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Hi I'm Toshi

I'm from Japan, I graduated from BYU, I am doing Ph.D. in Finance in Houston, and I am a Mormon.

About Me

I was born and raised in Japan. My family owned a sake factory, an alcohol wholesale and retail shops. When I was 6, I started swimming and I swam competitively until I was 12. I was in a third place in a city competition in butterfly once. I still swim everyday for my daily exercise to keep myself in-shape. I play the violin and the viola since I was in an orchestra for several years. I taught myself how to play the piano as well. I am not excellent at it, but I can play well enough if the songs are easy. I went to schools in Japan through high school. When I was 16, I had an opportunity to visit the U.S. as an exchange student over a summer. I did not like English and I did not speak it at the time, but I wanted to overcome it. I worked hard to learn English throughout my high school, and I decided to come to BYU. It took a while, but I got into BYU-Idaho first, and then transferred to BYU. I just graduated from BYU with a degree in finance as well as in economics with a minor in math. I worked as a TA, a tutor and a research assistant over several years. I am going to the University of Houston for Ph.D. in Finance.

Why I am a Mormon

The gospel of Jesus Christ brought miracles in my life that my view changed dramatically. Without this, I do not know where I would be at this moment. When I was around 10 years old, my classmates started bullying me. It got escalated when I was 11 as well as when I was 13. After such experiences, I thought there are no such things like friends. Even though my family is great, I struggled with trusting people. Since then, I always tried to do things by myself, so that I did not have to interact with people. I did not want to go to school even though I did. When I was 15, I had to take entrance exams to get into a high school. While my teacher and mom wanted me to go somewhere in my hometown, I took some exams for schools which is located far from my hometown. I chose to go to the one furthest: 2 hours from my hometown, so that I did not have to deal with old classmates. When I was 16, I came to Utah for the first time. It was the first time I thought people other than my family were very kind. I started wondering why they were so kind to me, a stranger. I had an opportunity to go to the Salt Lake Temple where sister missionaries handed out a card for us to put our information if we were interested in learning English and/or gospel. I signed up for an English class in Japan. When I came back, two elders visited me for the invite for the English class. I was not home, but they gave a flyer to my mom. I was very excited to hear their visit. In two days, I visited the church in my hometown for the first time for the English class. There, I met two sister missionaries, one of which is a daughter of my host family. We were both surprised at the encounter, especially because she just transferred from another city a few hours prior to. Because I remember the warm feeling I had and the miracle to meet the sister missionary, I instantly thought I was going to be a member of the church. Since then, I have increased my faith and testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

How I live my faith

As a member of the church, I served as a financial clerk. Once all the meetings are over, I sit down at a computer with another church member and account the donations given by the member of the church. Previously, I served as a member of presidency over male young single adults, a president over young men, a chair of music committee, a choir director, and many other positions. Besides the service I do for my ward, the local unit of the church, I am serving as a Japanese interpreter for the church missionaries whose native language is Japanese. I often times go to the training center where thousands of missionaries are getting trained in language and in the gospel to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have been serving as an interpreter for over 4 years. Finally, I served as a missionary of the church from 2007 to 2009. I was in Kansai area in Japan. During the 2 year mission, I lived in Habikino, Osaka; Omihachiman, Shiga; Nabari, Mie; Kobe, Hyogo; and Akashi, Hyogo. I was assigned to speak both Japanese and Portuguese. Even though I have forgotten my Portuguese since it has been a while and I do not have much opportunity to use, I enjoyed my service as a missionary because I know that the gospel is true in the sense that it is perhaps the teachings and testimony of Jesus Christ.