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

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