Sunday, February 23, 2014

2/23/14 ZTM and Wakkanai again (also Yuubari)

Hey! Japan is good yo. It's getting warmer and the snow is melting a lot. Slush. I'm sorry you weren't feeling well, but I'm glad things are better! I am always really tired now because riding on trains all the time makes your schedule all crazy so it's hard for your body to get used to it I think. That's fun Mya and Olivia are going to Disneyland! Everyone is going fun places lately, haha. I got your valentine btw. Thanks! Yes there is another music concert on Saturday. Today's p-day is once again stolen by practice for it. Hayashi is still doing ok. He is just really worried about finding a job to hold him over for the month until his other job starts in April. I think he has a lot of faith though. I'm excited for Michael and know he'll do lots of awesome stuff! He's a great guy. I hope Dave's new house (renovation) isn't too hard to take care of, but if there is still stuff to help out with I'd be happy to help when I get back. Did I tell you about college stuff? I talked to Pres Evans and I already missed the deadline to get into BYU this year because I didn't get on it soon enough... However it might be good because I won't have any money when I get back anyways. I could always go back to USU, but..... We'll see. Sometimes I get Emails from Thomas who was on the guitar program with me at USU and he said it's changed a lot and Mike retired. My scholarship there is still "waiting" technically. Anyways, maybe I should start job searching as early as possible. Don't worry about Okinawa. It'd take a long time to get there even if I had a good enough reason to go besides sightseeing and visiting mission buddies. Plus, going to the Sapporo Temple when it gets finished takes priority.

So this week was pretty tiring. P-day was walking around to shop for a bunch of different things we have needed to buy way bad, but couldn't because we never had time. We also finished preparing for Zone training meeting which was about being a leader (which we did the next day in Asahikawa). There are 14 missionaries going home and 10 coming in. Next transfer there are 6 going home and 12 coming in. It makes me nervous and I also wonder if I'll go trainer again. It might be a good thing, but I'm WAY happy that more missionaries are coming here. I just wish more Nihonjin would come. That's why we gotta go find 'em! ;D

After ZTM we rode a train, then bus (the train had to stop halfway because of snow) for the rest of the day to Wakkanai. It was a little over five hours. I sat next to Yoshikawa E (was in Kushiro the whole time I was in Nemuro, now Wakkanai) and talked the whole time then had splits the next day. It was pretty neat! A lot colder than it was last time, but I had a blast. The next morning was a long train home and a little bit of rest before going to Hayashi then Eikaiwa. The day after was our adventure day. I had really been wanting to go to this part of our area called Yuubari so we did. There isn't a direct train that goes there so we did a bunch of transfers, but got there eventually. It was a lot smaller than I thought, but reminded me of Park City because it's just sitting right in the middle of the mountains. We had some fun exploring and finding a bit. The day after was in Bibai. We first had lunch with Adachi and a few of her friends then went with them to this art museum type place for this guy who is apparently pretty famous for doing abstract sculptures. Turns out that day he himself was doing a little seminar thing (he came all the way from Italy) and the museum was closed.... BUT because we came "all the way from America" they decided to let us in anyway! It was a bit interesting, but the best part was that while we were there Adachi was introducing everyone to us and telling them about what we do and recommending they come to Eikaiwa and stuff! We also got to take a peek in the guy's seminar (his name is Kan Yasuda) right when he was giving a speech so that was kinda neat. We did some finding and put up Eikaiwa fliers in Bibai before coming home. Sunday was pretty normal. Lots of sign language! We did some phone calls and ate a member's house. She's trying to learn sign language (for when I leave) so Dixon E and I taught her a little. I wonder if I'll ever have a chance to use Japanese sign language after I go home haha. Other than that not much is going on! Dixon E is trunky, but he has less than 2 weeks left so it's understandable. He's really fun. I am trying to find more stability in an always changing schedule so if you have any tips on that, please :) I love you!

Hutchinson Choro

Sunday, February 16, 2014

2/16/14 Music Night Number One

Hey! Thanks for all the cool news about your trip. Sounds crazy! Dad looks crazy good. You could've photoshopped Adam's head on that picture and I probably wouldn't have noticed! Sounds like he was being a boss missionary too! That's my dad :)

I hope you didn't eat too much southern comfort food. The members gave us so much valentines candy it's frustrating, haha. They also give us lots of tomatoes and lettuce. They actually give us a lot of really good, useful food as well actually. They are great ;D Also I hope to see all the rest of your pics after I get home. The adjusting to missionary life book doesn't really have any adjustments.... It's just about tips for overcoming bad habits or stress or other little things like that you can work on. I also heard about the crazy weather in New York. Tell Joseph hi if you see him! Here's the ridiculous week.

Monday was pretty much owned by music practice. Whoa. We went to Ebetsu that night for splits the next day. I bought some stuff for the guitar. Tuesday I had splits with Spurling E who is the district leader of Ebetsu now. He is fun and a great missionary. Because we had DTM and Eikaiwa on the same day there, splits were pretty short, but we found a pretty kinjin middle aged couple that let us in and practically fed us dinner. Awesome. Tuesday his comp Brackner E and I headed to Iwamizawa and worked. It was way fun and we taught Hayashi about prayer and faith. He told us more awesome stories about his life and how he was helped by going to church when he was younger. He also prayed for 15 minutes straight. We had some more fun finding and then headed home. After that was Thursday which was some weekly planning and Eikaiwa in Iwamizawa. Friday we went to Bibai and had a really good lesson with an NA about the celestial kingdom. We also contacted this lady we met in Iwamizawa. Kinda cool story. We were pinging a small apartment building when Dixon E accidentally pings a door that has tape over the mailbox (sign that no one lives there) and right as I point out that probably no one lives there, the apartment owner comes out! She actually lives in Bibai, but was super nice and gave us her real address. When we visited her, her and her husband, both way awesome and way interested. We also visited Yamashita afterwards and had a... interesting, but good lesson. He has a lot of concerns, but pretty much decided no matter what we say he doesn't want to change. I know he will someday, but it was kinda sad because there wasn't much we could do. He has problems forgiving people and stuff, but that just takes time and love :)

Saturday was owned by the music concert. Practice in the morning and performance. The music night was way fun and I performed a song that I arranged this time with a small group. My old investigator Nakagawa from Toyohira came and that was way awesome! Hopefully from that he'll meet with the missionaries there again. Sunday was good and I was insanely tired. We had to plan more for ZTM after church and that was pretty much it! Hopefully we can get 100% prepared for it today!

Thanks for everything! I love you tons and I'm grateful for all of your support and love. It is crazy Adam transferred so much already hahaa.

Hutchinson Choro

Picture that a member drew of me while giving a talk

Me and Nakagawa, investigator from Toyohira

Sunday, February 9, 2014

2/9/14 Zone Conference

So I'll just start with the week. Monday was music practice at the Honbu again. Then we came back and tried to visit some old investigators. The next day I went on splits with the Japanese AP Asai E who is really cool and fun. We just did lots of finding. Even though we weren't able to teach many real lessons, I learned a lot from his style and example. We had pizza hut for dinner because it was half off day and so that was pretty good. The next day I went on splits in Ebetsu with Shoell E who is 6'7" and way cool. Super obedient good example. We did lots of finding and found some pretty cool college kids. He just barely transferred in and didn't know the area super well + it was crazy cold, but we found some good things to do. Next day was running all over. We went back to Iwamizawa, set up for Eikaiwa (some other missionaries came to teach it for us) ate dinner, and headed back to Sapporo for more music practice. Friday was Zone conference and the mental and physical health representatives came and did workshops that were pretty good. They have this new "adjusting to missionary life" book that is really great. Otherwise I was super tired, but I still got a lot out of it. That night we went to Yuki Matsuri (snow festival) and it was pretty disappointing compared to last year. There were still lots of giant snow sculptures and stuff, but maybe I'm just used to that already, haha. We stayed the night w/ Toyohira elders and that was pretty cool for me. I called up some of my old investigators there to encourage them to meet with the missionaries again, so that was neat.

Saturday we were back in Iwamizawa and we met Hayashi again! He is a boss for sure. He told us how 1 year ago in Taiwan, he met missionaries and gave them his information for his home in Hokkaido, but they never came. We taught him the rest of the restoration and about the BofM and challenged him to be baptized and he accepted! He's gonna be such a cool member. After that we headed to Bibai, but weren't able to meet anyone we wanted + it was basically too cold for us to do anything so we hung out in the eki to try to get the planning for zone training meeting done. Still lots to do. That'll be on the 18th. Sunday was pretty nice. Church went good and the stake president came. I gave a talk on the work of salvation and apparently the members got really pumped up by it so I was really happy about that. Basically what Pres. Evans wants us to focus on is not telling members "hey, we need you to do missionary work already!" or "do missionary work this way!" but to find out what kind of dendo they want to do and help them to do it. Also I'm getting a bit better at JSL (Japanese sign language) so that's been fun translating. After church we rode with Adachi Kaicho to visit some NA's and investigators of ours he has been wondering about. Nothing too special happened with any of them, but he was real happy to be able to work with us even just a little. We were too, especially because of the temperature. It's anywhere from -14c to -30c and there isn't much you can do about it clothes or hand warmer wise. You just have to do things in increments I think. It's completely different from last winter, but I'llbe able to make it through just fine :)

So anyways thanks for the pics! Where did you get the really bad pic of my face? The picture of the temple (construction) is way cool! To let you know, I don't get updated on that AT ALL. All I know is when I leave it still has like a year and a half before it gets finished. I haven't even seen the spot where it's being built. Your mini vacation is going to Sharon's wedding right? I hope that goes well. I want to live in Okinawa some day. The climate is probably similar, but I think there are a lot less dangerous storms.

Anyways. Yeah, Hokkaido needs way more missionaries. It is the smallest mission in Japan population-wise, but what I hear from other missionary friends in Japan is that basically every area in their mission has AT LEAST two elders and two sisters. Next transfer 14 missionaries go home and only 10 come in so we're going down a little bit more again. I:m sure the church has a plan for what they want to happen here, but I feel like it's pretty tough right now at least here... We did go up like 35-ish missionaries since this time last year so maybe they just have to do things more gradually. We'll see where things go by the time I leave. Thanks for your testimony about still being able to get all the important things done. I know that's true!
Mission leader council? I thought told you about it when I went w/ Hatch E, but it's just like a meeting with all the zone leaders, APs, and the 2 sister leaders. We talk about what the mission needs and then have a workshop from the APs.

I'm excited for all the great things happening and that is super cool of dad to lose weight! After new years here I have to work out more... But it's nothing really haha.

Love you tons too!!! Happy valentines day!

Hutchinson Choro

Some older photos taken by Elder Hatch:
I have no idea what this big thing is :)

Teaching via train window

A very large icicle!

Cool unidentified family (I hope he tells us next week)


Lots of Snow

And still higher Snow

Sunday, February 2, 2014

2/2/14 Coldhot

Time doesn't feel like it's going fast, but every time I look, it's already gone...!

I'm glad everyone is finding fun stuff to do. I don't know how excited I am for chocolate cake day though... Sing along screening (of Frozen)? That's interesting. I'm glad Mara is making time to go to the temple. Do you know if Adam gets to go to the temple in his mission? I'm way excited to go. I'm also for sure proud of Mara's bargain skills. There's definitely a lot of clothes I want to try to snag here before I head home though. The zone is pretty much fine. I just wish we didn't have to go on splits so much because our poor area hardly gets any dendo time. Even if we find anyone cool it's hard to find time to meet them again :p We don't have DL responsibilities anymore, but there are more other things that make me feel like I'm even more busy than last transfer. Keep encouraging and praying for the missionaries in the ward for me! The translation means: happiness, isn't it? (Mom asked him to translate something) Makes more sense in Japanese. If I knew the context there's probably a better phrase.

I'll see what I can do about two weeks ago. Not anything too special happened before Hatch E left from what I remember. After that Dixon E and I made plans to focus on our area more (since we thought we would have less responsibilities... oh well). But because of that we headed out on Friday to find by the college and found some really cool students and stuff. It was a really fun area to dendo. We also found a guy who is a college professor named Hayashi. He's way cool and he seemed a little different, but he was way nice. On Saturday we went to Bibai and did some finding there and found a WAY cool family called the Hisatsunes. We made a weak appointment through the intercom, but as we were writing down, the dad from down the street walks up to us and asks us if we can speak Japanese. We say we do and have a pretty conversation with him and explain what we're doing. He thinks we're really awesome and is pretty interested so he introduces his son to us who is about 22 and way cool! He used to go to college in another part of Japan there and went to church at the time. Got their numbers and made an appt so that was pretty cool. Sunday was the normal translating into sign language and getting lots of food from members. We also had some ok finding. Monday was a pretty awesome p-day. We went to an onsen and a big mall with the Ebetsu elders. The onsen was WAY nice and cool because they had some out door pools as well with snow falling around.

That night we dendo'd a bit around the church and then got on the train to Asahikawa. I went on splits with Fukushima E who is awesome. He is working way hard as DL there. We did lots of finding and it was fun because he is really motivated. Wednesday morning we had a crazy adventure getting up way early, running through a blizzard, and riding a long train back to Sapporo in order to make it to mission leader council which was really awesome as usual. I felt like everything was said right to me. It basically took all day so we didn't have time to dendo when we got home. Thursday we went back to the college area and met Hayashi again. Turns out that he is from Taiwan! He married and a Nihonjin and graduated with a doctor's degree at Hokkaido university, but he's also fluent in English. We talked to him in his house. He told us his life story and we taught him a short, but really good lesson. We also showed him the Book of Mormon and he committed to read it before we could even ask him to. He is pretty kinjin so we're excited about him.

Friday was having the Takikawa Elders come on splits in Iwamizawa. I went with Kojima E who is a bit younger as a missionary, but a way cool guy. He went to Snow college for a year studying English! We did a lot of finding and had fun, but had to run for shelter in stores sometimes when the blizzards got bad. Saturday was originally planned to do a lot of dendo, but we had a stake coordination meeting that we had to go to and it took a lot of time to prepare for. We went to all of our Bibai appts, but we had to go super early so they were almost all not home. We did meet a really cool guy named Nagae though. We also found out that Yamashita didn't get his job and still can't come to church. Otherwise he's doing good. The stake meeting was actually pretty fun and went well. It helped to know more of what the Stake wants us to do as missionaries. There are a lot of wards and branches that don't have enough priesthood to have ward mission leaders or other callings like that, so it's pretty tough for some missionaries to work with the members, but I guess that's what finding new members is for, kana?

Sunday was good! It was fast Sunday and Adachi showed up randomly again! She went to Hawaii on her business trip and ended up meeting a bunch of RM's at the Polynesian cultural center! One of which (her group's guide) served here in Iwamizawa for a long time. She had been puzzled(?) about how many random meetings she had been having with the church and came with lots of really good questions. We had a great lesson with her at church about the spirit. She won't commit to a baptismal date right now, but she has a ton of promise!

That's about it! Thanks and love you!

Hutchinson Choro