Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Shinodas

[Note:  When Craig was in Nagoya as a missionary 25 years ago, he met and taught a family, the Shinodas.  He baptized the mother at the end of his mission, but she is the only member in the family.  Over the past 25 years, our family has stayed in touch with the Shinodas.  Evan visited their home as an infant when he lived in Japan, and the parents came to stay with us for a month last year, attending Evan's high school graduation.  It what is not a coincidence, Evan's first area in Japan includes the Shinoda's home.]

August 28, 2011


I don't know my actual apartment address, but they tell us to have all mail sent through the mission home anyway.  We usually make udon, tonkatsu, or curry for lunch. I love this food, but it's not helping my weight loss.  Haha.  I can't print my emails.  [So it is better to mail letters, including mailing them through, since he has only limited time on the computer each week.] 

So yes, I do have someone very particular to pray and fast about . . . Brother Shinoda! We taught him the first lesson yesterday, and he said he has a desire to quit smoking and get baptized!  To explain the first lesson, we started off with Elder Hollister telling them that I think about them a lot and have expressed my love for them a lot.  We also asked him what he liked about our house [in Bountiful] last summer, and he said it had a wonderful feeling and the family was so receptive.  Also, that's where he began his desire to quit smoking.  When we told him everything happens for a reason and that I'm here in this area now to teach him, he started crying.  It was very spiritual. We taught the whole first lesson, and I taught the first vision.  He was very receptive, so I extended the commitment.  He seemed good about it.  Remember him in your prayers.

So this week I kinda got settled down and everything.  We got over 100 referrals this week. We have five people with baptismal dates. And we had a three day stretch where we rode our bikes a total of about 75 miles.  Tough haha.  But luckily that saying Coach Wall always said kept going through my head, "mind over body". 

We just do a lot of biking and lessons to recent converts, less actives, members, and investigators.  We do this thing called Fulfillment and Follow -up, which is where we visit members houses and ask them their conversion stories or how the gospel has blessed their lives.  We then ask them questions like `from your cell phone, you put their family first` and the people they write down are referrals.

I love it here though.  It was great to see everyone going to school! Isaac looked like a huge punk, Sam looked good with his new teeth, and Caroline looked ready to have some fun!  I love you all.

Elder Parry

Sunday, August 21, 2011


 Elder Soliai (Elder Heimuli's cousin) & Elder Parry
 Parry Choro & President and Sister Baird

The Bairds, Parry Choro & The Shinodas

Well hello from the Land of the Rising Sun! Sorry this letter will probably be very sloppy, these keyboards are tough.  Haha, well I absolutely love it here!  I'll start off by saying that my Mission President is the COOLEST EVER.  He and his wife are the best.  They are so nice and so fun! He is fun but still wants to work hard.  I'm gonna love him so much by the end.  My comp is Elder Hollister from Colorado Springs.  He went to the Air Force Academy.  He's so awesome and always wants to work hard! I really like him, he's so fun and just a great friend.  OK now for my area....Kasugai! (A suburb of Nagoya)  I love this place, the people are so nice and this is just a great area.  The bishop got all excited when he found out who Dad was.  His name is Bishop Ishikawa.  Speaking of church, we got an unexpected visit from two people, the Mission President and the Shinodas! It was crazy, it was cool to see them and have all of us talk together.

So I arrived in Japan! It's absolutely great here.  We started off the mission field great when right off the plane I was welcomed by Elder Heimuli`s cousin, Elder Soliai! He took me and Elder Ellsworth and we did missionary work on a train.  We placed three Books of Mormon! This stuff is fun! To make things even better, the mission home lost all our baggage and I had to wear the same shirt, tie, pants, and garments for 6 days! It was absolutely wonderful...haha it all worked out though.  So the first lesson we gave here, my comp said "all I want you to do is commit them to baptism." So we taught a whole lesson and I committed them to baptism and two of them accepted! It was the coolest thing ever! The mom and the son will be baptized on September 18.  Then on Sunday my comp said the same thing.  So we taught a lesson and I did it and he accepted! I love this!

I`ve had some great stuff to eat: octopus, ramen, squid, on (this is when they put beans in a popsicle, I know I think it`s awful too), yakisoba, and calpis! Haha, a lot of the food is gross, but some is really good! This is just so fun and I love it.
I had to order a bike because nothing here is my size in anything! Haha so I have to borrow this bike from the store that's a yellow girls bike with a basket and the high handles haha.  Isn`t this just so great? Work hard and have fun!

Don`t worry about me, everything is fine haha.  I love it here.  You`ll get a lot more details when I send home my journals.  I`m not sure where everyone else was sent.  But the Mission President gave us permission to start visiting the Shinodas, so we`ll see how that goes and try to get her to come back to church and maybe get him baptized! I`ll be on here for about another hour so hurry and email back if you want something specific! love you all!

Elder Parry

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sayonara (For Real This Time)

Elder Parry, his companion Elder Dinkel, and three other elders, left for Nagoya this morning.  They first flew to Detroit and then had a nonstop flight to Nagoya.  Craig had to go to New York today and his plane left at about the same time, so he was lucky enough to get in one last good-bye.  The rest of us got to talk to Parry Choro on the phone both from SLC and Detroit.

God speed, Elder Parry.  We love you and can't wait to see you on the flipside.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Last Letter From the MTC!

OOOOOOH MY GOSHHHH, I LEAVE MONDAY.  Haha how crazy is that? I can't believe it's here. I can't believe I've been here almost 12 weeks. It has been a great experience, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have made some great friends, gone through a few companions, and learned quite a lot. How great is this? I am so excited to get to Japan, but I will miss the MTC a little bit. So Detroit, that still is crazy. We leave the MTC at 4 am and get to Japan at 6:30 their time the next day. The rest of the Elders and Sisters in the Zone leave at 10 and get there at 4:45. Haha quite a long day. But I get to eat some junk food at the airport :) I'm gonna miss most the Elders from my district, others not so much haha. Even though I don't know this language that well, I'm just gonna go and have confidence and do my best. I'm big and a guigene, that equals to be the man! haha ;).

So last Saturday was the best gym ever! We played softball so that was fun. I was 3-3. But I was talking to Gubler Choro out in the field and I said an ongoing joke about Stevensen Shimai and as a joke she threw her glove at me but it missed me and hit Gubler Choro square in the head! Haha that was the best throw she's ever made! haha.  Then Mano Shimai hit a ball and was running around the bases and she's a short Japanese girl so her legs were just movin at super speed haha it was so funny. Then when we were walking back, Stott Shimai was running all over the place because she had so much energy then she slipped and face planted into the grass haha it was so funny.

Sunday was really fun, except for not eating haha. But I led the music in sacrament meeting, I did awful. I'm already bad at leading, then I had to sing in Japanese too. All the Nihongin in the back were doing the hand motion for me to follow haha it was funny and embarrassing. I bore my testimony in complete Japanese. My favorite Nihongin, Onishi Choro, was in the back making faces and saying "you can do it" haha it was distracting but fun.
During the mission conference for the whole MTC, Elder Dinkel and three others sang Be Still My Soul with Ellsworth Choro playing the piano. It was pretty good!

Multiple people have come to me and said I'm lookin good and asked if I've lost weight. So on Monday I decided to weigh myself  Drumroll.....................................................................................................................................................................................................................I've lost 15 pounds! I love it haha. I have been trying but not trying too hard. So I bet I can get to my goal of 185 by the end of my mission.
Monday night during the ¨wind down¨ hour, I decided to wear my onsie haha. Everyone loved it. The Nohingin were laughing soooo hard. They were just lovin it. Everyone wanted picutres and I was just chillin writing in my journal haha it was a lot of fun. Really funny to hear the Nihongin laugh about it and make jokes that I could partially understand.

We had our last Tuesday devotional, we had the great President of BYU, CECIL come speak. His talk was really short but I loved it. He stressed on how grateful members are for us and to certain things to always remember to do and be as a missionary.

So we talked Andrus Sensei into to getting us cupcakes. So he mailed them to us and we got them on Tuesday. I got a root beer float cupcake. SOOO GOOD. It's called like Sweet Tooth Cupcake in Orem. Anyone down in these neck of the woods, hit it up.
Hey guess who I saw come in, Elder Taggart! Haha I saw multiple people actually: Elders Dunshee, Gillett, Adams, Maxwell, and Prawitt. It was great to see them, I'm satisfied with this being the last group of new kids to come in.

We said bye to both our senseis yesterday. It was a very bittersweet moment. I have loved having them teach me here in the MTC. It really has been such a great experience.

OK, let's clear this up: those haircut pictures were from BYU. NOT HERE!!! Don't you remember when I got that? Come on y'all think haha.

I am pretty excited to head out. We're doing an in-field orientation today where we just have a bunch of workshops and have people from the "District" ( a missionary movie) come teach us. So far it's really fun. I am just ready to get rid of some of the people in my district. This was a way awesome district, but there are people that I am just seriously soooo sick of. They'll be good missionaries, but I don't care one bit if I never see them again.

So sorry I might not have all the questions answered, you can ask whatever questions you want when I call. No one really told me what to do about calling so I can talk to everyone, so I hope it all works out. Thanks so much for all the letters and support! I've loved everything I've received. Nothing has gone unnoticed, I just get way busy so I'm sorry if you didn't get a reply. I love you all! I love all you and always hope for the best, I'll talk to all you later! :)

Yours truly,
Elder Parry

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

More MTC Pictures

MTC 4th of July Celebration.  Evan said it was very moving and some of his district members got to carry flags.
 Elder Parry and Elder Sonntag
These are elders from Evan's BYU ward.
 Classroom learning
 Elder Parry and Elder Carroll (roommates at BYU)
Group of Bountiful High School elders

Friday, August 5, 2011

Travel Plans!

August 5, 2011


So how are things? Things are pretty genki here.  Could you do me a favor and tell me all the details I need to know about bikes in Japan? That would be much appreciated. I can't think of any treats for the plane. Anything that I can take on a plan and munch on I guess. You should also watch the Mormon message called "The Only True God" by Holland, Dad's in that one a lot too hahah.

So I put a whole new meaning on companionship inventory last week. OK, I really didn't, I just had an intense one last Saturday. But after it I appreciate the love Elder Dinkel and I have a lot more.
So funny story, remember all the Jack Black look-a-like photos we did before I left? Everyone I have shown the picture from my passport has thought I looked like Jack Black haha. We all picked actors for each other to play us in a movie. They picked Jack Black for me from then they picked Eric Bana for me.  Haha I don't see that connection really well.

Japanese is coming and we are very close to lift off. I'd be lying to you if I said I wasn't scared at all. I'm pretty scared, the first while is gonna be hard, but I know that everything will get better. I don't have any worries.
We had a way cool Sacrament Meeting on Sunday. I gave the sacrament talk. It was hard but a lot of fun in Japanese. We also had the MTC president, President Brown, join our meeting. Mack Kyodai gave a story during his talk about his daughter. When she was nine years old, she was crying uncontrollably and it wasn't a normal cry. They took her in and found nothing, but thought it could be a broken shoulder, so they splinted her arm. Days later it got worse, so they took her temperature and it was 106! They ran her to the hospital and found out she has an infection that was eating away the bone in her shoulder. They did an emergency surgery and fixed it. They said the bone would never come back. Weeks later at a check up, they found the bone came back and she has never had problems with it again to this day. That's just so amazing. Makes me think of what happened with me when I was younger. God puts His hands to work for faithful parents and people. He knew that she had a purpose to be healed. So now I know I have a purpose because I was fixed.

I finished the Gospels and now I am currently reading the Miracle of Forgiveness. It's amazing. I love it. It's intense though, there are a lot of eye opener moments in that book.  We taught all the Nihongin how to say "waaaaaaaaassssssup my main man" and "That's the way the cookie crumbles" and "chubba lub" hahaha it's so funny hearing them say it. All the Choros keep saying them to the shimai haha.

So, I have a really big favor. It's ok if you can't do it but the Follands told me I need to get my Jim Miller plumbing shirt sent to me. Apparently he has pictures of people around the world with the shirts on. Haha, I know it's at grandma's house in the storage. If that's not too much, that would be really awesome.

I GOT MY TRAVEL PLANS! This is crazy, you won't even believe it. We fly to Detroit at 7:30 in the morning. We get there at 1:00 their time. Then we fly straight to Nagoya at 4:00. So I'll get to call from Detroit. This is exciting. I can't believe it. I'm a little sad because every other mission is going directly to Tokyo on the same flight, so it'll just be us. Oh well, we get to go to Detroit too haha. That will be such a long flight haha. So expect a call around 11:30ish.

So how are things? Thanks so much for the package! The shirt was sweet!!! And I love the cookies! Haha, everyone loved them, haha thanks so much. I can't think of anything particular for the flight. I might be tight on space. So you know what I like, just get whatever and I know I'll be happy either way.
I love you all so much, thanks for all the love and support. You guys are amazing. I can't wait to leave and call you guys! Tell me how I need to go about that if I need to call anyone separately. If I need to call anyone separately other than mom and dad, let me know what numbers to use. Thanks for everything. being out here on the mission is just absolutely amazing.

One love,
Elder Parry