Thursday, August 28, 2014
Elder Williams is now in Takayama, Japan. He says it is below the Japanese Alps and it is much cooler. The last couple of weeks they have been dealing with heavy rain, flooding and mud slides. He had the opportunity to serve and help clean up after a mud slide destroyed a home. He said the people are always quick and ready to help. They are very hard workers. Those who were helping in the clean up kept asking him, "What are you doing here? You are gaijin!" (Foreigner). He got to explain what he was indeed doing there. The work in Takayama is slow he says. There are 10 active members in his branch. He was grateful for the blessing to explain to the people who he was and why he was there....serving The Lord. Maybe some hearts will be touched and doors will be opened through this service. Steven will be beginning his 10th month in September! The time is flying by! He says he doesn't want to leave Japan. He loves every day there!!
Saturday, July 12, 2014
Williams Choro is now serving in Okazaki. He loves it! He is now speaking, writing and thinking 100% Japanese. He says the only time he speaks or writes English is when he emails home. He says he sounds like a Nihongen learning Eigo instead of an American learning Nihongo! His accent is thick now. It is awesome. Today begins his 8th month! 1 year ago he turned in his papers! Time is flying.
Monday, June 16, 2014
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Sunday, May 4, 2014
Thursday, May 1, 2014
Sunday, April 20, 2014
Thursday, April 10, 2014
I cannot believe that 4 months have gone by so far! Tomorrow Elder Williams begins his 5th month! I have been reflecting on the many blessings our family has received over the years through listening to the promptings of the Spirit. 6 years ago Elder Williams' father, Steve, felt very strongly that Steven should complete High School in 3 years. We homeschool and I wasn't really sure if that was going to be possible. He told Steven and I that he just had a strong feeling that we needed to make it possible. Steven worked hard! He even had two years of 14 classes a day! He worked diligently and graduated High School in 3 years Valedictorian of his class. As we look back today on this we see the Lord's hand guiding our family through a righteous patriarch! We had no idea that the age for young men and women to serve missions would be lowered. We just followed the promptings of the Spirit. Today I was looking at the calendar. If Steven had NOT finished High School in 3 years he would still have 2 months of school to go and then leave for his mission! The Lord knew he was needed at this time in the field and He prompted Steven's father and made it all possible! I read about promptings and miracles in the scriptures and think they are wonderful. How wonderful it is to have a loving Heavenly Father who is the same TODAY and sends those promptings and makes a way possible for the thing to be accomplished! I am grateful!!
Saturday, April 5, 2014
Sunday, March 30, 2014
Sunday, March 23, 2014
March 22, 2014. Ichinomiya, Japan
Williams Choro has survived his first transfer. He did not get transferred and did not receive a new companion and he is happy! He and Ahuna Choro are having great success! They have a baptism scheduled each week for the next 5 weeks. They are so excited! Steven says the work is going so great! The people are so awesome! Every morning when he wakes up he tells his companion how wonderful their mission is and what a great companion he is and that they are going to work hard and get a baptism this week! And they are! They are a great companionship. He sends home short little videos on an sd card and it is awesome to see how well these two missionaries work together and love each other. The language is coming along. He is learning more and more every day and he loves it! He says that they are so busy all the time. They have an investigator who is from Nigeria, one from Napal, and one from Zimbabwe. The rest are from Japan. He says that lately people have been approaching them in stores or on the street, asking if they are Mormon missionaries and asking about the church. He says it is a great blessing. He is loving meeting new people and learning about different parts of the world. He says, "I wear the name of Jesus Christ on my tag every day. I am a representative of Him and I will work hard every day to help others come to know Him. This mission is awesome! It is the best! Surprisingly I have not been homesick one single day. It feels like home, just mom, dad and Sheri are not physically here. I feel them with me though. The Gospel is true. Share it with someone every day! You will be blessed! I sure am!"
Monday, March 17, 2014
I am doing great!! I love it here! The weather is different every day. One day it will be rainy, then turn to snow, then the next day sunny. It is crazy. The wind is amazing though. Yesterday while we were in sacrament meeting it sounded like a jet was taking off! I have not got into any bike accidents, but the wind is so strong that we have to lean way over to go around corners. It is fun!
Sumesh is getting baptized on April 5. We are very excited for him. We also have 3 more baptisms scheduled in the next couple of weeks. It is awesome to see people change and want to learn the truth.
I am having trouble with the English language. I have difficulty reading and writing it. When I hear others speak it, it sounds funny to me now. I read and write everything in Nihongo. I am learning kanji at a really fast rate. It is awesome. I can understand and speak well.
Last week we had a district meeting and pday. We went to a big mall and got this picture taken. It was fun. We also saw this Ferris wheel. It is on a building that is about 9 stories tall and the wheel is on the 3rd story. I really wanted to ride it, but we didn't have enough time. Some things I have seen are some really cool shrines. One had a fountain in it that was a dragon. Also, I have seen the bullet train, but my companion says that it costs about 100$ to ride it just once! It is really cool. I will get a picture of it.
Sakura begins this week. The cherry blossoms are just barely beginning to pop out. I will get photos for you mom when they are more in bloom! After Sakura is bug season! I guess they get pretty bad here. Then it becomes the rainy season. They say it gets about 90 degrees F and rains. I don't look forward to that. They also have told me that members often lose their apartments due to the rain and we will be serving to help them. That is sad, but I am glad we can help. It happens every year here. I ripped my rain pants the other day getting off my bike. I was able to patch it with duct tape and clear tape.
We had a neat thing happen the other day. Elder Ahuna had a flat tire on his bike. We stopped to fill it up, but a piece that he needed to fill the tire was missing. We figured that we would have to walk home and miss our appointment to fix his tire. We happened to find the piece that he needed just laying there in the parking lot. We were able to fix his bike and get to our appointment. We feel that it was a miracle.
The Gospel is true. I wear the name of Jesus Christ on my name tag and I am so grateful to be a representative of Him. I tell my companion every day that our mission is GREAT! Serving The Lord is awesome! I tell him before we begin our study that I am so happy to be here and that he is a great companion! I tell him we will get a baptism if not this week, the next! And we are!! We are working hard! I love it! I am so happy!
See you all soon!!! I am almost at my 6 month mark! I think it comes around in May! Time is flying! I cannot believe it. Have a great day!
Love, Elder Williams
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
He loves meeting the people there. He gets frustrated easily because he feels he cannot speak the language well enough. I remind him that he has been there 3 weeks! It will come! Soon he will forget that it was ever hard to communicate.
He was excited the other day when he saw a man walking a black pug! It reminded him of our black pug, Frodo.
Monday, February 17, 2014
Elder Williams is in Ichinomiya, Japan. He has 155 missionaries in his mission....Japan Nagoya. He says the country is beautiful. He lives in a city and rides the train or his bike everywhere. For their zone meetings they ride the train for an hour to Fukutoku. His companion is Elder Ahuna, from Hawaii. He has 4 months remaining on his mission. Steven says he is an awesome trainer. He is learning so much from him. He says that Elder Ahuna is a fire dancer. The food in Japan is awesome! Steven says that he now knows what manna the Children of Israel ate while in the wilderness! It was nan. He says it is the most delicious bread he has ever had. All the food he has eaten so far has been amazing. I think he may gain his 24 pounds he lost at the MTC back.....soon! There are two sister missionaries in his area as well. They are both from Utah. He did not give any names, but they live in the apartment above the elders. Their apartments are right across the street from the church. He says it is about 30 feet from the front door! He had a wonderful time his first Sunday. He got to speak and he LOVED meeting all the people there. He said they are so very nice. He and his companion are very, very busy. He said that they have many things scheduled each day. If there is a spot where nothing is scheduled they go streeting....street contacting, I think. He will be involved in his first baptism this coming Sunday, Feb. 23. He was able to help teach the man a lesson on his first day in Nihon. He said it is amazing to see the excitement in his face to become a member of the church. They have 15 investigators that they are teaching right now. The sisters are teaching 24! Steven also teaches English in a class they have at the church each week. He purchased his bike and is very happy with it. He says the drivers there are so much nicer than the drivers in the states. He says that they are very careful of bikers and pedestrians. They don't even have to lock up their bikes, but they do because that is the mission rules. He is loving every minute of his mission!
Saturday, February 8, 2014
Williams Choro corrected me.....Kyoo is not snow......yuki is snow! We are learning a lot from his letters and emails. It is amazing at what he has learned at the MTC in such a short time. What a testimony it is that this work is indeed the Lord's Work!!
Only 48 hours until he leaves for Japan and gets to call home!.....but who's counting?!? You are right! MOM IS!!!
Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;
For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul;
And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work.
Time to go to work, Williams Choro! We love you!
Sunday, February 2, 2014
Steven says that they are beginning to pack for their 24 hour trip to Nihon Nagoya. They are all so very excited. You can feel all the missionaries spirits in Steven's little camera videos and the excitement in their emails. They received their name tags written in katakana. He was thrilled to receive that. It is a sign that departure is near. He can't wait to meet the people there. He leaves Monday February 10 and will arrive in Nagoya Japan on February 12. He gets to call home during one of his lay overs. We are excited about that. He says that it still feels unreal, but he is loving every minute of it. It is still snowing in Provo and he sure loves that. Kyoo is the word for snow in Nihongo. Steven had a hard time remembering the word "snow" in Eigo. He is happy. He shared one thing with us this week....he said, "I smile and I cry here at the MTC. I say cry because I feel the Spirit often and every time I feel it, it brings tears to my eyes. It is wonderful!" He didn't say "awesome". My little boy is growing up!!
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Where has the time gone? Williams Choro is in his 6th week in the MTC. He is ready to go to Nihon (Japan). Very excited....but must be patient! He is learning so much in the MTC. He says that their schedule is so crammed with things that he just doesn't have time to write anyone. He says he barely has time to write in his journal at night. Mom says, "Good!" That is the way it is supposed to be! Our family has a couple of sayings that we use often....."Suck it up!", "We're Williams! That's why!", "You are going to have fun whether you like it or not!". They all sound a little rough.....but we smile every time we say them because they have personal family memories. So Steven got a little "Williams Family" talk from mom on Thursday. He is tired, exhausted, and wondering why everything has to be so routine and scheduled.....So mom told him...."Suck it up, Williams Choro! You're a Williams! That's why! You are going to have fun there at the MTC whether you like it or not!" It changed his attitude....as far as I could tell from his emails! It brought smiles.
Elder Williams is really enjoying the Japanese language. I think he is trying to teach it to us, but we love hearing all he is learning and he says that Eigo (English) is getting so hard for him to write. He enjoys all of his teachers and says that they are so helpful and kind. He is in the choir singing bass and loves it. We are musicians, but not great at singing! I am so happy that he is singing and really enjoying it! Singing lifts the spirit and brightens a gloomy day. We often sing out loud in our home and it sounds like howling wolves, but it brings joy and happiness! I probably shouldn't share the howling wolves part!? :)
Next Monday there will be some sister missionaries from Japan come over to the MTC. They will be there for 2 weeks, just like the English speaking sister missionaries, then they will travel back to Japan with the Elders to begin their missions. Steven says that they are so excited to meet them. He and his companion were able to Skype the other day with a member in Japan. He said it was awesome. He learned that saying "you" to a person is rude. You need to call them by their name and add san. Her name was Yoko, so he referred to her as Yoko san. He says that he is going to need to work on remembering names!
He injured his ham string "showing off" (his words!) to sister missionaries. He did the splits and his ham string popped. Yes, Steven can do the splits! He is very flexible for a big guy from martial arts. He is a first degree black belt and during exercise time he goes through his forms so he won't forget them because when he gets home he will continue in his testing for second degree black belt. He went to the doctor and all is well. He was just sore for a few days.
Williams Choro and Bills Choro....hey...isn't Bill short for William?....I just noticed that! Anyway, they have teaching appointments scheduled this week. 4 will be in Japanese and 1 in English. He is very excited. He has had quite a few teaching appointments while in the MTC and has loved every one of them. I received a note from one man who said that it was great fun getting to know him.
12 missionaries leave for Japan on February 10. 8 of them will be in the Nagoya Japan Mission and the other 4 go to the Fukuoka Japan Mission. They are all very excited!
I may have shared this before, but feel it is a testimony of the wonderful Spirit of missionary work! Steven shares, "The MTC feels oddly like home! I think that is Heavenly Father's way of letting me know that I am doing the right thing". How true! The Gospel is HOME! When you are doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right place, you will feel like you are HOME! I pray that Williams Choro will share that with the wonderful people of Japan. Steven loves his family and is so excited to share The Gospel of Jesus Christ with the people so they can know that families can be together forever! Not a day has gone by in Steven's life that he has not told each of us that he loves us. He says that he says it each night before he goes to sleep so we can know. We do the same. Families are forever and we are eternally grateful for that knowledge and our family strives each day to live for that great blessing!