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.

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