Monday, January 5, 2015

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.


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