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Hi I'm Ben

I'm an English teacher in Japan. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am 28 years old and I live in Japan teaching English. Every since high school I have been in love with Japanese anime and games, and coming to Japan had been my dream. In college I worked really hard to learn the language and now I am here. I enjoy my life here and I enjoy being an otaku. Recently I have started to become interested in learning Chinese and in the future I want to have a truly international job that will allow me to help build bridges with people all over the world. I also am a big fan of some pretty nerdy things. I enjoy sci-fi like star wars and star trek. I have played dungeons and dragons and magic the gathering a lot. And I have simply way too many video games. I was born into a wonderful large Mormon family. I am the oldest of 7 children. I have 5 younger sisters, it was always noisy growing up. I was baptized at 8 and the habit of coming to church every week was instilled in me by my parents, which I'm very grateful for. There is one more thing I would like to share. I don't normally tell people this but I feel like it is important to share it on this site. I've struggled with my sexuality. I had been confused about what I wanted and who I really am. I feel like the gospel has really helped me put things in order and I now have a wonderful girlfriend who I love very much and hope to take to the temple someday.

Why I am a Mormon

I had been born into a Mormon family. I went to church every Sunday for me entire life, but that in itself wasn't enough for a testimony. I sort of just went along with the motions growing up. I had read bits and pieces of the book of mormon as a teenager but I never sat down and really studied it. As I got older, in my heart I started to drift from the church. I always went, but I went not to feel the spirit or to learn of God, but simply because I felt like I was supposed to. I started to get more and more involved with things online that I shouldn't have. And I thought a lot about the different paths that I could take in my life. Thankfully the values that my parents taught me prevented me from fully going down a dangerous path, no drugs, no alcohol, no pre-marital sex. But I didn't have the love for the gospel that I do now, and so I actually resented that I had these values. In my junior year of college I had an opportunity to study abroad in Japan. I thought I could use this as an opportunity to fully break from what I felt had been holding me back. I could stop going to church, I could do whatever I want, and no one back home would know. So for the first few months I didn't go to church. And I wasn't as happy as I thought I was going to be. I thought it would be liberating, but it was just kind of sad. So on Christmas day I was in my room and thought, "It's Christmas, I should listen to the audio bible" and from that I felt a feeling like I should try and go to church. And when I went I met a wonderful missionary who befriended me and made me feel wanted. He once told me that there are only two possibilities. Either the church is true and we should fully embrace it, or it is false and we should stop going right now. That night I prayed earnestly to God to know whether or not this church is true and I distinctly heard "Ben you know it's true". From that moment I have continued to learn and grow and life has become happier and happier for me.

How I live my faith

Japan has a very small Christian population, and mormons make up a small percentage of that. So the closest church for me is an hour and a half drive away. But I never miss it. My ward is small but very friendly. Of course everything is done in Japanese and that was very difficult for me but eventually I was able to catch on. I teach the young single adults and high school students class. Because my ward is so small, there are only 3-4 students in my class. I teach in Japanese which also has been a challenge. But it has been a very worthwhile experience. On occasion I help the missionaries. Whether going out to a park and talking to people or joining them for a lesson with an investigator.

What do Mormons believe is the purpose of life?

To experience mortality, all of it's highs and lows, to learn of and follow God's commandments, to grow, and to prepare to meet God. Show more Show less