Area: Provo MTC
Companion: Elder Hamilton
Hello family and friends. It was sooo good to hear from all of you this week. Thanks for all of the letters and packages. We have so much food in our room now and its amazing! I was so excited when you sent the cheese and crackers. Now every night, me and Nielsen Choro have our nightly cheese time where we eat cheese and crackers and talk about life. Its a great time.
The end of last p-day was pretty cool. I was feeling pretty homesick, burned out, and inadequate. I prayed and asked God that I could get out of this funk and that I could feel better. Then probably no later than five minutes, one of our Senpai Racker Choro came in and just started talking to me. He didn't even know I was feeling the way I was. He told me that when he was in his fifth week here, he felt the exact same way I was feeling. He told me that we are not here to be perfect at the language or give amazing lessons to our "investigators". He just told me to be patient with myself and just not to worry so much about things. It made me feel a lot better. It was kinda crazy that right as I prayed, he came in and talked to me about it. God really does answer prayers.
Anyway, probably the most eventful things that happened this week happened today and yesterday. I'll start with yesterday. So I finally have the first vision in Japanese memorized! It was pretty hard and I still need to look sometimes but for the most part I have it. I even wrote it all out in Hiragana from memory, it was pretty cool. I would of taken a picture but I didn't have my camera with me. That night, we had our first Skype TRC where we skype with Japanese members who live in Japan. It was a little scary but it went pretty well for the most part. I did say a few dumb things though. When she asked me how old I was, I got the numbers mixed up and I told her I was 80 years old! She said something like, wow you sure look great for an eighty year old. It was pretty funny. We didn't have a whole lot of time to teach cause we just got to know her the whole time and asked about her family. She lives in Kobe and she has a son who is going on a mission next year. She said there is a kid in her ward who is coming the MTC and then he is going to Sendai so we are probably flying out with him in a couple weeks. It was pretty fun.
So last night when we were going to bed, the Senpai kept telling us that was Christmas as well as Thanksgiving. We kept asking them what they meant but they just said that we will see. So this morning we hear a bunch of pounding on our door at around . We got up and opened it and all of our Senpai who leave were there and shouted Merry Christmas!! Then they led us to the other side of the building and we found a bunch of wrapped presents and stuff all around the lounge of the building. They had even set up a little Christmas tree in the middle (I have no idea where they got it from). Then when we were trying to find our presents, one of our Senpai named Fletcher Choro came out in a Santa hat, a pillow stuffed up his shirt, and shaving cream all over his face. It was hilarious. So now I'll explain how this all came about. So this Japanese zone I'm in has been doing this for a long time. Basically, all of this random crap has been passed down from generation to generation. And whoever owns it has to sign it when they leave, and then pass it down the Kohai of their choice (the younger set of missionaries). There is so much random crap and none of it makes sense but it so hilarious. So each of the guys in my room got a bunch of stuff thats been handed down for a long time. SO in two weeks, we get to host our own Christmas for our new missionaries in our zone! So this is what I got: a random cane in which I have no idea where it came from, some sunglasses, a shirt that says "you can't handle my swag", a big land of the rising sun Japanese flag (That usually goes to whoever had lived in Japan before the mission. But since no one in my district did, Boetcher Choro gave it to me cause we are good friends and I'm the district leader), and finally a blow up Pirate sword. Then all of us got a bunch of boxes of candy and random crap that we have no idea how old it is such as a half eaten jar of peanut butter and a box of cereal. I'll send you some pictures of it, it was hilarious. I think we are the only zone in the MTC who does stuff like that! They are so awesome.
So the devotional today was way good. It was Elder Bednar and he was way good. Come Thou Fount was way cool. It was Mack Wilberg's version and it was amazing. I thought we did pretty well. When Elder Bednar got up, he said that they were going to hand out a bunch of cell phones. Then they gave us the number to his ipad that he had with him. So we were supposed to text questions we had for him and he would read them off his ipad and then answer them. Also, the missionaries watching from the other MTCs could email him their questions as well. So we basically just had one big Q&A session with Elder Bednar. It was pretty awesome and the spirit was there pretty strongly. He is such a sharp and intelligent guy. It amazed me how he could take any question and answer it right away while using scriptures and doctrine. It was amazing.
Mom and Dad!
Hey guys, thanks for all the continuing support and love you send me! Dad, I wish I could be there to try all of your food. The thanksgiving lunch here was good, but no where near to the stuff we have at home. It's okay though, I will be fine. Today has been pretty good actually! Thanks for being such great parents. I love you guys! And dad, I will keep shooting those threes! Love you.
Well that's about it. I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!! I wish I could be there but I know I'm supposed to be here. It is crazy to me that I'll be in Japan in a little more than two weeks! Have a good week! Talk to you soon!
Elder Nathan Didericksen