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