Choose ups rather than downs!



osaka by night

A view of the Osaka night skyline.

Charlie has returned to his roots! (That is, he’s been transferred back to Osaka, which is where he started out.) This time he’s on the north side of town, and his new companion is Elder Yamaguchi. So far he’s had companions from Mexico, Australia, Canada, and the U.S., but this is the first one from Japan, and you know what that means: all Japanese, all the time. Gambatte ne! [Good luck!] Here are some of his thoughts from the past few weeks.

On his new area and companion:

The area is saikooo [awesome]! Yamaguchi Choro is the man. He’s sadly going home next transfer, so I only get to have him for six weeks but it’s going to be a good six weeks. These past few days have stretched my Nihongo [Japanese] in ways I didn’t know it could be stretched. Yamaguchi Choro speaks some seriously gangster, mumbly Japanese. He’s way funny. He’s from Aichi ken. I love him already.

15.01.30 yamaguchi

His new comp, Yamaguchi Choro, on a particularly bright and sunny day. (Maybe next time we’ll get one with his eyes open.)

On choosing to be happy, regardless of your circumstances:

This week was good, it had its ups and downs, but all you have to do is choose ups rather than downs! Happiness is always a choice. We can choose to be happy and positive, or we can choose to wallow in the mire of our trials and challenges. But then how would we grow? (And who would want to be around us?) It seems so very easy, but it’s also so very hard, because I would actually rather solve the challenges and make it easy to be happy, but sometimes we can’t. That is part of the plan. And for the things we can’t do, we can rely on the Atonement of Jesus Christ.


15.01.24 lunch

We’re working with some good people here in Senri. We’re really trying to work with the ward again, something I haven’t done since Hanayashiki (Nishinomiya was purely working ON the ward). 111 people came to sacrament yesterday! It was awesome!

On speaking and translating Japanese°:

So you know how I said my Japanese was being stretched… Well there’s a gaijin [foreign] family in our ward who moved in about two weeks ago. So now I’m the ward translator! Yabai! [Dangit!] It’s so hard! I didn’t do so well yesterday translating the Osaka Ojiichans’ “Japanese”*. The gaijin family said I did a really good job, but in all honesty, I just made up stuff half the time because I couldn’t understand and neither could they. It was intense. This morning I listened to a Preach My Gospel CD in Japanese for about two hours while I was cleaning to practice translating everything into English… It’s way hard! Even if you understand perfectly what they said in Japanese, it doesn’t directly translate into English so you have to think fast about how you would say it in English, and then by the time you do that, the person talking has already moved on. Ganbaru zo-! [I’ll hang in there!]

*Osaka Ojiichans’ “Japanese”–what the old men from Osaka (called “grandpas”) speak, which according to Charlie, is not Japanese at all but rather some mangled form of Chinese and Japanese put together.

°Japanese is a notoriously difficult language. Heber J. Grant, after opening up Japan for missionary work years ago, called it “the devil’s tongue.”

15.01.18 nishichiiki

Charlie’s last zone meeting in Nishinomiya before transferring to Osaka.

And now for the fun ones:
15.01.23 mochi

Charlie helps pound rice into mochi, a sweet rice cake dessert. (Hopefully he hit the rice, and not the man’s head!)

15.01.25 engrish tee

More bad English on a camo print t-shirt. Why would you NOT want to wear this?


15.01.14 funnytag

Hmm…no thanks, I don’t need more drama in my life.


The Osaka version of Times Square.

15.01.27 eki

Charlie and Weckesser Choro bidding farewell at the station.

Thanks for keeping up with Charlie Choro! Have a great week, and remember: choose the ups, not the downs!




2 responses »

  1. The t-shirts in English are so funny. I wonder if we do that in French in the USA. We like to see shirts, decor in French…but most of us don’t have any idea what it says…just that it is French! Great to hear about Charlie’s adventures and see pictures of him. He looks great!

  2. Hello Charlie Choro, Just a little note to thank you for your blog. I am also doing my best to choose “ups” rather than “downs,” and I needed those words right now. Keep up the good work. I can’t believe the time has gone so fast. Love, Carol Brant P.S. My husband was in Osaka for a little while. He had been drafted into the army during the Korean War ~ and he thought Japan was very beautiful.

    Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2015 03:18:50 +0000 To:

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