Thursday, March 24, 2016

Happy spring!

March 21, 2016: Week 73
Area: Aomori

Companion: Daniels Choro

Hey family and friends! Happy first day of spring! I'm so excited to put away my winter stuff for good! Except it might be way cold here this week I've heard. Darn it. Anyway, it was great to hear from you guys! I'm glad you are all doing well!

Well this week was good I guess. We worked really hard and I think I got the most rejection this week than any other week on my mission. It was pretty crazy. But I'll get to that later. 

The week started out pretty good though on Monday night when Elder Daniels and I were invited over to the Kimura family's house for dinner because they thought Elder Daniels' bday was last week instead of this week. I love going to their house. They are really nice and make great food. Sister Kimura made sukiyaki which is one of my favorite Japanese foods. I'll miss that stuff when I'm gone because you can't eat raw eggs in America so you can't have the full experience back home. Towards the end of dinner, Elder Daniels wanted to take a picture so he set up his camera and put the timer on. When he ran back really fast to the table, he bumped it and a vase of water spilled right onto my lap and feet, me getting soaked in the process. I said I was fine but the Kimuras insisted that I wear a pair of Brother Kimura's sweats so my pants could dry. I finally gave in and put on a pair of sweats that belong to a tiny Japanese man. They were really small but they worked I guess. 

On top of that, when we left around 9:00, we were planning on Bro. Kimura driving us home, but apparently they assumed we came on our bikes so they didn't give us a ride. Since we were pretty far from our apartment (2 miles or so) and had a half hour before we had to go home, we had to run really fast to get there. Luckily, I was still wearing Bro. Kimura's sweat pants so it was somewhat comfortable! It probably was a weird sight to see a white guy in a suit coat, small sweat pants that reach your shins, and church shoes running home late at night! However, we made it on time! 

On Wednesday, we did a lot of finding. We got another referral from the sisters about a guy they housed who accepted the Book of Mormon. They said he might be a little "mentally unstable" but we went and visited him anyway. His apartment building was way sketchy but we knocked on the door and this guy answered and invited us right in. I understood pretty quickly that this guy's brain was pretty fried. He actually was way interested in Christianity and said he'd be down with hearing lessons from us and entering our church. He kept asking me if Christ would heal his mental disorders and stuff. I had no idea how to answer that one. So, we technically got a new investigator, but the dude is straight crazy and he's even entering a mental hospital in a few weeks so we won't be seeing him again.... Oh well, it was interesting that's for sure. 

After that we did some housing for a while but no one wanted to listen to us. We ran into a few interesting people, including an old investigator who used to live another area. He wasn't interested either though.

Thursday was fun. I got to be in a trio again for the day which I haven't done in a while. When we do splits in other areas, you can travel by yourself. Elder Kugai had a split with the APs so we dropped him off at the station and it was me, Elder Daniels and Elder Robbins in a trio. It was fun to be with those guys. We just walked around downtown and talked to people, trying to hand out the cards about Easter that we got. We had a good time. We walked up to this group of skateboarders and talked to them for a while. Elder Daniels asked if he could ride the skateboard and they let him ride it around. It was hilarious!

Recently, the mission has been exploding with people finding investigators and seeing success, and Elder Daniels and I were getting sick of not being one of those companionships, so we decided to try to just go crazy on Friday. We made it a goal to literally try to talk to every person that walked past us. We would try to stop them using Easter, ask a few questions, share a quick 1 minute message, and try to get contact info to make them an investigator. So we went to the Eki towards the end of the night and tried to do it. It was pretty hard to build up the courage to stop every single person, even if it was a really mean business man who usually reject you pretty quickly. We probably talked to or tried to talk to over 100 people. We got a ton of rejections. Half the people would just put their hands up and wave us off when we said hi to them. We were able to have a few good conversations, but no one was willing to learn more. Unfortunately, we, especially me, were pretty degraded at the end of the day. It kind of hurts when you literally get 50 plus straight rejections in a row on the street. It was almost like a game though, going from person to person. It was pretty crazy.

Like I said, it was the most rejection I've ever had on my mission in one day. I was feeling pretty disappointed because we had really had high hopes for a new investigator from it, but it wasn't the time for it. But after thinking about it, we did our part in raising the warning voice and offering the gospel, but it's up to them to choose. I was the boldest I'd ever been on my mission, trying to get everyone which was kind of cool. It hurts me to see all of these people rejecting the happiness that they could receive from the church. Hopefully someday, some of these people will recognize what is in store for them if they accept the gospel. 

Other than that, we had a pretty normal but good week. Last night, we ended it with district dinner at Sister Fukushi's house which was way fun. She is one of my favorite members in Aomori.

Now we are entering into the last week of the transfer. I can't believe it's gone this fast; it went by in a blink of an eye! Hopefully we can finish it strong.

Lastly, I want to give a shoutout to my dad because it's his birthday today! I love you so much dad and appreciate all that you have done for me. I don't know if there's a lot of people that can say their dad is one of their best friends, but I can say that. I really miss the bonding times we had--all those hours you spent with me whether it be early in the morning at the church gym rebounding for me, or watching Bball, or driving to games while listening to classic rock and roll, etc. I appreciate and thank you for all of the sacrifices and time you've given to help me in my pursuits and dreams that I've had throughout my life. I'm thankful for the influence you've had on my life and the things you've taught me. I love you Dad! I hope you have a good day! I can't wait to make more memories with you and the fam after Kelsey and I are home. Love you!

Well, thanks for all of the support and love you all give me. I love you guys so much. I'm thankful for this experience I'm having in Japan. I'm learning so much and I love it, even though it's hard sometimes. I hope you all have a great week! Talk to you soon!

Elder Nathan Didericksen

Aomori harbor

Did weekly planning in a parking lot 'cause it was warm for once!

Celebrated Elder Daniels' birthday at Eikawa.

I had no idea this picture was being taken, but the bridge looks so cool, so I sent it. 

Had district dinner at Fukushi Shimai's house.
She's the best; her house is filled with Michael Jackson pictures and CDs.

The dude we met from Osaka that came to church. This guy is awesome!

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