Thursday, September 24, 2015

Week 3

Konnichiwa Minasan!

 This week my companion and I had a really good experience with the gift of tongues! We noticed last week that we had gotten lazy in our personal, companionship and language studies. A few days later we had a lesson  by our Sensei, about how the gift of tongues is a two way thing. We have to do our part before heavenly father will bless us with it. So we decided Monday that we were going to use up all of our time planning and learning and translating for our 30 min lesson that we were supposed to teach that night. We spent the whole 3 hours learning and preparing our lesson with not a minute wasted. We had THE PERFECT lesson planned out and translated and ready to go. Later we found out that we wouldn't be teaching that lesson anymore and instead we would be teaching a different investigator a totally different lesson for only 10 minutes. We were so frustrated because of all the work we did for absolutely nothing. We taught the 10 minute lesson but it didn't go that well because we didn't have time to plan a good lesson. Later that day we had class for 3 hours. When we were walking back to the residents I was amazed at how much I understood today. That I knew exactly what was being taught. My companion agreed and said that he understood everything that was being said as well. We didn't think about how we did our part that day on the lesson that we weren't able to teach. About an hour after talking about how much we understood that day, my companion said "I think that we knew what was being said today because of all the hard work we put into that lesson. We were blessed with the gift of tongues for doing our part.
I hope that all made sense! But it was a really good experience for us and it really strengthened my testimony in the gift of tongues as well!
This week was not much different than last! I have learned a lot about the gospel and really have grown closer to my father in heaven! I am so, unbelievably excited to get to Japan! Our Dai Senpai (older group) left this week to Japan and our Zone got a lot smaller. But watching all of those guys, who I have grown very close to, leave to Japan to serve full time has made me even more excited! I am focusing on using all of my time here to learn all I can to be able to serve in Japan the best that I can.
There wasn't much to talk about this week but if anyone has any questions let me know!:) 
Elder Alex Evans

The pictures below are all of the ones that he sent this week.  Most of the missionaries pictured with him all left the MTC on Monday morning for Japan.   It has gotten him VERY excited to actually be in Japan.   He is almost half way through his stay in the MTC.  He has been very homesick while he has been there, but this week he was made a district leader, which is good because it keeps him a little bit busier so that he doesn't think about home so much.  
He didn't include a picture of the party he had when Grandma sent chocolate covered strawberries.  Evidently that was a hit as great as the giant brownie.   Thanks Mom and Angie for sending him yummy treats and taking care of my kiddo.      

                                                               Elder Wood

                       His Zone Leaders who just left for Japan Elder Travis and Elder Means

                    Elder Olsen, who Alex has played basketball with since elementary school.
                         They are both going to Kobe, But Tanner left the MTC on Monday.

                                 The GIANT brownie that Aunt Angie sent to him.  YUM!

                               His whole district enjoying the GIANT BROWNIE YUM!!!

                          All of the Elders from his Zone who just left for Japan on Monday                                      
Elder Murdock on his left, and Elder Jensen on his right.

                                                                      Elder Vui

                                   Sister Nelson on his right (who he went to high school with)
                                 and Elder Ence on his left, who has become his best friend there.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Week Two

I am finally adjusting to the Missionary Life in the MTC. I now know how to bear my testimony in Japanese and Pray in Japanese. The gift of tounges is real. We have already seen that in our two short weeks here. Everyone has been asking what we do day to day here in the MTC so I'll share a bit of my everyday schedule.
We wake up every morning at 6:20 am and go to the gym. You can either go lift weights and workout, you can go to the basketball courts and play basketball or four square or volleyball, or you can go up to the field and play soccer, sand volleyball, spikeball, and kickball. We have gym time until 7:30am. At 7:30 it is a mad dash to get in the shower before a line forms, where, in the shower you can be soothed by a choir of Elders singing hymns at the top of their lungs. Sometimes the hymns they sing are beautiful, sometimes it sounds like fingers on a chalk board. After we shower we go to breakfast and immediately after breakfast we go to our class room. In the classroom we have companionship study for 30 minutes, personal study for an hour, companionship for an hour, and language study for an hour. After that we go to lunch and then check the mail. After lunch, we go back to the classroom and are taught by one of our 2 teachers until dinner time. After dinner, we either go teach 2 or 3 lessons, or are back in the classroom with our other teacher just depending on the day. We are there until 9:30pm. At 9:30pm we head back to the residence and get ready for bed. At 10pm we have zone prayer and a spiritual thought. 10:15 is quiet time (which normally isn't quiet anyways) and 10:30 is lights out. It is always a full day and you fall asleep as soon as the lights are out.
On Sundays and Tuesdays we have huge MTC devotionals where someone comes and talks to us. This week we were able to hear from The General Primary President and the President over Administrative Services for the MTC. We always get the best messages from these speakers. I guess the Tuesday before I came in, (September 1st) President Oaks was the speaker. So we are always so lucky to hear from these speakers. 
Not much else has happened this week! Im sure thats how it'll be in the MTC ;) I am definitely adjusting to missionary life. We were talking and decided that if we had to come home already, we would be awkard missionaries. Thats usual right? ;)
If you want any other questions answered that I forgot to put in this, dear elder me and I will answer them next week!
Thank you for all of your love and support!

Elder Alex Evans

                                               Sweater Day
              This picture is for Alex's little cousin, who sent that button with Alex, so that 
                                                 he would remember him. 

                 And, this picture is for Garrett D.   That's a leaf from 
               the sacred grove that Garrett gave to Alex before he left.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Missionary Training Compound

Well, week 1 is down, many more to go! The MTC is definitely the hardest thing I have ever done! But its one of the funnest things I have done as well. When we got here last Wednesday, we were given 15-20 pounds of books and thrown into class within 10 minutes of being here. I have an amazing district and I love every one of them. My district has 8 people in it, 4 sisters and 4 elders. 3 of which (my companion, me, and one other sister) are going to Kobe, and the other 5 to Nagoya! All of the missionaries that have been here longer than us are really supportive and we are one big family. My companion's name is Anthony Choro (Elder). He is from Pleasant Grove Utah and we are excited to be serving together!

The gift of tongues is real. I have already memorized both Hiragana and Katakana (If you don't know what that it, look it up haha) I also can pray in Japanese and say a small testimony! Its only been a week!! My companion and I have already taught 4 lessons in Japanese to the same person! Its been fun and a very good learning experience for us. I am in a dorm with 4 others. There are Anthony Choro and I, Graydon Choro and Richardson Choro (Graydon Choro is from New Castle in England so we love to hear him talk) and then Collet Choro and Melina Choro! Melina choro is from Bolivia and speaks 4 languages including Japanese. They are moving him to fast track so he will be in Japan within the next week or so. 

My first Sunday here was a fast Sunday, which was both a blessing and a curse. They didn't hold breakfast or lunch, which was really hard because I was experiencing major homesickness. So not having any food in me didn't help anything. But the meetings that day were incredible and something that I will never forget. We watched a film on Sunday and it was a talk by Elder Bednar. He helped me out a lot by saying, "When you think that you cannot do this [Mission], you are right. You can't. But with the strength of the Lord, YOU CAN! I have a testimony of that, because with the strength of the Lord, I can accomplish this hard task of serving a mission for 2 years. Everyone here says that days are weeks and weeks are days. THAT IS VERY TRUE!!! This was the longest week of my life, but at the same time, I have already been on my mission for a week! It feels like I just got dropped off yesterday!

Japanese is super hard, but also super super fun! I just can't wait to be able to say anything I want in Japanese. I am sure within a couple months, I will be able to. I have learned so much in just one week here and I cant wait to see what else I will learn in these next 8 long weeks. 

The MTC is definitely crazy. We were told in a lesson that it is harder than Jail, because in jail you can at least use the phone and watch TV haha. Which of course, made all of us missionaries think that Jail didn't sound so bad after all! But,overall the MTC is super hard, but also super, super fun and rewarding! We have great times and I have made lots of friends that I am sure I will have forever. I love everyone here! You can feel the spirit so strong and it is amazing. Today we get to go to the temple which I am super excited for! It'll give me a little bit of home.

I can also testify that the phone vibrations in your empty pockets ARE A REAL THING!! Its crazy how much my phone vibrates here. I must be super popular  or something because my phone vibrates multiple times a day haha!

I love all of you and hope you are all doing okay! Thank you for all of your love and support! I miss you all and hope you have a safe week! 

1 week down!!! Many more to go!!

If I have missed anything that you want to know, write me a dear elder and I'll answer your question for you!

Elder Alex Evans

Alex's first Journal Entry!  
He is making fun of his Dads "Random Thought" Journal
that he kept while on his mission in Japan.

Alex and his Companion Elder Anthony

 His Extremely Packed Closet

His District.  The blond to his right is the only Sister pictured going to Kobe. 

The 15-20 pounds of books he received when he arrived 

His Bed :-)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

First Snail Mail

Dated Sept 5th

Konnichi Wa!  I don't know if you will receive this before my p-day (thursday) but I just wanted to let you know I am doing great.  
I am Super tired, but that's how it'll be for 2 years.  I miss you all so much, it's hard to sleep right now, but I'm sure that will change.  I have learned lots of Nihongo!(Japanese)
Tell everyone to go on to and write me.  It is always nice to receive mail.  We check the mail twice a day.  So have everyone send lots because I need it right now! 
I'm having lots of fun here and love learning about Japanese and the gospel.  I have already learned so much! I can almost pray on my own!  I miss you all!  
I love you so much!  I can't wait to get to email and talk to everyone!!!
Aishite Imasu!!!!!
Love, Evans Choro

( I hope that I spelled everything correctly!  I edited out the Japanese Kanji characters, sorry, I have no idea how to type those.)

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

His First Email

So tonight, I climbed into bed and before checking out for the evening, I checked my email.  To my delight there was a very short email from my kiddo. :-)

Hey Mommy!! I am having a great time in the MTC! We get to send you an email right now while we learn how to use everything! We have an awesome district and have already learned so much! Miss you guys a lot already! My P day is on Thursdays but we don't have it tomorrow, it starts next Thursday so let everyone know that! I love you guys! Ill talk to you next week!:)

Whew!  Those were the greatest words I could hear today! 

At the MTC

Last night, Alex met with the Stake President.
He received some fantastic council and was set apart as a full time missionary.

Today was a bit more difficult than we thought it would be, in some cases, and easier in others.  We started the day with breakfast at Kneaders. YUM!
Then left the house with everything he would need for the next 2 years packed into 2 suitcases and a backpack.

We arrived in Provo about a half hour before he was to report at the MTC, so we joined all of the other missionaries and their families at the Provo temple, to kill time until he was to arrive.


We took a few pictures, and headed over to the MTC.
There were some delightful Elders waiting there for him.   The Elder who greeted him, had been in the MTC for 8 weeks and was heading to Armenia.  

We all gave him one last hug.

 And took a few last pictures.  
 And watched him and his escort walk into the building.  You could see his excitement, and apprehension, but he didn't look back. 

Steve struggled on the way home, because he wanted so badly to  text him and find out what he was doing, how his room was, and who his companion is.  The boys are dying to find out how long it took before he saw his friend Tanner, who is going to the same mission. 
Tyler has already sent Alex an email, telling him how much he misses him.  

For those of you who would like to write him, his email is    and his snail mail address there is 
Elder Alex Michael Evans
Provo Missionary Training Center
2005 N 900 East
Provo, UT 84604

He will be there for about 9 weeks.   We will post his contact information in Japan, just before he leaves the MTC.  

Thank you for your prayers for him and our family.   I know that today was a better day because of them.  
Next week's post will hopefully be from the Elder himself. 

1 day down, only 729 to go.....