Monday, September 14, 2015

The family reunion

September 7, 2015: Week 46
Area: Kitakami

Companion: Kurihara Choro

Hey everybody! I loved reading your emails this week! It seems like you guys did some fun things! And college football has started! Holy cow! I can't believe it's that time of year again! 

This week has been kind of a blur with not a lot of sleep and tons of change. I was in Sendai most of the time with new trainer meetings and things like that. First of all, since my hair was pretty long, I decided that I would cut my own hair before the meeting last Monday. I learned my lesson...always check and double check the setting of the clippers before you take it to your hair!! Now don't freak out, especially Mom, I'm not bald or anything like that, but I did take a nice chunk of hair out of the front, forcing me to do all I could to make it even with the rest of hair. So now, my hair is a lot shorter than I would have liked. It's better now, but I won't lie, it was pretty bad a week ago, just in time for my meetings in Sendai! I'll be more careful!!

Sendai was great! I got to see all of my buddies in the mission that I haven't seen for a long time, especially Elder Erickson from the MTC, Elder Brodie from Izumi, and my old comps Elders Canepari and Hill. It was one big reunion at the trainers meeting. It was awesome! The meeting with Smith Kaicho was way good. It kind of freaked me out a bit and gave me a sense of responsibility for my new comp. We really are their first view of the mission, so we have to be a good example and teach them all we can. I was a little nervous after that meeting, but also really excited. Afterwards, it was way fun to walk around the city at night with everyone and go eat and talk to people and stuff. Sendai is a pretty cool city at night.

The night before I would meet my new bean, I got to stay in the mission home! It was my first time being there since getting to Japan that cold December night almost 9 months ago. It was weird being there this time as a normal missionary compared to a jet lagged, deer in the headlights missionary like last time. I also got to talk to my MTC comp, Elder Hamilton because his area is in Nagamachi. It was nice to catch up with him because I haven't really seen him since we got here. I would actually really love to work with him again.

The next morning, we got up super early and caught a bus to Sendai for the new trainer/new missionary meeting. I actually ran into my new comp in the mission home. so we weren't surprised when we were announced in front of everyone.  The meeting was super long. Most of the time while they were figuring the iPads, I just listened to Hill Choro say ridiculous things and dying of laughter. It was way sad to say goodbye to him and Elder Canepari because they go home in 5 weeks. It's nuts!

After the meeting, we did studies and then went out to eat. My comp and all of the other
beans were so jet lagged and tired that they pretty much crashed while we studied at the church and did Eikaiwa. The next day, we got up early for the bus back. My schedule from the APs said my bus was at 8:30, but I get there and there were no buses going to Kitakami. After some stress and running around, I learned the APs made a mistake and my bus wasn't leaving for another 6 hours, so we were stuck in Sendai all day, but we eventually made it back to Kitakami alive!

So, my new companion is Elder Kurihara. He is Japanese, but raised in Hawaii and is English speaking. Everyone who sees him and his name thinks he's Japanese, thus acting like he's fluent in Japanese. At least when I was new, they saw me as white and clueless, so I didn't have to deal with that. He's a way cool guy, eager to work hard and improve. He's been super tired most of the time this week due to probably jet lag, but he will get used to it. It's weird to have him asking me questions all of the time because it feels like I was just doing that to my trainer. But we are doing well and are doing are best to survive and build up this area in Kitakami.

Other than Sendai, not a ton happened this week. I'm still getting used to being the leader in the area and taking leads in lessons. It's a little stressful being that if I don't understand something, no one understands, so I'm really working on listening intently so I can pick up everything. I've also gotten pretty lost a couple times too. Hopefully my bean doesn't think I'm 100 percent clueless! 

We did have a great lesson with Chieko San. We asked her to pray about the Book of Mormon, but she said she doesn't feel a clear answer. We taught her the role of the Spirit and how it works and feels. I told her when I first seriously read the Book of Mormon, I didn't receive a clear answer, but overtime, as I applied the principles and prayed, it gradually came. It was a pretty cool lesson. I definitely felt the help of the Spirit during it. She even came to church yesterday and bore her testimony! That's the first investigator I've had in church in a long time, so I'm way happy about that. It still might take some time, but she is progressing pretty well!

Well that's about it from me. Being a father in the mission field is definitely stressful at times, but I'm learning a lot from this 
experience and I'm excited for what is in store. I hope y'all have a great week! Talk to you next week! Love you guys!

Elder Nathan Didericksen

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