Sunday, February 28, 2016

6 Months!

 Hello there everyone! Not much happened this week so this email
probably won't be too long! This past week I was able to go on splits
with my district leader, Hashimoto Choro. There was a point in the
day, where we were riding down the street, and we stopped a guy, and
we talked to him for about 20-25 minutes. After we were done talking
to him, we stepped over to the side so Hashimoto Choro could put the
lesson in the area book. While he was doing that, I started talking to
some 17 year old kid, and ended up getting into a 15 minute lesson
with him. After that lesson, I stood on the side, and put the lesson
in the area book. While I was doing that, Hashimoto Choro stopped an
older guy, and was able to teach another lesson. In just one spot, we
were able to teach 3 really good lessons, and retain two of those
people as investigators! We had a great time and we didn't even have
to move! We taught 7 lessons that day, and found 3 new investigators
which was awesome! I have really been working on how to retain the
people that I contact on the street, and this was a perfect
opportunity for me to learn just how to do that!
  We also had a "Open House" at our church on Saturday. All of the
ward members helped out and it was awesome! We got quite a few people
in the door to check out the church, and a couple new investigators!
It was a fun day!
  Other than that, there really wasn't much more that happened this
week in our area! For study this week, I have been working on
recognizing the spirit. One thing that I think I always forget is that
prayer is a two way conversation. A lot of times, I just say a prayer
and I think I am done. Sometimes I even feel like I don't receive an
answer. But, how do we recognize the answers to our prayers? One thing
that my zone leader, Johnson Choro told me the other day, is that
sometimes we look for a different voice to come, and to tell us the
answer, when, Heavenly Father is probably going to use a voice we are
much more familiar with. Much like our own voice. I know that this is
true. Answers to our prayers may not come the way we think they will.
But Heavenly Father does answer our prayers!
  Lastly, last week I forgot to include the details of the new Book
of Mormon challenge that our mission president gave us. We will be
reading Jeffrey R. Holland's 20 favorite teachings of the atonement,
in the Book of Mormon. When we are done with that, we will be reading
the whole Book of Mormon, and highlight and mark and study everything
about Christs atonement. I am way excited for this challenge and I
feel like it will help me to be able to help the people of Japan!
  Well, I think that is all for this week! Have a good week everyone!
Evans Choro
A view of the planes.  My apartment building is on the left.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Japanese people can be scary!!

  Hello people of America! I hope everyone is Genki and doing well!
This weeks email probably won't be very long, because not much
happened. But it was still a good week! We started off last Monday
after emailing, by going to Osaka city which is about a 15 minute
train ride from our area. We went to a huge building with a Pokemon
center inside. If you like Pokemon, it's heaven for you. My companion
loves Pokemon, and it was awesome to see how happy he was and how
amazed he was haha! Then we went and explored Osaka and had some fun!
    Yesterday at church, it was a crazy day. We had to go to church
early for ward counsel meeting, but when we got there, the elders from
the senri area came out and said there was a guy inside waiting to
meet with the sisters from our area. They said he was a little crazy,
but to go talk to him until the sisters got there. So me and Hashimoto
Choro stayed out of our meeting to talk to him, while our companions
split off and went to the meeting. Hashimoto Choro and I introduced
ourselves and started talking to the guy. We asked about his religious
back ground and talked about our church for a little while and then he
started telling us that we had no idea what we were talking about.
That Mormons are crazy and stuff. We just testified to him, and told
him that we know that this church is true. He looked at me and said
"Well you don't know anything, you're way too young." I said, yes sir
I am young, but I have learned that this church is true. Hashimoto
Choro backed me up strong, and testified as well. Then he looked at
Hashimoto Choro and said "Do you think you're god?!?!" Which Hashimoto
Choro politely responded, "Absolutely not, but I am a child of God,
and I know that." Well, at this point the conversation had escalated
and the guy was kind of yelling. I grabbed the senri elders and told
them that we need to get that guy out of there. They walked over, and
we explained to the guy that he had to leave. He was not happy at all.
He tried to push past us, and walk into the church, and Miller Choro
stepped in front and told him no. The guy looked at him and said "IF
YOU TOUCH ME I WILL CALL THE COPS!" So Miller Choro smartly responded,
"Sir if you don't leave, we will call the cops." We then, escorted him
out of the building haha! The ward members were all so proud of us
missionaries. And we felt pretty dang cool ;) It was a pretty crazy
experience haha!
    During sacrament meeting, I was sitting by Hashimoto Choro, but he
had to speak during the meeting. When he got up to speak, an
investigator named Oji who is from Nigeria, who the sisters found,
walked in. This was his first time coming to church, and I was the
only missionary that had a spot next to me, so I invited him to come
sit by me. I asked him if he spoke any Japanese and he said "Not at
all". So I had the opportunity of translating sacrament meeting for
him. After the meeting, he asked me how long I had been in Japan. I
told him about 4 months and he was amazed! He was like "that's
impossible!! I've been in Japan since September and I've learned
nothing!" He made me feel really good about my Japanese, so that was
nice haha! I know that the gift of tongues is real, and that through
Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, all of us Japanese missionaries, can
learn this incredibly hard language.
  Anyways, I think that is about all that happened this week. In my
study yesterday, I found this awesome quote! It was perfect timing
that I found this, because when the guy told me "you don't know
anything, you're too young" I started questioning everything I knew
for a couple minutes. "Testimonies come through the gift and power of
the Holy Ghost. We gain testimony as we bear testimony. Take
opportunity to do so whenever it is appropriate. If you desire a
testimony and seek for it, you will receive it. You will have
opportunity to bear your witness to thousands. This will have more
effect on people than any other thing you do. That's why you are
called--to testify that Jesus is the Christ, that Joseph was a
prophet, that this Church is true--with a living prophet."
  I really like this part of this talk because anyone can receive a
testimony. It doesn't matter how old, or how young you may be. If you
have a desire to gain one, it'll happen. Share it, live it, and love
it!! I can testify that Jesus is the Christ, that Joseph was a
prophet, and that we have a living prophet--Thomas S. Monson, on this
earth today. Being a missionary is awesome! Love you all! Until Next

Elder Alex Evans

 Indo curry with some members

 In Osaka

A view of Osaka from our area.
It's closer than it looks.

 The pokemon place

Steve hasn't translated this for me yet, but it is fun to hear him speaking Japanese! glad that he's such a good example to the people of Japan.

Monday, February 15, 2016

I've never seen so much rain in my life!

 Delivering Flowers

Zone Conference

 Hello everyone! This email might be a long one, so I'll jump
right in! On Wednesday after teaching a kids Eikaiwa class, I got a
call from the zone leaders, who are in the area next to us, and have
the same church building as us. They told me that one of my
investigators, who I hadn't met with for about 3-4 weeks was at the
church because he wanted to see me and Barton Choro. His name is
Takenaka-San and I talked about him in an email a couple weeks back.
He was the homeless guy (who doesn't look homeless at all) who walked
up to me and asked if I was from the Mormon church. Anyways, I had
really been wanting to meet with him again, but I hadn't seen him for
about 3-4 weeks and I was kind of worried about him. So I told the
zone leaders that I would be right there.
        When we got to the church, Tech Choro and I started talking to
him. He told us that he had been in the hospital for the past couple
weeks because he was really sick. I don't exactly know what he was
sick with (because my Japanese sucks) but I understood that it was
something with his kidneys. He told us that the doctors were sending
him back to Tokyo (where he is from) so that he could get the proper
care that he needs and a minor surgery. Again, I don't necessarily
know why he can't stay in Osaka, but nonetheless he has to go to Tokyo
for about a month. He told me that when he got home, he wanted to be
baptized into this church. We hadn't ever talked about baptism before,
so I asked him what he knew about baptism. He told me it was "how you
tell God you want to follow him". So we taught him about baptism and
what it was, and we also taught him about the Book of Mormon. He was
so excited to receive a Book of Mormon. He immediately out his name
and date inside the book. He told me that he is going to read the
whole thing while he is in the hospital for a month. I thought that
was awesome! He also has more of a dendo fire (wants to do mission
work) than I do! He said he wants to give his friend in Tokyo a Book
of Mormon and my phone number, and that he will tell everyone in the
hospital about the book that he is reading. It was pretty funny.
Anyways, he was pretty much begging us to get baptized when he gets
home. I told him that we had to do some preparing, but that he could
receive baptism. We set a baptismal date for him for April 23, 2016.
It's pretty far away, but it'll be a while before we get to meet with
him again. He told me that he wants an apartment by our church, and
asked if we could help him find one. So we will be working with the
ward to see if we can find one for him. Takenaka-San is one of the
most humble people I have ever met, and he has such a desire to follow
Heavenly Father which is awesome! I'm so excited for him and for his
choice to be baptized. Keep him in your prayers, that he will return
to full health, and that he will be able to work through this hard
time in his life.
      This week we had zone conference which meant that Welch Kaicho
and Welch Shimai came to talk to our zone. Since this email is going
to be so long, I won't go into much detail about it, but it was
freaking amazing! We talked all about the atonement and then Welch
Kaicho told us about the new challenge that we will be doing as a
mission! But... I just realized that this email will be going to
missionaries in my mission that won't hear about his challenge until
their zone conference next week, so I don't want to ruin it for them!
So I won't tell you what the challenge is yet! I'll have to explain it
in my email next week! But anyways, the challenge is going to really
help us as a mission to grow closer to the savior. As a mission we
have been told that we need to start baptizing every single week. So
we are working super hard to find the elect and to bring the gospel to
the amazing people of Japan!  This mission is changing so much! And I
am so excited that I just got here and that I get the full two years
in this new mission culture!
    On Saturday, McAuthor Choro and I got to go on a kokkan (split)
together! He is a 5th transfer missionary from NYC and he went to
college for one year at..... HARVARD!!He is a way cool guy and we were
way excited to get to dendo (do missionary work) together! When we
left the apartment, it was super warm outside so we took our coats off
and just went out in our white shirts! Well... Off course. It didn't
stay that way. It started to rain Cats and Dogs. And cats again. It
didn't stop raining ALL. DAY. LONG. It looked like I had just jumped
into a swimming pool with my church clothes on. Later we went back and
got our rain gear on haha. But, for our kokkan we wanted to do more
than just street contacting and stuff. So we went and got some flowers
that we could give to the older ladies in our ward. We gave those out
throughout the day and had a great time in the rain. We didn't let the
rain stop us! It slowed us down, because lots of people don't want to
talk out in the rain, but we were still able to teach 8 lessons! We
kept a good attitude the whole time, and just made it a lot of fun!
The rain will make for some good memories right? :)
    For dinner that night, we went to Matsuda Shimai's (Okamachi
missionary momma) house. They always cook the best food!! We were able
to have lots of fun with them and teach her son and her husband, who
are not members. (But they will be eventually! :))
      Lately, like the past 4 weeks, we haven't been able to meet with
Yasuyo and we weren't too sure why. We texted her yesterday before
church, inviting her to church and a curry party after church. But for
some reason, she told us she was done hearing about the church and
didn't want us to visit her anymore. Which crushed me because I was so
excited for her. I don't know what changed her mind, but its super
sad. Keep her in your prayers as well! On missions, you definitely get
some of the highest highs, and the lowest lows!
      Anyways! I would like for you all to go read in the Book of
Mormon, Alma 7:11-13! We have been focused a lot on the atonement
lately, and I want to invited you all as well to read this, and ponder
about it. See how the atonement of Jesus Christ applies in your daily
life! Through studying about the atonement this past week, I have
grown such an appreciation for what he did for me. And for what he did
for each on of us! Heavenly Father loves us, so he sent his son for
us. To suffer pains and afflictions, so he can know exactly what we
are going through in our own life. Jesus lived a perfect life right?
Does that mean he was tempted like we are? YES!! But, when bad
thoughts came into his mind, he didn't entertain the thought! He
immediately dismissed it and told it to get away. That's why he was
perfect. So we as well, need to immediately dismiss the thought when
it comes into our mind! This gospel is centered on Jesus Christ and
his atonement! Without his atonement, we would not be here today. But
through his atonement, we can be forgiven of our mistakes. No matter
what mistakes we have made in our life, through accessing the
atonement of Christ, we can be forgiven! The atonement is there!! It's
being handed to us! We just need to decide if we are going to use it
or not. And I challenge you all the ponder about it, see how it
applies in your life, AND USE IT!! I love this gospel, and I love
missionary work! Is missionary work hard? FREAK YA IT IS!!! Is it
worth it!? FREAK YA IT IS!! There is no place better to be, than in
the service of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ!!
      Thanks for reading! It was way long this week. I hope it made a
little bit of sense this week! Sometimes I look back on emails and I
have no idea what I was trying to say. English is hard! But Japanese
is harder! Love you all! Have an amazing week and be safe!!

Evans Choro

Dinner at the missionary Momma's house

Monday, February 8, 2016

Hello, from Japan!

(In Kyoto)

Hello, from Japan! I hope everyone had a good week this week! This
week for me was pretty good! We started out last Monday by going to
Kyoto for P-Day! Kyoto is the biggest tourist location in Japan
because of all of the history it has! We went sight seeing around
Kyoto and looked at all the amazing shops, and history that it has. It
was super fun, and there were so many people there! I'll make sure to
attach some pictures!

Oh random note. There was a guy that me and Matsumoto Choro contacted
3 weeks ago when we were on splits, and he was a golden investigator
and wanted us to teach him so badly, and the elders called him last
night and his daughter picked up and said that he passed away a couple
weeks ago. It kinda surprised me, but I'm glad he had that desire to
follow Christ.

The rest of the week wasn't very eventful! We taught a 22 lessons this
week, and advanced a lot of people towards baptism. Though, we weren't
able to meet with Yasuyo-San all week, and we don't know why.
Hopefully she is still having that desire to follow Jesus Christ and
get baptized in a couple weeks. She hasn't answered phone calls or
anything this week, But I'll keep you updated with what happens with

On Thursday, we met with a guy who told me and Barton Choro, a couple
weeks ago, that he wasn't interested in our church because he has his
own god, and he didn't want to worship 2 Gods. He texted and said he
had something really important to tell us, and to meet him at a train
station, a couple stops away. So we went to meet him, and he took us
to get food. We sat down and talked for a little bit, and then he said
"Okay I have something really important to tell you!" He told us the
SAME EXACT thing that he had told us a couple weeks ago! That he had a
different God, that he was sorry, but he couldn't worship our God, but
he wanted to still be our friend. I was super frustrated because I
thought he had had a change of mind, and we had already dropped him as
an investigator a couple weeks ago, so we hadn't talked to him for a
couple weeks. I was hoping he wanted to get baptized! But instead we
got the opposite, and he had already told us that he he had another
God and that he couldn't worship ours. Then he told me that sugar is
more poisonous than alcohol (but that's a different story haha!) he
may not be ready now, but I know we planted a seed in him, and with
time, he will desire to follow Jesus Christ!

A couple days ago, we rode our bikes down to Juso, which is really
close to Osaka city! There are tons of people there, so I started
talking to people. We talked to a bunch of people right there on the
street, and got a couple phone numbers out of it. Which I was way
excited about, because our Japanese is not very good. So to see that
we were able to do that, with bad Japanese made me really excited. I
know that when we just go for it, and trust in the lord, that he is
there to help us. We are servants of the lord, and we have been called
here to teach!! D&C 84:88-"And whoso recieveth you, there I will be
also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and
on your left, and my spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels
round about you, to bear you up." This scripture is my favorite
because it tells us that we have help from the other side. If you are
ever having a hard time, know that there are people with you on the
other side, lifting you up, and helping you out. We are never alone!

Anyway, that was my week this week. Thank you for reading, I hope it
wasn't too all over the place! Have a safe week!! Love and miss you
all! The lords work is amazing!!

Evans Choro