Monday, December 31, 2012

12/31/12 Akemashite Omedetou Gozimasu (or in other words, Happy New Year!)

Hey! Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu!

That's what they say on New Year's in Japan which is a ridiculous affair. No one (almost) in all of Japan does anything for about 4 days. On the way to the church was pretty much a wasteland. Yesterday I spent the entire day fasting (until 6) and reading the Book of Mormon. I could only get to page 330, but I tried my best! Today we are eating lunch and dinner with members and trying to find a place that is open to buy stuff.

Also sorry that the email is a day late. This weeks P-day moved to Tuesday. And I have lots of pictures, but today is crazy and I forgot the camera again... :(

It was so great to talk to you on the phone too! I wish I had prepared better, but I was especially grateful to hear how family things and scripture study are going. I'm also glad I could hear Andrew and David's mission advice and hear about Adam's mission preparation.

Christmas Eve we had a really awesome party in the Kotoni church in Sapporo. There were some fun games and great food and we got to watch the Christmas devotional which was incredible. Did you watch it??? Then a group of missionaries did a presentation of the Christmas story from Luke which was great too. We also practiced for caroling which we did that night in Odori park in Sapporo. The second half of which was in the subway where we got in trouble by the guards and had to leave early... But it was still a good experience! While we sang other missionaries contacted those listening and when we got stopped lots of people got mad at the guards because they wanted to keep listening! hahaha Christmas back home sounds like it was wonderful. I miss pizza. It's 20 bucks for a plain medium size here. Glad everyone liked their presents and stuff! Good luck with your new computer haha be careful with it! I can't believe there is a windows 8!

I am probably fine on sweaters since I don:t know where I'd pack them, but I do use them everyday and only have 2...

Christmas day was supposed to be normal dendo, but ended up being lots of service and visiting with members. We sang carols at a day service place in Sapporo and "heart attacked" (Ishiga Choro is really into stuff like that) a few members' houses and then ate dinner in the igloo we made.

Adam's court of honor sounds like it was awesome. I feel really honored that he is saving the pin for me. I'm glad it went smoothly and I bet he looks great in the uniform. I have been getting a few emails from Dan Hansen lately too.

So I feel really bad too because today is another short email day (the other elders have a bunch of stuff they want to do) and I feel like I have way more than usual to talk about. The Japanese elders don't really email much.

I want to tell you more experiences, but they're really scarce as of late. Last Saturday the area put on the Messiah concert that was really good. We got Nakamura shimai, a guy from Eikaiwa, and Haramai shimai's family to come and it was a blast, plus tons of missionaries were there. We have been getting fed by members a ton lately, yes. The Christmas party was on the 22nd and this random guy I housed one day came and brought a friend. That friend sent me a picture of Mt. Fuji in the mail the other day and it was really funny because I didn't suppose that giving someone my meishi (business card) would lead to that. Remind me next week and I'll tell you more about the stuff this week.

I love you all and I'm grateful for this work and the support you give me!!! Stay safe and warm and share the light of the gospel as much as possible!!!

Oh yeah, we got transfer calls early. I:m staying in Eniwa with Ishiga Choro and Brown Choro's companion is becoming Rodenburg Choro who sang with me in the music thing.

Hutchinson Choro

Sunday, December 16, 2012

12/16/12 I've only fallen once, haha

Hey! Glad that the mail came in time. I also wanted to let you know that I got the package this Tuesday! I was super happy and Elder Ishiga was pretty happy about the Lucky Charms too. He said *this is probably the happiest I've been all year* hahah. The jacket is perfect and the speaker is amazing too! The hand warmers are good, but I don't think they are Hokkaido strength haha. We ate the Reeses pretty fast with the four of us. I brought pictures, but I forgot my camera cord... Sorry! ;( Please tell the Gardners thank you as well! The hot chocolate is delicious and their Christmas card was awesome too. Everyone is so big! I will do my best to write Mara back soon!

Today is P-day and Elder Ishiga needs new shoes. He has been borrowing my spare pair for this last week so we are going to this big mall. I want to get presents for everybody back home, but I'm not sure how much sending costs etc. or what even I should get hahaha. I will look around though.

Sounds pretty there! It is just the same snowyness here. I guess I'm used to it already. It is pretty much ice everywhere so you have to get really good at walking on it. I've only fallen once. haha

I'm surprised that the Christmas tree has taken this long, but I'm glad it's up. Can you send a picture next week? That's nice of Mara's friends to help and I hope Dad got the lights fixed without too much trouble. That's awesome Dave's team won too! I am trying to picture him as a coach etc and it's not very hard. What kind of Japanese ornament did you get for me?? I'm really sorry about your knee! What did you do? I will pray for it to get better fast.

That's neat that Adam's finals are going well! I didn't know he was taking a vocal class, but that sounds cool. Sounds like a perfect mistake too hahaha. What other classes did he have? The train sounds cool! It'll be like Japan hahah everybody uses the trains here it is crazy.

I'm so glad Kyle's farewell happened as well! I wish I could've heard the song and stuff. I hope everyone is doing awesome. It always makes me super happy to hear about missionaries leaving too!!! :D Speaking of which, do you know of any that have come home since I have left besides Dallin? Tell Adam *what Hobbit??* haha

That's funny Sister Nordgren was surprised about me being out of the MTC! I did not do anything to commemorate that (being out 6 months). If you say I already have one fourth down it makes my stomach ache... Hahaha. I'm way way glad that people are reading the blog! A lot of people write in letters *tell me everything that is going on!* and all I can really do is say go to the blog because of time so it helps me out a ton.

I'm way excited for Lauren and Andrew too!!! (and Max) Where is their new home at? Please send a picture too. I'm so proud of you for getting a work promotion too! Wow!!! I will be praying for you to be able to do your best in that as well. I know Heavenly Father is especially there for us when things are busy and tough.

This week has been following up with people that we've found, Eikaiwa (English class), introducing Ishiga Choro to more members, and splits two days in a row with Brown Choro and Ogata Choro! Oh yeah plus tons and tons of walking in the snow. I'm not too cold as long as I wear my gloves and awesome ear things. Communicating is still tough some times and I'm still working on adjusting to his dendo style too, but I know that it'll be for my good and help me to learn more and more. In 3rd Nephi I'm reading right before Christ comes about the people that were inspired of God to stand up and preach righteousness when almost everyone around them was choosing wrong. The Book of Mormon is really one of the things I enjoy the most in this work. I just wish I could get to introduce it to more people.

Thank you so much as always and sorry again about no pictures. I'm looking forward to the Christmas call and sharing my testimony with you! I love you so much and know that the Lord will bless you in all the things that you need to do.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

12/9/12 "I didn't even realize that it's been six months!"

Hello! I am staying pretty warm. Thanks a ton as always for the prayers and love. I didn't even realize that it's been six months!!! Yikes. Too fast!!! A lot sure has happened, but I'm looking forward to more and more awesome experiences and miracles. I still have so much to learn and grow. Of course I forgive ya for missing me, especially because you know so strongly why I'm here.

Thanks for the encouragement as well. I actually do really like finding. Meeting people is pretty neat and everything. I do have hope that we will be able to find people that are prepared as long as we are doing everything we can to be obedient and work hard. Still have to work a bit with the new members and they are doing great. We really want to help them get their families into the gospel as well. That's a cool thought about Moroni too. Even though he was the last Nephite his work in compiling and burying the Book of Mormon really did help just about everyone!

Working with Ishiga Choro has been tough to be honest. The first while was just me showing him around everywhere and introducing him and stuff. It was kinda all on me at that point and I was tired, doing lots of work, but it was a happy tired y'know? Now that it is more on him where contacts, lessons, etc go it is extremely different from how things were with Hansen Choro. Everything he focuses on is different. His teaching style is really different and it's not that I can't get anything in or anything like that, but I can't control where it goes. Sometimes I feel like my language is getting better, but someways I feel like it isn't at the same time. I for sure have learned a bunch of new things.

Mya's birthday sounds like it was a blast! Cookies instead of cake is interesting though haha. That's pretty early for a ward Christmas party, but they've always done it like that, huh?

Good for Mara and her choir too! I'm glad she got a good part in the play, but I'm also glad she doesn't have to go so crazy hard like she did last time. I didn't know that David was taking college classes still, but that's awesome! I hope he does great! Same to Sharon Merrill.

I'm really excited for the package, but sounds like you've overdone it again! Hahaha I won't say anything and just be happy that my Mom loves me and sends me goodies. Brown Choro got a package yesterday and I thought it might have been for me so I was excited. It was a ton of New Zealand candy! Some pretty good and interesting stuff. If you ever get a chance, try pineapple lumps out! haha I'm probably not going to wait til Christmas if there are separate boxes. I meant for you to just send candy for Ishiga Choro because the ward already gives me too much junk food, but I'll make sure to split it up right.

Cool you found some pictures online too. Pretty late haha. The zone conference was way amazing. The day before was p-day and we went to the honbu to practice and afterwards I went with Ishiga Choro to Odori park in Sapporo that has a cool tower and lots of lights for Christmas, but it was nothing compared to temple square. I have only seen one house with Christmas lights here so far, but Ishiga Choro says that people usually try hard. There are definitely decorations at stores and in the church. Nakamura Shimai gave us some little decorations for the apartment because Ishiga Choro really wanted some.

Elder Ringwood spoke a lot about faith, having hope in the mission, and tons of way amazing stories about how people have been found through Eikaiwa and someone who met the missionaries 40 years ago and stuff like that. Crazy crazy spiritual experience. We sang I Feel My Savior's Love and I had this little guitar part that I made for it. I don't know what the version is called, but it's originally a harp or something. Afterwards I got to have an interview with him and he just asked me how I was and if I had any questions and we just talked about Utah a bit and he gave me tips for finding and working with a native companion. Super nice and chill. While I was waiting I got to talk to President Evans a lot about the same kind of thing. He is a way awesome guy and I'm glad to be in the mission with him. Elder Ringwood's wife was pretty cool too. She's Russell M. Nelson's daughter and looks a lot like him.

I guess I used the word Gaijin wrong haha it means foreigner. Also don't worry about calling me yet and don't email the Honbu. They'll email me the week before with the stuff to tell you. It will be to my cell phone here. I'm really excited to talk to you and share my testimony with you too. Also you are funny for putting money in my account because other than buying my bike and going to an Onsen one time I haven't used any ;) Thanks though! I am going to look for an electronic dictionary today that I really really want so I might use it on that.

Also on Saturday we had this thing for one of the members who teaches an Eikaiwa from her house. She went to BYU and got a degree in teaching English to Japanese people and is pretty cool. But anyways it was this presentation of the Christmas story called the 3 trees that you probably know. I had to teach her how to use power point and use audacity to edit sounds and stuff so that was pretty cool I got to use computer skills for service. At the presentation she had Elder Brown and me recite some of the parts and afterwards play some Christmas songs. It was pretty fun and everybody liked the songs. Afterwards everybody had refreshments and stuff and Takasugi (Eikaiwa member) shimai's husband (who is way funny and awesome) spontaneously asked me to stand in front of everyone and tell about myself in English and Japanese and answer everybody's questions and stuff. It was alright, but I really wanted to talk to the investigators and eikaiwa students that came. It turned out pretty well all in all I think ;)

Other than that has been snow falling a ton, melting completely, and then falling tons again!!! Good stuff. I'm excited to grow a lot here, but it is tough a lot of times with all the change so please keep praying for us. I love you more than there are snowflakes in Hokkaido and Utah combined!

Hutchinson Choro

Sunday, December 2, 2012

12/2/12 Christmas in Japan begins

Hey! Sorry last week's letter was short. I guess not really that much happened plus we had to hurry to the mission home for music practice. Thanks a ton for thinking about Ishiga Choro with the package and stuff. I'm looking forward to it! Everyone here is getting excited about Christmas, Santa, parties, and stuff like that. The snow is piling up really high. I don't think it really snows that much at least here, but they pile all the snow in the same place.

I have no idea what Moliere is, but I wish Adam good luck with that! Congrats to Mara too! That is funny that you touch my picture. They are doing tithing settlement here too. I'm really sorry you had to work when you weren't feeling well. Please get lots of rest when you can! Fat Friday sounds pretty fun haha. I am almost forgetting how Mexican food tastes. They have this dish here called *taco rice* which is kinda like Mexican food, but you just put it over rice. Elder Hansen made some pretty good tacos one time too. This doesn't mean I want Mexican food though. ;)

Grandma's birthday sounds like it was super fun too! That:s funny she forgot you were all coming too. Mya is getting big really fast! What day is Emily's wedding?
That's way cool that David is coaching a Jr High basketball team! I remember when him and dad coached my jr jazz team even though we weren't very good at all he was a really good coach. That's crazy sad news about the previous coach. Wow. What Jr. High is it? He is going to be an awesome coach. How did he get the job??

Christmas is Japan is basically just Santa and presents etc. There are no Christmas lights at all. Once in a while someone will have something on their door. There are a bunch of places in Sapporo city that have lights, but I haven't seen them. We haven't really had chances to talk to people much about Christmas except at church. Since it got cold and icy we can't use our bikes and no one is outside anymore. It is pretty tough to get places and go finding people. I guess people kinda focus on ancestors. It's what Buddhism is all about, but I'd say 90+ percent of Buddhists I've met here are only Buddhist on Obon and Shogatsu. Those are holidays. Anyways a lot of Japanese people have these things called butsudans in their house where they put pictures of their ancestors and burn incense and leave food and stuff. It's also pretty tough for Japanese people to do genealogy because after 100 years they destroy the public records. You have to go to the hometown of where the specific ancestor lived to get their records etc. because they become private property.

I'm doing my best to not freeze though. We have been doing a lot of snow shoveling and walking to far places in the snow. Mostly just my toes, fingers, and ears get cold. Other than that I'm all good and there is a place where I can buy earmuffs so I:ll be good. I'm doing my best with the new companion. It is a lot more tough to just talk and stuff because of the language barrier, but my Japanese and conversation starting skills are getting better I think. It is also tough to jump in when we teach lessons and stuff because I'm the only Gaijin now and I have to double time to keep up with everyone. I:m doing my best though.
So today is another music practice, but we got here early so I have more time. Elder Ringwood from the 70 is coming to visit and do a special zone conference. It's tomorrow and that's what the music practice is for. I actually got specially selected to be interviewed by him and I'm a little bit nervous, but it should be good.
This last week was a few lessons with the recent converts and a lot of trying to find new people. It is way different not having our people that are really progressing anymore because they all got baptized. They are doing pretty well though getting into the ward and stuff like that. It is hard for the ward to get them home teachers and stuff like that right away because there are so few priesthood leaders most of the time.
I feel like not a lot happened this week either, but I hope this feels like a *normal dose* of me. I love you all tons and tons and am so grateful for your prayers and encouragement!!! Please do your best to do missionary work there through your examples and your friends. Make friends with the missionaries if you can. It is so important for the work. Thanks for Moroni 8:2-3

and I will read it right away!!!

Hutchinson Choro

Pretty sure this is Brown Choro, Ishiga Choro (new comp) and Hutchinson Choro!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

11/25/12 Eniwa again!

Hello!!! I'm super glad that you got the letter! I hope they like it haha. It probably will take that long for mail to come most of the time... I don't know 100% how busy it will always be, but actually getting to the post office to send the letters is usually the long wait thing.

I guess it all depends on how the things go here in... ENIWA again! ;) My new companion is named Ishiga Choro and he is a Nihonjin!!! He is also a boss. He got baptized 3 years ago from this Christmas and is from a place in Japan called Tottori. He is 22 so he was basically as old as I am right now when he got baptized. The other cool thing is that the missionary that taught him lives in this ward! Way neat. He just got done training one of the Nihonjin that left the MTC with me in an area called Kitami. Brown Choro in the apartment from New Zealand stayed too and got another new Nihonjin comp himself named Ogata Choro. It is really cool, but really tough at times because we basically have to speak Japanese all day everyday. I am helping Ishiga Choro learn English too, so that's pretty fun. His favorite thing to learn is English primary songs. He also loves American candy especially reeses and cereal with marshmallows in it ;););)

Holy cow!!! The news about all the mission calls is blowing my mind!!! I'm soo happy! Everyone's call fits them way well and I know they're going to do such amazing stuff!!! I'm excited for Sarah to do her papers too and I feel way bad that letter took forever to get sent... That's cool you got to see her at the musical and have fun. Glad Thanksgiving was fun too! My prediction about Curry was true :) (Mom's note: if you know what he means, tell me ;) ) The pictures of everyone together look really awesome though. Everyone looks different already too! I have definitely had a lot to be thankful for and I hope that I can show it through my service and actions even though I didn't get a chance to show it through eating haha. The new members are doing well too! I actually had a talk in sacrament meeting last week on a conference talk and I chose Pres Monson's talk from the priesthood session.

I'll let you know about Christmas call stuff as soon as I can. I don't know if I'll be able to use the card, but I'll let you know all the details right away when I find out. I miss Christmas lights haha. I heard there are some cool ones in Sapporo city though so that should be cool. The pictures of Mya and Olivia look awesome!

So this week has basically been saying good bye to everyone with Hansen Choro and then meeting my new comp and coming back to show him around. It's tough because I don't know the area as well as Hansen Choro did and I have to explain everything in Japanese, but it's going pretty alright still. Ishiga Choro is super good at talking to people and becoming their friend really fast. He actually worked as a licensed preschool teacher before coming on his mission too so that's pretty sweet! I wanted to attach a picture of him, but I forgot my camera as usual. Sorry! I'll do my best next week! Thanks again for the love and prayers and letters and example!!! Keep trying hard to do missionary work there too!!!!!!!

Hutchinson Choro

Sunday, November 18, 2012

11/18/12 "There is lots to be grateful for"

Hey! There is lots to be grateful for. So much that I had no idea that Thanksgiving was this week until you said something! So there is a lot of amazing stuff that happened this week. So last Monday night we met Haramai san again to talk with her and encourage her to keep pressing forward kind of thing and we talked to her a bit longer than we planned too, so Elder Hansen had to call and tell the other Elders we were going to be late for an appointment and as he was I was talking to her about her recent scripture reading and she said she had been reading about the brother of Jared in Ether 3. After Elder H was done on the phone Haramai had to get something for one of her daughters so I showed him Ether 3 and all the sudden he just got crazy inspiration and looked at me and was like, "I know exactly what to do." Then she came back and he just started relating the story to her situation and how she has made it so far (investigator for more than 7 months, read the whole BoM and D&C, etc) and how the "stones" are in her hands and she just has to present them to God for the miracle to happen kind of thing. Then I testified to back him up and we promised blessings then set the baptismal interview day for that Wednesday. The next morning she gave us a mail saying "Good morning! It's nice weather! By the way, Papa said Ok!" and I jumped for joy and banged on the shower door to the Elder H about it. Way awesome!

That night we had a good Eikaiwa as well and got up early the next morning for Zone training meeting on bike safety and getting referrals/helping members invite friends to stuff. Then we got back and tried to do our planning, but had to leave right away for the baptismal interview which took quite a bit of time, but they both passed great! Whooo! While we were waiting we had to try to keep the two kids entertained while the relief society was setting up an activity. After that we went to eat at the ward missionaries house (bottom picture) and had some way good meat/potato/awesome stuff. They are the bomb btw. If you still have my facebook password, get on once in a while and accept the friend requests from any Japanese people :) Then we shared a way good message with them on the atonement and had to run home.

Thursday was the real weekly planning. We had to go over everything extra in depth in the very likely chance that I'll be left here when transfers happen this Thursday.(Ahhh! scary) It was a way great experience to go over all the amazingness that has happened in these last two transfers though. That night we went to eat at Kurashige shimais house who is way cool and always feeds us a ton. Flatfish, sashimi, oyster miso soup, TONS of hamburg, etc. And we had a good talk with her and she gave us even more food for the apartment. Basically this week we had so much stuff going on that we needed do that we couldn't fit much normal finding in. Still so great though! Friday was a good amount of it actually. Also finding new brakes for Elder H's bike. That day we had another good AB lesson with Nakamura shimai with two sisters from the RS which is way good because we need to make sure we can pass her to the ward well. Then we met Haramai again that night for a bit and the other RC Hatanaka shimai who got baptized in Elder H's first transfer here. She is awesome, but has been super busy with school. We let her and her son know about church though and they came! Yay! Then in Dendo Chousei Shuukai (meeting with the ward missionaries) we talked a bunch about the baptism and that they talked with Haramai about me doing her baptism! I felt way way honored and a little bit nervous!
The next day we went to this big outdoor mall to do something called *shizen dendo* which means natural dendo. It's where you just try to start normal conversations. The mall was kinda dead though. Even on a Saturday! It was really nice too, but everyone there was on a date or with kids etc. So we left to Chitose to do some housing and it went pretty well. Then we came home to eat and go to this choir concert that some youth in the stake put on with Nakamura shimai and the Oofuji couple from the ward. It was surprisingly good considering how young and small the choir was.

The best day of the week was yesterday though. We got up early because the baptism was going to be before church (from 9-10) and I got dressed in my white stuff and borrowed Elder H's white pants and we took pictures. Everyone was pretty excited especially Nodoka. Then the meeting started and I sat up front next to the bishop who baptized Nodoka. She was a little bit nervous about going into the water and bishop was comforting her and stuff. Then they sang the song before the baptism and we came down from the stand. Nodoka was still a little nervous, but when she walked by her dad she ran and jumped on his lap and gave him a big hug and kiss. I had to try way hard not to cry the spirit was sooo strong. We went to the font and bishop baptized Nodoka really gently and she was way happy when it was done. She came up and said "Mom!! I did it" and was just smiling tons. Then I traded places with the bishop and went in to baptize Haramai and explained to her how to grab my arm etc. Then I said the prayer and it went perfectly! She went under just right the first time and it was awesome. After getting dressed again it was time to hear the testimonies and Nodoka got up (which is surprising because she's pretty shy about talking in front of people) and said how she was so happy to be baptized and how her goal from now on is to be nice to everybody! Way strong. She:s a genius. Then her mom got up and shared a ton of incredible stories. How she had been so inspired from Nodoka etc. and how recently she read Alma 32:16. I had to try really hard not to cry then too and I did a bit. Afterwards her husband stayed the whole time at church and it was pretty great! After church we got the baptism papers signed and I got chased around by hyper kids because it SNOWED! AH. Then Elder H took a bunch of pics with ward members because of transfers coming up. After church we went to the bishop's house and got the papers finished and rode around all day on our bikes in the snow! Wooo. So cold and wet. We also met this cool guy I found in the phone named Sendai and taught him a lesson on why we're different from other churches and the BoM. It went pretty well, but he said he wasn't ready to take a BoM. So yeah! That's the week!

Mara's play looks like it was pretty fun! The wedding looked awesome too! I hope you said hi to everyone for me. Cool that you got to do things to help them out with it! Did David really not go because of a football game? So cool everyone from far away could come. Thursday is transfers so I'm for sure probably eating curry or something like that with whoever my new comp is ;D It's going to be a way crazy day... After Halloween Japan just goes straight Christmas. Thanks a ton for thinking about me and getting my Christmas stuff going! I also kinda want a small set of speakers that don't need batteries or a plug. (for my alarm ipod) I used to have a pair, but gave em to Lauren and they'd really help.

Thanks tons and tons as always and I hope my letter is fun to read! I hope it shows you the testimony that I'm starting to gain stronger and stronger about the Savior and His power to change lives more than we can understand or know.

Next time you hear from me I'll for sure at least have a new companion! Maybe a new area too, but that's not likely since Hansen Choro has been here for 5 in a row!

Hutchinson Choro

Special day for the Haramais! Hutchinson Choro looks so happy.

From the letter, I think this is Kurashimage's family?

Feast at Kurashimage Shimai's house

Dinner at ward missionary's house - and a long string of paper cranes in the corner - cool

First snow of many to come....

With Hatamaka Shimai (and can you spot the little one?)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

11/11/12 In the words of Hansen Choro...

Hey! My week has been pretty bomb. I couldn't feel any earthquakes, but thanks for the thought! Things are actually going pretty well with the Haramais. My companion wrote a way good summary of this week so I kinda wanted to steal it. Here is the story for the week in the words of Elder Parker Hansen with commentary by me:

"This week has been pretty full of crazy stuff. I'll start out with a story for you guys.

So we were housing a huge danchi (apartment building) with 10 floors... and we get to room 901. My companion (B: Me) pings it and this lady answers on the speaker phone. She just goes off on him. She asks him where he is from, and says "wait, I'll make a memo..." and pretends to write down his country, state, then asks for his home phone number. At this point, my companion is a little flustered... (B: I didn't want an angry Japanese lady to call you guys...) and so I jump in and the lady just kind of tries to make us angry I guess you could say. She knew why we were there and said something like "so what do you guys want me to do?" and after I explain that we just want to talk to her at her door for a sec she says "oh, if you would have told me that earlier, i would have come out... but now it's too late. so I'm good." So I ask her for a referral... if she knows anyone who has interest in families that lives close. She just starts yelling through the intercom. "I rejected you guys! I'm not gonna tell you anybody! AHHH!!!" kind of thing... so I say "ok. thank you for your time, here is a chirashi, please read it!" and go to leave, and she says " $BF~$l$k$J!* (B” (B: don't put it in!) and just starts yelling again... so I say (note: illegible/computer scrambled it)

So we go to the next house and right as we do so, the lady that has been standing behind us says, "wonderful! just wonderful!" and I'm pretty confused... no one has ever done that to me before... She continues "you guys are going around sharing a message that has blessed your lives with everyone, aren't you... I think that's wonderful!" and by this time I'm thinking "YES... biggest (spiritually prepared person) ever!” so we keep talking for a while and introduce ourselves a bit more. Then the lady says "so on the 9th floor you got yelled at by an old lady didn't you?" and I thought "ok... so we are getting stalked? this is a little weird... it's been like 3 floors..." and so I waveringly say "yea we did in fact." The lady's reply surprised me.

"I'm that lady. After you left, I felt really bad about what I did and I wanted to see what kind of people you are like. So I went all the way to the bottom of the building and have been walking up all the stairs looking for you. and now I found you,. I want to apologize for how I acted up there." I had a poker face smile, but inside I was like "no way!!! you are a completely different lady. Don't joke with me here." but she really was the lady. She apologized and asked for forgiveness which of course we gave her. She said that she had listened to our last contact and the old lady had said that she didn't like how people didn't follow what they taught, especially sokagakkai people. "I am the person that that lady was talking about. I am sokagakkai and I don't always follow it. and I feel terrible that people think that way of people like me." It was really like a movie I went to make an appointment after we talked for a bit more. .. and she said "you guys are better people than me, but my religion is better than yours!" ha ha. So that kind of ends the fairy tale ending... but it was a way crazy experience. People feel the Spirit and change. Maybe not all the way at once, but she became a little bit more Christlike through that. So did I. (B: me too)

Another cool story... Haramai san. She really wants to get baptized but needs permission from her husband. So we wanted to help her get it. We ended up setting up a family home evening with the bishop's family and her family where we played with balloons,(B: and table tennis. I had a way killer match with the dad, but he beat me pretty bad in the end.) Ate a little bit of food and had a message. It was really fun. so I was hoping that Haramai san would have the courage to ask him if we just got the conversation close enough to the subject. Just keep making it easier and easier for her. So we did a little story of how the atonement is important and how we can show our thanks for it by paying Jesus and Heavenly Father back by keeping commandments. It was all aimed towards the kids so we got them all involved. Then we talked about commandments, had the bishop talk about how commandments are important to his family and what blessings they have gotten from it. then we talked about baptism a bit and asked how the Haramais felt when they came and saw a baptismal service... and she said that she liked it a lot and it felt really good. (and right here I was hoping she would just turn to her husband and ask him kind of deal... but no.. she doesn't.) So everybody looks back at me again, and I realize that I have to be the one to bring it up. So I asked Haramai san if it was ok for his wife and child to get baptized. :) (B: the whole time I was praying for Hansen Choro because it was a way fragile situation) He said he isn't opposed, just wants to understand it more... and we kind of left off on that note. That was on Saturday.
Then on Sunday, Haramai san comes to church, and she says she talked with her husband a lot and since I had told them that I was probably transfering out, that Haramai (the husband) wants to talk about it all after church today. So we got to have a lesson with her husband! Taught him with 2 other members about what will be different in their life and I even tried to get him to accept the lessons. (He is just really busy - he is really ready for it though). We left on a really good note (taught him a condensed version of pretty much everything...)and he didnt really have opposition at all. He understood everything great. It was awesome. We focused on eternal families and the temple a lot at the end, told him that this message is meant to bless his family, bring them closer together, and not to separate them. It was great. so we'll find out today probably if it's all gonna work out for Sunday.
I'll let you know. Transfer day is on the 22nd, so I'll probably get anther email off from Eniwa. (B: that means I'm probably getting a new comp soon. Whoa...!)

We are getting fed a lot of times this week... that's what's pretty cool about being here for 7.5 months. (B: Hansen Choro is pretty much a ward member hahaha)
Yesterday we got a phone call from a non attending lady. We rode our bikes past her house to go somewhere else, so she saw us coming home. I've treid to visit her a million times and have only met her once, but she called and said "hey, i bought too many donuts, can you come take some with you?" best invite ever... We went and talked to her for a good 45 minutes, while eating donuts and reading scriptures. That's a spiritual climate for sure. She is faithful with all the commandments and even tithing, just coming to church is hard because of her work. It's really sad. Soo close, just a little bit more!

We also called a guy on the phone who was an investigator 3 years ago, and went out to eat ramen with him. Way nice guy, and so we picked him up again. I'll let you know how it goes.

Ogasawara san... her mother(88) died 3 or 4 weeks ago. so we dropped by and visited. She never really listens to our message to much... but this time we felt that we should go a little bit harder than usual. We were all feeling he spirit, but she wouldn't let herself accept it. It was really sad. She kept trying to change the subject to stuff like (hey i made this water...) but we were more persistent than usual. and the Spirit was way strong... but she ended up saying "Leave me alone..." in English. and so we said thanks and left. Really sad, but there are gonna be those people.

One day, we ate dinner at a place where our eikaiwa student works. It was ikuradon, way good salmon eggs and rice.. haha. and right after, we got unexpectedly fed by another non attending family... 2 dinners. It's like exercise for your stomach. You can't reject it... but I wish they'd tell us before hand! (it hurt so bad...)

(back to Braden)
So that is Hansen Choro's story of the week. Basically it means that Haramai's baptism will most likely be next weekend or really soon after that OR the dad will become an investigator and get baptized eventually too!
Bean shower #2 is the same as the first, but at a bigger zone conference that Pres and Sis Evans could come to.

The snow pictures are intense!!! No snow here yet. You can see it in the short mountains though. Everyone is surprised at how late it is. Thanks for looking for earmuffs! The coat is size 38 ;) Speaking of Santa, Nodoka was going on about how she figured Santa out. Since God knows everything HE tells Santa what everyone wants for Christmas. The things that little girl says hahah. She even has a song and dance that she did for her dad when she told him she wanted to be baptized at the FHE.

The primary theme sounds pretty fun! Speaking of missionaries speaking in church I got asked to speak in 2 weeks on something from General Conference. Whooo! Good to hear about everyone from the ward. :) Let me know how Mara's play and Becca's wedding go! Isn't Emily getting married pretty soon too? I was way suprised for Shenay! That's going to be waaay sweet. She is going to have a lot of fun! What did you do to your laptop? How is my old one? Get that Lauren her mini-wheats.

Thanks again as always for the prayers and encouragement :) I can feel it for sure and I need it a lot I think. This is definitely the Lord's work and as I keep pressing forward and trying at all times to push myself to improve for others I will get the words I need to say. The same for everyone at home as well. Be missionaries as much as you can! Thank you and love you!

Hutchinson Choro

Also here is a letter from Nakamura Shimai that she sent to Hansen Choro's parents. Good stuff ;) (Mom note - this is the sister who was baptized last week - so awesome)

my name is wakako nakamura.
i am sorry for my delayed response to your letter.
i'm sorry i forced you to write when you were very busy.
i am very pleased.
I got baptized yesterday.
The hansen, so, I'm grateful.
I have saved a lot of his kindness.
I respect a dad who raised so much friendly to people, the mother.
Made me stumble, God also has a grateful.
Very strong, he is so friendly, and everyone is loved.
I also love his smile.
And dad, mom, and our daughter, please spend every day smiling, overflowing.
I wish you happiness.
I was able to meet one day, I think that is wonderful.

by wakako nakamura.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

11/4/12 Amazing Miracles!

First off here are some pictures to blow your mind.

#1 a tim tam slam party celebrating #2

#2 self explanatory ;) I'll tell that story in my letter

#3 Candy and stuff from bean shower #2

#4 Haramai, Nodoka (left) and her sister

Ooooh man! My new nephew Max is going to be such a bomb kid! That'll be cool if he is born really close to my birthday. I'm really excited for him! Sounds like Tohi and Jameson both going to California is way cool! I'm not sure if either of them are going to the same as missions that some of my friends are in right now. Stoked for them! Mara sounds crazy as usual. Mental torture? Oh boy.

Halloween here was pretty chilly! Rainy. All that good stuff. That's way nice of the Fullmers to have a BBQ for everyone. They are way cool. Please keep up with them for me ok? I'm glad you got to play with the nieces too. I bet they were a ton of fun as usual. 10 hours of overtime sounds tough! But I'm proud of you for working hard. I really appreciate your sacrifice for me so very much. I did get my package and it's really good! I can't believe you packed so much stuff in there! It was heavy too. Some of the Japanese Elders were hesitant about the orange oreos hahaha. They actually have a lot of that candy in Japan, but the Reeses stuff was especially nostalgic. The cereal too, but it isn't lasting very long for how much space it took up. For Christmas I want another suit coat from H&M in black and those earmuffs I thought you were going to get a while ago. It would be really tricky to find a suit here and I have enough pants so even one of the not so expensive coats would be fine as long as it's all black.

What's my favorite Japanese meal and treat? That's too hard. Right now I'm eating a fried squid lunchbox and it's great. My favorite things are okonomiyaki and udon I think. They have way good dessert bread (melon bread, etc) but they have no wheat bread which stinks. The coolest thing I've seen here is picture #2. For Pres Evans' birthday we went and took pictures, ate cake, and played sports in a park in Sapporo. Not too bad.

I was way happy to hear about how you are doing with missionary work yourself!! One thing that I am learning very quickly is that members can pretty much do a lot more than missionaries can. When we met someone who has never been acquainted with the church before we have to make their friend before we can actually teach them well. Without members, once we leave, it's incredibly hard for them to stay active. That's why it's so important for members to do all they can to introduce people to the gospel because that friendship makes everything so much easier. Please keep it up and I know the Lord will bless you with people to share with and how :)

SOOOO here is my story of this week.
After partying with the President we ate shabu shabu at a members house which is way good. Look it up! Then on Tuesday we had our Halloween party which was a big hit. Probably around 60 people came including quite a few investigators and non-attending members. There weren't too many fancy costumes (at all), but not too bad of an amount! We had lots of games and candy and it was pretty fun. Us missionaries spent the whole time making sure everyone was having a good time so we couldn't really play anything, but we got people settled pretty well. Way great. It took a while to clean up, but was great. Halloween itself wasn't that eventful. Just went to Chitose to meet with this guy who is really nice, agrees with a lot of our teachings, but not quite humble enough yet to accept religion so we are probably dropping him. He will still come to Eikaiwa lots though. Then we housed a little bit in a place called Megumino and got some appointments and taught a spontaneous lesson which was pretty cool. I'll pause here and send this since you're waiting right now hahaha.

Ok so here's the awesome story.
Thursday the Zone Leaders came over to go on splits with the other Elders and we were having our weekly planning meeting. We started and were worried about our two most progressing investigators. Nakamura who has been sick recently hasn't been able to meet or even respond to calls in a while which is tough and Haramai who is way solid in the gospel, but worried about discussing everything with her husband. That morning Nakamura sent us a mail about how she has been sick, going to the hospital a lot, and searching for a job. She also said she missed 2 days of Book of Mormon reading and felt bad about that. It kinda sounded like she wouldn't be able to meet soon. We moved on in the planning meeting and wanted to finish fast because planning is not as exciting as Dendo at all when all of a sudden Nakamura calls. We almost didn't answer because she likes to talk and it'd probably give us a lot less time to dendo, but we answer anyways. She tells us she just got done with a job interview and is on her way home, but had a dream where she had her baptismal interview and confessed all her past sins and that she saw it as a sign that she should..... GET BAPTIZED ASAP! We were blown away... She has been having a hard time getting to baptism because of various concerns, but this was a total miracle. We asked her what led her up to that point and she told us how since she felt bad about not reading she prayed to God to help her to do better and to teach her the truth. She then read all of Mosiah and found verse 26:22-23 and was really impressed by it. It wouldn't leave her mind. She said that she wanted to help make God's workload lighter by keeping his commandment to be baptized. Crazy. She wanted to get baptized next Saturday, but we suggested this week and she was happy about that. Luckily since the Zone leaders were there one of them could do the interview the next night after zone conference (which was also awesome) which is another miracle because there is no way our district leader would've been able to make that time! So after ZTM we hurried home to the church and she had the interview while we had our meeting with the ward missionaries. Afterwards she passed (Yay!) and we started planning stuff. She asked Elder Hansen to baptize her since he has been teaching her for like 6 1/2 months.
The next day we invited lots of people and had normal dendo housing in Chitose. The baptism was that night and we had a pretty good turnout considering how suddenly we told everyone about it. Hansen choro forgot the phone the first time we went to the church so we had to run to the apt and back when he realized he also forgot his white pants. Nice. So after biking to the apt and back twice we started. The speakers at the meeting were great and the baptism went super awesome too. Afterwards a member named Brother Takasugi gave her the Holy Ghost and a WAY powerful blessing. So incredible. We had to have it that day because she couldn't make it to church the next day. Then she bore her testimony which was crazy amazing as well. She is so strong and has gained a huge testimony of prayer, the Book of Mormon, and serving God. We still need to work with her a bit to help her transition, but she is pretty solid. PLUS Haramai came AND Nodoka convinced their Dad to leave watching baseball to take them to the service! Crazy miracle. We are planning on their baptism next Sunday so I'll let you know about that.

Well I hope that was a satisfying letter because I sure feel very blessed when I think back on how many amazing miracles I've been privileged to take part in. Thanks so much for your support and everything!!! Love you tons and tons!!

Hutchinson Choro

and some more pics...
#1 Hansen Choro's costume (The Book of Mormon). boss right?

#2 us with an investigator and his friends at the Halloween party. My costume is Moses.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

10/27/12 This week's news

Hey!!! Love you tons too!

It has been an amazing week and yes I've been wearing my sweaters and coats etc. but it hasn't snowed yet. The rain is worse than the cold hahah. I'm not excited for snow. The pictures of Mya and Olivia are awesome! We are having a Halloween party at the church instead of English class and I am probably going to dress up as a prophet and my comp is going to be the book of Mormon. It's going to be sweet! I'll probably be able to send you pictures of our investigators etc. from that, so win win. Other than that most people have never done Halloween before. Just seen it on TV and stuff. We did see a thing at this park by our apartment the other day though with a bunch of little kids and what not. Adam's costume sounds cool and Mara had better dress up. I remember Iron Chef pretty well because the Priests won everytime because of my shakes. B)

I'm so glad Uncle Merril is coming home! Sounds like a tough situation still, but I'll keep praying!!!

I still don't understand the ultrasound photos Lauren sent, but cool that you're going early to find out! Gives you more time to go crazy over what specific clothes to buy and stuff? haha just kidding, but I'm excited ;)

That's pretty crazy that every one went to Sabrina's party. I didn't know Mara was dancing, but that's cool! Greek food sounds great too. Headaches? What are you doing? We have an investigator who is way close to getting baptized who keeps missing church because she gets sick too. Be careful! How is your job going lately?
I really like reading the conference talks on paper too. We can get Liahona, but it's kinda tricky. We have a ton of old ones. A lot in Japanese too...
Congrats to Tohi! Any news on girls who are deciding to go out at 19 now?

So this week has been pretty cool with meeting people and getting stuff done. Monday was President's birthday at the honbu. Tuesday was district meeting, then getting two lessons switched to another day so we just went around finding people. Hansen Choro has been having me lead everywhere so I can know the area better since I'll probably still be here after next transfer, but he won't. Then it was planning session that turned into having a lesson with the previous mentioned investigator (Nakamura) on the phone. Then Eikaiwa that night (English class). Wednesday we had a lesson in person at the church with Nakamura and another with Haramai (Nodoka's mom) and they were both really good. The two lessons from the day before had to get moved again so we went to Chitose early to street and go to eat at the Relief Society president's house. We played this game where you pass a paper around and draw someone's face one part at a time. Oh man... We also shared a spiritual message then. Friday we finally met with one of the two people from before and he brought his friend! They were really cool at it was our first time meeting (other than the time we got the one kid's number on the street) and we taught a pretty decent lesson on God and prayer, but making a baptismal date didn't quite work. They want to meet more though so that's way good! Both 18 yr olds. Saturday was the other lesson that didn't work and it was WAY good! We gave him a tour of the church, talked about baptism, then sang a hymn and talked about how coming to church/prayer helps us relax and invited him to be baptized on 12/22 and he said yes! It was way cool. It was the first time I got to be in a lesson like that. His name is Atsuki and he is 18 as well. We also played ping pong with a recent convert's son named Yuuta who we want to get coming to church/baptized because he just turned 11. He wore me out way bad. Haha! Yesterday was the primary program which was way nostalgic. Shy kids and everything. Pretty similar to the ones back home. Other than that an *eternal investigator* (I am missionary 172 that he's met) named Doi came to church so we had gospel principles just for him and the lesson turned into a focus on him getting baptized. My comp tried to challenge him, but it didn't work out. The spirit was way strong and the teacher was offering to take him to Hakodate to do family history work so he can prepare to go to the temple after, but it didn't quite work out either. We are thinking his time is soon though.

So that's my week in a nutshell. I feel bad that I haven't told so many stories yet, but I'll do better in my letters from now on. Love you tons and I hope everything is going great!!! I'm sending a letter soon for the Teachers quorum and Adam, Lauren, and Mara's birthday.

Hutchinson Choro

Sunday, October 21, 2012

10/21/12 "The work is going crazy good"

Hey! Time is going too fast huh? It's not too bad of weather today either, though there have been some way cold days lately. Rainy too. Fun that everyone is doing Ali's spook alley again. I wish I made time to go beforehand. Tell everyone hi for me :) They are going to have the primary program in the ward here soon too I think.

Cool Mara has been keepin' up and had some time to play with Lauren and the nieces. Way cool Adam made the improv group too! I'm glad he's getting stuff done. Oh boy I bet things are so crazy with Lauren getting ready for her little bebe. The pictures she sent are great! By the way, anyone from the family can email me whenever they want. It's not just mom... Anyways today is Pres Evans B-day so I don't have a lot of time. We have to get to the Honbu (mission office) and somehow fit all the normal p-day stuff in too. I want to apologize to everyone who sends me letters, because most of the time it is hard to find time to even sit down some p-days and even though I've gotten a lot of letters done it's even more tricky to find time to go to the post office. I don:t mean to sound complainy I just feel bad and hope no one is worrying that I forgot them etc.

Thanks for the news about Uncle Merril. I:ve been praying for him every night. The text from Joan especially brought a special spirit to my heart and I can feel our family ties all the way across the ocean :) Tell Joan thank you for the short but powerful story and that I'll keep praying for Uncle Merril. I am very happy to hear that Dad was able to give him another blessing and I know Uncle Merril has more great things to do as well.

Getting pictures with people is kinda hard because I never take my camera anywhere and it'd be really awkward to just ask people for their pictures. Not to sound complainy again, but I'm really stumped about it. We aren't supposed to take pictures often so we don't look like tourists either. I have my journal though and I'll for sure be able to get pictures at their baptisms ;)

The work is going crazy good. I feel like I have been improving a lot and overcoming a lot of my fears about speaking out and stuff like that. We have been teaching an English class every week since I got here. Guitar is getting volunteered to play at the Halloween party that we are planning for the ward, played after English class again, and then playing a cool arrangement of Our Saviors Love for a zone conference or something like that.

I get stuff from the mission office the second it gets there they send it to me. I will be looking forward to the package! I am going to try my best to reply to Lauren's email so that's all for today. Love you tons though!!! Aishitemasu!

Elder Hutchinson

P.S. a note from the letter to Lauren -
Thanks for the encouragement and comparing me to the Sons of Mosiah. They are the bomb. I still have for sure a lot of work to do, but I've definitely been seeing so many amazing miracles even as a bean. I want to work harder to lose my self more and let the spirit take over. Even though I get tired I feel good about it because of what I have accomplished and know it is all because of the Lord.

Monday, October 15, 2012

10/15/12 Dendo stories & surprises

Hey! So I have no email from Lauren and I even let my comp go first to see if it would come, but it didn't so that's lame... :( Well I read it in your letter cause I have to finish this and get going to dendo and stuff, but that's crazy good news!!! I'm sorry I didn't get to hear it directly from her email. Sounds like a way fun to let you guys know too!!! I wonder if you are right about it being a boy. Whooo another niece or nephew comin' up!

So yeah conference was sweet. Speaking of sharing it with investigators we have a way awesome one named Fukunaga (her name means eternal happiness. killer right?) who is 24 and crazy cool. The sister missionaries in another area found her and passed her to us because she lives here, but she is way cool and she came to every single session of conference. Every single one. We've only taught her one lesson so far and afterwards we talked to her about it and she said that she got really good feelings about it and help for her life! Yeah! So she is going to pray about it and I have pretty good vibes about that. So we watched it at the stake center in Shin-Sapporo in a little room. No worries about the *surprise announcement* Everyone had pretty much heard it from someone's mom. That's way cool though. I say it's about time girls get to go at 19 and everyone pretty much agrees there, but we also all agree that we think 18 years might die... haha not really but it's way neat and I'm excited for the world to be even more full of missionaries. Good luck waves going towards Adam and all the other people getting ready to serve and stuff. I'm definitely glad that I'm here and that I was patient through my year of college. It definitely made me more ready to be here. Also I was pretty sure I replied to Sarah within the last email I sent. haha If I reply to anyone personally go ahead and just leave it in the reg email.

I bet Mara's talk was cool! I'm way proud just hearing. Speaking and being confident is definitely way tricky. I think I could even work on it quite a bit. Sounds like a fun time at Grandma's too. Also, sounds like I left you high and dry as far as explanations of those pictures go hahaha... So that picture of me *teaching* was probably me singing as sisters in zion to be *initiated* The picture on my bike was an insane day of rain where the izarigawa (river name) was way overflowing. It was intense. I think I sent you a bunch of pictures of getting fed by members, one time was sushi (a ton) and the other time was probably 3 farms worth of tomatoes and pork cuts or something. Yesss. The picture of the bean is in a recent converts house and is me. Elder Hansen is very proud of the picture of me passed out with my journal. The picture with all the blue things is this cool rocket balloon thing they did at the game. Probably the most interesting that at that game. Let me know if you have any other picture related questions.

Wait, what are you mailing tomorrow? I hope there is deodorant. I don't need it for a while, but you might as well put it in if you're sending a package. I can't really think of stuff I need so I'm confused. I think I'll be alright with one suit coat since all my pants are black.

Sounds like a lot of rad stuff at home. Lots of getting ready for stuff and going places. Cool Adam got to go to that play. Sarah told me about it in her letter and sounds like it'll be way good. She told me about Emily being in it too. Must've been a lot of fun! You should have just went hahaha. I have definitely kept Uncle Merril in my prayers especially since I got the handwritten letter from you this week. I'll try really hard to find time to write back by hand too.

So this weeks dendo summary:
P-day was way sweet. Played some park golfage. Pretty fun. Like a cross between regular golf and mini golf. Then we hit the onsen which is the most comfortable thing ever. Then we had FHE at the bishop's house because it was his b-day. We had some way good food and taught a little lesson to their kids and stuff. Coolio. Next day was district meeting and a regular day of dendo. A lesson with this kid we contacted one of my first days here who could finally meet with us. Then we had Eikaiwa (English class) and an investigator showed up randomly afterwards who has been sick, and we gave her a blessing and had a really spiritual experience.
Wednesday we went to Chitose and met this old guy who was way nice, but just wanted to speak English the whole time and talked really slowly even when he spoke Japanese. We tried really hard to get the gospel in there... He kinda sucked our energy haha. The cool thing though is on the way there Elder Hansen and I were talking about how he met a guy riding a bike from the top of Japan to the bottom with all his possessions attached to his bike and stuff at the exact place we were riding. Then, we look over and lo and behold there is a guy who fit the description perfectly! We were so awestruck all we could say was *konnichiwa* as he passed by, but then we felt like we had to chase him down and we did. He was a way cool guy from Hong Kong and we got his email and stuff.

Thursday was just a crazy ton of planning and a lesson that went pretty good. Friday was going to Chitose again and not being able to meet with a bunch of people we wanted to and searching for this address that someone gave us one day. Saturday and Sunday were conference. Nuff said. So far on P-day it has just been regular. We taught a lesson to Nodoka again and she gave us origami and popcorn and a thank you note. She also rocked all the roleplay baptismal interview questions. Still a genius.

Anyways I love ya a ton and it's great here! Stay spiritually strong and keep showing your strong amazing examples! I've been resting enough and it's time to go dendo my heart out. Thanks a ton as always! Love ya bunches!!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

10/8/12 Life as a Bean

Hey! So I have no idea what you are talking about as far as general conference goes... We don't get to see it until next week! Ah... sounds like something crazy though! Like, did the age change to 18 or something? And did it lower for girls or something like that? I'm completely confused hahaha. I guess I won't be able to hear till next Saturday though! Haha and tell friends that if they want to send me messages through your email that they can just leave a comment or message on facebook or the blog and you'll send it to me like you did with Sarah's ok? I did get her letter by the way and will do my best to write back to it soon. We have a sweet P-day planned today. Park Golfing, touring the beer factory (if we have time) and going to an Onsen... :) look up what that is hahaha. We are also going to the bishop's family's FHE so that's sweet!

Thanks for your letter too mom! I haven't gotten it yet, but I'll let you know. That's tough Uncle Merril is still working through health things but I'll definitely be praying for him. I have a really cool story about an investigator we met on the street the other day. We were biking to Chitose which is about a half hour away and halfway there I realized my wallet wasn't in my pocket and it looked like it had maybe fallen out. I was really worried and my companion and I prayed to know what we should do because there was a high chance that I just left it at home too. We eventually decided to just go on to Chitose and right when we got into town we met this guy who was just turning into his neighborhood and we got to talking to him a lot and it led to teaching him twice this week and giving him a tour of the church. Not the biggest miracle, but if I didn't pause and think of my wallet we wouldn't have seen him at all.

Thank you so much for being such a great mom and grandma. I have been reading the last issue of the conference Liahona lately and it focuses a lot on how important leading and teaching with a Christ-like love and example in the home. I'm grateful I was raised in a home like that. Keep showing and teaching that kind of love to everybody around :)

That's cool that Mara is doing so great! She is a great student and example from what I can tell. Help her to keep that up. Cool that teachers have been asking about me too. It isn't too cold yet. Sometimes at night if I don't wear gloves my hands get chilly, but that's about it. I have my camera today so I'll see what I can do. I wish Hansen Choro's pictures would send because he has way better ones because I never remember to take my camera anywhere. I don't really understand the picture you sent, but I'm guessing if the age is changed then no one will want to go to college before their mission? haha

As always I love you tons and tons and the spirit is the way and the means by which we need to act in everything that we do. Jesus Christ is the Son of God and our Savior and Redeemer and there is no other way that we can become clean, have true joy in this life, and return to our Father in Heaven as Eternal Families. He loves us more than we can comprehend and truly gave everything He could as God's Son and His miracles are infinite. Have you read Jesus The Christ before? I would like to recommend it to anyone wanting to build their knowledge and testimony of the Savior.

Hutchinson Choro

Braden's "Bean" initiation (see the last blog entry)

End of a long day!

Monday, October 1, 2012

10/1/12 As Sisters in Zion?

Hey! No worries about the typhoon... It passed the East side of Hokkaido just barely so we hardly got anything. Not going to lie, but I was a little bit excited to see it. We were helping a recent convert clean out her mom's old apt since she passed away, but it was only a little rain. Cool picture from Lagoon hahah. The pictures of Dave and the fam are awesome! So I forgot my camera again, but we'll see if Hansen Choro's camera works today.

Thanks for updating me on the ward and everything! I hope Taylor gets better right away because that's tough! Right in the middle of school too. That's crazy Jake has to get 25 shots! Holy cow! Please thank the ward members again for me! Let them know that a lot of good is getting done here :) I:m glad you could hear the music stuff too!

So neat about all the new babies coming into the family! There are definitely some really amazing Japanese families here. So cool and so strong in the gospel. Really inspiring. I try to talk to lots of different people at church and we actually had a big eating meeting after church yesterday. I don't know what to call it in English haha. It's tricky to just tell about the people I meet because there are so many! Families in particular though.. hmmm we try to visit ward members every now and then, but they are not all usually home and a lot of the times it's just at the door because we can't go into the houses depending on who's home. Our lessons with Nodoka the 8 year old are still going way good and she and her mom are on track to be baptized really soon! Nodoka wants to get baptized next Saturday, but since it's general conference we might pick a different day. It is really fun to teach a kid like that.

On Wednesday I went on splits to Muroran! It was about an hour train ride away and I was companions with Elder Onishi for a day. He is the district leader and way bomb. He is 25 and a convert to the church a few years ago. Pretty much that whole day I had to do my best to do absolutely everything in Japanese and it was cool. It was really neat to see such a different area! Way pretty. The town is like tiered and stuff and the ocean is close too. I learned a lot from Onishi Choro and tried out some cool new things that improved my dendo a lot.

Also the next day we had zone conference and it was really crazy because we were all the way in Muroran and we had to leave super early. At the zone conference though they made me get up and tell about myself in Japanese and then sing As Sisters in Zion and then they sat me down and all gave me tons of candy! Sweet! I took a picture, but yeah. Camera at the apartment... :p

I'm excited for general conference too and I'm really excited to hopefully take investigators to it! We all go to the stake center to see it so I'm thinking that'll be way sweet. Remember sometimes when it's the hardest to stay focused that's the time you need to focus the most because there are things that Heavenly Father wants to teach you. I know that this work is worth it. Worth more than anything else that I could possibly be doing right now. I am glad that the missionaries there have good attitudes and stuff! I'm seriously dying to know how things are different there because of the new mission. I think if the missionaries can actually be there long enough (and not spread out too thin) and work with the members tons of real miracles can happen! I'm really excited and proud of Mara for doing her best to work with Esmerelda and stuff too!

Everyday is definitely full of things to be grateful for. I am trying to work more on making my prayers more detailed and meaningful because I think that if I rely more on the Lord in that sense that I'll be able to notice and fix my weaknesses even better. With that said I am trying harder to get everybody into my prayers as much as possible too. There are lots of great people that I am privileged to pray for here too though :)

Feel free to write anytime by the way. I'm not exactly sure the time difference, but I usually do email at noon on Mondays here.

Love you tons and tons! Aishiteimasu!

Monday, September 24, 2012

9/24/12 Re: Hello from everyone!

Hey! The group letter made my day! Way cool. Sounds like everyone is doing super good! Thanks for all the way cool pictures from Mara's b-day! Looks like it was a blast! That waffle tower looks especially awesome. Thanks for the great pictures of the two best nieces ever as well. It is fun to show the pictures I have in my little book to people every once in a while and they always love the pictures of them.

(These next parts are to everyone, but kinda mini individual responses)
Dave and Kait: I am glad that the girls are doing well and growing up right! Let me know how things are going and remember how much relying on the Lord pays off in the long run! The city is pretty awesome. The area I'm in is a pretty good balance between urban and rural which is cool. We of course go to Sapporo once in a while for stuff too which is a way huge city. Subway, 6 way crosswalks and all that good stuff. It is way cool and I wish you could see it. I hope work is going well and everything! Have you been doing any school lately?

Andrew and Lauren:
It is going awesome! I am going to try to send some pics from my comp's camera this time around, but I did fix mine so that;s good! I just forgot it again. The language is not too bad! I am pretty good as far as understanding goes, the hardest thing is speaking out fast enough. Like, i know grammar and words pretty well, still have a lot to learn of course, but just as tough as the language is knowing what I should say. The main thing is to get to the point where you can rely on the spirit and not stew on what and how you should say it in your mind eh? I figured that that was the problem with the card thingy... I probably should've just kept it and asked ya, but it probably wouldn't have fit in my luggage in the long run. I could definitely use it here though! If you can send it maybe some cds too would be good because i don't know how much they are here. Thanks a ton! Just the mission home address would be the best. My investigators are doing pretty awesome! We have a small family with a daughter who is 8 and loves the lessons and is getting baptized with her mom maybe next month if things work out! We actually just got back from teaching her a short simplified version of the word of wisdom and chastity. We also have another who pretty much just needs to solidify her testimony of Joseph Smith and could be in the water Saturday if everything worked out perfect! We definitely do lots of all sorts of types of dendo, it seems like we house (knock doors... er... ring doorbells and talk to people through intercoms) the most, but the most effective for sure has been phone dendo because they are all people who have had interest at one point! Funny that you bring up talents because I got a hold of a guitar and we are going to try doing guitar dendo which will be WAY fun if we can! Of course we can we just need to practice for it and find good places. I think it will bring the spirit for sure and I have actually been able to sing and play for other things that we've done and it's been way neat. I am way glad that the temple has been good for you! I can just imagine how awesome of a temple worker you are because you always put your heart into everything and do it with a happy spirit. I know everyone involved appreciates the attitude you have for that work and feels the spirit strong because of it. I am mega excited for you to be looking for a home! I will pray for ya for sure. Please send pictures when you find a winner. Love ya!!!
o genki de! matta ne! ai shiteimasu!

Lily (our dog):
Hey! I'm glad your teeth cleaning and surgery went well! Stay happy and get well soon! There are lots of cool dogs around here. Lots of Corgis too for some reason! They are nice and cute and sometimes a good way to start conversations!

I'm glad your birthday was fun! Looks like school has been going awesome too! Sounds busy! Do you still have time for fun? Make sure to tell me about seminary! How have scriptures been too? No worries about sending a big letter, but I'll be excited for anything! haha Of course boys are stupid! Cars are too! :) Keep being an amazing teenager and be obedient! I wish people told me that more around that time. I'm glad you are on such a good track right now. Love you! Don't turn 16 too fast!

Hey! The baseball game was great! Glad you got my letter too. I didn't really look too much at the food (at the baseball game), but there are legit full restaurants there too. Ramen, etc. That's crazy Ferrin is leaving Wednesday! Frisbee is fun too and he will have tons of time to play at the MTC even though you can't play ultimate. Basketball there is pretty good too actually. Definitely work on staying in shape as much as you can. It's worth it! I think everyone will appreciate your letters for sure. Did they ever get the letters I sent them? Josh, Ferrin, Michael? Make sure to make fun of them for not writing me back if they did get them.
Peace out and have fun in college! (not too much) Love ya

Sounds like it's been busy! I'm so jealous that ya got to see the Brigham City Temple dedication! Lots of memories of driving past it. I can't wait to see how the temple here grows with time! Why was there no church? Did you go somewhere? Sounds like Mara got great stuff, but keep her away from drivers ed for now! haha Scary to think she'll almost be 17 when I get back!

The canyons are WAY beautiful, but the leaves haven't changed at all yet. I fixed the camera and i just had to charge the battery. No worries there. Sounds so cool that Jake is going to Uganda! It's a really good fit for him I think. I will maybe try to write Josh soon too. I almost forgot I told you I wanted cereal haha! Probably something healthy. Life maybe? The more filling the better. They also have no wheat bread here. If you do send candy send something that I could give away easily. People here really like getting things like American candy as gifts.
That is way cool that you got to see the fireside!!! It was way rad to play with Elder Rodenberg. He is a boss and has a way good voice. I'm glad everyone else got to see it as well. I hope to do more with the guitar here when I have time.

I am very proud of you too because you have such a huge strong testimony and love for the Lord that has helped me to get this far and get my testimony on its feet too. I think there are only two ways to serve a mission. All in or not and I am going to do everything I can to be all in. It is not about me for sure and my goal is to forget myself and put everything in the Master's hands. I have been reading Jesus the Christ lately and it has been really good to focus on Christ specifically when I have study time. I have been able to seen many miracles and spiritual experiences, but I hope that you are having them there as well. I am glad you are being blessed and that everyone else is sending prayers as well. They help more than they know. Thank you for your good example of hard work in the ward too. Keep smiling and being the welcoming Christ-like example you have always been. I hope to be like you in my selflessness as a missionary. Love you.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

9/16/12 The letter is early!

Thanks for all of the awesome photos! A little bit more U of U stuff than I usually like to see... Jk!!! (Note - refers to photos of his nieces and brother in their Ute gear.) I'm glad to see everyone is having a lot of fun especially in Dave's family. I am really sorry in advance too because we are going to a baseball game in Sapporo today which is really lucky so we have to cut into all the rest of our time. If I'm lucky we might make it up afterwards. We'll see!

So fun to hear about the best nieces ever. It makes me feel really special that Mya remembers me! I'm glad that my letters get to everyone well through the blog! Send them lots of love from me too! That is cool that David knows someone in the language department at the MTC. I wonder who it could've been. I am really glad that I was able to use the time in the MTC to improve in my language a lot, but it's still really tough here sometimes. I am humbled a lot. I know I can say a lot more, but sometimes the Japanese isn't the problem y'know? A lot of the time I wouldn't even know what to say in English! So it's a big challenge, but I'm working and working towards it!

I think Elder Gandy probably gives me a ton of credit hahah. I wonder who he was working with! I bet Joseph is doing crazy good too. He's humble, but I bet his Japanese has gotten really amazing too. That is a really crazy story about how the bean he worked with was able to get someone interested!!! I don't feel like I have that power a lot of the time, but I try my best! I still can't do a ton of everything quite yet, but I'm making lots of goals! Miracles definitely definitely happen. I will remember what you told me about the Holy Ghost and keep working hard!

Thanks for planning to write me a letter! I hope it doesn't take too long. I have a few letters I wrote to some friends, but haven't found time to send them. Sorry to those! :( I'll get on it soon though. So glad to hear when people ask about me! Let them know I think about and pray for them too! Sorry you didn't get to go to San Diego, but wish Uncle Dave happy birthday for me too!

So I will try to give you a quick summary of cool stuff. We taught another lesson to the 8 year old on the plan of salvation and she is still a genius. She asked her mom like three times if she could move their baptism up a month!! Also we have another investigator who is finally recognizing the spirit and can probably get baptized soon too! Way cool! We have been doing a lot of work with our phone recently too because there are lots of old phone numbers in there. I have actually tried calling a few times too! It has been good though because those people have interest a lot more often. The other day we went to Koyodai which is about an hour away on bikes and it is a way pretty commute. Anywhere there is vegetation it is pretty much jungle! The concert also went really awesome too and my song w/ Elder Rodenberg went great! A lot of people came and there are a lot of talented missionaries here.

anyways gotta get going! Love you tons :)
Hutchinson Choro

P.S. from Braden's Mom - Received this letter from Elder Rodenberg's mom today -

My son, Elder Braedon Rodenberg, companion to Elder Davis in Sapporo, wrote about their music fireside in Sapporo this week. I'm copying his don't you love the 19 year old lingo?

"Besides that, we had our music fireside! It was seriously super slick! Elder Hutchinson and I did a SUPER sick arrangement of "A Child's Prayer" we made and it was awesome. He's like, a professional guitarist, It was seriously so crazy."

I'm guessing that "sick" means amazing! Hopefully, someone took pictures and will post them! (Brother Olsen, did your son send any?) Let me know what your Braden had to say about it!
Gloria Rodenberg
Campbellsville, KY

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/9/12 More from Eniwa!!

Hey! I don't have a ton of time today, but I'll write as much as I can! That's awesome you found the picture of me! Maybe if you could send it next time that'd be cool. Yeah my hair is short, but that's kinda nice because the bike helmet would ruin it bad if it wasn't. What mission blog? I don't remember mentioning one, but it's probably the FB page you were talking about.

Okay I'll hold onto the card, but we probably get to use a phone at the home or something then. Finding is soo great! I am getting better slowly but surely. We do this thing called housing a lot which is door to door and it's tough, but I've been getting better at it. We also do street contacts sometimes and basically we just try to make friends with everyone and introduce the gospel! It's tricky and my Japanese is still slow so my comp takes the lead all the time but I'm getting better at putting my two cents in as often as I can. It would probably take a long time to describe all the people that we meet, but yesterday we taught a lesson after church to one of our investigators and her daughter who is 8 and a genius! She wants to get baptized really bad so we taught her a lesson about Jesus and praying and reading then we gave her a BoM and I gave her my picture BoM that I bought at the MTC and she was way happy! So cool. She is a kinjin for sure. That means *gold person* and we use it for people who are really spiritually prepared. Get this! The question she had for us before we began the lesson was *what would happen if adam and eve didn't eat the fruit??* and she's 8! Kinjin.

I feel bad about not getting pictures, but I brought my camera today so I'll have a few to share. I want to take a pic of my bike soon too. It's hard to take pictures of the surroundings because we don't really have chances to, but google maps should be good for that. My apartment is pretty close to the Eniwa train station and the area goes all the way up to Shimamatsu and down past Chitose a little bit.

Sounds like a way fun baby shower! I am doing great and it is really tough, but I am growing a lot I think. Please let anyone know they can write and I'll do my best. I'm trying to write and send a few letters now. I'm way excited for Josh!!! I bet Mara is growing up so much already. So cool! I'm really glad for Adam and Andrew handling college like bosses! I'm really glad your ears are feeling better too! It is really gotten crazy rainy here lately so I:m being really careful and using that rain gear a bunch.

That's really neat you got a letter from the Harpers. I'm glad I had him as a companion too and we grew a lot together. I hope he is doing well in Japan so far. That's funny you got a letter from Elder Rodenberg's mom too! Crazy! I'm actually going today to practice for that. The concert is on Saturday. I didn't even know that I could play guitar in it till last night so let's hope it goes awesome! I think Sis Evans is loaning me one. I actually sang at our English class last Tuesday because we like to share something spiritual every time. I sang I am a child of god in English and Japanese and it went really well. I hope everyone was able to feel the spirit.

Don't have too much fun in California! That sounds awesome! I'll definitely be thinking about and praying for Lily haha :) I'm really excited to hear anything about the new mission! It's a really important thing I think. Considering here there are four missionaries to just this one ward it will be great for you to get to know the missionaries assigned to the stake.

Yeah I don't have earmuffs, but probably not a huge hurry to send them. As for American food maybe cereal or more granola bars or something. Cereal is expensive here and is nice in the morning when it's busy with four people and all.
Mya and Livy sound super awesome and cute as always :) They are growing up so well and it's so neat. Having the gospel in our families is pretty much the most important thing ever. When we proselyte we usually talk about that right of the bat and it makes me realize how really important it is. I'm so grateful we are an eternal family and have those great blessings and I want to share that with everyone!!!

Love you so so so much!

-Hutchinson Chourou

first pic is a billion tomatoes we got from members and that's not all... we have had way more at dinner appts.

here is a pic of a bunch of us elders at the apt because we had district training meeting here

my nametag!

here is us at a yakiniku restaurant the day after I got here before I left to Eniwa
all the Sapporo going missionaries at the MTC
Mikey and I

my MTC class and teachers

with trainer Elder Hansen & President & Sister Evans

Looking pretty happy after a long trip - Sapporo at last

Monday, September 3, 2012

9/2/12 First week in Eniwa

Hey! Everything is way exciting and awesome! I`m really sorry that I wasn't able to snag more time to talk to everyone else as well :( I still have that phone card you sent and don:t have anything to do with it... Should I send it back sometime? It was great to talk and sorry if I didn't have much to talk about. I`m excited for Christmas, but I hope it doesn't come too fast for me!

Flying was the best, but I`m super glad to be here and not have to sit for a long time. Being out and about is the best! There were no problems at all with my luggage except for I had to use an extra knapsack type bag that elder Bush let me borrow to use as my "personal item" because It wouldn't fit anywhere else. It actually ripped almost completely apart once I got to the mission home, but I was able to make it without losing anything. I`d recommend getting two big suitcases and a carryon rather than 1 suitcase and 1 carryon like I had.
I have had a whole week full of "bean"(like a greenie, but the Japanese version) things, but I`ve also had lots of time to dendo as well! Dendo means missionary work and there are lots of different kinds of dendo. Since I didn't really sleep on the plane getting used to the jet lag wasn't too bad, but I sleep better here than I ever did in my life probably because of all the hard good work. My apartment is pretty cool and nice! We actually share it with 2 other missionaries that are way cool. One is named Elder Oomura who is from Okinawa and a Nihonjin and his companion is Elder Brown from New Zealand. There are two study rooms/rooms to keep our clothes and get dressed, a small bathroom w/ just a toilet and sink thing and then another bathroom with sink, laundry machines, and Japanese style bath/shower. Then our Kitchen has a microwave, stove, toaster oven, and fridge. The microwave is pretty spiffy and can work like an oven too. Yesterday was Sunday and the ward gave us so much food! We also have a bedroom that has a cool sliding door with the straw mats as the floor, but because there are four of us our futons overlap into the living room too. Getting a bike was tricky because the card wasn't working at first and we found out the problem was my daily withdrawal limit, but we fixed it and I have the money so no prob there. We just have to wait for the bike shop to get the one I ordered. No need to send my straw over! haha the 7-11's are mostly for getting money and buying a snack or something once in a while. I wish I could show you the cool Kanji for Eniwa, I'm sure you could look it up though. There are also two other cities that my area covers called Chitose and Megumino. We are definitely going to work hard and plant/raise some beautiful blessings haha! My companion is pretty much a boss. He is crazy good at Japanese and talking to people. He is also way funny and cool. Definitely encouraging to work with. He actually looks a lot like Joseph Gandy haha. I forgot to bring my camera to the church, but you might be able to see his pic with me on the mission blog. As for garbage there are just a bunch of different categories that they only pickup on certain days, so it is a bit tricky.

I'm way glad you are reading the NT together! I want to start reading it eventually too because of how much we can learn about the savior's life from it. I have kind of been focusing on the BoM and PMG lately, but I hope to eventually find time to read all the NT, BoM, and Jesus The Christ. I hope Mara is learning a lot in seminary and taking the time to think about it a lot! I'm glad my testimony was able to help :) It is something that I hope to always be sharing as a missionary. Thanks for reciprocating the importance of the savior and the comfort that we can receive through and from Him. I know He is proud of all of you for all the great things you are doing back home as well. I`m glad that you were able to be help a lot through your tough work experience. Please keep working hard and remember how much I love you!

Thanks for the address and I'll do my best to write her/everyone else soon! There are lots of things we can only do on P-day(cleaning, shopping, sightseeing,etc.) but I want to find time to write as much as I can. Please send everything to the mission home address :)

How is Adam liking college? What classes does he have and how is the commute? I bet it is really fun to hear Mara and I`m proud of her for taking such a big responsibility and working hard. P-days are Monday here which I think is like Sunday night for you or something. I have some cool stories to share now.
So my first dendo was in downtown Sapporo before I left to Eniwa. There are tons of people on the streets there! It's tricky though because we can't talk to girls. We found a few people who actually wanted to talk and actually passed a book of mormon to a high school age kid and passed a lot of little chirashi (flyers) too. We also met an interesting guy who had studied a lot of different religions and stuff and just wanted to talk about how he wants to become an animal. I am pretty good at understanding the gist of conversations here, but I have definitely been humbled a LOT as far as Japanese goes. It's good though because I can learn a lot from what I hear and be motivated to study harder!! We have also tried dendoing in Eniwa a bunch, but there are hardly as many people on the streets. Yesterday we house dendo'd a bunch which is always very interesting and fun. We actually found one guy who was interested in listening and taught him all of lesson one on his porch! We were going to give him a BoM, but he wouldn't take it because it was free! He tried to pay for it, but we couldn't let him. He gave us water and said we could come back any time though! We also actually talked to random people in the park afterwards and it was great! It is such a cool feeling to be able to talk to people even though in the end they don:t always have interest.

So right now we have 3 solid investigators. One is named Nakamura and she has had all the lessons and is keeping all the commandments, but just needs to get a stronger testimony of JS and the BoM. The other is Haramai and she is pretty awesome! She has a daughter who is 8 and when we visited her house her daughter kept asking when she could be baptized! Another investigator named Miyashita could be getting baptized this Saturday except she had to go on a trip for a while. I think there are a few more, but there a lots of people that have interest and are progressing. We had to pass a bunch to the other companionship because of it. We have also visited members quite a bit and been fed A LOT! Of the first 4 days in Eniwa we were fed dinner 3 of them. Such crazy good food! Elder Hansen got sweet pictures. The members are so awesome! Two of them are old widow ladies that are super funny and fun to listen to. We actually ate at the stake president's house last night too. SOO much food, but sooo good. I also ate this thing called natto at the apartment a few nights ago. Some people say it's one of the hardest things to eat ever, but it wasn't too bad. Not delicious by any means, but really healthy so I:ll try to eat it every now and then I think.

Church yesterday was really cool too. The ward is so cool and nice! There are some funny and cool members and they:re all interested in the missionaries and stuff. We all bore are testimonies and introduced ourselves since it was fast and testimony meeting and I was really nervous, but everyone said I did great and is impressed with my Japanese for a bean. The spirit is so strong even though I can't always understand 100%. I'm excited to work hard to make it to the point where I can at least be really close and share and be uplifted just as much!

That's pretty much it! I'm excited to get a bike and be able to get moving a lot more! I:m also going to a Matsuri festival tonight with the other missionaries and then once p-day time is over we are going to shizen dendo which means natural dendo. It is where we basically just talk to people in normal situations, become there friends and try to find a way to share the gospel! I'm super excited. We're also doing lots of shopping.
I'll try to get lots of cool pictures and not forget my camera!

Love you so so so much! Kokoro Kara Aishiteimasu!!!
Hacchinson Chourou

(Note from Mom: I received the following note today from another Sapporo mission mom, Sister Rodenberg:

"Your son (Braden?) was mentioned in our letter home today. Our son, Braedon Rodenberg is in Odori, Sapporo, and told us that they are having another musical fireside. He is in a trio singing A Child's Prayer, and your son is the guitarist!" I'm so excited to hear that he's been given a way to share his music already!)