Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I wasnt the only clueless one in Church!!

January 25, 2015: Week 14
Area: Hirosaki
Companion: Dowdy Choro

Hey everyone! It was great to hear from you guys once again! I hope this week hasn't been too bad for you guys. But you guys were able to get through it! My week was pretty good. Not a ton happened, but Ill tell you a little about it.

Not a lot happened at the beginning of the week. We have an investigator who is from New Jersey and he lives in Hirosaki with his wife. We walked forever to find his house and we talked to him for a little bit. We are kinda nervous to teach him. This guy is insanely educated in world religions and he knows the bible backwards and forwards. He even went to Bible college for a few years. He says he doesn't believe in the Book of Mormon or that Joseph Smith was a prophet, but he does agree on some of the church's doctrine. He is a way nice guy and he's a white guy who speaks English which is great. He gave us this way weird drink though. It was like ginger and water mixed with pepper. Nasty stuff. Tasted like I was straight up eating ground pepper with a spoon. On Thursday, two of the older sisters in the Branch wanted to take us out to lunch (i guess they do that once a transfer). SO they took us to this fancy hotel buffet with our whole district! It was way good. They had a lot of food that wasn't strictly fish and Japanese, so I took advantage of that. They had these mini french toast things mixed in powedered sugar. I ate so many of those. It was a great time. If a missionary has the opportunity to get free food, you'd better jump on that opportunity. It was delicous.

On Friday, we went on splits with the zone leaders. I stayed in Hirosaki with Moffat Choro and Dowdy Choro went up to Aomori with Nishie Choro. I was a little nervous to do them for some reason, but it turned out to be way awesome. Moffat Choro is from Salt Lake from around the U campus and he's been out around a year and a half. He is way nice. He's not one of those zone leaders who thinks he's awesome cause he's a ZL. He was way humble and he always made sure to tell me when he was impressed with something I did. We started going around asking businesses to hang up our posters for Ekaiwa. It was kinda fun cause I could say whatever I needed to say in Japanese. It wasn't really that hard to say but it was still kinda cool. After that, we had a mogi (a roleplay) with our ward missionary Leader named Shirasaka Kyodai. He acted as an investigator and we taught him. We taught him the first lesson so we figured out his needs and taught a little bit about God and prayer. It was cool cause I was able to lead the lesson kind of and we did a really good job on it. Shirasaka Kyodai said that we were asking him great questions to make him think and it went really well. It was a good confidence booster for me. Moffat Choro told me that he was pretty impressed with my Japanese and that even though I taught very simply, it was powerful. It was nice to have that after feeling bummed out a lot of the time this transfer.

Later that night, we taught Narita San (we didn't end up dropping him). WE talked about his belief in Jesus Christ and why he disires to learn more about Him and how he thinks having faith in Christ would help him. It was a good lesson and the spirit was definitely there. WE were both able to testify of Christ and why he means so much to us. We learned a lot about him and we kind of have an idea to go from here. We teach him later tonight so hopefully it goes well. Overall, I really enjoyed the split. I learned a lot from it and I hope to able to apply it to my dendo.

Sunday was really fun. President and Sister Smith came to Hirosaki for interviews so they were in Church with us. It was way nice to finally have someone else there who has no idea what's going on or being said (Sister Smith). It was way nice to have them there; it kinda felt like I had parents with me again for once. President Smith gave a really good talk in sacrament meeting (his Japanese is pretty good) on spiritual gifts. Smith Shimai even spoke in Japanese for 3 mins or so. She has the APs translate her talks for her. After the meeting, the members put together a luncheon for the branch and president. It was pretty good and a lot of fun. I was able to talk to Sister Smith for a little bit. She is absolutely hilarous. She just loves to have fun.

My interview with President was really good. I really like talking to him. He is really spiritual, but is very nice, gentle, and not intimidating at all. It was a good interview and I loved being able to talk to him and hear his stories.

Today, we had district pday! So Takaya Kyodai (the crazy member who made me punch his butt) took us all sledding on mount Iwaki. It was soo fun! It kinda felt like I was in Utah sledding in Soldier Hallow! I will send pictures. It was a blast.

I'm happy you guys were able to get through this week. I loved seeing the pictures of the family. I really miss you guys. You guys are awesome

Well that is about it! It was a pretty fun week. I can't believe I'm basically done with my first transfer. Everyone says that the mission absolutely flies by and it sort of is right now. I am enjoying it though, even though I can't really understand what's going on. I love being here and serving the people and experiencing the culture. I hope you guys all have a great week! Love you! Talk to you soon! Happy Birthday Avery! 

Japanese word of the day....bikkuri suru.  Remember how before my mission, I heard that Japanese people use that when they are surprised? Well that was correct. When a Japanese person gets surprised, they shout *Bikkuri Shita!! It's really funny how it just flows out so fast like that. There ya go!

 Our apartment
 Cool few of the landscape and Iwaki San

Elders on the Run!

January 18, 2015: Week 13
Area: Hirosaki
Companion: Dowdy Choro

Hey Everyone! It sounds like you guys had a fun week even though you knew what was coming next week. I'm not gonna lie, it's not a very fun feeling and I'm sure you guys are feeling that right now. It will all be okay. Kelsey and the rest of our family will be blessed for her service to Heavenly Father.

My week was pretty good; some eventful things happened that I will tell you about.

Tuesday was a super weird and random day. We were headed through the train station during the time that school gets out so there were a lot of students waiting for the bus to go home. So with there being a ton of teenage Japanese girls, we got a lot more attention rolling through there than usual. Everyone was pointing at us and yelling Hello! at us. It was pretty awkward. But then it got weird. These two high school girls ran up and stood behind us as we were going down the escalator and were just giggling and talking about us. We figured they would leave once we left the train station, but they didn't. They basically followed us for like half a mile! They would keep their distance and then ran back up right behind us. Dowdy Choro was saying to not do anything to give them the satisfaction so we kept walking. Then we went into a mall to get some money out of an ATM so we figured they would stop there....but they followed us in there too. So we had to just move really fast between isles of stuff and we eventually lost them. It was super weird! Japanese teenagers are crazy!

Later towards the end of the day, we were walking through the city to go to an appointment at the church and we passed a black guy on his bike waiting for a light *works perfectly that its MLK day*, so we started talking to him. His name is Abdul from Ghana and he is way nice. He has been living in Hirosaki for 2 years almost going to school so that he can be a teacher in Ghana. He actually has connections with a recent convert from about a year ago from Kenya who was in this area. So we got his phone number to meet with him. We haven't been able to meet with him so we will work on that. I hope we will be able to teach him cause he is awesome.

The next day, we had zone training meeting in Aomori. It was way cool to see other parts of Japan. Aomori is pretty big compared to Hirosaki. It was a pretty cool place. I didn't get to see a ton of it cause we just had the meeting and went back, but it was pretty fun. It was nice to meet the other missionaries and see the other new ones I was in the MTC with so that was good.

Another crazy thing happened on Friday night. We just got back to the apartment after a few lessons so we were making dinner. I had to go to the bathroom while Dowdy Choro was cutting carrots. While I'm in the other room, we all hear this huge scream. Apparently, Dowdy Choro about chopped the tip of his thumb off! He cut it pretty bad and it was bleeding like crazy. We ended having to call the branch president to take us to the emergency room. So we were all chilling in the E.R at around 10 o clock at night waiting for him to get fixed up. They ended up using some sort of tape to close it up instead of stitches, but it was a pretty big cut. So that was a pretty exciting night.

Saturday we had a lesson with Narita San. He is the one we teach in English. Every lesson turns into us telling him about the importance of keeping commitments cause he never does them. Then we talked about church attendance. He has been to church in the past a while ago and he said he always felt peaceful and good when he went. I told him that was the spirit telling him it was a good thing to be at church and that the things he was hearing were true. We then asked him to come to church and he just said he'd think about it. So we decided to drop him because he hasn't progressed at all for the past 8 months and it seems all he cares about is learning English during our lessons with him. Its kinda too bad cause he seemed close to progressing, but nothing ever happened and we were out of ideas.
The way cool thing was that Akimotto San came to church and he had a pretty good experience. He felt the spirit for sure and he knew it! It would be soo cool to see him join the church cause he is the funniest and cutest little Japanese man I've ever met.

Well that was about it for me. It was a good week. I'm having a great time here even though I can't really understand and say much, but I'm working at it. The church is true!

It sounds like you all had a great week though! Mom and Dad have to promise me they will go tubing with me at Soldier Hollow when I get home. Its true, its way more fun when you guys join in. I hope you guys are doing okay. I know it is hard and not a very good feeling to have right now, but it will all be good. Kelsey will have awesome experiences and we will all be blessed because of her service. And I know that we will all have a greater and stronger relationship with each other because of this. Everything will be okay because we have Heavenly Father on our side!

I love you guys! I'm praying for you guys all of the time and I know it will all be okay! Good luck this week! I miss you guys a ton but I know what me and Kelsey are doing is the right thing to do. I love you guys! Have a good week! You can do it!

Love, Elder Nathan Didericksen

Mt. Iwaki

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Hirosaki Castle

January 11, 2015: Week 12
Area: Hirosaki
Companion: Dowdy Choro

Hey Everyone!! Wow it sure seems like you all have been way busy since you had Kelsey's farewell! Looks like you had quite the party. I cant believe Kelsey is already leaving, Time is kinda flying by. This week went by super fast for me; it seems like I was just barely writing! I hope everything with Kelsey's talk went okay and that you guys are doing fine. It's not that fun to have that constant pit in the stomach,but it really does get better when you start working.

My week was pretty uneventful for the most part. On Tuesday, we went to the woman's house who has a baptismal date. She is the sisters' investigator, but she loves Elder Dowdy so we came to visit here with the sisters again. She is working on quitting smoking so me and Elder Dowdy gave her a blessing so that she will be able to quit. She is doing so good right now! When I first met her, she was so messed up and out of it and since she's been to church and decided to be baptized, she is so happy! IT's pretty cool to see. She is doing well and so far is all set to be baptized at the end of the month.

We met with our other investigator twice this week. We teach him in English and we are worried that he's more interested in the English side of things rather than the gospel. He never keeps our commitments. He's a really cool guy and he believes in a lot of the stuff we believe in, but he's sorta lazy. We are gonna keep working with him cause I think if he starts keeping commitments, he will progress.

On Wednesday, me and Dowdy Choro had an appointment at a member's house. We had to walk quite a ways in a freezing rain storm to find her house. She is really nice. Her husband died quite a few years ago, but she lives with her 21 year old son who is a less active. So we went over there and had dinner and shared a message (It was tempura!! It was way good). We were talking about making goals and giving our life purpose cause he doesn't really do anything except watch tv all day. But in the middle of it, he and his mom started arguing in front of us. He was saying that he refuses to go to church or do anything with the gospel. So it was pretty awkward. I showed them my family album and they said our family was super stylish!

Thursday morning we walked quite a ways to find a potential investigator's house who is actually American who lives with his Japanese wife. We found him, but he said he was busy so we could come back later! On the way back, we saw this grandma with her two grandkids shoveling snow so we went up to talk to them. The kids were so cute and were so fascinated that we were white. She was way nice and we got her contact info so we will go back later this week probably. So that was a pretty good day.

Friday morning, we were supposed to have zone training meeting in Aomori. So we got up early to go catch the 8:00 train. We stood there with all the missionaries from Odate as well until we heard that the snow was too much for the trains to work, so they canceled zone meeting. Since we didn't have anything else planned, we went to Hirosaki park and Hirosaki castle to street a little bit. It was a pretty cool  park. I cant wait to see it when its not frozen! That night, we went to the Fujita family's house. They are really nice and their daughters are hilarious. I still don't really understand much but they are still funny. We taught them about how sin can bind us if we let it. So to explain it, we wrapped up Fujita Kyodai in plastic wrap until he couldn't move. It was pretty funny. It went well though. I could only say pretty simple things, but I got my point across.

Saturday was splits so I was with Butler Choro for the day. He mostly made me do everything. While we were walking to a lesson, I stopped this teenage girl and started talking to her about English class. She wasn't interested in that, just the fact that I am a tall white guy, so she pulled out her phone to take a selfie with us. I asked her if she understood what a selfie was. She looked confused so we explained to her what it was. It was funny, I got to spread a little American culture!

So that was about it. My Japanese is slowly improving I think. I can understand bits and pieces here and there. It is definitely a lot easier when they actually slow it down for me though! I'm doing my best and trying to stay patient. I'm just excited for when I can talk to people easier cause there are such cool people here!

Kelsey's farewell lunch seems like it was delicious. The food here is pretty good. I've had a lot of raw and cooked fish. You should try making tempura; it was way good. I can't believe pg has player cards. Thanks for all the sports updates. I cant wait to play basketball with you when i get back!! Love you!

Wow I can't believe that this time has already come! I know how you are feeling completely. And its not a good feeling huh. Trust me when I say it will get better. It will probably be hard at times, but once you start meeting people and learning more about missionary work, it gets you excited and you have a good time. Just relish in this new adventure you get to experience. And you will be able to strengthen your relationship with Heavenly Father more than you ever imagined. I have only been out about three months and I've already experienced it. Just trust and have faith like that woman said, and everything will be okay. I love you soo much and I'm soo happy we are as close as we are! You will be an amazing missionary and will change a lot of peoples lives for the better. I love you! I'm so proud of you!

Well everyone that is about it! Good luck this week! You can do it! Just remember that it is a good thing and we all will be blessed and looked after by Heavenly Father! Love you guys! Talk to you soon!

-Elder Nathan Didericksen

Hirosaki Castle

Japanese people eat some nasty stuff!!!!

January 4, 2015: Week 11
Area: Hirosaki
Companion: Dowdy Choro

Hey everyone! Happy New Year! It looks like your New Year's dinner was delicious! I had a lot of sushi too, but I will get to that later! Its crazy its already 2015, I've almost been out for 3 months! I can say I come home next year, which is weird! I still have a while though.
It is still snowing pretty much all the time. We did a whole bunch of shoveling this week. The snow is ridiculous. It is actually really nice today which is nice. This week we weren't really allowed to do a whole lot of dendo because it was New Years. New Years in Japan is pretty interesting. When we were walking around the street on New Years day, we saw a few groups of buddhists dressed up in tradional attire and singing buddhist songs and things like that. It was pretty weird. But on New Years day, we went to a shinto shrine or a jinja with a less active. It was way cool!! There was a huge bell that people were ringing and way cool old fashioned Japanese buildings. One of the things the people were doing is that you go up to this little bell thing and you ring it, and then they would pray. I think they were honoring their ancestors. I don't really know a whole lot about it. But it was way cool to see the culture.

New Years Eve was pretty hilarious. We went to the Takaya Kazoku home. They are probably the funniest family of Japanese people of all time! Takaya Kyodai is absolutely crazy. So we were eating dinner and Takaya Kyodai comes up to me and Dowdy Choro and gives us a cup with this weird drink inside. Dowdy Choro was asking what it was and he said "Oh it's just Japanese apple juice, it's really good." So we tried it and it was the worst thing ever. It was apple juice with grinded up sardines in it. I have no idea if they actually drink that; I don't think they do. After that, he pulls something out of the fridge and he tells us to close our eyes and open our mouths. Then he put the grossest thing I've ever eaten in my mouth. Apparently, it was raw squid guts! It was so gross!! I can't even describe how awful it was; I almost threw up. It tasted like straight up fish bait you put on a hook. It was disgusting. After dinner, we just sat and talked. Takaya Shimai showed us her special talent. She rolled out a table with water glasses and she played the water glasses like in Miss Congenalitey. It was great. At one point, she pulled out a marker and drew the Harry Potter scar on her forehead and put a cape on, then picked up a stuffed aniamal and said Expecto Patronum and threw it. Then she proceeded to play the Harry Potter theme song. It was great! To top it all off, Takaya Kyodai is apparently really good at clenching his butt and making it all hard. So he had all the new missionaries in the area punch them as hard as they could in the butt. And he was right, solid as a brick. It's pretty weird punching a Japanese man in the butt. It was the funniest night of my life.

A couple days later, our really rich investigator named took our district out to lunch. It was like a roof top Japanese buffet. It was so fancy! There were all these diffrerent kinds of sushi and Japanese desserts. I had raw octopus, which was surprisingly good. After that, he took us to his moms house to shovel her snow. His mom is ninety, but she is pretty spry. She had a really cozy little Japanese house and we sat there and talked to her and her son. He really likes to try to speak English to us and it's so funny when he does. He actually isn't bad. Man I love him!

There is this woman named  that Dowdy Choro found last transfer. He had to hand her off to the sisters but she loves him. Anyway, we went with the sisters to her house this week to teach her. When we got there, she was super drugged up on sleeping pills and other stuff cause she has depression so she was way out of it. Dowdy Choro gave her a blessing and it was awesome. THe spirit was way strong and we felt gods love for her. She came to church yesterday and after it was over, she leaned over to us while crying and she said that her heart felt big and warm. Dowdy Choro said that is the spirit.She then told us that she wants to get baptized! So she has a date set for the 31st!

I have having a good time here but it is pretty hard. I still don't really understand people so its really frustrating. This morning, I talked to Dowdy Choro about it and how I felt a little worthless and inadequate cause I couldn't speak or understand. He told me it was like that when he started and said some other things that made me feel a little better. I just want to be able to be more of tool in God's hands and it's hard to do that when I can't really speak yet. I just need to be patient.

It looks like you all had a fun week! I've never been cross country, skiing but it looks way fun. I'd imagine I'm pretty bad at it! Have fun shopping this week. 

Kelsey, everthing will be okay! The mission is a great time and you will learn a lot. I know it is scary right now and I felt the same way,but it is a great thing. Like what Jeffrey R. Holland said, don't shy away from a great thing. God will help you and support you wherever you go! You will have amazing experiences that will help you for the rest of your life. You can do it!

Way to be Matthew! That is so cool! Its crazy how things work out where we have opportunities to share the gospel!

Dad, I will try to get the address of the church and send it, as well as a picture! That is kinda cool you can look at Hirosaki with a web cam.

Well that is about it! Have a great week Everyone!! Love you guys!! Good luck on your talk Kelsey!!! Talk to you guys soon!

Love, Elder Nathan Didericksen

p.s.Word of the day.......doyagao. You know that face you make at someone when you are better than them. Like the stink face. Its like when an NBA player dunks on someone, and stares them down, that face is called a doyagao. Pretty random.

 Us in front of the jinja

 The jinja again

The view from the top floor restaurant.That is a very rare blue sky. A blizzard rolled in like 2 minutes after i took that.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Chopsticks are harder than calculus

December 28, 2014: Week 10
Area: Hirosaki
Companion: Dowdy Choro

Hey everyone!! It was so awesome to hear about your Christmas! I'm glad it was a good one even though I wasnt there! I'm sad i missed out on grandmas grab bag of random crap; it sounds hilarious. It was a little weird to have Christmas here, cause it just isn't a big deal here; they don't really do anything. The rest of Christmas was actually pretty fun! So later in the afternoon, we went to the church and wrapped Books of Mormon and other kinds of presents, and then we went in front of a big shopping area and sang Christmas carols while Dowdy Choro handed out the Books of Mormon dressed as Santa Clause. It was pretty fun. In front of us on the street, there was a traffic director working and he absolutely loved our singing. He would always come over and start to lead us with his traffic stick. He was having a great time. It was absolutely freezing though because It seems like everytime we want to go outside, Japan decides to start a blizzard. It was snowing so hard, but we stuck it out and spread the true spirit of Christmas. Its hilarious how many looks we get though, especially dressed as Santa Claus!

So I was a little frustrated at times this week cause I feel pretty worthless at times. I still don't really understand people and so I can't really contribute a whole bunch, but I guess this is what everyone goes through when they are new. It just got to a little. Also, I discovered this week that I am so bad with chopsticks. We went to a ramen shop and I was really struggling trying to pick up noodles with chopsticks and I'm pretty sure the workers there were watching me the whole time and laughing. They were probably thinking *you silly uncultured American." Oh well, I just roll with it.

This week was kinda difficult for missionary work. It seems like every appointment we had was cancelled so that was kinda a bummer. And none of our investigators came to church, but we will keep working with them!

Last night, the Akashi family invited our whole district over for dinner! It was actually my first time in a Japanese home since I got here. It was really fun. Before we ate, Dowdy Choro and I shared a spiritual message. We talked about the light of Christ and how we need to let our light shine. After his object lesson, I just said a little bit about being an example and if we are a good example, everyone will see it and want to follow it. It was kinda cool saying that in Japanese. it was very simple, but it went well. Sister Akashi said that I sound like a Japanese person even.I told her I can't really understand anything, but she said that is okay cause I can still speak well. I will get there though. Apparently, they use a lot of slang in Hirosaki, so maybe that's why its so hard to understand. I am slowly improving though. After the thought, we ate dinner. So I'm sure you have seen how they do it, but they had two little midget tables with all of the food on it. Eveyone kneels down and sits on their knees and eats. I have no idea how Japanese people kneel down like that for so long cause I was dying. My bony knees and my lack of flexibility was a bad combination. Also, when I tried to start eating and grabbing chicken with chopsticks to put in my bowl, the struggle was real! I kept dropping the chicken on the table. So sister Akashi went and got me a fork. It was so hilarious, everyone started busting out laughing. So evryone is there being masters at chopsicks and you have the newbie using a fork. I started to use the chopsticks later and I was improving. The food was way good though. It was cool to experience my first homecooked Japanese meal at someone's home!

The members here are so amazing though. They are really nice to me even though I can't really communicate with them yet. We actually have a lot of appointments at members' houses this week. We have dinner tonight at the branch president's house, then tomorrow, our rich investigator is taking us out to lunch. Then on Wednesday, we are going to another member's house. So I'm excited!
So this week is New Years and it is a huge deal in Japan. So on New Years Eve, everyone parties and goes to their shinto shrines so we aren't allowed to do dendo, so we have a big apartment cleaning day. Then the next day,we aren't allowed to do dendo either so we are going to the Hirosaki castle which I'm way stoked for!

Well that was our week. It was a good week and we were able to spread a lot of the joy of Christ's birth, while in santa suits!

In answering some of your questions. The people here are pretty middle class. SInce we are kinda more in the country, people tend to have more money. The snow here is so ridiculous. It will be sunny and then start to blizzard out of nowhere. It actually has been warmer and sunnier the past of couple days which is good.

Good luck everyone with these next two weeks.I know it will be tough, but Kelsey will have such great experiences in Spain! Have a good week! Love you guys! Send me cookies from your fancy cookie bags you got for Christmas!

Love you guys!

Love Elder Nathan Didericksen

 Dowdy Choro


 We walked out of the train station and this baseball team saw us and starting freaking out all excited. They wanted a picture with the two tall white santas! This was on Christmas eve.

Finally in Japan!

December 21, 2014: Week 9
Area: Hirosaki
Companion: Dowdy Choro

Hey everyone!! It was so great to hear from all of you. Sounds like you all had a really crazy week! I did too! This country is really pretty, even though it is in a blizzard most of the time. I love it here though! The people are absolutely hilarious! The bad part is that I can't understand a single thing they are saying!! They speak so fast and use words I've never even heard before! Elder Dowdy is helping me a lot though and is super patient with my lack of Japanese.

Yeah so my companion is Elder Dowdy from Australia and he is on his second to last transfer! He is way awesome! He just loves to have a good time and joke around with the members here and he's a way good missionary. We get along really well. I guess last week before I came here, he made a huge dance video with the Branch members to the Harlem shake and it was soo funny. Yeah so he is pretty awesome and his Japanese is really good. He helps me during language study all the time and teaches me things that he thinks would be useful. We have two other elders in our apartment. Elder Butler and Elder Igawa (He's japanese). We have a lot of fun; they are pretty cool. Our apartment is actually not that bad, except there is no central heating up here so our apartment is pretty cold sometimes. Luckily, the members bought a few gas heaters that we use so its not that bad. Another cool thing, the toilet seat is heated in our apartment which is super weird/awesome. Dowdy Choro and Igawa Choro are pretty good cooks and they usually cook. We usually have rice and whatever else we can find to put in it. Its pretty good though,; Japanese rice is amazing!

So my flight to Japan was pretty crazy! It was not the best day. So first, all of the chocolates that was in my pocket exploded cause I completely forgot about them. Then when we landed in Tokyo, my wallet fell out of my pocket when I left apparently. So when we get to our gate for our flight to Sendai, I realized that it was gone. At that point, I was soo jet lagged and tired and just done with the day, I just accepted it was gone. But Hamilton Choro went with some other missionaries to go track it down cause they were bored. After wandering Tokyo airport for like two hours and trying to talk to Nihonjin, they somehow found it!! So that was super awesome!

The next day after we had training and I met my companion, we took like a five hour bus ride to Hirosaki in the middle of a huge blizzard. Let me tell you, it snows so much here it is ridiculous! But I don:t mind it, its kinda fun. Another funny thing here is the cars and roads. As you know, the roads are super narrow and its kinda scary walking on the street sometimes, especially with my paranoia with hearing cars behind me. Also the cars here are super tiny with little tiny wheels. I don't know why i just get a kick out of it. I haven't done anything very Japanesey  (if thats a word) yet. I did eat squid the other day though. But I haven't been to someones house yet. We usually only teach our investigators at the church. This area is pretty awesome though; it's not that big of a city. I still haven't seen much of it though, so I don:t really know much. But it is pretty!

We have around six investigators right now. I have only met like 3 of them though cause they are out of town. We teach one in English though cause he is learning English and is pretty good at it. Sometimes though, we are worried he's only taking lessons to speak English to foreigners so we will figure that out. It's kinda the worst in lessons sometimes cause I can't understand anything that is being said really so it definitely takes some getting used to. I still try to be apart of the lesson as much as I can, but it is definitely hard sometimes. My Japanese is slowly getting better though, very slowly. 

Saturday, we had a sports activity at the rec center where we played basketball, volleyball, and ping pong. Some Chinese guys came who speak Japanese and English and we played them for a while. It was fun to play them. Dowdy Choro and I dominated!

Sunday was definitely interesting. I was being introduced to all these people and they'd be saying things to me and I'd have no idea, but luckily, Dowdy Choro was there to translate and help me. In Sacrament meeting, I got to get up and introduce myself and bear a short testimony. It went pretty good I think. When I said I was eighteen, the entire congregation just gasped and started laughing. I guess I look a lot older in a Japanese persons eyes. (Its actually way fun walking down the street and watching everyone look at us cause we are two six foot two white guys in Japan. Its pretty funny to watch). Afterwards, a few people came up to me and said my Japanese was good! It was pretty scary at first but it wasn't that bad. 

Well that is about it! It was a crazy week but a lot of fun! At least I:m not jet lagged anymore!

Love you guys soo much!! I hope you have a great Christmas!! Talk to you this week. 

Elder Nathan Didericksen

 Nathan with his companion, Dowdy Choro, his mission president, President Smith and Sister Smith.

 Nathan and Dowdy Choro on their way to church.