Sunday, November 24, 2013

11/23/13 ZTM, Splits and Splits!

Hey! I'm glad my letters and everything are well received there. :) I:m so grateful to have a family that supports me so much and has so much faith.

You were talking about clothes and I actually used some of the money you sent to me to get a new medium coat. The coat that you sent with me is really warm and I wanted to get something for when it's still not that cold yet. It's pretty cool and conservative too. Your Sunday school lesson sounds awesome! I taught Elders quorum/relief society on the talk by Elder Ballard about trusting the Lord that was about missionary work. Mara's play looks like it went well! I like the light blue colors in the costume. I don't recognize anyone in the pictures/know anything about West Side Story except that there are sharks and jets. It did look like Dr. Pearce in the picture though.

I have seen the (talk on the) character of Christ! They played it in the MTC every week. Thanks for your fasting! Here's my story this week.

So in Kushiro we stayed the night for ZTM the next day. I wanted to go with the Kushiro Elders to this really good Indian curry place (because there is none in Nemuro) but they had to clean the apartment a ton so we borrowed their bikes and I can pretty much navigate Kushiro because I've been there so many times on splits, etc. We ended up getting to the restaurant exactly when it was closed so we didn't get to eat :( I got to go on splits that night with a cool missionary named Brown E (not the one from New Zealand) and we had a way fun time. I taught him a lot and kinda felt like a old guy missionary... hahaha

Tuesday was pretty awesome. We had ZTM and the APs gave a great workshop on Faith, Diligence, and Obedience and how they are all together necessary to succeed as a missionary. I also had my interview w/ Pres Evans and we talked a little bit about what kind of missionary will be good to come to Nemuro next. IF I leave that is... I do love it here.... But I do kinda want to transfer. It's been a while haaha. We missed our train back to Kushiro so we stayed in Obihiro for a few more hours and tried dendoing a little bit. We got back to Nemuro late at night with Harper E and Yoshikawa E and Okuchi S gave us a ride back to the apartment. Wednesday I went on splits with Yoshikawa E and we met this guy that Inumaki E and I found who is from Osaka and really interested in religion. He is just really doubtful. We wouldn't have met with him, but he called and asked if we could meet again so we did. He talked so much. I'm glad Yoshikawa E was there because my gift of tongues wasn't quite as strong that time hahaha. I still pretty much understood, it was just a lot. We ended up teaching him practically everything because of all his questions, but he is mostly looking for proof. Hopefully he will eventually get humble enough to pray and read. He is searching a lot for sure. After that we met this Chinese guy named Kou who Inumaki E and I found as well. We hadn't visited for a while so his Japanese has gotten a bit better. We were able to share a bit more than before so that was good. He gave us lots of peanuts. We also did some finding and met a lady who said she was just reading this biography about someone and in part of their life they became Christian. She said just as she started reading the part about how they joined we came to the door. Pretty cool. Talked to her for a bit. We also went to the CHurch and taught the Satous the plan of salvation with Okuchi S and it went great! They understand really well, but just need to act more so that they can get real faith.

Thursday we took my bike to the shop and then visited Hayasaka. Lo and behold even though she finally has free time she still hasn't read the BofM. We helped her clean her hair salon a bit to end things on a good note. We might not go by for a while, but she is definitely an awesome person who was really interested in us for some reason that we couldn't find. Anyway before DKK and picking up the ZLs we just had a tiny bit of time to find and actually only got 3 doors. However, those three doors ALL lead to sweet short lessons and appointments! How bout that! We picked up my bike (yay!) and then got the ZLs at the train station. We took them to sushi. Cool thing. During sushi I got a text from this way kinjin J-tai (japanese army) guy who me and Inumaki E met saying he was sorry he never replied to us before because he moved to a different base, but he's back now and wants to meet! Nice. Friday I went on splits with Stout E. He dies this transfer. Anyways he's way good at sign language so we practiced in the morning and went to see Igarashi S and she was so so so happy to see us and gave us a million things/took us out to ramen. I was actually able to say a lot more in sign language than I thought I could. It's really fun! We tried to visit some other people and then had a lesson with the Satous again before Eikaiwa. It was the doctrine of Christ and like the plan of salvation they understand pretty well but are still having a hard time praying sincerely. However, Hayato seems to be getting a hang of it. He is 15 years old and way awesome.

Saturday we went to Betsukai for the first time in a really long time! We helped with home teaching and helped on the farm as well. We found out that Emille (the Filipino guy we taught before) had something happen w/ his family back home so he has to go back. Maria S was kinda upset about it and had us try to talk to him to see if there was anything to do. Oh! Okuchi S and Yuka came with us to the farm as well and had a pretty fun time. Hayato came to church the next day! At church my lesson went pretty decent and the members thought of lots of ideas they can use to do missionary work on their own. Maybe as a family you can think of all the things you can do to do missionary work! There are so many activities there that I feel like it'd be a lot easier ;) We went to primary with Hayato and Karebu because there was no young mens prepared, but it was fun. Van S came late and actually it was her birthday! She made Vietnamese food for the entire branch!!! She also brought four friends. Wow. It was really good. After that I had a meeting with all the branch presidencies in Kushiro district over skype. Crazy. We talked about member missionary work. Also Igarashi S showed up at the church to give us more treats which is way awesome! There might just be a little bit more to do to help her get back to church. After church we saw a few investigators and came back to do some phone dendo.

Anyways that's how things are going! Today is kind of a relaxing p-day with letter writing and guitar playing time. I've come up with a new study strategy to just write how I feel about what I studied rather than just kinda repeat the material. It really helped and was a lot more spiritual! I hope your study is going great! I hope everything is going great! I love you!!!!

Hutchinson Choro

Sunday, November 17, 2013

11/17/13 Pulling things together!

Hey! Thanks for the money update! (Note: he answers some questions from Mom, esp about last week's photos) Did you get those pictures from facebook? Why are you so interested in the picture of the fridge...? It's about 90% bread. On the bottom there is meat. Thanks for the update roster! Though I was able to get the new newsletter. In our mission you have to have two lessons with a return appointment to count them as a new investigator and in PMG it says only one. I'm glad you are having fun with your new phone! Sounds cool. I'm glad church stuff has been going so great and hope that you can put what you are learning to practice! Sounds like there were a lot of other fun things too! I'll give you the update plus the stuff I wasn't able to talk about last time.

So Van S didn't have an accident, it was one of her friends in Vietnam. She was really worried about it and came to church really early the Sunday before to pray for the friend. Ozawa B even sent his name into the Tokyo temple. Anyways, after a few days the friend had recovered quite a bit and she was way blown away about how fast her prayers had been answered. The picture of the kids is the Satou kids that followed us dendoing.

So I only got to last Friday in my last mail so I'll start from there. That day was just some regular appointment visiting, finishing DKK, and teaching Eikaiwa. The Satou kids came and were a ball of energy as usual. They are really learning a lot about the gospel from Okuchi S though! Saturday was a crazy cool day. We went to Nakashibetsu and met up with this friend/investigator named Keisuke who is Tatsuya's friend. He said he would hang out if we ever went to Nakashibetsu so we told him we were there and he ended up driving us around everywhere the whole day! He first showed us this big mall they have there and we randomly met a bunch of Phillipino girls that work on farms in the area. One of them was a member of the church! They all knew at least a bit about the church. Too bad they live so far away! (that's the picture w/the girls) Then Keisuke took us to Uniclo and bought us sweaters. He said since we went to the trouble of coming to see him he wanted to get us presents. He's 23 and is way cool. A lot of his friends moved all over Japan so he was pretty happy to have someone to hang with.

He also took us to this big lookout place called Kaiyoudai where the world looks round. It felt like Pday almost, but we were able to talk about what we do as missionaries and explain the restoration to him by the end. He also took us to all the non-attending members' houses which saved us a lot of time! We were still able to visit them and get some good finding done. He also took us out to eat noodles with duck meat soup that was really good. The bike with the quote was from a random little kids bike there. Sunday was branch conference so lots of people came from all over. The mission presidency came too and so I was in meetings with them and it felt pretty crazy. Evans shimai gave a cool lesson to the youth (that we attended w/ Van S) about missionary work. Van S talked a lot about how she wants to go on a mission which is way cool! We also had a feast thing after ward which was fun. For dendo time we got two good lessons with Hebikawa and Kantou. Hebikawa has been reading the Book of Mormon quite a lot, but won't commit to anything else. She is searching for something, but won't tell us! Kantou is a science teacher and we talked to him a lot about the purpose of life. Sometimes I am really glad that I know lots of out-there vocabulary in order to have deep Japanese discussions. We were able to tie his way of thinking into the spirit and passed him a Book of Mormon. I think more than anything the most important thing will be to be his friend.

Next P-day was lots of cleaning and going to Kushiro! Tuesday we had DTM all together on being more committed to the work and trying to make sacrifices to be better. I went on splits with Harper Choro and we went to this little area called Shibecha. I actually got to visit the referral that I gave to the Kushiro elders! On the train there we met a Russian guy who was fluent in English and talked to him the whole time. He wasn't interested in the gospel, but was really interested in us. He kept saying "I'm a sinner. I can't do things as great as the things you do" and we really impressed him with our standards. We housed for a bit in Shibecha and maybe the 3rd door... BOOM kinjin family. The dad lets us in right away and we teach him and his daughter Lesson 1, baptism invite, Book of Mormon, prayer, awesome. The daughter even bought us bread at a nearby shop afterwards! On the train ride back a bunch of high school kids gathered around because they were so surprised at my Japanese (plus the fact that I'm from the place where High School Musical was filmed). We were able to teach them about God and why we chose to serve. The next day we went back to Nemuro and did DKK early because of how early it gets dark here. We also met Van S at night and started teaching her L5 about church organization and missionary work etc. The week before this little part on my bike broke so we had to walk everywhere on Thursday. Everyone was also not home for some reason. We ran into the Satou's randomly and played with them. Before we played, Hayato gathered everyone together to say a prayer! We also met his mom (he's the Satou's cousin, 15 years old, kinda gangster, but probably the most interested) and she totally gave permission for him to be baptized! That night we met Van S again to teach a bit more and borrow her bike since she offered til my bike's new part gets here.

Friday we had some great finding and little lessons before Eikaiwa (where you got the picture). The Satou's came again and we had a blast. Satou mom is pretty much committing herself to quit smoking. I gave them a DVD to borrow (finding faith in Christ) since the had a relative die and can:t meet for lessons for a tiny bit. They really wanted to come to church but had to go to the funeral. Saturday we had lots of finding which felt like we hadn't been able to in a long time. Morgan E is getting way good at teaching lessons on the fly even if they're simple. I'm really glad he's getting so boss. We also taught a lesson w/ Karebu B to a different Satou who is having a hard time quitting smoking. He kinda gave up, but hopefully someday we'll be able to help him again. Sunday was really great! Van S brought her friend Cham to church. The Hansens from the Honbu came to do a clean check and they attended as well. Gospel principles was taught in Japanese, English, and Vietnamese... I was tired. I also gave a long talk in Sacrament but it went alright. Then I had a long meeting after church and was very tired. I had to sleep for our lunch and dinner time. Anyways Cham had a good time and we taught her about prayer and passed her a Book of Mormon! (sach mac mon in Vietnamese) Today we came to Kushiro (we got 100% on my house's clean check btw) and Okuchi S has been telling us about the gospel study sessions she has with the Satou family. Tomorrow we have zone training meeting in Obihiro!
Sorry I forgot to get pictures of my house/bike. I will make sure to do so when I get back. I have been riding a regular (not mtn) bike lately and it's fun.

Gospel study is such an important thing and I feel like I really need to do so much better. Even as a missionary there are so many distractions. It's definitely a time to reevaluate and rely on the Lord to be back to 100%, but I know that through the power of the Atonement we can overcome any little things that hold us down.
I love you love you loveyouuu
Hutchinson Choro

Here is the picture from teaching Eikaiwa that is mentioned above - thank you Okuchi Shimai!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

11/10/13 Amazing miracles thanks to amazing members!

Hey! So I feel way better. No worries there. It isn't much different to be in the branch presidency, but last Sunday was branch conference so I was in a lot of meetings with the district and Hokkaido mission presidency which was cool! I am definitely learning a lot of stuff. I get to learn to use MLS in Japanese! hahaha. I'm glad I get to be here with Morgan E his full 2 transfers and also with the amazing members and investigators here! I have some cool stories for ya! That's funny that Evans S has me as DL still! I still have no idea who is where because we didn't get our "shepherd" yet. It's this magazine type thing that the mission makes each transfer.

Morgan E is doing awesome and growing lots as usual! Sometimes I need to be more patient with him because I like going fast in more ways than 1, but he is doing great. We actually got 8 new investigators this week which is a new record for me! We count investigators a little different than some missions probably so it makes it a bit harder, but more worth it and helps you focus on the people who are most prepared. We can't get to the northern territories as far as I know, BUT they are in our area! So if there was a way, we'd be allowed to go ;) I'll work on pictures of the house. We have a bit of cleaning to do for clean checks this weekend.

Thanks for the pic of Lily and I'm glad she's doing better! Glad the little kids are doing great too! Looks really fun! What made you want to get an iphone?

I'm glad Sunday School and church are going great too! People are probably not as interested in family history as some other people, but I've seen times where it helped. I still haven't used one tube of the lotion so I am fine. The humidity is the best. I'm looking forward to Mara's letter too!
I honestly have no idea what I should do about college. I always thought that the mission would eventually come and tell me to do stuff, but I don't know.

Anyways this Monday was probably the coolest day! We met this guy a while before on the street and it was a pretty weak contact, but he called us on Sunday night and invited us to lunch! We met him and it turns out that he's fluent in English. He had a lot of really good questions about Jesus Christ that we were able to answer ALL in English! Pretty crazy. He is in the Japanese army so he never knows his days off, but he was pretty interested and a really nice guy about 23 yrs old. After that we were wondering what we should do for the rest of P-day because the museum we wanted to visit was closed when all of a sudden Okuchi S calls us and invites us over to her friend's house to teach a lesson! WHAT! Way cool! Every missionary's dream! We meet the family (who has been coming to Eikaiwa stuff) and they are all way interested because of how much Okuchi S has changed since she got baptized and almost all of them are pretty excited about getting baptized themselves! They are the Satou family (one of the most common names ever... we have 3 other Satou investigators) We taught a great lesson and made baptismal dates with all of them! Whoa! After that we met Van S who fed us some Vietnamese chicken she made. Then we went to the Ozawa's for FHE with all three of the recent converts! Way too fun! Way too good.

Tuesday we had DTM with Harper E over the phone which was very different, but good. It is a little weird to not be DL anymore. After that we got our haircut because P-day had so many surprise lessons, we didn't have time. We got it cut by an investigator actually! After that we met Okuchi S and finished up their 3rd AB lesson which we only got halfway done before. It was great to have a lesson like that with her and Yuka again! Wednesday we went to this area that's closer by the apartment and met some investigators that we dropped because they weren't progressing and they were mostly not home, but we tried stopping by this lady who was really nice, but not interested before and she tried to invite us in to have a meal right there! She was the only one home so we couldn't get in, but we were once again surprised at the niceness of nihonjin. We did a bit of finding and then headed over to this investigator (also Satou) who is really nice and came to Eikaiwa before. He has a little bit of a mental disability, but he is really interested. He also has a big smoking problem. We had a good lesson/discussion with him, but because of his mental state aren't 100% sure how to help him out. It's not too bad of a problem, just a little weak. If he can take the steps to change than that's what will be best! We also met a non-attending member nearby for the first time in a while which was great! Thursday we went finding by the Satou family and the kids saw us and followed us the whole time! We actually met a way nice lady from a different religion that thought we were really cool and gave us (in tears) a lot of food and a referral for her old neighbor! She called us after and said she found more food to give to us. We also had DKK and a short meeting with Van S who had an accident a while back so she was worried, but we taught her about how God can provide comfort in those times. I want to tell you more, but time is up! Remind me next week and I'll fit it in! :)

These pics are from going to Nakashibetsu on Saturday!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

11/3/13 Russian Islands and Halloween parties plus a surprise calling!

Hey! It was a way crazy, but good week! On Monday we went to Nosappu Misaki and the weather was finally good enough to see the northern territories! I was way happy. I also had my favorite yakitori bento and chocolate covered melon bread from the local convenient store here + at night we got invited to the Ozawa's FHE! I felt like I got to do all the things I wanted to do in Nemuro before transferring... However I am not! I mostly expected it, but I'll be doing 6 transfers here in Nemuro. I feel really lucky, but sometimes am a little tired hahaha. Let's just say I'm excited to see some new parts of Hokkaido. It probably means that by the end of this transfer I'll have at least knocked on every door in the main city area.

Anyways, I also had my last DTM as district leader because I got 'demoted' to just being a normal trainer which is totally ok. Harper E my MTC comp transferred to Kushiro and is the new DL. I probably won't be going to Kushiro very much this transfer, but I guess that's ok. I think part of the reason I am no longer DL is that on Sunday I was surprise called to be 2nd counselor in the branch presidency. I was way shocked. I'm looking forward to working a lot more to help the members though. After church we had branch council meeting and assigned everyone's HT and visiting teaching. It reminded me of when I was in Elders quorum presidency at USU. Otherwise, Tuesday was a lot of finding plus a good lesson with this lady Satou who we passed a Book of Mormon and taught the restoration to. She said that since she is so busy she wouldn't be able to read the BofM, but Morgan E bore his testimony and she decided to accept it. Wednesday was pretty interesting. We were going to go to lunch with this Eikaiwa student, but it didn't work out and we decided to go on our own anyways. Morgan E crashed his bike and we had to go buy new lights, so we got stalled a little bit. Anyways, the timing worked out perfectly that we were able to meet her on the street in the end and share the gospel with her a bit. We also found in that area a ton and taught this really young mom about prayer.

Thursday was DKK and lots of finding plus a bit of Halloween party preparation. We also were introduced to another friend of Van named Thuy and taught her a mini lesson with Van! She is Catholic, but pretty interested in why our church is different! We actually have more than half Nemuro's Catholic congregation as investigators or possible investigators hahaha. Friday we were able to get in 2 really good lessons with this lady Ishiyama who is way nice and prepared, but busy watching after her mom who is really ill. We also taught this really cool older guy that Morgan E found on splits last night. His name is Minakatsu which means 'everybody wins' hahaha I think it's a way awesome name. We did party prep a little bit early and then had the party! We had a bunch of games and a TON of people came! We counted around 50 which is a pretty big deal. We left a bunch of pass along cards and a BofM out on a table and one girl who came just sat in the corner and read the BofM the whole time! It's a member's friend and she committed to passing it to her :) It was cool to finally have an activity here. Okuchi Shimai and Van Shimai brought a lot of friends as well. We have been wanting to meet with Okuchi Shimai more, but she has been a bit busy and it's been hard to meet. Saturday was pretty much straight finding all day... Way tired. We were able to find a few nice people, but no one particularly strong. We were able to make some good appointments over the phone and actually randomly got a call from a weak street contact that we got a while back who wants to go to lunch! We'll meet him today.

Anyways my time is about up, but your Halloween sounds like it was fun! We don't have daylight savings here... kinda tough. ***** would love that present! I'm excited to see the photos of Adam's plaque. I have no idea what to do about college apps. That's really unfortunate to hear about Brother Hardy too... I'm really grateful for the gospel as well! I have been really tired lately, but I hope I'll be able to get back on my feet 100%.

Love you love you!

Hutchinson Choro

nice phone hahaha


View from big tower

Me and a bear

Ozawa S, Meg, Van S, Okuchi S

Vietnamese friends

Okuchi S and Ozawa kids

My costume wasn't anything in particular, hahahaha