Wednesday, September 9, 2015

I'm a father to a Hawaiian baby!

August 31, 2015: Week 45
Area: Kitakami

Companion: Morris Choro

Hello everybody!!

My week was pretty solid. I'll start with the big news. We got transfer calls on Saturday and I'm becoming a trainer! His name is Elder Kurihara from Hawaii! He's Japanese, but grew up in Hawaii. It's going be just me and him in Kitakami, so my responsibilities just increased by a lot. I'm a little stressed, but excited for the opportunity. So tomorrow, I go to Sendai for the new trainers meeting, then Wednesday I'll meet my new comp and have a new missionary meeting with all of the other trainers and newbies. It will be a crazy week! Then we come back and take on Kitakami by ourselves. I hope I don't destroy it! Pray for me!

Some cool things happened this week! On Wednesday, Elder Morris and I had our first lessons together as a two person companionship. We met with a lady that we are going to make a new investigator. She had been taught by missionaries about 8 months ago and even had a baptism date, but that fell through and they lost contact with her after transfers. It was kind of a hard lesson because I had never really talked to her before, so I didn't really know her circumstances or what she knew from last time. She asked me why there were so many Christian churches, so I'm like, sweet, restoration time! So, I start teaching that and she cut me off and said she already knew that. Apparently, she didn't understand it though or she wouldn't have asked the question. So, we explained the priesthood a bit and set up a next appointment. It was a little bit of a harder lesson, but it was all good. We will see what happens with her. The good this is we got a new investigator. That makes four new investigators this transfer that we picked up. That is pretty good compared to the rest of my mission. Hopefully, some good comes from them. 

Wednesday night after Eikaiwa, the Mower couple picked us up and drove us to Ichinoseki to spend the night at the elders apartment because we had DTM and splits. I got to go with Elder Hanson again. We have been in the same district for a long time so we were pretty excited about the split. We did some fun stuff. On the way back from an investigator's house, we saw a way cool entrance to a jinja, so we decided to go check it out real fast. Ichinoseki is an extremely old town and has a lot of history, so it was kind of cool. There was a huge, steep stairway leading up to the top in a dark forest. I felt like Legolas, Aragon, and Gimli venturing into the cave of the dead army in Lord of the Rings. It was way legit. I love Japan! Sometimes, I wish I could see what it's like to be in the other missions with cities and people everywhere, but I wouldn't be able to see the beautiful landscape of "middle of nowhere" northern Japan, so I'm happy where I am.

Later that day, the coolest thing ever happened. Hanson Choro and I were doing Books of Mormon by the train station when this 19 year old college student just approached us and started talking to us. He asked us where we were from and stuff and why we were in Japan. We told him we were doing this survey on religion and stuff. The purpose of the survey is a way to introduce the Book of Mormon to people. He looked at the survey and without answering any questions, he's like "I really want to read this book! Where can I get it?" We gave him one and explained it to him. He then asked us for our contact info and said he wanted to meet to talk about it and stuff, so we exchanged numbers and set an appointment! On top of that, he pulled out his phone and told me he loves American rock music. He showed me his wallpaper and told me it was Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin. He's like "I love Stairway to Heaven, Pink Floyd, Van Halen, Def Leppard" and a bunch of other bands and songs. He basically named all my favorite bands. This guy is pretty much my best friend. I'm pretty sure we found a golden investigator. I've never seen someone so open to talking to missionaries. We didn't even have to do anything; he basically set up the appointment and everything. Hanson Choro and I were absolutely amazed.  It's a bummer he won't be my investigator; he'll be with the Ichinoseki elders, but I hope and pray he can come to find out the gospel is true. I'm just grateful for the opportunity to find him. It was one of the coolest experiences I've had so far. I definitely feel we were placed in his path.

After that way cool experience, we went to a part member family's house for dinner and the wife's cooking is famous in the mission. It was way good! The funny thing at their house is the dog. Their dog is kind of like sin to some people. It may seem nice, appealing, and "cute," but in all reality, it's a demon. That dog is Satan in dog form I'm pretty sure. It's just this little poodle thing, but it's super fiesty. While we're eating, it snuck in my bag and ate some stuff I had in there. As I reached down to take it from her, the member yelled to not do it, but it was too late and the dog lunged at me and tried to rip my hand off! It didn't get me, but it was close! Every time I made an advance towards it, it freaked out. It wouldn't even let me touch my bag! That dog was evil! It was a way good visit though. They are a fun couple.

The next day, while the Mowers were taking me and Elder Hanson back to Kitakami, we took the back roads through the countryside and it was absolutely stunning. The rice fields are starting to turn gold and with all of the little Japanese style houses and the lush green, it was amazing. He also took us really quick to a famous temple in which half of it is inside a rock cliff. It was cool! You should look up Hiraizumi some time. It's famous for the history and temple there. I'd love to send my awesome pictures, but we are locked out of the office again.

One last highlight was Saturday night. We visited with the district president in Iwate prefecture and his family. His wife is absolutely obsessed with nato. Nato is basically nasty, fermented beans that they eat over here. She knows most Americans hate them so since she loves it and thinks it's funny; she puts nato in everything. She made nato pizza and nato ice cream (didn't even think that was possible). It was kind of gross, but everything else was great. They are a great family. I feel I can joke around with them and be myself. They are a lot of fun. And the best part is one of the daughters has a 2 year old girl. She is absolutely darling. She reminds me so much of Avery when she was younger. She was bringing out toy after toy showing me and showing off her tricks and stuff. The best part was, she prayed for the food in Japanese. Her mom was whispering it into her ear and she would say it. I almost died it was so cute. Japanese kids are darling. 

Just real fast, across the street from our apartment is a day care and lately they have been having all the kids come outside where they teach them choreographed dances to music. It's so fun. It's a little creepy, but Morris Choro and I will peek through the windows and watch them during comp study. I hope they don't see the creepy Americans across the street creepin' on the little kids.

So that was my week! Some really cool stuff happened. I'm excited for this week to get my new bean and start my seventh transfer. It should be a ton of fun. I love you guys! Have a great week! Thanks for all of the love and support! You're all in my prayers!

Elder Nathan Didericksen

The branch during the lunch we had after church for Morris 長老

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