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

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