January 1, 2015

Japan Tokyo South Mission

Free resources about the Japan Tokyo South Mission:

*Other Mission Pages: Japan LDS Missions.

Japan Tokyo South Mission Address

Here’s a recent address for the Japan Tokyo South Mission. We try to keep this information up to date, but it’s a good idea to check the address with several sources, including your mission packet or the mission office.

Japan Tokyo South Mission
1-7-7 Kichijoji Higashi-cho
Musashino-shi, Tokyo
180-0002
Japan

Phone Number: 81-422-23-7210
Mission President: President J. Paul Warnick

Japan Tokyo South Mission Map

Here’s a link to the mission map for the Japan Tokyo South Mission (LDS). To access the official, up-to-date LDS.org map for the Tokyo South Mission:

  1. Log into your LDS account here.
  2. Click here.

Videos with Tokyo South RMs

Here are in-depth YouTube video interviews with returned missionaries from the Japan Tokyo South Mission.  We interview hundreds of returned missionaries each year, so check back regularly to see new RM interviews.

mission interview  mission interview

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.

LDS Church  places  history  food  nature  language  Traditions  time lapses  Storms and Natural Disasters

Tokyo South Missionary Blogs

Here’s a list of LDS missionary blogs for the Japan Tokyo South Mission. This list includes the missionary’s name, URL and when their blog was updated.

*Send your missionary a gift (mission-specific shirts, ties, Christmas stockings/ornaments, pillowcases, etc.)

Sister Haley Fishburn theadventuresofsisterfishburn.blogspot.com 2017
Elder Wanchai Chab elderwanchaichab.blogspot.com 2017
Sister Kira Smiley kirakiratokyotravels.wordpress.com 2017
Elder Jarron Molen elderjarronmckaymolen.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Zachary Tolen eldertolen.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Nathan Dunn elder-nathan-dunn.blogspot.com 2016
Sister Anna Fordiani sisterannafordiani.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Sterling Siebach eldersterlingsiebach.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Adam Christensen elderadamchristensen.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Tanner Livingston eldertannerlivingston.blogspot.com 2016
Sister Madeleine Cottle tokyosouth.blogspot.com 2015
Sister Laurel Evans sisterlaurel.blogspot.com 2015
Sister Renae Feist sisterrenaefeist.weebly.com 2015
Sister Hannah Ashby sisterhannahashby.blogspot.com 2015
Sister Tiffany Blake sistertiffanyblake.weebly.com 2015
Sister Natalie Wilson wilsonshimai.wordpress.com 2015
Sister Mari Molen sistermolen.blogspot.com 2015
Sister Maryandra Miller maryandramillermissionblog.blogspot.com 2015
Sister Teagan Clark clark-shimai.blogspot.com 2015
Sister Erin Gazdik gazdikstakejapan.wordpress.com 2015
Sister Rebecca Rowley missionsite.net/sisterrebeccarowley 2015
Elder Devon Taylor withoutmoneywithoutprice.blogspot.com 2015
Sister Crystal Hokanson sisterhokanson.wordpress.com 2015
Sister Heather Brox sisterbrox.wordpress.com 2015
Elder Aaron Blake elderninjablake.blogspot.com 2014
Elder & Sister Addington elderandsisteraddington.blogspot.com 2014
Elder Joshua Farr elderjoshuafarr.blogspot.com 2014
Sister Nicole Barnes missionsite.net/sisternicolebarnes 2014
Elder & Sister Yamashita yamashitamissionaries.blogspot.com 2013
Sister Janaya Jones missionsite.net/sisterjanayajones 2013
Elder Kaumana Rindlisbacher kaumanar.blogspot.com 2013
Elder Jeff Mosdell em1g3tokyo.blogspot.com 2013
Mission Alumni tokyosouthmission.blogspot.com 2006
Elder Canon Laverty canonlaverty..tokyosouthmission 2001

Japan Tokyo South Mission Groups

Here are Japan Tokyo South Mission Groups- for LDS missionary moms, returned missionaries, mission presidents and other alumni of the Tokyo South Mission.

  1. Japan Tokyo South Mission Facebook Group (536 members)
  2. Tokyo South Mission Reunion (1987-93) Group (212 members)
  3. Tokyo South- Pres. Randall’s Missionaries Group (143 members)
  4. Japan Tokyo South Mission Facebook Group (92 members)
  5. Tokyo South and Kobe Mission Reunion Tucker Group (1 member)

Tokyo South Mission T-Shirts

Here are T-shirts for the Japan Tokyo South Mission!

Shirt designs include Japan Tokyo South 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: Japan Tokyo South missionary aprons, Christmas stockings, ties, pillow cases, teddy bears and Christmas ornaments.

*Click here to browse Tokyo South Mission gifts

tokyo-south-lds-mission-shirt-1 tokyo-south-lds-mission-shirt-2 tokyo-south-lds-mission-shirt-3 tokyo-south-lds-mission-shirt-4

Japan Tokyo South Mission Presidents

Here’s a list of current and past Mission Presidents of the Japan Tokyo South LDS Mission.

  1. 2016-2019, J. Paul Warnick
  2. 2013-2016, Takashi Wada

Japan LDS Statistics (2016)

  • Church Membership: 128,216
  • Missions: 7
  • Temples: 2
  • Congregations: 266
  • Family History Centers: 63

Helpful Articles about Japan

Japan Tokyo South Missionary Survey

Here are survey responses from Japan Tokyo South RMs, to give you a snapshot into what it’s like to live in the mission.

When did you serve?

  • February 1992-August 1993 (Tina)
  • 1998-2000 (Dylan)
  • 1997-1999 (Oliver)
  • 1978-1979 (Charlotte)
  • 2000-2002 (Ryan)
  • 1990-2001 (John & Helen)
  • 1976-1978 (Craig)
  • 1991-1992 (MJ)
  • 1988-1990 (Rob)
  • July 1993-December 1994 (Tania)
  • 2013-2015 (Janaya)
  • 1979-1981 (Ken)
  • 1978-1980 (Alan)
  • 2000-2001 (Jen)
  • 1998-1999 (Elder & Sister Ockey)
  • 1987-1989 (Scott)
  • 1991-1993 (Jared)
  • 1989-1990 (Janet)
  • 1986-1988 (Tetsuko)

What areas did you serve in?

  • Fuchu, Machida, Fujisawa, Kawasaki. (Rob)
  • Hibarigaōka, Saitama-ken. (Janaya)
  • Yoshiwara, Shizuoka, Shimada, Ofuna, and Koganei. (Ken)
  • Tokyo, Yokohama, Kawasaki, Fujisawa. (Alan)
  • Senzokyuike, Fujisawa, Kofu, Machida. (Jen)
  • Kichijoji at the mission office and Sensoku Ike Tokyo 3rd Ward. (Elder & Sister Ockey)
  • Kofu, Kichijoji, Machida, Yokohama, Hakuraku. (Scott)
  • Shizuoka, Tokyo (Shibya), Tokorozawa, Yokosuka, Shimizu, and Yokohama. (Jared)
  • Kamakura, Yokohama, Hachioji, Kunitachi, Machida, Ofuna, Tachikawa, Fujisawa. (Janet)
  • Yokohama-Hakuraku, Kunitachi, Fujisawa, Shibuya. (Tetsuko)

What were some favorite foods?

  • Okanomiyaki Sushi, Nigiri sushi, Miso soup, Persimmons, Shabu shabu, Cupie Mayonnaise, Fruit. (Tina)
  • Yakiniku, shabu shabu, okonomiyaki. (Dylan)
  • Ton katsu. Sushi. Okonomiyaki. Curry + rice. Miso soup. Tuna + rice. Ramen. Oyakodon. (Oliver)
  • Gyoza, tenpura. (Charlotte)
  • Tonkatsu, kara-age, okonomiyaki, CC-Lemon, various baked goods/breads. (Ryan)
  • Catsudone, okonomiyaki. (John & Helen)
  • Ekisoba, Sushi. (Craig)
  • Chicken katsu, chicken curry, katsudon, yakiniku. (MJ)
  • Tsukiyaki, yakisoba, okonomiaki, sushi, ton katsu, Katsu curry, miso shiro, natto, gyoza, McDonald’s. (Rob)
  • Tempura, ocha. (Tania)
  • Tonkatsu, omu-raisu, ramen, karē, sashimi, miso shiru…(Janaya)
  • The first time I tried curry rice, I found it off putting, in fact, I remember thinking it tasted like what a wet cat smells like. it became a favorite, after a few more tries. (Ken)
  • Yakisoba Curry rice Inarisushi. (Alan)
  • Gyoza. Katsu. (Jen)
  • We liked whatever we tried but soba noodles were a favorite. Elder Ockey liked the chili from the American Grocery Store. (Elder & Sister Ockey)
  •  Sushi. Tonkatsu. Yakisoba. Gyoza. Curry. Okayodonburi. (Scott)
  • Curry rice, yakisoba, sukiyaki (especially dipping it in raw egg), okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake, without the fish flakes), tonkatsu (especially the sauce -Bulldog all the way!), as strange as it might sound, natto (fermented soybeans), sushi, mabudofu, …heck it would be easier to say what I didn’t like: whale blubber, Oden (a soup) and sea urchin. (Jared)
  • Okonomiyaki, ramen (from the ramayasan), sweet potatoes from the street vendor, chestnuts from the street vendor, curry, sukiyaki, dried squid, sushi, cream soup (from the box mix that the members gave us all the time), brown rice, mikan. (Janet)
  • Cyukadon. (Tetsuko)

What was a funny experience?

  • Getting lost and missing the train exit and having to take the next train back to my original destination because we couldn’t read or understand the language. (Tina)
  • Seeing a drunk old man, for no reason, yell at my companion and hit him upside the head with an umbrella. (Dylan)
  • When I got a flat tire on my bike on our way back to the apartment at 9.00 pm and we decided to walk back which took an hour more. (Oliver)
  • When I was in Tokyo, the neighbor in the next apartment always did his Buddhist devotionals at about the same time we were trying to do scripture study, so there was always some chanting going on next door while we were trying to study. In Yamato, church was held in a rented building and in the summer we had to keep the windows open to let the air circulate. The neighbor next door had a parrot and several times during Sacrament service we would hear the parrot call out “Ohayou gozaimasu!” (good morning). (Charlotte)
  • Once while rushing home one night on bicycles on an unlit road between rice fields in Numazu, my companion rode straight into another person riding a bike in the opposite direction. (Ryan)
  • Were out with Sister Suzuki and the mosquitoes were out in force and we did not like them. One landed on Sister Suzuki’s cheek and my wife sapped her on the cheek, surprising Sister Suzuki and killing the mosquito. Another time, President Suzuki was headed to Yokohama and he ask me if I wanted him to drive. I told him that in a very short time the cell phone would ring and it was against the law to drive and talk on the phone. I also knew that he had a packet of President’s letters that he needed to read and comment on. I told him I could not read most of them, so he would have to do that. I also told him that within 15 minutes, he would be sound asleep. So I drove. Another time, we got a couple of hot dogs from the seminary activity and a sister wanted to know what we wanted on them. Ketchup and mustard was the response. As we were about to leave, the sister came running out and told us not to eat the hot dogs as it was horse radish by then I had taken a bite and was not ready for another bite and I told the president that I couldn’t eat it as it was too hot. He said that he would take it and took a bite to which he commented: “Wow that is really hot.”  My wife was continually having problems with the computer systems and Elder Stringham would just say: “What have you done now Sister Totten.”  (John & Helen)
  • Street contacted a guy and scared him bad enough for him to turn and run away. (Craig)
  • My first apartment was on top of a three story building that served as our ward building. The senior companion from the other companion set in our apartment was going home soon, and he wanted to do some water balloon pranks. One night, we filled balloons with water and launched them from the roof of the church building. We were trying to get them into the large, open ditch that ran right next to the church. After many failed attempts due to lots of telephone wires in the way, we finally got one to land in the center of the water flow in the ditch. It made a huge splash and people started coming out of their homes to see if someone had fallen into the ditch. (MJ)
  • My companion creamed a motorbike delivery guy. It was my companion’s fault but he blamed the delivery guy. There was shrimp and noodles all over the street. It smelled good because I was really hungry at the time. (Rob)
  • I jumped in front of a bike and yelled stop. They stopped and asked about why we were there? (Tania)
  • Another Elder in our apartment didn’t speak Japanese very well. While talking to a Japanese person on the phone he’d listen, then nervously but heartily laugh, and then say “Huh?!”, repeatedly during the same conversation. This happened over and over. (Alan)
  • Thinking tako was taco and mugicha was apple juice. (Jen)
  • One day two of our missionaries got separated while riding their bikes. With no cell phones, one called into the office and talked to Elder Shiraishi. In a few minutes the other Elder called in and Elder Shiraishi turned the two phones so that they could talk to each other. (Elder & Sister Ockey)
  • I had a senior companion who was third generation Japanese from the USA. He didn’t speak the language much better than I did. When we were street contacting, the Japanese we talked to would always look at him when I was trying to communicate in Japanese with a funny expression of: “Why don’t you help this guy out???” During the early weeks of my mission when I was still jet-lagged and bored during lessons because I couldn’t understand what was going on, I yawned a lot earning the nickname of: Akubi Choro. (Scott)
  • For everyone else, hitting my head on the doors. (Jared)
  • My cousin was working in Tokyo while I was serving my mission, and quite a few P-days, he’d come hang out with my district. One P-day, we hadn’t made contact, and my district went into Shibuya. We got off the train and went into a bookstore just outside of the train station. When we left, my companion and I were walking behind the elders, when someone kissed the back of my neck. I turned around ready to deck someone, and it ended up being my cousin – he found me in the busiest train station in Tokyo. (Janet)
  • We were contacted by a business man while we were streeting in Roppongi (六本木). He was interested in why we were so happy. (Tetsuko)

What was a crazy experience?

  • Getting into a bicycle accident with a car door. (Tina)
  • On my bicycle, I came around a blind turn and barely missed a car, hit a telephone pole and bounced off all the while staying on my bike and not crashing. (Dylan)
  • At an all you can eat pizza place, I ate 27 slices which I thought was crazy but I was able to keep it inside until I got back to the apartment and had to vomit some of it out.  (Oliver)
  • I was going door to door with two member girls one day and it was my turn to do the door approach. The man who answered the door wasn’t interested, but my two companions became hysterical. I later learned they recognized the tattoos the man was covered in and they were Yakuza (Japanese Mafia) tattoos. They were scared to death! (Charlotte)
  • I was nearly in a bicycle/car accident while riding my bike home one night in Numazu. The car skidded to a halt and I swerved my bike nearly out of the way, and the car stopped just in time, only bumping my bike hard enough to scrape some red paint off onto my bike frame. (Ryan)
  • Typhoons. (Craig)
  • Riding our bicycles everywhere (even in the rain) was always a rather dangerous activity. The streets were always so narrow and crowded with traffic. It amazes me more missionaries did not have serious accidents. (MJ)
  • We were in a four man apartment in Machida. A drunk man held us hostage for about 20 minutes with a kitchen knife. (Rob)
  • I was arrested. (Tania)
  • I had a bike crash at night. My front tire hit a large rock, tossed me over the handlebars and onto the street where I slid for a good 10-15 feet. The shoulder was narrow and it’s a miracle that I didn’t careen into the guard rail or fall out into busy traffic on the road. When I got home and checked, I found gravel in my suit and vest pockets, both knees were bloodied, but my suit was still wearable.
  • Riding my bike in Tokyo. (Jen)
  • Learning to ride the train to church. It wasn’t dangerous but it was definitely crazy. President Suzuki assigned us to take several missionaries to the airport and then return to the Tokyo Temple and attend a session. A group who had been attending a session would then be taken to the Airport by the Suzukis. We got the missionaries to the airport but got lost on the way back to the temple. We truly followed the Spirit to get back to the temple and at one point went the wrong way on a one way street because we knew we were close and couldn’t find the proper one way street. Crazy and dangerous. (Elder & Sister Ockey)
  • We taught an older man who was a former member of the Yakusa with several missing fingers to prove it. He was trying to improve his life and we tried to help him understand that Jesus Christ’s mission and purpose was to help and enable people to change and improve. (Scott)
  • Before they made us wear helmets, we rode our bikes down this hill in Tokyo and we would be going so fast that we would merge over into the fast lane of traffic on the highway and pass cars. Fun, but not that smart for a 19 year old. (Jared)
  • My companion and I were tracting in a rain storm – it got so bad, that we were soaked. We even stopped under the overhang of someone’s garage for a while to see if we could wait it out a little bit. The storm never let up – even a little bit. We finally made it back home, only to have the mission office call the next morning (which was sunny and clear) to tell us that the church office in Salt Lake City, UT had called to have all missionaries stay inside during the hurricane they heard we were experiencing. We were told to stay inside all day (even though the storm that we’d been in all day before, had passed). (Janet)
  • Pedaling along the bypass on a rainy day. (Tetsuko)

What was a spiritual experience?

  • Receiving a blessing after my bike accident and the Patriarch gave me a blessing which blessed my future family. (Tina)
  • Gaining a testimony of the personal nature of the Atonement. (Dylan)
  • Teaching an investigator the 2nd discussion and then when we invited him to be baptized, he replied yes straight away. (Oliver)
  • On a Sunday morning, my companion and I were going over the appointments we had for the week. A girl from English class had agreed to attend church that day and take the first lesson after church. I had the strong impression that this girl was going to take all the lessons this coming week and get baptized the next week, so I shared that with my companion. We plotted out which days we were going to teach her on our calendar. She was the first investigator I had who came to church the first time in a skirt (they usually come in pants), she took the first discussion after church, we taught her the rest of the discussions over coming week, and she was baptized the following Sunday, including getting her parents’ permission! (Charlotte)
  • Through following the promptings of the Spirit, I was led to a man who accepted the gospel and was baptized shortly before I returned home. His door was the first door I knocked on in my first day in my last area (Hibarigaoka). (Ryan)
  • Although we were in the office, we had the chance to help teach a couple from Mainland China and spent a lot of time with them as we went to Church together. We also taught and baptized a single sister from China. We also remember teaching a Japanese woman who was accepting the gospel and had a glow about her as she was reading and praying and getting ready to be baptized. One meeting with her, we saw that there was a marked change in her countenance and the light had gone out. When she read about the Word of Wisdom, she commented that if she were to stop drinking tea she would be putting someone out of work. (John & Helen)
  • When I was sick, President Price gave me a blessing and mentioned my wife was waiting for me back home. And she was. We just had to meet. Married in 3 months. (Craig)
  • My Mission President always told us, “It is better to be trusted than to be liked.” On one of our transfer days, I had to stay at the apartment with the junior companion from the other companion set. We were both getting new companions on this transfer. At one point, he handed me his Area Book and told me to take any of his investigators that I wanted. When I asked him why he would make such an offer, he explained that if they were MY investigators he was sure that they would be taught the gospel properly. He could not be sure his new senior would do such a good job, because his previous seniors had not done such a good job. I was flattered that he trusted me so, but I had to tell him it was inappropriate for me to take his investigators. (MJ)
  • Fasted and prayed to see success with a wampaku dorio. His “go” got better and so did his willingness to serve. We started having baptisms and he became one of my best friends. (Rob)
  • Being arrested because of the four police officers I talked to…two later were baptized. They just kept asking us questions about why we were there, and I was let go with a warning. (Tania)
  • Dendo. (Jen)
  • Our stake performed the Messiah in Japanese. It touched my heart so much when the brand new missionaries were taken to Sun Road and thrown to the wolves, so to speak. They were so excited and enthusiastic when they left the honbu and so exhausted when they returned. It was truly a baptism by fire. (Elder & Sister Ockey)
  • I was blessed with many spiritual experiences that have forever changed me. One that sticks out was meeting Brother Shiota on the streets of Machida. I was a new zone leader and on splits with a younger missionary. I was nervous yet we had an amazing morning. We placed all the copies of the Book of Mormon we had with us and had to ride our bikes back to the Machida Ward building for more copies. As Elder Suezle (I know this spelling isn’t correct — sorry about that…) and I walked down the street, we felt inspired to turn down a street I’d never been down before. We met Brother Shiota down that street and had a great discussion, gave him a Book of Mormon, and set an appointment to meet at the Church a few days later. He came to the appointment with his wife and three children. This family was prepared to embrace the gospel and change their lives through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. They were all baptized a few months later. Tori, Hiroyuki and a younger brother (born after the family joined the Church), all served missions. The family was sealed in the temple. Tori currently serves as a Bishop in Okinawa. I will always remember the first time each person in this family prayed. We taught them about prayer in their apartment huddled around their table; they each then, in turn, offered a prayer–their first time speaking with their Heavenly Father. This was a very spiritual and touching experience. (Scott)
  • Too many to name, everything from speaking words and my use of grammar in Japanese that was way beyond my ability – gift of tongues; having the first person I baptized serve a mission and finding out on my last Sunday in Japan that he had just had his first baptism too. Actually the spiritual experiences are still coming years later. You will grow so much as you learn to trust in God. (Jared)
  • My companion and I were teaching a woman who just wasn’t progressing. We truly didn’t know what to do for her, and we didn’t know what to do with her. We decided to pray and fast about her prior to an appointment we had with her. Both of us got the impression that we were to drop her as an investigator. We were both heartbroken. As we met with her the next day, I ended up being the one to tell her what the Spirit had told us to do. I knew that the Spirit was guiding me, because I was using vocabulary that I truly had never studied, and my Japanese was so spot on. Both my companion and I knew that we had been guided by the Spirit, and even though we did drop her as an investigator, it was one of the most spiritual experiences of my mission. (Janet)
  • When I recognized investigators feel the Spirit and come to know that the gospel is true and Jesus lives and He is their Savior. (Tetsuko)

What are some interesting facts about the Tokyo South Mission?

  • We had the Tokyo temple in our mission and Mt. Fuji. We could experience different cultural things like climbing Mt. Fuji once on our mission, going to a Sento, and Sumo wrestling. (Tina)
  • I had one area that was my companion and I and about 2 million people (or half the city of Kawasaki). (Dylan)
  • There was a lot of reactivation work that needed to be done. There were well known celebrities of the church living within the mission. (Oliver)
  • Our mission included Mt. Fuji. Missionaries were allowed to climb Mt. Fuji on their Preparation Day when I was there and I did, but I don’t think they can do that any more. Our mission also included the Buddha at Kamakura, Lake Hakone Park, and the Tokyo Temple. (Charlotte)
  • There were approximately 30 million people in my area, covered by approximately 115 missionaries (between 2000-2002). (Ryan)
  • After we had served and the next couple came, we trained them and went home. We found out about 6 months later that they had been reassigned to San Diego so we contacted President Suzuki and ask him if he wanted us to come back. His response was: “Do fish need fins.” So we paid our own way back and stayed for 3 months until the next couple came. (John & Helen)
  • Mission home was to be the temple later. (Craig)
  • At the time, we had the only temple in our mission and we had six stakes, which was more than any other mission in Japan. We also had Mt. Fuji in our mission. (MJ)
  • At one time we had over 83,000 people to talk to per missionary. It was overwhelming! (Rob)
  • Ours was the era of President Delbert Groberg, with very large numbers of baptisms, but very little retention. (Ken)
  • It was geographically one of the smallest missions in the Church, but it had one of the largest populations in it, and almost certainly among the highest population density. (Alan)
  • High bike accident mission in the world. Really. (Jen)
  • Shirl was in charge of the fleet which consisted of two vehicles and 200 bicycles. I would love to know if that is still the same in our mission. (Elder & Sister Ockey)
  • President and Sister Matsumori were wonderful mission parents. I’ve always appreciated their personal concern for each of us as well as their encouragement to experience and make the most of the Japanese culture. Emperor Hirohito passed away during my mission and we were encouraged to participate in the public funeral and mourning which included the opening of the Emperor’s Palace for the first time in many decades. We also celebrated New Year’s at midnight visiting Shrines and were permitted to go see Sumo Wrestling even though this was outside fo our mission boundaries. During my mission, we had a Tokyo Multi-Mission Conference at which President Gordon B. Hinckley spoke This was a highlight of my mission. (Scott)
  • This mission is where the Gospel was first preached to the Japanese in 1901 by President Heber J Grant and company. (Jared)
  • Twenty four of my investigators were baptized while I was on my mission (a lot of them had been taught for years, and I taught a lot of foreigners). I had 18 companions during the 18 months I was on my mission (quite a few 3-somes and a few two week companionships while we waited for transfers). The church in Ofuna was under a large statue of a head. (Janet)
  • We are all imperfect. (Tetsuko)

What was the weather like?

  • Rainy and cold during the winter. Very hot and humid during the summer. Always raining. Pack and carry a good umbrella. (Tina)
  • Cold in the winter and humid in the summer. (Dylan)
  • Hot, humid in the summer…cold and snowy in the winter. (Oliver)
  • Hot, sticky, humid, and miserable in the summer. I spent winter in Shizuoka, the only place in the mission where it didn’t snow, although it was still cold. (Charlotte)
  • There were four seasons, with a crazy monsoon/rainy season, and nearly always humid. (Ryan)
  • Is it mushi atsui? Hot and muggy. I was sort of used to it as I had been in Japan in the military for 2 1/2 years previously although it was a lot hotter in Tokyo area than in Misawa. (John & Helen)
  • Hot , humid, wet. (Craig)
  • There are four distinct seasons in Japan. The winters tend to be somewhat mild with little to no snow, but the summers are very hot and humid. Also, there is a rainy season during the summer months. (MJ)
  • Rainy, hot, cold, perfect! (Rob)
  • Lots of rain and could be very humid; but the spring was beautiful! (Tania)
  • Bitter cold winters without the benefit of snow; hot and humid summers. (Ken)
  • Hot and muggy in the summer, cool to cold with only occasional snow in winter. We wore suit coats whenever the businessmen did, and took them off when they did in the summer. (Alan)
  • Hot, wet, cold, wet. (Jen)
  • We have never been colder or hotter. When your instructions say get rain gear, they mean rain gear! (Elder & Sister Ockey)
  • Humid, rainy during late spring and early summer, and cold in the winter. Back then, rain gear wasn’t very breathable making for some very musty bike rides during the rainy season. (Scott)
  • In a lot of ways (except summer) like my home state of Oregon, not too cold in winter, rains a lot, nice pleasant temperature. Okay, summers are not like anything I’ve experienced before – they call it mushi atsui (steamy hot) and at the end of the summer you hit typhoon season, with incredible amounts of rain. (Jared)
  • I arrived in July, and it rained for 3 months. It was actually beautiful, although humid. When it was cold, it only snowed a little bit. It reminded me of California. (Janet)
  • Summer – Hot. Winter – Cold. (Tetsuko)

Any things you really like about the area/people?

  • People are very polite and nice. They are very helpful and kind to everyone- especially missionaries. The Japanese people are very hospitable. The places in Japan are very Eastern, and different from our Western ways- for example, removing your shoes before entering a place. (Tina)
  • Most Japanese people are very nice and helpful, just not interested in religion. (Dylan)
  • I like the friendly people who I served. (Oliver)
  • The people are short like me, so I finally felt like a grown up! I love everything about the Japanese culture from the food to the folk dancing to the folk music to the kimonos to the language! Japanese people love Americans, so they love getting to know you. (Charlotte)
  • The people in Japan are incredibly polite and well mannered. The culture is an interesting blend between east and west, and the society is very safe, modern, and convenient. (Ryan)
  • As with all missionaries we learned to love the people as we served them and admired their generosity. One of the men in my English class heard that I was in the market to purchase a camera. The next week when he came to class, he gave me a shopping bag with a $400 camera and 11 rolls of film. (John & Helen)
  • Humble, wonderful people. (Craig)
  • Japan is an absolutely beautiful country. The people tend to be very polite. The crime rate is quite low and you can safely go anywhere at any time. (MJ)
  • The people we so humble and the food was awesome. It truly was the best two years. (Rob)
  • Very kind hearted; never had a door slammed in my face. (Tania)
  • I met so many wonderful people, friends to keep for a lifetime. (Ken)
  • The Japanese are very gracious people, and once you figure out the unspoken communication, it was pretty easy to know what they were really saying. For example, when I’d butcher the Japanese language a typical Japanese response is to say, “You are so good at speaking Japanese,” which meant, “Ouch, your Japanese is hurting my ears, but hang in there anyway.” (Alan)
  • Seemed to always be happy. (Jen)
  • My favorite thing about Japan is the people. We truly loved the people we served and who served us. Five special English conversation ladies took us everywhere to see some amazing things, but they were the ones who were amazing. I will never forget them. We will be together forever. (Elder & Sister Ockey)
  • I enjoyed each area where I served: Kofu, Kichijoji, Machida, Hakuraku. I grew to love and respect the Japanese people and children, the considerate and polite culture, the food, the gardens, etc…(Scott)
  • You learn to love the people you serve, in the country the people are nicer, in Tokyo or Yokohama they are too busy but still nice. You learn to love the people you serve, in the country the people are nicer, in Tokyo or Yokohama they are too busy but still nice. (Jared)
  • The people were so beautiful! I fell in love with each and every one of them. I also found my Japanese twin. Japan felt like home to me, even though I’m from the Wasatch front (mountains). It was hard to come home after being there. I always felt safe. I got lost my first week, and even though I didn’t speak the language, nor could I read the signs, and even though I only had the mission office phone number, the Assistants to the President were able to find me and get me back to my companion. I truly felt as peace there. (Janet)
  • The areas I served produced many Japanese LDS pioneers and I enjoyed learning from them and associating with them. (Tetsuko)

Any packing/clothing advice?

  • Pack lightly. Most sure you have plenty of good walking shoes in your size, especially if you are a tall or bigger person. Buy a good raincoat. Pack only essentials. Remember most Japanese people are smaller than most Americans. (Tina)
  • Get comfortable shoes, only black socks, and good rain coat and pants. (Dylan)
  • Travel light and frequently send souvenirs home instead of collecting stuff as you transfer around. (Oliver)
  • Make sure to bring slip-on shoes because you take your shoes off a lot! (Charlotte)
  • Take a good rain suit that fits. Don’t be afraid to ask your family to send you a new pair of shoes when you need them. (Ryan)
  • Comfortable shoes, water proof, not resistant outer clothing and an overcoat. (John & Helen)
  • Pack light. Anything you need is there. (Craig)
  • People in Japan do not use deodorant, so you may want to pack your own supply. Also, be prepared to have family send you more deodorant and white shirts at some point during your mission. I took three suits with me to Japan — two I wore on a daily basis, but the third I saved for special occasions like Zone Conferences, Christmas Conferences and going home. Also, do not wear your suit pants during the summer months. Have extra slacks you can wear when suits are not required. If people back home are going to send you some spending money, they need to make sure the bills are crisp, brand new bills because the banks in Japan are very picky about what currency they will accept for exchange. (MJ)
  • Bring extra shampoo, deodorant, and toothpaste. Also, very warm clothing for winter. You don’t get much snow but it’s humid and the cold goes right through you. Extra shoes are a must as well! (Rob)
  • Don’t buy cheap rain gear. You will use it a lot and need a good quality rain suit. (Tania)
  • I just brought what was recommended and was fine. (Alan)
  • Kappa. (Jen)
  • The clothes in Japan are smaller and the ties are shorter. We had to have a few things sent to us. One of my most important jobs was to cut off the long shirt sleeves of the elders white shirts. They needed the long sleeves in the winter but not in the summer. I think that I must have altered three dozen shirts in that way, just for the Elders who were in our district. You might as well do it because after a full winter of wear the shirts start to look grungy so wear the short sleeved ones for a summer and then get new ones to finish. (Elder & Sister Ockey)
  • If you are tall or large, you will have a hard time finding clothing that will fit in Japan. Take what you need! Definitely take slip on shoes — not lace ups. Good rain gear is a must — breathable like Gore Tex is best even though this is expensive. Winter can be really cold so take long Gs and a good, warm winter coat. Humidity makes cold temperatures feel much colder. (Scott)
  • A good rain coat with pants that fit over a suit. Make sure you try it on first. Also a velcro strap to hold your pants legs out of you bike gears. Good luck finding men’s shoes size 13, so make sure you bring what you need. (Jared)
  • A rain coat and warm clothes for winter, breathable clothes for summer (very humid). (Janet)
  • Consider four seasons. It snows in Winter. Summer is hot and humid. (Tetsuko)

What blessings did you receive from serving a mission?

  • My son is serving a mission now. I have been sealed in the temple to my husband. My family is active in the church. My non-member folks came and picked me up and visited me on my mission. My family and I were kept safe. I only have a small scar from my bike accident. Good friends! (Tina)
  • A testimony that has kept me in the church. (Dylan)
  • I am still reaping the blessings. I am still speaking my mission language and working as a translator for Japanese visitors who visit New Zealand. (Oliver)
  • I know that God is watching over me. (Charlotte)
  • A stronger testimony and spiritual foundation in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Countless memories and experiences that helped shape me over the years, and numerous other blessings. (Ryan)
  • Our opportunity to serve came as a result of my wife waiting for me when I served a mission the first time. Having made that plan when we married and the children were out of the house, we were ready to go. Our study together and serving together was a great blessing which resulted in our serving two more times together in Arizona and then back in Nagoya and including the three months back in Tokyo South. We still have frequent contact with the Suzuki family and cherish the time we served with them and love the many young missionaries that we had contact with. (John & Helen)
  • All of them. (Craig)
  • I gained confidence that the Lord is mindful of me and wants me to succeed. If he can help an elder learn the language, anything is possible through faith. (Rob)
  • Strong faith; power of prayer. (Tania)
  • Strengthened testimony, increased gospel knowledge, knowledge that I can do hard things, appreciation for another culture, realization that we are all God’s children. (Alan)
  • My own testimony. (Jen)
  • I had a long-time desire of mine fulfilled and found out someone that I should save. My own spirituality grew as I served. We fulfilled a promise that we made to each other early in our marriage that we would serve a mission together. We have been able to serve a total of three missions together including the Ogden Temple and the Family Search Library. My husband was also called as a stake missionary and stake mission president which helped prepare us to serve a full-time couples mission in Japan. (Elder & Sister Ockey)
  • Strengthened testimony. Learned to love others. Witnessed the gospel change and improve lives. Developed lifelong friendships. Gained an appreciation for a culture completely different from my own. (Scott)
  • The blessings are still coming. Make sure you pray in Japanese every day after your mission, and you will never really forget the language. (Jared)
  • I don’t know if I can count them all – I truly learned to love everyone, I learned the gospel, I learned Japanese (truly a gift of the Spirit), I learned to love a land that I never thought I’d visit, and that I was quite a bit intimidated by. I feel like I grew up and let go of childish things. Different things mattered to me after my mission. (Janet)
  • Build a strong connection with God and His Son. (Tetsuko)

What are some skills you gained?

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Japanese. Knowledge and appreciation of a new culture. A love of Japanese food. Good friends from Japan. How to communicate with little knowledge of a new language. (Tina)
  • Diligence. (Dylan)
  • People communication skills. Bike maintenance skills. Time management skills. Finance budgeting skills. Cooking skills. (Oliver)
  • I was later able to use my skills in Japanese to teach Japanese for an online high school. (Charlotte)
  • Missionary skills. (Ryan)
  • Japanese. Duh. Getting along with others. (Craig)
  • Language skills, teaching skills, planning skills, map reading and navigation skills. (MJ)
  • Definitely learned how to persevere through adversity and work hard to achieve my goals. I also learned how to have positive, deep relationships with others. (Rob)
  • Language; communication; relationships. (Tania)
  • Interacting with strangers, awareness and an open mind to other cultures and points of view. (Ken)
  • Teaching skills (I’m now a teacher by profession), interpersonal skills, the ability to identify what’s important and what’s a waste of time. (Alan)
  • I became proficient with chop sticks. (Jen)
  • When we got there I was assigned to do referrals and I had no computer skills. By the time I left to go home I was at least prepared to move on with my own computer better. I am still not the best at the computer, but thanks to all of the computer geeks that I worked with, I at least had some of the computer language, etc. Thanks to all of the fine young men who bailed me out during that time. You know who you are, you poor boys. Shirl always took a young Elder with him to the bank to speak with the tellers. One day he found himself alone and had to go by himself. He found out that the girls who worked as tellers spoke English just fine but they were unsure and afraid to do it. After that day, Shirl was able to go to the bank himself. We are aware that the methods of banking have changed since we served, we hope for the better. (Elder & Sister Ockey)
  • Public speaking. Leadership. Teaching. Training. Self Reliance. Cooking. Laundry. Cleaning. (Scott)
  • Sales skills, problem solving, organizational skills, leadership skills, and most importantly an immovable testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (Jared)
  • Speaking Japanese – and along with that I feel like I can understand what people are saying – I can read between the lines when I converse with someone and truly know what they are communicating with me. I developed people skills. I can cook anything. I am comfortable going to new places. I can read any map, even if I don’t know the language written on it. I can find my way around anywhere. (Janet)
  • Know of American culture. (Tetsuko)

What do you wish you knew/did at the beginning of your mission?

  • I wish I knew the scriptures more. I was a newly baptized member when I served, a year after my baptism. I didn’t take seminary, and only a few institute classes. (Tina)
  • Not try so hard to be the perfect missionary, the Lord is the perfect one not me. (Dylan)
  • I wish I knew some of the easy grammar and vocabulary structures a bit better. (Oliver)
  • Nothing. I learned things as I went and made improvements the hard and necessary way: through experience. (Ryan)
  • I wished that we had more Japanese as there was only one other couple with us and about half way through they dropped out so SYL was very sort for us. (John & Helen)
  • Better testimony, experience. (Craig)
  • Keep an open mind toward the people you meet. Keep an open mind about the food you are offered. Always remember, as a Junior Companion, your job will be to learn the language, learn the lessons, stay with your companion at all times and do as he asks you. That is it. You need not worry about anything else. All the other stuff will be on your shoulders when you become a Senior Companion. (MJ)
  • More language; more about the scriptures. (Tania)
  • I wish I had a better understanding that missions are about the Lord and his work instead of being about what missionaries do and how they spend their days. (Alan)
  • The burning desire to serve with all my heart. (Jen)
  • I wish that I could have had a better start with the language. We could have stayed for two more months at the MTC and at least begin to learn Japanese. (Elder & Sister Ockey)
  • I wish I would have had a better understanding of Buddhism and Shintoism. Missionaries need to have a realistic understanding of elements of Japanese culture that are contrary to the standards of the LDS Church like tea, coffee, alcohol, etc… This makes initial and lasting commitment, conversion and retention a challenge. (Scott)
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes when speaking the language. If you aren’t you will learn it quicker. It took me about a year, so if I wasn’t afraid I could have learned it faster. (Jared)
  • I wish I had kept track of people better. I haven’t kept in touch with very many people from Japan, or many companions. (Janet)
  • The knowledge and wisdom from scriptures and daily life. (Tetsuko)

Any advice/testimony for pre-missionaries going to Tokyo South?

  • I think you should enjoy every moment. Remember serving the people of Japan is not about the number of baptisms you have or how many copies of The Book of Mormon you placed. It is about the seeds you plant and the service you provide for others who cannot serve. It is teaching that Jesus Christ is not only our Savior, but our elder Brother who loves us all and died for all of us. Love the people and they will love you. Be patient with their cultural ways and you might just learn why the Japanese people do what they do. (Tina)
  • Don’t stress over the language. It is a skill like anything else. (Dylan)
  • Serve hard and just follow the Savior and love the people you are called to serve. (Oliver)
  • You can always get a head start by learning to read the hiragana and katakana alphabets. Hiragana is for verb endings and small Japanese words or words that have no Chinese character. Katakana is for writing foreign words, but it represents the same set of sounds. (Charlotte)
  • Do your best and let the Lord take care of the rest. Also, it’s not what you’ve done, it’s what you’ve become. Put love and the Spirit first, and everything else will fall into place. (Ryan)
  • Go with the idea that all mission rules are given by revelation to make it possible to be safe during a mission. (John & Helen)
  • Get your own testimony. (Craig)
  • Make up your mind early that you will keep the mission rules and work hard. The Lord will bless missionaries He can trust. (MJ)
  • Just follow the instructions your mission president sends you! (Rob)
  • Attend the temple often before you go. (Tania)
  • Be good, be strictly obedient, and know that to most of the people you will meet, you ARE the Church. They are likely to accept whatever you say as doctrine, so be sure you know what you are talking about before you speak. Be willing to stand up to a senior companion who is not following mission rules. You are there to watch each others’ backs and keep each other physically and spiritually safe. (Alan)
  • Work hard. You have 2 years to serve and the rest of your life to think about it. (Jen)
  • Throw yourself into the work, forget the girls at home and try to concentrate on what you are there for. We had some very distracting things happen at home with our children and grandchildren. We found that if we prayed and left it up to the Lord, we could cope better and know that everything would be ok. (Elder & Sister Ockey)
  • Go having read The Book of Mormon with a testimony of its truthfulness. Familiarize yourself with Preach My Gospel. Know how you feel and recognize the Spirit. Know how to do laundry. Know how to cook a few basic meals (I seriously had a companion ask me how to peel an onion). Wean yourself from any addictions including cell phones and social media. (Scott)
  • Know the foundations of the Gospel. Every concept you teach someone will be new. Don’t assume they will understand what you are teaching, because they don’t have a Christian back ground. Study Ammon teaching King Lamoni, he starts out teaching but has to go back to explain concepts. Be prepared to do that about all Gospel concepts. (Jared)
  • Let go of any preconceived ideas and just go with the flow. You’ll be amazed at where the Spirit takes you and who you touch and who touches you. (Janet)
  • Focus on the main reason to serve. (Tetsuko)

What was a funny language mistake?

  • Jibun no uchi (one’s own house) or Jubun no ichi (one tenth). When discussing whether one will either give one tenth of one’s income to tithing, not one’s mortgage payment. Ningen= people and ninjin= carrot. “God’s people,” or “God’s carrot.” (Tina)
  • Learn the right verb and object combinations. In Japanese, you don’t open an umbrella, you point it. Listen to how natives speak. (Dylan)
  • Called a child Kowai so. (pitiful) instead of Kawaii so. (cute) (Craig)
  • Well, one evening soon after arriving in Japan, we were handing out invitations to our free English Conversation Class, and I kept saying “Dozo, kore wa midori desu” to people we met. What I thought I was saying was “Here you go, this is free,” while what I was really saying was “Here you go, this is green,” No wonder why I got so many strange looks. Another time, we were teaching the Law of Tithing and I thought I said that that we have been commanded to pay “one tenth” (jubun no ichi) for tithing, but instead I said we have been commanded to pay (jibun no uchi) “our own house”. That led to an interesting chat during and after the lesson. Ha ha. (Alan)
  • I was able to answer the phone, hear the speaker and determine whether I could talk to them in English or if I needed one of the young Elders or the President to speak Japanese. My husband didn’t learn even the two sentences that I could speak, so one day I heard him answer the phone in a bright and cheery voice and make something up that sounded the same to him. We laughed and laughed. (Elder & Sister Ockey)
  • Mixing up the verbs to meet with to love, when talking with a female investigator on the phone. I knew I had made a mistake when all the other Elders dropped to the floor laughing. (Jared)
  • Shofu and Shufu Nigin and Nigen Kintama for Liahona. (Janet)
  • Always put “o” as the prefix to try to make a sentence polite. But sometimes it did not work, but still kawaii for American missionaries. (Tetsuko)