Our family loves to make Top Ten lists (i.e.: Favorite Places We’ve Been, Things That Made You Laugh Today, Things You Love About Mom ;), etc.) so we asked Charlie to do the same about life in Japan as a missionary. The results are in, and here they are:
Top Ten Things Charlie Loves About Japan1. I love the people.2. I love the food.3. I love how it rains a lot, even though it’s hard to bike in.4. I love how Obaachans [grandmas] walk around on their own everywhere.5. I love talking to people on trains.6. I love giving American pennies to little kids.7. I love how everywhere you go there is either a ramen shop or a convenience store within sight.8. I love how the garbage trucks sing little songs as they roll around town.*9. I love how there is always a vending machine on every street in every neighborhood.10. I love how all the business men and women dress. Everyone dresses really nice for work.
*singing garbage trucks–he is not making this up, they really do play catchy little tunes from loudspeakers while they collect the trash (like ice cream trucks in America, only minus the ice cream). Watch this little video below:
Top Ten Things Charlie Loves About Being a Missionary1. I love learning the gospel more and more every day.2. I love being put in situations where you have no option but to just follow the spirit and put your shoulder to the wheel.3. I love working with the wonderful members of the church.4. I love building strong legs because I have to bike everywhere.5. I love watching the hand of the Lord guiding everyone’s lives.6. I love having opportunities to testify of Jesus Christ every single day.7. I love trying to be a good companion.8. I love looking for opportunities to help people every day.9. I love seeing people I teach progress in the gospel and come closer to the Savior and feel more of God’s love in their lives.10. I love not having to worry about anything but serving the Lord.
Top Ten Best Moments on the Mission So Far
1. Baptizing Shota san and Fukumitsu Shimai.2. Yesterday at church hearing the wonderful Senri ward’s testimonies and feeling everyone’s friendship.3. Teaching zone training meeting and feeling like everyone was helped.4. Seeing Shota share his conversion story with all of the missionaries in the zone.5. Every night when I kneel in prayer and talk with my Heavenly Father.6. Street contacting with Elder Novak. We did some pretty goofy things.7. Praying with the members in the ward council in Nishinomiya ward about the number of prepared people in our area.8. Holding my first conversation in Japanese.9. Feeling love from my family on Christmas on Skype.10. I love that moment when you find someone in the last apartment in the building.
Top Ten Things I Miss From Back Home (not limited to ten)
1. Watching old movies with the fam.2. Playing sports with Dad and Sam.3. Having Frau sleep between my legs so I can’t move.4. Building random purposeless things with my free time in the garage.5. Reading scriptures and praying as a family.6. Driving you crazy with techno music.7. Asking Papa a question about anything and hearing a well-educated answer.8. Walking into the cleanest, best smelling house ever whenever we go to Grandma and Grandpa Bahr’s.9. Feeling all of Baba’s wonderful quilts.10. Watching Boobear [his nickname for Jane] make random little projects.11. Playing golf with my dad.
And many more of course…
Well, that’s it for Charlie’s Top Ten lists. If we were to write a list of “Top Ten Things We Miss About Charlie” it would far exceed ten. And it would sound rather depressing, like he were dead, which he’s not. So we won’t go there. Suffice it to say, we miss everything about him. (Except maybe his weird techno music. No–actually I even miss that.)