Monday, August 25, 2014

Suddenly & Sadly

So this past week was a crazy experience. Things happen suddenly and sadly, but things always work in the way of the Lord. I"m still trying to figure out what exactly that is. I don't think I will ever truly know but until then,  頑張ります。(I will do my best.)

Tuesday was filled with lots of success. We were able to talk to a lot of people and see if they are interested. We worked super hard and were blessed in meeting 2 less actives that for some reason the other missionaries can't seem to meet. One of which has a son named Alma but the whole family is less active. She talked to us for a bit and she told us about how some of her family is still active. She said she can't come to church. I want to work with her because she has some potential.

Tuesday night it started to rain. hard. Up until now, August has been filled with lots of rain. Almost every other day it has rained. But this was super hard. The thunder was loud. The lightning was close. I haven't been scared of storms but that night there was a flash and a boom that scared me to death. I kept thinking back to the Mormon message about the teens playing football. I don't think I've ever been so scared in my life, honestly. All I could do is rush home and pray that I wouldn't get hit by lightning.

Wednesday we woke up early to a phone call from our Branch President. He said the rain caused some landslides in the mountains. We go outside and there is dirt in our parking lot. We aren't too close to the mountains but it flooded our area a little bit. Elder Ootani and I went with the branch president to see if there was anything we could do. The news said that 20 people died and 10 more were missing. We drove on the high way and you could see the damage in the mountains. People were walking along side the road in rain boots and with mud all over them. The rain that was received that night was the same amount of all the rain that came down in august.

On a bright note, we were able to meet with M randomly on Wednesday night. He told us that he really wanted to be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost. He doesn't know if it is true but he is progressing amazingly fast.

On Thursday we went and did some service. M loves service so he came along. There are cars completely covered in mud. This was only the base of the mountain. We cant go up. There were some less actives that we met and helped out. Elder Ootani and Correa had to go on junkai so we split. Somehow they were able to get another lesson with M. He said he will follow the the law of chastity

Friday we really couldn't dendo all that well. In the sky there were 5 helicopters circling around all the time. No one was home.

Saturday we went and did some service. The great thing is, some of the young girls in our branch talked to their friends who talked to their friends who all helped out. We had about 40 people that came. We worked super hard. I don't think I've had that much sweat in my entire life. Shoveling mud in 80-90 degree weather is hard. I'm okay. I drank lots of water.

Saturday night we  got to see the baptism of Ling shimai. She is a Chinese girl who is amazing. I had the opportunity to interview her since I'm the district leader. She has such a pure heart! It makes me super excited for M!

Sunday we were able to teach another lesson to M. He has a little bit of a liking towards coffee and tea but in his prayer at the end of the lesson he said "God, I promise I wont do these things." I love that kid so much.

All in all, the area is great. The branch is wonderful. It is so warm and welcoming. I love them. I'm sad that the this area was hit by the disaster. It's going to take a long time to fix things. Some of the girls, Erika 18 and Aya 15... their friends died in the event. Right now the last time I heard there was around 40 dead and 50 still missing.

Please pray for these people.


Elder Jameson

Monday, August 18, 2014


Hello friends!!!

This week was again filled with a lot of finding and trying to help less actives. Ootani is always on the move so we hammer a lot of stuff.

Tuesday some cool experience happened. We went to visit a less active named N. When we went there, Ootani forgot that she can't speak and she only does sign language. We got there and met the husband. He is deaf too. It was blazing hot so he asked for water. The guy rejected him!!! Its because he couldn't understand him. We didn't know why until a thought popped into my head "this guy probably knows shuwa." So I started to ask him in shuwa if he knew shuwa. He responded and I introduced myself and turned to Ootani and asked him "what do you want to say?" I translated Japanese into sign language! It wasn't great but I asked him if we can come again and he said yes! Yeah for the deaf members of IIZUKA! I'm going to start going to a weekly shuwa class to learn more.

All in all we just beat the pavement. Worked super hard. Sometimes numbers don't replicate our work. We didn't improve our numbers all that much but we worked to the point Ootani actually became a little sick.

Thursday and Friday the zone leaders when on junkai. That left me and Urakami to work together. We ran into this guy who accepted the Book of Mormon. As we were exchanging contact info I felt something weird. He gave us a number and we called it. He said the call came in but I didn't believe him. Later that night the person we called called us. It was the wrong phone number.  :(

Saturday poor Ootani wasn't feeling good. We still went at it. We visited a member who is less active but has been having amazing experiences with prayer recently. She prayed for the safety of her daughter. Her daughter had a baby due date of next week but she gave birth early. The place where her daughter was was not far from a hospital but that was the only hospital in the area. She said "prayers really do work, ne?" great experience.

We had a bbq with a member and it wassss soooooo good! An investigator came because he loves food. It was a good time!

Sunday. Crazy story. So apparently this lady in California, when she went to the temple, received a revelation from a relative to contact her family in Japan. She is a half Japanese and a lot of her relatives live in Hiroshima. She has been contacting our branch for the past 6 months. I jumped in the middle of it so I was super confused. But the branch president turned to me and said "I have a favor for you" I went and translated the email to him. It was really confusing but I started to connect all the pieces. We went and visited some of the family members that the branch president found. They weren't home but we will try later.

One super sad thing is that a lot of the family members on the list had a death date of August 6, 1945. Whole families died. I looked at that and was really sad. I have come to love these people so much. It hurt me to see the toll of war on these families. I'm not Japanese but at that point I felt a little bit of their sorrow. I remember talking to Masako Sherman about Hiroshima about 4 years ago. She expressed how sad she was about it. Even though she never experienced it, it hurt her. Same with me. I'm a different race, different generation, but I love these people so much. They are super goofy and fun. Sometimes they are frustrating but in the end I love them.

Keep praying for the work in Japan!

Jameson Choro

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Learning how to be a missionary again

Okayssssss!!! This week went by super fast and a lot of it was just finding....  but I'll try my hardest to recap the week.

Tuesday we had district meeting. It's really weird teaching the zone leaders and the sister training leaders. I'm kind of worried what I'll teach them next week. Being a DL over leaders is really weird. For reporting on Mondays, I call the sisters, and I go to the other room and interview the normal missionary, then I go do the other zone leader. It's a really tedious process.

Tuesday we ate lunch at a member`s house of a returned missionary that came back last week.  She went to America and just came back. She told us about her trip there. Other than that, we were finding all day long! It doesn't seem that bad because there is so much to do. But it starts to show me the differences of what my previous missionary efforts were like.

Wednesday we had a phone call come in from an eternal investigator who wanted to email a returned missionary. We went over there and I translated what he wanted to say and sent it.  We returned and started to house and street. Again just learning how to work with your companion is really hard. Especially since I haven't really worked together with someone to the extent of this. We switch off every few sentences. I haven't ever done that with other missionaries. Elder Gandy taught all the lessons and I added what I could, but not much. Elder Jensen and I taught chunks of the lesson.  Each companion has been different. So right now its like learning how to be a missionary again. I've learned all the lessons very well. I have the language for the lessons. It's just for some reason when I came here, all of that went away and I'm starting all over again. It's actually quite frustrating and I'm struggling with it a bit. It's not that I'm a bad missionary. It's not that I don't know how to teach. But for some reason when I became companions with Ootani, something is different from my past companions and it's incredibly hard to understand and teach all of a sudden.

Thursday we had weekly planning where I expressed my concerns to him. Ootani said some things to make me feel better.  I think the Lord wants me to learn some really big lessons this transfer. Its been a struggle so far but at least me and Ootani are having lots of fun. We laugh all the time. We have a good time. I may just been over thinking things but I'm just searching so badly to be a better missionary. One that can be compatible with others when they teach. I haven't had that opportunity until now, and its hard to break habits when all you know what to do is your habit.

Thursday night we met this really nice mom who said we can come back. We told her we won't come back unless her husband is home because we are sharing a family message. I have hope for her.

Friday. We have been super lucky this past week. We have been able to meet 3 impossibly hard less actives this week. All of them said "I'm not usually home at this time." During weekly planning we put flags up for all the less actives. During daily planning we picked out some of them and went to visit them. It went really well!!! Other than that, we did lots of contacting. One day this week we tried to invite everyone to baptism. (That day we were really in-tune with teaching) We had two people say yes. It was really cool. They said, "if I had the opportunity, yes" one of them is Y. We want to try to meet with him soon.

We had an open house on Friday. We had two of the young girls explain the plan of salvation. We had 2 investigators come who hadn't been taught the plan of salvation. M and A. They seemed to really enjoy it and really recognized the meaning of it.  M recorded the whole thing on his phone.

Saturday. We went around Saturday and tried to see some of the members. Most of the city is flat in Hiroshima... but where the members live, its extremely hilly. We did lots of housing around them and worked hard.

Later that day I thought about the movie Gremlins. The movie, if you feed little pets they turn into monsters. I don't know why I did but that was the first time in years I've thought about it. Well it turns out that later that day when we were housing, we ran into this college girl who was wearing that shirt. I freaked out. We had a good little lesson with her and she said we could come back.... but we gave it to the sisters since she is our age. It's a little weird.

Sunday! There was supposed to be a typhoon coming our way, but it didn't hit us. M came to church! We taught him part of the plan of salvation and part of lesson 3. It went super well and he said he wanted to go to the celestial kingdom. At the end of it he prayed! He is doing pretty good. Out of my investigators, he has had the most intent. He wants to become a missionary. He feels good at church and the members are pretty friendly with him.

Sunday we were able to meet some less actives, just to say hi, and we housed. Nothing really big happened. We continued to work hard. But still that fact that I'm not doing well adjusting to different teaching is bearing down on me. I'm trying really hard and I'll push through it.

Thanks for your continued prayers!

Saying Goodbye in Iizuka
Jameson Choro

Monday, August 4, 2014

Transfers and being comps with a Zone Leader

I have been transferred to Yasufuruichi, part of the Hiroshima zone. My comps name is Ootani and he is a zone leader but I am not. The other zone leader went with the other missionary in our apartment. I'm the district leader. Its weird and I don't know why it happened the way it did but basically I'm probably with one of the best missionaries in the mission. He is crazy good. I'll tell you more about him in a bit.

Tuesday I got my call and started to say goodbye to all of the members and friends. We went to the H family and said my last goodbyes. The weird thing is the son really seemed to be sad so that really made me sad as well.

On Wednesday we stopped by some of our members and investigators to try to see if we could get in one last lesson.  We finally met A. She was not looking too good. She seems to be struggling right now. I wish I could help her more but I'm transferring.  We tried to go to E but she wasn't home. I wrote a note for her and left it at her house.

Photo Credit - Danny Nakamura
At eikaiwa, we had the most people ever come. 30 people came. That's more than what comes to church. Some how the word got around I was transferring and a lot of them gave me gifts. It made me sad when everyone kept saying "I'll miss you".

As I left on Thursday, it wasn't really that hard to leave. I had a feeling they would be okay and things will turn out great. That left peace in my heart as I got on the train. My wheels on my suit case broke so I had to just drag it on the ground everywhere. As we rode a long bus ride to Hiroshima. I finally got to the apartment and did weekly planning with Ootani. He is such an amazing missionary. I'm glad I can be his companion. He knows so much and he works so hard. Right now we have 3 baptismal dates. We actually set one on Sunday. I'll talk about that later.

Friday we just walked everywhere. The past few days have been rough because of that and the heavy rain. But trying to dendo on a higher level takes a lot out of you. I haven't had so much feed back as to how to become a better missionary up until now. He has helped me so much already.

Later on that day we had a meeting called " the 200 member project". Little Branch of about 40 has a weekly meeting on Friday to think of ideas on how to strengthen the branch. They plan activities, ask about investigators, and set plans to help them. It's like weekly planning for the Branch. It was amazing. The members there put so much interest into the work. I've never seen such hard work from members until now. They really want to help the work, and it is going great here.

Saturday we went out and worked hard. Again I was dead beat tired. I thought I worked hard. I do work hard. But there is something different here that just kills you. I'm trying to find out what that is.

I don't really remember much of what happened then but we were able to meet a less active who is never able to meet. We found him on the street and he was super happy to see us.

Sunday we had a lesson before church with this college student named M. He found the church through eikaiwa and accidentally started going to church. Eventually the Elders asked if he wanted to learn the lessons and he said yes.  Sunday was the first lesson. We taught the restoration. Oh my gosh! Best lesson I have ever had. I don't know how Ootani does it. He is an amazing teacher. Asks the perfect questions. Knows when to move on and connect things perfectly. I thought I did a good job... but man I'm just a normal missionary when compared to him. The best thing is that M showed sooooo much interest. I haven't really had an investigator who has done that. All other lessons have been pulling teeth for them to want to learn. He asked perfect questions which eventually lead to a baptismal date for the 7th of September. After wards we had church and each companionship had an investigator at church. The Ward is so warm and there is a special spirit here. I haven't felt this for a long time. I'm super happy I'm here. I'm glad I'm with Ootani. I hope he puts up with me. I'm not the best but I hope I can learn a lot from him. Already I feel my Japanese is improving. He actually wants to help me, or at least that's what I think. I hope we can see many miracles here!


Jameson Choro