Friday, November 27, 2015

Meetings, meetings, and more meetings

November 9, 2015: Week 54
Area: Kitakami

Companion: Trane Choro

Hey everyone! It was great to hear from you guys. I can't believe it's Monday again. This week kind of flew by for a reason. I'm doing good here; we had some good things happen this week, but a lot of it consisted of meetings. On the other hand, winter is looming in the air and it will be here in no time! 

I can't believe it's already time for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's crazy to think of all of the things that have happened since last Thanksgiving, but at the same time it feels like it was yesterday. I'm already getting in the Christmas spirit by listening to the small amount of Christmas music I have as well as watching Christmas devotionals on pday. 

I'll try to give you a run-down of the week. Since we had zone training meeting in Morioka on Friday, and then district conference in Morioka on Saturday and Sunday, we had to pack all of the things we wanted to do in like three days. Tuesday was probably our best day work-wise. In the morning, we met again with two less active sisters along with a brother from the ward. It was a pretty solid lesson. One of the sisters has been studying a lot from the scriptures and had some questions regarding the plan of salvation so she wanted us to teach it to them in depth. Everyone was halving a good time and one of the ladies was just having a blast studying the gospel. It was a lot lighter lesson than the intense one we had with  the week before. She still won't come to church yet but I think she is on her way back.

Last week we were housing and we found this woman who is actually Christian and was really willing to talk to us and accepted a Book of Mormon. We went back and taught her Tuesday night. When she saw us, she apologized and said she hadn't read the whole Book of Mormon yet. She also later asked me if she needed to be baptized to enter the church. I said we do have the ordinance of baptism and that she could be baptized when she found out for herself that this was true. I was kind of caught off guard when she asked that. We were able to teach her the restoration on her doorstep. 

Also, she mentioned that her younger brother had died and she really misses him, so we testified of eternal families and the plan of salvation. It was pretty cool! The one thing with her is that she has lots of tattoos and facial piercings. She asked if it was okay for her to go to church with those piercings and tattoos. I said everyone can come to church. I hope that through hearing the message, she'll have the desire to change and take out all of the piercings. In the meantime, I hope the members don't judge her when she comes to church. We were able to teach her and set an appointment for tomorrow, so she is a new investigator!! It's awesome! We are finally starting to find some people to teach because lately, it's been kind of rough. We are pretty excited about her potential. It's cool to see this area finally starting to pick up a bit because it was pretty down a few months ago.

Wednesday was kind of a slow day. We decided to go find some old investigators and potentials around town, but we quickly realized Japanese addresses are ridiculously difficult to find, and none of them were interested or home, so it was a bummer slow day.

The rest of the week pretty much consisted of meetings. We had zone training meeting with the other missionaries in Morioka. It was pretty solid. We talked about keeping the sabbath day holy because the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve have been stressing it a lot. Then we got some delicious karage, which is basically fried chicken. It was really good. The bad part is that they are way hot and sharp, so they basically destroy your mouth, but I guess that's the price you must pay to eat delicious food.

The weekend was good with district conference. It's always cool to see a big congregation of Japanese members because I'm so used to being in tiny branches. It was really nice to just be around other people and missionaries and to hear the talks and sing hymns together. I realized that I took firesides and things like that for granted before the mission, because I really enjoy them now. 

On Saturday night, since all of the areas are so far away form Morioka, we packed about 14 missionaries in the elders' apartment. We didn't sleep at all because we were all on the floor with no padding, but it was okay. It was fun to be with everyone. 

Sunday session was way good too. President Smith talked about keeping the sabbath day holy. He shared a story from when he was in college, he decided not to do homework or study on Sundays, meaning he had to work his tail off for six days. He told of the blessing he received from doing that and how God always helped him on tests, homework and things even though he didn't study on Sundays. It was a good time of reflection for me on keeping the sabbath day holy. Obviously as a missionary, we keep basically every day holy, but I know I can change some things when I get home. 

I read President Nelson's talk from last April, as well as doing some other study about the sabbath, and I've come to realize the true importance of it and the blessings that are promised through keeping it holy. It's been a great opportunity to reflect on the things that I could do better with regards to the sabbath, as well as why we have the commandment. It truly is the Lord's day and if we truly love Him, we need to show, like President Nelson said, a sign to God that we love him.

And since I'm in a Christmas mood and I've been really itching to listen to the MoTab perform Handel's Messiah, my scripture of the week is 2 Nephi 19:6.

6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called 
Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

He truly is our wonderful counselor and the Prince of Peace. I'm excited to enter into this season once again and take time to reflect on the magnificence of His Birth and the things He did for us. (I realize I'm kind of skipping Thanksgiving, but since that's an American holiday and I probably won't be celebrating it this year, I'm getting an early start!)

I love you guys! Have a wonderful week! You are all in my prayers! Thanks for all of the love and support you send my way! Love and miss you!

Elder Nathan Didericksen

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