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.