Tuesday, June 9, 2015

World Records and Rice Fields

May 18, 2015: Week 30
Area: Furukawa

Companion:  Hill Choro

Hey everyone! It was great to hear from you! And it was absolutely awesome being able to Skype with you guys last week. I loved being able to see you and hear your voices! It made my whole week!

My week was good I guess; it had its ups and downs. The week started off with a boom though with my first earthquake!! It was pretty crazy. The other elders were in Sendai, so it was just me and my comp to experience it. It happened around 6:15 in the morning. I started to hear this alarm from the cell phone and I was thinking it was just our alarm to wake up. But then we started feeling the shaking, so I woke up and was aware of things real fast. It was actually pretty strong too. It started out kind of soft, but it all of a sudden intensified and got bigger. It was a little freaky because it was my first time feeling an earthquake. We were all fine though, nothing bad happened. But like we guessed, no one really cared about it because they feel earthquakes all the time, and it was nowhere near as strong as the one in 2011. So yeah, good way to start the week.

Then Tuesday, Elder Hill  and I probably set a world wide mission record, and it's not a record that you want. We went to follow up house a big block of apartments that we had posted a few days earlier. NOT ONE PERSON ANSWERED THE DOOR! After we were done, we counted how many doors we knocked on and it was easily over forty apartments. It was ridiculous. We would hear people in some of the apartments, but no one would come to the door. It was pretty crazy. I think it's a record for most doors knocked on in a row without anyone answering. Also, we taught our investigator Kano San on his door step. We thought he was progressing really well and had promise because he has already read up to Mosiah and he keeps our commitments. We were teaching faith and repentance and then he suddenly told us that he has no interest in converting and being baptized, that he is Buddhist, and the only reason he's meeting with us is that he likes to study other religions. We told him that we knew this would bless his life and bring happiness, but he said he's Buddhist. It was pretty disappointing. We are still going to visit him and teach him, but that was a big set back. We will keep working with him though.

Then, our investigator, Chiba San, who had a baptism date didn't come to church again and we called him a million times this week, but he never answered so we couldn't meet with him. Also, our other two investigators that we set appointments with called and canceled on us so that was a bummer. Also, we set up appointments with a few less actives this week. We showed up to the church and waited for them to come to the church for a lesson, but they never showed up. So we got stood up 3 times this week too. Sorry to be a little negative, but it was kind of a bummer of a week for us.

One funny thing that happened last night was when we were doing some more housing.  This kid answered the door, so I asked if his parents were home and he said they weren't. So, I asked him if he was learning English in school and he said he was, so I invited him to Eikaiwa and gave him a flyer. He seemed excited and closed the door. After the door was closed for a few seconds, he opened it again and told us our Japanese was very good and shut the door again. It was kinda funny.

We got a pretty weird rejection last night too. Elder Hill told him who we were and what we were doing. He asked us if we were Christian and we said yes. He then got this way stern look on his face and yelled at us to get off his porch. But the weird thing was that he used a very polite, humble form of Japanese. So even when you are getting yelled at to get out of here, they still might be sort of polite about it. He politely told us in a yelling tone to get out of his sight. It was kinda funny.

We were able to do something really cool on Friday. The other two have an investigator who owns a bunch of rice fields way out of the city near the mountains and they invited us to go work in the rice fields! So, we ride our bikes around an hour to their house and helped them with the rice fields for a few hours. It was way cool and the people were incredibly nice. One had a video camera out and they were filming everyone and having us introduce ourselves in the camera. They were way excited we were there. Afterwards, they invited us into their way big and traditional Japanese house for lunch. They fed us all sorts of sushi, beef, and curry. It was so good. Even a small earthquake happened while we were eating too, which was kind of exciting. They had a cool, traditional type of table where you still sit on the ground, but below the table was a big hole to put your feet in. I felt very Japanese. It was pretty funny because they were all pounding alcohol and one of the guys was slowly getting more drunk as it went on. By the time we left, he was hammered. He came up to me and shouted "Diddy!" And hugged me and said goodbye. It was pretty weird. When we left, they treated us like celebrities, taking our pictures and kept giving us a bunch of food. It was a heroes send off, except we didn't really do anything heroic. They gave us each an expensive steak, hamburger meat, and a drink to take home. It was crazy, I felt so special! They want to have us back for a barbecue when Elder Olsen has to leave. I was pretty lucky though. Not very many missionaries get the chance to work in the rice fields of Japan.

So there's my week. It had its good points and not so good points, but we are keeping a good attitude and working hard. I can't believe we are already half way through the transfer and almost into June! It's nuts! I hope you have a great week and that the weather clears up so you can enjoy some summer fun! I love you guys! Have a great week!

Love, Elder Nathan Didericksen

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