Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Japanese John Williams lives in Hirosaki......and I hate ice.

February 15, 2015: Week 17
Area: Hirosaki
Companion: Dowdy Choro

Hey everyone! It was so great to hear from you. It sounds like you had a fun week of valentines celebrations! Its crazy that its been a year since we beat Lone Peak! Ahhh, I wish I could live that day over again. This week was pretty good; there were some funny things that happened.

I'll start out with Tuesday. On Tuesday, probably one of the more embarrassing/funny moments happened to me. I was on splits with Butler Choro and we were walking in this neighborhood to go visit a less active. We were approaching these two Japanese high school girls and Butler Choro tells me to start talking to them and invite them to Ekaiwa. (English class) So i say *Alright I got this*, then I turned my head and took a step towards them and slipped on the ice so bad right as I walked by them. My legs flew up in the air and I landed on my back soooo hard, throwing my umbrella as I did it! I sat there on my back while the two girls just stared at me in confusion. They then handed me my umbrella and ran away. It was soo funny. Me and Butler Choro were laughing for like 20 minutes straight. It was pretty embarrassing.

Later that night, we went to the Hirosaki snow festival with our mission leader in Hirosaki Park. It was pretty cool, but it was absolutely freezing cause a blizzard decided to roll in when we got there. It was pretty cool though, there were lots of cool sculptures with lights and things like that. I didn't get too many cool pictures though cause my camera died when we got there unfortunately.

The next day, we went to a kendo tournament that was pretty close to our apartment. One of the other elder's investigators is a famous Kendo sensei. He is pretty well known in the Aomori perfecture so we all went to it because he was a judge at it. It was pretty cool. Its like extreme fencing with bamboo sticks while you are dressed as a samurai. They were yelling like ninjas the whole time; it was pretty awesome. Then later that night, we got invited to go see a production of Handels Messiah. One of the members of the branch was in the ensemble and a bunch of the Branch was going so they invited our district to go. It was pretty cool/a little boring. It was all in English too which was nice. But the best part was their conductor. I swear, he is a Japanese version of John Williams, which is very fitting because he is a conductor/composer. After the concert, the woman in the branch talked to us and told us that Japanese John Williams had actually met missionaries while he was in America. She is going to give us his contact information and we are going to go visit him! We got Japanese John Williams as a referral!

Then on Sunday after church, we decided to walk around and help people with snow shoveling. We found this lady and she asked us to get on her roof and shovel snow off it. It was pretty scary cause I'm not a fan of heights and it was slippery, but we managed to do it. She kept laughing in disbelief cause she had two white teenagers on her roof doing snow shoveling. After we were done, she tried to pay us money. We told her we wouldn't accept it but she wouldn't take no for an answer! She even tried to shove it in my pocket! It was pretty funny.

None of our investigators came to church today unfortunately. It is really difficult to get them to church; it's just not their number one priority right now. We are still gonna work with them. We did get a bunch of referrals this week though that we are gonna try to contact, which will be good.

Things are going good though; we just can't wait for it to stop snowing though. One more month! And, I hit my four month mark yesterday!! That;s crazy; it's going by fast. I won't be a new missionary in just a few weeks!

Thanks for sharing what has been said at church. It's cool to see other people's points of view and how the gospel has affected their lives. I miss our ward! Congrats Dad on being in the Stake Sunday School Presidency! That should be fun.

Well that is about it! It was a fun week, but the missionary work was a little slow; a lot of our appointments fell through. And it's still pretty hard cause I still don't understand much and feel clueless a lot of the time. Not understanding gets a little old after two months, but I guess that's how it is for everyone who learns Japanese. It's still fun though and I'm having awesome experiences! I love you guys! Have a great week!


Elder Didericksen

 Snow Festival

 Kendo Tournament



Wednesday, February 18, 2015

We had a baptism in Hirosaki

February 8, 2015: Week 16
Area: Hirosaki
Companion: Dowdy Choro

Hey Everyone!! I can't believe it's already pday, the weeks are kinda going by pretty fast right now. Its sounds like you all had a pretty good week with the amazing weather and such. I wish you could share it with me over in Hirosaki because it is snowing so hard right now with freezing cold wind! Walking to the church is definitely not fun for sure. My week was good, not a ton happened.

We started this week of with a bang however! Since it was Igawa Choros last night in Hirosaki, we found this American burger place and so we decided we would try it out. Oh man it was soo good! I felt like I was in America again! It was a glorious time.

On Wednesday, we were going to meet with one of our investigators named NIck. He lives a good 45 minutes away by foot. We went to his house and he said he was busy unfortunately. So we decided to go house for a little bit because we walked all the way out there. The first three houses weren't home but the next one, a man answered the door who is probably in his sixties or somewhere around there. I didn't understand much of the conversation going on, but we told him we are missionaries and we are sharing a message that can strengthen families. He said he was buddhist but he said he was okay if we came back later to share a message! It was cool, even though I couldn't understand what was going on at all! We are going back tomorrow I think and we are going to share the restoration!

The next day, we met with Akimotto san at the church. I love that guy! He is so funny! HE really wants to learn english so he always tries to talk to us in broken english and its hilarious! We taught him about how he can feel the spirit and what it feels like. It was a really good lesson. When we were walking to his car, I started to talk to him, and when I started talking, he got real close to me and grabbed my arm and put is other around me. It was so cute; he's like my little Japanese grandpa!

 After that, he took us out for some Yaku Niku. Its a restaurant where you go pile as much raw meat as you want and go cook on a grill that is built into your table. It was soo good. I didn't really do the smartest thing, however. When I got in there, I was so pumped to eat food so I just started stacking whatever I could find on my plate. When I got back, I realized that I mixed all my sushi with raw meat...So I couldn't eat the sushi. I bet when all of the people saw me mixing food with raw meat, they were thinking *What is this stupid foreigner doing?* Oh well.

Saturday, we had Kimura Sans baptism! It was soo great. She is the first convert baptism in Hirosaki in about three years. It was awesome to see her come out of the water and to know that she was completely clean, ready to start her new life as a disciple of Jesus Christ. While she was getting ready, the people who came to the baptism were watching a few mormon messages that the missionaries chose. The first one was *Because of Him*. I love that one. It lets us know that because of Christ and his sacrifice, anything is possible and we are never alone. The second one was *Mountains to Climb* by Henry B Eyring. It is kinda about the same thing. It is my favorite Mormon Message. Those two videos really invited the spirit. I was way cool to see my first baptism as a missionary. Hopefully there are many more! Also, it was awesome because Narita San came to it! He is really starting to come along now and desiring to come unto Christ. We were so excited to see him walk through the door to see the baptism!

Well that is about it. It was a good week. In answering some of your questions:

The new elder in our district is Elder Canapari from Sacramento. The dude is hilarious. He is an absolute Star wars Fanatic. I can ask him any trivial question about star wars and he will know it. Its hilarious!

Also, the day after Dowdy Choro leaves, we have a zone conference with Aomori zone and Morioka zone about IPads! Im pretty excited to get those soon! They will be a great use!

Mom and Dad, I'm glad you guys are still going to games! Jake Harris said that he was allowed to go watch them play in Palm springs cause it was in his area. I'm jealous. Yeah, I'm way excited for the snow festival! It looks way cool. We are going with one of investigators tomorrow! I love you guys so much and I miss you a ton! You guys are the best parents ever and you are definitely my heroes.

Love you guys! Have a great week! Talk to you soon!

Elder Didericksen

 Us at the burger place. Thats an oreo shake and it changed my life.

 Us with Kimura San!

We found a pickachu costume and Canapari slept in it cause he loves pokemon

Saturday, February 7, 2015

We found a miracle!

February 1, 2015: Week 15
Area: Hirosaki

Companion: Dowdy Choro

Hey everyone!! It was so nice to hear from all of you!! Sounds like it was a great week for all of you! My week was pretty awesome and we experienced a pretty cool miracle in a way.

Tuesday was my split with Igawa Choro. It was my first full day working with just a Nihonjin. I was so nervous for it but it ended up being way fun! At the start of comp study, it was pretty hard to get across what I wanted to say and to understand what he was saying, but as we got into the flow of things, it wasn't that bad. After our morning studies, we walked around 30 minutes to go visit one of the member's houses. HIs name is Ishikawa Kyodai and he's an old dude who lives alone. We have been suspecting for the last couple weeks that he has been smoking so we went to go check up on him. His apartment is pretty sketchy and tiny, but that is kinda what most apartments here are. We talked to him a little bit about the prophets and apostles. I was able to testify that they are called of God and if we follow their teachings, we will be protected and blessed. It was a good time. After that, we went to do a *role play* lesson with a less active that he has been working with. He speaks a ton of tsugaruban with is the super impossible to understand slang that they use here. We taught him about faith but it was kinda pointless cause he wasn't really paying attention the whole time.

It was actually pretty fun to talk to Igawa Choro all day. I hadn't really talked to him that much until that day. It definitely was challenging to speak in Japanese all day, but it was actually pretty enjoyable.

Later that night, while our district was dong Chirashi Kubari *english class flyers*, we found a kid who might become an investigator. He is in High School and an aspiring DJ. His DJ name is DJminimumShark. Is that not the coolest name of an investigator or what?! At the end of the day, I was way exhausted! Thinking and struggling in Japanese all day is pretty tiring, but it was a great day. Igawa Choro later told Dowdy Choro that my Japanese was pretty good for being a first transfer missionary, and that I could actually teach pretty well for my limited language capabilities. It was a good confidence booster for me. I just want to step it up and improve a ton this second transfer cause I want to be well on my way when Dowdy leaves. I will keep working!!

The next day, we experienced something pretty cool. We were walking quite a ways to find an old investigators house. After going to the address, the apartment we were looking for wasn't there. It was getting late and so we decided to start heading back. After walking for like 5 to 10 minutes, me and Dowdy Choro both had a feeling we should turn around and go back and knock a few of the doors at the apartments, so we followed what we felt. We knocked the first three and no one answered the door. We went to the next one and knocked and the person who answered the door was not expected. Remember that guy from Ghana named Abul I told you about 3 weeks ago? We got his information but we haven't been able to get a hold of him and we thought he was gone. Well when we knocked on the door, it was Abdul who answered it! We somehow stumbled across his apartment! It was pretty crazy. He invited us in and we talked to him for about an hour. We got to know him and learned his beliefs and what's important to him. He is a Muslim and has very strong faith. And then we talked a little about how we believe in the same sort of things and we would love to teach him more. He said he is busy with school until the semester ends on the 9th, and then we can teach him. He said he will introduce us to his Japanese friends too! It was a pretty cool miracle. We are hoping this leads to something really awesome. It was a great experience, especially since it was my first time on the mission where we followed a prompting and found a miracle!

On Friday, we went to Aomori again to go to another zone meeting. It is pretty fun to see and talk to the other missionaries in the zone and see how they are doing. It kinda feels like a big family. One of the elders in Misawa *the area with the american air base* brought me Poptarts from the air base, which was awesome. We learned how we can teach more like Christ taught. They challenged us to try our best to live what we teach, and do whatever we can to be that light and example that people need. It was a pretty good training.

Last night, we went to the Mikami family's house. Mikami Kyodai is the branch president here. They were having us over cause we received transfer calls and two missionaries are going to Morioka, Igawa Choro and Gallagher Shimai. Igawa is being replaced with an American so we will only have Americans in our apartment which isn't that good cause its always nice to have someone completely fluent there. And he's a way good cook too, meaning I need to learn how to actually make food besides eggs.

It was a pretty awesome week. We worked really hard and were able to see some miracles. Great things are happening in Hirosaki. Kimura San is being baptized on Saturday, and we just found a woman through Eikaiwa who wants to be baptized as well. It's difficult at times, especially since its really hard to get investigators to church, but we are starting to see some progression out of them. Missionary work is awesome. I just can't wait till I can speak the language, then it will be way fun!

Well that's about it! Crazy that I'm already done with my first transfer. It's kinda going by fast in a way, and I heard it only gets faster! I love you guys so much! I miss you, but I know I'm supposed to be here! Ill keep working hard! Love you! Have a great week!

Love, Didericksen Choro

 Way good Ramen Shop in Aomori. The type of ramen we are eating is called tsukemen. It was soooo good!

mikami Kazoku