Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Summer Nights

July 13, 2015: Week 38
Area: Izumi

Companion:  Hirano Choro

Hey everybody, how are you all doing!? This week kind of flew by; I feel like I was just barely doing this. Anyway...Wow! It looks like your week was crazy with Kate's wedding and getting ready for it. It sure looked like a whole lot of fun though. And I'm glad you finally used the trailer; it's been years since we've used that thing. The kids looked way cute in their camping gear too. Looks like tons of fun.

This week was good. Again, not a whole lot happened. The work is kind of slow here right now and we are kind of struggling in that aspect. I'll try to recap the highlights.

Tuesday was pretty good. I had splits with Elder Hamblin, my District Leader, who goes home next week. Since I was in charge of the day and still have no idea what's going on in the area, I couldn't think of anything to do but go finding all day, so that's what we did. First, we rode a ways out and up this huge hill where a ton of college student housing is. There are young people everywhere up there and that is what we are trying to focus on (finding young people who might accept the gospel instead of the more traditional Japanese Buddhists.) Unfortunately, it was apparently a bad time to be up there because I think everyone was in class; no one was answering the door. One guy did though. He was this big Polynesian looking Japanese kid who plays Judo. We talked to him for a while and were able to give him a Book of Mormon. We will follow up on him later. The college students are good to go for because they all study Christianity in the school and are a little familiar with God in a sense.

After that, we headed down to the train station and basically walked around trying to talk to people for about 3 to 4 hours. There is a focus in the mission right now in handing out Books of Mormon, so that's what we were doing. The first hour or so, people were being pretty cold, looking pretty bothered that we were talking to them, but it picked up. We found that if you approach them speaking Japanese, they'll usually ignore you, but if you start talking to them in English, they're intrigued. So usually, we will approach them and say a simple "hello" and then ask if they speak english. They usually say no, so we invite them to Eikaiwa and start asking them random questions in English. Then we go into the Book of Mormon, usually in Japanese. We have some interesting conversations doing that; it's pretty funny. Sometimes, Hamblin Choro would stop people by just walking straight up to them, putting out his hand and asking if he could shake it. The best one was when we approached this girl sitting on a bench. We did the same routine and then we were going into the Book of Mormon. We said something like "today's a special day" because we were going to say we were giving these books out for free. Then she's like "Yeah it is! It's my birthday!!" We were like "No way! Well here's this book for free as a present!" She was so stoked. I think we made her whole day.

Oh and something weird happened too. There was this guy playing some weird Indian flute thing on a bench and when he saw us, he just started shouting "We don't need any priests; we don't need you guys! Get the heck out of here!" and stuff like that. We think he was just another crazy dude, but we left because he was causing a scene. Anyway, we were able to give out 10 copies on Tuesday, so it was a pretty successful day.

The rest of the weekdays were pretty uneventful. We had ZTM in Sendai on Friday which was pretty good. We talked a lot about how Christ can help us in our daily lives. Then we went to this really good indo curry place next to the train station. It was curry and all you can eat nan, which are these huge scone looking bread things that are so delicious.

Saturday was a really fun day. We had sports activities all day. There is a tradition I guess where every summer, Izumi, Ishonamaki, and Tagajo members get together and have a softball game. So Saturday morning, we went to Ishinomaki (the city that got hit really bad with the tsunami four years ago) and played softball. It was great fun. It had been a long time since I'd thrown a ball and swung a bat. I actually played pretty decent. I made a few good plays in the field and got a hit every time. Granted, its softball, but still..... Izumi won 14 to 7!

After that, we went back to Izumi and had lunch and studied a bit and then we had to get ready for another activity. The Kamisugi ward in Sendai put together an activity in a big park in Sendai and we were invited along with Tagajo. We played capture the flag, ultimate frisbee and all sorts of different sports. It was way fun; I felt like a normal kid again for once, just playing sports in the summer, getting a sweat in. It was amazing. It was fun to hang out with all of the missionaries who are going home next week. I'll miss them a lot. Then, as we were leaving, there was a firework show at the baseball park nearby so we watched the fireworks. Seriously, I can't tell you how nice it was to kind of feel like a normal kid on a summer night again. It had been a while!

Anyway, that was our week! It was pretty fun. I'm still really sore from Saturday; I used muscles that I haven't used in a while. 

Well, we are on the last week of the transfer and we get calls on Saturday! I hope you all have a great week! Love you guys! Talk to you soon!

Elder Nathan Didericksen

Fishing in Izumi

Summer activity in Sendai

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