Thursday, January 30, 2014

January 30, 2014 - 4 Weeks

Heyo! so i apologize now for my grammatical errors.
So questions to be answered.
Yes i got my card.
Yes my companion is the brown guy with glasses.
Yes my nihongo is getting a lot better.
The time is starting to fly by so much faster.
I also have no microwave nor fridge. And no time.
Yes I love the pictures! And if you could somehow get some from echo lake that would be awesome for some of my lessons. Tony, bro angle, bro paul or the young men should have lots of them. I wanna say most of mine are in my old camera which should be in my nightstand. Thanks for the canned food and you can send more but yes please do not get great value brand:) and i will only need two cans.
So this week started off pretty bad. Last thursday night i blew up at my companion lost my temp., emily can give you details, and we had a huge arguement. Fortunately with the help of our district leader, and the lord, we quickly got things worked out and everything is much better between us. oh i also just met another Elder Swenson right now from cali. Pretty sweet.
Slowly but surely the week got better. Our lessons got better, and the spirit was with us more often. I still get a little homesick at meals but not as bad as i used to. The food is still terrible and for Dad's satisfaction I have gained 4 pounds. whether is be muscle or fat i have no clue. but probably fat.
So on Sunday I got a strong prompting from the Holy Spirit. One of my leaders was talking to me in an interview and I need to tell you guys especially Emily Katie and Kara about what I have learned here.

I cannot stress enough about how important prayer and scripture study are. One of the biggest spiritual truths that I have learned here is that nothing will convert the people of the world except the Spirit. And the spirit testifies of truth. And the truth it will testify of is the Doctrine of Christ, which is basically the 4th article of faith plus endure to the end. Please read your scriptures everyday. Study them. Especially the Book of Mormon. Nothing will bring more comfort, peace, and safety than this. I cannot tell you how disapointed i was with myself when I learned this. I could have had all of these wonderful spiritual truths when I needed them most. Doing this in connection with Prayer is also essential. Pour your heart out to your heavenly father. He will hear and answer your prayers. I cant tell you how many of mine he has answered just while I have been here at the prison. Ooops:) He has blessed me with peace, confidence, knowledge, the gift of the interpretation of toungues, and health. Please do this at least for yourselves.
I have to go right now I might be able to email one more time later today  but if not I love you all and miss you dearly. Ai shite masu.
Swenson Choro

 This is Elder Swenson and myself.

Behind me with the packages was Borghol Thaus Choro

 Purple Tie!

 Barton Choro

Thursday, January 23, 2014

January 23, 2014 - 3 Weeks

Hey whats up? I cant believe it is already thursday!  Ok so this week even better than last week! Friday I met someone who I knew. Guess who? Tiffany Newton. The girl who saw me at Disney Land and we went to efy together! We were both flippin out! It was so hard not to hug eachother:/ I could only shake her hand. She is going to the Mexico Puebla mission and is currently there right now. She knew spanish before her mission so she only had to be at the MTC for 2 weeks. Unfortunately I didnt have my camera on me at that time:/ Huge regret:/ so I always have it with me now. I have also ran into Jessica a few times. We saw each other a little over a week after she had gotten here. I honestly thought it would be easier to find people here but it is not. It is by the Lord's divine hand you run into people here. Our schedule is so structured it is hard to  see anybody besides your branch. I also met Eli chambers who is going to hungary, and Jacob Withers from efy who is going to Lione France. So those little things really uplift my day. This week with my companion has gotten so much better. The lord has truly humbled my heart and softened his. Our lessons with our investigators have also gotten much better. We have been able to speak more nihongo and less jiberrish.

MTC Companion

 Horne Choro, Swenson Choro, Provo Temple

This was in the tree outside the residence hall.

  Jessica myself and Elder Louis who is in my district and is also going to Sapporo

Thursday, January 16, 2014

January 16, 2014 - 2 Weeks

I am doing much better! My sickness is gone and the Lord has blessed my life in so many ways. When you turn to him for help he will answer your prayers. The anxiety was caused by everything being thrown on us all at once. It was ridiculous how much stuff we literally jumped into. A new language, an investigator, trying to teach the investigator who has no christian background, no time for yourself, always having someone watching your every move, it was frustrating and difficult. But the Lord is giving me the patience, humility, and strength to endure this trial. The side bag is a little small but will most definitely work well in the field. Is it water proof? Oh and thanks for all the food it was so nice to eat something that I knew wouldn't cause me to be sick. The Character of Christ talk by Elder Bednar is an hour and a half long talk, and I guess you can only see it at the MTC. You would love it to death. If you can find it great, if not, I guess you will have to serve another mission! My schedule consists of waking up at 6:00 being ready by 7 for morning devo. breakfast, 3 hours of study/ class lunch, 3 hours of study or class, gym, dinner, class or devo till 9:30 go to residence hall, write in journal go to bed and repeat. I have no time to do anything. At all. Not even on P day. We have a lesson to teach tonight so we have to prepare for that lesson during laundry time.   Oh yeah and I can only reply through email on thursdays so if you want you guys can hop on the computer at around 1:00 and maybe ill be on. I cannot leave the mtc to go to BYU so you guys will have to take care of my card. My pin is 11000050 and call Wells Fargo to let them know ill be in Japan. Send me the card in the mail as well. The scarf is awesome i didnt realize how much warmer it could make me. (Sorry Im kinda jumpy in my writing i dont have time to plan this email out). We taught our second investigator last night and it was a lot different than our other one. This guy is a bored teen who just likes to hang out with the missionaries. So we need to make him excited about the gospel. I can pray in Japanese and give a very short testimony and that is about it so far. But it is getting better. We have no sisters in our district, which kinda sucks cause I see elders all day, but the district I have is awesome. I have a feeling that I may be the new district leader for the next three weeks, but thats ok. Im gonna end this but I should be able to get back on one more time today to let you know of anything else I have forgotten. I love you guys so much and miss you! Just do one thing for me. In all of your prayers, ask Heavenly Father to give me the gift of tongues. This will enable me to learn the language faster so I can invite more to come unto Christ. Thank you so much!
Swenson Choro

Thursday, January 9, 2014

January 9, 2014 - Rough Times - 1 Week

 Thanks for sending the letters and the box of goodies! These last few days have been quite rough. the first two days was ok until at the end of the second day they told us we already had a japanese investigator we had to teach:/ i felt so under prepared and lost. The MTC is a lot different then what i had imagined it to be. It is overwhelming and frustrating. They expect you to do so much in so little time. My companion's name is Elder Velasquez. He is Italian and part gypsy. Single kid. Many previous religions and likes to do things differently. Although I am Senior companion I havent been able to put my foot down too many times on things that I do not agree with. My District is pretty awesome. We do not have any shimai= sisters in the district but we have 9 elders. I like them all but I have to admit I do not always like my comp. Its rough cause he views things differently and hasnt had any brothers or sisters. Being a single kid isnt always the best. Then to make things worst I had the worst homesick, anxiety, stress, panic attack. I was a mess. I couldnt focus, i couldnt feel the spirit, i got myself sick, and everything was collapsing on top of me. So I Elder Velasquez the next morning suggested that I should have a blessing to help me overcome my hardships and my chest cold. I agreed and the experience turned out to be really spiritual and uplifting. But the next nights i broke down again and I had to talk to some of the Senseiis we have teaching us. Hitten senseii helped me out a lot. He told me some very comforting words which helped me to have the courage to tell someone in my branch presidency tuesday night. Brother Stevenson interviewed me gave me some tips on how to handle the stress and suggested I see a counselor. I feel like a wimp. I didn't think I would even feel homesick till like 2 weeks had passed by. Fortunately the next day we had a great lesson with chirstina san due to the fact of us working together and having the spirit with us. We taught her that God loves her and that he wants her to be happy. And although our Nihongo was bad we wanted her help her. That really changed a lot of the lesson compared to the other two earlier failures we had. The rest of the day went much better without homesickness or anxiety. Then this morning we went to the temple which was awesome! The provo temple is very beautiful on the inside. I would have replied sooner but due to the new year the prep day changed to Thursday instead of Tuesday. And hey don't worry if you write me too much! Its ok to write me. Oh yes send the garments and my scarf. And any food cause the food here is terrible. Plus tell Emily not to see me. if i see her it wont be good for me at all. The homesickness sucks a lot. Good news though, my Japanese is getting a lot better then I thought it would. The Lord has blessed me in so many ways since I have been here at the MTC. With all that has happened I have still been able to feel the spirit and that has been the biggest blessing. You guys might be getting notified of my "health conditions" after I see a counselor. Bishop too. They wont send me home but I am gonna be missing class time to see the counselor. Im slowly getting used to the schedule and im doing laundry right now. Oh if you send me any packages send them in twice the size of the camera box you sent me. Then that way I can use the same box to send back some stuff I dont need. Yes I do have to get rid of the back pack and get a side bag. If you could find a waterproof one and send it to me that would be great! I love you guys and the bags in my room are toss away clothes and give away clothes. You will be able to tell the difference. Everything else in baskets or on the bed clean and mine. Cancel my debit card and send me the new one as well and if you could call the bank and tell them ill be in japan for two years. And after I walked off the curbside they gave me books and i dropped off my suitcases on the top floor of the residence hall and went straight to class to learn Nihongo. First day was so busy. Had meetings, talked to real, (not for sure if they are actors or not yet), and learned a few of the rules. To be honest though after I left the curbside I wish I would have hugged all of you one more time. I truly miss you all and wish I could have spent more time with you. But the field is ripe and ready to harvest and the Lord has called me to the work. Oh yeah and my missionary plaque scripture is Mosiah 5:2. And if you guys can possibly find the talk by Pres Bednar Character of Christ it is the best talk ever. He only gave it at the MTC so idk if you will be able to find it. Changed the way I act around others and think of things. I wish I could write you more but until next thursday!
Love your Missionary,
Elder Ethan Swenson
Ethan Swenson Choro