Sunday, June 30, 2013

6/30/13 New companion - Andersen Choro!

Hey! It's gotten a little cold here again. It was only up to 8 celsius for most of this week so that was a little crazy. I don't know what to compare 100 fahrenheit to... From now on when you tell me measurements and stuff will you make it metric for me? Inumaki Choro made it back to Wakayama and I actually got a call from him this morning about a thing he forgot at the church. He said it's crazy to not be a missionary anymore because there's nothing to do.

My new companion is Elder Andersen who is only one transfer below me. Yes that does mean I finally became Sr. companion which is really exciting and different. He was in Kushiro which is right next to here so I didn't get to go to Sapporo and see all the other missionaries, but that's ok. That's what it kinda is like for the missionaries out here in doutou (eastern Hokkaido). Andersen Choro is 22 and is a really incredible guy. He is from Riverton, Utah. He is really good and doing accents and gymnastics (like flips and stuff) and he's also really buff. He was in the MTC with me as well so I knew him a bit from then too. He is really funny and really kind. It's interesting being with a gaijin again because I wasn't used to speaking so much English. It is going to be an exciting and interesting transfer here in the East of the East.
Glad you got to rest lots after working hard. Being Sr is a whole new ballpark of responsibilities and making sure that we get moving and get things done. The rest feels shorter. That's for sure. No prob though because the work is the best part :)
Sounds like youth conference was great! I've never been to the St. George temple so I am pretty jealous. Hope Mara's driver's ed stuff goes well too. I am pretty sure Adam is going to go to Germany or maybe.... Denmark or somewhere like that haha. I'm super excited for him. I wonder when he'll actually go into the MTC and stuff. It'll probably be a 3 year+ reunion when I see him again, but I'm excited for him to grow a lot. Definitely send me some pictures of those cabinets. Sounds fun! So what did you post about the Book of Mormon on facebook? I am still really foggy on how missionary work stuff is going to get all integrated online. That's cool there's an investigator in the ward! Where are they from? That's a pretty awesome story from Connor as well. Let's see if I have any good stories this week...
Monday was Inumaki Choro finishing packing and me writing letters and studying Japanese. That day in dendo we did a little bit of finding by a member's house and ate dinner with them. The next day we had district meeting and then went to eat sushi with a nice lady who is really nice and her son used to go to Eikaiwa a ton. She isn't really investigating at all, but she wanted to see Inumaki Choro off so we went out to sushi with her and a member. Then we went to see Inoguchi and see how he was doing. He said that his mom might have to stay in the hospital soon because her condition is getting too hard to stay in the apartment. If that happens he'll have a lot more free time and be able to get a job/hear the lessons again. We'll keep praying for him. Then we went to the church to watch the broadcast online. We only got to watch the first hour because of time, but we finished it the next morning. It was so so amazing and I loved it! Andersen Choro hasn't seen it yet so I get to watch it again! :D That night we went to the Ozawa's and they fed us Hanasakigani! The crab that is famous in Nemuro. That was pretty fun. Wednesday we took a bus to Kushiro and I split up with Inumaki Choro and met Andersen Choro. We had to get his resident card registration done there and we had some time before the bus home so we ate ice cream with the Kushiro branch president who is a gaijin and pretty funny. After we got home we did a little bit of planning and i did my best to introduce Andersen Choro to all of the investigators. We only had an hour though so we finished the planning the next day. That day in dendo we met a few really awesome people and made some nice appointments.

Friday we visited the branch president and mission leader and also another member. We also went to some appointments and taught lessons. One of the moms we taught a lesson to had heard about our church and Joseph Smith from someone before and randomly asked about him in the middle of the lesson. That was a surprise, but we were able to follow the spirit and answer her questions. We taught Eikaiwa that night and I switched from advanced class to beginning class and it's really fun actually. You have to use a lot more simple language and pictures/games etc to keep everyone going. Saturday was another day in Bekkai with Itou shimai. This time new Philipino helpers came and she wanted us to teach them! We went to her house and they were waiting on the 2nd floor. We didn't know what to expect at all, but they were way cool. Very strong testimonies of God/Jesus Christ etc. so it wasn't too hard to teach them the restoration. Some language barrier stuff with English (they don't speak Japanese) but for the most part went pretty well. They have a Tagalog BOM so we committed them to read and pray about it. We did some helping in the farm and went back to the most town part of Bekkai to do a little finding. We found a way nice lady there who was pretty strong, but since Bekkai is so far we can't know for sure when we'll be able to go back to visit her. Anyways church was very interesting.

The elementary schools here have a thing called undokai which is like a huge event where the kids just do a bunch of sports and tons of people come and they have fireworks and stuff. It's always on Sunday so quite a few of the members couldn't come. I think there were 5 people besides us. I taught young men's and gave a talk. If an investigator would've been there I would've taught gospel principles too so I had almost 3 hours of material planned. I was pretty tired. Afterward we tried to meet Okuchi at her kids undokai, but there were too many people and we couldn't find her. We visited a bunch of possible investigators and non attendings that day, but weren't able to get a strong teaching opportunity. Still a great day talking to lots of people! It is always wonderful here no matter the temperature because of the work. It's true and I know there will be lots of miracles and baptisms here! I love you all tons and am so grateful always.

Hutchinson Choro

purple coconut rice from itou shimai (phillipino food)

Us with the Phillipinos we taught

Saying goodbye to Inumaki Choro, hello to Andersen Choro

Serious crabbage with the Ozawa Fam

Sunday, June 23, 2013

6/23/13 Nemuro is still awesome!

Hey! I don't know what to call this week. Nemuro is still awesome.

Thanks for the mail about the broadcast! It sounds pretty interesting! It turns out we will be seeing it eventually. I wonder how those things will all apply here in Japan! Whatever we do here it really is exciting to be a missionary at this time ;) Glad lots of people see the blog too! I'll work on the email now!

I can't believe it's Westfest time already. That's really exciting about the vacuum too! Have fun in a clean house :) Japanese vacuums are pretty weird, but they work alright. You should look up a picture. It's like an egg with wheels and a hose. I can't believe how many farewells there were today though! Crazy cool. So many missionaries I can't remember where everyone is going. Awesome stuff though.

Good luck to Lauren having to go back to work. What will Max do? Glad Adam and Mara have been working a lot. St George youth conference sounds pretty cool too! Way proud of Adam finally having his papers in and Mara starting to drive. Thank you tons and tons as always. It is always glad to hear how things are progressing there. We are doing our best to try to get things moving too!

So I forgot my planner today and don't remember all the details about this week, but on Monday we caught up on letters and Elder Inumaki did some packing. Pretty sure we did some finding that night and met a few cool people that we made appointments to go back. Tuesday I am having a hard time remembering, but it was really kinda hurried. We taught a lesson to the investigator we found before named Kobayashi about the restoration. He believes everything, but part of that is he kinda believes every religion. Hopefully we can get him to receive an answer that because of the restoration this is the one true church. It will maybe take a lot of time, but that's ok. After that we headed on a bus to Kushiro for ZTM the next day which was really good. It was on committing and following up. After that we had our last DKK together as a companionship in the Kushiro apt and headed back to Nemuro. That night we met with Okuchi and taught about the doctrine of Christ. Her daughter is kinda hyper so it was hard to focus 100% and because of that I feel like it was kinda rushed especially on baptism. She seemed pretty good about everything at the end though. Hopefully she didn't feel a lot of pressure and stuff. Friday was a cool day. Went to visit some non-attendings that weren't there, but on the way back met an awesome guy named Kawasaki who is in the army and moved here two weeks ago. He is way prepared. He said he was searching for the purpose of life and we shared the plan of salvation with him real quick. He thought it was really cool and really respects what we're doing as missionaries. We made an appointment to eat with him today, but he got called into work right before. He wants to meet again though so I'm excited for that. After that we did some running around finding and got to Eikaiwa. A decent amount of people came and it was way fun as usual. I played my guitar afterwards and the students were really impressed. I'm way glad that with Eikaiwa so many people are able to come into the church. I just hope they can accept the gospel someday. Saturday we went to the farm and helped again. We also played a bunch with Itou shimai's kids who are not members. Sunday was cool. Okuchi couldn't come to church because of work, but Kobayashi came and I taught the gospel principles lesson. It went pretty well. After church Inumaki Choro said a lot of goodbyes and we taught a short lesson to the Kobayashi Family (members). Finding that day didn't end up having that much time, but Inumaki Choro said goodbye to a lot of the cool people that we have met. It is tough having him go home, but I'm looking forward to the cool stuff that will happen here next!

Ozawa kaicho gave a cool talk in sacrament. For part of it he used an example where it feels like we're walking in circles a lot of the time. However if you look at it from the side, it's like a spiral staircase bringing us closer to the Savior. I'm grateful for all the amazing things i get to see here everyday and I know you're seeing amazing things too! Love you!!!
Hutchinson Choro

Hokkaido is huge! And green!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

6/16/13 Been out one year already

Hey! I realized that I had been out a year a little while ago! Crazy... That's funny of you to have a celebration for it though. Did you get the Katsu from L&L? I remember going there once. Katsu is just what they call the battered meat. Don means that it's on top of a bowl of rice.

Sounds like things have been busy! Better than just sitting around though right? That's crazy awesome about Ben Bramble's baptism! I wish I could hear the story about that. Crazy he moved into the Shorts as well. Wow. That missionary broadcast sounds way cool. 50 bucks that I probably won't see it, but hopefully I'll get a chance to check it someday. The bishopric message sounds like it was way awesome! Thanks for the scriptures! They are a lot of really good ones. One thing I need to have more lately is the conviction in those promises while I work. Things get kinda discouraging lately, but I'm doing everything I can to be on top of things and find those that are ready. Thank you for the prayers especially for me and the people I teach. I want to pray harder myself. I love you tons and tons and hope that everything is going smoothly! Excited for Adam as well!
Here's the lowdown for this week.

Monday we went to Nosappu misaki! It cost a lot of money to get there... The food there was really expensive too, but the experience and view where awesome! It was a little foggy, but you could still see the northern territories a bit from there. It was pretty awesome. I had some crab-don that was good (about 18 dollars) and we took lots of great pictures. There were some interesting museums there too. We did finding at a nearby apartment building and as we were leaving we met a guy in the parking lot. He had a lot of interesting questions about religion and the church and was kind of a doubtful guy, but in the end we just bore our testimonies and he wasn't able to say anything bad back. We passed him a Book of Mormon and he said he would read. Maybe we'll visit him again soon. Tuesday was DTM and finding. Some nice people and some kind of sad people but we do all that we can to help them out with sharing our message. That day we also put up a bunch of Eikaiwa posters. Wednesday I went on splits with someone I was in the MTC with, just a transfer below me. I was able to learn a lot through leading and everything. I also learned a lot from him. His name is Andersen Choro and he is a few years older, but a way awesome guy. We went to Hanasaki port which is about a 35 min bike ride away. We housed there all day and found some decent people, but since it is so far it's hard to make appointments to go back. We also ate sushi that night. Yum. Thursday was planning session and dendoing a bit by another big apartment. We were about to finish and Inumaki Choro noticed this girl riding a scooter that said hi to him last time he was in the area (on splits) She went into her house and Inumaki Choro felt like we should ping it (ring the door bell) so we did. The girl is about 9 and she lives with her mom who was divorced. They are super humble and live in a pretty small shack-like place. We talked a bit about God and they said that they would really like to learn more and come to church too. They ended up having something come up, but we'll stop by again tonight to check on them. Friday was more Eikaiwa advertising and dendoing by a member's house. Eikaiwa that night went great too. Not everyone who usually comes could come, BUT 3 new students came and it went really great. Saturday we went to Betsukai again to help out on the farm. Since missionaries can't ride in a girl's car unless there is another adult, we had to walk back from the farm to the town which was about an hour and a half, but way pretty. Felt like a pioneer. Sunday was way good. A non-attending member came and said she felt so good that she wants to come from now on. Way cool :). Also the area 70 visited and gave a really good talk! I blessed the sacrament again as well. It is fun in Japanese. That day we met another non-attending who is really nice. She still doesn't feel like returning, but she feels like she will eventually. She is actually going to help us find some other non-attendings that have moved! Cool. We did some more finding that day and met the nearby high school's English teacher. He spoke in English to us for a bit and it was kinda fun. He wants to come to Eikaiwa, but being a teacher in Japan is like the busiest job ever. A member in the branch is the other high school's English teacher and is crazy busy too. Anyways that was pretty much the week! Today we don't have any plans in particular other than eating at a new place and writing letters at home.

Happy Father's day to dad! He gets a letter since I didn't get to call him ;)
Hutchinson Choro

Phillipino jello made from milk that we helped make on the farm

Crabs chillin in the sushi place

Sushi after splits

Museum at Nosappu


Cool monument

The eastern tip of Japan - Nosappu Cape Lighthouse

Sunday, June 9, 2013

6/9/13 Lots of Twists

Hey! So I got some emails from friends (Cash and Breanna) and was kinda surprised and lost track of time writing them back so I'll have to keep this email a little short. Theme is lots of twists.

So on Monday we had an awesome lesson with Inoguchi on the life of Christ. We watched finding faith in Christ and it was a great lesson. He said how much he has gained in faith and wants to believe and rely on God in his life. We also tried weeding and spraying weedkiller on all the weeds around our house. Having a house isn't as fun as I originally thought hahah, but it's good prep I think. Tuesday was lots of finding which ended up being talking to lots of really nice old people. Sometimes it's tough because they are really set on their traditions and don't want to change anything, but what I always try to do is leave a good Christlike impression. I think that's the most important thing, because we can't change other people no matter what. We can do our best to be a cause for them to want to change though. Wednesday we did more finding and found some cool middle aged people. Taught some decent lessons and passed some Books of Mormon. Thursday we had planning session and my bike tire popped! But we fixed it and did some great finding that day as well. We found one guy who went to church a waaay long time ago and he promised that he would come again. Friday was a lot of finding and meeting with Inamura shimai to read the Book of Mormon with her and it went really well. She still has some things on Sunday that make coming to church hard, but we will do our best. We had eikaiwa too and it was way fun! We have been putting up posters around and actually get good calls once in a while so our eikaiwa will get even bigger! It feels so cool since we started it from nothing at all. A while ago Aoyagi Choro from the 70 spoke at district conference about an area that had no baptisms for a long time that finally started to flourish when they put almost all their focus on finding ways to serve, especially eikaiwa.

Saturday was the twists day. We taught one of the middle aged ladies we found earlier in the week and then went to Inoguchi's. He said that right now he can't do the whole Christian thing. He is just too busy with his health and watching after his mom. He does still want to join the church someday if it were possible, but right now he cant take any free time. It was kinda scary and tough because it was such a sensitive situation, but by listening to him and showing him love it turned out alright. Time to search for the new prepared person! We'll still focus on Inoguchi when we can, but for now is finding! We also met a guy that day who is from Osaka and has LOTS of questions about religion. In his apartment was stuff from pretty much every religion you could think of. He is seeking the truth, but too much in the logical sense. Very nice guy though. Sunday was great. The guy we met on the street before came to church and so did Takizawa. He could only stay for a sec though. A few people went on a temple trip so different people taught the church lessons and it went really well. After church we got spontaneously asked to eat at Endo's house and the member we were going to go with got sick at the last minute! We got to her house and tried to explain that we couldn't go in without another guy. I got the idea to try one of our investigators that we go out to eat with sometimes and he was really happy to come. Funny experience, but it went way good. Today we are going to Nosappu cape which is the most eastern tip of all Japan. Way stoked and will take lots of pictures.

Thanks so much for the email this week! I'm so proud of all the cool things going on! Cool experience with Bonnie and excited for Mara to become a high schooler! Thanks for the picture of the house too hahaha. That's cool you did mission prep stuff with Sarah! Oh and I did get your ensign and letter last Monday right when I got home! Thank you!!!! Did you say Jessica Lim sent a letter a while ago? I still haven't gotten that :( Hopefully nothing got lost in the mail though!

Love you tons and tons and am grateful for all the cool things happening in your life and soo happy that FHE is going well! Also I really hope your dream of me wearing white for a baptism comes true!

Hutchinson Choro

P.S. - and yes it has gotten a little warm! There were a few days where I wore short sleeves for part of the day!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

6/2/13 Back in Nemuro

Is it really 33 celsius there? That's insane. Yesterday didn't even make it to 10. Some days it's around 15 and that's nice, but that's as high as it's gotten. It is of course very rainy as well. I'm glad the music fireside was on Youtube as well. It was lots of fun, but I'm glad I'm done running back and forth to Sapporo (at least for now, I'll have to go back when they send Inumaki Choro home).

That sounds really tough for Uncle Merril. I have been doing my best to pray for him too. Sounds like it'll be fun to be together with all of Dad's family though! Dad's birthday sounds like it went great too. I feel like I'll be really disappointed with Chinese food when I get back. I'm going to try to send him something soon. How long ago did you send the conference Ensign? Since coming to Nemuro I haven't gotten a single letter from America. It's kinda strange. There wasn't anything at the honbu either. Also did you ever get my letter for the young men? I sent that 3+ weeks ago. Thanks for giving Cash my email. Glad to hear that he's working - I hope he's doing great. Super excited for everyone's mission prep as well! When is Adam's availability date???

SO on P-day after we emailed I got on a bus to Kushiro at about 10am and got there at 4pm. After that ate dinner and went on splits with one of the Kushiro missionaries for three hours and that was P-day. The next day went on splits with him for the whole day and it was pretty fun. There is so much you can learn from every missionary. The next day was a zone meeting in Kushiro and then a bus to Nemuro. We just checked in with our investigator Inoguchi who is doing great. He is just so busy with going to the hospital and watching after his sick mom. It's really cool to see how the gospel is helping him find peace in that time even though he's only learned a little at this point. We're visiting him again today right after this. On Thursday we had planning session, went to some appointments, and ate leimen at this yakiniku place. It is like noodles and really good, I don't know how to explain it. The sunset over the ocean that day was way awesome as well.

Friday was a good and busy day of visiting appointments, finding, rescheduling lessons, and getting ready for Eikaiwa. We also stopped by this place I did service at last week because they have a special needs day service there. They remembered me and were really happy to see us. We might be able to do more service there some other time. Eikaiwa was way awesome. 2 new people came that saw our flier on a store window. The classes are getting bigger and bigger and it's way fun. Saturday was visiting some members, a non attending member who is really nice, and lots of housing. The non-attending member is named Unosawa Shimai and was the first person to ever get baptized in Nemuro. She had a hard time at church a long time ago and stopped coming, but feels like us visiting her is a sign from God that she needs to come back. Hopefully we can get her ready to come back and help her kids come to the Gospel too. Yesterday was church and the Ozawa kid's baby blessing. The grandparents from both sides came plus one more guy from Tokyo came for a seminary thing so there were a lot more people than usual and it was really cool. After church we met another non-attending member Inamura Shimai and talked to her a bit. She got busy in the past and had to miss church, but after a while because of that she felt guilty and it was hard to come to back. She told us that she has a desire to feel the good feelings she felt back then and committed her self to pray everyday and make steps to come back. That was pretty good news. I'm excited to see this branch grow :) Other than that it has just been great being a missionary. I get very tired and sometimes frustrated about certain things, but I can always find a solution in the scriptures or in remembering why I'm here.

The guy from Tokyo Onda Kyoudai bore his testimony on Sunday, but he shared a cool though about member missionary work. Set a goal to share the gospel, introduce the church, invite to activity etc. even if it seems like you'll be rejected. He said that even when we do that and get rejected we are seeing success because being a missionary isn't about bringing a billion people into the church, it's about declaring the word. The missionary purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. The thing that we do is invite. I like to think of it like invitations to a party. If you don't invite them, they won't even know that it's going on. However, in order for them to want to go to the party and actually know how good it is, we use our testimonies, examples, friendship, and love. I think that's a good example of what missionary work really is. I love you all so much and am super grateful for such a great and strong family. How is FHE lately? I'm excited for that when I come back ;) You're the best!

Hutchinson Choro