Sunday, December 15, 2013

December 15, 2013

I pretty much just rolled up my responses to all of your emails into one.  Here you go.  

So first off, this weekend was fantastic.  Not that other weekends aren`t good, but this weekend the Zone Leaders came (rode an all night boat from Kagoshima).  And I may have forgotten to tell you, but my trainer left Naze to become the Zone Leader.  So Mukaitani Choro came back to Naze; triumphant return after being gone for a whole three weeks.  They arrived on the dock at five am (ish) and came back to our apartment and slept until 6:30.  It was funny because I woke up in the middle of the night to see them walk in and then fell back asleep five seconds later.  So I just have the image of two dark figures walking into our room.  Way funny.  So we had a fun time Friday and Saturday while they were here.  So the Zone Leaders split up to work with each companionship, so on Friday Robinson choro and I went out with beloved Mukaitani choro; we switched on Saturday, so Robinson and I went out with McConnell choro (other Zone Leader).  They also did some training which everyone else in our zone had gotten already, but because we`re an island...  It was way fun to work with them.  They are both very experienced and I learned a lot (and had lots of fun with my trainer).  They left Sunday after church.  

Our investigators are doing well.  With on of them it seems each week we learn more and more about him and we are starting to understand how to help him progress (at least we think we are).  Still lots of work to do.  The other loves the Book of Mormon and pretty much reads whatever we ask her to.  She has some misconceptions about prayer though, which will take some work.  Hopefully she will start to understand better as we keep praying with her.  If we can get a member present for one of our next lessons we will be able to explain it better and that would help a bunch.  For Japanese people prayer (at least the way we do it) is just a completely foreign concept and it is hard to help them get over that barrier.  They pray to their parents at their alter (pretty much every Japanese person has an alter in their house) but it`s completely different from the way we do it.  

I actually haven`t really ever felt uncomfortable with Japan so far.  It took me maybe a few weeks to adjust, but now it`s just life, has been for a couple months now.  What was hard to adjust to was being a missionary everyday and having that desire to talk to everyone and share.  I hated not understanding their responses, so contacting (most of what we do) wasn`t fun. But now I love it.  As I have been able to understand more and not have that same fear, I have been able to hear the Spirit at each turn and know where to take the conversation.  It is a wonderful miracle to see people as you astonish them with the gospel.  I have come to decide that when people hear our message they should either think we`re crazy, or this is something amazing.  Or they just shut the door after hearing that we`re Christian.  That happens a lot too.  

Still suck at basketball.  

The weather on Naze has been nice.  It really only gets cold at night, when the sun goes down.  But in other places it`s freezing cold, even if it`s not below 32F (humidity and wind chill).  

For Christmas we are going to get up, eat and come down to the Church.  We will be skyping from 8am to 11am plus another hour later in the day.  But then we want to spend the afternoon on the beach.  There is a very nice beach that is reasonably close by.  Then we have to do shopping and clean and stuff.  Maybe play some shogi.  

I really want a baptismal date.  That`s the only thing I really want for Christmas.  Don`t have anything else I could use (`cause I`m a missionary).  Sorry that`s probably not the answer you wanted Wyatt.  

My favorite about Japan thing is probably the culture.  It is something you can`t really understand unless you speak the language and talk to the people.  The language and the culture are just so interconnected, it is just such a cool thing to grow to understand.  Of course it takes a long time of frustration and not understanding to get there.  The places are really cool too.  One thing that I never understood about culture is how the location and language affect  the culture, how the people act and feel.  It`s just fascinating.  You can really start to understand where anime/manga comes from and why it is that way.  

I really wanted to serve because we have been blessed so much.  So many people won`t have the same blessings we have unless they have the gospel.  So I want to share the gospel and share the blessings.  Think of all the cool stuff we`ve done.  Most of those are because we have the gospel in our lives.  Don`t other people deserve the same?  But now that I`m here the reason has changed.  It`s taken time, but slowly my desire has grown to wanting to share the gospel because of the joy it brings.  It is an amazing feeling to share the gospel with someone and just be able to really teach it to them and help them really understand why it`s important and how it helps them (especially when there is this language/cultural barrier).  It just brings the Spirit and just an overwhelming happiness.  Hard to describe.  Love it.  

Love you guys, hope your Christmas prep goes well.  Have fun.  


December 8, 2013

Yeah, I got your package.  I love it.  We all watch each other open packages, because it`s so thrilling, so everyone saw the "P-Day Activity for the Elders".  We`re all way excited.  I saw the sweater but I am trying to wait until Christmas if I can.  I haven`t had to wear my suit all day yet, so I think I`m good.  But it sounds freezing where you are.  Everywhere else in Japan it`s about the same, but not the islands (woohoo).    

I have had to do a lot of work on the Holy Ghost lately.  One of our investigators has been taught everything, but doesn`t think he has felt the Spirit.  So we have been trying to help him feel the Spirit and explain to him why.  Lots of work and we go in circles a lot.  It`s really tough because his Japanese is very blurred and words are harder to pick out.  Requires lots of concentration.  And then he doesn`t understand some of my answers (partly because of my Japanese and partly because he doesnt understand the Spirit).  But one thing I have learned is how important the Holy Ghost really is.  He guides us and gives us comfort and is so important in our everyday lives.  It`s just hard to explain how to feel and understand Him.  As another testimony, we worked with a less-active recently who has been slowly opening more and more to us.  She recently confided that she hasn`t ever felt the Spirit though.  So we are having to teach her the same sort of things we are teaching to our investigator.  I would have thought that converts wouldn`t have this problem, but apparently they do.  Either way, I have realized how important it is to make sure you can feel and understand the Holy Ghost now, because when temptation comes, or you are in the wrong place at the wrong time, it will be much harder to receive and understand guidance and safety.  As your understanding grows, you can tell each hour and each minute whether the Spirit is there or not.  A prophet or apostle or someone said that they check themselves every five minutes to see whether or not the Holy Ghost is still there.  If it`s not they change something immediately to bring Him back.  I have really tried to take that to heart as we try to find investigators and people to teach.  It`s just so important.  

My companion and I are doing well.  Lots of fun.  We recently found an investigator who has lots of interest in the gospel and learning about the Book of Mormon.  After our first lesson we asked her to read the first chapter in the Book of Mormon and a couple verses in other places that we marked for her.  She decided to read the first ten chapters and all of Moroni 10 (we asked her to read 3 verses from that).  She said she loved it, but still doesn`t understand all of it (apparently the japanese Book of Mormon is very hard to understand, even for members; at least much more so than in English).  So we are very excited to get to teach her.  

Love you.  Hope you are well.  Thanks for the packages and I hope you can get mine soon.  Say hi to everyone for me.  
Elder Lee
Lee Choro 
yori より

Monday, December 2, 2013

December 2, 2013

Thanks for the package.  I`m super excited.  Recently, it actually has been pretty cold here.  I`ve worn long sleeves the past few days.  We don`t have any electronic equipment except a regular in-destructable cell phone.  And a dictionary.  By the way, I gave in and bought one today.  I am so happy.  Cost $130, so not as cheap as I would have liked, but oh well.  I haven`t had it very long, but it has already been very useful.  Love it.  Small, portable.  Don`t use the internet other than emailing you.
As for teaching, we have actually recently found two more investigators, so we have about four right now.  One of them has a real interest in the Book of Mormon and seemed to drink in everything we said.  The other might be a little harder because she sounds rather busy.  But we will see.  We still have the investigator that we meet every Sunday, and in our last lesson we committed him to fast next Sunday.  So we have to fast too.  Fun fun, ne.
Today we ate at a curry shop.  It was curry on rice and a fried chicken.  So good.  Curry is a big favorite of ours right now, but I have a feeling we will get sick of it soon.  Well see. Still love ramen.  
We have a less-active who loves to make us food, so almost every Monday we go eat with her.  She likes to make Amami local food, so I have eaten some stuff with her that I still don`t know what it is.  I still don`t have to do much cooking, which is fine with me.  More study time.
One thing I have noticed recently is how much better I can speak and hear and understand.  My speaking has gotten good enough that it just comes out.  I just flick a switch.  It is such a blessing.  I had been worrying about not doing well without Mukaitani choro, but as long I as i confident and listen to the Spirit, I know I can do all things.  When I get discouraged, I have a hard time, but when I have that confidence, the Spirit just lets me know what to say.  Amazing.
I got a flat today.  A staple got stuck into my tired somehow.  Spent about half an hour, forty five minutes trying to fix it.  But we finally got to go see our new investigator, so ended well.
Sorry you had a hard time with the moulding.  I still think it`s funny that you accidentally picked a hard one on YouTube.  I honestly can`t really remember what it looked like before, so it`s a little hard for me to tell the difference.  But I am sure it looks good.
Glad you had a good Thanksgiving.  Sounds fun.  When I get home we`ll have to have a great Thanksgiving party together, ne.  Maybe I`ll fly home from BYU for the weekend or something.  

Hope you are well.  Love you.  Your favorite son and bromine,
Elder Lee
Lee Choro