Sunday, August 6, 2017

Clever name insert here (7/10/17)

Hey everyone how was y'all guys' weeks? Mine was a super busy one. We went crazy visiting members and finding like crazy. Our member work is going really well too. We were able to talk with a bunch of members this week at there homes and were even fed a few times. We also made a ton of notes for people because this last Sunday was fast Sunday. So, we made notes for everyone who gave their testimonies thanking them for their support and love for the gospel. It was super awesome to see all the reactions we got yesterday at church! Everyone was super thankful for our work and showered us with love. It was really cool. I also gave a talk in sacrament meeting on how Jesus Christ is the light of this world. I connected that to the atonement and member missionary work and it all went well I think. I may have made some mistakes in Japanese but I think the spirit conveyed my message pretty well as I got a lot of comments and thanks for my talk afterwards.

This week we also got to meet our new mission president and his family which was super awesome. We got to hear all about their life, including their children, church service, how they met, their married life, you name it. President McClure is a very transparent person who loves telling the truth even if it's hard to say or hear. I think that is an amazing attribute and great character trait. President McClure's Japanese is also starting to come back thanks to his hard work, but it was funny having all the translation be for the Japanese missionaries this time instead of the young English missionaries. We also heard a bit about his vision and method of doing things. We could tell right off the bat his love for us, the Lord, the strength of his faith, and determination to do what's right. It was an amazing meeting filled with the spirit. Certainly everyone's spirits were raised after meeting with President McClure.

We also got fed twice this week which was a huge blessing! The first one was at a Viking restaurant. In case you don't know what that means yet, basically a buffet but the main attraction is the large variety of meats that they have. Which you also cook yourself at your table.

It's really fun and delicious. Then we had a meal yesterday at an amazing family's house. They made a ton of food but the main dish was lasagna. Interestingly enough despite not having an oven it was probably some of the best lasagna I have ever eaten in my life. Maybe I have just missed that food long enough but needless to say this sister was a great cook.

Anyways I hope you all have amazing weeks filled with joy.


Elder Harvey

Everyone in a food coma afterwards. :) 

Member Work! (7/3/17)

Hello Everyone!

This week has been a lot of talking with members here in Shinoro which has been amazing! We have been fed a bunch of food for dinners and we have been thankfully allowed into the houses of many of the members!

All the members here are amazing and are so nice to us all. We had a bunch of lessons and gospel talks that the members were so thankful for. They are so nice to us and take super good care of us. We also have been working really hard to help our investigators and find new ones! Though there is no spotlight points on that line of news. :(  I also got to go on splits with Elder Thurston this week in Toyohira as well! It was super fun and I had my first real service project, other than talking to old people. :) We were just pulling weeds for an hour and a half but we got to talk to this old guy forever, though he wasn't interested in the gospel. Then we biked up and down hills for forever and visited a bunch of LA (less active) members who actually didn't live there anymore which was really interesting. Though all in all this week has been a pretty good one. Sorry about the lack of details but I love you all and am so thankful for all of your support and love!

Love, Elder Harvey

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Allergies!! (6/26/17)

Hey Everyone! Sorry this might be a short e-mail this week too. I have been dying from allergies and probably from all the crappy Japanese medicine I have been taking this week. But the highlights of the week are nice. Mostly everything that happened this week happened on Sunday. Overall it was a busy Sunday just talking to various members.

Elder Bachman and I are working hard on building relationships with members this week and I talked to a bunch of people. We even got a new dinner appointment out of it.

We also had a super long meeting on the new English class that we will be starting up pretty soon. All the rest of Japan started forever ago but Hokkaido is a slow place. Probably because of the effect of the cold weather or in other words a frost debuff. Anyway, It was pretty much decided that we will continue the regular Eikawa class on Tuesdays but will have the addition of the new Eiken course (a huge and super popular test taken by Japanese High Schoolers to show that they are smart and know engrish). We are going to have to advertise a ton for this but hopefully we can hand out 3,000 flyers in a week. We also expect to get a lot of members because of just how well known Eiken is. Whether it be young kids or older people it will probably attract them all.

Then we had a super long meeting with Bishop Ota. It was super nice because we got a lot better vision of his goals and vision for the ward. We also got a lot of support from him in our ideas and what we brought to the table. He is by far one of the best Bishops in Hokkaido. He also probably knows a lot more because of his leadership background and also being the ward mission leader once. (It was a really successful ward at that time.) 

Lastly We had a dinner appointment that night which was awesome. I made a banana cake the night before which was gigantic. I used almost 3 pounds of bananas on this thing. Even though we had us (the elders), the sisters, the kikuchi family (family of 5) and one YSA member we only made it a little past halfway through the cake. It was a ton of fun being over at their house and I feel I built a lot more trust between that family and the YSA member.

All in all this week has been pretty nice. Now that I am off all the Japanese medicine I should be back and hitting the streets like none other. I hope you guys all had a fantastic week!


Elder Harvey

(Side note:  Zach sent home a video answering a lot of questions.  I wrote to him and told him that I could hardly understand him because of accents, speaking style and how he kept throwing in Japanese words and phrases.  He replied:

Hahaha yup! It's simply because I use it (English) so little and the people I use it with (e.g. my companion) are even worse than I am. Mostly because they are older missionaries or they are Japanese. It is really embarrassing when you forget how to spell a word in English when you are teaching a bunch of Japanese people and then they correct you. I am hoping for a bean (brand new missionary) soon though so I might have some practice, and have more Japanese practice too.)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Transfers! (6/19/17)

Hello Everyone!

So this week in the adventures of Elder Harvey we have transfer week!  I will be staying in Shinoro!!! And I have a new companion. His name is Elder Bachman, and was my previous ZL (zone leader). My last companion (Elder Thurston) swapped with him and became a ZL in Elder Bachman's old area. I haven't really gotten to know him yet though as I have been sick all week. It's kinda funny though because in my district (there's me and my area's sisters and Higashi's elders and sisters) all the senior companions were sick with the same thing. The only thing really to note is that I may have developed allergies and on Saturday we had Basketball! Of course I went ham and then felt even worse the next day. (^_^;) But oh well, I am going to an allergist today and hopefully will get better by tomorrow.

(As a side note, Elder Harvey mentioned that you can't just get over-the-counter drugs for simple things - even Tylenol.  Everyone has to go to the doctor or the hospital.  He went to the hospital for his allergies and received "an Army's worth" of medicine and it cost him $12.)

Love y'all

Elder Harvey

Thursday, June 15, 2017

I don't have a title (6/12/17)

I didn't know what to write for a title, but a TON! has happened this week and I don't know where to start. We had an awesome Eikaiwa (English class) this week which was massive! We set up at least 18 seats and more had to be set up for people to sit down. It was tons of fun and always passes by so fast! We have two littler kids in the class which actually makes it way more fun! Little kids learn so fast and are so full of energy!  Haha. We also taught another family Eiakaiwa to an investigator family with a bunch of kids. After that we taught the kids and they had tons of deep questions about the scriptures and partially about life after death. It was amazing to see their faces light up as they understood and were like, "this makes so much sense!" And then one of them kinda ripped on Buddhism for not making sense, but we just were like, ahuh, cuz we didn't want to make any comments, especially since we don't really know all that much haha. They also planned a popcorn party for us this Wednesday which is going to be AWESOME! Their littlest kids were also hilarious, maybe because they were beating up the Colombian (Elder Thurston). 

Thursday was a slow day and not a whole lot to talk about there. Friday I had splits with a Nihonjin (native Japanese) named Elder Yamazaki. It was tons of fun! He also likes anime and what not so we had some cool discussions about that, missionary work, life, and gospel stuff. I love how I can always continue to learn new things about the gospel of Jesus Christ and progress as a person. I also learned a ton of cool things about Japan and dancing. 

Saturday was super weird. We had interviews with President Nakatuska which was super awesome, but that wrecked us time wise because splits plus interview travel took forever. Though we did have an awesome lesson with an investigator. We watched "Hope of God's Light", one of my favorite Mormon messages, and helped him put away some fears and really start to learn for himself.

Sunday was also awesome and the Ward is great! We had 2 members invite us over for dinner/lunch this week which was so sweet of them. I am looking forward to the last few days of the transfer. By the next time I mail I may be in a new area so look forward to see what happens!

Elder Harvey

Pics from the past 2 weeks

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

I'm 20! (6/7/17)

Whoops sorry I forgot to mention that this week was temple p-day (meaning he wrote on Wednesday instead of Monday).  Haha. Though I legit have no time cuz I was sending replies to personal emails.

Quick rundown. This week has been awesome. This last Sunday was my birthday and we got fed by a member because it was Fast Sunday. It was also the member's b-day on June 1st so we had cake. Right when we were about to sing happy birthday, the member's wife who is also a member asked if there were any other b-days in June. Timidly I said that today was my b-day and the members were like WHAT! and the sisters had forgotten and their faces just looked so sad and almost guilty. It was kinda awkward. We also got an appointment for next Sunday with a less active which has turned into a dinner. We found a new investigator, had a huge Eikaiwa (English class) and lots of stuff happened. Sorry this is short, Next week I will write on Monday and maybe put more information in.

Love you all,
Elder Harvey

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Transfer week!!! (5/29/17)

Sorry this email will probably be a short one considering I have little time and little to say. This week was transfer week and a lot of weird stuff went down and yea I'll explain.

Mon: We had dinner at the bishop's house which was really great! I asked the bishop how he met the missionaries and his response was showing me a video called, "To the Temple." It's a super famous video among church members here in Japan. It's about the Sapporo Temple, but more so about Bishop's story. It was quite a dramatic response to my question. Also everyone was shocked that I had yet to see it. (But I have been busy :( ) Anyway It was a great time talking and really fun.

Tue: Last spurt of dendo for my dying (going home) companion. We found an awesome old Investigator who told us we could come back once he finished remodeling his house. We offered to help but he was like "I can't even help there is too many people here so go talk to people."

Then at Eikaiwa (English class) something really funny happened. The sisters held a farewell party for Elder Tomioka. The thing is though they got one of those huge spoons used at weddings? for me to feed him ice cream. They took a video but I haven't received it yet so I might send it next week.

Wednesday: Transfer day, also Elder Oaks (one of the Twelve Apostles) came. So the entire mission met up to hear Elder Oaks, Elder Gong, President Nakatsuka, and their wives speak to us. It was absolutely amazing and I learned a ton from these speakers. Also I got to say hi to a bunch of missionaries and Bye to a bunch of missionaries, including my dad. Elder Larson officially died and came through Shinoro yesterday but I didn't get to see him. Though Bishop made me play a mean joke on him through the phone. >:) I also got my new companion Elder Thurston. He is from Colombia/Utah.  He grew up in Colombia until he was 12 when he moved to Utah. In Utah he met with missionaries and he and his family joined the church. Yes he is fluent in Spanish and English.

Thur-Fri I accidentally gave my companion food poisoning. Well I guess he gave it to himself but, I made ribs on a frying pan which doesn't work well so he ate it raw while I re-cooked mine. He got sick I didn't.

Saturday: He was still kinda sick but that afternoon-night we played basketball. I was the only one who got hurt, of course. I got a bloody nose by being run into by an investigator. Then I got hit in the head with a basketball which made things worse. Yes I decided to keep playing even though my shorts were ruined with blood.

Sun: Church, new dendo shunin (mission leader), sisters were sick, and went to the bishops house for dinner, again. I found out I like umeboshi which is a super sour plum.

Anyway I love you guys and hope your week is awesome!!!


Elder Harvey

Pictures from a few weeks ago - Boys Be Ambitious.

Japanese soft serve!

A dying missionary gets ready to go home.

Farewell to my "dad" who is going home.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

VIKING!! (5/22/17)

Hey everyone this week has been awesome! Though it was a week of mostly finding new investigators that's still an important part of missionary work. Tuesday was mostly just finding and Eikaiwa (English class). Though our Eikaiwa was really interesting as we were teaching hobbies and our roleplay was speed dating to find something weird we have in common. I found that me and my new dendo shunin both don't like horomon (intestines). Wednesday was also a lot of finding but we found some awesome new people which was really nice. Thursday was splits with Higashi. I was with Elder Cox which was really fun. We had some awesome discussions and totally got the perfect b-day present for one of our members, do-it-yourself Super Mario maker gummies. We also got ice cream :) Friday we had more finding but we got fed by the sister's investigator. It was absolutely delicious. I have never liked octopus until I ate that investigator's octopus. It was not only delicious but also really soft. We also had a really long conversation on how one of the sister's teeth need to be straightened and other dental related things. Saturday was AWESOME!!! Once again finding but we found a KINJIN (golden) family! We went to go to a gochi (dinner appointment) at a Viking restaurant. We were a bit early but we told the member that we were going to do some housing near by. So we went and the first house we knocked on was a super young family who just moved and were interested in our message.  MIRACLES! Then we went back and stuffed our faces. Viking is an all you can eat buffet but a bit special. The reason being is because it's also Yakiniku or Korean bbq. So basically we cooked the meat ourselves. I ate so much meat and sushi and practically nothing else except ice cream. You always have room for ice cream. ;)  Sunday was also really nice because of Church. It's always a really nice blessing to be able to talk with members. This day was also a lot of finding but we also did a blessing to the sick so that mixed things up a bit.

Anyway, I know that the Lord really does provide us with blessings as we try our best and work with all we got. As long as we continue on with that hope and move forward in faith the Lord will take care of the rest.

Love you all, Elder Harvey

MOTHERS DAY! (5/15/17)

Hey Everyone. I hope you are all enjoying Mother's Day today! Or Yesterday if you're like me because of Japan things (i.e. 13 hours ahead of Eastern Time). Mother's Day was really awesome here because it was also fast and testimony meeting. We had a bunch of awesome testimonies from members and we also got fed at a members house! (Sorry forgot to receive the pics). It was a really great dinner! I ended up eating so much that the members asked if I was fat before the mission. They were quite surprised to hear that right now is the heaviest I have ever been in my life. "Weighing at about a whole 140 lbs we have the missionary in the white corner, ELDER HARVEY!" But seriously most of that gained weight is from muscle gained in my legs. Biking all day everyday gets you some nice legs. But not as nice legs as running 20klm/12mile run. We have an investigator who wants to became a policeman in the future and his usual run is 20k.

Nothing really too interesting this week. For Eikaiwa (English class) we had the sisters from Higashi there as well which was really fun. We were learning about holidays and I made the role play be that you had to go last minute decoration shopping but you can't say the holiday's name.  It was a big hit! I almost had people falling out of their chairs as I almost fell over carrying a huge imaginary pumpkin and accidentally knocked over an imaginary Christmas tree that I was almost crushed under as I caught it. 

We also had a meal by another member family. If you remember me talking about a person in my Eikaiwa that has a British accent then you have the right family in mind. It was really fun giving our experiences of being younger and when we had testimony building experiences. They also asked a lot about our families and before mission life. They were quite impressed with Ken's muscles.  They also thought it was hilarious that I was the animebu or anime club president. That was pretty much my week. I hope you can all find things to be grateful for in your week!

Elder Harvey

Golden Week! (5/8/17)

So for those of you who don't know what Golden Week is (yes they decided to try to say it in English but it became an engrish holiday - goruden weeku), it is about 5 consecutive days that are all different holidays, but they decided to merge them into one big name which is Golden week.  So basically, no one has work or school. As you can imagine this can be either really bad or really good for missionary service. Luckily for me it was a pretty good thing.

Mon: We went as a district to the Hitsujigaoka place. Or in a simpler, easier to understand way the BOYS BE AMBITIOUS place. So for those of you who don't know, there was a Christian named William Clark who basically helped Hokkaido go from 15th century to 20th century during the time he was here. He basically modernized Hokkaido and helped educate the people. Anyway it was a ton of fun and we saw sheep. 

Tue: We had Zone Conference this week which was really nice! We had a bunch of great workshops and I learned a lot about giving oneself up to God as really being the way to become truly happy. We also had Eikaiwa (English class) which was really fun! It was on our world and we sang "it's a small world after all"

Wednesday: We went to a pretty far place in our area to teach a bunch of investigators there. It was pretty nice and we actually had a lot of weird things happen. We also had a role play with a member which was awesome. He was a convert when he was young and had a lot of good insight for us.

Thursday: Pretty much a lot of finding and DKK (planning) for the week. But we did visit one Young Single Adult in our ward and it was awesome. He is a pretty big nerd so we connected really fast! He is also really good at English. He picked it up pretty well on his mission.

Fri: We were fed lunch this day by an awesome family in the ward. It started out as us trying to get a Mogi (role playing lesson) but then ended up being us the sisters and the husband's brother's family over for lunch. And somehow the lesson ended up being the sisters' lesson too. So it started out from asking to do a Mogi to us just eating lunch at a party.

Sat: We visited a bunch of members this day. Once again I found a member who is a big nerd. Well actually 1 and 1/2. We went to the bishop's house, first taught a lesson to his wife, then as she was leaving one of their sons came home. So we started talking to him.  Then the other son came home too. So as we were talking we got onto the topic that I was an "otaku" nerd so they decided to test me. I ended up winning that battle. >:) The 2nd son s a nerd too so he wanted my recommendation of what to watch and pretty much as soon as I said the names he ran off to watch them haha. We also visited some other members and taught a lesson to an investigator.

Sun: SUUUPER LONG BUS RIDE! We had a 3 and 1/2 hour bus ride up and back to our area for our stake conference. For some reason only Shinoro and Higashi are not in one of the Sapporo stakes. Nope, for some reason we were in the Asahikawa stake. But on the plus side I got to see Elder Seki and all the people from Iwamizawa which was really nice. Apparently they were really sad to see me go and really want me to come back at some point during my mission. I heard that only primary kids in Iwamizawa eichi and ten am kun kept saying they wanted to meet me but they ended up going home before I had a chance to see them ;(

Today I am going down into Sapporo so that should be a ton of fun!  Hopefully I will have some pictures to send y'all next week of Sapporo!


Elder Harvey

GOACHES!! (5/1/17)

Hey everyone! This week has gone by SO FAST! This week we spent a lot of time at member's houses because suddenly everyone want's to feed us. We also had some pretty good dendo and this week I went on splits with a younger missionary named Elder Yagi. We also met with a bunch of our investigators and met a bunch of new investigators. Also our Eikaiwa (English class) was huge this week. We had a bunch of members and non-members come which was great! The theme was directions and the game at the end was leading someone who couldn't see through a maze of chairs. All the while I was moving the chairs around >:) Mwhahaha. It was a blast!

Also things to note about goaches (dinner appointments) is that people here do not just feed you a little. They give you a full out feast! Oh also about the video I ate an orange whole and convinced everyone to follow suit. :) I know I am evil but it was a really fun experience for everyone. We also had a do it yourself sushi goach which was also really fun! This Ward is just so nice and helps us out so much! We also had a surprise goach on Sunday when our ward mission leader offered to help us with dendo and then fed us dinner at the end. It was really funny because they threw it together really fast but it was also really good! I had the best zange (fried chicken) I have ever eaten in my life! Luckily for me he made extra at the very end for us to take home and offered to teach me at some later date! Anyway pictures are worth more than words so have fun reading an essay!

Love you all!

Elder Harvey


Thursday, April 27, 2017


I honestly don't remember a whole lot of what happened this week so I will try to make some sense of what my week was like. So Wednesday we had Zone training meeting which was really great. We had to go into Toyohira which takes time but that's OK. We also got news that we were going to get our bikes sometime between the next day and golden week.

We also did something for dendo, but all I remember is that we had a no show who told us he would come tomorrow and we also had a Book of Mormon given back to us by a new investigator :( 

Thursday we got our bikes which was really awesome! We also had apartment checks. The Arringtons loved how clean our apartment was and it went really fast because they  just had no comments.  Also that no show investigator once again was a no show. 

Friday we did something, at this point everything about this week has pretty much blurred together. What I do remember is making 3 appointments over the phone. Saturday we also had a bunch of dendo. I think this was the day we had a really good visit with an NA (non-active member), worked with a member and made a new investigator and an appointment, had yet another no-show and made a pass to the sisters (meaning they passed along an investigator for them to teach).

Sunday as always was super tiring. I talked with a ton of members trying to remember their names. We also found 2 KINJIN!!! (golden investigaotrs)  One was a 14 year old boy from Nepal and the other was an Old investigator who pretty much invited us in as soon as we started talking! It was great and he wants to hear the lessons again! Also today we had zone activity which was sports stuff. It was really fun and we contacted this lady in the park and taught a bunch of kids why we call everyone brother and sister. I also pied (with whip cream) my companion because he is dying this transfer (i.e. he is finished with his 2 years and is going home).

Love you all,

Elder Harvey

Friday, April 21, 2017

Happy Easter!! (4/17/17)

Hey Everyone! I hope you all had a great Easter this weekend! It was a great Easter for me and the people in the area I am in! Oh, and this week was transfer week! And I actually transferred. Elder Seki stayed in Iwamizawa and is training a new missionary that he actually knew from before the mission. We found out while we were doing a Yakiniku (grilled meat dishes) party for dinner at our apartment. Trainer calls actually come earlier than other transfer calls. They come in on Monday night so we were celebrating what we thought was going to be our last P-day together...we were right! ;) I also found out where I was being transferred to as well. I transferred back to Sapporo!! But, I am in the "countryside" of the city. I am in an area called Shinoro. It's pretty much just all houses and a college. Well after we got that call it was already 10:00 so we had to get ready for bed because we had DTM (district training meeting) the next day.

Notable thing about DTM was that we all had lunch at a hole in the wall ramen place - really fun! I also made arrangements to go to Shinoro the next day because Elder Seki had to pick up his bean (new trainee) which was gonna take all day anyway. So I started making a bunch of phone calls to investigators and members to let them all know that I was going to be leaving Iwamizawa. We also had a lesson/goach (dinner) by a member and their home-stay referral. It was a ton of fun! I taught English and then we had an awesome lesson and finally dinner. I was shocked to find out that no missionaries had ever visited them at their house before. Then we headed back and I had to pack everything to leave the next day.

Wednesday: We started out waking up early so we could meet with Masaki San for one last time. It was really sad saying goodbye but I know that he is in good hands. Then we were off and on a train. The funny thing is though I had to stop at Ebetsu first (city between Iwamizawa and Sapporo). In the short time I was there we had 2 lessons and a sushi goach by a part-member family. We 3 elders sat with the Non-member husband who is about 70 years old. He kept commanding me to eat more which was really funny. He also started to order things just to force it on another Elder hahaha. It was really funny to talk with him and eat together. Then after that I was on another train down to my new area. I arrived and dropped off my stuff to go to an appointment with an investigator which was really fun. To get to know me he wanted to arm wrestle. He also accepted the word of wisdom pretty well. He has already quit smoking 10 cigarettes a day down to 4.

Thursday: Don't really remember a whole lot. We had DKK (Doryo (companion) Keikaku (plan(ing)) Kai (meeting)), it was blizzarding again and we went out and froze one last time before spring really got here.

Fri: We had to prepare for an Easter party for the next day. It gave me a chance to get to know the sisters in my area so that was really nice. Then we went out to meet a bunch of NA's (non-active members) and I was in charge of finding the way there which is always fun. :) We also found a KINJIN ("gold person" - golden investigator) at the last house we knocked on.

Sat: EASTER PARTY! It was really great to get to know a few of the members and to talk with a bunch of non-members. There was one youth there who is absolutely awesome! After the party we went streeting out side an outlet mall like thing and their family saw once again. We continued to street (I used gaijin (foreigner) power to the max and handed out a lot of Eikawa (English class) flyers) and this youth comes riding in on a bike to give us some caramel corn. I swear this youth (his first name is Ken which is actually a common name) is a boss. We also had a great lesson with an investigator that I met for the first time. It was great and it was really easy to break the ice seeing as he had an anime towel and a lot of video games. We also had a really great lesson on the plan of salvation with him.

Sun: Went to church for the first time. This Ward is huge! I introduced myself to all the members which actually went pretty well.  The Bishop accidentally called me Sister Harvey so that was a great way to get everyone to laugh in my introduction. I also shared a testimony of Easter and the importance of the sacrament. Then after church we went around with a member and visited a bunch of NA's but almost nobody was home. :( 

I hope you all have a great week! I love you all and I know that Jesus really did live again so that one day we too can rise up from the grave to be able to live with him and our families for all eternity.


Elder Harvey

PS  Oh and I forgot to mention my new companion is JAPANESE!! His name is Elder Tamioka. This is actually his last transfer and he just finished being ZL (zone leader) for our zone.

General Conference!! (4/10/17)

Hey everyone! This week has been crazy busy! We have had our schedules almost so packed that we had nothing but appointments! Though we did have some time to go around talking to complete strangers this week.

Mon: One of the few days for finding! We went near a collage to go around and find NA's (non-active members) and just do some regular housing. We found a place with a bunch of really cool houses and found some new people who were interested! I also got to see a kendo hall because the back wall was a huge window!

Tue: We had DTM (district training meeting) which always eats up our time to dendo. Though we were able to talk with Katayama San and a new investigator. This day really was just a lot of walking.

Wednesday: This day was awesome! We went to Bibai (town north of Iwamizawa) to have a lesson with a NA which was really good. She seemed to really gain a better perspective of why we have commandments from God. We also met with a member referral for our Free family English program. It was really great! The person we are teaching has actually been coming to church since before I got to Iwamizawa and wanted to take the lessons because of our BRT with her. It's actually her first time taking the lessons even though she has been coming to church for I don't even know how long. But because of that the lesson went really smoothly and she seemed to understand a lot of things a lot better.

Thurs: We met with a member to start of this day. It was really good and I think it was really good preparation for the member to listen to General Conference. Then we had our weekly planning and then FFE with the same member referral! It was actually so good she wanted to meet again this day. This time we also had her church friend as a team-up for both English and the lesson. Once again it went really well and I think it helped her a lot. We taught about the plan of salvation and everyone was really surprised when I pulled up my family tree that led all the way back to Adam and Eve. Then our Eikawa (English class) was the biggest yet since I have gotten to Iwamizawa. We also heard from an investigator that he decided to quit smoking!!

Fri: We had a lesson with another really good investigator named koukai-San. Then we had some time for some finding around that area.  We found 2 new PI's (investigators) and came really close to a service opportunity but maybe the next time we meet him. :) Then we had Kid's Eikaiwa which is and probably always will be a blast! We had a member family and their nonmember friend family. It was SO much fun! I love teaching little kid's English. It's really funny to hear a bunch of Japanese little kid's say "She sells sea shells on the sea shore" really fast. XD

Sat: pretty much our entire day was eaten up by general conference (satellite broadcast of Church leaders speaking to everyone in the world from Salt Lake City).  Our dendo time was taken up strengthening members and phone calls to investigators and NA's. Though General Conference was really awesome!!  I learned a ton from the various talks.

Sun: Other than GC (General Conference) we had time to find in Horomui. We went because that is where the member we visited felt as we asked her to pray as to where we should go. The wind was SOO strong this day. It was chilling down to the bone. We knew that Satan did not want us to work in this area. We ended up finding someone towards the end who literally said I have no idea what you are talking about but you can come back again to talk. It was really cool!

Anyway I hope you all had a great week and for those who watched General Conference I hope you learned a lot and felt the spirit as much as I did.

Love you!!!

Elder Harvey

Saturday, April 8, 2017

"BUSY BUSY BUSY!" (4/3/17)

This week has been a very full week! It feels like I have done so much that I cannot even remember what happened this week because some of it feels like 2 weeks ago! BUT, that is a really good thing in my opinion! :) Being busy is one of the ways to happiness as a missionary. Otherwise you spend 8 hours knocking on doors which nobody enjoys :3

Tue:  This was a really good day. We had DTM (District Training Meeting) in the morning which was awesome! It was a really good spiritual boost and also went really well with my personal study. It's almost weird just how well these DTM's have gone so perfectly hand in hand with my personal study. Then back to Iwamizawa to DENDO!!! We finally met with Iidzuka San. We haven't met him for the past 3-4 weeks so we were getting pretty worried but, we had a really good talk with him. He even wants to come to church and almost came on his own but then thought it might be rude or weird to walk in uninvited. To which we told him that was completely false and that we will welcome him with open arms and that we wanted him to come next next Sunday. We also set up an appointment with him which was awesome. Then we visited some NA's (nonactive members) and PI's (potential investigators?) and then off to a members house for some home teaching. It was really great and these members had a great time and opened up a lot to us.

Wednesday: We met with an NA member named Niiyama kyodai again. It was pretty good, we talked shared our favorite scriptures and shared a general conference talk. At the end he even gave us some handmade frogs from a friend. We also met with a investigator couple. Their church has some really interesting doctrine. We talked about the plan of salvation with them and they learned a lot of things that they didn't know.

Thursday: We visited another NA who we just picked up. We did a lesson invite and he said he would really like to talk about church stuff with us. Then we did DKK (planning meeting) which is always kind of boring but was really good. We even had a chocolate eating punishment game. SOO MUCH CHOCOLATE! Our Eikawa (English class) was also really weird. We started off with 2 people but ended with 6. We also somehow got asked to sing a hymn during the class in English. I quickly chose "O My Father" (Shout out to Mom) which was really good. One student asked us to teach them how to get to Motab (Mormon Tabernacle Choir) and the rest of the hymns. We also were told "Next week you are singing it in Japanese so PRACTICE!". Needless to say I have already begun. It's really hard in Japanese :S

Fri: This day was splits!!! I was senpai to a transfer 3 elder (i.e. a senior companion to a missionary that has been out for about 4 months). It was really fun working with him and this day was AWESOME! We visited an NA, a member, and did some housing. Then we had an amazing lesson with Masaki-San. He progressed so much in this one lesson it was crazy. We taught a lot of things but he really gained an understanding of who the Holy Ghost is and how he talks to us. It was so amazing! He has problems with tobacco and alcohol. Though once his faith is a bit stronger he will be ready to tackle those things.

Sat: This day we went to Bibai (city north of Iwamizawa). We had a lesson with another different NA (we meet a lot of NA's haha). It was really awesome. We taught about the power of fasting to find out that even though she doesn't go to church she still fasts every 1st Sunday of the Month. That was until her Granchild started living with her. She felt the need to fast the next day to which we agreed (as that was going to be our commitment). Then housing and visiting PI"s.

Sun: Another super busy day. At church we ended up making three new appointments, taught a referral in gospel principles class, and talked with a bunch of members. Then we met with ANOTHER NA! He used to be the Branch President but right now he just doesn't have faith that God exists anymore. He is very knowledgable on doctrine and loves to read the Book of Mormon. All that is next is really building some faith.  Then off to another investigator which was a really long walk. And then off to a KINJIN ("golden" investigator, i.e lots of promise) which was an even longer walk. Along the way we felt much tribulation in our legs and backs. We took this as a sign that Satan really did not want us to go to this investigator. The lesson was absolutely amazing! It was his first lesson but he already has such a great interest in learning more. We both felt strongly on a baptismal invite as he asked about it a lot but the rug got pulled from under us on timing. Next lesson for sure he is gonna have a date!

Anyway that is a bit of how my week went. It was a really hard working really fun week. Everyday was super tiring but to me that is a really good thing. I love seeing the fruits of our laboratory and also knowing there are also many unseen fruits to boot! I hope all of you find as much joy in the everyday chocolate bar as I do. I also hope you find great joy in the every so often golden ticket. (President Uchtdorf; Forget Me Not October 2011)

Love Elder Harvey

A message from Harvey Choro.  (You'll see that spring is finally arriving if you make it to the end of the video.)

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Through small and simple things.... (3/27/17)

This has been a really weird week of dendo. It feels as if I had almost no time to dendo yet so much has happened this week! There was a lot of running with large backpacks and running in general. Everyday was amazing yet really tiring, which is a good thing in my eyes.

Luckily I can kick things off with a miracle! Monday was an amazing day for Elder Seki and I. To start we actually had a Pday (preparation day) for once!  We got everything done really fast and ended up listening to MoTab (Mormon Tabernacle Choir) for a long time! It was really great how much MoTab brings in the spirit.

Then right before dendo we talked about where to go and found out we both thought the same area! We took the long walk over, knocked on a bunch of houses and the 5th to last person was an old investigator who wasn't in the record. She was just about to leave but told us to come back! Then, the last door we knocked on was a KINJIN!!! (golden investigator)  He was super excited about our message and told us to come back!

Tuesday we started the day by having a referral from a member! She wanted us to go visit her NA (nonactive) son so we went over, got lost for a while, but felt the spirit leading us away from the house. Little confusing but a little while later we understood why. Then we got to the house and the son did not want to listen at all .:( BUT, as we were walking back we saw this Old man out on the street so we went up and talked to him.  We had a pretty good talk and he told us we could come back to talk!  Then we also had a lesson with an old referral named kakizaki-San! We had 2 sisters there and we started the lesson off with a song (shout out to my mom!). It went really well!

Wednesday: We went to an area to house and met an NA there and invited him to meet with us which he accepted! Then off to Asahikawa for interviews with the mission president. That night we had a takoyaki (little octopus dough ball things) party and did a Russian roulette with a hot sauce named death sauce. I chose to eat 3 in addition to eating one of the roulettes. HMMM gotta love spicy food!

Thursday: We had Zone conference which was really awesome! Then we had to run over to the train station with these huge backpacks to make our train. AND, then run to the church to still be 2 minutes late to Eikawa. :( Though Eikawa was awesome this week because we had 4 members there!!! It is always so much more fun with members.

Fri: We had our DKK (planning meeting) and Kid's Eikawa. This week the one non-member kid came with his whole family which was AWESOME!! It was SO much fun and they had a blast. This non-member family came because our awesome 9 year-old member is a boss and invited his friend to come to Eikawa!

Sat: We officially closed our old apartment. That was a bit of a pain but what needs to be done needs to be done. Then we went to Bibai and had an awesome lesson with an NA. We thought she wasn't too knowledgeable about the gospel but we asked her what she knew about the restoration and she basically taught the lesson to us. It was awesome and we were able to invite the spirit so strongly through our testimonies.

SUNDAY!!! This day was awesome! Ueno shimai brought her mother to church and after invited us over for dinner so we can teach her family again. We also got a NA referral from another member and another invited us over for genghis Kahn (sheep). Then we also got a referral from another member to teach the daughter the lessons and Eikaiwa too.
It was an amazing day!

Anyway I Love you all and hope and pray that you are all doing well!

Elder Harvey

(Separately, Zach told us of an important sign of spring where he is - the sighting of pavement!  Here is a link to a video showing snow removal at the temple.)

Zone Conference - great people and great food

Friday, March 24, 2017

Scribbled Message

This is something Zach wrote to me (his dad).  He said it took him 3-4 minutes to write it.  I don't know if that is because he is getting good at the language or if it is because it is nothing but nonsense.



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

He's only half dead (3/20/17)

It finally came. I killed a companion. ;(  Elder Yamaoka is now officially Danny-chan again. (His middle name is Daniel). It was really sad to see him leave, especially since I learned so much from him.

What's even sadder is that his last day was moving our apartment.

Anyway, this has been a very full week. Starting from Tuesday's DTM (District Training Meeting), my study has been focused on looking up towards heaven and thinking about hope and good things to come. It has been kinda strange how everything in my study has connected to this point. I learned a lot about true hope and faith in God's timing and blessings. I especially learned a lot from BofM (Book of Mormon) Jacob chapter 3 and "It is better to look up" from General Conference, a talk given to us by our ZL's (Zone Leaders). It was also weird timing with Elder Yamaoka leaving and a new dendo chapter starting that I was focusing on looking to the future and trusting in blessings to come. We also met with a bunch of people this week, being fed a lot to boot.

On Tuesday we met with the husband of the Miyoshi couple. The wife was at work but he wanted to say good-bye to Elder Yamaoka. Then we went to a members manju store. We were there for a while talking about missionary stuff as she is a ward missionary. Then we had to do some stuff to prepare for moving on Thursday.

Wednesday was also chock full of things. We had an amazing lesson with a less-active member named Niiyama kyoudai. He fed us pizza and soba which was delicious (but was really greasy ;) ) and then watched the talk "Like a Broken Vessel". It was amazing how strong the spirit was there in our lesson. I feel like that was one of those really special lessons that you only have a few times on your mission but it was amazing to see how much it meant to him. We then visited an investigator named Iidzuka San but he wasn't home so we just talked with his grandmother instead, really nice lady. Then onto a lesson with an investigator who we finally met since I got to Iwamizawa. She is an English tutor named Watanabe-San. It was really good and she has really studied the BoM which is AWESOME! Then we took a train to meet another investigator that I met for the first time,,, Adachi-San. This family absolutely loves missionaries and they fed us a huge meal. It kinda felt like I was at a member's house.

And then, Thursday came. It took a while and moving fridges and desks was a pain. But we managed to get it all done, though the new apartment was a mess. As soon as we were done moving it was time to say goodbye to Elder Yamaoka. It was really sad to see him leave because of the effect he had on me. I have learned so much being his companion (as expected of one of the strictest missionaries and a prior AP [Assistant to the President]). I am already looking forward to seeing him some time in the future. Then It was just me and Elder Seki which felt a lot more normal. Oh, and we did Eikaiwa (English class).

Friday, Kind of a slow day as we spent the day doing Weekly planning and Kid's Eikaiwa (which is SO FUN and a lot easier than normal Eikaiwa.) We also went to sushi but it was full of people so we forewent the pleasure.

Saturday: We went to Bibai (a town just north of Iwamizawa) and met a LA (less active member) there which was really nice.  Her granddaughter is the cutest thing in the world! She is half Japanese half Philippine and is always dressed up as a Disney princess. She also really loves to explore and take things which is really cute. Though kinda of hard to deal with when teaching a lesson.  We also did housing and went to visit some other LA's in the area.

SUNDAY: Also a chock full day. First Church which is always kind of hard when everyone is talking about church stuff which uses really hard Japanese. But, it's always a blast talking with the members.
After Church we had a "pot-luck" to congratulate our only young woman on graduating middle school. I love these parties as it provides us a much greater chance to talk with the members. Then off to dendo and a NA member's house who used to be the branch president. We taught about faith and he fed us some delicious homemade ramen.

Anyway out of time.
Love you all

Elder Harvey

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


(Note - for those not familiar with the term, a missionary "dying" simply means his or her time is up and he or she is getting ready to go home.  Harvey Choro's companion is just fine!)

So this was the last full week of dendo (missionary work) for Elder Yamaoka. It has been a very busy week and also a week with a lot of miracles. We have had a lot of bye-bye lessons this week and all of them were amazing! We also had a lot of Eikawa (English class) this week. Well, we always have a lot of Eikawa which is always a blast for me. I also learned a lot of culture things about Japan! Usually being in a 3nin companionship is supposed to be kind of hard but we are having an absolute blast together. Having a lot more Japanese being spoken is a little hard but I have learned soooo much being in this companionship. Our relationship with the members is getting so strong! We had a "pot luck" after church for Elder Yamaoka's bye-bye party. We had an LA (less active member) and a Eikaiwa student there too. We were able to show the ward members a lot of love, and show them some fruits of our labor. Then today we went bowling for a district activity. I got the high score for the first game with a score of 169. Not bad for the 3rd time bowling in my life. :3 Look forward to next week's email too.  Our schedule is pretty much already full with appointments and dinners....and MOVING!!! Sadly Elder Yamaoka's last day will be moving our apartment.

Love you ALL,

Elder Harvey

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

When two or three gather in my name. (3/6/17)

*DRUM ROLL* TRANSFERS HAPPENED! I am now in my 5th transfer in Japan!!! Time flies so FAST! It feels like 2 months ago when I was in the MTC but reality says 7. :3   Anyway the area I am still Iwamizawa! BUT, the number of missionaries increased to 3! It's weird how Sister Harvey became a 3nin a week before me. My new companion IS..... A NIHONJIN!!! (native Japanese)  And also one of my first companions. ELDER SEKI!  Not sure if I mentioned this but Elder Seki, Larson and I were companions my first day in Japan. However, we will only be a 3nin for another week and a half before Elder Yamaoka goes home. Though, I am ecstatic to be with these 2. :) It's really weird though finally knowing how Nihonjin feel in an apartment with more than 1 gaijin (foreigner). OK, onto how this week went.

Tue: DTM (District Training Meeting).  Got our transfer calls, did some finding, and had a lesson with Masaki San. It went pretty well and we committed him to pray more often.

Wed: We did a bunch of finding, tried to meet with 2 investigators and left them both food. We made cookies for our investigators and our new companion and district members.

Thursday: We deep cleaned the Ebetsu apartment (Ebetsu is another area not too far away). We found hand warmers that expired back in 1999. We filled 3 garbage bags full of various trash. Then we picked up our new companion and our new DL (district leader). Our new DL is actually one of Elder Yamaoka's sons (missionary who he trained).  Then back to Iwamizawa and did some Eikaiwa (English class).

Fri: We met with the Oono kazoku for the first time. (They are investigators since before I got to Iwamizawa.)  We did a mogie (role playing) lesson with a less active member (our reason is that I am gaijin so I need practice :> ) which went pretty well. Then Kids Eikaiwa which is always a blast! Somehow it's easier than normal Eikaiwa. Then went off to the Katayama's for another Eikaiwa. We are improving how this goes each time we go.

Sat: We want to Bibai, met with an NA, found some new Investigators and had a good time. Then back to the apartment for DKK (Doryo (companion) Keikaku (plan(ning)) Kai (meeting)). And we made notes for the branch members

Sun:  THIS DAY WAS AMAZING! The notes were a hit and everyone felt that the whole day was one of the best day's they had at church because they started the day with such a high spiritual note. Made better relationships with the members too. :) Then off to another NA and did a mogie lesson and he decided to feed us pizza on the 15th :).  Met a referral, and walked a lot. Then we had a Nabe (refers to a variety of Japanese hot pot dishes, also known as one pot dishes and "things in a pot") party with Masaki San and taught a really good lesson over dinner.

Mon: Today was Zone activity. LOTS of fun.

Anyway out of time... :(


Harvey Choro.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Captain's Log, Star Date....

Hey everyone!!! This has been a super busy week. We met with quite a few of our investigators, said bye to the Inaba's (missionary couple) officially, did a lot of Eikaiwa (English classes), and a lot more! I also had splits with my DL (district leader), it was super fun and we found some awesome new investigators. I also met with a bunch of NA's (not sure what this means) this week and they were all SUPER hard to understand.

Over all this week has been really good and I have learned a lot this week. Sorry, not a whole lot of time this week but know that I love all of you and look forward to your letters!

Love Elder Harvey