13 PaGeS LoNg

WhErE tHe PaGeS oF tHiS bOoK nEvEr EnD

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Adventures of Page Choro

Hello Everybody!!! So we had the transfer announcement today. I have known since Friday though about my fate because Elder Lay spent about 4 days with me last week. So the big surprising news is that............I am not transfering!!!! :o) I was super excited and super shocked to be honest. Lay Choro said that about 80% of the Mission thought that I was going to be moved back towards Sendai, but it is not so! I am super excited because I really love this area and the members and my companion and so I am stoked to have that a little longer. But, things last week were super busy and I am super duper exhausted. I felt like a Zone Leader again last week. So in last weeks email I only told you about 1 of the assignemts from president, but it turns out the second one came out last week too and I was super busy. The other assignment was a refferal pick-up in a different city. The person who refered the name knows me from my old area and they told President that they wanted me to go and contact the referal so I had to travel to a city about 2 hours away to pick up the referal. That wasnt even the craziest part though. It was in a city called Joetsu and it has the worst weather in the whole mission probably. We went there right before a 4 day long blizzard. There was snow up to my chest. Riding bikes was impossible and so we had to walk 3 hours to the referals house and three hours back, all through about 3-4 feet of snow. Then when we tried to go home the next day our train was delayed, and then cancelled, so we had to take a train that was running to another city 2 hours away, and then from that city try and get home. We finally made it but all in all it took us about 6 hours to get home. The next day we had a leadership training meeting which lasted about 7 hours and took up most of that day. The next day we had a blizzard here and couldnt use the bikes and so we were on foot again all day. Then came the Sado Island assignemnt with Elder Lay. That was truly a great time. It was so good to be with Elder Lay again, he is probably my best friend I have made on the mission so far and we had a great time. We had to get up at 4:15 in the morning and got on the boat for a three hour ride to the island. The boat was pretty nice and big and had an interior and stuff, but the wind and waves were very big and very strong. It was pretty fun. When we got there it was a 45 minute bus ride to the church on the other side of the island. Church was 6 people and the speakers were Lay Choro and I. It was just like a little family inside of a little shack for church. I have pictures that I will send soon, but it was a super awesome experience. Then after that it was an hour drive to the very northern tip of the island where the Branch President lives. The roads where convered in snow and ice and the highway ran along the edges of mountains and cliffs the whole way. We got to meet the less active son and we hit it off. He is such a great kid and the time we got to spend with that family was a precious experience. It is hard for those members out there. They are all alone and just do all they can to follow Jesus Christ, their Savior. After we visited the family it was another hour drive back to the boat and they the boat ride back. In all our day lasted from 4:15 and we got back at 10:30 last night. I am pretty worn out. It really was an adventure of a week and I learned so much about perserverance, faith, and the value of our lives. I know it is a curveball pulling back to this, but I am glad that you liked the pictures and videos. I am glad that I look happy because I really am. I feel super old now as a missionary. Everybody just comes out and tells me I am on the downslope now and trust me, I can feel how slippery the slide is. It is so fast. I had the intention of writing letters to Jordan, Dad, and Dalling today for their birthdays but I just dont have any time!!! We had an appointment with a member today and it took a long time. I am super super sorry and It is really pathetic but I wanted you guys to know that I am thinking about you always. I think about Jordan and how we a literally brothers. (I always think of you in your Suspenders!!) Dallin, everybody always says when they look at my pictures that you and I look the most alike, so I am always reminded of Mister Best Looking back home! Dad, do I even need to say anything? $$$$$$$ Thats all I've got. I love you three so so much and you truly are three of the most important people in my life! Happy happy Birthday!! I will pray for Grandma. Tell her that I love her for me Mom. This weeks email is super long and super adventurous so I hope you like it. I guess at the end of such a crazy week the thing that I have felt in my heart more than anything else is this: 2 Nephi 29:7. The Lord remembers all of his people. That is something that I truly have learned through my own eyes and experience. God Lives. He is our Father and he watches over us always. Jesus is the Christ and I cant give any better reason than that I feel it in my heart. Have a wonderful week everybody!! I love you so much Mom!!! Love always, Elder Zachary Taylor Page

Monday, January 23, 2012

Hello Everyone! Mom, thanks so much for the email this week! It was super long and informative and I loved reading it! I have a big smile on my face. It seems like in every email now a days that somebody somewhere has gotten married or had another baby!! I didnt even know that Elder Hutchens was married! I am expecting the ball to drop on Matt and Mckenna every week now!! Matt, just get on with it!!! The suspense is killing me over here!! :oD That is super cool about Tyler and his wife! Yeah, I have thought a lot more recently about what to do and with my Japanese I think that International Business might be a good way to go. We'll see I guess! It is crazy how fast time goes and how soon I will have to actually make those decisions. Thanks for giving me a little update on the election! Everybody over here talks about it and it kills me!!! Since the Packers are gone I would, if it wasnt too much trouble, love it if Dad would send me Primary updates, especially with Super Tuesday coming up so soon. That would just rest my mind so much rather than hear a bunch of Japanese people just tell me that "he is doing good." :oD I am doing really good though. To be honest it was a little bit of a stressful week and I am pretty worn out, but still going along just fine. A couple of business like Items, the health card, did you guys switch from Wells fargo? That is the only card I have so should I get ride of that one? Let me know please! Also, something that Dad wont like to hear, my camera is broken. It broke today for no reason. I just turned it on and the lens started freaking out. I took it to the store and they said they couldn't do anything about it. I am going to try a couple more things but, what do you think? Does your clumsy son merit enough to get a third camera on the mission? :o) I am so so so sorry. This camera is super great and it just messed up!! Thanks for all of the pictures of Marissa Mom. they are great! She looks like she is having so much fun, and I like that white watch she has! She looks so pretty like usual! One thing I thought about this week was Conner and Richard. I havent heard ANYTHING from or about them in a long long time. Do you have an address or something for them? I would love love love to hear about from them. Other than that, this past week was busy. We spent 3 days this week out of our area on a split with our District Leader. We got to play futsal one more time this past week which put a smile on my face of course. I got to teach a lesson in English to a woman living here that is a part of Unification Church. Lets just say I am glad that I was raised in the south where I have opened my Bible many a time. :o) We were able to testify of the truth of Jesus Christ written in the Bible and testify that there is more in the Book of Mormon and it was a powerful experience. Sunday was pretty tough though. We had an investigator that we have been trying to get to church for 3 months come, but he got lost somehow and couldnt make it to church!! Then our investigator, Akira, that is almost ready to be baptised, he had some setbacks with the Word of Wisdom this past week and his date for now is gone which was really discouraging. Then, transfers are this next week and EVERYBODY thinks I am transfering and so people tell me "bye bye!" like a joke all the time and I dont really like it that much. Whether I transfer or not we don't know and even if I was I still have another week and so there is no reason to think about it. It just makes it difficult to focus and causes stress. Ask Dad, Dallin, and Matt, they will understand that kind of stress I think. As for those special assignments from President, the big one is this coming Sunday. I get to go with Elder Lay to visit Sado. It is the Island off the the West coast of Japan and there is a small branch of about 5 members there. There are no missionaries there and there havent been for years, but President wants me and Lay Choro to go because the Branch Presidents son is less active and so we are getting assigned on a special reactivation mission. Pretty cool huh. Crazy part is is that it is a 2.5 hour ferry ride at 6:00 am over the windy, wavy, Sea of Japan. If I die Mom, I love you, and if I die, know Marissa that you were the one I wanted to Marry. ;oD hahaha I will be fine, but they did say it was dangerous. ;o) We have a leadership training this coming week which will keep things busy. Guess what, in three days is my hump day. Crazy huh? This week I start the terrible and gruelling count down. Sheesh. Fast. You guys have a tape and a memory card on there way and I finished another memory card today. Elder Sanders makes me take tons and tons of pictures. :oD To wrap up this letter I just want to tell everybody the reality of the power of Prayer. I can testify that if you spent time on your knees, you heart will change. I have tried to commit myself that anytime I am feeling annoyed or stressed or prideful, to get on my knees that very instant and pray for those feelings to leave my heart. I promise that it works and that there is great great power in kneeling humbly before our Father in Heaven. His grace is sufficient to make weak things become strong unto us. I know that to be true and it can be done through Prayer. I know the gospel is true and it will do nothing but better your life and the lives of any who take part in it. I love you all so so so much. Have a great week!! Love Always, Elder Page

Monday, January 16, 2012

Lots of miracles, big and small...

Hey Mamma!! It was great to hear all about the Temple and stuff this week. I think that is the one thing I would change about this mission is I wish we had a temple. I guess that is my responsibility huh? ;o) Interesting the hear about Mormon.org because I havent even seen it. We dont use it and havent been told anything about it. They probably dont have it in Japanese. I dont know, but it all sounds super fun and effective! I had a great week. Things are just going well. We were blessed with a lot of miracles big and small. We have one investigator, his name is Isogawa Akira and he is almost ready for Baptism. He is a really really great guy who has been looking for truth his whole life and now that he has found it he is working hard to change his life. It is amazing to see. Sanders Choro and I were also blessed this week to, well, it is kind of a long story, but the shorter version is that Elder Sanders and I got to play in a Futsal Tournament this past week and this coming week. :oD There is an investigator who is on a team and a long story short President told us to go ahead and we played futsal. SUPER FUN!!! It felt SOOOOOOO good to play again and I honestly didnt lose...well, maybe I lost half a step in the past year, but I was still the same! In the second game they wouldnt let Elder Sanders and I play together because they said we were too good! hahaha It was a lot of fun and way funny to just play soccer with Japanese people. These people are so funny! Woke up and was pretty sore though thats for sure. ;o) There is snow on the ground pretty much 24\7 nowadays. It is cold. I dont really like it anymore. Have I mentioned that there is Zero centralized heating in Japan? Way good stuff. hahaha But, at least I am not Jordan puking out my lungs every couple of weeks from some crazy jungle sickness!! hahaha That is definetly something to be grateful for! Things are just kind of going though. Hump day is coming up and then the terrible change from "count up" to "count down" begins. Whew. You will be glad to hear that I am finally up to 100 health an I am warm most of the time. It was Elder Sanders, Elder Shaw, AND Elder Ikeda`s birthdays this past week. They are the other three missionaries here in Niigata so we were busy with Birthday stuff too. It was a good week even though I dont have much to tell. I have gotten a couple of Special Assignments from President that I will tell you about as they come about in the next couple of weeks, but for now this is about all I have. I am going to finish a tape and send that off with a memory card this week so I hope you enjoy that! Just something that I learned this week that really punched into my heart was something that Brigham Young taught. He said, "Think of this brethren and sisters. Write it down that you may refresh your memories with it, carry it with you and look at it often; If I judge my brethren and sisters, unless I judge them by the revelation of Christ, I have not the spirit of Christ; If I had I would judge no man." He went on to say "The interest of our brethren is our own interest, or you can never be saved in the Celestial Kingdom of God." I know these principles to be true. It is something that I am striving for and that we could all do better on. Lets all just try and look at EVERYBODY we meet and look at them in the way that God sees them, as his precious children. Take people as they are and understand them as they are and I can promise that as we do so, we will feel the love of Christ in our lives. Dont judge others. If we could see through the eyes of everybody we judged then we would never do it. Christ taught to Love one Another and for that teaching I am so very grateful. You guys are all a great example to me of these principles, especially you Mom and Dad. You two literally are the greatest and I love you so much. Mom thanks for the family card and the Beautiful Picture of Marissa in her apron. I loved it! One last thing, Dallin H. Oaks is coming to the Sendai Mission next month. :oD Way excited. Well, have a great great week everybody!!! I love you all so much!! Love always, Elder Zachary Taylor Page

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday the 13th

It's Friday the 13th!!! Some of you proabably look at this day to stay in,yikes, its bad luck! Not me! I have even had horrible things happen on Friday the 13th. I remember specifically, it was my junior year of high school, I was out with friends. We were in the parking lot talking getting ready to get into our cars to head home. As I was getting into my car, the friend I was with, still talking to someone, close the door on my face as I was getting in, chipping the 2 front teeth in my mouth. But! I love the number 13 and I don't mind it being on a friday either! My first date with Steve was on the 13th, we married on the 13th, it became our kids favorite number as well. So I always look forward to a date on "Friday the 13th". You make your own luck and you find the positive in any situation or event right, so go ahead, go outdoors, have that night out. It will be ok.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Page Choro has been pretty sick

Hello Everyone!! I have had a very good week this week...well kind of. :o) So do you remember when last week I said I was on the tail end of that sickness? Yeah, it picked up again and lasted me up till...well...I havent quite shaken it off yet. Last week Sister Rasmussen ordered me to stay in the Apartment and rest but lets just say that was BRUTAL!! Sitting in the apartment is so boring. So the next day we just started working again. hahaha Sister Rasmussen said that I was stubborn but she said she knew I wouldnt stay inside. She is awesome and just like a Mom to me so you dont have to worry Mamma! Abby is just getting so grown up it is crazy!! Great to hear about Grandma Lucy's work getting done, but on the other hand, not excited to hear about Grandma Peggy. I will put prayer up for her. :o) Things here are going really really well though! Despite the cold and the rain and snow we are seeing a ton of Miracles! We have a really solid group of 8 or 9 investigators and two came to church on Sunday which is one quick way to a smile on my face! We are going to try and make some baptismal dates in the next week or so. I cut Elder Sanders hair and he cut mine last week. :oD Everybody was way surprised because our hair looks pretty good! I will get some pictures to you on a memory card as soon as I finish a tape. Elder Sanders is singing for the tape right now as I write this. :O) Dad would be proud to hear that I played a little basketball today on PDay. I have actually had a lot of opportunities to play basketball on my mission, while the soccer chances have been rare. I have improved a lot so Dad better be careful! hahaha I guess I better be careful if he gets a hip replacement! :oD I am struggling this week with interesting things to write. I got a package from Marissa with a tape and pictures and stuff so I was pretty dang happy. Have you seen her new hair yet? Whew!!!! She is so beautiful whew!!!! Anyways, I also got a little package from Jordan which was funny, it had a hat in it that the Japanese people laugh at. :oD He sounds like he is doing great with his new companion. Well, the week really wasnt that exciting, but I did have a lot of wonderful experiences. One was with a new investigator named Akira. We taught him lesson one and he really had a great experience. He said a prayer at the end and he said in the prayer how he didnt understand that much of the doctrine, but that there was just something about what he heard that felt like coming home. It was an amazing experience and it was a testimony to me that everyone on earth has heard this before. This message is truth before this world and now and I am so priviliged to be able to share it with people full time for these two years. This work is God's work and this church is his church. I know it. I love you all! Have a wonderful week everybody!! Love always, Elder Zachary Taylor Page

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Phone Calls, Christmas & Weddings

It was a very busy December for us this year, and here it is already January 2012. I am just going to post pictures.Christmas gatherings @ Grandma Peggy's and Grandma Myra's, Gingerbread building with friends, Christmas eve Brunch, Christmas Day, and a beautiful wedding. But I do have to say this was a very memorable Christmas. It was sooo wonderful having Matthew, Dallin & Jaclyn home with us this year!!!! Our first one with them in a long time. Our phone call with Page Choro, did not disappoint! He sounded wonderful! We are so glad that he is doing so well and is so happy serving the Lord and the Japanese people. Our nephew Tyler and his sweet wife Savannah got married on New Years Eve. Congratulations you two! We know that 2012 will bring many challenges as well as many blessings, we are ready for them. Happy New Year everyone!

Happy Birthday Elder Smethurst!

Today is Elder Smethurst birthday. Happy 21st Elder! Just want you to know how much we love you and wish you much joy and happiness in the new year!

Matthew's back @ BYU!

Well Matthew is back out at school and all settled in thanks to Dad. They have had a great time together this last week. I am so glad that Steve went out with him to have some one on one time with him. Mckenna has been a huge help also, she is filling in for me :) giving guidance on the apartment and other things. Thanks so much Mckenna! Love you. While there they have gotten to catch up with some great friends and meet new ones, Alicia, Aubrey, Carlos and Vicki!
Thanks to Alcides and Julianna for having them over for dinner. Steve is always in heaven when he can go back to his mission :) And to all my boys (RM's) love you all but thanks so much to Nolan, Carson and Stephen for meeting up with Matt and Steve while they were there. What a sweet reunion! Love you guys! I know it has been and nice trip but I am ready for my sweetie pie to come home. Matthew good luck in school, may the Lord watch over you while you are so very far away! Work hard and have fun!!!! Mckenna make sure he has fun! Love you both! Have a great semester....and most of all enjoy dating and living close to each other!

A New Year for Page Choro

Hello Everybody!! Hahaha Good job with the Japanese mom!! You will have no problem getting around when we come back here to visit one day! ;o) Yes I know Elder Bellows. He is a in the Sapporo Mission and I met him while I was serving up there. Really good guy and really funny. I heard from Dad all about his and Matt and Mckenna's little adventure out there this past week. Sounds like it was pretty fun filled, whether it was meeting Alcides or people peacing to Vegas or Hair catching on fire. Matt better be careful, all that fun might hurt him!! ;o) I am glad you got to talk to Marissa before she left. She is going to have so much fun there! I will be honest though, something about her going to Ecuador just makes her feel even farther! So excited for Zach Ward and also for Tommy!!! That is super duper exciting and I cant wait to hear! Come on Zach, Japan Sendai is definitely the place for you!!! I got some gloves Mom so you dont have to worry about it. They arent perfect but they work. Worse than the cold here is just the raining/snowing every single day, it makes it impossible to stay dry, and thus impossible to stay warm. I finished another memory card that is full of Christmas stuff and a whole bunch of funny videos. I will send it off in the next couple of weeks, but first I am going to finish a tape for you guys and send that too. :o) Things with me are going good though. The truth is that I got really sick and had a kind of miserable New Year. I am on the tail end of it now, but I was sick for about 4 days. Just the normal, crazy coughing and blowing of the nose every minute kind of thing. Everybody said I looked so pitiful. I feel much better today though. Despite being sick, the new year was very busy. We did our cleaning for that entire day, the next day, President had us read the book of 3 Nephi and make new years goals which turned out to be a great experience for me. Then yesterday we got to go to a Japanese Shrine and participate a little in all of the New Years Celebration. It was really fun and I got a lot of fun pictures. I am kind of a weird out of body mindset almost. I can hardly believe that I have been gone a year, but at the same time, I feel like I have been a missionary my whole life! I have learned so so much on my mission so far and one of the things I thought about a lot during the New Year was how I can better become like my Savior. With that in mind, there was nothing better I could have done than read 3 Nephi which has the words right out of Christ's mouth on the pages. There were two things that really popped out of the page into my heart, one of which was 3 Nephi 12:42. Go grab your scriptures and read it. And when you have a moment, dont just read it, ponder about what Jesus is saying to us. I cant even tell you what it means because I believe that Christ is speaking to all of us in a very individual way. We all know in our hearts how we can listen to and hearken to the words of Christ in this scripture in our own individual lives. Something that I know and that I can testify to is that when we live by this verse, when we live by the example of Jesus Christ, we WILL have the fullness of joy. We can have heaven on earth, Zion in our homes and families. The way this verse is written in Japanese uses the wording of $B$7$J$5$$!# (B Which reads "shinasai" which means "DO IT!" Christ did not offer this up to us as a suggestion to try out in our lives, living according to this principle is a commandment. I would challenge you to take a little bit of time to read, ponder, and pray about this scripture and how you can better follow this commandment in your life. Mom, you are such an amazing example of following this teaching, thank you for your amazing example to me and to all you associate with. I had a wonderful New Year and I hope yours was and is amazing as well. I love you Mamma!! I love you all and I hope you have a great week! I will talk to you guys next week!! Remember that "He does not believe that does not live according to his belief." Love always, Elder Zachary Taylor Page

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