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!
My Awesome companions
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.
Love you all,