Sunday, August 25, 2013

8/25/13 "There are so many sisters in the mission it's not even funny."

(First, a housekeeping note to mom: Yeah a bunch of people are trying to find me on facebook and I won't show up! Even if I search for them or go to one of your profiles and look in the friends. What's going on? Can you go on and accept the friend requests/turn my privacy settings down/off? Also I can't remember my pin # and am worried that it may have locked because of too many failed attempts... Please look into that because my bike's brake lines are dangerous right now and I have no money to fix them. THANKS! Maybe when you get that fixed you can contact the honbu and let them know to contact me so I can get it done ASAP. Thanks!

So yeah! The Okuchi's are doing way amazing still. Ayako Shimai said the closing prayer in sacrament meeting after I gave a 30 minute plus talk.... Yeah I got asked to give a talk on Saturday (the day before) and little did I know that I was the MAIN speaker. Yeah. A youth speaker and then me and that was all of sacrament meeting. Pretty cool experience. Everyone said it went really well afterwards and all the little kids were like NAGAAAAAAAIIIII!!!!! (long) Church was pretty awesome that day. For primary we went for a walk after a short lesson about hardships of the early church members. Yuka gave the prayer again and is getting way awesome at it! Also Ayako shimai has started practicing piano for her new calling as primary music coordinator. Way cool. They actually surprised us with dinner last night as well. They are pretty dead set on coming to America some day to visit us and also go to Disneyland. They made us promise that we would take them. I think I'll have to be really thrifty with money when I get home so it works out hahaha...

Other than them and their awesomeness I'll start from the beginning of last week. On Monday right after I finished emails, I found out that my bean had to get surgery again...... yeah right after we said goodbye to everybody for the 2nd time. It was a little stressful, but we are over it and really happy to be together for this transfer too! There is still a big chance that he will come and I will train him next transfer so I'll send his picture and info anyways. Whether he comes or not I'd still like to meet him someday, he seems way rad. Tuesday and Wednesday were really good, just lots of finding and little follow up lessons with investigators. Saying "oh hey! by the way Andersen Choro isn't actually transferring!" a few times as well. Thursday we had a kinda long DKK and headed off to Kushiro for Zone Training in Obihiro! Yay. Way tired and way rushed. I used to not be able to sleep on buses/trains at all, but it's all I can do now!

Woke up early on Friday to get to Obihiro. Practiced a song with the sisters in Kitami and played that at ZTM. It was the song we did at the baptism, but Evans shimai asked me to do it with some other missionaries. There are so many sisters in the mission it's not even funny. They are almost all brand new and can hardly speak Japanese at all. It's awesome though. Got to do some practice lessons/stuff with them and they have way strong testimonies and desires to serve. So do the new Elders! Made me excited to become trainer. Had a good interview with Kaicho as well and he pretty much just explained how he was sorry about the mix up and he still wants me to be trainer really bad. Cool! After that we ate some famous Obihiro butadon (pork on rice) and went back to Kushiro where we visited a family from the ward Andersen E was close with. The next morning we ate McDonalds for breakfast with the Kushiro branch Pres, Jay Andrus, who is way awesome and he saw us off to head back to Nemuro. We fixed Andersen E's bike tire and did some finding! What a week. Lots of moving around!

Sounds like your week was a blast! I'm excited for Adam's farewell and the house remodeling stuff being done! Pictures please! I'm really excited for Mara in high school too. Tell her to do her best in Boland's class. It's really easy, just don't let the slightly extremist teacher get to her. The only advice I have for Adam is that airplanes are awesome and I hope he started his Spanish study early. Still can't believe he has a girlfriend ... Crazy kid haha.

As far as candy... I don't know if I can just make a list of all the stuff they have, but I'll try: snickers, kit kats, pringles, m&ms...
Yeah, I'm stuck. Whatever you send will be fine, I'll just tell them it's from America and they'll be happy. Warheads would be awesome!

Every day here IS amazing! Love you tons! Another random experience. Last night we got approached by a group of Vietnamese girls that are living here to work (kinda like the Philipino guys at the farm) and they told us they really want to come to church! Random, but kinda cool.
Hope you see lots of miracles too! They come at the most unexpected times!

Love you!! Aishiteimasu
Hutchinson CHoro

Monday, August 19, 2013

8/19/13 First convert baptisms in Nemuro in 8 years!

Awesome weekend. A little crazy, but way awesome! The Okuchis got baptized on Sunday! I don't know where to start, but oh man. Awesome week!

I'll just go from the beginning. We made hamburgers with our investigator and his wife because he is really interested in American stuff. It was really fun and afterwards we were able to talk a lot about what got us to come on missions/how the gospel has helped us/how his life might change if he were to join. Really cool. We taught the Okuchis tithing that night and it went really well ;) Yuka is especially looking forward to it with her allowance.

Tuesday was a good DTM with Ishiga E as the district leader! It was a blast from the past, but a really good DTM on showing love etc. We went and taught some lessons to people that we had found previously that are really nice, but might be slow to progress. We also did a practice baptismal interview with the Okuchis again and it went well, but they get really shy when they get called on to explain things in their own words so it was a little stressful for them at first. The next day I went on splits with French E who is on his third transfer. We found all day and found some way nice people! Then that night we had the baptismal interview and it went really well! Thursday we had DKK and music practice for the baptism. We played the Teach Me to Walk in the Light/Love One Another arrangement that I made. Friday we went to the place Tomoshiri that is a little separated from the city part of Nemuro. Way pretty beach. Some very nice country people. Eikaiwa that night also went decent. Not as many people as last week, but we can blame that on the weather. Saturday was a way awesome day. We did some set up of the baptismal font and then headed out to see lots of investigators to invite them to the baptism. We ended up having 6 good lessons that day. None of the investigators were actually able to come which was too bad, but anyways the baptism itself went super well! We had to wake up way early to go fill up the font with warm water. Church went super well too! Most people that have been there since I have been in Nemuro! Around 25-27! At the baptism there were some way awesome talks from two of the members then we did the service. Andersen E being awesome didn't make any mistakes and they were way happy. Ayako (mom) cried when Yuka went down like a champion not afraid of the water at all! After I gave them both the gift of the Holy Ghost and there was a lot more crying and strong spirit being felt there. To finish everything off, there was a big gathering with lots of food on the second floor. They have been able to make such great friends with the ward and I'm so excited to be able to stay here to see them grow. Emailing today is kinda late because we decided to go to Nosappu misaki this morning to move time around. After that we had a BBQ with the same investigator we met on Monday. He even introduced us to a friend that we might be able to meet and teach as well! Lots of fun.
Lots of details I couldn't quite fit in because we are kinda tight on time today, but yeah!

Also I found out a bit about my bean! I'll attach the pictures of what I know... :) (NOTE: this picture didn't come through)
(notice that the country is not America OR Japan!)
I will most likely be leaving early tomorrow to meet him in Sapporo, but we will see!!
I'm way happy and excited for Adam!!! I'm really happy our family has that connection of the temple as well. I'm grateful for your love and I do feel it often! I don't know if you've sent your package yet, but this time I will actually be pretty happy if there is candy because there are a few investigators/kids that really want to try some!

Love you and am always happy to hear from you and love this gospel and how it changes our lives!!!!
Hutchinson Choro

At baptism interview with Okuchis, Andersen, Ishiga and comp

Getting the font ready

Baptism day for the Okuchis!!

Visit to Nosappu Misaki

Sunday, August 11, 2013

8/11/13 O-Matsuri!!!! And lots of other surprising stuff.

Hey!!! So guess what? I'm becoming TRAINER!!!!

not yet...

My bean apparently had to get surgery and is delayed 2 weeks!
I was kinda sad at first because I was really excited to train and go to the cool meeting at the honbu where they do orientation and everyone gets to meet the beans, but also really happy that I get to work here with Andersen Choro for a bit longer!
Actually kind of a miracle I think because it will be JUST in time for both of us to see the Okuchi's get baptized!
We got the transfer calls on Monday because trainers get them early and spent the whole day saying goodbye and packing. Okuchi even threw a big goodbye party/fireworks show for Andersen E. When we were about to leave from saying goodbye to them all of the sudden I get a call from the Assistant to the president (Hansen Choro, my trainer who died this week too....) letting us know about the transfer being extended. Okuchi's were so happy and it was awesome. We met them everyday this week again and have taught them all the lessons. We even did a practice baptismal interview and they are set to go! The new district leader here is actually Ishiga Choro which is neat. He will be coming on Wednesday to do the real interview and they will get baptized on Sunday after church. It'll be the first convert baptisms in Nemuro in 8 years I think! They only had one jumpsuit here for Okuchi to wear, so we were going to have someone from Kushiro bring us more, but Okuchi is pretty good at sewing and is going to try to make Yuka's baptismal dress! She even wants to pass it down to the Ozawa's so that their daughters can use it when they turn 8 as well. She is so cool.

Other than that this week was going to another far-outish area called Attoko (that is way small, but we met a bunch of really nice old people) and the third biggest matsuri in Hokkaido which was so crazy. We couldn't really do regular dendo so we just tried to start up conversations with people normally while they watched the parades/went back and forth to the bazillion food/game stands they always have set up for matsuris. It was really fun because so many people try to speak English to us/get WAY surprised when we can speak Japanese. We were able to do a lot of easy Eikaiwa advertising through that as well. All in all it was pretty cool and very Japanese culture-ish. Andersen E took so many pictures it's crazy. We didn't do Eikaiwa because of the Matsuri, but hopefully tons more new people will come next week!

But sounds like stuff has been awesome there with mission prep, babysitting, and church activities etc. That's so sweet that Adam is going to the temple soon! What do you mean there is supposed to be a new movie? Hah? Have fun with all the farewells too! I'm super excited for Megan and new baby Brooklyn.

It definitely has been super awesome here. I feel like the email this week is really condensed, but it was just a bunch of little things and interesting people we met at the matsuri. Also being all over the place with the transfer mix up and not being able to do normal dendo because of the matsuri. It was definitely a full week though! I am excited to see what happens this week and I expect there to still be a lot of tricky things up until the baptism, because that is how the adversary works, but we'll make sure to follow the spirit til the end and not give up! Love you tons and am grateful for your support!!!!

Hutchinson Choro

Sunday, August 4, 2013

8/4/13 Stressed about transfers

Hey! It was another good and crazy week! I feel like we had to run around so much and didn't get a lot of the things we wanted to get done done, but at the same time I feel like we still did so much. On p-day after email we took some dry cleaning to this lady named Endo whose son used to be in the branch, but moved. She is way nice and does it for free. After that we shopped and looked at clothes for a bit, but I had an inner battle and ended up not buying any. It is really easy to find clothes that I like here, but with not being able to wear them, they just become another thing to pack so I will probably wait til closer to when I go back to America. We dendo'd by Okuchis for a bit and then met them to teach them about Joseph Smith more in depth. They are getting more and more into it and involved when we teach.

Tuesday we had DTM and right after I went to get on my bike and the tire was way flat. It also rained really hard all of a sudden. I had to push my bike across town to the only bike shop in Nemuro and it wasn't even open. So I left it there with a guy and we walked in the rain. Kinda tough, but we still got some good dendo in. We tried to shizen dendo in some stores too and that went ok. At night we went out to eat with the Okuchis and it was pretty fun. We followed up with them quite a bit then. Did I tell you before that Yuka had asthma before they met us, but ever since the day we visited it went away? Pretty crazy miracle. They have seen lots of others in their lives as well.

Wednesday was a day of lots of finding. We met some really fun and nice people though. Made some decent appointments and stuff as well. Then we stopped by the Okuchis for a sec to follow up on Joseph Smith and prayer again. We met them everyday this week actually.

Thursday we had DKK which went a little long. Andersen E and I just get along too well and talk too much hahah. Afterwards I called Kawashima and she was happy to hear from me. She has been reading and studying a bunch and has lots of interest. She is starting to have weird concerns about ghosts and the universe and stuff, but I shared Jacob 4:8 and it helped a lot. Hopefully we can just get her to the next step of coming to church somehow... We went to this awesome area called Tomoshiri which is a little ways away, but it was way pretty. It has a huge (freezing cold) beach and islands out in the distance and stuff. There were some nice people there too. Some even gave us frozen shrimp. We headed back to see Okuchi because she made curry for us. We taught about modern day prophets/revelation and then taught the word of wisdom. It went so well I was surprised. They love coffee and tea, but were not hesitant at all to commit to giving it up. It was the part I was most worried about.

Friday was interesting. We went to Nishihama and the ocean was really windy and wavy. We tried to visit some people who weren't home and then we visited the Sekiyas. The son was there and he was just about to leave. He said, "I'm going to make slime, want to come?" and it sounded interesting and we want to keep a good relationship with him so we went to the kids center there and watched a bunch of little kids make slime. It was fun to play with the little kids and leave a good impression on them and the teachers. We then went to pick up our dry cleaning and visit some other people in the area. One of them being Tatsuya who is the 23 year old guy we met the week before. He is way cool for real. We shared the Book of Mormon with him and told how it helped us and he promised to read it. He also came to eikaiwa that night! We had 11 people this time which is still a way good turn out! Him and another new lady came so our numbers just keep on growing ;) Throughout the whole week we have been worried about transfers... Neither of us want to leave because this is the best area ever. There is a high chance I could become a trainer next transfer because 9 new elders are coming to the mission. All the eikaiwa students/investigators were pretty bummed when they heard that we have a chance of leaving and stuff... Especially Okuchi's daughter Yuka.

Saturday we went to Betsukai and did some finding. A lot of the people we met last week were happy to see us again. We also taught the plan of salvation to Kawashima and she told us how she is changing a lot as far as feeling peace, attitude, smoking less etc. She is starting to get a testimony and it's so cool. Afterwards we helped at the farm again and gave some Tagalog copies of the Book of Mormon. We then played with the kids a bit and gave our scripture reading challenge to them too. After getting home we went to the park with the Okuchis for a bit and followed up and they have been keeping the word of wisdom!

Sunday was a great day too. The Okuchis love church especially primary! They went to play with the Ozawa kids last week twice and we didn't have to set anything up at all! Yuka shared a scripture and Ayako gave the opening prayer. It was so boss. Testimony meeting went way great too. I even got Karebu kyoudai to get up and bear his testimony too. Proud of him! We played a bunch after church then went home to eat. We dendo'd a bit nearby Endo (dry cleaning lady) and then went over to her house to eat for the first time in a long time. She made us cook (she likes doing that) and we made WAY too much food (she also likes doing that) including fried venison katsu. It was really good, but after like 15 minutes of eating I thought I was going to pass out (I think she likes that the best). We left to do missionary coordination meeting with Nakazawa kyoudai and called it a day.

I'm glad your week was great too! Lauren sent me an email with tons of pictures of Max. He has swagger I think. That's way cool the kitchen is just about done. Nice you had the missionaries over! I'm glad they were serious with the message and didn't just play the whole time. Cool that they shared advice with Adam too. I wish I could send him the shirts I find here. Not only are they way awesome, but they're only $10. I will probably end up with some too... I'm jealous you get to hear from so many of the other missionaries! A few people email me now and then, but that's about it. I'm glad the ward is doing awesome and let everyone know what I'm up to.

If I end up being a trainer I will probably find out sometime today. If not, regular transfer calls are tomorrow. I have always wanted to be a trainer, but I have gotten pretty close with Andersen E. Whatever happens I know it revelation from the Lord and what is best for the area! I love you a ton and for helping me to grow up and be ready for change and things that need to happen. Especially for helping me be able to handle the responsibilities that I am given whatever they may be.

Love you tons!!!!!!!!
Hutchinson Choro