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

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