Friday, February 5, 2016

Arctic Train Ride and Picking Up Our Game!

February 1, 2016: Week 66
Area: Aomori

Companion: Payne Choro

He everyone! It was so great to hear from you! I can't believe it's already February! Where did January go?! Avery's birthday sounded way fun, I'm impressed with the bday cake Erin! And the UVU game sounded fun. I sure do miss playing in that arena. I have a ton of good memories from that place. Anyway, things are doing well in Aomori. 

This week was pretty good. We are finally starting to see some good things happen in this area after almost a transfer of straight nothing. We were able to find another really solid potential investigator and had some pretty cool finding opportunities. Here's the rundown:

On Thursday, we had zone conference with President Smith, his wife and the APs. It was a pretty good conference. President Smith gave out an assignment beforehand to prepare a  five minute talk explaining who Jesus Christ is in our own words in Japanese and he would basically randomly call people throughout he conference to give their talks. So throughout the conference, everyone was so tight and nervous due to the possibility of getting selected. Fortunately, I dodged the bullet and didn't get picked! Yay! One of the themes from the conference was preparing the world for the second coming. It opened my eyes how it is our job to prepare these people who have no idea of what's coming. It gave me a new sense of urgency, to work harder to find and teach people. It was a solid conference.

Later that night, we visited a less active who actually used to be a sumo wrestler. He's not a massive sumo wrestler anymore, but is now just tall and muscular. I've never seen a Japanese man like it. It's crazy! He went from being an abnormally huge, fat looking sumo guy to that. Sumo wrestlers are nuts. 

Saturday was pretty fun.  A member named Brother Ishikawa wanted me and Elder Payne and the other two elders to ride a train up with him to the upper tip of Honshu to a town called Imabetsu. We were all way excited to go so we went up with him planning on doing some work on the train and in the city. The train ride was way cool, the tracks went along the ocean the whole way. You could see the ocean on one side, and if you look to the other side, you could see the base of some tall snowy mountains. It was way beautiful. At one point, we had to get off in the middle of nowhere and switch to a much smaller train. After that, Elder Payne and I sat across from a young man and started talking to him. He was traveling up here from Tokyo to come see the beautiful, Arctic like scenery. We were talking to him about life and then we were able to switch to the gospel. We basically taught him the restoration on the train! Elder Payne was awesome, he was fearless and bold while he taught. I was so impressed. He's way good at talking to people I've noticed. It feels like he's training me sometimes. We were able to give the man a Book of Mormon as we got off the train. We won't see him again probably, but hopefully the elders in Tokyo find him!

We got off at some station in the middle of nowhere. It actually reminded me a lot of Provo canyon or something in the winter; it was way pretty. We went to some tiny little restaurant and got some lunch, and looked around. We were way confused though because we expected Imabetsu to be bigger but there was nothing there at all. Then Ishikawa Kyoudai told us that we were still a ways from the actual city; he just decided to get off in this middle of nowhere town instead. Apparently he didn't understand why we came with him in the first place. So that was disappointing not being able to go to the very tip, but we were able to teach that man on the train so it was worth it.  We caught the next train back to Aomori. 

Sunday was another awesome day. We had a few hours remaining before I had to do reporting with the district members and zone leaders so we headed out on the freezing cold to go contact some people. We made it a goal to pass out three Books of Mormon within an hour, so we prayed for help and committed to talk to as many people as we could. The first kid we stopped was awesome. He was totally willing to hear our message and had thought about God before. We taught  him about the Book of Mormon and about the nature of God. He said he'd be totally down to meet with us again, but he's moving to another city for college in a week or two. Five minutes later, we talked to another kid and the same thing happened.

The last kid we stopped was way cool. I walked up to him and asked if there was any good sushi places around. He really wanted to help us out so he was pulling out his phone and searching for places and even called his grandma to ask if she knew. He was like, "there's a way good one, but it's about a 30 minute walk. I've got time, should we go?!" I love how Japanese people will drop anything to help you; it's awesome! Eventually, we transitioned to the gospel. He said he's thought about God many times in his life and why there were so many religions that seemed mixed. We taught the restoration on the street and were able to get his contact info! It was so awesome! I think we are going to teach him and get sushi together sometime soon!

So it was a solid week; we were able to see the hand of God in the work countless times this week. Lastly, I want to share something I read this week.

During my study, I read a story called the "Riccardi Letter" talking about an Italian missionary about 30 years ago serving in England. You've probably heard it before, but everyday before going out, he would look in the mirror and say several times "I fear no man". He was passionate about missionary work and knew his sacred calling. He knew that all he had to do was open his mouth. From reading this, one scripture that I am really starting to like is 3rd Nephi 5:13 talking about how we are disciples of Christ. If we ever feel scared of opening our mouths or feel weary due to our calling, we can read this scripture and remember the sacredness of our calling and who called us. With Aomori kind of on the rebuild, it's my hope that we can fear no one and have faith in the One who called us. By doing so, I know his area will start to pick up. I probably can't be as bold as this missionary was (some of the stuff he did would get you arrested here I'm pretty sure), but we are committing to stepping up our game and to opening our mouths.

Well that's it from me, I hope you guys have a wonderful week! Love you guys! Talk to you soon!

Elder Nathan Didericksen 

No comments:

Post a Comment