Monday, April 25, 2016

Lots of blessings in disguise, but not the last one. . .

        Good Morning! And for those of you in an other time zone, Good Evening! And I think there are a few Good Afternoon peoples!

        Well this week went by pretty smoothly. We had a few different miracles, nothing as big as last week, but they were still important. But this week I will start by writing our anti-miracles!

1. The sisters in Fuji got sick!
2. My bread started to mold!
3. A bunch of people weren't home when we had appointments to meet with them!
4. We saw a creepy bug!

        But as you all know, all of the trials that the Lord give us are blessings in disguise! 1. We got the opportunity to give the sisters blessings and the spirit in the room was a very unique one. 2. I had
the wisdom to buy extra bread last Monday so I was fine. 3. Since people weren't home, we talked to a lot more people on the street and we got to do some family history. 4. Not a was creepy.

        So we, last Monday, went shopping, you know just the normal pday stuff. And then that night, we went to a place that we thought of and literally followed the wind and it led us to some houses that we didn't know we're there! So we housed them and it was just normal, people saying no, or just shutting the door, or answering through the speaker box and then just hanging up when they are done talking to us...just the usual. But then we went and housed an apartment right next to ours because we got back and had extra time! And we found someone who had just moved in and wanted to listen to our message!

        Then on Tuesday, we went and visited Watanabe Kyodai, who is only less active because he is in a nursing home type thing. And he is so cool! We shared a little message and just talked for a while because we think that is what he really needs from us right now. And we tried to visit some former investigators up there, we were in the mountains, and that's where we saw the creepy bug.

        Then on Wednesday, the big thing that happened was we went to the Uematsu's house and had a lesson and we decided to help with English because they kind of mentioned that before and it was really fun! And for this week they told us not to eat dinner before we come, so yeah, big blessing! And they are really awesome!

        Then on Thursday, we went and got to visit our Brazilian friends Ronaldo and Marly! They are way good and are actually interested in the church! We taught them how to pray and she prayed in Portuguese and that was really a #throwbackthursday for me because she sounded like when my older brother says his prayers. But she forgot to end in the name of Christ. And to address Heavenly Father. So we are working on it. And then we did DKK or Weekly Planning. It We did some really good planning though and we actually cleaned our whiteboards and stuff, so it looks like it was good planning at least. And we had eikaiwa and it was a blast! And as almost always, we played Magical

        Then we got to go around and find people on Friday! And we finished our planning. We also got a call from a guy from Iran! Which is so cool and he was interested in eikaiwa and also about learning the church! We went to the Mac and had a crazy idea to just go sit with some high school guys and have some fun and invite them to eikaiwa and so we did. And we did some magic tricks for them and they were amazed! We were also going to see if they wanted to hear about the gospel but
it didn't feel right. Then we went and visited a member. And he is awesome! He said he really likes having us come over and share really short messages like we do every week. (We go because he used to be less active and just started coming back and because he has some really cool insights on the gospel).

        Then on Saturday, we had a good time going to visit all of the former investigators that an Elder that just finished his time on the mission had asked us how they were doing. And we had only ever met one of them and he dropped we were like, let's go see if they are ready to hear it again! The answer...mostly no. And lots of the people moved. Then that night we went with one of the members of the bishopric to visit our investigator Yoshimura. We talked about the Word of Wisdom
and he saw the little list in the pamphlet and was like I do all of these! I even used to do drugs! He said that he wants the blessings from God, but doesn't want to stop doing these. But he will stop
pachinko so that's good at least.  But we were worried after that he might drop us.

        Then Sunday was awesome like always! We had church and Yoshimura came! He said he still doesn't want to stop smoking and drinking, but he still likes coming to church. So that was good! He will figure it out sometime. And he said again in gospel principles that he knows that smoking and drinking are bad, but he doesn't understand why not coffee and ocha. So the teacher explained that for us that although the drinks seem to be good for our body, God gives us commandments for our spirit not our body, even if it were something that is good for our body, it is bad for our spirit. So that was good. He understands now, but doesn't want to stop. Oh well.

       Well that's about it for this week! I hope you all have a great on this week and that you find the peace, joy, and happy from the gospel.

Elder Richardson

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Dominoes, Austrians, and a Biker Gang

Hello everyone!

         So this week was pretty fantastic and quite a bit less rainy! On  Monday, as you well know, while we were emailing, we had a ping pong tournament for the Gift of Tongues. I did not win, my ping pong skills are definitely not up to par. I was the first to lose the loser's bracket in the tournament; however, Elder Tallent (in the Numazu area) once again won the right to be called Senpai. Then we went for sushi and it was a lot of fun! Then we went home, (we were in Numazu) and we went shopping and stuff. Usual. Before dinner we cleaned the apartment. It needed a little help, but then it was way good after. It wasn't too bad to begin with. Then we got to go out and work for the night! We went to visit a guy that Elder Hansen and Elder Delis (the missionary that was in Fuji with Elder Hansen before) found while they were housing. He is Catholic and so they gave him a Book of Mormon and asked him to read it and they went back before and he said that he read some, but didn't want to hear the message. They asked him to pray and so we were going to follow up on that. We went and he didn't want to talk to us, so that's that. Oh well. Then we went and visited a
woman that we have been talking to about the gospel that was also found while housing, and we don't know her name so that is number 1 on the list, but she wasn't home. So we were like, well now what? Two things that we planned to take a little longer but then they were both kind of shot down by the forces of evil, namely "uninterestedness" and "probably still at work." So we went...housing! And then it was late and we couldn't house any more, so we got to go do some family history!

         Then on Tuesday, we had a visit from Ishii Kaicho and Ishii Shimai! We got to do some interviews and then they came and inspected our apartment! Good thing we took a little time to clean on P-day. While we were in interviews, Ishii Shimai talked to us about family history. She is a wizard! I feel like I know quite a bit about it, but I can't do it in Japanese. Those records are too hard to read! So she shared with us little ways that we could still do some Japanese people's records without having to decipher Japanese cursive. It was awesome! Then we went to the post office and sent out some mail, then went to go visit a member who is in a care center. He is awesome! We didn't know anything him before we went to go meet him and the ward just said that he is less active, so we were like oh, this might be interesting. But this was the second time and he is reading the Book of Mormon now, (because he didn't have one before and we gave him one last visit), and he prays just like normal, he likes listening to the conference talks, and he is always really happy that we visit him and that we talk about church. So we found out that he is literally only less active because he can't physically get to church. So we are visiting him every week now.

         And then we had sports night which was a blast! We played badminton and it was fun, I love it. And I am decent, I wasn't the best but I can sometimes hit the birdie. But it was way fun and there was a guy there that came because we invited him and he is going to be in the badminton club at school! So he was really good!

         Then on Wednesday, we went housing and stuff, so you know just good ol' housing. And our appointment ended up being cancelled, so that was a bummer. And we also went and ate an ice cream bar outside in the rain in front of Lawson. (Which is a conbini).

         On Thursday, we had a koukan! That's three Thursdays in a row!!! But this time I was in Fuji and with the legendary Elder Tallent! He is super cool and really funny! So we went to Indo curry for lunch and then we came back to Fuji and dendoed! But before that story, on the way to numazu to start the koukan, we had to get on a train, so we were waiting on a platform and we look at the bench and there is a white guy there so we were like, "Dude! Let's go sitting by him!" So we did, and it turns out that he speaks English! And is from Austria! He was super nice and we never found out his name, but he is traveling around the world for about six months. He started off in Japan, and he said that he would go to Korea next. And then he would end up over in the Americas and things. It was great, so he asked us if we knew any good food places in Numazu and, unfortunately, we didn't really know any. But it was really a good time.

         Then we had our koukan experiences. Elder Tallent and I went and visited a member and had a good little message. Then, since we were close, we went to the coast. Of course! We rode up the walkway for a little bit and then since we were just finding a way out for a little bit, we decided to ride on the sand for a little, it was fun, but I am really bad at it still. So when we got tired of that, we found a way up to the walkway again and there was this young guy that was going up the same way! So we talked to him and...nothing, he wasn't interested in the gospel or eikaiwa. So then we just went on our merry way. It was really slow on Thursday, and then we had to have dinner a little earlier so we could get ready for eikaiwa. So we went to sushi, I didn't know this, but apparently there is a sushi place right by our apartment. So Elder Tallent showed to be the secret of Fuji. So we had sushi and then we taught eikaiwa. It was really great! We played charades after it and the people were getting into it pretty well.

         We had for Friday DTM of course! And it was the last DTM for Uchimura Shimai. She is going home! Wow! It really ends! But anyway, it was a good DTM, we talked about the spirit and so we played a little game of "blindfolded obstacle course." It was awesome! We wouldn't let anyone that was going through see it so it was completely unknown to them! It was funny! Then afterward, we had to do DKK, or weekly planning. Then for dinner, because it was the last week of the transfer and just in case one of us was leaving, we went to Dominoes to get pizza. They had put three flyers in our mailbox over time throughout the week. So we were craving it. And then when we got there, we realized that if you do takeout it's buy one get one free! So we were excited. We had ordered and then a guy came in and said, "Hey Elders!" Then he asked if we had just payed and told the cashier to give us our money back and he paid for it. It was so nice, we insisted that he didn't, but he insisted harder and in better Japanese that he did. Then we talked to him, of course, and he is from Seattle but lives in Tokyo with his family. Awesome, and he works for dominoes. He is the kind of go between guy for America and Japan. And he audits the Japanese stores. So pretty cool. So we had two pizzas and it was a good time. Then we had a lot of pizza, so we gave some to a member who is super cool and we love visiting, and we were planning on visiting him anyway so it was really good. He said on Sunday that it was delicious and that he had never had any before, so we were glad that we had decided to give it to him.

         So then on Saturday, we went to the park to talk to people there and the first two guys we talked to were awesome, they were there to play badminton and so, since their other friends weren't there yet, we played with them for a little bit. The wind made it really hard, but they had a good time and so did we. And they ended up winning the match... But oh well. Then we walked around for a little bit more and we talked to a soccer guy and he started talking about all these conspiracies, so it was like, "what???" But he had some interest in the gospel so we are maybe going back to talk to him next Saturday. Then we went to a store where all the young people hang out, because we want to teach young people. Then on the way back we met some bikers that we had met last week, which I think I forgot to mention, but last week we were going housing and then we passed by a train station and
there were these kids on motorcycles there so we stopped and introduced ourselves and told them that we were sharing a message about the gospel and about God. One of them was like, "ok, I will give
you three minutes" and he said that in English, so we gave a quick overview of who God is and why he loves them. Then we asked them if they could talk God, what would they ask him and they gave various answers about the future and about life and such and then they were getting ready to go so we gave them eikaiwa flyers and then they left.

         But anyway, on Saturday, we met these same bikers again. And they were by a canal and we were like, "Hey what's up?" And then one of them said that he lost his shoe in the canal and it was there floating. Then he said that he would listen to our message if we could get his shoe out for him. So we thought about it, and we can't swim or climb the thing that was next to it because of rules so we were thinking about what to do. Then over in one of the parking lots they had some flags that were advertising something and we both felt that we needed to get the shoe for him and then we both were thinking of the flag, but taking that is probably illegal. So we just said, "we have an idea but is probably bad, we could get one of those flags and then we could get it out." So then the bikers ran and got the flag.  And then got it ready to get the shoe out, we ended up getting it out and so we gave the one that lost his shoe a card with our number on it and then left. We were then biking down the road and they passed us and they honked and revved and waved, so it was awesome! Really good
relationship being built!

         Then on Sunday it was just normal church, which was awesome! And then we had a pancake party after because Uchimura Shimai is leaving. So that was way fun! And it was delicious! But it was really sad! She was a lot of fun to have around!

         Then later that night we had a lesson with one of our Chinese investigators Sai! And we told him about who God is and about the Book of Mormon and prayer. He has no religious background so we have to start with the  beginning, but it is really good because then he won't argue with us and say, well my church says... And he has no preconceptions about our church. So that is really good. And he played the guitar for us and sang in Chinese! It was really good. And when we told him that God loves him, he was a little concerned and asked if God loved his girlfriend. We were like yes! And he said, "but she believes in Buddha and not Christ. Does he really love her?" So we got to tell him that God really loves everyone no matter what they believe. He loves us all no matter what we do. Just as it was said in conference. "(God) knows all the things we don't want anyone else to know about us--and loves us still." It is so cool to see how much conference really testifies to worries and thoughts of everyday people.

         But yeah that was this week! It was fun and we saw lots of miracles! I hope you all have a fun time, a great time, and a splendid week!

         Richardson Churro

Austrian guy.

The koukan last week with Shizuoka

The pancake party!

Us and the guys that we played badminton with at the park!

Eating Pizza outside by a conbini. That's only one pizza of the two!!!

Us and Brother Caruthers! The Dominoes Pizza Guy! And his Japanese counterpart Otake San!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Sakura! Sakura!

Hello Everyone!

        This week was killer! And by killer I mean sick! And by sick, I mean radtacular! And it was super long, but also really short! The main highlights of the week are almost everyday! First, our Sakura finally bloomed and so now we have tons of pictures! They will be included at the end, well not all of them, but most of them.

        We started taking the pictures last Monday and did that until Wednesday, which was awesome, because most of the places we went had a ton of people there...just more chances to hear the gospel. And we got some totally bomb pictures! But one of the places we went to was a total dead zone, only us and the flowers. So we got some good pictures there and then high-tailed it out of there. Luckily we had plans to go to another park for Sakura that day and that was where the most people were.

        Then we got to go up a mountain to see more and it literally was a mountain, not THE mountain, but a mountain nonetheless. So many pictures with Fuji San and and the flowers.

        Anyway, on Monday, we visited with our Brazilian buddy Philippe and we talked about  prophets, shock, because for us it was general conference this weekend! And so we talked about that and it was good! Then we visited some people who we are trying to "Sudden Death" them, because we want to know if they want us to teach before we drop them. But they weren't home so we are going to go some other time.

        Then on Tuesday, we got to go visit the Sato family! They are awesome! And we were there and got to talk to a boy in the ward who is preparing to be baptized and he wants to know if it is the right thing to do! That is so awesome! He is really thinking about it, so we did a magic  trick and talked about faith and how it grows little by little. And then we got into the meat of the lesson, we told him that the prophet can receive revelation for everyone in the world. And that if he has a question, he will hear something in a talk in conference that will help him to answer it. He thought that was pretty cool, so I hope he did it. But he also like seven so you know...

        Then we got to go take more pictures of flowers...hahaha! But we then visited with Mirai, from the Phillipines, and we told him about prophets too! We talked about prophets a lot this week. And we invited him to General Conference.

        Wednesday's Highlight is that we got to go and have an actual sit-down lesson with the Uematsu family! They are the best! We talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how it can change our lives. With that, we taught about the atonement and how it can change our lives.

        Then we got more Sakura pictures.

        On Thursday, we did not get any pictures of Sakura. But we did get to go on a koukan! With the zone leaders in Shizuoka! But it was raining all day and I forgot to bring my kappa pants so I was soaked! But it was ok, because we went and ate udon and I now have eaten duck neck! Which was actually good. Really good. I know now what my mom is always talking about when she says the chicken neck is good. I got to be with Elder Farias from Brazil and he is super cool! It was a fun time even in the rain.

        Then for Friday we had, as always pretty much, DTM (District Training Meeting)! Elder Tallent was sick and the Japanese doctors gave him all sorts of drugs to take, and he also hurt his back, so more drugs and so he was super high. He was telling us an experience and he ended up testifying for about 15 minutes about the spirit and how if the time is right for a baptismal invite, the spirit will just tell you. And then he went on to go harder and harder into the spirit. He was super into it, but at the end he was like, "And that's why...wait what was I talking about again?" We all laughed, but it was super good and we all felt the spirit.

        On Satruday, we got to watch General Conference! No one came as investigators, so we watched in a separate room in English with only the sisters. Then same for the afternoon session. Then for priesthood, we went to another room and it was only me and Elder Hansen. But that night we watched our favorites again, I actually like having conference a week later, because then you can read along, get the quotes you want and the scripture references and you can study it right after is over. The only thing is that we had to exercise self control and not read or watch them before.

        Then we had seminary that night, we didn't have to go, but there is only one young man in our ward and we think that we need to help him to feel less out of place. So we have decided to go every week if we can.

        Then we got to watch more General Conference on Sunday! Awesome! And in the morning, Yoshimura came! That was awesome, so we watched that session in Japanese, which was super hard. The translator people talked really fast to try to keep up with the speakers. So I had to review and watch those later that night. And we think that Yoshimura San liked President Uchtdorf's talk. It was really good. Then he had to go so we got to watch the last session in English, but it was only us because the Sisters had switched and on Saturday they watched in English and Uchimura Shimai read along in Japanese. And then on Sunday, they watched in Japanese and Wynn Shimai read along in

        So it ended up only one of the people we invited came to church and the others didn't, but I think that it really affected him. He said he like the part about the sheep and how we are all worthy to save and we don't need to have faith right now but only desire to believe. So I think all that inviting brought us a little miracle.

        Then we had time after Conference and so we went to the park to talk to people and we found some really cool guys doing tricks on their bikes. They were cool, but not that much interest. And they are really busy, so we are going to stop by whenever we see them there.

        And then we got to do some Family history last night because we had a little extra time at night and that is our back up. It was an awesome experience.

        My favorite talk this conference was in the priesthood session. I loved President Nelson's talk this time. But then I also liked President Uchtdorf's talk about repentance on Sunday morning.

        I hope you all have a great time and I love the chance that we all had to hear the voice of the prophet. His talks were very profound. They were short, but we can learn a lot.

-Richardson Choro

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Are you the police? No ma'am, we Mormons.

Do you know why fire trucks are red? Well there are four doors on a fire truck, there are three men. Four times three is twelve, there are twelve inches in a ruler. Queen Elizabeth was a ruler. The Queen
Elizabeth was a ship. Ships sail on the sea, in the sea there are fish. Fish have fins. The Finns fought the Russians. The Russians were always red. And fire trucks are always rushin' so therefore they are
red too.

My dear weekly readers, thank you for tuning in thus far. This program is brought to you in part by: Cafe Rio, every meal a masterpiece; the Boy Scouts of America, Be Prepared; Frozen, Let it Go; and Viewers Like You. Thank you.

This week was long and great! We noticed that very early in the week that many things happened and that they were all in this week. I will spare you some of the details, but not all. For Thursday, last Monday we went to the store. Then we traveled on Thursday for Friday and Saturday was a special day, it's the day you get ready for Sunday. Confused yet? Because I ran out of things to say and got a little bit lost myself. But we did all of that.

 On Monday, we went shopping for Thursday because Thursday was a special day! It was Yoshimura-san's Birthday! We decided to decorate his door and we bought him a leather jacket for a present! It was awesome and it fit Elder Hansen so we are pretty sure that it will fit him. Also we took some model pics with the jacket. They will be included at the end.

Then we had an awesome lesson on Tuesday with Sciki, another investigator, and we talked about Family History and temples. We weren't going to, but we felt good about it there and invited him to be baptized! Unfortunately, he decided he wasn't ready yet. But it was still a really good thing. He later texted us and asked not to meet, but this has happened before and so we are just waiting for a little while, sometimes people just need a break. Then we had service night with the ward that night and it was fun! And we got KFC! And found out that one of the Less Active Members of the ward is
in Tokyo. Oh well.

Then we biked super far on Wednesday and went to what our map said was a castle. It wasn't. But we talked to a really nice couple that were there also. And they told us where some nice Sakura blossoms were. We had a lesson that night where we did something that I haven't done in my entire mission yet. We went in and sat at the table to teach. The only people who invited us in were members. Then we taught them and they aren't that interested in the gospel as a religious interest, but they want to help us teach and they want us to teach their granddaughter English. So that will be good. And she does Kendo! So maybe we will also become sword masters!

On Thursday we had the time of our lives! Koukan! (Companion Exchange)! And I got to go to Numazu with Elder Baur! He is sick! And from Australia! So I just listened to him talk for a while, you know. And we ate...INDO CURRY! It has been a long time. So that was great. And they had an all-you-can-drink drink-bar so we pretty much made them go bankrupt on Mango Lasse. And we got to go to a real beach! In Fuji we just have a coast. But they have a great beach in Numazu! We also got to have eikaiwa! Yay! I love it, I missed Fuji's eikaiwa. I really get attached to my English students, but I will see them next week, oh wait, we have another koukan and I will be in Shizuoka probably. Yay! And we saw miracles in Numazu, because koukan days really should be called miracle days. We met a guy on the beach that they had met previously and we found out where and when he could be found consistently. He said he always takes that same trail on the beach home from work and he works until three. Yes! Lots of information. And then miracle #2! A lady that they met on the train came to eikaiwa and they thought they would never see her again because they didn't have anything to give her and she didn't give them any contact information.  Yes!

Then we had DTM on Friday and this one was entirely about Family History! It is so great! We get to do a lot of work and we are sure that that is how Japan is going to have its heart softened to the
gospel and just Christians in general. We talked about how we can help the members to have their faith strengthened using family history, and we directed that we just need them to do it. And we know how and sometimes maybe they don't. So we want to share it with them. And we visited a lot of people and committed them to doing family history. And the ones we visited turned out to be the ones that already do it, so we asked them to help others, by indexing the records that Japan already has in the database so that other people can find their ancestors' records. It is great!

 On Saturday, we did the aforementioned visits to people and talked a ton about history, at the Itou house, we ended up talking about coins and he collects coins and give us all a coin as a souvenir. It is cool! Mine has a Phoenix on it and shout out to all you Pokemon fans, you say Phoenix as ho-oh. Just saying, let your mind go over that line again. Ho-oh. Yep. But anyway it was great and although it took a lot of time to go visit them, I feel like it is worth it! And the back seat of his car might as well be the floor. But you know everything is smaller in Japan, is that a phrase? But the picture will be included! But batteries are not included!

Then on Sunday, we had church, yes I know that many of you are thinking, "but wait wasn't it general conference?" No not in Japan. We have conference next Saturday and Sunday! And so it was fast Sunday and it was good! We also got to go visit a man who is in the hospital and he was really happy to see us. We made sure that he had the Book of Mormon to read and he was very emphatic about food. It didn't help that we were fasting. #Grumblystomach but it was great! And we got to visit one of our investigators who is Chinese and we invited her to a hot plate party. Also food but I digress.

Anyway all in all, this week was good! We got a lot of work done and talked to a ton of people on the street. I give my thanks for all the people we talked to especially the couple from Seattle. They were really nice, had no interest, but unlike most other gaijin (foreigners) they were nice about it and still talked to us as people. I am really grateful for that. And #Throwback...uh Monday?  To about one year ago! We were on band tour to Disneyland over general conference, I know I'm bad! #You'reMySpoonfulofSugar #Hunter #PerformingArts #JordanMiles

I love all of you in various degrees, many of you are pretty awesome and the rest of you are also  pretty awesome. I hope you can tune in next week, same bat time, same bat channel.

                Elder リチャードソン

The coin collecting family.

In the back seat of the car.

Yay for Indo curry!

Elder Hansen in the leather jacket.