Sunday, January 26, 2014

1/26/14 Transfers and no judging and slightly melting snow

Hey! I have to write kinda fast. The inversion sounds tough. I remember still running in it everyday, haha. I hope Adam is doing fine. Yeah the new mission president is going to be nihonjin. A little jealous, but way glad I get to spend all of my time w/ the amazing Evans'. I don't know for sure, but I think they're moving to Utah? That's crazy Joseph is coming back so soon - I thought he'd have 'til the end of March like the missionaries here. Maybe transfers are offset a bit. Thanks for the testimony of the Book of Mormon and sorry about no pictures! Most of the ones you want are on Hatch E's camera and he didn't give them to me before he transferred. For now, here's one pic of Will Ferrell.

Well, I don't have much time left at all.... But I'll tell you about the lesson I learned. I found out who my new comp was going to be and I was honestly way down at first. I had heard a lot about him being really trunky his whole mission and just being really into anime and stuff (plus it's his last transfer), but then I realized that I had to change my expectations and that even if he was like that, it is up to me to make things happen anyways. Long story short, he was not like any of the things anyone said and we get along REALLY well and he has a lot of dendo fire and works hard! I felt so bad for getting upset and learned a valuable lesson. After that we setup stuff for the zone and found some way awesome kinjins!!! I tell you about 'em next week!

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

Sunday, January 19, 2014

1/19/13 Japanese Will Ferrell

Hey! I'll see if I can get some pictures (of snow) this time. I forgot my camera again though. I am actually pretty sure that today is a normal p-day :) Yeah, everything was pretty good this week. Just tons of train time. We only went to Asahikawa (2nd area called Suehiro) and Wakkanai. (Plus Ebetsu for DTM but we go there every week.)

Silly mom! You know that if you have Japanese you want translated you don't ask google when you have a Japanese missionary right here haha. Akira Tsunoka is the branch president from Nemuro. Keep doing your best on the clean house!

Sounds like there were a lot of cool miracles as far as being helped by relatives and friends. That's so nice :D

SO I guess here's the week! Monday we got home late from the Honbu because of the forever music practice + having to do email there so all we could do here was a little planning. Tuesday we went to Ebetsu and had a good DTM on teaching to people, not just teaching lessons, done by me. It went good and we ended it early so we could make our train to Wakkanai. It was pretty long. We went to Asahikawa and transferred there to a smaller train. For some reason it was crazy packed and we had to stand for like four hours, but we met a really nice high school student. He's from Kagoshima (south Japan) and he came up here for this high school in this WAY middle of nowhere place (1000 people maybe) called Otoineppu. He didn't seem like he wanted to talk at first, but when his stop came up he came back up to us and started to ask us what we were doing here and seemed pretty interested. I hope he meets missionaries again someday. We got to Wakkanai at about 6:45 ish and I worked with Sakihara E for a bit that night. He is super strong and diligent. He is almost on his last transfer and just got finished done being AP before leaving to open Wakkanai. We worked way hard the next day and even though all we had to do was housing, we made a ton of appts and got lots of lessons in the doorway. Way fun because it's been a while since I got to work with another companion like that! We also had Institute there that night. Wakkanai's branch is pretty small (smaller than Nemuro) but they have institute classes every Wednesday. There we got to meet the members and recent convert Shibuya B who looks like Will Ferrell! He is way funny and cool and has a super strong testimony. He also rides his bike everywhere even in the snow. He named his bike Milk Cocoa express (it used to be called Milk Coffee express, but then he learned the WofW!)

Next morning we took a faster train home, got some study and planning + Eikaiwa done and then headed to Asahikawa! Friday was splits with Goddard E who is way cool. He used to be in a pretty rough situation (he lived in LA and was a pretty big stoner/partier) but he came back to the church and completely changed and gave up all the bad things right away! He is super cool and has such an incredible testimony he pretty much shares nonstop. We got along pretty good. Also his Grandfather is the explorer John Goddard. I don't know if you've heard of him. I hadn't. haha We had a pretty fun day! First we taught a Baptist minister from Wisconsin! He is pretty nice and was really open. He's reading the BoM quite a bit as well as other church books. He had lots of questions and we were able to answer them with the scriptures pretty well, but he set on his beliefs (and unfortunately, employment) so even when we showed him proof in the BofM and Bible about the need for baptism he was pretty steadfast. Super nice guy though! I also helped teach Eikaiwa there and that was pretty fun too! Not to mention I finally got to eat Naan and Indian curry again :)

Next morning we came home and went to visit a really nice NA and then head to Bibai to do some finding and meet Yamashita. He is doing way good faith wise, but is in really dire straits money wise. He had his heater on the lowest setting and had to cut off his phone bill. We worked with the branch pres to get him some rice and an electric blanket so hopefully that'll help him out. He is 59 and is having a really hard time searching for a job despite being really smart and fluent in English. Otherwise in his lessons he almost seems like he is already a member sometimes. He says he hasn't been able to read the BofM much, but sometimes in the middle of our talks he'll bring up random BofM stories! (i.e. we were talking about how so many people deny the existence of God and he said "I wonder if they'll end up like Korihor?")

Sunday was pretty all right. Church went good, but none of our investigators were able to make it. After church we also weren't able to meet our other investigators we usually meet on Sunday so we had some decent finding. I feel so bad for our poor area. Because they are only ZLs here most of the time it's not getting dendo'd at all! We had dinner with the Oota couple and Kaneko B and it was pretty fun. They are way cool and down to earth. The couple was recently married last year so that's cool.

That's pretty much the week though. Thanks for all your faith, prayers, love, and support! Love you times a million!
Hutchinson Choro

Monday, January 13, 2014

1/13/14 Never ending snow

So it snowed. A lot. I knew Iwamizawa was the snowiest area in Hokkaido... but i didn't think it was THAT much more. It's above my head. Church was canceled except for sacrament, but that was kinda neat because we got to do lots of service and shoveling to help people make it to sacrament.

All the birthdays and mini get togethers sound great. I am probably not even going to recognize half of the ward when I get back ne, hahaha. I hope you have fun practicing for the relief society meeting! Today p-day was nothing but music practice...... I love music, but I would like a p-day sometimes haha. I'm glad you got Hatch E's mail. I felt bad for running out of time. The meetings that Heavenly Father guides us to blow me away all the time. Thanks for telling everyone back home how I'm doing and thanks for receiving and showing a bunch of gratitude for the blessings you receive.

So Zone Conference went WAY good. We rode with the AP's to Asahikawa and got everyone together. I thought I was going to be nervous, but everything went way smooth. We talked about goals and basically just went through PMG about goal setting and having faith in the goals. We encouraged everybody to have faith and bore testimony a ton because we know how much success they can see here because it is an area that God has prepared and opened through church leaders. We had everyone report numbers etc yesterday and almost all the missionaries improved like CRAZY! They all said they were way inspired by the workshop to make high goals and work hard. Anyways after getting back I went on splits with the AP Jones E and we had a lot of fun streeting and stuff. I still don't know the area very well at all because we are always gone, but we made stuff happen.

The next day we went to Ebetsu and had splits and I went w/ Sakamura E. He is so awesome. He has so much dendo fire and is way funny. We went all over the area finding old investigators and giving feedback on each-others' finding skills. The next day we had DKK and headed to Takikawa. In Takikawa I went on splits with Yanada E who also has lots of dendo fire. Next transfer is his last and he wants to make sure he ends strong. Yoshikawa E who was in Kushiro is his comp so it was good to see him again. We taught this way cool guy who has been an investigator since he was little and is like 37 now. However he had a big change of heart and wants to get baptized way bad now. We made a baptismal date with him and that was super exciting for them.

We came back from Takikawa on Saturday and headed to this part of our area called Bibai (it means beautiful song) to see Yamashita. We met another really nice NA there before we went and taught him a lesson. He is way awesome. We taught him mostly the rest of the commandments and he accepted them all right away except for wine... He feels like since it's in the bible that it should be an exception. We explained to him about how it's restored truth and he understands that, but just needs to get the confirmation for himself. Then I pretty much told you what Sunday was like so yeah!

The gospel is so incredibly true and I love being a missionary. I've gotta head back to Iwamizawa though so I'll catch ya later! Love you tons!!! Aishiteimasu! BTW tomorrow we have DTM then go to Wakkanai which basically takes all day. It's the northest! I'm way excited.

Hutchinson Choro

Sunday, January 5, 2014

1/5/14 The snow does not stop and neither do the miracles!

Hey! Yeah you said it right. I'm hoping this year will be awesome, too. Actually, I know it will be!!! Thanks for your quote from church and I'm glad your lesson went well! I'm also glad everything with grandma went well. My vision for the basement is probably coming true now that I am gone, hahaha. I'm glad Mara is doing great and that's so exciting about Mara's friend! I wish I had tried to find so many awesome missionary opportunities like her. When is her baptismal date? If the missionaries haven't made one yet they are slacking off... hahaha! Not really, but from what I've heard about her she probably could've got baptized a long time ago. How is Mara's other friend in seminary? We did the santa suits at the Christmas party a few weeks ago and on Christmas morning before we called you. The crab was at our apartment on Christmas. The KFC was from before. Sorry I didn't even think of saying anything about p-day. :(

Zone conference is tomorrow and we, well...we do all of it hahaha. Basically we get everybody to go to Asahikawa and have a big workshop there. I'm a little nervous, but it should go awesomely. Definitely tell Spencer congrats! That's awesome for Lily and Mya as well. Nice!

So I procrastinated writing this email so I'll try to sum stuff up.

Wednesday we ate lunch w/ the Saito family and had new year's food and it was great. Saito B loves talking about how Japanese people are descended from the Jews and stuff it is really interesting though not (yet) doctrine hahaha. After that we went to Sapporo for a little gathering because Wilson E came back to visit Sapporo w/ his family. Lots of red heads. They actually knew the Prices because they're from Palo Alto. We came home and had dinner w/ the branch pres' family. Cutest kids. Oh man. We had a lot of fun and a good FHE w/ them. Thursday was deep clean day, but we also had lunch with the Miyazaki fam. They're super amazing - they have two boys and they're awesome. Their mom is also one of the only people I've met in Japan who bakes bread using whole grain/whole wheat so I was really happy and she was really happy that we liked it hahaha. They had these interesting toys that we played with called LaQ. We also got a "toshidama" whichis a Japanese tradition where all the kids get money at new year's. Since we can't receive money we gave it back as fast offerings, but it was still cool. Ahhhh, there is another cool miracle story I want to tell you about, but I'm out of time!!!! Sorrryyy :( remind me to start from here next time!!! Aishitemasu!!!!

Hutchinson Choro

Then Braden's mom opened this email:
This is Elder Hutchinson`s companion, Elder Hatch. Elder Hutchinson didn`t really have time to tell you about our crazy Sunday with the Adachis and so he asked me to send this to you. Your son is awesome and I love working with him! We are having a blast and seeing a lot of miracles!

Arigato gozaimasu!
Elder Hatch
(Below is his letter)

Iwamizawa is very famous for the amount of snow it gets during winter. Up until about two weeks ago people were saying there wasn`t very much snow at all and that it usually snows more. You could probably google Iwamizawa and see some crazy pictures and videos about the snow here. Well this week it seemed to be snowing all the time. Yesterday I think it snowed all but one hour. It is steadily building up. Fun, fun! Also, we have seen some REALLY long icicles.
This week was great! We had meals with several members. New Years was the Saito family and Adachi family. The Okuizumi family also brought us dinner on New Years Eve to our apartment when we were reading the Book of Mormon. The second was a deep clean day but we had a nice break and went to the Miyazaki family`s house for lunch. I really, really do love the members here! Not just because they feed us well and are so nice, but just because they are all such great people! I am really grateful and lucky to be here.
Friday was kind of back to normal routine. We went with Pres. Adachi and visisted Yamashita. We ended up being there for 3 and a half hours because he just keep asking questions. It ended up being a really good lesson and he is doing very well. He feels like he needs to learn all of the church doctrine before he gets baptized. He was busy and couldn`t come to church yesterday but he is doing very well and we are excited that he is still progressing.
Saturday we got invited by the Adachis (the older couple that gave us a ride a couple weeks ago when we were out in the middle of nowhere and who invited us to a Christmas party in Sapporo). We were pretty excited to go. We thought it was only got to be the husband and wife, but when we showed up there were about 8 people from the company Christmas party that we attended. Apparently they all wanted to come see us. Some of them even came from Sapporo, maybe an hour and a half hours drive away.
Mainly we just ate with them and had a good time. We were able to share a little bit about what we are doing here as missionaries and why. We also showed them our family pics, which Japanese love seeing (probably mainly because we are foreigners....). The night ended and the husband took us home. We thought maybe we shouldn`t try continuing to meet with them so often because they didn`t seem interested in the gospel. Then Sunday happened.....
So, Sunday as church is about to start (priesthood is first and Sacrament is last here) and we got in priesthood. Bro. Kaneko came in just after the opening prayer and then mentioned that two people who have never been to church before are here in the parking lot. Elder Hutchinson and I decide to go outside, curious who decided to suddenly come to church without us knowing. We got outside and Adachi (the wife) and one of the other woman about the same age who was there on Saturday are walking from their car to the church. As we called out they were a little disappointed that we came out and saw them. They were wanting to surprise us showing up at church.
Long story short, we go to Relief Society with them, then we had a very simple lesson in Gospel Principles, and then they attended Fast and Testimony meeting. Also, upon talking to two members, one of the other LDS guys that works at their company is a relative of the teacher or Gospel Doctrine, one of a member`s best friends is also an employee of the comany, etc. There were so many crazy things, but I think it helped them build friendships with the members. Also, several of the members talked about them in their testimony and we had an AMAZING lesson with a Sister Oikawa in the ward after Sacrament meeting on the Restoration. Sister Oikawa was really strong and really bold. At the end of the lesson we asked Adachi to pray. She said a good prayer and we were about to finish when Sis. Oikawa boldly asked Okuyama (the friend) to pray as well. Okuyama`s prayer was really short, but she was having a hard time getting words out because she was choking up. They definitely felt the Spirit, which was SO cool!
The main reason they came was just to come see us, not to come to church, but it turned into an amazing 4 hours. We gave them each a Book of Mormon and challenged them to baptism. What a miracle! Meeting Adachi two weeks ago on that lonely rode when she gave us a ride seemed like it was all just a coincidence. It was not coincidence. Everything just played out too well! If timing had been off by even a minute, this whole story would not have happened.
Everytime I start to think "Man, nothing special has happened lately. Am I doing something wrong?", is when an amazing miracle happens. I testify that Heavenly Father works by faith. As I read in the Book of Mormon this last week focusing on faith I realized that everytime somebody exercises faith, something good happens. It doesn`t always happen right away, but it does happen. It is amazing to see how much Heavenly Father really does look out and love each one of us. I know He does love you and me.
Happy New Year! Its 2014 but lets make it a good one!
Love you!
Elder Benjamin Hatch