Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Hump Day and Rotten Tofu (Don't eat if it smells like yogurt!)

October 19, 2015: Week 52
Area: Kitakami

Companion: Trane Choro

Hey everyone! It was great to hear from you guys! Thanks for the hump day package Mom! I loved the Kneaders pumpkin bread and the American cereal! It has been way too long! I loved it! And thanks for the videos, pictures and letters. I love getting those.

Yep, I passed my hump day this week! It's hard to believe it's been a year since I walked into the MTC as a freaking out 18 year old. I'm soooo happy that day is over. It feels good to be on the downhill though, even though it's sad how fast it will go by. But nevertheless, I'll be stepping off that plane about a year from now!

This week wasn't super crazy. Not a ton really happened so I'm kind of struggling to find interesting things to tell you. I'll try my best though.

It's starting to get pretty cold over here in Kitakami. We just pulled out the big heavy duty heaters; we have been using this cheap small one, but it broke unfortunately, so we have been freezing our ears off in the mornings. I don't know if I'm ready for another northern Japan winter, they are soooo cold and snowy! But hey, I only have to do it one more time. Wahoo!

Let's see....

On Tuesday, we went to a neighboring town called Rokuhara to visit a less active family. Let me tell you, this was the sketchiest town of all time. We got off and the station was like a tiny little hut with no one there, and the street leading from the station was surrounded by empty apartments being taken over by vines and stuff. It was the sketchiest place I've seen so far in Japan. I felt like I was walking in a zombie apocalypse. It was way weird. We enjoyed it though. We eventually found the house and the lady answered the door. She told me that her family relationships have gone down the hole, that there is no love in her house, and they've even talked about divorce. She admitted that the spirit wasn't in their home because they aren't going to church and doing those things that bring the spirit. I scrambled and opened to Moroni 7 and taught her about charity and how we can receive it. It was sort of intense. We encouraged her to apply that scripture as well as doing those things that will bring the spirit into their home. This Tuesday, I'll be on splits, so Elder Trane and one of the ZLs are going to give her a blessing. I hope everything works out for that family. It's sad to see how Satan works to rip families apart.

Wednesday was pretty fun. We were able to see an investigator who told me a few weeks ago she couldn't meet for a while for some reason. We decided to heart attack her door. We wrote a bunch of stuff on a ton of sticky notes and covered her door with them. It was a lot of fun. Then since we had some time, we housed around the area. But we made the mistake of leaving our bikes by her house and when got back to retrieve them, she was out picking the notes off her door. We tried to be sneaky and get the bikes without her noticing, but we got caught pretty fast. We got to talk to her for a while. We still have a good relationship; she says she's just been pretty sick lately. She was way stoked about us heart attacking her. She thought it was way funny that is a thing in America.

Later that night after Ekaiwa, we taught a mom and her high school age daughter really quickly. We tried using these pamphlets the church is trying with our mission that explains what to expect when meeting with missionaries. It wasn't the greatest lesson. We were super rushed for time and they didn't seem too adherent to the message. I think it kind of freaked them out. I think they're only interested in English, so that was a bummer, but at least we tried!

Thursday was my hump day! It was fun to open the package and have some American snacks. I'm telling you, if I was serving in America, I would gain so much weight. We didn't really have time to do anything special for my hump day on Thursday. It was a pretty busy day. That night, I made some stuff using tofu and I knew it was a little old, but I thought it would be okay, even though it smelled like yogurt for some reason. That was a huge mistake! Don't eat expired tofu!! Especially if it smells like yogurt!! We were feeling pretty sick the rest of the week due to that.

On Friday, we had a good District Meeting in Ichinoseki. We talked a lot about faith. Recently, Elder Ballard asked another mission why Japan isn't baptizing more. People starting saying that it's a Buddhist country and that they don't like religion and things like that. He fired back telling them that those were just excuses. He said we need more faith in this country. It kind of hit us because it's not news that Japan is pretty low in baptisms and "success" and it's not news that it's a Buddhist nation and they don't really like Christianity. But it was a wake up call to have more faith. It was a cool meeting, talking about how we can grow in and show faith through obedience, opening our mouth, and doing our best. I don't know if I'll see a baptism here or not, but I hope to say when I'm done that I tried my best and I worked faithfully.

Last night was definitely the highlight of the week. A family in our branch invited us over for family home evening with another member. First of all, this family is the funniest family in Japan by far. They aren't a typical Japanese family at all. Their house isn't typical Japanese either. It's like a cozy, messy, log cabin that you'd find up in the Uintahs in Utah. It was so much fun to spend time with some of my favorite members that I've met in Japan. Sister Takahashi is great! Her English is pretty good and she is so loud and talkative, which is a complete opposite of a Japanese person! Needless to say, it was a way fun night. We got to share a spiritual message using Saran wrap and wrapping someone up. It was a great night. I'll miss that family a ton when I transfer.

That's about it from this week! It's beautiful over here with the changing leaves, but the daunting feeling of the approaching winter is lingering..... Wish me luck! Also, Halloween is approaching! I remember having a small dance party in our room in the MTC last year on Halloween. You guys planning on doing something fun!? I don't think Halloween is a huge deal here. We are in the middle of planning a Halloween party with the Takahashi kids for the branch, which should be fun. Make sure to listen to Monster Mash and Thriller while eating sugar cookies this season for me and I'll be back to spend it with the you guys next time! Have a good week guys! Love you all! Have a wonderful week!

Elder Nathan Didericksen

p.s. My ponderize scripture is 1 Nephi 21: 13-16

13 Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; for the feet of those who
are in the east shall be established; and break forth into singing, O
mountains; for they shall be smitten no more; for the Lord hath
comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.

14 But, behold, Zion hath said: The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord
hath forgotten me--but he will show that he hath not.

15 For can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have
compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I
not forget thee, O house of Israel.

16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls
are continually before me.

Christ will never forsake us! He has the prints and scars to prove it!

This a cool wall we found in Hanamaki the other night.
No idea why 
it's there, but it's pretty cool.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Almost Hump Day!!

October 12, 2015: Week 51
Area: Kitakami

Companion: Trane Choro

Hey everybody! How y'all doing? It sounds like you had a good week for the most part. It looks like sports are kicking into gear once more. Utah is doing well and the NBA is right around the corner. Only one more season and I'll be back!

I finally got to watch conference this weekend and it was awesome! Every single talk had something special about it. And it was way cool to see the three new apostles sustained and take their place, as well as the cool tributes paid to the three who passed away, especially the one by Elder Bednar. Some of my favorite talks are Elder Lawrence's talk about asking God what we lack in order to progress, Elder Holland and President Nelson about mothers and women (I love you Mom, you're the best!), and President Uchtdorf's talk on the simplicity of the gospel. Every talk was awesome, but those stuck out to me. I've been thinking recently about he topic President Uchtdorf talked about. Some people feel the gospel and being a member is so difficult, but in all reality, we do the things we do out of love for God and Christ, so we do our best to follow them. If we focus on the plain and simple truths and do the simple things, that is what will bring us happiness. That is something that I've learned so far on my mission.

Another thought I had from conference as well as studying about President Monson's life is the need to visit and comfort those who are in need of it. President Monson has dedicated his life to serving others, so I made a goal for when I go home next year to make time to visit and be there for the lonely and widowed people in our ward. I did it a little bit as a priest, but not to President Monson's extent. He understands what it's like to do as Christ would do. I hope to be more like that and try to contribute more.

Also, I just want to say that the choir's performances of "Come Come Ye Saints" and "The Spirit of God" were absolutely amazing. I probably felt the spirit the strongest during those songs. It gave me an increased appreciation for the restoration and the pioneers.

Last pday was awesome. We went to Hiraizumi with the Ichinoseki elders and the Mower couple to see some famous temples. The town was so cool. It's just this small little samurai town with beautiful mountains and fields. I guess Hiraizumi used to be one of the three main powers of Japan with the other two being Kyoto and Tokyo. Hiraizumi was defeated in a battle against the Kyoto clan. so now they are a small little village. We had an awesome time seeing the temples and scenery. Inside a big building was a big shrine type thing made of pure gold. It was awesome. I literally felt like I was walking down the street in a samurai village centuries ago. Way fun!

Tuesday was probably the highlight of the week. We had a cool lesson Tuesday night. We went out to a fancy restaurant with Seiko Kyoudai, a less active and the member who wants to go less active because she feels like some people are insincere and the church demands too much. While we were eating, she started going off on all the reasons she isn't going to go to church. She has all of these small little grudges against people from months ago and how the church tells us to do this and that. Seiko Kyoudai was doing his best to calm her down and tell her she's being too serious and how she needs calm down. I was just trying my best to follow along the conversation. During their conversation about this, both Elder Trane and I had the impression to talk about her love for God and Jesus Christ. Trane Choro responded to her simply by asking, "Do you love God and Jesus Christ?" She paused and the room grew silent. She thought a bit and responded affirmatively. We then told her that these other things don't matter. It doesn't matter if she feels there are those who aren't sincere and other things. We told her we do the things we do in the church out of our love for God and Christ. Because we love them, we do our best to love others as well. Because we love them, we go to church, serve others, and read the scriptures. We told her that separating herself from the church won't fix her problems; it will make them worse, but that drawing closer to God and Christ will fix her problems. We shared Moroni 7 to top it all off. She then admitted to us that maybe it wasn't other people she had to fix, but rather, herself. She said she felt of our love and of God's love for her as we taught and that she would continue coming to church. The other less active said she will recommit to coming as well! It was a way cool experience to be a part of.

Wednesday was pretty good. We had a pretty decent showing at Ekaiwa. We were able to give a Book of Mormon to a high school girl and her mom who came. We also set an appointment to meet with them the following night, but they cancelled unfortunately. Hopefully we get to meet with them next week.

The rest of the week was Zone Conference in Morioka and general conference. Also, working outside was a little limited because of a typhoon that blew through the latter part of the week and the wind was insanely strong! It was a little crazy!

Well that is about it from me! We got calls on Saturday and it looks like Elder Trane and I are staying in Kitakami for another transfer, making it my third one here. And my Hump Day is on Thursday!! It's crazy, I can't believe I've been out a year and I'm half way done! It's cool to look back and see how far I've come since walking into the MTC as a deer in the headlights, wondering what the heck I was doing, 18 year old kid. I'm still a kid, and I still feel insanely inadequate every single day, but I'm grateful for the things I've learned this past year and the growth I've made. I've learned a bit how to be more Christlike and about the truly important things in life. I'm excited to be on the downhill and to see what the second year has in store. I love you guys so much! Have an awesome week! Talk to you soon!

Elder Nathan Didericksen

Monday, October 12, 2015

Working with President and Schooling Kids in Bball!

October 5, 2015: Week 50
Area: Kitakami

Companion: Trane Choro

Hey everyone! It was great to hear from y'all. I'm doing good; this week was a little crazy. I'm sad I missed out on conference with you, but that means there's only one, maybe two more I'll miss!  What were your favorite talks? When I get home, we will have to find a new priesthood session restaurant huh?!. You should get searching! Oh, and congrats on the thirty day diet! I'm so proud of you. I'd diet too, but I don't know how to cook and I'm poor, so I think I'll just accept the fact I'll get fat and worry about it later!

To start the week off, we went down to Sendai on Tuesday. We rode the bus down and after we arrived, we had a few hours to kill before the APs picked us to go to the mission home, so we decided to find a park to talk to people. We found a pretty small one, but there were some guys playing basketball, so we challenged them to two on two. They were pretty stoked to play with two taller white dudes. It was pretty fun; we destroyed them pretty good in our white shirts and ties and dress up shoes. It was a lot of fun. After we played them, we sat down and taught them about the Book of Mormon and gave them each a copy! That was a fun way to do missionary work. Unfortunately, there's not a ton of that in Kitakami. After we gave them each a Book of Mormon, I asked them if there was a good udon (noodle) restaurant nearby and they said we should all go together, so we went out for udon with these basketball kids. They were way cool. Later, we got picked up and went to the mission home for the night.

The next day, after finishing up in Sendai, we boarded a bus back to Kitakami. It was really nice being in Sendai where there are lots of people and energy, especially after pulling into Kitakami station where there is basically no one in sight.

Ekaiwa that night was great though. We usually only have around 5 or 6 people, but out of nowhere, like 14 people came! People started showing up who had never been before and it was so awesome. It was a small tender mercy from God after we were feeling a bit down that day. We were able to talk to some people and some of them have some potential in becoming investigators. One high school girl says she loves English a ton and we asked her if we could come to her house and teach English as well as the gospel with her and her family and she and her mom said that would be okay. Hopefully, we will get to meet with them.

Thursday was pretty fun. Furukawa Shimai from the branch called me and asked if we could go and help that old man farm some of his vegetables again so we went with her and another member named Brother Seiko, and helped pull out some sort of vegetable that I can't remember the name. It was fun chilling with those members and getting to help someone out. The old dude who owns the farm is way cool. He's like 80 years old and still bouncing. When he talks though, I have absolutely no idea what he is saying. Old people in Iwate prefecture are basically impossible to understand. Even Furukawa Shimai leaned over to Elder Trane and said she can only understand half of what he was saying. It was a cool experience though. I had my Asian farmer hat with boots on, feeling like a real Japanese farmer. When I go home, I'll miss that beautiful landscape, that's for sure!

The highlight of the week though was this weekend. We had a Meet the Mormons activity at the church where we gathered to watch the movie and have food. President and Sister Smith came too and it was a pretty good turnout. Most of the branch came and supported it and even two of our investigators and their daughter came. I think everyone enjoyed it; they were laughing and also were touched at the more spiritual parts, I think. It was really successful. We had a great time hanging with the members.

After that, we had a full night to do work with President Smith. It was the second time I've been able to work with President and it's way cool. We had a lesson with a family in their house! That was the first time I've ever taught a family, let alone in an investigator's house! It was awesome! We were planning on teaching eternal families, but President got in there and just did his thing. We taught lesson one, focusing on Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. It was an awesome lesson. The Spirit was really strong as we shared the First Vision and how this gospel will bless their family. They seemed really sincere and I'm really excited about their prospects. I'm so grateful I finally had the chance to teach a family in their home. Probably missionaries in other parts of the world won't get as excited about it, but that's been pretty rare on my mission.

After their lesson, we went to Hanamaki and visited a recent convert. I haven't been able to get a hold of her for a long time, but she was home and we were able to meet with her. President talked to her for a while and I think it really helped her. I think her faith is still strong, but coming to church is hard because she has to take care of all her grandkids on Sundays, so hopefully, with President's visit, we will be able to help her progress.

Sunday was fun too. I got to bear my testimony in church. I actually talked about the Book of Mormon and shared Dad's experience when he first read it after Grandma sneaked it into a box. I think that story is amazing and I think it changed the direction of our family. It's pretty cool. After that, we visited a less active with President and then they dropped us off and we did planning the rest of the time.

Today, I don't have much time. We are visiting Hiraizumi, which is a very famous town full of history right outside of Ichinoseki. There is a big temple called Chusonji and others that we will see. I'm pretty excited!

Well, that's about it from me. I hope you all had a great time watching conference. We haven't watched it yet; we will watch it this weekend and I'm very excited for it. I love listening to our leaders and their counsel. I really wish I had taken advantage of it more before my mission, but I know from now on to take full advantage of it, listening intently to all of the talks as well as listening to the beautiful music. (As a missionary, I've grown to love the MoTab!) I hope you all have a great week! Hump day is coming up soon!! Talk to you next week!  

Love Elder Didericksen

Like a real Japanese farmer

Friday, October 2, 2015

A Week of Service

September 28, 2015: Week 49
Area: Kitakami

Companion: Trane Choro

Hey everybody! It sounds like this week was great. I'd like to start with saying happy anniversary to the best parents ever! Happy anniversary Mom and Dad! Thanks for everything you've done for me and the family. We love you guys so much!

It's awesome to see the pictures of the fall in Utah. I love Utah this time of year, seeing the leaves and chalk the block at Riverwoods, football. Ahhhh I miss that place. I can't wait till I can see that again!

My week was pretty good. My new companion came up to Kitakami Monday night. His name is Elder Trane and he's a way cool dude. He's a little fireball and just a fearless guy who wants to work hard, so I'm already learning a lot from him. Hopefully I can teach him something valuable as a trainer, but he's already well on his way. We are having a way good time though. We both like the same things and have fun while we work. It's gotta be scary for these little Japanese people to be approached by 6'2" and 6'3" white guys, but no one has run away from us yet....well sort of. We walked towards this old grandma on the street the other day and we said hi to her. She saw us and immediately turned around and went the other way! It was pretty funny.

This week was full of random service activities. On Sunday, I got a call from a family who lives down by Tokyo and were coming up to Kitakami to help their grandpa harvest his crop and they needed help. So, on Tuesday, we spent most of the day harvesting beets and stuff. It was pretty fun. Their son had actually served in the mission when the earthquake happened so it was fun to talk to him. His English was way good. We were out in the middle of nowhere surrounded by fields and stuff. It was extremely beautiful with the golden rice fields and forests. It was cool. 

Wednesday, we had no appointments or anything, so the whole day was spent riding around trying to talk to people. We've been trying to find some parks where people go to play basketball and sports and stuff because we wanted to change up the way we work a bit and find different ways to find people. We didn't really find any though; Kitakami is kind of lacking in that area. We did find a park with a soccer field and saw a guy playing soccer by himself. So, we walked up to him and asked if we could play with him and he was pretty stoked and all for it. He was a goalie and my comp and I took turns shooting. After a few minutes, I challenged him to a contest that if we scored 5 out of ten times, we could share with him about the Book of Mormon. He agreed. We got 6 out of ten! So he listened to us about the Book of Mormon, but then he wouldn't take it so that was a bummer. It was fun to play soccer though. It's ridiculous! I was sore for a couple days after that, just by kicking a ball a few times. One day I'll be back in basketball shape!

Ekaiwa was good though, it's slowly been built up a bit since I got here back at the end of July. The Gando family that we have been meeting with came to Ekaiwa. We weren't able to do a lesson afterwards, but they said they were coming to our Meet the Mormons activity on Saturday! So that's great. After Ekaiwa, we had a few minutes, so we tried to get out a Book of Mormon before going home. We met a young couple and Elder Trane basically got it out all by himself. I was so impressed! I never had the confidence to do that by myself when I was new. It was way cool to see. It was definitely a proud father moment.

Thursday morning, I got a call from a member needing help to clean out another members house, so we met him at the house and started looking at what needed to be done. This lady was definitely the definition of a hoarder. She had so much garbage and random stuff in there, we spent about three hours doing it and after the three hours, it still didn't look like we made a dent. I know the annoying garbage system doesn't help having to separate garbage, but it was ridiculous! I could never live like that! It was a good opportunity to serve though and I was happy we could help someone. 

Probably the highlight of the week was one lesson we had with a member name Noriko Shimai. We taught charity and forgiveness using the Mormon message about the man whose wife and two kids were killed by a drunk driver and how he forgave the man who did it. We talked about Christ's love for us and how he asked God to forgive those who crucified him. The spirit was really strong during that lesson. It caused me to reflect on the lessons I've learned on forgiveness in my life. I know that we are taught to forgive others so that we can be forgiven of our sins. Obviously, that's a little hard sometimes and you just want to smack the guy who's wronged you or caused you pain, but then I think of Christ on the cross asking God to forgive the people who tortured and crucified him. I read a cool quote from James E. Faust (I've discovered recently that his talks are awesome) and it says, "Forgiveness is freeing up and putting to better use the energy once consumed by holding grudges, harboring resentments, and nursing unhealed wounds. It is rediscovering the strengths we always had and relocating our limitless capacity to understand and accept other people and ourselves.”

Withholding forgiveness really does hold us back and it takes so much out of us. I learned a lot about that after I got hit by the car almost two years ago and it was a good reminder about the call to us to be more charitable and loving to those around us, even those who wrong us.

I hope you all have a great week this week! I love you guys! Talk to you soon!

Elder Nathan Didericksen

Me and my white trash boots

Harvest time

I'm lacking in creative titles right now!

September 21, 2015: Week 48
Area: Kitakami

Companion: Kurihara Choro

Hey everybody! How goes it? Sounds like a pretty rainy week back home in Utah. That is so sad about the flooding down in southern Utah. Some of that stuff happened south of me with the typhoon. 

Well, this week was pretty good. It had its good parts and some not so good.

We finally got to teach Chiba San on Tuesday. She's the one who works for Nuskin, so she's been to Utah a few times. We taught her some English in a park and then were able to teach a lesson. We taught her about God and prayer. I felt it was a pretty good lesson and she was willing to talk to us and stuff, so I thought it went well. But, when I tried to set up another appointment, she said she wasn't all that religious and kind of brushed me off when I asked if we could meet again, so I was kind of bummed about that. We kind of felt like we were led to her a few weeks ago, so we were kind of sad that it didn't work out. I'll try to call and follow up, but I don't really know what's going to happen with her. 

Then we tried to visit a few less actives that we have been working with recently. One of them told me she doesn't think she will ever come back to church. She said she feels members in the church have an attitude that no matter what they do, it's okay type thing. I don't really know. I tried telling her that the church was true, but sometimes the members can make mistakes, and that doesn't mean that we reject the doctrine and separate ourselves from the church,. She didn't really accept that unfortunately. It just bothers me when I see people who have some wrong ideas put in their heads and they leave the church, thinking that it will solve their problems or something like that. It bothers me to watch them make that huge mistake. Hopefully someday, these less actives will realize that the gospel is the way to happiness, not separating yourself from it.

Wednesday, we had interviews with President Smith in Ichinoseki. It was way fun to wait for the interview and talk to Sister Smith and the Mower couple. It's really nice being around English speaking adults. For some reason, I've really missed that so I really enjoyed being there. My interview was pretty uneventful. President told me when he comes up to our "Meet the Mormons" activity in two weeks, he wants to go visit people with me afterwards, so he told me to make some appointments! This will be the second time I've gone out and worked with him so I'm pretty excited. He is such a spiritual giant, so it's way insightful being able to work with President Smith. He mainly wants to visit a recent convert who was baptized a little less than a year ago, but is also less active. I haven't been able to get ahold of her in around a month, so hopefully, I can set an appointment with her!

Friday was pretty awesome. We had district meeting in Kitakami with the Ichinoseki missionaries. We had a good training on effective planning and finding. After that, we were all planning on going out to eat somewhere in Kitakami, but we got out to Elder Mower's car and his battery was dead! So, Elder Hanson and I went up and down the street trying to find someone who could jump his car. We finally found a really nice woman who had what we needed to jump the car. It was kind of an adventure. Then, we went to a delicious Chinese ramen shop and then headed our separate ways. 

We had a split so I went with Elder Hanson's companion, Elder Hawkley, and we stayed in Kitakami. He was actually in the Air Force Academy for a year before coming out here, so he went through flight school and also jump school as a skydiver. We went out to visit an investigator named Gando. We got there and the whole family came out. The husband told me that last week, they all tried to find the church to come to Ekaiwa, but they couldn't find it, so I gave them our address and they said they are all coming next week!! The husband was still asking us why on earth we would leave our lives and come to Japan to teach a Buddhist people. He especially was baffled at why Elder Hawkley would leave the academy to come to Japan. I told him that if he listened to our message, he would understand why, so he said we could teach them after Ekaiwa!! I hope it works out because I've never taught a family before. That would be way exciting if it all works out.

After that, Elder Hawkley and I decided to go streeting by the station to give out some Books of Mormon. The first guy we talked to was way nice. He is a college student and was just fine talking to us. I introduced the Book of Mormon and he said he wanted to read it and that he was pretty interested, so I got his number and email and we will hopefully get to meet with him again! We were pretty stoked about that. The rest of the people rejected us pretty fast, but we were still happy about that one guy so it was all good.

This weekend was a little stressful and unexpected. So basically, for reasons that I'm not aware of, my companion is going home on Tuesday and I'm getting a new companion tonight. His name is Elder Trane. I don't really know a whole lot about him though. He is also a brand new missionary, came three weeks ago, so I will still be a trainer, but that is about all I know. I was pretty surprised with what all went down, but it is what God wants and I have no choice but to roll with it. I already have pretty high expectations though, especially with our potential for nicknames "Diddy and the Trane" or something like that. It should be fun.

Well that's about it. Nothing hilarious or weird happened this week so sorry it's not as interesting as usual. Sorry about that. Things are going good in Japan. I've been kind of stressed and have been a little disappointed in some of the things that have happened lately unfortunately, but if I look around, I can see that God is still blessing us in ways that we don't always realize. I've been reading a lot about what a successful missionary is and I've read that it isn't based on whether they accept you; it's based on if you do your best and just do what God asks us to do. I'm learning a lot about how God works with us and a lot about myself and how I can improve. It's a great experience. It's hard at times, but there are also very rewarding moments as well. Hopefully, Elder Trane and I can get started and try to build up Kitakami.

I hope you all have a great week! I love you guys! You're all in my prayers! Till next week!

Elder Nathan Didericksen

We made some pretty solid taco rice last night!