Monday, June 27, 2016

Rain and Squid Guts! - So Fun!

The good looking Matsumoto Kids

Matsumoto Kyodai and Shimai

I want to start today with a principle: Keep the spirit with you at all times! 

Let me use a parable to explain why this principle is so important-

 There once were two good looking, charming, witty missionaries working in the Matsue area of the Japan, Kobe mission.  At this time of the year in the Matsue Area of the Japan Kobe mission, it was rainy season!  As these two, charming gentlemen embarked on their adventure during their first rainy season in Japan, they were having a good time. Life was an adventure, and everyday brought new things. They enjoyed their time doing missionary work in rain suits, though sometimes the rain suits just felt like too much work to put on. 

 After teaching a lesson at the church, they had a dinner appointment with the bishop. It was cloudy, but the bishops house was only a 10-15 minute bike ride away. It had been raining on and off all day. But, they thought they would be okay because "the bishops house isn't THAT far away..." So the two charming elders left their rain suits at the church, and departed to the bishops house, excited for a delicious meal that had been prepared for them. 

 About 3 minutes after leaving the church, the rain started to fall. Just a sprinkle at first. But then, out of no where, the heavens opened up, and the rain came down like no other rain has come down before. It felt as if they were standing under the rushing waters of Niagara falls. There was absolutely nothing they could do to stay dry. By the time they reached the Bishops house, they didn't look like such a charming surprise for the bishops wife, in her brand knew, newly build, Japanese home. They were hot (wet) mess. The bishop then went upstairs to his room and found 2 combinations of sweats that these elders could wear to come inside their beautiful home. He then let them change in the front entry way of the home before they would be welcomed to dinner. 

-Ask me later for the second lesson I learned when the bishop talked us in to eating squid and squid guts that the squid had thrown up. Japanese people like it. GROSS! But that's another parable and lesson for another day! (You learn a lot as a missionary) 

What can we learn from this parable? How can we apply this to the gospel? Well, you know us missionaries, we find a way for EVERYTHING to apply to the gospel! So listen. 😏

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we NEED the spirit with us 24/7! Every second of every minute of every hour of every... Well. You get the point! We cannot put our self in a situation where we aren't worthy of having the spirit with us. Even for just 10 or 15 minutes. The rain suit is like the spirit. It protects us from all the rain around, when we use it, then we will stay dry and safe. So USE THE SPIRIT! The spirit will be your greatest companion, if you are worthy of it, and if you let it be. Don't be lazy and think that you'll be okay without it. Because you won't! So be at the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing. Then, can we be worthy of the spirit. If you have time, (everyone has time for the gospel) go watch, listen or read the talk "Always Retaining a Remission of your Sins" by Elder Bednar! You can learn so much from him! That talk stuck out to me on the topic of the spirit this week! Go watch it!!

Well that's it for this week! Thank you all for your letters, emails, pictures, and prayers! I Love you all so much! 

Much love, yet again, from the beautiful Matsue Japan.
Elder Evans 

"Keep Trying. Keep Trusting. Keep Believing. Keep Growing. Heaven is cheering you on Today, Tomorrow, and Forever"
               - Jeffrey R. Holland 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day!

Hot and humid - Matsue

 Happy Father's Day to my father and role model. I love you and
miss you so much, and hope you have a great day filled with Game 7,
Mashed Potatoes and Pepsi. Yummm!

    This week has been a great one! We worked our butts off, which
felt so rewarding. I love coming home at night, knowing that we left
it all out there. That we did all we could. That's what it was like
this week, so I enjoyed it. One thing that I learned this week, is
that the lord provides. We, as the Matsue elders, are trying to
improve everyday and get out of our comfort zones. So this week, we
set a goal to teach 40 lessons! (Normally I'm not a big fan of talking
numbers... But just listen!) The reason we set this goal was because
we wanted to talk to everyone this week, and literally get over

    The beginning of the week was looking good. We were right on track
through the first 3 days to teach 40. We had lots of appointments with
investigators, and it seemed as if people were just easy to talk to.
Sadly, it didn't stay like that! But that's okay! Because we knew that
if we kept pushing and talking to everyone, we would find people who
would want to listen! On Wednesday we hit a complete stand-still. NO
ONE wanted to talk to us. We began to get a little frustrated, because
we were working so hard and wanted it so bad! We began to worry that
we wouldn't hit the goal of 40 lessons that we had set. After going
hours on Thursday without anyone to talk to, and nonstop biking,
finding, and visiting people, we took a quick break to cool down
(because it's HOT AND HUMID), regroup, get a new game plan, pray, and
get back out there.

    After our break, we got back on the court, ready to play. Ready to
stop everyone and share the message of the gospel. That's when things
started to click. We taught, and taught and taught! And then taught
some more! There was a point when I had stopped a boy and was having a
conversation with him, and at the same time another man that we had
contacted before came up to us. So I was talking to one person, while
my companion was talking to another person! We know that because we
had set this goal, because we were working as hard as we could, and
because we involved the lord, he provided a way for us to teach and
find new investigators! The lesson learned from this experience, is
THE LORD ALWAYS PROVIDES A WAY! We still need to do our part, but he
will help us get there.

    There was also a point where we were sitting in a lesson this week
with a less active and her non-member father. She looked at me and
said, "Elder Evans... I've heard that name before!" I told her that my
dad served his mission here as well. I then showed her a picture of my
dad when he was a missionary and she said "YES YES! I KNOW HIM! I HAVE
HIS MISSIONARY BUSINESS CARD!"  She was so happy and excited to know
that she knew my dad! -How lucky I am to be able to serve in the same
place as my father. It's been fun to find connections with people who
knew my dad when he was here! I look up to my dad more than anyone, so
this mission means the absolute world to me. But hey dad! People in
Japan remember you! How cool?!

    I hope all of you have taken the time to let your fathers know
that you are grateful for them and that you love them! I sure hope
that I can become half the man my father is! We are so lucky to have
fathers who hold priesthood keys over our families. But here is the
question: When was the last time you thanked your father in heaven for
giving you everything you have? Give a prayer of thanks to him, who
has given you more than you could ever ask for! I know that blessings
will come, if we show our father in heaven how grateful we are for

Watch Game 7 of the NBA Finals with your dad! I'm sure he will enjoy
that! Go Warriors!!

With love from 松江!
Elder Evans

haha!  Japan understands me!!...
My comp and I are now taking donations
To buy this shirt. ;)

Saturday, June 18, 2016


At the Ocean In Yonago

It's been a total of 4 weeks since I have been in Matsue for a full
week straight! The traveling NEVER ENDS!! With the past 4 weeks
combined, we have been out of the area for 12 total days. CRAZY!! But
luckily, this week we will be here for the whole week other than going
to Yonago on Sunday for church. So we are excited to work hard this
week, and try to strengthen Matsue as much as we can! For the last 2
transfers here in Matsue, Vui Choro and I really focused on the
members, and helping them. We really tried to earn the trust of the
members, and create relationships with them. Through that, in the past
2 weeks we have received 2 non-member referrals, and 16 less active
referrals from the members! And yesterday in Ward counsel they talked
about another non member referral that we should be receiving
information about this coming week! WOOHOOO!! This should make this
coming week a super busy one for us, which I am excited for! I'm proud
of the Matsue Ward for how much they have been willing to change and
come together to focus on missionary work.

  This past week we went to Okayama for Zone conference, which was a
lot of fun. I always love going there because that's my dads mission
home. It's always fun to talk to and get to know all of the other
missionaries in the zone. The zone leaders and sister training leaders
did a good job teaching and helping everyone out.

On Friday and Saturday, I was able to do splits in Yonago with Inaba
Choro again! He is a 2nd transfer and right now he is working in
Yonago! He is one of my favorite people in the mission! It was fun
because I could only speak Japanese the whole time, which was a really
good test for my Japanese. Him and I really wanted to focus and
practice finding and contacting people. So on Saturday we did mostly
finding. It was a hard day to find, because of the rain but we still
learned a lot together. I love how Inaba Choro is always wanting to
learn and take the next step upwards. He is always wanting to Improve.
He is going to be an amazing leader.

As far as Anzai San goes, he was planning on getting baptized this
coming Saturday, but because he didn't come to church this past week,
we have to move his baptism back just a little! But hopefully we will
be able to get him coming to church, and then he is ready. I do want
to make sure that he feels prepared to receive baptism and get rid of
his little worries! So hopefully in the next coming weeks, we can help
him prepare and watch him take a step of faith towards his father in
heaven! Please keep in him your prayers!!

This week I studied a lot about gratitude. I thought to myself, how am
I doing with showing my gratitude to other people? How am I showing it
to my companions, Ward members, and the people I talk to on the
streets everyday? This is definitely something I need to do better
with! Sorry my thoughts are short today because I am lazy, BUT! Here
is the challenge: Tell people "thank you" this week! Express your
gratitude for what others do for you! Your parents, friends,
neighbors, and especially your Heavenly Father for all that he has
given you. You never know who's day you could make!

Lastly I just wanted to thank everyone for all that you do for me. I'm
grateful for all your letters of support and encouragement. I'm
grateful for my young men's and scout leaders while growing up, who
wanted the best for me. I'm grateful for all my teachers, for the time
they were willing to give to help me. I'm grateful for my parents who
raised me in the gospel. Who gave of them selves so that they could
give everything to the 5 crazy boys they were raising. I'm grateful
for family, and friends who have given me advice and helped me out.
Thank you all for all you do for me! I pray for your success and
happiness. Have a good and safe week!

And happy Father's Day on Sunday!

Elder Evans

At the ocean in Yonago

The zone conference in Yonago

Down the street from the apartment

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Transfer week!

TRANSFER WEEK!!!- The funnest, worst, most suspenseful time of a mission. It was another crazy busy, week of traveling for us Matsue Elders. The traveling just doesn't seem to end! It all started on Monday, when we thought we had officially finished our 2 weeks of traveling. Vui Choro and I went to the church so that we could email and relax, and after just a short amount of time, we got a call from our zone leaders in Izumo telling us that they need us to catch the quickest train to Izumo because one of our zone leaders got called as AP so he had to go to Kobe. Our other zone leader couldn't be alone, so we needed to go stay (what we thought) 3 days in Izumo. (YAY! MORE TRAVELING!!)

While we were in Izumo, we found out that (drum roll please...) Vui Choro was transferring to Nara (The other side of the mission) and becoming a district leader over there and I will be staying in Matsue for a 3rd Transfer (which officially makes Matsue my longest area!) My new companions name is Smith Choro! He is an 8th transfer and he is from Disneyland! (Cyprus area-15 minutes away from the happiest place on earth) He LOVES sports, especially Basketball!! Needless to say, we became real good friends really quick! AND GET THIS: Smith Choro's first area when he came to Japan was MATSUE! So this is his second time serving in this area. The first time he served here for 2 transfers. (3 months) So me and him will both be going on our 3rd transfer in Matsue. - Pretty crazy because that normally doesn't happen.- Smith Choro and I have been contacting all of the people he used to meet with, and some of them have some potential!

Because we found out that Vui Choro was transferring while we were over in Izumo, we ended up having to go back to Matsue for him to pack. So on Tuesday, we headed back to Matsue so that he could do that, and also so that he could say bye to all of the members. We met with people like crazy! And because of that, we were able to teach 10 lessons in just one day! Pretty cool! On Wednesday, we had to go back to Izumo because of an activity that they were doing there. So it sucked, but we had to go back. Then on Thursday morning, Madruga Choro (our zone leader) and I dropped Vui Choro off at the Izumo station at 6:00am so that he could start his journey to Nara. While Madruga Choro and I were walking back to the apartment (about a 30 minute walk), Madruga Choro realized that he left the apartment keys in the apartment. -In Izumo, they live in a lock out apartment building, which means you have to unlock the outside doors of the building, to be able to get inside to your apartment door. - Because it was 6 am, we couldn't ask any of the other people that live in the apartment building to unlock it for us because they were all asleep. So..... Madruga Choro boosted me up.... And we were able to scale the front of the bundling and break into the apartment. (I'm sure that makes no sense to everyone in America, but people in japan understand what kind of apartment building it was) But anyways, WE GOT IN. 
Just a little while later, our new companions got to Izumo, we went out to lunch, and then Smith Choro and I headed back to Matsue! 

Well that about sums up this week. Another highlight was being able to play basketball at a really nice professional basketball teams gym on Saturday with an investigator that smith Choro used to teach. It had been 3 months since I last played, which is the longest in my life without basketball. So it felt way good to play again. Remember kids, ball is life. 

Lastly I just want to share 2 quick quotes. One that my companion shared with me the other night and the other that my Branch President from the MTC shared with me in an email. My companion said: You can't expect a $1000 answer to a 10 cent prayer. I really like this quote because it makes me think of how I am saying my prayers. Am I just saying it to say it? Or am I truly meaning what I am saying and giving my heart to God? Am I truly having a conversation with him, or am I just saying my part really fast, and then hanging up the phone? 
The last quote I want to share is from President Daniels. He shared: Prayer is not a "spare wheel" that you pull out when in trouble, but it is a "steering wheel" that directs the right path throughout.  I really like this one as well because God wants to talk to us. He has given us a way to talk to him through prayer. Don't go to him only when you are in trouble. Go to him everyday, and you'll see how much trouble you aren't in. 

Thank you all for everything! Have a good week and stay safe!

Much love from the one and only Matsue, Japan

Elder Evans