Monday, April 20, 2015

Japan is beautiful!

April 20, 2015: Week 26
Area: Hirosaki

Companions:  Canepari Choro and Larsen Choro

Konnichiwa everyone! How is everyone? I'm sorry to hear you all got the stomach flu this week; that sounds awful. It reminded me of the night I had the stomach flu while in California for the basketball tournament. That night was easily the worst of my life! Anyway...

This week was pretty good! So on Tuesday, we got a call from a random number. It turned out to be an old investigator from a year ago who wanted to do the Free Family English Program (30 mins English/ 30 mins gospel) and she wanted to introduce her friend to it. So on Tuesday morning, we set out to find the lady's house. It took around 40 mins to get there. She lived way out of the city where all of the open fields and apple orchards were. It was super pretty. We taught her some English for a little bit, but we had to leave really fast cause we had to pick up the Odate Elders at the train station for splits. So we rode our bikes like Lance Armstrong to the Station and started the split. I stayed in Hirosaki with Canepari Choro and Anderson Choro. We had a good time visiting with some people and hanging Eikaiwa posters.

The next day, we went to Morioka on a bus. So first we had to ride a train to Odate, meet up with the Odate Elders, and then had a three hour bus ride to Morioka. Morioka is a way awesome city. It is huge!! It's probably the biggest city in the mission besides Sendai. It is way pretty too. The train station looks like an airport. And somehow, the Shinkanzen (the bullet train) can go to the very top of the station indoors. Maybe it's some sort of Japanese sorcery they use to get a huge train inside in a four story building. It blew my mind.

Next, we hopped on a bus to go to the church and help out with their Eikaiwa class. We got there and there were a bunch of people there and it was a lot of fun. I was able to meet and talk to a lot of new people. I got to meet Dowdy Choro's old companion, Kugai Choro and talked for a little bit. I also talked to this one girl who actually visited Hirosak around three months ago and came to church. It was like my third week in Japan when I first met her. We were talking and she recognized me and was way surprised cause last time I saw her, I was like a deer in the headlights; I had no idea what I was doing. Now, I am speaking to her in Japanese. Apparently I have changed a lot since then. It was pretty cool though. The next morning, we got up and went straight to the church for ZTM. It was a way pretty walk over. Right next to the church is a huge pond with Sakura all around it. It was absolutely beautiful! I really hope I get to serve in Morioka some day; it looks way fun.

The meeting was all about physical and mental health. They brought in a psychiatrist who is in charge of the Japan missions and also a physical doctor who is in charge of the Japan missions. It was a good meeting. It gave me a renewed motivation to eat healthy, exercise, etc., basically to just have a more healthy lifestyle. After the meeting, you had the option to meet with one of the doctors one on one. One of my companions had an appointment so we had to wait at the church for a while. Dr. Graham was running really late and we were going to miss our bus, so we had to hurry and leave and he couldn't have his appointment. We had to get to the Eki really fast, so we and a bunch of other missionaries and a bunch of school girls piled on this city bus to the Eki. It was the most packed bus I have ever seen. You barely had room to breath. So we get to the Eki and we had to sprint through the station to get to our bus on time. We were running so hard!! But alas, we missed it, so we had to wait another hour and a half for another one to Hirosaki. It ended up being a really fun trip. I love those things where I get to be with a ton of other missionaries and meet new people. It was pretty exciting.

The rest of the week has been okay. As you all know, Canperi Choro's mother passed away. It was a pretty hard day for us. We sat in our apartment and had a big long group hug and cried with each other. It was tough. He was able to skype with his family and he decided to stay out. After he talked to his family, he went right back to being his normal hilarious self. It was amazing how he was able to go right back to work and forget himself. His eternal perspective is amazing and it' s what is helping him. He said he is sad but is also happy his mom doesn't have to suffer anymore. We talked a little bit about how great it is that we have the knowledge that death isn't final, that we can all see our loved ones again, that we will have bodies of perfection with no pain and that we can live forever with those we love in happiness. It really is an amazing thing to be able to have that knowledge. It truly is comforting. And Canepari Choro definitely knows about that perspective that this life is just a small piece of the puzzle.It has been a great learning experience and I'm so grateful for his example. I'm really going to miss him whenever I leave Hirosaki.

Today has been pretty fun. The Odate Elders came to Hirosaki really early so that we could go see Hirosaki park for district pday. It was 
great; we were the only ones in the park for a little bit. It was raining, but it actually made it even prettier. The Sakura isn't quite there yet, but it will be in full bloom by the end of the week. I took some great pictures.

Well that was about my week. It was full of its ups and downs. We are doing okay now, and Canepari Choro is doing awesome. Thanks for all of your concern and prayers.  Love you guys!! Have a great week! Talk to you soon! By next week, I will know if I am going to a new area or not.  Love you!

Elder Nathan Didericksen

Sakura in Hirosaki with the castle in the background

More Sakura

Crowded bus!

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