Japan Kobe Mission: June 2001
Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I am the life and the light of the world." --D&C 11:28
Mission President's Message
Dear Kobe Missionaries,
This is the last time I will have the opportunity of writing to you to thank you for your hard work and for being such excellent servants of the Lord. Your faithfulness and diligence enabled us to see additional baptisms in the month of May. What a joy for those individuals who entered the kingdom through your efforts. Their conversion to Jesus Christ and his gospel is the result of your own personal conversion in these same areas.
Jesus Christ is the center of everything we do. The more we learn of him, the more we understand him, the more we change our lives to conform with his teachings, the more we develop and exercise faith in him, the more those we work with will see him in us. They will see him in our faces. They will see him in our teaching. They will see him in our testimony bearing. They will see him in our interactions with people at church and on the street and when we visit people in their homes. As we exercise our agency to be obedient to the principles he has sent us through his prophets, both ancient and modern, we will increase in power through his spirit that will accompany us wherever we go and whatever we do.
Being a happy, successful missionary is a combination of many things, but it is founded on who we are much more than what we know. It is critical that we develop skills in the language, the discussions, teaching methods and proselyting methods, but it is our individual character that shows through all of these and convinces men and women that we are someone who has a message of value to them. Someone once said, "I cannot hear what you say, because what you do calls so loudly in my ears." If what we do calls out, "Believe in Jesus Christ and you will be a better, happier person!", many will follow because they see in us something they long for. They will see in us something that stirs memories long past of times when these principles were known and agreed to, before they came to this earth. They will see real character in us at a time when so many in this world are fake and shallow and want only pleasure and this world's goods, rather than righteousness and real happiness.
Elders and sisters, this is who we are called to be. This is who we were foreordained to be in the pre-mortal life. "For there are many yet on the earth . . . .who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it-" (D&C 123:12) How many there are still waiting! How many there are who would gladly change their lives if they only had something to believe in. This begins with having someone to believe in. We know that it is the responsibility of all members to help those around them to know where to find the truth, that something they can believe in. But it is our responsibility, our joy, our great opportunity to be the mouthpiece for the Spirit to declare this truth. And to do so in a way that our lives, our faith, our testimonies give them someone to believe in, while they come to understand that it is Jesus Christ in whom they must believe in order to have the happiness they see in us.
These three years have been challenging and wonderful. Thank you for our time together. These are experiences I will never forget. You are my sons and daughters and I will never forget you nor cease to love you. As you now prepare to serve under President Whitesides and President Cherrington I want you to know that they, too, have been called of God to spread the gospel and strengthen the Church in this area. In the same way that the Lord has given me insights about you and your needs, he will give to them insights as to how you can best serve and grow during the remainder of your full-time service to him. Be the very best person you can be. Serve with all your heart, might, mind and strength. Prepare every day to be effective and to be worthy of the presence of the Spirit. Serve with boldness, but not overbearance. Let charity, the pure love of Christ, dwell in your heart at all times and be the basis for your relationship with your companion, those you teach and the members with whom you work. May you "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" is my prayer and final admonition to you, whom I love so much.
Dear Wonderful Missionaries,
This is the last article I'll write for the last issue of the current edition of "The Light". I guess that should bring on my tears -- since I tend to be a little emotional (ok, sometimes more than a little), but quite truthfully, I feel a peaceful calm. I have a very strong testimony that we have been, and still are laying the foundation for the real Zion, and that one of the great blessings of "Real Zions" (like we've tried to make our mission) is that they last forever. So, I don't feel any pending doom or finality. Things will change, but the most important things:
No matter the setting; eastern hemisphere, western hemisphere, this realm, or another.... I feel assured we'll have the ZION GLOW wherever we go and most definitely we will meet again. Don't forget the Alma 17 (v.2&3) experience. We plan on having a piece of that action ----- joy. For missionaries who will be here through the transition and even for months to come.... learn some Japanese bunka. As you do, you'll just love the wonderful people of Japan even more. Their culture stems from truth and common beliefs held anciently. It's true! Also, keep perfecting your teaching, communication, and relating skills. This will come in handy at Eikaiwa and many other places as well. Stay busy!!! I'm more convinced than I was pre-mission (and that was very convinced) that an idle mind is indeed the devil's workshop. Don't be idle!
(Pondering time isn't idle open house for the brain.) Even if you are ill, keep your mind feasting on virtue and planning your next good deed.
And now, some things about which many of you have inquired:
The people of Japan are Ichiban Hitotachi!!!!!
Remember what we (o.w.e.) the Lord (obedience with exactness).
Eien no ai,
P.S. How about a huge round of applause for the Pypers who have put "The Light" all together every month...................... True gokurosamatachi, ne?
These are the treats that we served after the May Zone Taikais -- Enjoy!
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
into a crumbly mass
1 cup flour
Put mixture into a buttered pan. (I used a 13x9, but you can use 2 smaller
Pat down to about 1/4 inch thick.
Bake 10 minutes at 350 F. (180 C.)
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix (in different bowl):
1 and 1/2 cups coconut
1 teaspoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
Mix the egg and coconut mixtures together just before taking the baked mixture out of the oven. Spread the second mixture over the baked mixture and return to the oven for 20-25 minutes more. Cool and cut into squares.
When I was a boy, we lived on a farm in the summer. It was in the country, where the nights were dark. There were no streetlights or anything of the kind. My brother and I slept outdoors. On clear
nights--in those days, most of the nights were clear and the air was clean--we would lie on our backs and look at the myriads of start in the heavens. We could identify some of the constellations and other stars that were illustrated in our encyclopedia. Each night, we
would trace the Big Dipper, the handle and the cup, to find the North Star.
We came to know of the constancy of that star. As the earth turned, the others appeared to move through the night. But the North Star held its position in line with the axis of the earth. And so it had come to be known as the Polar Star--the Polestar, or the Lodestar. Through centuries of time, mariners had used it to guide them in their journeys. They had reckoned their bearings by its constancy, thereby avoiding traveling in circles or in the wrong direction as they moved across the wide, unmarked seas.
Because of those boyhood musings, the Polar Star came to mean something to me. I recognized it as a constant in the midst of change. It was something that could always be counted on, something that was dependable, an anchor in what otherwise appeared to be a moving and unstable firmament.
Love is like the Polar Star. In a changing world, it is a constant. It is something that, when sincere, never moves. It is the very essence of the teachings of Christ. It is the security of the home. It is the safeguard of community life. It is a beacon of hope in a world of distress.
As we look across the broad spectrum of humanity and see the masses who walk in hunger and poverty and who suffer the constant afflictions of disease and misery, let us be generous with our substance to assist.
Let love become the lodestar of our lives in reaching out to those who need our strength. There are many among us who live in pain--emotional and spiritual pain as well as physical hardship. There are many who walk in frightening circumstances, fearful and unable to cope alone. It was said of the Savior that He "went about doing good" (Acts 10:38). He is the supreme model for each of us.
Said Isaiah, "Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you" (Isaiah 35:3-4).
Our loving and young friends. It seems as though we have reached a crossroad in our lives once again as the Kobe Mission prepares to merge into the Hiroshima and Nagoya Missions. Isn't it true that change is inevitable? As you grow older you will find that fact to be very relevant in your lives. As Alma and the Sons of Mosiah had a great change in their hearts, so must we make this change profitable unto the Lord and those around us; missionaries, members, investigators and our neighbors. Make sure that your testimony stays as positive as we have seen in the short time that we have known each of you.
We feel very blessed that we have known you and felt of your great spirit in our mutual effort to bring souls to Jesus Christ through his church. Our lives, even as old as they are, are truly much better because of knowing each of you. We really learn love, harmony, peace and the spirit of God from each other and we are thankful for that. Wherever you go or whatever you do in righteousness unto the Lord, know that we love you and feel very blessed in being able to rub shoulders with each of you.
If there is anything that we might be able to help you with during this transition that is in our power, please let us know. In the meantime, as is sung in the hymn, God be with you until we are able to meet again sometime.
All of our love,
Elder and Sister Pyper
I have a few requests for everyone. First, when ordering Book of Mormons please order when you have at least fifteen left, so we can get them to you in time. Second, please do not use pins and nails to hang things up in your apartments. Third, please attach your receipts to your reimbursement sheets when you send them in. Fourth, because I forget very easily, after you order something please practice your missionary guide skills and give me a follow-up phone call. Lastly, I'm not perfect but I'm thankful for everyone's patience and tolerance. Also watch out for those mosquitoes, they can be pretty dangerous.
Hello Fellow Missionaries,
We would like to thank everyone for their hard work. Also for being so diligent tracking down the referrals that come from the Honbu. We have one onegai for everybody. After you have searched out a referral, please send us the form back with the information written on it. We realize that this is sometimes difficult, but it helps us keep track so we can report on the referred person's progress to the person that referred them. If you could do this we would greatly appreciate it.
Remember: Referrals bring us miracles!
Beloved Elder Nuttall & Elder Benson
Who are our friends? I love the story of Elder LeGrand Richards, then the Presiding Bishop of the Church, walking up a busy street with his father, who at that time was the President of the Council of the Twelve. As they walked, Bishop Richards tipped his hat and spoke to each person they passed. President George Richards asked, "Son, do you know all those people?" Bishop Richards responded, "Yes, Dad, I know them all - all but their names."
We can be wonderfully rich in friendships if we will take note of the opportunities given us to cultivate a loving relationship with others. There may be plenty of lonely people all around you. Just by making a phone call, offering a smile, or putting an arm around a shoulder, we may begin new friendships. Is there a new family in your neighborhood" Is there a new person at school or at church" Is there a single Mother who might appreciate some help with the children or a phone call to say "hi"? In most wards and branches there are sweet widows or widowers who would welcome a visit by phone and in person. There might be a young man, returned from his mission, finishing up his advanced schooling yet feeling like there is no place he fits right now.
A simple decision to start a conversation may be a great blessing to you and to that person you are reaching out to. Letting them know they count, they are loved, they are noticed, will give new friends a reason to smile. The Lord surely is pleased when we pay attention to those who may need a little reassurance. Being of service in such a personal, involved way will be a blessing for each new friend you make and a blessing of reassurance to you.
The surprise for us, as we make this a part of our daily living, may be that these new friends could turn out to be a huge blessing in our lives. As is so often the case, despite our best efforts, we cannot give away more blessings than we get back!
The Lord's multiplication seems to always exceed our expectations. That new friend you notice could turn out to be your best ally, your source of strength at a time of need, or the sweetest buddy you could ever ask for. Age doesn't need to be a factor. Nor does financial status or job description or ability.
There is an anonymous poem about the sharing cheer that might help us all alleviate loneliness in our world. A part of it goes like this:
If nobody cared just a little for you,
And nobody thought about me,
And we all stood alone in the battle of life,
What a dreary old world it would be.
Life is sweet because of friends we have made,
And the things in common we share;
We want to live on, not because of ourselves,
But because of the people who care.
It's giving and doing for somebody else-
On that all life's splendor depends;
The joy of the world, when you sum it all up,
If found in the making of friends.
The process of building friendships becomes a grand part of our earthly journey, and we learn more about the
Lord's goodness and ourselves as we go along. Jesus so simply and perfectly stated the blessing of reaching out when he said,
"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto
me." (Matthew 25:40)
Even if we don't know all their names, won't we have fun as we enlarge our circle of friends, alleviating loneliness in others and ourselves, and becoming a better friend of the Savior?
(From an article taken from LDS Gems written by songwriter, author, CES teacher, Vickey Pahnke)
Thanks to the wonders of communication, we are hearing lately from voices in many different layers of dust. OK, that doesn't sound so great.....we've been hearing/reading some Kobe Mission History from "those who went before". You can check out Elder Whipple's Dad's site (when you return) and read some interesting "what it used to be like" 's.... in different areas. Lately Awaji Jima's history has been discussed. Kind of fun reading.
Here are some more updates on those who called, wrote, or visited recently (in alphabetical order, of course). The first one is from a RM who served from 1980 to 1982. The others are all from those returning within the last 3 years, but it's nice to hear from the "older generation" as well. So here goes:
Bateman Choro, like the rest of us, still has fond memories of and concerns for the areas in which he served (20 years ago). He'd love to know about the Takatsuki and Minoo areas. Also, the Saiin Eki Area in Kyoto, the Fukuchiyama shi, and the Jusso areas in Osaka. He says he actually spent 9 or 10 months in Fukuchiyama (did you know, Bateman Choro, that Fukuchiyama was closed for a while, but opened again recently? Very good people up there.....still on the 2nd floor above a bento store.) OK, anyone with some current news, jot it down and we'll send it back over those marvelous electronic waves so he can get an update. Thanks for checking on your beloved areas. Missionaries do continue to care!
Carmichael Shimai had a very interesting experience during the middle of May. Her stake president asked her to participate in an interview to help gather "stats" for some research. When she arrived, guess who she met? Figuerres Choro's Dad! (Did you all know that he's head of research for the church?) Sounds like there is some good work going on regarding helping the RM's and other YSA's to make choices that bring happiness. Carmichael Shimai was happy to be a participant in the study and very happy to meet "Brother Figuerres" who served several years ago as a mission president in Fukuoka. Here's a good idea: Carmichael Shimai, why not try living in the states for the next year or two and do your own comparative study? Ii desu ne?
Clark Choro (Bradley) surfaced this month. He has been keeping Snow College alive and genki. He was a DJ for the school dances. He was on the local radio (do we suspect his own show, coming up soon?). He got first runner-up in the contest for Mr. Snow (Frosty?). He's the Activities Director for his ward... (what's this we hear about dropping pianos from windows or cranes? Never saw that in the FHE Resource Guide!). He's been tutoring the Japanese, dating many girls (yeah!), and since his successful bid for the activities slot on the student council, he'll be running school activities as well. Now that he's on summer break, he confesses that his natsukashi feelings for Japan are there! He did get to see and reminisce with Beagley Choro recently. That was good. Keep up the good work, Clark Choro. P.S. How's the orange tie?
Departees for this month offered some pieces of wisdom for those still serving. Here is their advice:
Thanks departees. Once again, the wisdom of the experienced!
Enami Shimai gets the prize for sending in those miracles. While she was departing on the train, she wrote up one for the many of the "collection". Thanks, Enami Shimai. Write and tell us about life at home.
Fulbright Choro writes that he has been attending Washington State University in Pullman, WA. He is actively attending the singles ward there and has a couple of callings. He is serving as a family history consultant (wow!) and is also on the Institute Council. He often recalls the areas in which he served as a missionary and wonders about beloved members he knew. And, he also broke the news about Anderson Choro (Nathan) who is engaged to be married in July. Only problem is that we don't have names, dates, places, etc... So, Anderson, Choro, Congratulations! And, fill us in on the details. Thanks, Fulbright Choro, for the updates. Write again!
Gilbert Choro, the ward dendoshunin, has taken the little dendo flame in his ward, fanned it with his bellows and has the place "burning" with dendo fever now. Way to go! His younger brother just came out of the MTC in May and is headed for Fukuoka. (Keep that Japanese dendo in the family!) He asked about how long P&S Robertson have left? Agh!!! Too scary. So we won't tell him "'til the end of June, even though it's true." (Nice to hear from you!)
Gustafson Choro, has been a regular lately. Yeah! He, along with Allen Choro (Justin), is taking a BYU study abroad course that meets for the weeks that it's here in the Shimogamo Meetinghouse. Now, how's that? Very benri to the old sites in Kyoto..........hmm. Both elders looked good. Gustafson Choro came to the May akashikai. It was great to have him back. And we all took turns touching his black silk artsy shirt. (Hey, he's going to be in film-making...... so a director's shirt is OK). Fun to have you back in our midst. (Did you get your calendar replacements?)
Hadlock Choro paid a visit to the honbu recently when the 10 new missionaries were just meeting their trainers. He stayed for lunch, visited, offered some good advice when asked, and left some American candy that was much appreciated and had no chance of getting stale. He was just spending a few weeks touring around his old areas and other parts of Japan. He looked very good. Nice to see you again, Hadlock Choro.
Ishizaka ShimaiI is practicing her patience (nintai) by having to re-work a reunion date and that needed changing. (Gomen). Anyway, she and others are planning a group get-together in Tokyo. Will be fun! Details slightly under revision. Check in for the final word later.
Kikuchi Choro writes that he misses Japan and his friends here. He has been working though, and is getting ready to be a teacher at the CTM (Brazilian MTC). He has his own "finding and teaching pools" that have not yet yielded a yoteisha, but he's confident they will. Whoops, a couple of unanswered questions are in his letter too. Will e-mail the answers ASAP. Keep us posted about that great work in Brazil!
Mitome Shimai is working on the Tokyo Reunion too. Anxious to get an update on her. Will put it in the next time's list!! Promise.
Moench Choro wrote to remind us that having indeed survived finals at USC, he is off to Marine Corps Officer Candidate School for the most part of the summer. We do have a way to reach him (and see how many more push-ups he can do each day). So, let us know if you need the summer version of his e-mail address. He does remind us that Kamitotomoninandemodekiru! Go, Moench Choro!
Peterson Choro writes to say that he's had a good time doing some things with our son, Brian. Hmmmm. Like lunch at Leatherby's including onion rings and banana splits? (Urayamashi!) He is finishing up a degree at the U of U (President R's alma matter) this fall. He'll have a degree in Interpersonal Communications. He is going to continue his studies in order to receive his "Conflict Resolution Certificate". (Sounds like our last taikai session!) But, we need to go mail the letter of recommendation..... so ato de. Gambatte Peterson Choro.
Thompson Choro dutifully sent the post-spring semester update! He was at BYU and loved the environment. He studied Economics, Japanese, Book of Mormon, Biology, and American Heritage. (Whew!) He's going to spend the summer doing construction ........... and dating (?) Then back to study for an English and Management major with a minor in Japanese. Oh yes, and he's also spending three weeks in Europe with his family this summer. Hajimete. So he's excited. In his ward, he's the Deacons' Quorum Teacher and is working with a non-member Japanese couple too. (Yes!) He sent a favorite scripture as a Mother's Day gift. (What could be nicer?) Here it is: 2 Nephi 26:11. He bears his testimony about the importance of having the spirit. Thanks Elder T. Wonderful reminder to us all. (Gambatte on your summer!)
Waga Shimai sent us a note that we have almost deciphered. It seems that our computer sometimes balks at receiving things from Nihongo keyboards (or something like that) and so we get the message in code. With time, it's decipherable, but so far, we know she is alive and genki.......... more to follow....
Wynder Choro confesses that he married (even though the announcement is still to come - thanks for the promise to send it!) He writes that he was married in the Denver Temple to the "most beautiful woman in the world" Her name is Karen Wynder (not sure of her maiden name). They are looking for a small home to rent and are feeling very blessed because he is the 2nd counselor in the YM and teaches the deacons, and his wife works with the YW. He is also working at AT&T and attends the University of Colorado where he plans on pursuing a medical degree. He reports that Taylor Choro will be getting married in June in the Salt Lake Temple. (Just got that announcement, yeah!). And, thanks Wynder Choro, for this good piece of advice:
"Not a day goes by when I do not think about the good times in the Kobe Mission. It is true what Elder Worthlin said, 'When you get back from your mission, you only remember the good times." Yes, there were struggles, but the blessings and the happy experiences make all the difference. Just let your missionaries know that it is all worth it."
Yamanaka Shimai has been in contact with all of the following: Takai Shimai, Ozasa Shimai, Ikemura Shimai, Hayashi Choro, and Amano Shimai. Can't wait to figure out the final reunion dates so we can see everyone.
Minna san, thanks for staying in touch.
And........... here are the most recent wedding announcement received (Wynder Choro, send yours so we can keep it with the "collection", and any others in similar circumstances, the same!):
|Edwards Choro (Michael) and his wife to be, Allison Williams||June 14th|
|Jones Choro (Jeremiah) and his wife, Jennifer||May 18th|
|Bulloch Choro and his wife, Tiffany||May 25th|
|Taylor Choro (Justin) and his wife to be, Amanda||June 6th|
and the grapevine is buzzing with news of engagements for Hutchings Shimai and also for West Choro. But, we don't have the details on either wedding or others coming up.......so, write in. Don't worry..... the social page never dies!!!!
Everyone, keep up the good work. Keep Zion growing. Keep doing those church callings. Keep up the member missionary work. Find when you're not finding. And know how much we love you all.
Beloved Kobe Missionaries:
We hope you are all doing wonderful in everything you do. We want to thank you for all of the fantastic blessings you have wrought upon the Kobe Mission this last month through all of your hard work, diligence, obedience and fired-up spirit! We thank you especially for the sons and daughters of God that were brought to the waters of baptism and received the Holy Ghost through your great effort.
Unfortunately, this is the last Light article from the Assistants to the Kobe Missionaries. As our mission merges with the Hiroshima and Nagoya Missions, we strongly believe that the work will progress even more rapidly than in the past. Our wonderful Japanese members will continue to work through their own efforts and utilize us as a great resource to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ. As they do so we believe that there's so much more we can do to further the work of the Lord.
Through this transition, when the Lord needs us the most, do as the 2,000 stripling warriors. Do exactly what our mothers, fathers, family, friends, and most especially; what God wants us to do. Go and do the things the Lord commands. Lets get out and work. Let's go and fight. Let us show the people of Japan, wherever we may be that Kobe Missionaries are FULL TIME-MEAN-HARD WORKING MACHINES!!
We love you and may the blessings of the Lord be with you,
Elders Rashid and Blatchford
|June 2||Motomitsu Shimoji|
|June 2||Wagner DeSilva|
|June 3||Nicholas Watts|
|June 4||Akira Koike|
|June 7||Nui Mukimuki Ka'aloa|
|June 8||Joseph Otterstrom|
|June 9||Jason Wells|
|June 9||Robert Haslam|
|June 12||Ian Bell|
|June 12||Trevor Conger|
|June 13||Yasuko Takasaki|
|June 18||Yoshinori Fukunaga|
|June 18||Trevor Banks|
|June 18||John Hanamaikai|
|June 21||Fernando Mladineo|
|June 22||Brian Gledhill|
|June 24||Takeshi Toya|
|June 24||Kenyan Sant|
|June 26||Stephen Osborne|
|June 27||Koji Ishizaki|
|June 29||Mike Mori Mori Spiller|
|June 29||Stephen Olson|
|Benjamin Allen||Highland, UT|
|Douglas Frederick||Laie, HI|
|Lewis Ham||Alpine, UT|
|Reed Hawker||Star, ID|
|Ryousuke Kirigaya||Saitama-ken, JA|
|Brian May||Riverton, UT|
|Naomi Priddis||Big Piney, WY|
|Christi Scrivner||Rexburg, ID|
|Motomitsu Shimoji||Okinawa, JA|
|Dreana Sproat||Haula, HI|
|Ben Tutor||Laie, HI|
|Nicholas Watts||Sandy, UT|
|May 3||Keiko Shibamura|
|May 6||Mayumi Hongo|
|May 6||Kitsuko Okuhira|
|May 12||Yuko Osuga|
|May 12||Kenji Yokota|
|May 12||Takanori Takenaka|
|May 12||Yuki Ueda|
|May 13||Ryota Ikeda|
|May 16||Shoei Kuriyama|
|May 17||Yuko Osawa|
|May 19||Mitsuru Shiyozaki|
|May 19||Scott McCloskey|
|May 20||Ryuki Yanagita|
|May 20||Rodrigo Kague|
|May 20||Alexandre Kague|
1-304 Itakadai T465
1-11-26 Hikari Machi, Higashi Ku
I asked God for strength
So I could achieve greatness.
But God made me weak
So I might learn humility.
I asked God for health
So I could do great things,
But God gave me frailty
So I could do better.
I asked God for wealth
So I would be happy,
But God made me poor
So I might be wise.
I asked God for power
So I would be praised of men.
But God gave me weakness
So I might rely on Him.
I asked for all things
So I could enjoy life,
But God gave me life
So I could enjoy all things.
I didn't get what I asked for,
But was given more than I hoped
Almost without noticing.
The prayers I never said were answered
I am, of all people, most blessed.
(Contributed by Elder Uemura)