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!