Monday, January 7, 2013

Merry Transfers and a Happy New Year, Jan.1, 2013

Wouldn't you know it!  Six weeks came and went again, and we had transfers.  Another great group, going and coming.  I'm sure glad we get new missionaries in, because otherwise transfers would just be too sad.  Just look at this group of returning missionaries!  Who would want to tell them goodbye?  It was hard.
Seated from left:  Elders Finlinson, Berrett, Gottfredson, Rocha, and Correia
Standing from left:  President and Sister Baird, Sisters Shimoji and Stott

Elder Shane Berrett
Can you tell Elder Berrett loves children?

Elder Berrett, left, and Elder Dinkel
(Working on solving the world's problems.)

One of Elder Berrett former companions said he is always upbeat and cheerful.  Even if he complains, he doesn't really mean it.  He is easy to be around.  Whatever ward or branch he served in, he gave special attention to the children and they always loved him a lot.  He knows how to make other people happy.  He also has a soft spot in his heart for dogs.

Elder Kevin Gottfredson
From left:  Elders Koesashi, Gibb, Gottfredson, and O'Hara

See the concern in Elder Gottfredson's eyes?  This place needs to go.

Elder Gottfredson is a very hard working missionary who has the ability to keep going, even when in pain.  He is good at math, and is also ambidextrous.  This exhibits itself when he goes wake boarding; he can do it regular or goofy.  But it also shows up when he shoots skeet.  He can hold the gun in either his right or left hand, and shoot well.  He has been know to shoot out the bulls eye of a target more than once.

Elder Nicholas Correia

Elder Correia is friendly, polite, hard working, and determined.  Elder Correia has already had the experience of teaching seminary.  He could do it really well now that's he's had missionary experience.  When he gets home, Elder Correia plans to study mechanical engineering and possibly teach English as a part time job.  

Elder Correia looks happy to give these two dogs a little love, and
they look like they are in heaven with him.
Elders Baker (right) and Finlinson in background.
Does Elder Correia look better in this, or a missionary suit?
I'd say the missionary suit "suits" him best.
Elder Frederico Rocha
Elder James and Elder Rocha (right)

Elder Rocha is peaceful and organized, very friendly, affectionate, and enjoys serving.  He doesn't like to sit still.  Since he was a child in Primary, he has looked forward to serving a mission. He is nice to everyone he meets.  He is very good at soccer and everyone thinks he has a beautiful accent.

Sister Ziona Shimoj
In front from left: Sisters Shimoji, Eguchi, Yamada, and Takatsu
Behind:  Elders Koesashi, Ellsworth, Ito, and Clark

Sister Ishihara and Sister Shimoji (right)

Sister Shimoji is one of the most friendly people you will ever meet.  She is warm and happy, and has a gift for making friends.  Her eyes usually sparkle with joy.  She is also a talented teacher and finder, and has a special ability to love children.  Everywhere Sister Shimoji has been on the mission, she has left behind many new and dear friends.

Sister Stott in front, Sister Fujisawa behind,
and Meito Ward member Sister Yoneda standing.

Sister Lauren Stott
Sister Stott and Sister Thayne

Sister Stott has the distinction of being one of very few missionaries who got to open an area, and she opened two of them.  She is a hard worker and very organized.  She loves her companions with all her heart.  She is also very talented at fixing things, especially things that require a needle and thread, or some good food to make them feel better.

Elder Alex Finlinson
Just in case you wondered, Elder Finlinson is the one on the left.

Elder Finlinson on left, with Elders Heo, Macdonald, and Hilton. 

Elder Finlinson is a very quick learner.  One missionary called him a kanji master, because he knows so many kanji. His Japanese language was also very good.  One of his former companions said he was always obedient, that he always tried to follow the handbook exactly, and that he got up on time and studied hard.  He also learned to work through pain and keep going.

And on the happy end of things:

Here is our new commissarian, Elder Hara, waiting at the airport for our new arrivals.

And we got one more picture at the dragon.  We are waiting for a snake, but will we want to take a picture by him?  Stay tuned!  Meanwhile, what a great-looking group!
From left:  Elder Tsukamoto, Elder Wilson, Elder Ockerman, President and Sister Baird, and Sister Breck
This group did a fabulous job of dendoing on the train.  They handed out 5 copies of the Book of Mormon,
10 pamphlets, got contact information of one man who would like to know more, and one new person
will be coming to our English class!  From left are:  Elder Clark (recorder), Elder Hara,
Elders Schade and Ellsworth (APs), Elder Wilson, Elder Tsukamoto, Elder Ockerman, Sister Breck,
and Sister Whitney Baird, daughter of President and Sister Baird--here for the holidays
and thrilled to be again involved in missionary work.  She was recently released from the Kobe Mission. 
And here are our new missionaries, with their new companions:

Sister Tianna Rae Breck
Sister Breck on left with her new trainer, Sister Fujisawa.
They will be in Shizuoka.

And they will be a threesome, with Sister Hunt, right.
From Pleasant Grove, Utah, Sister Tianna Rae Breck is one of four children in her family.  Sister Breck would really like to work for the FBI as either a translator or accountant.  She likes to travel, and would especially like to work in Japan, England and Korea.  Speaking five languages is also a goal.  She is creative and loves to sew, and make gifts for others.  And reading is a passion for her.  She is also positive and optimistic, often seeing what happens in positive ways.

Sister Fujisawa dreams of becoming a teacher because a teacher made such a difference
in her life.  She has completed four years of college.  She looks forward to
sharing the Gospel with everyone she can.  She can feel God's spirit and wants
to share all she learns through the church.

Elder Trevor Ockerman
Headed to Fukui are Elder Ockerman, left, and Elder Baker
Meridian, Idaho is home to Trevor Shawn Ockerman.  He has three older siblings and a younger brother.  Elder Ockerman loves soccer and would like to be on BYU's soccer team and become a professional athlete.  He would like to be a role model to others.  Mechanical engineering is also in his future.  He loves all sports, and loves to learn new things and strive to be the best at what he does.  He is good at making friends of all ages.  He knows that the more righteously we live, the better our life will be, in every way.

Elder Baker says he is outgoing, but can also be quiet at the right time.  He loves to learn and immerse himself in work, so he feels that will be a big help on his mission.  He has a strong testimony of the Gospel.

Elder Jacob Tsukamoto
Elder Tsukamoto, along with his trainer Elder Sanderson, will be working in Fuji.
Elder Jacob Tsukamoto was born in Hiroshima, Japan, but he grew up in Kaysville, Utah.  His father was born in Nevada, and his mother in Japan.  His two brothers both served missions in Japan as well.  Elder Tsukamoto is a rugby player at BYU where they won the National Championship.  He is studying exercise science, hoping to become and oncologist.  He has joined ROTC, hoping to get his medical training with the Army.  Music is a passion for Elder Tsukamoto.  He plays piano, trumpet, and guitar, and he loves to hike, backpack and camp in the mountains of Utah.  He is a good listener and likes to help others and set a high example.

Elder Sanderson said he is serving his mission because, "The prophet has asked every able young man to serve.  I am happy to serve the Lord and share the eternal insight I have with others.  I am looking forward to bringing the Gospel to the people of Japan."

Elder Andrew Wilson

Ueda is the destination of these two great missionaries,
Elder Wilson on the left, and Elder Shimohara

Elder Andrew Wilson calls Burke, Virginia home.  He has grown up in a military family, and his father is retired from the Air Force.  Elder Wilson has lived in 7 different states.  He has one older brother.  Elder Wilson's goal is to finish the computer engineering major he began at BYU.  He wants to work in augmented reality and, of course, start an eternal family.  Elder Wilson is a fast learner and a hard worker. He says he is a logical thinker and is very competitive.   Elder Wilson's parents joined the church when he was three.  He says the truthfulness of the Gospel has slowly distilled upon him and his testimony has steadily grown.

Elder Shimohara loves movies and TV.  He has some movies that he can quote.  He especially loves action, drama and mystery, in both books and movies. In college he was on the archery team, and in high school he was offensive tackle in football.  He says one of the best things about coming on a mission is really learning to connect and talk with other people.  He really enjoys doing that.

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