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!)