Here are free resources about the Japan Osaka Mission:
- Mission address and phone number
- Mission map
- Video interviews with returned missionaries
- Missionary blogs
- Facebook groups
- LDS Mission t-shirts and gifts
- List of past mission presidents
- Cultural articles written by returned missionaries
- Survey with RMs
Japan Osaka Mission Address
Here’s a recent address for the Japan Osaka Mission. We try to keep this information up to date, but it’s a good idea to check the mission address with several sources, including your mission packet or the mission office.
This mission does not currently exist.
Phone Number: N/A
Mission President: N/A
Japan Osaka Mission Map
Here’s a link to the mission map for the Japan Osaka Mission (LDS). To access the official, up-to-date LDS.org map for the Japan Osaka Mission
*Mission does not currently exist. (Browse LDS.org mission maps)
Videos with Japan Osaka RMs
Here are in-depth YouTube video interviews with returned missionaries from the Japan Osaka Mission. We interview hundreds of returned missionaries each year, so check back regularly to see new RM interviews. Coming soon..
LDS-Friendly Videos about Japan
Here are LDS-friendly educational videos about Japan. We scoured YouTube to find the best quality videos about Japan, that are free from inappropriate music, immodesty and profanity.
Japan Osaka Missionary Blogs
Here’s a list of LDS missionary blogs for the Japan Osaka Mission. This blog list includes the missionary’s name, URL and when their mission blog was updated.
|none found yet|
Japan Osaka Mission Groups
Here are Japan Osaka Mission Groups- for LDS missionary moms, returned missionaries, mission presidents and other alumni of the mission.
- LDS Japan Osaka Mission Group (282 members)
- Japan Osaka Mission: President Peterson (’92-’95) Group (108 members)
- Japan Osaka and Okayama Missionaries Group (11 members)
Japan Osaka Mission T-Shirts
Here are T-shirts for the Japan Osaka Mission!
Shirt designs include Japan Osaka Mission logo/emblem shirts and Called to Serve shirts. The shirts make great gifts for pre-missionaries, returned missionaries and missionaries currently serving. LDS Mission shirts come in all sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, up to 4XL. The mission designs are printed on white shirts and are shipped to you.
*Simply click on a shirt design to view the details and submit an order. The designs on mission t-shirts may also be printed on other LDS mission gifts, including: Osaka missionary aprons, Christmas stockings, ties, pillow cases, teddy bears and Christmas ornaments.
Japan Osaka Mission Presidents
Here’s a list of current and past Mission Presidents of the Japan Osaka LDS Mission.
- 1992-1995, C. Kent Peterson
- 1989-1992, Satoshi Nishihara
- 1986-1989, Shigeki Moriyama
- 1983-1986, Merrill L. Blalock
- 1980-1983, Shigeki Ushio
Japan LDS Statistics (2016)
- Church Membership: 128,216
- Missions: 7
- Temples: 2
- Congregations: 266
- Family History Centers: 63
Helpful Articles about Japan
Japan Osaka Missionary Survey
Here are survey responses from Japan Osaka RMs, to give you a snapshot into what it’s like to live in the mission.
When did you serve?
- 1991-1993 (Jorge)
- 1990-1992 (Anneliese)
- 1981-1982 (Kelly)
- 1984-1986 (Tyler)
- No years entered (Ann)
- 1984-1986 (Kevin)
- 1984-1986 (Jason)
- 1985-1987 (Kevin)
- December 1986-July 1988 (Lynda)
- 1994-1996 (Tom)
What areas did you serve in?
- Nara, Osaka, Sakai, Nabari, Ueno. (Jorge)
- Nishi (Osaka), Nara, Kadoma (Osaka), and Abeno (Osaka) (Tyler)
- HIGASHI OSAKA, KORIEN, GOBO, SENNAN, NABARI, HIRAKATA. (Jason)
- Wakayama, Kashihara, Kadoma. (Kevin)
- Osaka-Kisha no Sato, Sakai city, Higashi Osaka, Kawa chi Nagano city, Nara, back to Higashi osaka, sakai, mikunigaoka prefecture…. I might be forgetting some….(Lynda)
- Suita, Tanabe, Hashimoto, Kobe, Abeno. (Tom)
What were some favorite foods?
- Kare Rice. Gyoza. Corn Stew. (Jorge)
- I loved curry, mabodofu, okonomiyaki, and takoyaki. I still make curry on a regular basis for my family. (Anneliese)
- Pretty much them all. (Kelly)
- One of my most favorite foods was tako yaki. This is a small ball of dough, like a doughnut hole, with a piece of octopus (tako) in the middle. A few of the others would be karage (battered chicken), gyoza (pot stickers), and curry rice. I don’t remember anything that I didn’t like so it was a bonanza for me. There are also many sweet treats and drinks that are great as well. (Tyler)
- Sukiyaki, fried rice, okonomiyaki. (Ann)
- Gyoza. Sushi. Okonomiyaki. (Kevin)
- SUKIYAKI, GYOZA, OKONOMIYAKI, CURRY RICE, TAKOYAKI, SUSHI, SASHIMI AND AN PAN AND MUCH MUCH MORE. (Jason)
- Okonomiyaki, Katsudon buri, Gyouza. (Kevin)
- Oh my…so many. Curry rice, okonomiyaki, takoyaki, yakisoba, tofu- hiyayaku and age dash dofu, gyoza- gyoza- gyoza….sushi, Maki sushi and sashimi, Daie 100 en store had delicious crepes, and calico to name a few. I did not like o-kochi on my mission but since have learned to like…especially the kochi ice cream. (Lynda)
- Okonomiyaki remains my favorite food in the world. Calpis. Melon soda. Muscat juice. Handmade gyoza. Curry with rakkyo. (Tom)
What was a funny experience?
- When I fell into a rice field with my bike and got completely stuck in the mud. (Jorge)
- One day, there was a ward activity which included an outdoor cookout: curry over a campfire. Some of the youth were trying to toast marshmallows, but they just didn’t know how to do it properly. I told them to watch and learn. I found a nice bit of coal and slowly toasted my marshmallow, ending up with a nicely-browned marshmallow, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The youth were impressed, and I spent the next little while showing them the tricks, as it were. Who knew that part of the work on my mission would be helping young people learn to toast marshmallows? (Anneliese)
- Teaching senior citizens the Hokey Pokey in English class and watching them. (Kelly)
- One rainy evening we were headed home from contacting. I was riding my bicycle in front and we came to some train tracks crossing the road at an angle. I knew they would be slippery so I turned my bike in order to cross them perpendicular, but it didn’t help. I bike flew out from underneath me and I rolled over backwards. I felt very blessed that my suit didn’t get dirty or damaged on the wet road. Later my companion told me that I never hit the road, but did a perfect back flip and landed on my feet. The Lord watches over his servants. 🙂 (Tyler)
- Using bowls from the Ramen station to get ice cream at an all you can eat restaurant. (The “bowls” they had looked like 3 inch wide saucers). (Ann)
- Everything. (Kevin)
- MANY FUN AND FUNNY EXPERIENCES. (Jason)
- Ran over a flat metal piece that bounced up and punctured my bicycle tire. No matter how much I yelled, my companion couldn’t hear me. I got off and started walking. He was over a mile down the road before he realized he had no-one behind him and had to turn back looking for me. (Kevin)
- In learning Japanese, it took me a while to master some words…..like the difference between kowai and kawai….I love kids, my calling the last 6 years has been Primary…. I would always get shocked looks from moms on trains when I would talk to the little ones and say ” ooooooo sugoku kowaiii”…. ha ha ha. I would also mix up ningen and ninjin…..calling people carrots. My worst, hopefully funny blunder was in teaching the first lesson about our Beloved Savior, Jesus Christ…..and said ‘unko Iesu Kiristo’ when I should have said, ‘Onko Iesu Kiristo’. Thank goodness as a gaijin, we were forgiven for language blunders. (Lynda)
- Christmas time 1995. My companion was Japanese, so I wore the Santa suit for something. We lived on the same block as the city’s police headquarters. On our way home, passing a takoyaki stand, an old guy enthusiastically greeted us with, “Ah, what a wonderful Santa!” He was obviously drunk, but invited us into his office. He was the chief of police. We called the mission home and got permission to stay and talk with him and left there after 10 pm. (Tom)
What was a crazy experience?
- Riding our bikes on the road with zero visibility in front of us due to fog. (Jorge)
- In my Semboku apartment complex, there was a vandal who was punching holes in bicycle tires. At one point, one of our bicycles had fallen victim, and we’d had to call the Elders to help us repair it. Because of this, my companion and I decided to keep our bicycles on the genkan when we were not using them. One day, we had an appointment some distance away, so we took the train. When we returned, we found, to our chagrin, that our bicycles had fallen over in the genkan and were blocking the front door to our apartment, so we could not open it. Thinking quickly, we went next door and asked if we could borrow the neighbor’s balcony to get to our apartment. You see, the balconies in this danchi were built as if they were one long balcony, with dividers between each apartment. We were only on the second floor, but that first floor was not used for apartments, so it was very high. I held on to the divider, climbed up to the railing, swung a leg to our side of the divider, and climbed on to our balcony. (I had on a black skirt and black tights, and it was night, so I was fairly well concealed.) Then I entered our apartment from the balcony and moved the bicycles, so I could open the door for my companion. I’m reasonably sure we never told the mission president about this. (Anneliese)
- Bad brakes on a bike at the bottom of a hill. We all used mission bikes then and some were kept better than others. (Kelly)
- There are elevated trains that have shops or storage units built beneath them so that you can only see the other side of the tracks where an opening has been made to allow cars to pass beneath. While riding our bikes back to the apartment we neared one of these opening. I slowed my bike a little, but having the green light I proceeded into the intersection. As my front tire entered the intersection my handle bars turned 90 degrees to the right. Immediately several motor cycles came through the intersection running a red light. If my front wheel had not turned the first motorcycle would have hit me broadside. I could not see or hear the motorcycles because of the elevated train therefore I didn’t know to turn my bicycle. However the Lord knew what was coming and made the wheel turn for me. Again, the Lord watches over his servants. 🙂 (Tyler)
- We were going home in the rain, but after raining all day, the water was over 3 feet deep and we were riding bikes. A truck came up behind me and hit the gas to try to get through without the truck flooding out. It caused a tidal wave that almost washed me into a rice field (3 feet below the street level with another 3 feet of mud and water, totaling about 9 feet of mud and water, and I can’t swim). (Ann)
- I WAS HIT BY A CAR IN JAPAN THAT LANDED ME IN THE MISSION HOME, RECOVERING FOR A FEW MONTHS. IT IS AMAZING MORE MISSIONARIES WERE NOT HIT BY VEHICLES IN JAPAN DUE TO THE ROADS AND TRAFFIC THERE. (Jason)
- We locked the keys inside our apartment. Didn’t know what to do and dropped from the roof onto the balcony to break into our apartment through the slider door there. Apartment building was five stories up. So it was certainly taking a big risk. (Kevin)
- Mine was riding bikes and in Kawa chi Nagano. The hills were hard but the main freeway like roads were nuts…I remember one time riding when there wasn’t a bike path and the road was dangerous and busy. One evening my bike was literally picked up and moved over right when a delivery truck was swaying and I know I would have been struck and killed. I was serving in Higashi Osaka and riding behind my senior companion…I got a bit behind due to traffic when a was literally pulled off my bike by a questionable man…. he had a tight grip on my arm….. I started to yell at him in English which I could tell didn’t phase him nor did he understand “LET ME GO….”…. when I started yelling in Japanese…..”DANGER, I DON’T KNOW YOU…LET GO…DANGER” Not only was he shocked but, it got the attention of others. Just as I got back on my bike, my Senior dory gave him a piece of her mind…she was Japanese so I think he learned his lesson…. I was quite shaken though. Many miracles to keep us safe. (Lynda)
- On the day of the Kobe Earthquake, I was a hundred miles away in Wakayama. My companion and I both thought our apartment was going to fall on us. It was a strange-feeling day. So we decided to bike to the top of Koya-san. It was a good, hard ride up the mountain, and a foot of snow was on the ground when we got there. Beautiful. On the way down, my companion’s hands got so cold he had to buy a can of hot tea to warm them up so he could use his brakes. When we got back to the apartment, it was clear he had hypothermia. I stayed up for a while to make sure he was okay. (Tom)
What was a spiritual experience?
- A river baptism in the middle of a Taifu and having the rain stop for the service. (Jorge)
- One day, in Sakai, my companion and I had an appointment at the church building about a half hour after a district meeting was supposed to end. We decided to stay at the church building in between the district meeting and our appointment and use the time studying our scriptures. Of special concern was the fact that our investigator had told us she had been given some anti-Mormon materials. My companion, a Japanese convert, had never encountered this kind of stuff, so she had no idea what it might be like, but I had, so I was worried. I decided to take some time to kneel in the chapel and pray. I told Heavenly Father about the situation, mentioning that we did not know what our investigator was going to ask, but He did. I asked if He could give me an indication what I should study to prepare for the appointment. I started thinking about the different books of scripture. “Old Testament . . . New Testa . . .” I knew it would be in the Old Testament. “Ok, Heavenly Father,” I said, “the Old Testament is a pretty big place. Can we narrow it down a bit? Let me see, there are the books of Moses, there are the histories, there are the proph . . .” I knew it would be in the prophets. “Ok, there is Isaiah, there is Ezek . . .” I knew it would be in Ezekiel. At this point, I decided it was time to join my companion and pick up my scriptures. I turned to Ezekiel, wondering what on earth was in Ezekiel. Well, there was the vision of the bones . . . I turned to that chapter, noticing in the process that I had also marked a scripture about the stick of Judah and the stick of Joseph, and reread the accounts. The time arrived. I did not know what her question would be, but I knew there would be an answer in Ezekiel. When our investigator walked into the room, the first thing she said was, “I heard that in the Bible, there is a place which mentions The Book of Mormon. Where is it?” Even though I had been prepared for this question, my jaw dropped. “Well, let’s take a look in Ezekiel.” (Anneliese)
- Gaining my testimony of the Book of Mormon at the MTC. (Kelly)
- What wasn’t a spiritual experience? From being protected and guided by the Lord to being able to learn and speak Japanese were all spiritual experiences. Daily meeting people, gaining new investigators, preparing for and teaching lessons, baptisms and confirmations are all spiritual experiences. With one companion we tried to look for the “small and simple” things that would lead us to new investigators. From porch or street lights flashing to things that seemed out of place. We would approach those homes or apartments first. We were able to draw closer to the Lord through the spirit as we tried to see the “small and simple” things. (Tyler)
- My native speaker companions had been studying Japanese sign language at a community center, so I went with them (for 7 months). When I became a trainer, we were tracting in a small apartment complex and found a deaf family. I was able to use my sign language to talk to them. My greenie companion wrote in English to communicate with the father. (Ann)
- I made the difference in whether or not to invite the Spirit into my life each day. I did this by choosing to have a good day – teaching – scripture study – serving – testifying. (Kevin)
- WHEN PRAYING FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO HELP MEMBERS WHO HAD FALLEN AWAY FROM THEIR ACTIVITY IN THE CHURCH AND PRAYING TO BE ABLE TO HELP MEMBERS WHO HAD BECOME LOST TO RETURN TO ACTIVITY IN THE CHURCH, I HAD AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE WHEN I APPROACHED A MAN AND HAD HIM FLAT OUT REJECT ME AND TELL ME THAT I WAS ANNOYING, THAT HE DID NOT HAVE TIME OR INTEREST, AND THAT HE DIDN’T SPEAK ENGLISH-ALTHOUGH WE WERE SPEAKING IN JAPANESE. THEN MY JAPANESE COMPANION WATCHING THE SPECTACLE OF ME BEING REJECTED YELLED TO ME FROM ACROSS THE PARKING LOT THAT I SHOULD STOP BOTHERING THE POOR MAN AS HE HAD ALREADY TOLD ME HE WAS NOT INTERESTED. I FELT IMPRESSED THAT I NEEDED TO CONTINUE TO APPROACH HIM AND NOT STOP WHEN HE HAD REFUSED ME 3 TIMES ALREADY. SO AS THE MAN WAS TAKING OUT HIS KEYS AND STARTED TO UNLOCK HIS CAR DOOR, I ASKED HIM IF HE HAD EVER HEARD OF THE MORMON CHURCH. WHEN I SAID THIS THE LOOK ON HIS FACE CHANGED AND HE WITHDREW HIS KEYS FROM THE CAR DOOR LOCK AND FOR A MOMENT STOOD THERE WITHOUT SPEAKING A WORD. THEN HE REPLIED TELLING ME THAT HE WAS BAPTIZED INTO THE MORMON CHURCH WHEN HE WAS ONLY 14 YEARS OLD AND HAD NOT BEEN BACK TO CHURCH SINCE THAT TIME. HE WAS NOW IN HIS 30’S. HE SAID TO ME, THERE’S A COFFEE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER LET’S GO THERE AND TALK. MY COMPANION WITNESSING THIS EXCHANGE AND THE FINAL RESULT, COULDN’T BELIEVE WHAT HE HAD JUST WITNESSED AND WE WENT AND SPOKE TO THIS GOOD MAN WHO STARTED TO RETURN TO CHURCH ACTIVITY AND WAS WONDERFUL. BROTHER KAWASAKI WAS THIS GOOD BROTHER’S NAME AND IT WAS AN INSPIRATION TO ME TO BE A PART OF HIS RETURN TO FAITH AND ACTIVITY IN THE CHURCH. (Jason)
- Ran into a lady reading the Book of Mormon in the park. Stopped and gave her a mini discussion. She was an investigator that another companion set was teaching. She later was baptized. I’m sure the Spirit led us in some of the things we discussed that day and helped us be in the right place at the right time that day. (Kevin)
- We were teaching a young girl that my senior companion was going to drop. When I transferred in, we connected in a way that her teaching and learning progressed…it was relevant in the questions she asked. Etsu chan’s dad was very hantai with his teenage daughter getting baptized. Etsuko said we should fast…so we did as missionaries and the young women’s group. My senior was transferred and I was given a new companion. The dad asked to meet because he had questions…. now, my Nixon go was not too bad, but it wasn’t great either. This dad asked some hard questions…..Kawa chi Ben is very difficult….. there was one question the dad asked and waited for an answer ….. I had NO IDEA WHAT HE SAID…. the Spirit truly helps when we have a prayer in our heart because I heard myself answer not knowing what, but understanding it to be truth. It must have been okay because he stared at me for a minute, looked at his daughter for a minute, and then gave permission for her to be baptized. (Lynda)
- I am 6′ 4″. I’m very tall in the United States and a giant in Japan. Finding clothing there was like Shaq finding clothing in the United States. In my last area, I was down to 2 pair of suit pants. The others had worn out. I had no hope of buying new ones, and I’d be almost home by the time I asked my mom for some and she sent them. On a Saturday, we helped a sister clean her house and my pants ripped. I went home that day not knowing what to do. I was desperate but didn’t see a way forward. (Tom)
What are some interesting facts about the Osaka Mission?
- Alvarez and I were the only two Mexicans in the mission. (Jorge)
- It was a very small mission, geographically, but with a high population. As a mission, it no longer exists. (Anneliese)
- It was small and no longer exists. (Kelly)
- Osaka is a port city and has several ship yards and cranes used to load and off-load large cargo/container ships. The mission also had many cultural and historical areas especially to the north. Downtown Osaka had the Osaka Castle as well has many large and small Buddhist and Shinto temples. The city of Nara is an old capital of Japan and has many significant temples dating back to the 8th century. Nara also contains some of the largest and oldest wooden structures in the world as well as one of the largest statues of Buddha. (Tyler)
- I had only 2 areas. All of my senior companions were native speakers. I only had 3 non-native companions. (Ann)
- Most converts were women. The growth of the church in Japan will be dependent on the number of males that are baptized. A 6 day work week is not conducive to making it easy to live the gospel. (Kevin)
- MANY BEAUTIFUL AREAS WITH ROUGH MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN AND BEAUTIFUL OCEAN SIDE CITIES AND TOWNS. I SERVED IN BOTH BIG CITIES AND SMALL TOWNS AND COUNTRY -MOUNTAIN AND SEASIDE VILLAGES. OSAKA BEN OR THE OSAKA DIALECT/ SLANG ARE LEGENDARY THROUGHOUT MANY AREAS OF JAPAN AS WELL AS IS THE FOOD. DELICIOUS FOOD AND VERY GOOD PLACES TO LIVE AND EXPERIENCE. PEOPLE WERE VERY FRIENDLY AND WANTED TO KNOW WHAT WE WERE THERE DOING. (Jason)
- I am unsure of any facts. I think it was one of the newer split offs back when I served in 1987. (Kevin)
- Osaka was closed after the 1990 earthquake devastated the area. Loved being on the street versus going door to door…kekko boxes not a favorite. There are always people interesting to talk to. Each area had wonderful things about them. I was in Higashi Osaka near Osaka Jo (castle), when I served, we could still go to Namba…Shakers and the tuna fish pizza. Riding my bike on roads around rice fields…. beautiful. Some 30 years later, I can close my eyes and still see various areas. (Lynda)
- There were more people in the Abeno zone than in my home state (Oregon). Which meant that I was to some degree responsible for the salvation of a lot of people. Buddhism is fascinating. It has sects and disagreements and all the other “how can this be the same religion”-ness that Christianity has. It was often faster to ride our bicycles than to drive a car. (Tom)
What was the weather like?
- Hot and humid. (Jorge)
- It could get cold in the winter, but we didn’t have much snow in most of my areas. There was a rainy season, when we could expect to get wet just about every day, when we least expected it. In the late summer, it would be very muggy and hot, to the point where my companion and I would strip off most of our clothes when we returned to our apartment and flop down in front of the fans, just to try to cool off. (No air conditioning.) My first fall (late), my companion and I actually went out in a typhoon, to get my gaijin card. (Anneliese)
- Humid and hot in the summer and somewhat cold in the winter as well. Just snowed a little once that I remember. (Kelly)
- The weather was warm and humid. Much of the mission was very close to the ocean. This would keep the temperatures from fluctuating greatly, but it added a great amount of moisture in the form of Humidity. Highs between 80-85 F in the summer and 42-48 F in the winter. The high humidity would add to the real feel of the heat in the summer. Often every missionary would have his own electric fan and would use it constantly while in the apartment. (Tyler)
- Hot and humid in the summer; cold and humid in the winter. it never got cold enough to snow and stick, but it felt hotter / colder than it should have because we didn’t have indoor heating or air conditioning. (Ann)
- Like Houston. (Kevin)
- MUSHI ATSUI TENKI DESHITA. IT WAS HOT AND HUMID DURING THE SUMMER TIME AND THE COLD IN WINTER WAS A WHOLE DIFFERENT KIND OF COLD THAT NO MATTER WHAT YOU WERE WEARING IT BLEW THROUGH YOUR COATS AND CHILLED YOU TO THE CORE. LIVING IN UTAH WITH THE ARID (DRY) AIR OF THE DESERT, HUMIDITY WAS AN EXPERIENCE TO REMEMBER. THE RAINY SEASON WAS A VERY MEMORABLE TIME OF YEAR AND OFTEN I WAS DRENCHED RIDING MY MOUNTAIN BIKE ALL OVER TO APPOINTMENTS AND EVERYWHERE I WENT. (Jason)
- Hot humid summers. Fair amount of rainy, grey weather in the winters. Little snow (saw it fall and build to an inch once). (Kevin)
- Mild winters, hot humid summers….. It was in Osaka I first experience earthquakes and typhoons…..wasn’t until later that I learned a typhoon is the same as a hurricane. My most favorite was the rain…..it could be a beautiful sunny day and 30 minutes later is was pouring. I learned quick to make sure I always, ALWAYS had my rain coat, hat, and galoshes……I even made up a rain song in my duck attire singing…. it was hard to get used to but….learn to survive rain on my bike. (Lynda)
- Close to what Oregon is like – snow or 2 in the winter, warm summers. The summer monsoons were pretty intense. I was drench by an unexpected downpour more than once. (Tom)
Any things you really like about the area/people?
- They are really friendly regardless of their beliefs. (Jorge)
- The food was great, and the people were very hospitable. The members were fantastic! They were willing to help us any way they could, and they had very strong testimonies. (I suppose they had to be, as they were such a small percent of the population.) (Anneliese)
- I so love Japan and the Japanese people. Very blessed to have been able to serve there. (Kelly)
- I liked it all. I most love the people and culture. Honest and caring people in almost every case. Architecture, food, clothing, history, and so forth. Most all missionaries go with the intent of “becoming” Japanese and the native people can feel that love and sincerity and will do anything for you. Even all these years after my mission I still feel like I am part of Japan. It is my “other” home and the place that I most often think about and would like to be. (Tyler)
- They are very humble, and willing to do just about anything to help you. (Ann)
- Most people are good people. However, most don’t know who God is from our perspective. Don’t know who Jesus Christ is our perspective. Don’t know who the Holy Ghost is. I don’t know about the Bible, Joseph Smith, or the Book of Mormon. (Kevin)
- WONDERFUL PEOPLE IN JAPAN AND THE MEMBERS OF THE LDS CHURCH THERE WERE TRULY AMAZING INDIVIDUALS. THE FOOD, CULTURE, NATURE IN MOUNTAINS, OCEAN, AND BEAUTY OF NATURE IN THE OSAKA, JAPAN AREA WERE WONDERFUL TO EXPERIENCE! THE FOOD THERE WAS NOT DIFFICULT TO GET USED TO AND NOT HARD TO LEARN TO ENJOY. SOME FOODS I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND, AND COULDN’T STOMACH BUT THOSE WERE FEW AND FAR BETWEEN. RAW TUNA (RED MEAT) IS NOT MY CUP OF TEA, AND SEA SLUG WAS NOT AN OPTION FOR ME, AND I NEVER DID TRY NATO BUT MOST OF THE FOOD IS NOT ONLY EDIBLE BUT WAS TRULY DELICIOUS INCLUDING MOST SUSHI AND SASHIMI AND TAKOYAKI ETC. (Jason)
- Loved the experience of learning knew language. Loved the way they treated all foreigners (almost like tv-stars). (Kevin)
- I loved their humility…..they were always helpful as far as language because they knew we were trying and studying. I was transferred a lot, not sure why but……everywhere I went, it was great. Each area had a unique positive. Being invited to members homes was a great treat….count on two hands how many. Not like the stateside…hope that changed and they go more but…… I loved the kids, they were always friendly. We once were invited to a yochien to perform snow white in Japanese…..the students were performing in English. Not only did we make the news, we were in the Church News too. (Lynda)
- People are just friendly and awesome. I love Japan, and sometimes I get homesick. I was lucky to work for Japanese companies for 15 years and got to go back for business regularly. (Tom)
Any packing/clothing advice?
- Pack light… it’s awful when you have to move and have a lot of stuff. (Jorge)
- Make sure your coat can handle rain. Also, make sure your backpack has a rainproof layer. I ended up putting my books inside a plastic bag within my bag, because it bled color when it rained. (Anneliese)
- None. Everything that was listed in my mission call to take to Japan was sufficient. I purchased one new suit while there, but might have been able to get by without that. (Tyler)
- Bring enough to layer. At one point, I had about 23 layers around my waist (the top being a belt). One of the elders said, “I can’t wait for the spring thaw to see what you really look like.” (Ann)
- Short sleeve shirts – washable clothes – bring deodorant – if you are a six-foot tall male, chances are they will not have your clothing sizes or shoe sizes. (Kevin)
- DONT OVERPACK WHEN YOU COME TO JAPAN ON A MISSION. I REMEMBER BRINGING A DUFFLE BAG THAT WEIGHED ABOUT 0 LBS THROUGH THE LOS ANGELES AIRPORT AS MY CARRY ON THAT HAD FOOD AND ETC THINKING THAT I WOULD NEED ALL THESE THINGS AND THAT I HAD TO BRING. SEND PACKAGES HOME REGULARLY AND DON’T WORRY ABOUT HAVING TO PACK EVERYTHING AT THE END OF 2 YEARS ETC AND CARRY IT WITH YOU. THEN TRAVEL LIGHT IS MY RECOMMENDATION. BRING AN EXTRA PAIR OF STURDY COMFORTABLE SHOES, AND A GOOD WINTER COAT. IF YOU NEED TO BUY CLOTHES THERE, THEY HAVE GOOD CLOTHES THERE. DURING THE RAINY SEASON, A PONCHO IS YOUR BEST FRIEND, AND DURING THE HUMIDITY OF THE SUMMER MONTHS, ALWAYS CARRY A FEW HAND TOWELS TO DRY OFF WITH AS YOU RIDE YOUR BIKE ALL OVER CREATION. (Jason)
- Some elders used takubin to send part of their luggage to their new area when they transferred. This was a type of parcel service. It made it easier to ride the train without carrying all the baggage. (Kevin)
- I would pack clothing items in plastic bags, use a vacuum to suck air and shrink wrap so clothes fit better. Lots of skirts and shirts so outfits are interchangeable. Get great shoes, comfortable and strong. Sass was a great pair for me until a cat peed in them 3/4 through my mission…. =/ (Lynda)
- Depends on where you go. Japan can be super cold (Sendai) or super warm (Okinawa). Be aware that Japanese brands are very different from United States brands. I had small things like deodorant and toothpaste shipped to me. (Tom)
What blessings did you receive from serving a mission?
- Getting to know my Lord better. (Jorge)
- I gained a lot of faith in my Father in Heaven and confidence in my own ability to do new things. I am naturally socially awkward, so when I found myself later on having to face people in interviews and such, I would remember that I had survived knocking on doors and speaking in a foreign language, so I could certainly survive this experience. (Anneliese)
- Set the course of my life. (Kelly)
- A stronger testimony of my Savior Jesus Christ and of his gospel. The ability to speak and write the Japanese language. Also, the many memories and friendships with the people I served and served with. PRICELESS!!! (Tyler)
- I used Japanese every day after my mission. I was able to teach at the MTC. I now teach Japanese in a high school. It also gave me confidence to a be able to talk to people I don’t know. (Ann)
- A greater understanding of the gospel – a testimony of Joseph Smith and the restored gospel – a strong testimony based on the Spirit of the Holy Ghost testifying to me the truth countless times. (Kevin)
- IT’S HARD TO SAY EXACTLY WHAT EXPERIENCES I RECEIVED FROM SERVING A MISSION. I AM GRATEFUL THAT I DID NOT DO MANY OTHER THINGS THAT I LIKELY WOULD HAVE DONE AT THAT TIME IN MY LIFE IF I DID NOT HAVE THE EXPERIENCE OF MISSIONARY SERVICE. I WAS ABLE TO FEEL THE GUIDANCE AND DIRECTION OF MY FATHER IN HEAVEN AND MY SAVIOR DURING MY MISSION. I FELT AND WITNESSED THE LOVE OF GOD FOR THE THOSE I SERVED BOTH LDS MEMBERS AND THOSE WHO WERE NOT OF OUR FAITH. I WAS BLESSED WITH AN APPRECIATION FOR THE PEOPLE OF JAPAN THAT I MET IN OSAKA AND BROADENED MY OWN VIEWS OF THE WORLD. (Jason)
- Nothing was easy. A mission is a hard and tough experience. Any progress with finding people and adding them to the investigator pool comes through a lot of effort. I learned that progress takes a lot of patience and effort. (Kevin)
- Oh my…30 yrs later I can still speak and communicate. I read my Book of Mormon and say my personal prayers in Japanese often. Living in Las Vegas, Nevada, gaming capital of the world, I got a job in the casino working with the Vice President and taking care of Japanese, Korean, and Hawaiian customers. When that got a bit old (not before I saved enough money to quickly buy a nice home), I went back to school to become a school teacher. I would say every 3-4 years I need my language in some way for students or parents. Last year I had the blessing of having a child who was half Japanese and her mom loved that we could talk Japanese…..we still keep in touch. (Lynda)
- I learned what kind of husband and father I wanted to become. My parents did not grow up in active Latter Day Saint homes, and I wanted to see what that looked like. Twenty years later, that is still the biggest blessing I received. (Tom)
What are some skills you gained?
- Japanese speaking and cooking ha ha. (Jorge)
- I learned how to fake being confident in a situation, how to put together a spiritual thought or lesson quickly, and how to cook without a recipe book. (Anneliese)
- Japanese. Interpersonal. (Kelly)
- The ability to serve, love, and accept others would be some of the greatest. Second would be experience in leadership and teaching. Finally the interpersonal skills gained from interacting with the Japanese people 24/7. (Tyler)
- Talking to strangers, recognizing the promptings of the Holy Ghost, effective planning. (Ann)
- Social skills – language skills – cultural knowledge and appreciation. (Kevin)
- LANGUAGE, INTERPERSONAL SKILLS WITH MANY PEOPLE WHO DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY THAN I WOULD. 4+4=8 BUT THEN AGAIN 3+5=8 AS WELL. THE WAYS OF DOING THINGS CAN BE DIFFERENT BUT NOT WRONG. SOME THINGS MATTER AND SOME THINGS ARE NOT SO IMPORTANT, BUT MAY JUST BE WHAT YOU ARE USED TO. IT IS IMPORTANT TO RESPECT OTHERS AND LEARN FROM THEM TOO. SPEAKING IN PUBLIC AND TEACHING OTHERS ARE BIG AREAS THAT I GAINED EXPERIENCE AND CONFIDENCE, MY OWN PERSONAL TESTIMONY AND FAITH GREW DURING AND AS A RESULT OF MY MISSION. I HAVE DRAWN ON THE EXPERIENCES OF MY MISSION FOR MANY YEARS. (Jason)
- Talking to people. Getting over shyness to approach people. Learned to act on promptings you feel as they are generally correct. (Kevin)
- Language for my job for 15 years…. still comes in handy. I helped guide at the Las Vegas Temple open house when there were Japanese guests. (Lynda)
- Japanese language. How to overcome my natural introversion when necessary. (Tom)
What do you wish you knew/did at the beginning of your mission?
- My scriptures better. (Jorge)
- I wish I had known that most of my “go-to” ingredients would not be available in Japan, so I should have learned to cook without things like tomato sauce or cream of chicken soup. I also wish I had known that, as my father had told me, “A missionary with a boy (girl) friend is only half a missionary.” I ended up “Dear John”ing my boyfriend, because he gave me so much stress by his not writing . . . (Anneliese)
- Had a stronger testimony. Better knowledge of the Gospel. Teach My Gospel is such a wonderful tool. (Kelly)
- I was baptized one year before I left on my mission. I wish that I would have been more prepared with my gospel knowledge before leaving. Also I wish I would have been more prepared for the intensive study of the language so that my time in the MTC would have been maximized. I wish I would have had a better habit of writing in my journal. While I did use my journal, if I would have had a little more experience and instruction on journaling I think I would have come away with a better history of my mission. (Tyler)
- It’s okay to make mistakes, don’t take yourself too seriously. It’s not YOUR work, it’s the LORD’s work. If you let the Lord direct your actions, you’ll be amazed at what He is able to help you accomplish. Just be willing to act when the Lord tells you what He needs you to do! (Ann)
- Growing up, we did not have missionary prep where I lived in Provo, Utah. I wish I would’ve had the opportunity to attend missionary preparation to be more fully prepared. – I wish I had a greater understanding of Buddhism and Shintoism which were the major religions in Japan. (Kevin)
- CHALLENGING SOMEONE TO ACCEPT A COMMITMENT IS AS EASY OR AS HARD AS YOU WANT TO MAKE IT. EVERYONE DESERVES THE CHANCE TO UNDERSTAND & ACCEPT CHALLENGES OF EMBRACING THE GOSPEL. IF THEY OR YOU WERE 100% READY, WE WOULDN’T NEED THE CHALLENGE. YOUR GOAL IN BEING A MISSIONARY IS TO ASSIST OTHERS TO ACCEPT JESUS CHRIST AND HIS GOOD NEWS (GOSPEL) BY SHARING YOUR TESTIMONY OF JESUS CHRIST AND HIS GOSPEL AND CHALLENGING OTHERS TO ACCEPT OR ASKING THEM TO FOLLOW CHRIST IN WHAT HE ASKS US TO DO WHETHER THAT IS TO BE BAPTIZED OR TO STOP SMOKING OR STOP PORNOGRAPHY OR TO PAY TITHING OR TO ATTEND CHURCH MEETINGS OR TO READ THE BOOK OF MORMON AND BIBLE AND OTHER SCRIPTURES OR TO PRAY AND FURTHER UNDERSTAND & DEVELOP THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH THEIR FATHER IN HEAVEN OR THEIR SAVIOR. WHAT I WISH I KNEW WAS THE IMPORTANCE OF EXTENDING AN INVITATION TO EVERYONE I TAUGHT– NOT BECAUSE THEY WE WERE READY FOR THE CHALLENGE, BUT SO THEY COULD ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE AND SO THE LORD COULD HELP THEM TO START THEIR CLIMB. UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF ASK THEM TO COMMIT EVERY TIME YOU TEACH! “MARVEL NOT THAT EVERY KNEE WILL BOW AND EVERY TONGUE WILL CONFESS THAT JESUS IS THE CHRIST.” SOME DAY EVERYONE WILL CONFESS THAT JESUS IS THE CHRIST AND UNDERSTAND AND BE ABLE TO ACCEPT HIS GOSPEL. SEE OTHERS FOR THEIR POTENTIAL AND NOT FOR THEIR CURRENT PROBLEMS THAT HOLD THEM BACK! (Jason)
- Wish I could have known before hand some of the hard to get items that I could have brought. Imitation maple flavor, Snickers bars, most American style candies were missed a lot. Would have been a big hit to have brought some. (Kevin)
- Be open minded and willing to eat what they give you. I was given a blessing because I greatly worried about it. You realize the blessings you will receive on your mission….. be careful when you prepare to go home……just have faith and strength because it is a continual adjustment. Always study….not just church tango, but enough so you can communicate and make relationships. (Lynda)
- I wish I was a better/stronger cyclist. The first few weeks in country were tough. That’s all I can think of. (Tom)
Any advice/testimony for pre-missionaries going to Osaka?
- Strive to acquire a strong testimony… this will help you all the way. (Jorge)
- Trust in the Lord, and don’t beat yourself up too badly if you accidentally wake up a half hour too late. (Anneliese)
- be open minded. Try everything. Work hard. Okay the rules to the letter. But be open to other ways to contact, meet and teach. (Kelly)
- Do all that you can to be close to the spirit. Work hard to feel the promptings and act upon them before you leave on your mission. Build your testimony and knowledge of the gospel and learn to emulate Jesus Christ. And with all of these things make sure that you are sincere. The people that you serve will know if you are sharing eternal truths with them because you love them or if you are seeking only for baptismal numbers. Make your only intent to lead your brothers and sisters home to a loving Heavenly Fathers who is waiting for them. There should be no other reason for serving your mission. (Tyler)
- Obedience is non-negotiable, even if you don’t know the reason behind a rule, obeying it will still bring blessings! If you’re studying a language, take advantage of the MTC time to practice and study. When you’re in the field, study EVERY day. There’s always more that you can learn! (Ann)
- Know that you will be a tool in the Lord’s hands. Conversions come through the testimonies that you will bear, but the Spirit converts. Work as hard as you can every single day, so you have zero regrets wishing you had work more diligently. (Kevin)
- BE READY TO GIVE EVERY MAN OR WOMAN WHO ASKS YOU A REASON FOR THE HOPE THAT IS IN YOU. MAKE SURE YOU CAN EXPLAIN TO OTHERS WHY THE GOSPEL IS IMPORTANT TO YOU OR HOW PRINCIPLES APPLY TO YOU AND HOW IT CAN APPLY TO THEM. (Jason)
- Don’t get discouraged. Much of the things you do don’t seem like they are gaining a lot of interest, but seeds are being sown and many people are later interested through those initial contacts of others. (Kevin)
- I was told…..you serve for 18 months/2 years but a lifetime to reflect on it. Be aware of the choices you make. Do your best as much as you can….have fun. While my mission was a great time, I have built a life, testimony on top of it…is part of a foundation in Christ that still guides my choices. Because I served, I am strengthened. (Lynda)
- Make a single decision: “I will eat this, even if I don’t know what it is. I will ask questions later.” Everyone is eating it; it’s not poison. So eat it. (Tom)
What was a funny language mistake?
- One day, my Japanese companion and I visited a local man who had visited Texas and loved it, to the point where he still wore a Western belt buckle and boots. As we rode away on our bicycles, my companion asked me what Texas was like. I wanted to tell her that it was grassland, but, not knowing the word for that, I tried to talk around my lack of vocabulary and communicate the essence of the idea. In my attempt to say, “Texas is full of grass,” I accidentally changed one vowel in “grass”. Immediately, my quiet, petite companion started laughing so hard she almost fell off her bicycle. I asked what I had said, but she said I would have to look it up in my dictionary. When we finally stopped long enough for me to do that, I found that, instead of saying, “grass”, I had said, well, to put it delicately, “manure.” The really funny part is that, in a way, because of all the ranching operations, Texas could be said to be full of that, too . . .(Anneliese)
- Ningen is Human and Ninjin is carrot. (Kelly)
- I am sure that I made many funny mistakes with the language, but often times the Japanese people are too polite to laugh or tell you of the mistake. One thing I did when I had been in Japan for less than a week was to tell a Japanese person who spoke English to me that I didn’t understand them in Japanese. I thought they were speaking Japanese. Also, one of the most famous warnings is the similarity between nekutai (neck tie) and nikutai (body). Never say suteki nikutai (nice body) when you mean suteki nekutai (nice neck tie). As far as I know I never made this mistake. (Tyler)
- It took about 6 weeks before my native speaker companion told me that I was telling people that my mom was a prostitute. I thought I was telling them she was a housewife. (It’s just one long vowel different.) (Ann)
- KOMAN AND KOMON DO NOT MEAN THE SAME THING. IN TALKING ABOUT PRIDE WITH PEOPLE INVESTIGATING THE CHURCH IN JAPAN, MAKE SURE YOU ARE USING THE RIGHT WORD, AS WITH EVERYTHING 🙂 (Jason)
- None really funny. Missionaries just do not sound like the locals no matter how hard they try. Often you don’t know if you may have said the wrong word, they usually get what you’re trying to say if you’re close. I was told I talk like a child and they liked it. Think of how children speak in English. Often slurring, lisping, or putting sentence structure together in funny ways. Happens all the time when speaking a foreign language. (Kevin)
- I said it in the funny section but repeat…..In learning Japanese, it took me a while to master some words…..like the difference between kowai and kawai….I love kids, my calling the last 6 years has been Primary…. I would always get shocked looks from moms on trains when I would talk to the little ones and say ” ooooooo sugoku kowaiii”…. ha ha ha. I would also mix up ningen and ninjin…..calling people carrots. My worst, hopefully funny blunder was in teaching the first lesson about our Beloved Savior Jesus Christ…..and said ‘unko Iesu Kiristo’ when I should have said, ‘Onko Iesu Kiristo’. Thank goodness as a gaijin, we were forgiven for language blunders. (Lynda)
- Walking in the evening early on, we saw a couple with their baby in a stroller. I bent down, looked at the baby and said, admiringly, “Kawaisoo!” This means “Oh, that’s too bad!”, but I thought I was saying, “He/she looks cute!” (Tom)