Thursday, October 29, 2015

The LAST p-day in the MTC

We have hit the 8 week mark! Next Tuesday morning I will be on my way
to Japan! I will be flying to Seattle, then to Tokyo, and then to
Osaka! Today we have been super busy packing up, since we wont get an
opportunity the next couple days. It is surreal that we will all be
leaving each other, and no longer be in the MTC.

This week has been very eventful for us. Last Friday, we received our
travel plans. On Tuesday, for our devotional, Neil L. Anderson from
the Quorum of the twelve Apostles spoke to us. His talk was amazing!
It was broadcast to all of the MTC's around the world. At the
beginning of talk he mentioned four words. 1. Sacrifice 2. Opposition
3. Adversary 4. Deliverance. He then talked about each of those
topics. 1. He said -"Everyone gave up something to come on a mission".
Whether it be big or small. Every single missionary has sacrificed
something to be able to come and serve the lord. He then talked about
Sid Going. A rugby player that had a promising Rugby career. He gave
up rugby to serve the lord. Everyone told him he was crazy and that he
was making a huge mistake. On his mission, he converted many. Some of
which he did not know about until later. When he got home from his
mission, he continued his rugby career. He ended up being an AMAZING
player. When you put the lord first, he will bless you so much in the
end. He also said "We must give something up to become something
more". I absolutely agree with what he said, and I am excited to
change and grow throughout this mission experience. He also said as
missionaries and as people "You can't compare yourself to anyone else.
Compare yourself to your self... All that matters is continual
progression" Observe where you are and where you came from and where
you will be. That is huge for us missionaries because we are
constantly comparing ourselves to other missionaries, and their
spirituality, and how well they can speak the language. As long as we
are doing everything we can to improve, the lord will bless us. 2.
Opposition. We need to recognize that satan is real. He does not like
us. He will do anything he can to tear us down. Helaman 5:12. If we
have a strong foundation in Christ, when (not if) satan tries to tear
us down, we will not be moved. "Everything in the kingdom of the lord
is uphill" we have to go uphill to improve and to grow. Keep pushing
against the opposition, and soon, your roots and your foundation will
be strong, and you will too, be not moved. 3. Adversary. We need to
acknowledge that the adversary is real. "The adversary can not do more
to us, than to just cause distractions" that is all he can do. We need
to recognize that, and know that we are stronger than the challenges
put in front of us. I have always wondered, does satan understand that
he is a part of Heavenly Fathers plan? 4. Deliverance. I wear Christ's
name on my chest. If I am struggling, I can turn to the lord, and he
will not leave me comfortless. And with all of you, if you are in need
of comfort, turn to the Lord. He will not leave you comfortless. This
race of life is not a sprint, it is a marathon. There will be ups and
downs, good times and bad times, but when you keep pushing, learning,
and working, it will be worth it in the end. Its a long journey. There
will be bad times, but turn to the lord, and he will be there for you.

Yesterday we also received our Japanese name tags. I will be sure to
send a picture of the name tag. It was like Christmas morning
receiving them. We cannot wait to get to Japan next week. Our whole
zone, (except us Kobe missionaries) will be leaving Monday morning. Us
Kobe missionaries will be one day behind them and be leaving Tuesday.
I'm sure Monday will be a long one for us, but we will use it to keep

Thank you all for your love and support! I wouldn't be able to do it
without you! Have a safe week! Next email home will be from Japan!!

Sunday, October 25, 2015



This past week has been a busy one for me! We have had to help all of
the kohai (new missionaries in our branch) get where they need to go
and answer all of their questions about the MTC. On Monday we received
Nihongen Senkyoshitachi (Japanese Missionaries) to our branch who will
be the fast track group. There are two Chorotachi (Elders) and seven
shimaitachi (sisters). One of the Elders got here at 7pm and the other
one got here about 1am Tuesday morning, which meant Anthony Choro and
I had to get up and help him get settled into his room. Needless to
say, we were VERY tired on Tuesday. But we are super excited to have
them here!! They will be heading to Japan with my group! Anthony Choro
and I have been in charge of taking care of and showing around the
Nihongen. We are with them all day everyday. It is a lot of fun, but
also really hard because we really don't know how to speak Japanese.
The Japanese that they taught us in the MTC is not the same language
that the Nihongen speak haha!
On Sunday in our devotional we heard from Chad Lewis, a former BYU
football player who played in the NFL for the Eagles. He gave the best
talk that I have heard yet in the MTC. He talked about Charity and how
to be great missionaries. Taysom Hill (BYU's Quarterback) was also at
that devotional, and Chad Lewis invited him up to say his testimony.
He has such a powerful testimony. He told us to love our mission, love
the people, and learn all that we can in the short 2 years we have
been set apart to serve the lord everyday. It was my favorite
devotional yet. I wish I could explain more about it. But I don't have
my notes with me! On Tuesday we received IPads. The iPads we have will
not be the ones that we will have in Japan, we just use these ones for
the MTC. They are super nice to have and really enhance our
effectiveness as missionaries. There are so many tools that are going
to help us reach out to our investigators.
Yesterday we were able to have a deep dive about the BOM with our
branch president. It was cool to see his insights into the truths
about it. I challenge you all to read the Book of Mormon. And when you
read it, pray about it with faith that you will relieve an answer. And
the Holy Ghost will testify to you that the Book of Mormon is a true
book. The center of our gospel. I know that it is true. Moroni 10:3-5
This week has been a really good one for me. I have come so much
closer with my Heavenly Father and learned so much about his gospel. I
can't wait to be able to share this gospel with the people of Japan!
I hope everyone is doing well. Thank you for all of your love and
support! Have a safe week!

エバンズ 長老 (Evans Choro)

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Another week in the MTC

Alex with all of the 'Fast Track' missionaries.  These eight are all from Japan, and will only be at the MTC for 2 weeks.   This is what I picture it will be like in Japan.  The tall white redhead with all of the not so tall Japanese people.

Konnichiwa Minasan! 

This past week has sure been an interesting one! I was sick from Thursday til Monday so I spent a lot of time just sitting in bed this week. Which is definitely not what I want to do! I want to be learning and growing and working! Today the Internet has been down so I dont have much time to email but I will try and include everything I wanted to talk about!
Yesterday my zone was able to host all of the new missionaries that came in! The MTC welcomed 419 yesterday. It was kind of emotional for us watching all of those missionaries say goodbye to their families for the next two years. When the first couple of cars drove up I got major chills, and some of the other missionaries did as well. Luckily we were able to put that aside and do what we had been called to do, which means getting those missionaries into the MTC and make sure they felt welcomed! I hosted 4 missionaries. They were going to Denver, Brasil, Panama, and New York. I am excited for all of them and hope they have a good experience in the MTC. 
This week, my companion and I were called as the Zone leaders of our branch. That meant that our job one Wednesday was to welcome the 17 new missionaries into the branch, give them an orientation, answer their questions, and just help them around. We were very nervous to do that but it was a very good experience for me. I had to get out of my comfort zone and introduce myself to each one of them and make sure if they needed anything, they could come to me. They are all amazing missionaries. Anthony Choro and I are excited to serve them everyday and be leaders and good examples to them all.  It is crazy to think that the group that I came in with is now the old group here. It seems like we just got dropped off yesterday, but at the same time, it feels like we were born here. Next week, on Friday we will receive our travel plans and then a week after that we will be flying to an unknown country. I would like to say I know the language. But I don't. But as long as I work hard everyday and learn the best that I can, the lord will bless me. Next Tuesday we have the opportunity of bringing in 12 new missionaries, 9 of which are from Nihon(Japan). They will be a fast track group that will head to Japan with my group. Anthony Choro and I are responsible for translating to them and helping them out during their stay here. That scares me to death because my Nihongo (japanese) is not good. But I am super excited to have that opportunity and I hope it helps me to learn the language a little faster!

I hope everyone is doing well. I pray for you all everyday and I hope you see those prayers in your life. Prayer is so powerful. Turn to the Lord everyday. He will communicate back to us through the scriptures. Make scripture study part of your everyday activities and you will grow so close to our father in heaven and our savior. Thank you all for your love and support! I am so excited to head to Japan in a few weeks! If you have any other questions that I didn't answer, write me and I will be sure to answer them:) 
Love you all! And be safe!
Elder Alex Evans

                                     His former Zone leader. 

    The 'drying machine' wasn't working, so they made a 'drying machine' with the extra bed in their room.   Evidently he's been speaking another language a lot..... he's never called it a 'drying machine' in his life.  However, I'm not sure that he had ever used one before his mission.  he,he.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Konnichiwa Minasan!! 
Just wanted to let you know that i am doing great. I am sick right now with a deep cough and a major sore throat and a fever. Which is frustrating because i have done so well with washing my hands like crazy because i was worried about getting sick. The mono has made it a little harder of a sickness than usual. 

I hope all is going well for everyone! I hope everyone had the opportunity to watch conference! It was a conference that WILL go down in history and I was lucky enough to watch it from the MTC!! We watched conference in our big devotional room. The seats were super hard (which is a good thing because it helped us all stay awake haha) But conference was amazing. I received so many answers to my prayers and I hope you all did as well. I don't have my conference notes with me right now, but next week I will share my favorite talk that was given. Through conference, they talked a lot about how the gospel is simple. We as missionaries, have a hard time simplifying the gospel sometimes. (Luckily for me, I only know how to say the easy parts about the gospel in Japanese) We need to remember that the people who we teach know nothing about the gospel. So we need to teach it simply! 

It was also cool to see Elder Stephenson get called to be an Apostle. For those of you that don't know, he served his mission in the Japan, Fukuoka mission and then was the mission president for the Japan Nagoya mission and then served as the President of all Southeast Asia including Japan! So he knows our branch president (Daniels Kaicho) very well. He has a special place in all of our hearts here. I'm excited to get to see him serve the lord as one of the lord's servants! 
Thank you all for your letters, your emails, your prayers and support. I couldn't do it without you. I couldn't do it without my savior as well. I know that in this work, I have angels walking beside me. All of us missionaries have the help of others beyond the veil. I know for a fact that this is true. I know that our savior lives. That he loves us, that he knows us personally, and that he knows everything that we are going through. He is our advocate.  He is our brother. If you are preparing to serve the lord in the next couple years, go start learning. Go start reading the Book of Mormon. Study Preach My Gospel. But more importantly, gain a testimony of our savior and of our heavenly father. We use those 3 things every single day. They are essential to missionary work. Heavenly father will answer your prayers. It was taught in conference that if we pray with real intent, and with true faith for an answer, he will give us the answer. 

I love you all and hope you are doing well!!! 26 days until Japan!!! I cannot wait!!!!  
Elder Alex Evans

These two chorotachi are from Japan. They leave on monday for Tokyo and Sendai! Its amazing how much they have taught us. Mimaki-Choro on the left and Kashiwa-Choro on the right!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

One Month

I am doing super well and have adjusted to the MTC. In 4 short weeks I will be in Japan!!! That is so crazy!!! But I really had a good week this week and am having an amazing time!! 

Not much happened this week. It was just another week in the MTC! This Tuesday in our devotional we were able to hear from Elder Claudio R.M. Costa of the Presidency of the Seventy. He gave an amazing talk and I will share a little bit about what he said. He gave an analogy and said- When you cut an Apple in half, you can count how many seeds are in an Apple. But you cannot count how many apples are in a seed- He likened this to our missionary work, and it will fit perfectly for my mission in Japan. He said -In our mission work, we will plant many seeds, some of the seeds that we plant will turn into many many apples, and some of the seeds will LATER turn into many apples. We will not know how many we converted until after the veil.- My job is to plant a seed into everyone that I come in contact with. I am so excited to have that opportunity coming shortly.

We were also told in our leadership meeting this week of a revelation given to President Eyring recently. At least I think it was President Eyring hahah. But it was that Japan soon will not be the same Japan as it used to be. That it is going to change a lot. We are a part of that work. The 47 other missionaries that I am being sent out with are a part of that work. We are going to change Japan. 

On Tuesday we received 2 Japanese elders who will be serving their missions in Japan! They speak no English whatsoever. Elder Sequira, who is from Brasil, who can barely speak any english wanted to talk to them. I was able to translate what he wanted to say to them, AND THEY UNDERSTOOD ME. It felt so good to be able to do that and it makes me even more excited to be fluent in the language. 

I sent a picture of my district and my Branch President. My branch president served in the Kobe Japan mission and then a mission president in Sapporo. On a Japanese fluency test, he scored a 4+. A 5 on that test means that you are Native. He is from Utah. He was the president of AT&T Japan and he also worked for the Shell Oil company there too. He is an amazing guy and a great friend to all of us. His Nihongo is flawless and he has taught us so much!

Thank you all for your love and support. Us missionaries are truly blessed!! Love you all!!! Have a good week!!!

Elder Alex Evans

               Our district with our Branch President and his wife. Daniels Kaicho and Daniels Shimai.

                      Elder Mendenhall who I wen't to high school with.  He will be serving in Samoa.

                 Our district on our Sunday walk with our Nihongo Ni signs!