Companion: Payne Choro
It was so great to hear from you guys! Sounds like it's been a fun week! Avery's birthday party sounded so fun! I can't believe Lone Peak beat PG at the buzzer! Man! Those guys always sneak their way on top. Oh well. I'm gonna hear about that from Hanson Choro tonight; he's coming to Aomori and went to Lone Peak.
Anyway, this week was pretty good. It was a bit warmer than usual so it wasn't too bad walking in the snow, but we work with what we get!
On Tuesday I finally got to see the ocean!! That was the first time on my mission! Well it was only the Aomori harbor but it was water nonetheless. So that was cool. Sometime this transfer, we want to go up to the tip of Honshu and work up there. We actually talked to a member about going up to a place called Imabetsu. Apparently, you can see Hokkaido from there.
The rest of Tuesday, we spent all day walking the streets to trying to find people who would like to meet with us. We have been really trying to find these people because we basically have no one to teach right now. We had one cool experience while walking around the station. We noticed this guy, maybe in his early twenties or something, staring at us as he walked by, so we hurried and stopped him to talk. It's really funny when Payne Choro stops people and says something and they'll be like, "Wow your Japanese is so good! How did you get so good? Why are you in Japan?!" They have no idea he's a native Japanese. So we've been taking advantage of that and been doing translate dendo where I pretend I don't know any Japanese and approach and talk to people in English and he'll translate. Anyway, that's what we did with this guy. I talked to him in English and Payne Choro would translate for me. We were able to testify of the Book of Mormon and about God's love for him. He accepted a Book of Mormon and gave us his contact info! We actually emailed him last night and he said he's been reading it and when he can he wants to meet with us! Yay! We finally may have a new investigator in the works. So that was a pretty cool experience.
Anyway, we did that for like two straight days. Besides the experience I just described, we didn't have any success. We talked to a lot of people but none of them were interested. We found this dude from Nepal who couldn't really speak Japanese and his English was hard to understand. He asked us to help him buy a bus ticket to Tokyo because he didn't know how to do it in Japanese. So we helped him do that and then talked about why we are here in Japan and about the church. If we had an English Book of Mormon on us he would have taken it, but we didn't. Hopefully the missionaries in Tokyo find him!
Other than that, it's been kind of frustrating and discouraging here with the lack of results and things to do. It can be hard just walking around in the snow all day trying to find people but nothing turns out. There's been some really slow days where it seems we just walk for like 10 miles, but I'm trying to keep the faith and keep searching for good things that God has prepared for us here. That's all you can do right?
We did have a pretty weird experience though. There was a crazy dude that approached me and said something like, "Hey I've seen ya before!" And he started talking to us about random stuff: Buddhism, gun laws, what would get you shot in America, etc. It was weird. Usually when that happens, I just look at them and say in English that I don't know what they are saying so that they will leave. That didn't work though and he sat there talking to us for like 10 minutes. So that was a good time.
Also Tuesday night, we went to the Kimura family's house. They are a really nice family in the branch. Actually, apparently when I was a sophomore, their daughter did a study abroad and went to Pleasant Grove High School for a semester, so that was fun to find out. Also, Bro. Kimura is a doctor and he comes up to me and asked if I've had a flu shot and I said no. So he goes to his closet and comes out with a needle and gave me a flu shot! He said he loves giving people shots; it brings him the greatest joy. We also had a great meal! She gave us soba, sashimi, lasagna, and tempura vegetables. It was an awesome night. Kimura Kyoudai is so funny. He's my favorite!
We went to Sendai on Thursday for another meeting for trainers and new missionaries. It was fun to ride the Shinkansen again but it's taking all of my money. A ticket down from Aomori to Sendai is like 120 bucks! The meeting was really good, but it was like the third time I've been to that meeting so I've heard that same training a bunch of times. It was good though and I learned and reviewed some things we can do to be a more effective companionship. But that pretty much took all day including the travel to and from Sendai.
The last highlight of the week was that we had a sports activity on Saturday. Not a ton of people came, but I got to play basketball again! I was actually shooting pretty good too! Every time I play now, it makes me want to go play high school ball again so so bad! A less active in his 20s came and had a good time. We were able to get to know him and he even came to church yesterday! So I think we are going start working with him from now on.
Well that's about it! I hope you guys have a wonderful week! Have a happy birthday tomorrow Avery! I can't believe you are 5 already! I still remember the day you were born really well. I remember playing Orem at Oak Canyon, beating them and then going straight to the hospital to see you! I was way scared to hold you because I'd never held a baby before! Thanks for 5 years (I guess 3.5 for me) of being so cute and sweet and making all of us laugh. You're the best niece ever! Love you Avery!
Anyway, love you guys! Talk to you next week! Pray for Aomori!
Elder Nathan Didericksen