Monday, November 3, 2014

Two weeks down!

October 30, 2014: Week 2
Area: Provo MTC
Companion: Elder Hamilton

Hello everyone! It was so great to hear from you!! Those packages absolutely made my day. It felt like Christmas getting three packages in one day! My district is super jealous cause they see how much you guys support and love me. It really helps me a lot to hear from you guys! You guys are the best! Erin, we love the Nerf hoop; we have actually been talking about wanting one since we got here. And mom, we are excited to have a little Halloween party with all of the Halloween toys! Also, I don't know if you know, but Sister McArthur sent me a package yesterday as well. She sent me a box of doughnuts and a new tie! The significance of the doughnuts is cause when she was our primary teacher, we would all go to each of our baptisms and then she would take us to Maceys to get doughnuts afterwards. Also, she told me that the tie she sent is the same tie she sent Jade and Mark. She has been keeping these ties for each guy who goes on a mission who was in our primary class. So she still has one for Daniel Tebbs. So that's kinda cool. 

My week has been good. The downside to it is that I caught what my companion has. I've had it for about two days now, which is just a cold and a cough. Also, while playing basketball on Tuesday, I rolled my ankle pretty good so I've been hobbling around for the past couple days. It's starting to feel better though. I love playing Basketball in the mornings though. I still don't have the 3pt shot that I used to have but my mid-range stepback is still pretty solid! It's a lot of fun cause a lot of people in our zone like to play so its fun to play some pickup games. This week we were able to teach quite a few lessons. I'm not gonna lie, a few of them were a bit of a baptism by fire type deal. They got kinda awkward. I told you earlier that we would have TRC on Monday, where they bring in members who speak Japanese and we teach them a twenty minute lesson. We didn't have a whole lot of time to prepare and we didn't really know what to expect so we went in kinda blind. We had heard that the investigator would ask us a lot of questions so we felt like it wasn't a terrible thing that we didn't really have a lesson plan. MAN WAS I WRONG! I first lesson was with a guy named Jordan. We went in there and had some small talk. Then I asked him what his concerns were and how we could help him. I was expecting that he would give us something to work with but nope. He said he didn't have any. After he said that, I pretty much had no idea what to talk about or how to say anything. So I frantically looked through the scriptures and I found a scripture in Alma talking about prayer and how we can receive answers. I then asked him what his experience was with prayer. He then went on rambling for about two minutes. So just picture this dude with a European accent, speaking rapid Japanese and then me looking wide eyed and confused. After he was done, we had no idea what he just said. So we just proceeded to smile and nod our heads in agreement. Jeez those twenty minutes could not have passed any slower. After him, we taught a Japanese woman named Emmy. This one went a lot better. She didn't speak a ton of English but I had an easier time understanding her. We talked about faith and prayer. Then she asked if we could teach her how to pray in English. So she handed us a little notebook and we wrote down each step. After the experience with her and the Japanese women at the temple, I'm really starting to look forward to talking with and helping the Japanese people I'll meet over there. But yeah, TRC was a very stressful but good experience. 
Lets see...... its hard to think of what to tell you cause we pretty much to the same thing every day.

Another thing that happened is that I got to say the opening prayer in Priesthood on Sunday. I think I did well on it. Something funny that happened was when I was praying at the end of class with our district. I was trying to say I was thankful for the gift of the spirit. (Serei no tamamono ni kansha shimasu) but instead I said Igen no Serei ni kansha shimasu which pretty much means we are thankful for the spirit's tongue. So that was kinda awkward but we had a good laugh. 

I'm getting used to the whole process here now. You guys wanted to know my basic schedule so here it goes. We get up at 6:30 and head to gym for about an hour. I usually play basketball or run the track. Then we go back and get ready then head to breakfast. After breakfast we usually have personal, companionship and language study for about 3.5 hours. Then after lunch we have class from 230 to 530. Then after dinner we have another class from 630 to 930. During class we are either learning language skills or teaching our "investigators". 
It's still hard to stay awake a lot of the time but we manage. I heard that you are probably gonna be tired for two years straight so you might as well get used to it. We are still learning how to plan and look for the needs of an investigator and addressing those needs. It's kinda hard with the language barrier but we are improving everyday. Good news! I can kinda sing hymns now! I can sing them as long as they are a little slower. It's hard to sing a fast song and have the hiragana characters register in my mind quickly. I just started Katakana which is for foreign words. I don't know what the Chinese and Japanese people were thinking coming up with these alphabets; they are super confusing. I'm actually learning them pretty well though. 

That's so funny about my phone! I doubt ACDC had anything to do with it. That song is too awesome for it to cause it to break. When I read that I immediately thought of Harry Potter of how a wand only works for the wizard or witch it belongs too. I guess my iphone just recognized I was gone. Remember Kelsey, the person doesn't choose the phone, the phone chooses the person. I sense my phone owes its allegiance to......someone else. But that's cool that you guys figured out how to fix it. Apparently my phone changed its mind about me! 

Yes all of my PG buddies left this week. It was always super awesome to see them and talk to them. They will be awesome missionaries. The only people I know here is Jeremy Jensen's younger brother Jared and the guy who would text me entire epistles everyday. Every time he talks to me though it's only Hungarian. For some reason he thinks that I know what he's saying so I just nod my head and say "cool"! 
Also, I'm really jealous you all went to Thriller. I would give anything to listen to a little MJ and do the Thriller dance. 

Thanks for all of the news about the outside world. Everyone one in the zone is constantly begging to our teachers about the sports world. They wouldn't tell us the world series score cause they like to see us suffer! That's a bummer that the Royals lost though, that would have been cool to see them win. Thanks for your letter Dad. There is really no advice like a father's advice. Thanks so much. I love you guys so much! Sometimes I look out the window at Mt baldy and wish I could be there with you going on walks with Zoe but then I have to remind myself I'm in the right place. I love you guys more than you could imagine. Our family really is awesome! I hope my future family can learn how to support each other like we do. I love you guys! Talk to you soon!

1. As you can see, i'm excited for dunk ball
2. some of the guys from the temple walk. The short one in the middle is the manliest man I know besides dad. He ran a 62 mile race in one day. The guys an animal. H'es good at basketball too.
3. I can almost read my tag, not quite though.

Love you guys!! Talk to you soon!
Elder Nathan Didericken

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