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

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