disappointed statement, "Would you calm down!  I'm in control here, he's not driving."  God is driving.  We should take comfort from that thought.  :)
Well, I got to go!  I love you all!!  Have a great week!
Still alive,
Jenkins Choro

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hi Everybody!

Konnichiwa Everyone!
How are you everyone!?!  :D  I enjoy your letters so much!  They make me laugh, smile, and cry (usually all at the same time).  Well, Kyan is doing good, but she still can't make it to church.  See wasn't able to read the Book of Mormon at all this past week, because she read the whole October 2010 General Conference Liahona Magazine!  She is incredible!  She said she loved reading it, and she said she is starting to think that maybe they are prophets.  :)  Thank you for praying for her!
We went three man, and we got Elder Angell!  He is a Tokyo missionary fresh to the field though!  Elder Jordan is training!  That makes me the tumor of the relationship.  :)  It's really different having three man, but it definitely has its perks.  :)
Funny moment:  I was asked to bless the food at lunch.  I always try to start my prayers different to keep it fresh and to practice, but it backfired.  :)  First, I stumbled by saying "me" instead of "our."  Then I tried using an honorific word for exist, but I attached it to the word for people not God.  So what I ended up stuttering out was this: "天にいらっしゃる人々、(ten ni irassharu hitobito)" Which roughly means: "all you people up in heaven."  We laughed so hard for a couple minutes.  Then, when we regained control of ourselves, I said the prayer in English.  :)
Spiritual Moment:  I was reading Alma 36-40 this week and I felt like God was talking directly to me.  It was just what I needed to hear at the time.  Alma's counsel to his sons was perfect.  :)  And they were missionaries, too!  Perfect.  :)
Cultural Spotlight: Box cars are starting to grow on me.  (Sorry Trevik)  When you only have so many cubic feet to park in, the smartest thing to do is fill that space up with as much car as possible.  There are a lot of box cars.  Big Bertha (I miss you girl!)  would not function in Japan.  She is a little too big (But you're not fat!).
Ah-ha:  I feel like I am going to be saying this at every transfer.  Stay away from video games.  They are so damaging.
Flashback:  Mom put me in time-out on the porch; I had been a little bratty.  I sat on the warm cement determined to have a good time just so I could show her that time-out wasn't going to bother me (I told you I was bratty).  Our dirt scenery wasn't as entertaining as I hoped it would be, so I started counting in my head the number of blocks that lay beside me.  Go inside.  What?  I looked around.  I didn't see anything.  Go inside.  Well, since I was in time-out, I didn't mind obeying the thought and going in before Mom got me.  When I shut the door, I turned to look outside.  A huge bumble bee flew straight through the space right where I had been sitting.  I hate bees.  I hate them a lot.  Mom came over to ask why I had come in early, but before she could say anything, I blurted out, "Mommy, a bee just flew by where I was sitting!  I felt like I should come inside so I did and there was a bee!"  Mom smiled and said, "Do you think it was the Holy Ghost?"  I paused, "Maybe."  Mom assured me, "I bet it was!"
I am so grateful for the "Faith of my Fathers;" for a mother that fostered faith at a young age, even when it was simple occurence that could have been easily ignored.  Mom seized an opportunity to strengthen my faith, for that I am grateful.  Lesson learned:  God speaks to us in a way that we can understand.  I hated bees (I still do), which made it so much more meaningful that I was warned to dodge one.  I don't remember how old I was, but I reflect on that experience often.  It was one of those influential moments.  There are moments like that all around you every day.  Take advantage of them.  God will send you messages that you can pick up on.  Tune in and listen.  He is always on the air.
Well, I got to go!  I love you all!!  Have a great week!!  SMILE!!  :D 
Jenkins Choro!

Monday, April 18, 2011


Konnichiwa!!  Friends and Family!
Transfer calls are tomorrow!  Aaaahh!  We're getting twenty-four new missionaries and only four are leaving!  It's crazy!  There is a possibility that we could go to a three man companionship!  Weird.  Anyway,
Funny moment:  Elder Jordan received a Spiderman actionfigure in a package about three weeks ago.  He was like, "What am I going to do whith this!?!"  Well, it turns out that there is an awesome young couple in our branch and the husband LOVES Spiderman (to the extent that he wears a different Spiderman tie each week to church).  It was his birthday last week, so we plotted with his wife on how to surprise him.  Hehe. . .  And we did!  He was super excited and happy.  That couple, the Nagata couple, has been super helpful.  They gave us rides to the stake center for General Conference so we would have to take the two hour round trip bike ride.  They are great.
Ah-ha:  You know how Nephi talks about the condescension of God in his tree of life vision (I think it's 1 Nephi 11).  Well I never really understood what that meant until recently.  We were reading that chapter with Kyan Shimai and when we read that verse I understood it!  I had just learned the Kanji that was used for the word condescension and it totally gave new meaning to the verse and concept!  Kanji are so cool!!  :D
Cultural/Language Lesson:  Speaking of Kanji. . .  Guess what I learned this week!  Our favorite verse (you know, 1 Nephi 2:15 - "And my father dwelt in a tent") has a really cool word in Japanese.  The word for tent is tenmaku (天幕).  The first Kanji, ten, means heaven and the second Kanji, maku, means curtain.  Tent in Japanese means heaven curtain or heaven's curtain.  I am told that an old Japanese belief is that if one lived in a tent they were closer to God.  Like a hermit or something.  Isn't that cool!!  Lehi dwelt in a heaven curtain!
Spiritual:  Kyan Shimai is amazing.  Talk about someone being totally prepared.  She told us this last week that she is still strictly following the Word of Wisdom and that when she becomes a member she will gladly pay tithing (we haven't even taught her tithing yet)!  She is incredible.  There's just one problem. . . her husband is anti.  They own a resturant together and they don't have staff working on Sundays which means it's just the family running the place on Sundays.  She said she totally wants to be baptized but she knows that she has to come to church for that to happen.  Please pray for her husband to soften his heart.  Our goal right now is to try and get him to sit in on the lesson with his wife.  Kyan Shimai is so inspiring!
Well, she's our only investigator currently.  We've met some good people but no bites yet.  We may have potential with our neighbors upstairs.  They gave us a tin box of fancy cookies (not cheap!), and greeted us.  They recently moved into the building and they are a cute little young couple!  We going to return the favor today; pray that it works out!  Okay, my time is up!  I love you all!!  I hope you have a wonderful week!!  Smile at your neighbor for me, please!  And hug your kids for me since I can't!
With a little wave and a Japanese nod,
Jenkins 長老

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Just another week

Hello Friends and Family!
Conference was incredible!  Elder Cook made me bawl!!  I thought about all of the incredible women in my life and I am just so grateful!  I don't know if I have a favorite.  I saw Jessica Welch in the choir!  She was wearing the turquoise shirt, right?!  Conference was soooooo awesome.
Have you seen the new Joseph Smith movie!?!  It's really good!  Not as theatrical as the one that they played at visitors' centers but way more informative.  I only wish it had more music.  It is really good though!
Funny Moment:  I had a random member come up to me at conference and tell me that I look like the guy who plays Spiderman.  I laughed really hard because it was so random and so not true.
Spiritual Moment:  Kyan Shimai is our only progressing investigator and I need to tell you about her because she is incredible.  She was half way through a cup of coffee when we told her about the Word of Wisdom.  She didn't finish the cup and hasn't drinken any coffee since (about two weeks ago)!  That's the kind of faith she has!  She is incredible.  I will tell you more about her next week!
Cultural Thing:  We went to a Castle for P-Day!  Shuri Castle!  It was really cool to go and learn about Okinawa (which was actually called Ryukyu in ancient times).  History is so cool!!  And we ran into one of our English Class students!  It was cool to just say hi and see him there.  Really cool!  I'll have to send pictures!
Well, Bye!
Jenkins Choro

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Hello Friends and Family!
Funny:  Even if you are wearing helmet, don't headbutt branches while riding your bike.  :)  Elder Jordan learned the hard way.
Ah-ha:  You never know where people are coming from, and listening is such an important part of life.  Elder Jordan and I had a great talk yesterday after Zone conference.  He is so awesome.  I love it here in Okinawa!
Cultural:  Home made sushi is so good.  We ate at the branch president's house this week and it was delicious!  His boys reminded me of the little boys; it was so funny.
Spiritual:  Zone conference was perfect yesterday!  And I am sooooo pumped for General conference this weekend!!  WOOO!!  I am sooooooo okay, too!  I am just all smiles and I got my first mosquito bite!  It's on the back of my hand!  I don't know how I missed the bugger biting me, too!!  I love being a missionary!!
Please pray for Sister Kyan and Sister Nakamura!  Kyan shimai is our investigator who can't come to church (her husband is anti and she works at their restaurant) and Nakamura shimai is a recent convert who doesn't come to church!  They need your prayers!  Sorry this is so short but I got to go!!!  I love you all!!!!  :D
LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!
Jenkins Choro! 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

More from Okinawa

Hello Friends and Family!!  Konnichiwa!!
I love riding my bike and catch a whiff of the ocean.  That ocean breeze is so beautiful!!  For being on "vacation," I have never worked so hard.  :)  There are sooooo many hills on this island!  My legs would look so wonderful if it wasn't for the fat farm I have cultivated around them.  :)  The Arnells surprised us with a visit!  I love them!  They are so so wonderful!!  It's good to have them on the island!  I also got a very random call this week from Brother Aird (He knows Teresa).  He lives on the Northern side of the island and is about an hour away.  He just said hello and offered to meet sometime.  Really nice guy!  I am no where near the base; I haven't even seen it. Therefore, I haven't met Stephanie(?).  Elder Jordan is so so so awesome!  He and are a lot alike.  I love Okinawa!!!!  I haven't seen President Margetts since I first got to fukuoka.  He should be coming to a zone conference in a week though.  I'll let you know how it goes.  :)
Pres. and Sister Margetts
Cultural Thing:  Okinawa used to be it's own nation, but Japan conquered it.  Okinawa has its own taste in regards to culture.  Today on Elder Jenkins Cultural Blurb of the Week we will discuss shisa.  The shisa are always in pairs; they're dog statues.  They sit at the doors of every building and ward off evil with their menacing stares.  One always has its mouth open (Like it is saying, "a"), and the other looks like he is growling (like its saying, "n").  "A" and "N" are the first and last letters of the Japanese alphabet, implying an alpha-and-omega-like power.  The shisa are everywhere; foreigners call them, "Okinawa Dogs."  They inspired some Pokemon as well.  This is what I have learned.  Verify with wikipedia before you quote me.  :)
Funny Moment:  Caution to all vegans, vegetarians, and environmentalists with a weak heart and missing funny bone.  Skip this one.  :)  Anyway, I was riding my bike to the stake center in Naha, and I saw this billboard advertising the restaurant beneath it.  It showed this big piece of juicy meat being cut in half, beckoning all hungry to partake and be filled.  Of course I was uncharmed, but what made me laugh to myself was the name of the resturant: "Green Heart."  It had to have been the worst "go green" advertisement I have ever seen.  :)  Are you green?
Ah-ha! : (You have to say that like Prince John from the animated Robin Hood)  I am giving the spiritual thought today in district meeting, and my topic is "teach people not lessons."  Ammon and King Lamoni is overused, so I was trying to think of another story in the scriptures that I could relate.  Nephi popped into my head.  1 Nephi 19:23, "Liken scriptures unto me!!"  (Thank you Sister Turner and Seminary!)  Nephi really taught his brothers what they needed to hear, and he taught them from the scriptures.  The best tool for teaching people, rather than a rigid lesson, is the scriptures.  Cool, huh!?
Spiritual Realization:  Video games.  :P  I am getting back on that pedastal(sp?) briefly.  They are so damaging.  Please be careful everyone!  Okay, I'll get off now.
Well, that's it for now.  :)  Have a great week!  Mail can still be sent to Tokyo; they forward it here.  I love you all!  Thank you for the prayers!!  They really truly help!
Buckets of love and a thumbs up!
Jenkins Choro!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

More pics

Elder and Sister Arnell sent some more fun pictures of Preston and the area.  They were also transferred to Okinawa and surprised Preston by showing up at his apartment.  They have been an awesome help for him and it is great for us to know he has people checking on him.

Surprise!  It's the Arnells!

Nice, neat desk.  Mom approves.

Companion, Elder Jordan

Elder Arnell in front of Preston's new, bright pink apartment.

The church building that Sis. Arnell said is big even by U.S. standards.

Random cement crab across from the apartments.

Awww!  He looks so good!  :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hello Okinawa!

Hello Friends and family!
I have no time so this will be choppy.  Okinawa is so weird!  It is a total island atmosphere; flip-flops and t-shirts are everywhere!  It is soooo humid, too.  It's about the same temperature as Vegas right now, I'm sure, but it is very very humid.  There are palm trees!!  I haven't seen those in so long!  My area is called Itoman; it is the southern tip of the Okinawa island.  It is a small area with a small branch of about 30~40 strong.  The church building is huge though!  They have A&W and Yogurtland here.  :)  I am using an old bike that was left by a missionary who went home.  Please pray that it will brake for me but not break on me.  :)  Well, I don't know what else to say.  Any questions?  (Haha, of course you have questions :P)
Anyway. . .
Ah-ha:  I have had the Saturday's Warrior song stuck in my head all week (Jimmy, Oh Jimmy don't listen to them!), and I could not figure out why it had even popped into my head.  I realized just yesterday where it came from.  There is a bakery across the street from the apartment called, Jimmy's.  That triggered the song, because I pass that giant sign every day.  Every time I pass it I start singing "Jimmy, oh jimmy!  Don't listen to them."  Over and over again!!  Brains are so weird.
Spiritual:  Music!  Oh! how I love music!  My new companion Elder Jordan can sing!  We sang for some members just last night, and it was perfect.  I love music!  (Don't worry Dallin, no one can replace you).  Singing or listening to music is such an easy way to invite the Spirit!!  I love it!
Well, that's all the time I have!  I love you all!
Jenkins Choro

Friday, March 18, 2011


We got a phone call from Preston this afternoon!!  He told us that he is in Okinawa!!  He was reassigned to the Fukuoka Mission of which Okinawa is a part.  He described it as the "Hawaii of Japan" and said that they are in short sleeves.  This is his companion's last transfer, but this transfer lasts for nine weeks instead of the usual six because the last one was cut short due to all the chaos in the country.

When the Tokyo missionaries were being reassigned, he said they were lined up according to seniority and then counted off 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, ... with all the 1's going to the same mission, 2's to the same mission, etc.  Nagoya and Kobe are the other two missions where Tokyo missionaries were sent.

Preston said that when they got to Fukuoka there was a noticeable SIGHHHH!  He said it is so much more relaxed than Tokyo.  Some of the missionaries in Tokyo had already been evacuated from their apartments before the "final" evacuation due to radiation concerns, refinery explosions, contaminated water, and/or lack of food. You know- minor problems! ;)  Anyway, he said the feeling is much more "chill, not in a lazy sort of way, but a now we can get busy with missionary work" sort of way.

His companion, Elder Jordan, also sings, so Preston is excited about that.  His bike is still in the Fussa apartment.  He's not sure what is going to happen to that, so for now he is borrowing one.  They get to ride their bikes along the beach, which is everywhere.  He did say that there is a southern Japan dialect that he has heard about, but he hasn't noticed it with anyone yet.

Preston said that he has not been worried, is not "freaking out," was never in danger himself, and pretty much sees this "reassignment" as a really far away transfer - with a new mission president.  He said things really don't seem too much removed from "normal."  He does feel bad for his poor Tokyo mission president who now has no missionaries.  But, his attitude has been "I'll go where you want me to go, just tell me where!" 

Sorry if this is scattered, I am trying to remember our brief, 10-minute conversation!!  To sum it all up, Preston is doing great.  He is well and happy and ready to get to work in Okinawa.  He will be emailing in couple days, so I will post again then. :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

New mission!?

Note from Mom:

Preston has been reassigned to the Fukuoka Mission for one transfer.  At that time it will be decided where he will spend the rest his mission.  Elder and Sister Arnell sent some pictures of Preston as they were packing up and leaving the area.  (The Arnells are also being transferred to the Fukuoka Mission so hopefully we can continue to get updates and pictures. :)

So fun to see him!!  :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I am FINE! But thanks for asking. ;)

Hello Friends and Family!
I am totally fine.  :)  We have about one earthquake a day, just a little shiver and the city might turn off our power to conserve energy.  This is a bizarre experience.  Yes, we have enough food; the people from the base won't stop buying us groceries.  :)  We are totally taken care of.  I don't think we'll be doing any humanitarian aid here.  Several of the areas in our mission that border the beach have been evacuated.  Our trains in Fussa are shut down indefinitely to save power.  The lines at the gas stations are incredibly long always.  The shelves at the stores are cleaned off.  It is a really weird experience.  We're just doing what we normally do, because our area wasn't damaged.  People are off work because our trains are not running.  I don't really know how to describe it because to be honest, I still don't know what is going on.  We're just doing what we did before this all happened.
Anyway, no time.  Had an awesome lesson yesterday with a guy named Brandon Chamberlain on the Base.  Brad and Jill, we're prepping him for you, because he is going to San Antonio in April.  He says he knows you.  He is taken the discussions though, and I really think he will progress well.  We have been receiving some referrals!  We're contacting another one today, Japanese.  We've received about six referrals since I've been here, and it's awesome.
I have lost structure to my emails because of time for the last two weeks but bear with me.  I'll get it back on track.  I am so humbled by the inquiries and the prayers.  Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!  I've got to go.  Sorry.  Keep asking the Arnells what's up.  They'll tell you what is true and what the media is blowing out of proportions (which it is so doing).
I love you!!  Thank you!!
Elder Jenkins 

Saturday, March 12, 2011


HI!!  :)
Being in an earthquake is weird.  It's like being on a boat, only bigger.  It makes you really dizzy, too.  All the missionaries in the Japan Tokyo Mission are accounted for and safe.  I was actually at the Honbu (the mission home) at the time of the earthquake.  We had just said a closing prayer to our 3 Zone Special Training.  It was the weirdest sensation.  I was sitting and talking to someone that was standing up and they started to sway.  I got dizzy and then noticed that the lights hanging on the ceiling were shaking, too.  President Albrecht ordered us outside and on to the field by the church.  It lasted about five minutes.  The trains all canceled and we were all stuck at the Honbu.  Three zones worth of missionaries (about fifty missionaries) all stayed at the honbu last night.  It was definitely a mission memory.  We watched The Other Side of Heaven at the church and then we all slept on the mission home floor.
This was such a blessing to be together when it happened.  One of the zones at the honbu, Chiba, was the most damaged area in our mission.  Yet we were all safe at the mission home.  Not a coincidence.  There was an oil refinery that blew up right by one of the Chiba missionary apartments.  The Lord knows how to time things.  He is in control.  We still haven't heard from the Japan Sendai Mission.  They got hit really really bad; power, water, cell phones, and Internet are down.  The Tokyo Mission is okay though.
There have been about ten to twelve after shocks, but they weren't as bad as the first one.  The last one to happen was at breakfast this morning.  The trains that Elder Beazer and I needed were working so we made it back to our apartment by lunch.  Some missionaries are still stuck at the honbu though, because the trains aren't running.  There were a lot of people on the streets last night; a lot of people slept at work and at school.
Well, this email is on orders from President Albrecht, but I think it is long enough.  I am safe and unphased.  Fussa was far enough to have been shaken but remains undamaged.  One can fell off the shelf at our apartment; other than that there is nothing wrong in Fussa.  Please don't worry about me, and send me any brief information that you have about the earthquake.  Missionaries gossip like middle school girls so I don't trust the information that I am getting from them.  :)  I heard that where we were (at the honbu), it was about a 5.0 on the magnitude scale.  Being in an earthquake is weird and nauseating.
I am totally fine.  I love you!  Pray for the people in Sendai, Japan, the people along the coast, and the missionaries in the northern missions.  I love you!!  Don't worry about me.  I am totally safe where I am.
Talk to you on Tuesday!
Jenkins Choro
PS:  Welcome home Trevik!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Don't get burnt!

KONNICHIWA!!!!  Friends and family!!
This transfer is going to be a blazing fire, so don't get burnt!  Elder Beazer is awesome!!  He is one of the Zone Leaders and we had a great first Sunday.  We are going to have a great great experience!  Elder Beazer is such an incredible example; I feel like this little kid trying to follow his older brother.  I am so so happy!  :)
Language Lesson and Ah-ha moment:  I am in the Fussa area.  It has two kanji, and I've known them since I've gotten here.  However. when you combine the meanings something awesome happens.  Well, the Japanese keyboard has stopped working but the two kanji are fuku (blessing. fortune) and sei (life).  Put the kanji together and it reads: fussa.  Blessed life, fortunate life.  That is the perfect theme for this transfer!  I love it!  I am living and working in a place called, "Blessed Life!"  :D  I love this. . .
Funny Moment:  Elder beazer and I have pointless arguments like me and Dallin always do.  They are so funny!  We just start laughing when we have nothing to say, because they take such a stupid direction.  Laughing is soooo therapeutic.
Spiritual Moment: Yes, Trevik, I cry a lot!  :P  I have been seeing more and more the tender mercies of the Lord.  They are everywhere.  There are celestial moments daily.  So anyway, after bearing my testimony on Sunday, Sister Salmon (good friends with Jill and wife of the District President) approached me.  I started bawling and I just thanked her for being a mom and doing it right.  I am such a softy, but Sunday is the best day because it is so spiritually charged!  I love it!
Vijay. . . keep praying for him.  Ishizawa-san. . . keep praying for him.  Pray for Jerel and Youhe-san to call us back.  I love you all!  Have a wonderful week!  Mom, I love your little hugging smiley face thing.  Since I can't hug you all I will just smile and wave.  ~
Elder Jenkins

Monday, February 28, 2011

Still in Fussa!

Hello Friends and Family!!
I am still in Fussa and my new companion's name is elder Beazer.  He is six foot six, and AWESOME.  I have almost cried several times but have refrained for fear of startling Elder Beazer.  This transfer is going to be amazing.  We've hit the ground running.  We have some really strong goals that were going to work on, and we can speak English.  :)  The Lord knows how to stretch us, prepare us, and bless us so personally.  His plan is prescribed just for me.  He has one for you, too.  Yes it's for you - you the one reading this right now.  It is so personal.
Right now Vijay does not have a date.  Pray for him to have the opportunity to feel the Spirit without a doubt.  We have one investigator with a date.  Ishizawa san (san is Mr. in Japanese) has a date for the end of March.  Pray for him to be strengthened.  He is a really good guy who wants to change and learn about God.
Ah-ha Moment:  Faith is a gift of personal righteousness.  It's a gift.  I have thought a lot about this since entering the mission.  Why is my faith so strong?  Why do I feel so deeply in my spirit that the words of the prophets are so true?  Why is my testimony so strong?  It is a gift.  I can claim nothing but my efforts to follow God.  That's all I've done.  I've said I wanted to follow Him, and I'm doing it the best that I can.  Faith is a gift of righteous living.  Obedience is the first law of heaven and it is the law that brings the most blessings.
That's all I have time for.  I love you all!!
Have a great week!!
Jenkins 長老

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hi! :)

Well Hello hello!!
This past week has been a new adventure!  I'll just go straight into the list, because I know you'll all want to hear about Elder Holland.
Funny Moment:  I was on splits this past week with the District Leader, Elder Romney, and I did the stupidest thing.  :)  We were talking to this really cool (really tall!) man.  We had a good conversation and as he went to walk away I offered a pamphlet.  I said, "This is a simple meal."  I meant to say this is a simple introduction.  Shokuji is meal, Shokai is introduction.  I said this is a simple shokuji.  The man smiled and took it.  I didn't realize my mistake until I turned around.  Then in panic I turned around and yelled back to him, "Shokai!"  He laughed.  Elder Romney cheered me up though.  He said that man will have a hard time forgetting our conversation now because of my silly mistake.  :D
Cultural Tid-bit:  Cars again.  :)  I like the cars here.  :)  They are all so new.  Insurance spikes like crazy the older your car is and there are strict check-ups.  And the color of your license plate is a sign of your car's emission levels.  It's kind of smart.  You only see old work trucks.  I don't like it though.  I want to drive Bertha until she dies.  :)  By the way, how is Bertha?
Ah-ha Moment:  The role of the Holy Ghost is like super important.  I was reading D&C 130:22 when it just hit me.  Wait, the Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead.  That means He's really important.  And just learning the little ways that I feel the Holy Ghost.  :)  So awesome.
Spiritual Moment:  Here you go; the moment you've all been waiting for.  Yes, Elder Holland was incredible!  No I did not talk to him, but I did shake his hand.  He is such an incredible speaker!!  All the missionaries were in this tiny little chapel, and he took the mic and walked around the chapel.  The most powerful thing he said was this: "If I find you at some later date and learn that you have gone inactive in this church, I will find you - then he gave some threat.  How dare you be here in Japan, telling others to change their lives, and not be willing to change your own.  You've been guaranteed one convert, you.  So get up on time and study."  Man, it was powerful!  Then we went back to our area picked up Vijay and went to Elder Holland's fireside.  That was incredible, too!  He spoke about God's individual and personal love for each of us.  He said, "We don't tell stories about stakes, wards, or groups.  We tell stories about individuals.  Yes, working together as a family for salvation is so extremely important, but that is not enough until you are in it personally.  It's about the individual's conversion.  It's about you."  It was awesome.  I cried more in that fireside than I did during the missionary one.  It really touched Vijay, too.  He really liked it.  It was just an all around awesome day.
The Yokota branch is awesome.  Yes, I have met all the people that Brad and Jill know.  We have a lot of member meals scheduled.  :)  Well, I have to go.  It's the last week of the transfer and my companion is going home!  We have a lot of things to do to get him ready!  I love you all!  Thank you for the prayers!!  I love you!  I love you!!
Forward, pressing forward,
Jenkins 長老

Monday, February 7, 2011

Surprise (again!)

Hello Friends and family!
This email goes to show you that I don't know what is going on half the time.  We are just emailing and shopping for food today.  Then we're working!  Woo!  We're going to Tokyo Tower with an investigator on Saturday; that will be our P-day.
The zoo was fun last week!  It was soooo cheap!  It was like $5!  :P  However, I felt so bad for those animals!  They looked so sad!  It was still fun; I saw some native Japanese animals and asian animals.
Funny Moment:  I went on splits last week with the zone leader, Renfroe Choro.  It was so fun!  We talked to so many people!  Well anyway, we walked around this corner and ran into this older lady caring a guitar and violin.  We just said hello and she started speaking English to us.  But she slurred and spoke really slow.  She sounded like she was from the deep south.  That combined with what she said was perfect:  "WOW!  You... two... are... haaaandsommmme.  If... yoooouuu had a Japanese gu'friend that would be good."  The wow was the best part, because she openned her mouth soooo wide.  Renfroe Choro and I laughed about it for the rest of the day.  We kept saying, "WOW!"  O, good times.
Cultural Tidbit:  You don't wear shoes in the house.  All houses, even apartments, have a little square in the entryway that is the lowest part of the house.  You take off your shoes, leave them in this little section, and then step up into the house.  You can wear slippers, and sometimes people have a couple extra pairs for visitors.  Just an interesting, fun little cultural thing.
Ah-ha Moment:  I don't know how many more times this concept is going to have to be pounded in to my thick head, but I'm not going to die.  :)  The Lord let's us struggle, but as promised He delivers us just before we can't bear it.  That is a repeating cycle, especially this transfer.  I will feel completely overwhelmed, and then something happens to relieve the pressure.  The Lord keeps His promises.  He will not give us more then we can bear.  I feel that sustaining every day.  Literally, I feel something holding me up when I want to crumble and be swept into the corner.  Thank you for your prayers.  I feel them and your love.  Thank you.  I also feel my Savior's love for me, too.
Spiritual Moment:  Mom, please schedule a chiropractor's apointment for when I get home.  :)  I am going to need it really bad.  I crashed on my bike this week.  Yes, it was embarrassing (Dallin, stop laughing).  It broke my bell.  :(  I am fine though just a tweeked shoulder and a bruise I don't even feel.  But the awesome part was that I wasn't hit by a car.  Japanese roads are super narrow, yet the crash timing was perfect.  If  I had done it 3 seconds before or after I would have hit the cars.  Matono Choro told me I should bear my testimony about it in sacrament meeting yesterday; so I did.  That's when it hit.  I realized how coordinated that crash was.  The Japanese ward was really touched by it, too.  Tender mercies, perfect timing, and blessings of protection are real.
Well, Elder Holland is coming next Tuesday, so P-day is on monday.  That is for sure.  I will be emailing next Monday.  :)
Our investigators are Nandi, Vijay, Emi, and Rikay.  Three of those are English speakers.  :D  And we recieved two referals on Sunday from the Yokata Branch (more English speakers :D).  So yeah.  :)  Busy busy!  Just pray that I can know what I need to do because this is hard with a native and all these Enlgish lessons.  Thank you for your prayers and your love!  I love you all!!  Have a wonderful week!
Forward, pressing forward,
Jenkins Choro

Monday, January 31, 2011


No time!  We are going to the Zoo today!!!  Woohoo!!  This has to be super fast!
We have three baptismal dates and were extending a fourth this week!  Thank you for the prayers!
Ah-ha Moment: The gift of tongues is a powerful gift.  It is a real gift.  My understanding has jumped so much in the last two and a half weeks!  I understand when it is really necessary and struggle when it's not.  :)  The gifts of the Spirit are so real!!
Cultural moment:  Children.  The children here are so undisciplined!  They are so abusive to each other and I realized why.  The parents never get mad.  They just say stop, but we all know that kids don't do that.  :)  It is very different here.  :)  I am glad I was raised in America!
Funny Moment:  We were teaching a lesson to an English class student (It was in Japanese), and we were talking about the tree of life vision.  I wasn't understanding much because of the topic, but i did understand one part very well.  Matono choro asked the man if he wanted to eat the fruit, and the investigator straight up said no!!!!!  Like immediately!  I almost started laughing but that would have made matono choro mad.  It was so funny though!  Straight up: "No thanks!"  So yeah, we are probably going to drop him; he argues and doesn't really have interest.
Spiritual Moment:  No offense but most of these are so personal I don't want to share them or get very specific.  I have had so many though!  I would say this weeks spiritual moment would be this:  I finally accepted a part of my patriarchal blessing that I had been in denial about before and I have seen so many blessings in just a week for it.  Just taking that to the Lord this week in prayer was so empowering.
Next week's P-Day will be on my saturday not Tuesday.  Sorry.  :)
Forward pressing forward!
Jenkins Choro
PS:  The Yokota branch is incredible!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Ups and Downs

Friends and Family!
What a week of ups and downs this has been!  Where do I start!?!
There is a Japanese ward, Fussa, and an American Military branch, Yokota, in this area.  They are awesome!  Amazing members in both!!  Going to church in English was bizarre.  I have forgotten already how to interact with English speakers.  I love that branch!!  The fussa ward is smaller  than the Fujisawa ward but there are still good people in that ward.
For your information:  It takes seven days to get a letter (Grandma).  I have connections on the base with the Fussa missionary couple that might get American postage rates.  :)  I will try to figure this out.
Ah-ha:  I have been so nauseous, graugy (SP?), and tired lately!  I was racking my brain this week trying to figure out why.  I was thinking and I caught myself saying, "this is how I use to feel all the time. . ."  Until I started the blood type diet!!  AH-HA!!!!  I am fine with not eating what I want on my mission; I'm okay with that.  I am a missionary.  I'm just glad I have an explanation for why I feel sick all the time.  That was my ah-ha moment this week, and it hit me like a rock.  This is how I use to feel all the time!  Maybe I should go into nutrition and medicine. . .
Funny Moment: I laugh at my companion a lot.  He is goofy.  He talks about girls and I try to ignore it but he's goofy.
Cultural Moment:  I have experienced my first Japanese funeral.  A 76 year old sister from the Fussa ward passed away on Thursday.  Saturday was the funeral and it was a cross between a Japanese and a Mormon funeral.  I wasn't allowed to smile; that was super hard!  This sister was in the first primary presidency in Japan.  It was an interesting experience.  Oh, and everyone is cremated in Japan.  Thankfully, we didn't have to go to that ceremony.  This ward really loved her; I wish I could have met her.
Spiritual moment:  Which one, which one. . .  We had a mogi, which is a role play, lesson with a member in the Fussa Ward this week.  He's American but he speaks fluent Japanese.  The lesson was in English for Elder Matono to practice.  I didn't know the member at all when we started, bacause it was my third day here.  Anyway, during the lesson I felt to just drop the role play and I testified to him about what the last general conference was about: return to the basics.  I really felt the Spirit during the lesson.  After it was over he said thank you and mention that he had just recently reactivated and that he was grateful for the things we talked about.  He is an awesome brother.  It was just one of many lessons this week.
Well, this week was busy busy!  I love this area!  The Yokota and Fussa wards are awesome!
I love you all!!!!!
Elder Jenkins

Monday, January 17, 2011


Hello friends and family!
I bet you are all wondering why I am emailing a day early!  I transferred!  I am now in Fussa and my new companions name is Elder Matono!  I have an air force base in my area but I don't know if it is the one that Jill and Brad were at.  I'll find out on Sunday when I ask around.  This has to be fast because tomorrow is super busy.
Funny Moment:  I already have the reputation of vampire because I ask people what their blood types are all the time.  Anyway, Abraham choro drew this awesome little picture in my journal of my "bat form."  It made my day.  It looks so funny.
Ah-ha Moment:  I had a chance this weekend to sit down and write all the things I've learned from last transfer.  I cried a lot because I have been so blessed!  The Lord really knows what He is doing.  I am in an area now that has an english and a Japanese branch.  My new companion is super fun already.  I came into this area and it has two baptismal dates already.  I love being a missionary.  :)   I sang in sacrament meeting yesterday (on my last Sunday in Fujisawa) and by the end literally half the ward's women were crying.  I was able to hold it until I sat down, and then I started bawling.  I am going to miss that ward!  Such wonderful people are in it!  I am going to miss the people we were working with, too!
Cultural moment: Cars.  They look so cool here!  Cool little thing:  when they stop at a light, the headlights dim.  Then when the car starts moving again, the headlights brighten.  Little innovations.  So cool.
Spiritual moment:  By my mom's recommendation, I printed out a general conference talk entitled, "But If Not. . ."  I've read it 6 times in the last six days and each time I've felt this deep burning inside me.  Go read it and you'll find my testimony.
Well, gotta go!  I love you all!  I'll have more details next week!
Forward, pressing forward,
Jenkins 長老

PS:  My companion is a nihonjin!!  Japanese only!!  AAaAAAaaaaHAHHhhha!!  :D

Monday, January 10, 2011

Friends and Family:

Hello Friends and Family,
No time this week, sorry this will be fast.
Ah-ha:  Tanner.  Tanner, I want to give you a hug so bad!  I think I got a glimpse into your mind and your world this past week.  I had this ah-ha moment were I just thought, "Tanner and I are a lot alike."  Anyway, I love you Tanner!!
Funny Moment:  We have sports night every friday where we play ping pong (wipe that smile off your face Dallin) and basketball.  We have investigators go, so we go.  Anyway, there is this old lady that comes to English class that is a legend at ping pong among the missionaries.  (She isn't a member.)  And she was crazy good!  She looked so graceful when she played, especially because her opponent jumped like a rabbit EVERYTIME he hit the ball (and he yelped).  So I played her next. . . AND I BEAT HER!!  IN YOUR FACE DALLIN!!!!!!  :P   . . .     But I lost when we played the next four games and everyone else there kept beating me too.  (STOP LAUGHING, DALLIN!!)  I beat her once though!  Yay me!
Cultural Event:  Mochi.  Mochi is smashed rice that you can do whatever you want with.  You can put it in sweet bean paste (my favorite), roll it in some brown powder, wrap it around ice cream, eat it plain, wrap it in nori (seaweed), or whatever.  So yesterday we had a mochitsuki, which is a rice smashing party!  I took a couple hits and I only missed twice (stop laughing, Dallin!)  I eat sooooo much mochi!  :D  So good!  Mika came too!  We talked for a bit.  She still has no interest in doing any real investigating.  :(   She had fun at the party though!
Spiritual Moment:  I have had so many little crying moments that nobody else knows about, because I have felt the Spirit so strong (whether from study, pondering, or feeling it from members).  It happened again yesterday.  At the mochitsuki, I watched this four year old girl guide a girl Kirsi's age around a room of church pictures.  I started bawling to myself, because it was so awesome to see this little girl testify to this other girl in Japanese (I understood what she said too!) about the importance of the Savior as she showed her pictures of Him.
Well, I have to go!  Know that I am so okay and that I LOVE JAPAN!!!!  This week was fun!  We met a Japanese WWII veteran (its in the journal, Mom, don't worry), got attacked by children at a park, drank the South American version of weed (just kidding, it's called matte and it's gross), and I got my $100 electronic dictionary and bike light (with fresh batteries I had just put in) stolen!!  Yay!  Busy busy!  I love you all!  Have a wonderful week!
Forward, Pressing forward,
Jenkins 長老

Monday, January 3, 2011


Hello Friends and Family!!
Well, this week we had interviews with president, and yes, I cried through half the interview.  I expressed all my concerns and worries. I asked what one hour meals meant, 10:30 bedtime meant, what if we walk out the door at 12:02 instead of 12:00 because our prayer went too long, can the Lord still bless me if my long prayers in the morning cut into exercise time?  First he stared at me like I was this poor deranged crazy person and then in the most loving way he said, "You're going to go crazy if you keep thinking like that."  He then prescribed me some minor sedatives to take every morning to keep my cortisol levels down during the day...  Okay, just kidding, he didn't prescribe sedatives, but he did tell me to take a giant horse pill of "CHILL THE HECK DOWN!"  I felt soooooo much better after the interview.  I felt this weight lift off my shoulders.  I could have flown away if I started flapping my arms (I wish I would have tried).  I bet Peter Pan's thoughts weren't as free and happy as mine were after that interview!  So yeah, it was awesome.  :D
Cultural Experience:  New Years is the Holiday!  Woo!  New Year's Eve isn't as big; no one really stays up that I noticed.  Sunrise on New Year's Day is where the party's at!  Japan is one of the first countries in the world to see the new year, so watching the sunrise on new years day is a tradition.  So we woke up at 5:00 (:P) on New Year's Day and rode the train down to the island at the bottom of my area.  (Dad, the trains were packed just as much as they were when we were in DC, however the stations weren't as packed).  There were so many people on that tiny little island.  So we stood on the pier at the southeast tip of the island and watched the sunrise.  IT WAS SOOOOO BEAUTIFUL!!  Yes, I will send pictures.  ;)  That was definitely a mission memory.
Funny Moment:  Last night we had a member dinner, and there was this hilarious old Japanese (duh) lady there.  She spoke broken English with a hard Japanese accent.  She was hilarious!  She kept saying, "I'm... funny." And then she would bust out laughing.  Anyway, she made Jello (o dear) and as she was dishing it up she said, "Do you want Zellie?"  We laughed for four minutes straight, because in the broken English with the Japanese accent, it was perfect. She was so funny!
Ah-ha Moment:  I had one and then I forgot it, so next week's ah-ha moment will be remembering this week's.  :)
Spiritual Moment:  I am debating which one to tell you.  There were several this week.  I would say the best one was my interview with president.  I wanted to be sure nothing would stand in the way of me being a worthy and ready servant.  I expressed all my concerns.  He had me read a couple scriptures, and that was that.  Poof, worries gone.  It was such a spiritual revival!  I need to calm down!  It was so nice to be told by my priesthood leader to calm down and keep working.  I was sooo spiritually fired up by the time I walked out the door.  I have seen things click this week that wouldn't click before because I was too stressed.  I know the Atonement has rejuvinating power.  I am so going to servive this mission thing (que laughter from all the return missionaries).  Thank you for the prayers; I feel them.
Well, I had better go.  So much to do so little time!  I love you all!!!!  Thank you thank you thank you for the support and prayers!
よい年を! Yoi toshi o!  Have a good year!!
Jenkins 長老 (choro)
Kameta family - "I am holding the walnut bread that sister Kameta gave specifically to me because I freaked out when I tried it at dinner.  It was sooooo good (and walnuts are highly beneficial! :)  Asao (the one right next to me) is awesome.  He just got the Melchizedek Priesthood and he's prepping for a mission.  He's going to BYU in April.  We'd totally be friends if I could speak Japanese.  This family is awesome."

Wada family - "This awesome couple is a missionary's dream joint-member-lesson couple.  They are awesome!  We joke that Wada shimai (sister) is spiritual beast because she is one!  Those are their grandkids in the back.  They didn't really say much; they were playing Pokemon cards.  Anyway, Wada family, awesome couple."