Week 76 – Transfers!!

Well, I got the news, and I’m transferring!  Actually, I’m going to
Okinawa, to a little town called Nago.  Crazy thing–that’s where Elder
Means just came from! 😶😲

Anyway, as for the week–
We had our second/last district meeting! This time everyone actually made it… And I got to go dendou with this awesome Brazilian–
Elder Miranda! He’s literally just been in Japan for three weeks, but he’s a super hard worker and it was a lot of fun!

We also got to do an unplanned service project and helped an old woman clean up this park…

And had our ‘last supper’ as it were… Chicken nanban, of course!

Not that we knew I was transferring at the time, haha!

Spiritual thought for the week: It’s really true that God’s love changes our hearts, and that the more we think of God, the more our hearts and wills align with His.

Anyway, that was about it!  I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Elder Houseknecht


Week 67 – Transfers and all that jazz

Well this was rather unexpected. 😶 Not only am I transferring, but
I’m going back to the Kagoshima zone! 😱

I am SO excited!! I literally passed right through my third area on the way in!  I am now in the small city of Miyakonojo.  It’s definitely less rural than my other areas I’ve been in, haha!

Unfortunately I haven’t taken any pictures yet… We have a ton of people we’re working with, and we’re meeting a lot of new people too, so it’s just been crazy getting settled in. It was a little sad saying goodbye to Elder Gass and leaving Yatsushiro, but my new companion Elder Hansen is way cool and the members here are great!

Quick spiritual thought for today:  I loved President Nelson’s emphasis on joy in his General Conference talk*!  It’s really true that obedience is the only way to find real joy!!

*’Joy and Spiritual Survival’, by President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (see the November 2016 Ensign issue, or go to LDS.org to listen  or read here)

That was about it! I’ll have tons more to report next week!  Love you all!!  Have a good one.
Elder Houseknecht


Week 29 – year 2016

[A KE MA SHI TE O ME DE TO U GO ZA I MA SU: it means Happy New Year]

Happy New Year!!

I got transferred!
I’m now in an area called Sendai, in Kagoshima (southern Kyushu). It’s got a few more people and buildings than my last area, and the scenery is way amazing!  Just a couple days ago we went up into the mountains to knock on some doors, and it was just beautiful!
But I don’t have any scenery pictures yet, so I’ll work on that.

It’s basically a party all the time.
My new companion is from Utah.  He’s kind of quiet, but way cool.  So I’ve just been settling in, getting to know the members and the investigators, as well as the other set of elders in our apartment.  It’s way fun being in a four-man area!  It’s basically a party all the time.
Other than that, it’s been way crazy because of the holiday season.  Of course Christmas isn’t as big a deal here, but with New Year’s coming, everyone has been especially busy… So it’s been hard to find and teach people.

But the branch had a really great Christmas party, and a lot of people came, so we’ll see how things turn out next year.

God’s hand in my life
I’ve been trying to be more aware of God’s hand in my life, and the more I look the more I find.
Here are some of the things I’ve noticed lately:
-because of transfers, I’ve been almost broke this last month (waiting for the travel expenses to be reimbursed).  So on Monday night, I didn’t think I had enough money for the train to district meeting the next day.  I had just used my last bills for shopping, and only had coins.  But when I looked in my wallet, I found 2,000 yen (about $17) that I didn’t know I had.
-on Christmas, we took the Shinkansen (bullet train) up to Kagoshima to hang out with the zone. On the way back it was really tight with the train times, so we ran nearly a mile to catch our Shinkansen. The whole time I was running, my bag was unzipped, but nothing (my glasses, pen, notebook, planner) fell out.  There have been many more, but I just wanted to share that.

Studying the scriptures by topic is a really great way to study!
Actually, this year the whole mission has been challenged to study PMG(Preach My Gospell) chapter eight (Christlike attributes), studying each attribute for a whole month!
So it should be really rewarding.

Happy new year!
-Elder Houseknecht