Wednesday, July 4, 2018

He is there! (7/2/18)

Hey everyone sorry about last week. I overloaded with pictures and videos so I will send those again separately. These last 2 weeks have been way awesome! I had 3 companion  exchanges where I learned a lot from some amazing missionaries. To be honest so much has happened that I don’t even know where to start. We have had a lot of big events happen in these 2 weeks. One of the big ones is we found a new family, with whom we have become really good friends with. It’s a mom and 2 daughters. We found her while housing around 11am! Just goes to show that when we work with the spirit we can accomplish all things! They are a way great family and the Mother is shooting to get baptized on July 21st! She is a really amazing person and has really been prepared by Heavenly Father. She even told us that she didn’t mean to come to church yesterday but found herself parking at the church without realizing it. She is now really committed to finding out more about God. She also has made great relationships with the members. She even went to the relief society’s activity. She also came to our activity which we threw.

We decided to put together an origami party for the ward which was a huge success! The only failure was my pound cake, I used WAY too much butter. Instead it came out like German pancake pound cake. Though I got quite a few compliments so apparently it turned out better than I planned? Anyway it was a great activity to which about 25+ people show up. We had a paper airplane obstacle course, ninja star shooting range, and frog kart. In other words Mario kart kind of game using origami frogs. In the end it was a blast!

We also found a less active member who lives right by our apartment.  When I was on splits one of the elders had previously worked in Hakodate and knew her from there. She originally lived there but has since married and moved to Tomakomai but we didn’t have her address or record. Luckily he knew her, so we went and talked with her and her husband and was fed dinner. Really nice of them. She also said later that it was the first time her husband had ever talked with missionaries. Since then our relationship has just gotten better and she even came to both the origami party and relief society activity!

Those are just a few of the really big highlights of the two weeks.  Really a lot has happened and all of it is thanks to the Lord. I have come to see in the little and big ways he prepares the hearts of his children and then gives them the chance to come unto him. I love being able to be that person that gives them the chance. I truly feel like I am on the Lord's errand and can feel his strength and power sustaining me and those around me. I hope each of you can come to know in a very real sense that he can sustain and help you too as you let him.  Learning how to do that though is one of the most important yet most difficult things we must do. It will make all the difference for us and our loved ones. I love all you guys and hope you have the Lord's help in your lives every day.

Elder Harvey

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Paths Crossing (6/25/18)

Harvey Choro's e-mail account was not working and so he was unable to send his message for the week, so I am adding in pictures sent from another.  A returned missionary from 35 years ago - an American living in China - was passing through Tomakomai and got together with Elder Harvey and company, along with a number of members the visitor had taught 35 years ago.  Thank you Brother Oakeson.

T-minus 5

Hey everyone! This week has been crazy awesome! So much has happened that I don’t even know where to begin. We had our first District Training Meeting this week which went really well. I learned a lot about the importance of members being involved and how the Lord's kingdom is built for unity and oneness of heart. As missionaries and members come closer to a oneness of heart miracles will occur. English class was also really cool but I spent it with the Branch President going over an origami party activity that we are setting up. The planning is going really well. 

The next morning at around 11am we found an amazing family that wants to come to church. Unfortunately this last Sunday was stake conference in Atsubetsu so they couldn’t go but we had an appointment with them instead which went really well. They still want to come to church and we have a follow up appointment. Really great people. 

That same day we visited two less active ladies which went really well. We gave one of them a Book of Mormon which she didn’t have. She only had the old translation which was amazingly difficult or so I hear. It went really well and we were able to read with her and talk about hymns with her nonmember husband. With the other sister we were fed weird Japanese foods which I will include at the bottom. We also had our first lesson with the woman who came to church last Sunday. We had 3 members there who pretty much did all the talking for us. We just taught and they answered her questions. One of the best lessons I have ever had on my whole mission. 

Then on Saturday we had our second lesson with a different sister who we gave a Book of Mormon to last time we met with her. In just a week she had already read up into 3rd nephi! It went really well and a member was able to answer a lot of her questions. 

Then Sunday was stake conference which was great! We heard a message over broadcast from Elder Rasband. It felt truly fitting that the last message I would hear from an apostle in Japan would be from him. Before I received my mission call I heard a general conference talk by him about how missionaries are called. In that talk he said the only one he got right was a call to Japan Sapporo. At that time I felt a confirmation that I was needed there. Now at the end he talked about how the Lord's Plan is perfect and families. The next chapter of my life. Truly a blessing of direction in my life. 

I was also able to meet a bunch of members and missionaries that I know. I also met brother Kairi that I taught in Eniwa. I had the privilege of teaching him most of the missionary lessons. I watched him change a lot in 3 weeks as he came to church, read the Book of Mormon and prayed. Now I met him again and he got baptized last night. I got to see how the gospel truly affected his life and helped him change more and more. I have felt so much love for him and have come to be his brother. When I first met him he had a hard time smiling, now he has a great smile of Joy! 

I hope you all have had a great week and continue to see miracles in your lives!
Elder Harvey

The beginning of the end (6/11/18)

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a great week! With this last week it officially starts the beginning of my last transfer as a missionary. It has gone by so crazy fast! I finally had a transfer that I wasn’t really expecting. In the mission we had to close an area and I was expecting the worst in our area closing. To my surprise though a town that has been open since I first got to Japan called Otofuke closed. And me and Elder Swan stayed! This is the first time I stayed with a companion other than my trainer! I’m really happy about it! I’m looking forward to an amazing transfer of miracles in Tomakomai! 

This week has been great! It was my birthday this last Monday and as per our recent usual we went fishing. I only caught one fish....though it was the biggest fish we have yet to catch and a new kind of fish. It’s called a greenling. Apparently you can only catch it in the northern pacific area. It was really cool. We also had a great week and have been feeling the hand of the Lord in our lives so much more abundantly. We can see the blessings on the horizon! I’m really happy that I can be out here at such an amazing time. This last Sunday we also got an investigator to church and it went really well. It was really crazy as we only met her at the city hall for about 2 minutes. Other than that we had no face to face contact with her.  She said she felt something like an awakening when she first met us and LOVED church. It went so well and the members did a great job making her feel welcome. Also our mission president and his wife were there out of the blue. An already extremely nervous day became more nervous as I had to leave the investigator to go translate for them. Though all worked out for the best in the end. Truly a great miracle! I hope you all can see the daily miracles that occur in your lives as well!

Elder Harvey

Exotic Foods! (6/4/18)

Hey everyone this week has been a crazy one! This week we had Zone conference which was great! We learned a lot about loving members and those around us and the impact that can have. Truly a kind word here or there, a small favor, a smile, or any other kind of thing that can bring a smile to someone's face is truly an important thing. As we look to spread this kind of love we will also see more joy and happiness in our own lives. A tried and tested formula to a happy and fulfilled life! We also were able to meet with a few people which was really great! We went out to dinner with a few new friends of ours which was a lot of fun. This week I ate a lot of interesting new foods like, raw horse meat, wasabi marinated octopus, and chicken heart! We also ate some American classics but hard to find things in Japan like normal birthday cake, red velvet cake, and PIZZA! It was all delicious! Even the chicken heart. Though while eating heart might be a little tasty, trying to make ours and the hearts around us a little bigger is a much tastier reward. I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Love Elder Harvey

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Fishing for Friends (5/28/18)

Hey everyone this week has been an interesting one. This last Monday was a busy one! We got fed to all you can eat barbecue, went to Utonai Lake, gave a bunch of stuff away to people from the old senior missionary couples' apartment, and went fishing again. This time we went with a less active boy named shouma. It was a ton of fun and he loved it! I also found a pin that said "child of God" in Japanese so of course I bought it. :) 

The rest of he week was also really great, we had a lot of things happen. We saw a lot of miracles that made this week an amazing one. We found a Malaysian guy who loves Christ by taking a wrong turn, were able to meet a bunch of less actives, got a few more appointments made for this week, and so many more miracles.  Truly when you count your every blessing the light begins to shed forth and you can always find things to be joyful about. Likewise when you count your every sorrow the fog of darkness spreads blocking out the light that is constantly there. We have a choice between seeing the light and blocking it out, the important thing for us is to decide which one we want and then strive for it. 

This week we also completely cleaned out the old missionary couples' apartment. This makes the second apartment I have closed on my mission by going to an area where the senior couples leave. Maybe I just have bad luck or maybe I'm the one trusted most to get it taken care of. I have yet to figure it out haha! 

The fishing activity has expanded tremendously over this past week. We are going today and this time bringing about 5 more people.  So our numbers have doubled and within that group we have another less active, two members and an investigator. Should be a blast! Luckily our numbers of poles got doubled too by some very kind members. This Sunday we also had Branch conference which was great. I learned something really important too. Our Branch president was talking about the last words of Ether. The way the scriptures end in Japanese is doudemo yoi amen which basically means it matterth not, amen. The order got changed a little bit in the translation but that isn't important, what is important is the message it holds. He was talking about showing our love and the love of God towards others. It does t matter how we show love, how others accept our love, or anything else.
So long as we show it and do what Christ wants us to, it matterth not.

Truly as we strive to do what's right and help others be saved in the kingdom of God, it won't matter how good the cookies looked, or how long of a letter or message you wrote but that you showed love and did your best to do what Christ wants of you.

I hope you all have a great week, I love you!
Elder Harvey

Mission Conference (5/21/18)

Hey everyone! This has been a crazy week! I hope you all had a great week as well. This week I was all over the place. I returned back to my old area Eniwa for a day and got to see a lot of my old friends from there. It was really great to be able to meet with them and talk about the Gospel with them. Truly I felt blessed as the timing of our day worked out perfectly to run into people on the street that I would not have otherwise have met had I gone to their house. Certainly the Lord was guiding us. 

The next day was Mission conference! Elder Renlund of the Twelve Apostles visited with us and gave us training.  It was an amazing experience and I learned a lot. We followed that up by mission training by our mission President as well. We had Lunch together with everyone which was a blast because I was able to meet all of my friends throughout Hokkaido. Truly a special opportunity.
Then a number of the missionaries had a special opportunity to attend a devotional by Elder Renlund that night. There were members from all over Sapporo so I was able to meet a lot of members from my past areas. Even one of the sisters I came to Japan with was there.  She just happened to pick the right day to take a trip to Japan. It was a really great day. Pretty much that entire day I was at the Atsubetsu church. Certainly a once in a life time kind of deal. We also had a great week other wise and met with a few friends and gave the sisters in our ward Mother's Day gifts. It was a great week.

Love y'all
Elder Harvey

(Zach is in the center of the first row of those standing)