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.

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