Monday, August 26, 2013

Hop to Detroit, vault over the Pole . . .

Hey there,

We're finally actually heading out to Japan! Flight plan: leave MTC Monday 26 August at 4 a.m. Salt Lake City to Detroit to Japan, arriving Tuesday 27 August 5:30 p.m. local time.

New Mailing Address:

Elder Matthew Patrick Naylor
Japan Nagoya Mission
1-304 Itakadai, Meito-ku
Nagoya-shi, Aichi
JAPAN 465-0028 

These past few weeks have been an immense learning experience. Not just a complete brainwash of absorbing the Japanese language, but also a lot of time for reflection and learning about my worst weaknesses and best strengths. After these weeks, I already feel a closeness with God, a greater desire and capacity to love others and treat them with respect. I feel a greater push to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone I meet. I have copies of the Book of Mormon ready to give to people in the airport on the way to Japan, and I honestly can't wait for the opportunity to just talk to people.

The fresh and beautiful way of the Gospel of Christ is the greatest gift I could ever give anyone. It's about to be Christmas for two years straight in Japan. Let the season of giving begin.

So I can't believe I forgot to mention this in my last email, but LAST Tuesday (August 13th) we had the immense privilege of hearing from our beloved apostle, Elder Richard G. Scott, here at the MTC. It was an amazing experience. He came and spoke to us all about prayer and communing with God in a more personal and loving way. I learned so much from his words, but even more from his spirit. When he walked into the room.....a room full of thousands of people.....everything changed. A wave of happiness and love rushed in and enveloped us all as we stood up, almost in unison, to show respect and admiration for a beloved Apostle of the Lord. It was an awesome experience!

So a couple weeks ago, the other elders and I uncovered some epic red fabric with blue crabs on it. The creative sides of our brains started pulsing, and we spent one of our p-days sitting in our room doing arts and crafts for several hours. Talk about manliness. Most of the elders decided to make satchels ("crab satchels"), but I decided that I wanted an apron. So I started sewing and cutting and ironing and sewing and cutting some more. Mom, I'm learning how to sew! I'm actually becoming a man now.

My apron WAS finished, or so I thought....but it turns out my sewing skills need some I'm gonna have to finish/start over on my apron when I get to Japan. It'll be truly a sight to behold, though, and the special guard against spilling rice on my clothes as I cook will be very much appreciated.

It's been really hard starting to say our goodbyes to everyone. We've had to part ways with our teachers, who have been amazing friends throughout our time here. I love them all so much.

Here are Matt and his companion with their lovely sensei, M.  She returned from a mission to Japan three years ago.

Here are Matt and his companion with their sensei, N, who returned from a mission to Japan Tokyo earlier this year.
Matt's district, flying to Japan Monday 26 August.

Mom and Dad, friends and family, thank you so much for everything. I have been getting so many letters and support over the past weeks here in MTC-land. To my Coast Guard friends especially, I think of you often and I miss you very much. I miss everyone. But I could not be doing anything better right now. I have been called to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Japan...truly a humbling and sacred calling. I am so blessed and thankful for this opportunity. I really couldn't be happier.


(Elder Naylor)

P.S. So I got my new Japanese nametag, which has my name in katakana. Unfortunately, though humorously, they spelled my name wrong, so instead of saying the Japanese equivalent of "Elder Naylor" (Neira Choro), my name instead reads "Meira Choro"....."Elder Maylor." Legit.

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