Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Family and Friends!!!!
Guess what!?!  WE ARE GOING TO SENDAI ON THURSDAY!!!!  YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We leave Thursday night and work all day Friday!!  Yay!!  We can do service!!!!  YAY!!!!  I am soooo excited!!  It is costing a lot of money!  A lot of money; to insure each missionary and for transportation.  I am going to an area called Tagajou.  I am so excited!!  I'm nervous about what it will look like and what I'll see, but I am just so excited to do some service!  YAY!
Well, we had transfers and I stayed!!  Yay!  For once I've stayed in an area!  We did go four man.  My new companion is Elder Bates!  He and I have sooo much in common!  It`s so nice to breathe and stretch in a way!!  The other two missionaries are Elder Keith and Elder Kuroki (Nihonjin).  We all went to the honbu to transfer, because all the missionaries returned to Tokyo!  President Albrecht ran into me in the hall; there were more than a hundred missionaries in the church.  He stopped me and grabbed both of my shoulders.  I tried to squirm out, but he gently pushed me against the wall.  I was pinned.  He looked right into my eyes and told me that he loved me and that he was proud of me.  That was such an empowering experience.  President Albrecht has so much love.  He is awesome.  :D
Okay, I have to go, because six people have to use this computer now. :)  I love you all!  I'll tell you how the Sendai service project goes!  I'm so excited!
Love you!!
Jenkins Choro!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Konnichiwa Friends and Family,
Well, transfer calls are tomorrow morning, which means more change.  All the Tokyo missionaries are returning!  However, not all of the areas are re-opening.  Our apartment is going to become four man!  We don't know anything else!  Well, I know that I'm staying; I talked to President Albrecht.  :)  I'll let you know what happens!
Spiritual Stuff:  1. So yeah, I talked to President and he was really encouraging.  :)  We'll have interviews next month, and I'm super excited!  President is so awesome.  2. Elder Fowers gave a talk in sacrament meeting this week, and I understood most of it!  3. I LOVE reading the Book of Mormon and the Ensign.  They have been a great support.
Cultural Thing:  The Japanese have a saying, "O-tsukare-sama."  "Tsukareru" means to get tired, and "sama" is an honorific version of the English: "Mr."  "O" just makes it more honorific.  Anyway so it means: "Mr. Hard worker," but that doesn't even cover it.  You say it to construction workers as you walk by, someone that does something for you, someone that does something busy, hard, or challenging, something the makes them tired, etc.  It's hard to explain; there isn't an English equivalent that I can think of.  Anyway, just a fun little saying.
Funny Stuff:  I've already had some fun encounters with the intoxicated.  :D  I'm sure there are more to come, too.  People act so weird when they're drunk!  Anyway, so the other night we were walking home and there was an old drunk man peeing on a wall right by the train station on a busy street!  The best part was when Elder Fowers yelled, "Otsukaresama!"  The man jumped and tried to hurry away.  It was pretty funny.
Well, I have to go, but just a few more things.  1. I've re-introduced olive oil into my life and I am so happy!  I had forgotten how good it tastes.  2. I love you all!  Thank you for your love and prayers!!  I am so grateful for your support!!  3. We still do not have any progressing investigators but we do have one baptismal date with Rodrigo.  He is from Bolivia, but has been in Japan for a while.  He's seventeen and likes church.  However, he has soccer practice on Sunday mornings.  :/  Pray for him please!
Okay, I have to go now!  I love you!!!!!!!!!
Jenkins Choro

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hello there

[Mom's note:  Sounds like he could use some mighty prayers!  Thanks in advance!]  :)

Hello Friends and Family!
Well, I'm still having a hard time.  :)  I repeat:  I have never done something this hard and I'm starting to think that I'll be saying that for the rest of my life.  Yay...  I don't have much to report.  We are doing 24/7 around the clock finding right now because none of our three investigators are progressing.  This is a tough situation to be in.  :)  We haven't even left the city we live in yet!  Twelve more cities to go!
Spiritual/Yes-I-cried-again Moment:  There is one family and one single man in the ward that speaks English so we have an English gospel doctrines class.  We talked about the nature of God.  Who is God; what kind of person is he?  Well, I cried as I explained one time that I really felt God's love, a long time ago (senior year).  I look like such an idiot when I cry.  :)
Cultural:  People work a lot here.  They commute far and work a lot of overtime.  It's interesting to see that affect church culture as well.  Activities are on Saturdays and Sundays because those are really the only days that work for the ward.  It's weird to see the differences.
I said I would write more, but I actually have less time than last week and nothing else to say.
I love you all!  Each and every one!  And I miss you!!
Jenkins Choro

Monday, May 9, 2011

Hope Ya Know I'm Having a Hard Time. :)

Hello Friends and Family!
This week I have been inspired by many things.  One:  My mom.  (:D)  Two:  A talk by Elder Cook called, "Hope Ya Know We Had a Hard Time."  Third:  My first good prayer in a long time.
Spirit Burst:  My prayers have been weak for a while.  Do I pray in English or in Japanese?  Why am I so miserable?  How do I be an effective missionary in these circumstances?  I let those questions really bother me and weaken my personal prayers.  They were short and to the affect of:  "Hope ya know I'm having a hard time."  My stubbornness created a wall that prohibited me from receiving help and consolation from those that could help.  I have never done anything as hard as this.  This is hard and I've hurt a lot and I'm only a quarter of the way done (I'm not counting; numbers courtesy of Rachel ;D).  This is NOT what I thought it would be.  Yet I was being such a stubborn bum!  Well, who better to help than my mom and on what better day than Mother's Day? (Trevik and Dad`s advice was similar and helpful.)  Guess what they all said. . . "Take it to the Lord."  And yesterday for the first time in a while I had a conversation with God.  I cried.  I told Him that I hurt, and I told Him where it hurt.  As I poured everything on the floor and offered it to the Lord my mind de-fogged.  I saw what problems I could fix, and then I saw those that couldn't be fixed by me.  I felt a strength to just deal with the burdens that can't be fixed.  Yesterday was a good day because of it.  My understanding of the Atonement deepened a little.  If you're hurt, take it to the Lord.  If you've been wronged, take it to the Lord.  If you feel alone, invite the Lord to stay with you.  I am still in the same situations.  I still have problems.  Nothing visably has changed, but I'm trusting the Lord to help with those things I can't do alone.  And I've felt it already.  I wasn't delivered from my trials but I am receiving strength that is not my own to bear the weight.  I'll survive.  :)
Elder Cook's talk: "Hope Ya Know We Had a Hard Time, "  President Eyring's talk: "O Ye That Embark," and the entire last General Conference have really inspired me.  I'm just doing my best and shipping God the rest.  :)
I don't have anymore time.  I will write more next week.  I love you all!!  Have a fabulous week!  And know that God can strengthen you to just keep going.  Hang in there!
With deep gratitude for all the love I'm getting from all of you,
Jenkins Choro

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Well hello there!  Guess what. . .
I'm back in Tokyo!!!!  I am in an area called Kofu (long o) and oh my, it is BEAUTIFUL!!  We are way to the west of the mission and in the mountains!!  I cried a lot (:P), because I really didn't like leaving the amazing branch in Itoman.  Alas, so it will be for the rest of this earth life.  Anyway, this ward is AMAZING!!  Since the missionaries have been gone for the last two months they have done the following:  called thirteen ward missionaries, have had a couple Preach My Gospel trainings, they completely cleaned the missionaries' apartment (dry cleaning the futons and sheets, scrubbing things down), they restocked our fridge when they heard we were coming back, they made us a list of people to contact, and the ward mission leader came by to introduce himself.  They are incredible.  This is an awesome area!!  This makes in four transfers: my fourth area, sixth companion, fourth prefecture/zone/stake, second mission, and third island.  :D  Now I'm in the mountains!
My new companion's name is Elder Fowers.  He is from Bountiful Utah, and he has been out for eight transfers.  :)  He just hit his year mark.  Oh, I forgot to say this.  Half the ward is Brazilian (PLEASE HELP GRANDMA, GRANDPA, and BECCA!!!!).  This will be very interesting.  :D
Well, I don't have much time because this isn't a complete P-day (we have two lessons today and English class).
Cultural Thingy:  Japanese people have this compulsory behavior of giving gifts.  When the Itoman branch found out I was leaving they gave me many gifts.  They're crazy!  Recycle shops are big in Japan because people buy stuff to give stuff.  The receiver usually doesn't have room to keep it.  This is what I am told and what I've observed.  Don't quote me on that.  ;)
Spiritual:  Kyan shimai again.  We told her about fasting and she didn't like how it sounded.  She said it was hard and nervously brushed off our invitation to pick a day for us to fast together.  The lesson ended quickly because her restaurant got busy really fast.  She is so amazing. . .  The next week at our next lesson, we asked her about fasting.  She said that she tried to fast during the week but she had a drink of water at four in the afternoon (once) and she thought that that ruined her fast.  I stared at her with my mouth open.  What?  We assured her that her effort was valiant because she thought she was a bad person for taking one drink during a self-committed fast by herself when she was surrounded by unsupportive people at work and that work is at a restaurant!!  Isn't she awesome!?!  I cried because I knew it was my last time seeing her.  She didn't know though.  :(
Funny Moment:  Elder Jordan can make the funniest voices; he should be a voice actor.  Elder Angell was trying to tell us a story but Elder Jordan kept randomly adding the same line:  "And he bit off my toes, one by one!"  He used an oldman-British accent.  It almost sounded like golem`s voice.  I was crying I was laughing so hard; poor Elder Angell couldn't finish his story.  It became a joke after that to randomly say that phrase.  We're goofs.
Flashback:  Dad was driving that horrible old truck again (I don't like that truck), and I was in the passenger seat with my head out the window.  Dallin sat in the middle.  "Dallin, want to drive?"  Dad says.  I immediately pipe out, "I don't think so!  You are not letting him drive!!"  Dallin of course is down for it.  Dad offers him the wheel by letting go of it completely.  I  start screaming and yelling, "Don't Dad!  This isn't funny!!  Let me out!!  Dallin, stop it!!"  Dad and Dallin just laugh; I start crying.  I thought I was going to die.  Dad almost gets angry as he says, "Would you calm down!  Look, he's not driving; I have my knees on the wheel.  Dallin wasn't driving this whole time."  Dad and Dallin laugh as I smile in realization.  "That's not funny!"  I stuck out my tongue.
Lesson Learned:  How many times do we, almost screaming, tell the Lord, "Don't let him drive!  I don't think so!!  Take the wheel back!!  Don't let him drive!?!"  I've said that a lot since coming on my mission, almost screaming and often crying.  Don't let him drive!  Yet I have reflected on that experience many times.  God still has complete control of the wheel.  It may seem someone else is driving, but they are not.  I have kind of felt God's disappointed statement, "Would you calm down!  I'm in control here, he's not driving."  God is driving.  We should take comfort from that thought.  :)
Well, I got to go!  I love you all!!  Have a great week!
Still alive,
Jenkins Choro