Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Winter is quickly approaching and happy Halloween!

October 26, 2015: Week 52
Area: Kitakami

Companion: Trane Choro

Hey everyone! I can't believe it's pday again! This week kind of flew by for some reason. It sounds like your week was way good. Mom and Dad, you're an inspiration to me with your diligent workout routine! I can't wait to join you when I'm back because I need more cardio! Everyone's Halloween plans sounds fun. I can't wait to see what Avery and Dax look like in their costumes! We are doing a Halloween party here, but I have no idea what to do for it with regards to a costume. We will figure something out last minute! That's also a bummer the Halloween train ride is done; I loved that thing. 

My week was pretty good, I'll try to recap it the best I can!

Tuesday was way fun. I got to go on splits with one of my zone leaders, Elder Aono, who may be the nicest Japanese missionary I've ever met. I got to work in Morioka for the day which was way fun, especially because I usually work in the small town of Kitakami where it seems that no one lives here at times. It was fun working in a city for a time. We visited a less active and his non member wife in their apartment. Their relationship is a little rocky. I guess they got in a full on fight last time the missionaries were there, so we taught about charity. We showed a Mormon message called "enduring love" which is about showing love and caring for one another, then we testified of the pure love of Christ and how they can receive it and be blessed with it through prayer. The wife was touched and was crying. I hope it helped them. 

Later, while we were streeting, Elder Aono was talking to this college student about the Book of Mormon when this older guy approaches me and asked me if I was a Mormon and if I was from Utah. I answered affirmatively and he told me he had met missionaries 30 years ago and he said he has been interested in Mormonism for a long time. We started talking to him and at first we were thinking this guy was golden, but slowly, that excitement turned to "wow this dude is crazy". He lives in the mountains all by himself with no electricity or anything like that. He's like a hermit, mountain man. He started asking us if we believed we can heal people and bless people. We answered that we have the priesthood and stuff. He then tells us that he can heal people and he offered to heal Aono Choro's sprained ankle. We were like " okay let's get out of here!" Elder Aono politely declined and we made an excuse to leave. 

It was a fun split. I was the only English speaker in the apartment with 3 Japanese elders and we had a ton of fun. It was great not using any English all day. I've missed having a Japanese missionary in my apartment. 

While I was gone, Elder Trane taught the Gando family with the other ZL. I guess it went pretty well. They couldn't understand the Book of Mormon at all and the Holy Ghost really confused them, but they still want us to teach them. They're really interested in the plan of salvation so we will teach them that next time. We are still excited about them.

On Saturday night, we got invited to go play basketball with an Ekaiwa student and his friends. We thought it would be a good opportunity to meet new people so we went. Holy cow! After a year of being out, all of my athletic ability has gone out the door. I felt so slow and everything I did felt so awkward and un-athletic. I made a few good plays, but it's all gone. I'm going to work so hard to get that back when I get back, mark my words!

And lastly, we had a pretty good sacrament meeting yesterday with some pretty good talks. Elder Trane had to speak and it was actually pretty good. He did it on forgiveness. He gave me his talk to help translate and read over and after looking at it, I told him it might not last his given time. So he found a missionary book filled with Japanese proverbs and put all of the ones that had to do with forgiveness in there. It was so funny when he started saying them in his talk. Slowly, the congregation started laughing harder and harder. I guess it actually made sense and flowed through the talk; it's just that the proverbs are very difficult Japanese. It was fun. 

There was one talk that impressed me a lot. It was given by probably one of my favorite people I've ever met in my mission named Brother Seiko. He just got up and testified how much the gospel meant to him and how valuable it was to him. He said something along the lines of even if he was the richest man in the world and didn't have the gospel, he would actually be the poorest man in the world. He testified how much the gospel is a treasure to him, and how the moments he is happiest is when he is either with the missionaries being taught or studying together, or helping them in joints and things like that. His talk gave me another reminder how blessed we are to have it in our lives. It really is a "treasure" and it is of the greatest value. It was a great talk, and one that really needed to be heard by a few of the members who told me the are thinking of going less active over small little things. That's one thing I've come to realize over this past year, is the need to cling and grasp to the gospel because it is a treasure.

Well that is the gist of what went on this week. It's starting to get really cold over here. We haven't pulled out the heaters yet for some reason, so our apartment is freezing at night and in the morning. And Halloween is coming up! Any fun plans? It's weird to think I was in the MTC last Halloween. I really miss normal Halloween, dressing up like Hansel and doing fun stuff. Oh well, this is fun too!

Sorry for the short time, we are going down to Ichinoseki with the other missionaries to go see a cave and take a boat ride down this cool river gorge. Should be pretty cool with he changing leaves! I hope you all have a great week! I love you all! You're in my prayers. Have a happy Halloween!!

p.s. My scripture of the week is Philippians 3:13-14

13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

God doesn't care who we once were; he cares about who we are going to be. It's easy to look back and beat ourselves up over dumb things or screw ups we have had, but if we learned what we needed to learn, we must look forward to the future with faith and press forward! 

Have a great week!

Elder Nathan Didericksen

Us with the ZL's and an investigator

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