Monday, April 11, 2016

P-Day Email 4/11/16

This week was interesting. My companion and I had a bit of a falling out, but the mission president was super nice and understanding about it and let us go on exchanges for general conference so that we had some time away from each other. We are getting along much better now!

I went on exchanges to the mission home with one of the tech staff elders, which was really cool. I partially wonder if it was because they wanted some help figuring out some of the problems that they were having(Which I managed to fix most of), but it was really fun regardless. I totally expect I'll end up in tech staff at some point too, as I am one of exactly four programmers in the mission, one of whom is going home next transfer. That means two of the three will be in tech staff, and I expect I'll end up as one of them soon after I finish my twelve weeks of training.

I'm glad I have such a great ward supporting me at home! Bishop Nelson, Sister Hill, and others have sent me emails which were really helpful. I got them right as I was feeling the saddest this week, and they helped a lot in cheering me back up!

The country is more or less what I expected, although my research on Japan while at home was somewhat extensive, hence why it mostly matches what I thought. You have extremely advanced cities surrounded with lots of green, beautiful countryside. They are much better at recycling than even Seattle, so they don't need many dumps. You do have to separate your garbage into several categories though, such as bottles in here, cans in there, burnables in there, non-burnables way over there, plastics in that bin over here, and so on.

I got to watch General Conference finally. They delay it by a week for two reasons. First, they do it so that the translations are as accurate as possible, because that way they have time to review the translations and what was actually said. Second, because of the time zone difference, to watch it live would mean we would be watching it in the middle of the night. As you might imagine, most people would probably not watch it if that were the case. So, they delay it a week. It was way fun, and I really loved Elder Holland's talk at the end! I laughed hard enough I accidentally tipped my chair over when he showed that picture with the T-Rex and the kids running from it. XD

I also got my Facebook account set up, although I don't really know the rules for it as well as I would like yet. If you post something to it, you can know I probably saw it, although if I don't respond that just means I am trying to find out if it is okay. The mission rules surrounding it that are written down are kinda vague, and the mission rule pamphlet is a little out of date anyways, so I have to learn most of them from live missionaries. If I get put in tech staff later, I am going to see if it would be possible to update it. It's just a PDF, so it would be easy. The email I use for my Facebook account is, and is a separate account from the one I used back home. If you want to friend me, toss me a request. I haven't been actively looking for people, so don't be offended if I have not sent you a request yet. I literally just glance through the Suggested Friends list and hit 'send request' when I see someone I recognize, so if I haven't sent you one, it just means you haven't popped up on that list yet. Please feel free to friend me.

I don't have much more to report on this week, so I'll leave you with my spiritual thought. I still don't have a name for this section, however. Sorry.

This is from the general conference talk by Elder Holland:

My brothers and sisters, the first great commandment of all eternity is to love God with all of our heart, might, mind, and strength--that’s the first great commandment. But the first great truth of all eternity is that God loves us with all of His heart, might, mind, and strength. That love is the foundation stone of eternity, and it should be the foundation stone of our daily life. Indeed it is only with that reassurance burning in our soul that we can have the confidence to keep trying to improve, keep seeking forgiveness for our sins, and keep extending that grace to our neighbor.

I thought that was really cool. In the gospel, we have two things: Commandments, and truths. They tend to mirror each other, a good example being the 'have no other gods before me', as there actually aren't any other gods in the first place. I hadn't thought about that one though. It's something many people in our church take for granted I think. But, if you stop and think about it, how cool is it that the most powerful, most honored being in the universe loves YOU individually? Loves you enough that, despite your imperfections and mistakes, still calls you His son or daughter, and keeps trying to help you, blessing you and helping you through some of the hardest things in life?

I am super grateful that I have a loving Heavenly Father, who, no matter how many times I mess up, or do something stupid, is always willing to lend me a helping hand to get back on my feet and keep trying! I know these things, and am very grateful that I have the opportunity to share them with others!

Looking up, I just wrote a small talk. I apologize for that, although I hope you might have gotten something out of it. :P

Anyway, I love you all and look forward to emailing you all again next week! Toss me an email if you have any questions, or even just want to talk!

-Elder Harper

Sent from my iPad that I really, really wish was a Microsoft Surface and had Excel. I really miss Excel...

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