Eric Stevens, Japan Tokyo Mission, July 2013-July 2015, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
"Remember that it is on the rock of your Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God , that ye must build your foundation." Helaman 5:12
Eric entered the MTC on 17 July 2013 and has been having a wonderful time preparing to go to Tokyo, Japan. We will include emails, pictures, and videos for friends and families to enjoy.
Its time for my weekly update about my
life here in the Lord's service. Things are going very well here, I'm learning
the language pretty well and I can now say a prayer, bare my testimony, read and
write the hiragana fluently, and answer and ask simple everyday questions. I
just find it amazing that I am able to pick up on this really hard language so
easily. But I know that it's not because of just me. It's because the Lord is
helping me every step of the way. It rele is awesome to be able to feel the
spirit all day every day. This is a new feeling that I have never felt before
and I love every second of it. To answer some questions that I have gotten,
unfortunately I dont see Dallin very often, he has a completely different time
schedule than all of us Japanese speaking missionaries. I was able to
see Kasey Kilger the first day that she got to the mtc. Luckily I was studying
with my doryo right where the new missionaries were coming in. Dallin,
Kasey, and I are all planning on meeting up on Tuesday during dinner and take a picture in front of
a huge map of the world that they have in the lunch room. Hopefully I'll be able
to send it to all of you. And hopefully they are as excited as me and remember
to meet there! Thank you soo much for the ear plugs. I got them yesterday and
i slept like a baby all night! I think the reason I got the package late is
because they canceled mail of pioneer day on Wednesday, only in Utah would they
do that lol Sorry to add more things to the list of things that I forgot to
bring but yeah, i guess that's part of what the mtc is for. If you would be as
so kind to send me another pair of bball shorts and my fifa world cup shirt
that'd be awesome. we have gym time every day and its not fun wearing the
same athletic clothes everyday you go to work out. Also I need a new pair a
jeans because my pair that I brought has a huge hole in the knee. I have no idea
how that got there. but that pretty much sums it up for now lol
Sunday here at the mtc is a wonderful
experience. We have almost the whole time here to read and to study the
scriptures and to come closer to God. But the most amazing part about the
Sundays here is the Sunday night devotional. We were able to hear a talk from a
pioneer historian and it was amazing hearing stories about the pioneers and how
they crossed the planes. It was rele humbling to me to listen about their
heroic stories and to know that my ancestor's were part of those wagon trains
that went west. We also heard an amazing talk called Charater of Christ by
Elder Bednar, sorry i know i spelled that wrong. It was such a spiritual
experience for me that i can't even write it in words. I would suggest that all
of you watch it, especially Andrew and everyone else who will be going on
missions. It was just that good!
I am very lucky to have the best
companions ever in the mtc. My main companion is Free Choro. He is super
hilarious! We get along super well. I
am sharing a room with 5 other awesome guys, free choro, hawks choro, johnson
choro, wineger choro, and baker choro. Every night we have the best time ever.
We always have a little devotional where we share spiritual stories that we have
collected and its rele nice being able to have friends like them that dont mind
sharing their spiritual experiences and testimonies. Unfortunately I've already
shared all my spiritual stories that I know so feel free to send
any inspirational story that I can use for our devos. Oh also Johnson choro
had an awesome Idea to bring a japanese flag with him to the mtc and have all of
us write our testimonies on it for him. Would it be possible for you to send me
a japanese flag so I can do the same. I think that be rele cool to be able to
take that on my mission and home with me.
Thank you all soo much for all of your
letters, thoughts and prayers. I can rele feel them whenever I am feeling down
or sad. The Lord has definately humbled me during the past week and a half and
I and excited to have more humbling experiences while I am here at the mtc. I
love you and miss you all, I think about you every day. May the lord be with
you just like he has been with me while I have been gone.
Eric Stevens Choro
How is everything going back
home! Well its time for my weekly letter back home and I have lots to tell all of
you! Everything is going very well, except that I am usually always tired, but
besides that I am having so much fun! We are learning lots and lots of Japanese
and Gospel doctrine and I cant wait to learn more. Unfortunately, almost
everybody in my room and district is getting rele sick with runny noses,
sneezing, coughing, and throwing up. We have given them all blessings so i hope
that they get better rele soon. Luckily I haven't gotten sick yet, but Im
starting to get a runny nose so it may be coming for me soon. hopefully it's
just my allergies though. Well to get straight to business, we have been giving
a lot of lessons to Nagashimada Shimai and everything is going amazing! Last
lesson we even challenged here to be baptized and she accepted! it was amazing!
The spirit was so strong and she just started to cry when we asked her. Free
Choro and I just left the lesson and started freaking out and hugging each other
and everything! I know that this is all just a fake lesson but it always feels
so real! unfortunately Nagashimada Shimai is going on vacation to California for
3 weeks so we won't be able to teach her again till right after we leave. Its
still exciting to know that we have our first baptism acceptance. I was also
able to memorize the whole Senkyoshi no Mokuteki (Missionary purpose) in
japanese! This week I am going to start learning more of the Kanji and memorize
some scripture masteries.
The most spiritual experience ever!
Every Tuesday we go to the Marriott Center to have a
devotional for all the missionaries in the Provo MTC. What we didn't know is
that the devotional was going to be broadcasted all over the world to the other MTCs.
As soon as we walked into the gym we knew that something was different. They
had potted plants and a big stage set up in the middle of the gym, and that's
when we started getting rele excited. We all sat down in our choir rows and I
was like 5 rows away from the pulpit. We sat and waited and Elder Richard G.
Scott walked in and sat on the stand. As soon as he walked into the room I
could feel the spirit soo strong and I knew that he was called of God to be an
apostle. We sang our choir number and sat down. The choir song was amazing!
Apparently I was on the camera for the broad cast for a lot! its probably
because of my beautiful face! lol So if you can watch it you can see me! But
back to Elder Scott. He stood up and the first thing he said was to all the
missionaries learning another language. He gave us an Apostolic blessing that
we would be able to learn the language quickly according to our faith in Jesus
Christ. I have already felt the benefits of this blessing. And the second thing
that he blessed us with is that we would be able to get along with all of our
companions that we have while on our mission. I felt the power behind his words
as he said them so I know that what he said is true. He gave us a talk about
the importance of prayer in our lives. It was just so amazing. At the end of
his talk, he bore his testimony and I thought he was about to close and I was
rele sad and I said to myself, please don't go, I want you to stay, please don't
go. I felt like the Nephites when Jesus came and visited them and was about to
leave. And after I said these words to myself, he paused for a little bit,
looked at the crowd, and continued to promise us blessings and to talk about his
wife. This went on for another 10 min before he closed his talk and sat down.
I felt an overwhelming sense of calm and love, and I don't know if he continued
to speak only because of my prayer, but I knew that God had answered me and that
he had allowed Elder Scott to speak more for my benefit, in a small measure.
I am so grateful to be able to have all
of these wonderful experiences and I hope that you will all be able to have some
of your own spiritual experiences.
Well the final die has been cast. I just got my very last transfer call in Japan. Elder Faganello will be
transferring to Tsukuba and I will be staying in Senzokuike for my last transfer and my new companion will be Elder Hardy. It's really funny because I was his district leader 3 transfers ago when I was in Togane with Elder Lee. He is a really hard worker, so we will be
flying like rockets this transfer!
Oh, and one more thing, do you remember Elder Free my MTC companion? Well, he will be staying in the same apartment as me for our last transfer together!! I was so excited to find out about that! We are starting our mission together and ending it together! I guess we'll get to see how much we have changed these past 2 years.
Well enough about transfers, let's talk about last week. It started out amazing! We were able to find 2 new investigators right off the bat. It will be interesting to see how they will progress. I will keep you posted.
How is Everyone?
So the big news for the day is that we got transfer calls today and guess what, I am officially leaving my home in Niigata and moving way down south to the rice paddies and strawberry fields of Togane. Apparently Togane is the 2nd most rural area in the mission so I'm going to have tons of fun conversing with Japanese farmers. I was talking with my companion Elder Pronk who used to work there and he says that it's a 30 min bike ride to the nearest town and to the church so I'll get in really good shape! Which is good because I'm gaining more weight. It's all because of the rice we always eat. And guess what, they called me as the Senior companion! How crazy is that?! I feel like I definitely don't know enough Japanese to be the best one at Japanese in my companionship. And on top of that I am opening up a new area which is crazy! There is already a Togane A team and we are going to be Togane B team. We are going to have no investigator…
Hello everyone, and welcome to my last email from my mission in Japan. The time
has gone by fast and my 2 year mission has finally come to a close.
Crazy stuff right? I can't believe that in just 4 short days, I will
be able to see mom and dad and the rest of you will have to wait for a
few more weeks. But it's coming fast! By the way, I'm sorry that my
last email is late this week. I will explain later in the email.
So my last week was pretty intense. Like I said, I was
able to go on splits with my district leader and we got to
eat Taco Bell. So good! I'll have to go again soon!
Next was temple day. We were able to meet with a lot of our old missionary
friends and to say good bye to all of them before I leave. We went to
eat at a place called burger mania where they are famous for their
cherry burgers, maybe we will have to go after the temple session mom
and dad! They are pretty good! The following day not much happened except plenty of lessons.