Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sweating like a man

Famiry I rooovvveee yoouu.

I'm getting pretty good at talking in English the way Japanese people do. I love it so much. It tickles my fancy beyond measure.

There has been a strange change inside of me this past week.

Granted my mom always says that she is sad that she doesn't get to see me become a man. The only thing that is manly about me is the overwhelming stench that comes off of me after a full day of Okinawan sun beating down of me. Like in all honesty, I should probably burn my clothes. Its that bad. That and the fact my once active body is slowing and becoming cranky. I try to move and my body hisses at me saying "fool why are you trying to move right now. You aren't as good as you once were."

From the blessings on high that were so graciously bestowed upon me, some how I was able to completely change with regards to my last area. I was feeling slightly awkward in Hiroshima. For that reason I know that it wasn't really the area for me. With the return to Okinawa it made me realize how much I love these people. They are some of the kindest people here. I was trying to become too business like in Hiroshima. That didn't work out. But now I'm in the comfortable island of Okinawa. I think really this may be the place I need to be.

This past week was full of drama with some members and the lady we are teaching to be baptized. (spoiler she was baptized) Apparently she told one of the members that she hated her... that didn't really play well. Another member was being very hard on her saying that she needed more time to repent of something she did over 20-30 years ago. All in all, it was a bunch of old women who couldn't let go of things. We had to talk to the Branch President one night and he was super amazing about it. He said "I want to believe in the power of the atonement. It may seem hard now but it will turn into a good experience for all of us." He is surely a blessed man with the mercy of heaven leading him.

All in all we tried hard and prayed hard to see if E could be baptized. Friday came around and it really seemed like there could be some problems. We prayed and felt that everything was going to be okay so we set up the baptismal interview and she passed and things went well. On the other hand, the offended members weren't very happy on Sunday. I went up and asked how one was doing and very sourly she responded "thanks" and stormed off. That didn't really answer my question.

Anyways we had some interesting experiences. There was a drunk guy on the street that called out to us. He kept condemning Christians because he thought they were directly connected with the American bases on Okinawa. After we told him that it wasn't, he asked "why are you here then?" We said, "to share this message." He responded, "well if you want to share it, come to my house and share it with my daughter." So we followed him to his house and met his daughter. We didn't have time to teach them but we will go back soon.

The spirit of the Lord was really resting with us this week. There were contacts that I don't know how  we found (other than from the guidance from the spirit) but people just listened. That doesn't mean that they accepted it, but the listened from their hearts.

One thing I have learned this week is that people here... actually people everywhere, want the blessings of the gospel: stronger families, more love, questions for the unknown. But they are freaked out with the gospel. Not really fair right? How can we make it so the change from not living the gospel to living the gospel is easier so that they can experience the blessings of this gospel?

As for Bevan and the area, it is a hard area but things can change. He hasn't talked much about it but he keeps telling me he is thankful for me because I have helped him.... but I don't know how I have helped him. He is a funny kid. He does everything as strictly as possible. He has such a kind heart and is willing to do what it takes to help people. I know he will a great missionary. He already is.

Have a great week!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Back on an island

I'm back in Okinawa. I'm in an area called Nago.

So I will be completely honest with the news of transfers. I'm actually kind of upset about it. I loved Yasufuruichi. The Ward was great. There was such a warm feeling there. The work was progressing. It was great to see how leaders work. But knowing all of that, I know it was only a passing period of things I needed to learn. There wasn't really anyway for me to continue to stay there. As it came to transfers, I knew that I was going to go, but as to where I was worried.

When I got my call I was really surprised and again worried about the new assignment. Nago. My trainer, and many of my friends within the mission have served there. I asked them all (this is in previous months) how their other areas have been. Not very many positive responses came from it. There were many struggles that made it not the greatest experience for them.

Knowing this, I was worried. But I am determined not to let it affect my work habits for this next transfer. I mean, if I let it get to me, and iIstay here for a long time... that long time is going to be a really long time.

I get here and my new companion is Elder Bevan. He is awesome. He is super majime and wants to get work done so I'm super glad that I have a comp who is willing to get the area changed. It would be really hard if I had one who didn't.

The ward has previous problems due to some contention. Lots of them went less active. In another case, one changed wards. The new ward is a 2 hour drive away.

We have an investigator whose name is E. She is 60 years old and she says she hears voices. Taken from the standpoint of the gospel, the bad voices are temptation and the good ones are the Spirit. I honestly think that's how it can be played off but right now she has a baptism date. Recently a member told us that she said "I want to get baptism so that these voices will go away." Me and Elder Bevan are talking a lot about this. It is not the easiest situation to figure out.

I would hate to bring sad news to you. The ward doesn't seem too excited. I said during sacrament that I was super excited to work here. One member came up to me and asked me, "why are you excited and think Nago is good? It is not really all that fun and not that good." Another member talked about how many people are less active.  A pretty long list of sadness.

This area doesn't seem like the best right now but I'm going to work until I either can't move or I get transferred. I am not sure how and why members give up. I am not sure why there are areas in a mission that are the "oh no" areas. I hope that soon this area can be the area people look forward to. I am going to do my best to help it change.

Jameson Choro

Monday, September 8, 2014

Baptism & the colorful words of Isaiah

SOOOO this week was super short but had a ton of stuff happen.

Tuesday we had a lesson with M. We taught tithing and he accepted it. He doesn't have any problems with anything so there isn't really much to explain about it. He just says yes.

We went on a 30 minute bike ride and a 20 minute train ride to visit a referral. She is from the Philippines and her family is Mormon. She is married to a Japanese man, so she can't really go places without his approval. She is scared to ask him to go to church. She looks like she has genuine interest.

Wednesday we taught M again. Last lesson. He got interviewed. Passed with flying colors. Things look good for Saturday.

Thursday we were able to meet A and L again. We asked them what they would do if they found out this message was true. They said they actually didn't know. We asked them why they want to listen, they said they wanted to know more about other`s opinion of God and wanted to learn more of the nature thereof. We taught the plan of salvation up to the atonement. They didn't believe in pre-mortal life. In the bible it doesn't really support that idea. One interesting thing I found is in Isaiah. It says the redeemed will return. I then thought, what is the meaning of return. It is to go back to a place where you once were. Yeah for the colorful words Isaiah uses.

We met with A afterwards. He is a struggle. He wants to learn but that's only it. Doesn't want to do anything. We may have to drop him.

Friday we didn't really do anything. Well we did work hard but that's all of the story with that.

Saturday we went to help one of the members who was affected by the mudslide. That involved going to the worst part. It was completely safe but we saw flipped cars that were completely destroyed. It is a different world there. The road is broken up by the giant boulders that rolled down the mountain. It's really sad.

Later we got to see M get baptized!!! It was so awesome! He is the best. I love him so much. Sunday M got the Holy Ghost!

After church we went to see A the Philippineń║║. She doesn;t look like she will progress unless she asks her husband. Nothing will happen if she won't.

Last week we found this college student named F. he is super kind and talks a lot. Sunday we met him and he may have some potential.

Yesterday we worked super hard. It is ridiculous how hot it is. I've never smelt so bad in my life. I never have felt so worn down  in my life. Not even with all those hard practices during swim. There is something else that is required when you work for the lord.

We worked super hard. Around 8:30 we didn't know what to do so we were trying to find something. As we were riding we found a man completely blasted out of his mind drunk. He was on the ground passed out. Some other guy came along and we called the police. We waited with him until the police came. Poor guy. I think he was drinking because he lives alone. The other man asked if there was anyone we could call. The old drunk said "I live alone. I'm so lonely"

I felt so bad for him. If he realized he was never alone, i don't think he would damage himself. Frankly, we are never alone. I wish I could have told him that but I'm not sure how much he would have understood.


Jameson Choro

Monday, September 1, 2014

Moving forward

I've had a rough week of being unlucky, but luckily it wasn't worse. I don't know why, but my bike was being funny this week and I had some slips on curbs since it was raining. But thanks to my cat like reflexes I ninja-ed my way to safety. My foot slipped when I knocked on this ladies house. My falling foot landed in her huge pot that she set on her front step. Totally smashing the poor thing to bits. Not the smoothest week of my life.

We went to the atom bomb exhibit. (Lots of pictures at the end.) The detail of that place basically scarred me for life. They had these dolls of people walking like zombies and their skin was melting/dripping off of their bodies. Ehhh yup. That's stuck in my head. It doesn't help that there is also a disaster here in the area. Those two things just are freaking and grossing me out.

Over this week we worked hard trying to help the area. Wednesday was service. We walked by this old woman and she kept saying "please help us" over and over again. My jeans are pretty messy.

Thursday we had a lesson with A and L. Yup, two Americans from South Carolina. A is this huge black guy who loves sports and is super goofy. L is this white girl who is super funny. The lesson went well and they thought the things we taught were good. They have a super Christian background. It made it easy to teach and the concepts really sank in. They accepted to pray and read the Book of Mormon.

Friday it was another junkai with Urakami. He is super kind and polite.

I love working with Ootani. He is crazy about missionary work. I love that. It makes it easy to work.

Saturday all the missionaries got really upset. Tokyo said that if we didn't have insurance from the government, we couldn't do service. well... we don't have insurance. In order to do it we have to go through this other agency that will take a lengthy time and has a crazy amount of restrictions. The work we are doing, the only way to really hurt yourself is if you don't drink water. But again, we need to obey what we are told.

Sunday we went to the the near by couple missionary's fireside. It is crazy the amount of things they have seen in their life. I gained a greater respect for them. We returned home and we worked super hard. We were able to meet this really awesome college student who is studying to be a teacher for children. He basically told us his life story with regards to why he wants to do so. He seems like a great new investigator. We will meet him tonight.

This work is moving along. We have some great chances to get some great lessons in this week. I know the Lord will provide and He will let us move forward.

Ling's baptism!

A tree that survived the atomic bomb

This was a huge plate of food. I could barely finish it! it took an hour to eat.