Area: Provo MTC
Companion: Elder Hamilton
Hey everyone!! It was so great to hear from all of you! It's starting to to be hard to think of what to tell you guys about cause we do pretty much the same thing everyday! It can get a little repetitive. I'm just so excited to finally get to Japan. I just hope that I will know what I'm doing by then!
I'll start with Halloween. It was actually a pretty good day! For some reason, Japanese was clicking and making sense to me a lot more than before and it was fun to see. I've been kind of struggling with the whole weird sentence structures in Japanese but it has started to make sense and its getting easier to put sentences together. It's a lot of hard work though! That night we taught our "investigator" about prayer and how it can strengthen her family and bring them blessings. I thought it was our best lesson yet. I had to do a lot of it cause my companion was still feeling pretty sick. But it was kind of a fun experience. That night when we got back to our room, all of our senpai (missionaries who have been here longer, our "elders") were in our room all dressed up in ridiculous costumes that they put together. They had thrown candy and swedish fish all over my bed and room and we all had a dance party. Someone was flickering the lights to make a strobe light and we all just partied. It was really fun. It was nice to let loose and be a normal teenager for once. It made me kinda miss hanging out with my friends and having a good time. It was way fun. The Japanese elders are really cool. That's one of my favorite parts of being here. I get to meet a lot of cool people from around the world. A lot of them are planning on going to byu when we are home so that would be cool to keep in touch.
Like I said, we were stuck in the room all day. My companion was pretty sick and i wasn't feeling that good either so I basically studied and slept most of the day. Monday was full of ups and downs. We had study and while we were preparing the lesson, I my companion was struggling to focus so I basically did the whole TRC lesson by myself. TRC was way awesome though. We were assigned to teach about how we can make our prayers better and have a better relationship with our Heavenly Father. First we taught these two Japanese college students who were brother and sister. I can't remember the exact reference but I shared when Alma is talking about how you can pray anywhere and for anything. I told them that to always have a pray in your heart. Then we encouraged them to pray to Heavenly Father every morning and night. So yeah, this weeks TRC was a lot better than last weeks. After TRC, we went back to class and my companion and I were scheduled to teach one of our investigators as well. So we went in there and we began to teach her about how Christ established his church but it was lost when He and the apostles were killed. We were wanting to teach about the Restoration for the rest of the time but then she started asking all these wacky and confusing questions about the Priesthood. I realized that trying to explain the Priesthood is hard enough in English let alone in Japanese. Pretty much my brain blew a fuse and I couldn't think of anything to say. My brain was pretty melted from preparing and teaching two TRC lessons so when she was asking about the priesthood I was just like "I'm done". From then on out, the lesson was pretty awful. We only had like two minutes to explain and testify about the First Vision but I was already flustered so the whole lesson was kind of a disaster. So that was kinda disappointing and frustrating.
Tuesday was pretty good. We started our morning by going to the BYU clinic again! I've been there like 5 times cause my companion is constantly sick. I think I saw Polly's car there but I couldn't find her in the building. Yeah we were able to go to the Marriott Center to the devotional Tuesday morning. I was searching for Matthew and Kelsey the whole time hoping I'd see them but I guess you guys weren't there:( It was good though. Elder Evans from the seventy spoke. He talked about being diligent and not giving up, even when you may feel inadequate. It was nice to be in the Marriott Center again. I'm sure gonna miss watching basketball games there. Later that night we had our normal Tuesday night devotional. I performed in the choir again which was fun. Elder Christoffel Golden and his wife spoke. Sister Golden talked about that a happy missionary is a successful missionary. It's so true but hard to do sometimes. Some mornings you wake up and say "oh this is so hard and I'm tired, I don't want to be a happy gun-ho missionary" But I try to always have a good attitude, even when I am irritated or frustrated. It goes a long way. Elder Golden was my favorite talk so far. He is from South Africa so he has a cool accent and he is just a funny guy. He talked about when he was called into Gordon B Hinckley's office after serving as an area seventy for a while at age 48. He was expecting to be released. However, he was called as a member of the first quorum of the Seventy. When he walked out of the meeting, he felt unqualified and inadequate. He thought about calling President Hinckley and asking him if he was sure he called the right guy. But then he figured he didn't want the prophet thinking he just called a "fruitcake" as a new general authority. He told us that some of us may be feeling inadequate and he said welcome to the club. But he told us to remember that we are called of God, and we are endowed with power. It was a pretty cool talk. After the talk, my companion was still feeling sick so he asked President Butler, our Branch President if he could have a blessing. Later that night in our room, I gave him a blessing. It was kinda nerve racking and scary at first but when I started doing it, I wasn't scared and I knew what to say. It was pretty cool. Now he is slowly and finally starting to get over his sickness.
Yesterday was good, nothing special happened. Except those delicious cookies you sent me; they are magnificent!
Some of you were wondering my P-day schedule. So I get up at 6:30 and we go start our laundry. Then we go print off our emails and grab a sack breakfast. Then we go back to the laundry room and read emails while we wait for our clothes to dry. Then we come write at about 10. Then we usually go out to the field with our zone at about 11:45ish to play foursquare or frisbee. I think today might be the last day we can go there though.... I usually go running around the block with Boecher Choro (I don't know how to spell his name). He is one of our zone leaders and he actually played basketball for Mountain View so I played against him a few times during summer league. He's way cool and really nice. His dad coaches basketball at SUU and he used to be an assistant for BYU womens basketball I think. He said that his dad would let him go play on the Marriott Center floor a lot and he said that since his dad still has hookups there, we could go play there after our missions while we are at BYU. That would be awesome! Anyway, after a couple hours at the field, we head back to get ready for the temple. Then we head to the temple around 2:30 and get out around 5. Then we have class. You asked about the food here. It's not bad. We have a ton of things to choose from. I can see why people can gain so much weight here cause with sitting in class all day added onto people pounding food each meal. The obesity potential is pretty high!
Hi mom! Thanks for all of the things you do for me. They really help me a lot and I can feel all of the love and support from home. Its crazy to think that in a little over a month, ill be in Japan. I just hope I know what I'm doing by then!
Dad, thanks for telling me about the talk you read. I actually watched that talk the first Sunday I was here. It was amazing. His talk resonates a lot of what they teach us here. We are constantly reminded that love and selflessness and charity are major converting powers. It's sometimes hard to not be selfish and to worry completely about someone else but i am learning to be better. I pray for more charity and love every day.You are the best! Love you!
Well I gotta go. I love hearing from all of you! I hope you all have a great week! Love you guys!
Elder Nathan Didericksen
1. Halloween party with Elder Calhoun
2. Elder Calhoun dunking on Elder Nicholsen, im holding the hoop
3. Marriott center
4. Got him sleeping!