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.