Sunday, April 28, 2013

4/28/13 Obihiro, Kushiro, Kitami, Aoyagi Choro, and LOTS of riding in cars and trains

Hey! I'm glad that you have been having a good week as well! Sounds like there is lots of playing with little kids as usual. Say congratulations to Adam for me and take some videos of him if he goes under (getting his wisdom teeth out). Ask the New Zealand missionary if he knows any Browns or Hakaraias. I don't know why Kuruma Ishi looks like that. There was an explanation board and I read it a bit, but it was in hard scientific Japanese plus I forgot. I bet you could find it on wikipedia or something.
Comcast internet sounds fun too. I remember wanting it so bad, but now I think when I get home I want to use the internet as little as possible. Sounds like it'll be perfect for work at home though! Maybe I can use it to upload music I record and stuff. haha

Thanks for the notes and stuff from other missionaries! I am glad to hear even though there are hard things they are seeing miracles and pushing through! That's way cool that Taylor and Marquie are heading out soon. It's cool that I'm not the only missionary from the ward anymore.

As far as the lots of people who investigated here in Nemuro for a long time, it seems like a lot of them are just like what you said. That and they just like missionaries, but have strange reasons for not getting baptized and obeying all the commandments. The main thing is thinking about what is most effective and where you need to focus.

So this week was pretty awesome! Monday was a way good day. We didn't have a lot of time on P-day because there are lots of things to buy for the apt still, but had great dendo time. We got spoked (stood up) for a lesson so we had a practice lesson with the branch president who was going to team up with us. Then that night we went to meet with a kid and his family that we met on the street who are way cool, but it ended up being bad timing. We made another plan to go again and decided to house nearby. There were not a lot of people home and the people who were said no really fast. It happens sometimes, but for some reason I felt especially tested by it. It teaches us in PMG about always asking for referrals wherever we go and when we asked one guy he said "no one here is interested!" kinda loud. I've had other crazy stuff said, but when I heard that I felt really strong that he was wrong and we kept housing. We finished the whole first section of the block and were thinking of going home, but decided to house the next building. First door was a crazy prepared awesome family named the Sekiyas, a mom with two sons. They were the most polite and nice kids I've ever met plus the mom was really happy to see us and very responsive. Really happy about that.

The next day we tried to visit our Philipino investigator and got there right as she was leaving so we couldn't meet, but we dendo'd the area. We met this way awesome lady named Uke who is really interested and remembers seeing missionaries a lot as a kid. We had a lesson with this guy named Suzuki who is an old investigator as well, but not nearly as old as the others. He still has problems keeping commitments which is tough. Before we visited him we tried to visit a PI (potential investigator) that we found last time and he wasn't home, but his mom was and surprisingly she was really interested as well!! After Suzuki's lesson we had some yakitori bentou which is a chicken on a stick kinda thing. Anyway it's really good and is only in Hakodate and Nemuro. After that we were going to visit these non-attending members, but I remembered I had to copy something to send to the Honbu so we stopped at a 7/11 to do that. After we left, we ran into a cool guy who is an English teacher at the high school. We taught him a lesson right there and got his phone number. Cool stuff like this happens all the time, I just usually don't remember it to write in the emails. (sorry) Wednesday was another good day meeting with investigators and finding other cool people on the street as we went places. We also taught the Sekiyas, but the mom was sick so we just taught the sons. We used a cool example with soap and pepper in water to teach baptism and they really want to receive it. The older kid Souto is the most obedient kid I've ever seen wow. We asked him to pray at the end of the lesson and he was like "Really? Can I?" :D That was great.

Thursday was way busy. Had planning session in the morning, got some business done for Inumaki choro's return flight arrangements, and got on the train to Obihiro for zone training meeting. Only about y'know... 5 hours. We did stop in Kushiro halfway to eat a little, but didn't get to Obihiro til almost 9. We crashed there with a ton of other missionaries and had a great ZTM the next day. It is funny to have my trainer as the Assistant to the President. We learned a lot about working with the ward and showing love to those you contact by being friendly and not just all business when you talk to them. It is however really important to always make sure you testify and teach them though. After that we ate and dendo'd for a tiny bit in Obihiro. Then we took the train back to Kushiro and dendo'd there a little bit. Had another fun night with the missionaries and zone leaders there. The next day we dendo'd a tiny bit and tried to visit Inumaki Choro's converts from when he was there. Then we ate sushi at Matsuriya which pretty much everyone in Japan says is the best sushi in the world. It was great. I ate too much. I also had whale. It was all right. Then we met the Kushiro branch pres and his wife (he is an American, but his wife is Japanese) and rode with them to Kitami where the first half of district conference was. That was a 2 1/2 hour drive, but way fun. We got there and I went on splits with the missionaries there and found a WAY awesome guy in the mall there. He is 25 and coaches basketball at a high school. I taught him all of lesson 1 and the restoration and he was way interested. Did all that, made good friends with him, all from a conversation started while looking at hats. He used to work at a YMCA and said that he really liked prayer and wanted to become a Christian, but didn't feel like that church was right. Unfortunately he lives in Obihiro, but he let me give his phone number to the missionaries there.

That night we slept in Kitami and the next morning headed back to Kushiro in the Nemuro branch presidents rent-a-car. I just have to say I'm the worst at sleeping in cars/trains/planes etc. It makes for a very tired self especially if I do fall asleep. District conference was so good it was crazy. Ozawa kaicho spoke on faith and how he has faith about the success of the church in Nemuro. That is a very hard thing considering no baptisms for 6+ years, but I know it is going to change. A new convert in kushiro spoke and so did Evans Kaicho (the mission pres.). He gave a great talk on things we can do as just members to dendo. So did Aoyagi Choro of the 70. His talk was so powerful it was crazy. Some things they talked about were 1. Making sure the people around you know that you're LDS and have the standards you do 2. Not doing it because you want them to be converted, but because you want them to get the blessings 3. Showing the love of Christ through compliments, praise, service. I wish you could've heard it. Of course, it was in Japanese, but still. After that we hung out there for a bit and rode back to Nemuro. We were insanely tired, but still went out to dendo. We visited this guy named Mochida who we found last week in the crazy blizzard. We taught him a way good lesson. It was way tight. When we asked him if he had any questions he brought the flier we gave him and he was just like, "yeah, teach me about the Book of Mormon." Long story short, it went awesome and we made a baptismal date with him. He is way smart, cool, and thinks hard about what we say so he understands it pretty good. We also passed out a few copies of the Book of Mormon in his apartment building and went home after meeting another "eternal investigator." Hopefully he'll make the right decisions that he needs to like the other eternal investigators. Anyways we are planning to go to this cool park today called Meiji Koen. I'll take some pics.

Thanks for everything and thank you for always being supportive and praying for me! I'm stoked for the letter! Please see lots of miracles there and try sharing the gospel with everyone! I know in Utah a lot of the people you run into at stores and on the street etc. are probably already members, but they need to feel the Savior's love too. Try saying hi, smiling, complimenting, everyone you can! LOVE YOU!
Aishiteimasu! Hutchinson Choro

Our house in Nemuro

With the Kushiro elders

Sunday, April 21, 2013

4/21/13 "It is still winter here"

=It is still winter here=

So that is great news about Lauren, Andrew, and Max (note: Braden's new nephew)! How fun. I'm glad he is healthy, he looks really awesome. I am not surprised about how well Lauren handled it. She is so great! Thanks for the pictures. I wonder what he will look like when he gets bigger.

He sure has a ton of clothes. Wow. Glad you all get to spend so much time together. What do you mean he will have 3 missionary aunt/uncles? Adam and Caitlin are the other 2? Also missionaries can't hold, tickle, or watch kids so I will have to just settle with looking at the Ozawa's kid. Haven't got a chance to see her anyway.

Thanks for thinking of me on my birthday. I can't make the cake you sent because there is no oven in our house. To celebrate I dendo'd and it was pretty much a normal day. I'm excited for Adam to finish school and get preparation done and that's cool for Bre, Caitie, and Kallie as well! I haven:t gotten a letter since I've come to Nemuro and neither has Inumaki Choro... Not that I need any or anything, but if people have wedding invites etc I'd like to see 'em. Sounds like the new stake presidency is all really awesome people! Who is the new young men's president? That's super cool that lots of people read the blog! If anyone ever comments on it send to me please!! :) (Hint: you can comment below or on the facebook link & we will send it to Braden)

So not going to lie, I hardly cook at all and the stuff I know how to cook you could only buy in Japan or special stores I think. Or it's just ridiculously simple stuff like curry and stew from mixes. Inumaki Choro is a ridiculously good cook. His parents both went on missions so he is second generation. He is from Wakayama prefecture which is pretty small apparently. He's crazy strong and I've learned a billion and two things from him.

So this week was going to Kuruma Ishi on p-day (car rock). It is this rock formation that is big and round. It's on the seaside though and the giant waves were the coolest part haha. We biked there and it was fun. Tuesday we had another great DTM on the phone and did a bunch of finding. We made a baptismal date with an old investigator, but he has bad word of wisdom problems. A lot of people here do actually. We want to try super hard to help him overcome that. Wednesday we visited a lot of appointments I made on splits the week before and were able to teach 2 good lessons in people's doorways. We visited one of the member's brothers we got as a referral and he is a great guy, but has w.o.w. problems as well. Thursday was visiting this other old investigator named Hasegawa who gave us a tonnn of candy and sweets. She really likes the gospel and missionaries, but won't give up tea. She also has some other interesting beliefs. Plus she talks a ton and it's very hard to teach her. That day we also taught another investigator named Suzuki who really likes the missionaries as well, but we need him to act on his own to know what we are teaching is true. He has a lot more promise out of the people now. He does have a smoking problem as well though.

Friday we tried to visit more old investigators and there was a way cool guy named Endo who is pretty interested in the message and wants the blessings for his family. We tried visiting and finding a bunch of other people as well. On Saturday we did some phone dendo and went to an area called Nishihama for a bit and visited Takarada who is another old investigator. She is kinda like Hasegawa. We have to find out why these people investigated for years and years without getting baptized... There are lots of them really. We also did some finding in another area called Komaba. We visited a member that night who cannot speak. She speaks sign language. So I have been learning Japanese sign language a bit and it's fun. There are two members like that here. Sunday was a very crazy day. We went to church and during church it started to rain very bad, then turn to snow. Church was super awesome and an investigator came, but had to leave before sacrament. Inumaki Choro gave a talk and it was awesome. After church we talked to members a bunch and Ozawa Kaicho's son Karebu said that a lot of people at his high school know who we are and that we are "famous." It is really fun to talk to high school kids and show them how the gospel applies to them. Anyway after church we had an appointment with the mom of a member who moved away (also named Endo) so we ate lunch and headed over on our bikes. It was a little snowy, but we were fine. Endo ended up having a huge meal for us and the member we brought with. We talked to her a bit and found out that she had a lot of hard things in the past with her son going to church and going on a mission, but were able to testify to her about it a lot. Anyway, since we weren't expecting food it took a lot more time than we thought and the snow didn't stop. When we left, the snow was probably six inches and we had to push our bikes home, but it was pretty adventurous. So that is pretty much my week!

Thanks for the prayers and support as always. I am grateful to have a family where I could find the gospel for myself. It's wonderful to see David and Lauren's families growing up like that as well.

Hutchinson Choro

Here are some pictures from Kuruma-ishi
Also there was a horse farm on the way

Sunday, April 14, 2013

4/14/13 Tanjoubi omedetou! (happy birthday to Braden)

HEY!!! Thank you! Tanjoubi omedetou is right :) Oh wow! That's crazy that Max hasn't been born yet. I mean chances are he's been born now, but I'm still excited. There are no special birthday songs here. Just the regular songs translated plus the traditional birthday song with sweet Japanese accents (happee bas-day tsu yu) and stuff like that. To answer a question, the cake I got from the Kuramis was chocolate. I can't believe I am 20. I don't really feel like it and I forgot it was my birthday until I found a cool origami shirt that Inumaki Choro made for me on my desk. I'm so proud to be your son as well and am grateful for your support and love and example. The prayers are so incredibly helpful as well. Thank you and I love you!!! I have a letter I will send next week with a reply to the priests quorum as well.

Nemuro is still awesome. It is really cool to be re-opening this area after a long time, but a lot of the times it doesn't feel much different from any other area. Just that we don't have Eikaiwa yet and there aren't as many members to get to know. It is so great though and I'm grateful the Lord trusts us and has prepared us for the people here.

With conference I only had to watch the first session in Japanese. Afterwards a member let me use their laptop with headphones to watch the rest. I was surprised how much I did understand in Japanese actually. Probably took the most notes then out of all of it. The translation is pretty much just the basics of what happens in the talks. Not going to lie the general authorities use some pretty hard English hahaha. I got tons out of it though. It is cool as a missionary because all the time you are thinking of what you can do for the area and your investigators especially as you study and do stuff like watch conference. I really liked how they focused on member missionary work and happy family relationships etc. Way good. I think these are the things that we need to do to get more people into the gospel and baptism. With those strong family examples and desire to share them I think the work will go faster and faster all over the world.

Lauren really is a basketball! Wow! Looking forward to Wednesday for her! It is actually pretty clear here. Not too much rain. The wind is still very cold though. I don't think it ever gets *hot* here, but that's ok. That's great for Adam and his papers progressing! Sounds like everyone has been busy! I hope you did great on your Sunday School lesson! Have you been trying to involve the class a lot lately? I feel like in gospel classes if the teacher just kind of leads and everyone teaches each other the spirit can come more fully. That is one thing I've been learning and thinking about lately in my teaching and noticed from good lessons that I've had up to now in my mission. Don't worry and the spirit will help you out. You are probably way more prepared than you think! That's wild that the stake presidency is changing! I can't believe that. I don't have any memory of a Stake President besides President Nordgren. I wonder what he will do next. I also wonder who will release me when I get back! He did so much great work and it was really a privilege to be in the stake with him.

Thanks for the happy wishes from the ward! I love them all and am excited for all the great work that is going to happen there as well!!!

So this week was a bit of continuing gathering things for the house and also searching for old investigators. We also had our first district meeting which was... Over the phone! It was pretty interesting. Very different, but still had a great experience. It is kinda sad to not be able to mingle with the other missionaries, but we still fulfill the purpose and get a lot out of it spiritually. We have been finding investigators new and old through all sorts of methods, but mostly by NEVER STOPPING FINDING whenever and wherever. Old phone numbers, on the street, houses, stores everywhere. It is so great. I love talking to and meeting people, but I love best when you can just tell that the people are prepared and when they listen. I am really wanting to work harder and harder to help them understand and think of the importance of the gospel. The members here are so willing to help as well. The district president Ozawa kaicho is in our branch and even though he is busy and has 6 kids (newest born Saturday morning) he is so strong and helpful to us. The members have been so fast and willing to help team up with us in lessons. We have also been working with members by meeting at their houses and praying with them before we go out to find in their neighborhoods. It is so great and cool and you really get power from the branch like that. Also we run when we find to use our time more effectively and that is way fun too. One interesting thing I noticed is that the people that are hardest to contact are usually the most prepared (farthest away from the path you're going, etc.)

We also had splits with the Kushiro missionaries and when they came we ate dinner at the Ozawa's house. They are way amazing and their kids are super fun too. The have a son who is 15 and just got into high school who was way happy that missionaries finally came back to Nemuro. We ate sukiyaki (a lot) and had a blast. On splits I went with Ogata Choro who was in the same apt as me in Eniwa on my 3rd transfer. It was pretty fun and we did lots of housing and made lots of appointments to come back and share a message! We also taught a great lesson to an investigator with Ozawa Kaicho and I learned a lot about the importance of asking questions to get investigators thinking and to know by the spirit what they need to hear. Also learned that at night if you go to the supermarket the sushi and tempura becomes insanely cheap (like 3 dollars for 12 rolls) Anyways that was fun. Saturday was just general conference and so was Sunday, but then we went to visit non-attending members with another member which was cool even though no one was home. We did meet a lady whose son is a member and used to live in Nemuro who was way happy to see us and wanted to feed us really bad. We couldn't go into her house because there were only two of us, but we will be able to come again and teach her. We also taught a lesson to a Filipino that we found! She speaks no Japanese and we teach her in English, but she is way strong. She is good friends with the Ozawa's and is also Catholic and believes in Jesus Christ really strongly, but she is really open to hear our beliefs and was really intrigued about the restoration. She has two kids who are awesome as well and is married to a Japanese guy who is very nice as well! We'll probably be able to teach him too.

That is about it though! I feel like I write so much some times. I might as well not even keep a journal hahah! Well if I find a voice recorder eventually I could just record little by little everyday and spend less time on the computer, but there doesn't seem to be any place to get that here. I'll just keep going normal for now! Thanks a ton and as always I love you!!! Tell me about your missionary work too!

Aishiteimasu! Hutchinson Choro

Sunday, April 7, 2013

4/7/13 "I Live In A House!"

I Live In A House!

HEY!!! Sorry last email was so short. I am way sorry. The sports activity made everything crazy. Also yeah, I did meet Daniel and his mom there!!! They were doing great and it was super good to talk to them. Thank you for the presents!! The CD is the best! The chocolate was delicious as well and I shared it with Stilson Choro. Also how did you know that I got transferred??? I am in Nemuro!!! There have been no missionaries here for 6 years and it is 7 hours away from Sapporo by train. My new companion is Inumaki Choro who was the Assistant to the President ever since I got to Japan. He is awesome!!! Also we live in a house not an apartment and it is pretty cool. A small house, but still cool. There are about 13-16 active members here and the church is very small too. It is a rented out building, but it is great. The members are way cool too. We are way excited to see a lot of miracles and baptisms here to make this area strong.

OK so I'll answer your questions (this was for another missionary going to Sapporo):
My backpack... I just use a regular backpack really haha the brand is dakine and it's made for laptops so it's really skinny. You can use any backpack really. The best is to just get one you like and then get a rain cover. I didn't buy a raincover when I was in the city and wish I did, but I'm doing ok as long as I put the stuff in my backpack in waterproof bags etc. Everyone also just uses completely normal sheets. No worries at all there.

Keisha in Buenos Aires? That sounds perfect for her!!! I'm way happy she is going out to serve and she is going to do so amazing I think! Tell her congrats for me and that she is way rad. Lauren thought she was in labor? Sounds tough! Still wondering when he'll come. Probably going to steal my birthday huh? hahaha You better get some sleep though! The hospital is an interesting place to watch conference! Funny that it is the room by where I was born too haha. I still don't know if I'll even be able to see conference in English because I am the only person this half of Japan that needs it. I might just print it all off from the internet and read it. Sounds like a good challenge from Bishop! I have been reading the issue you sent me quite a bit lately as well :) I'm way happy for Adam getting his papers pretty much done!!! Cedar City Temple?!? Whoa!!!!

Yeah Elder Stilson told me he wrote that letter. I'm glad you got it. He is way cool. (Note: this was a way cool letter Braden's comp wrote to his family thanking us for his great example. Made us cry, okay well mom at least ;) ) His new companion is Elder Harper my comp from the MTC. He'll do great there!

So since last Monday (I'd start from before, but I don't have my journal and can't remember) not a ton has happened. Of course we had the sports activity, that was not too bad plus I got to meet the Gandys. I don't really remember what we did for dendo that day, but it went pretty well. The next day at district meeting we had a way powerful testimony meeting and everyone shared way awesome experiences from their missions etc. After that I got my transfer call and was so surprised! I went home and waited at city hall for a few hours to get my residency card ready for me to transfer (it was very busy) and after that we tried to visit lots of members and investigators to say goodbye, but not too many were home. I got really close to the members in Toyohira even though I only had a short time. That night was lots of packing and getting other things ready, plus telling people that I was transferring. The next day was more of the same things. One of the members was really excited to celebrate my b-day with me - she brought over a cake and a bunch of other stuff. Probably one of the kindest letters I've gotten in Japan as well. That day we also tried to visit lots of investigators and members. Somehow when you tell everyone you are transferring everyone makes time to meet you. That was really nice. I'm really glad we still got to find some neat people on the street that day too. For dinner we went out to eat tonkatsu with an investigator and some members. The investigator gave me a tie and was really sad about me transferring, but excited for me too. He is way cool (Nakagawa). He has come to church twice and reads and prays every day. Way strong already actually. Then they came with us to Eikaiwa as well. The lesson went great and I announced my transfer to everyone at the end and took pictures and gave out my cards to them. They are great. One of them told me *every moment I spent with you is a treasure* in English. Hahaha way funny he is super cool. Next day was transfers. Went to the transfer spot and met Inumaki Choro and got going on my 7 hour train!!! I studied the whole time and talked with the guy sitting next to me. We arrived in Nemuro and the branch president met us and took us to eat and shop (there was hardly anything in the house when we got there, today our plans are mostly buying stuff for it haha). He is way cool and has 6 kids. They are most of the branch, but very strong. Next day was trying to organize the house etc in the morning and dendo like any other day! Nemuro is right next to the ocean. Literally a one minute walk from our house and you are there. It is a port town. Quite pretty. Hilly as well. Not very many people out on the street. When there are though, they are great people! Next day was pretty similar actually. We found some really awesome people already and have decent investigators already. The records the old missionaries left were not in good shape at all, so we have spent a lot of time organizing them! That's actually what most of Sunday was, after church (which was really moving in such a small place with the few people that were there). It was raining and windy WAY bad. (Another reason church was special, everyone got there anyways.) We tried to dendo for about an hour, but it was impossible so we returned to the house and organized and called people from the old records like crazy! Found some awesome people that way as well! It is way great to be here especially with Inumaki Choro. He is such a great and skilled missionary. He's great at English too! We mostly speak Japanese though. I have learned a lot about being humble, yet bold and realistic, yet faithful. There are so many blessings within the hard things that come to us as long as we show faith and search for them. I'm grateful to be here and grateful for my awesome family and this amazing restored Gospel! I know Jesus Christ is our Savior even stronger and know that He loves every single person in this little town. I love you and am excited for the miracles in your lives as well! Not to mention Max! I want to write a real letter soon.

Hutchinson Choro

Early birthday cake from a member in Toyohira

Eikaiwa group in Toyohira

With new comp, Inumaki Choro - (he says excuse the glasses)

Church building in Nemuro

Monday, April 1, 2013

3/31/13 The shortest letter

Hey! They are doing an activity today so I have like ten minutes to email today. Thanks for the long awesome mail though! I haven't met Gandy Choro because he has been in Tomakomai the whole time, but it sounds like he's coming to the honbu today about 20 minutes after we leave to the activity. Transfers are this week so crazy things could happen. 16 new missionaries are coming. I'm way excited for Spring too you don't even know. With the recorder no prob I'll look for a recorder on my own ;) thanks! We didn't do anything for Easter at all. One person mentioned it in their talk in sacrament. I actually forgot until I heard that. I'm very proud of Mara again and Adam too! Mya sounds cute as usual. I am glad no one got hurt too bad in the car accidents. That's way scary. Hakodate? Yes it is warmer. Thanks a ton and I probably won't see your other email!

Love you! Aishiteimasu!
Hutchinson Choro