Monday, March 14, 2016

I'm a bean (new missionary) again!

March 7, 2016: Week 71
Area: Aomori

Companion: Daniels Choro

Hey y'all! How are you guys? It was great to hear from you. It sounds like it's already summer over there! It's starting to warm up over here too! I'm so happy! There's something about feeling the sun for the first time in a few months that really brings a ton of joy. It's awesome! This is one of the best times of the year I feel...just coming out of the winter, March madness begins, the playoffs are soon, etc. I hope you enjoy! 

It's funny you guys mentioned the whole Trump and Clinton ordeal. I guess the news of their debates and how ridiculous they are has hit Japan because before church started, an older member came up to me and started talking to me about the election. She's like "Trump is a terrible person and he's winning. Good luck in America!" She said the exact same stuff mom told me in her email. I was like yeah, my mission ends in October, but I might just stay here or go to Canada or something. It was pretty funny. Seriously though, I'm considering it......

This week was a slower one. A lot of stuff fell through again, and a lot of the week consisted of us walking in random, massive snow storms all day. It was insane. It would be sunny and nice and then all of a sudden it'd start coming down so hard with really strong winds, and then stop, and then come again and so on. Hey, but for the past few days it's been very nice. I'd forgotten what sunlight feels like; it's so awesome. Everyone is saying that spring is right around the corner so we are really excited.

Last pday was pretty fun. It was nicer weather then usual so we decided to get in our shorts and boots and play football in a snow covered park. You couldn't throw it very far or run in the snow very well, but it was really fun. It made me miss wearing normal clothes and playing sports with the buds. 

On Tuesday, I had a really dumb moment (several moments) that made me feel like I was a brand new missionary again. It was pretty bad. So Elder Daniels and I, after a day full of walking in snow, decided we'd end the day at a tonkatsu restaurant, one of my favorite Japanese foods. I don't know why, but it seems like right after we got in the restaurant, our brains stopped working. We blamed it on the fact we were in the cold all day! Plus, the restaurant was a lot fancier than I thought, and for some strange reason, it was much more difficult to deal with. Apparently, we couldn't handle it. Haha!

Anyway, we got in there and the waitress said something to me and I, for some reason, didn't understand a thing she said. I figured she told us to go to a booth so I just started walking over to one and after I got there, I looked back and saw my comp standing by the hostess still, with the hostess looking at me like I was an idiot. So I went back and sat in the waiting area. There's strike one. 

She then told me to write my name on the waiting list, but for some reason, I wrote my full name in cursive, despite the fact they can't read English, let alone a signature. Strike two. 

Once we got to our table and ordered, I gave the waitress my order, then she asked me a question, and again, for some reason, I didn't understand a word. When you get in a rut like this, the usual "go to" is to just respond and hope that response makes sense with what the question is. I thought she maybe asked me how I wanted the meat cooked or something or what I'd like along with it, so I just asked her what her recommendation was. Well apparently that made no sense in answering her question because I got the biggest, "you're an idiot" look I've ever had in my life. Strike three. 

I felt so flustered and out of it. I hadn't felt like a bean in a long time. Just to top it off, Elder Daniels had one or two moments like that too, including them having to chase us down after paying and leaving because Elder Daniels left his bags at the table. I'm sure everyone was really happy to see us leave. They probably thought we were the dumbest Americans ever. Nothing like one of those moments that tells you that you aren't as good as you think you are! It was way embarrassing and awful, but we got a real good laugh at it afterwards. We probably won't ever go back to the place though; they probably wouldn't let us in anyway....

A lot of the rest of the week was not too exciting. We had a few appointments with an old investigator who didn't show up to any of them, which was a bummer. We also received a really solid referral from the sisters so we've tried to visit him several times, but he's never home and since he lives like a 45 minute walk away, it's taken a lot of our time unfortunately. So, it was another kind of a bummer of a week. But on the bright side, we had a zone training meeting on Friday and Elder Hanson brought us a bunch of food from the air base in Misawa. So now I have a huge box of Captain Crunch, Pop Tarts, and a massive jar of peanut butter! (Japanese peanut butter is really bad!) I'm living the good life right now! 

After the zone meeting, we went to this really famous fish market called Nokedon. It's such a cool, traditional Japanese place. There's octopus tentacles, fish heads, clam shells, etc. lying around everywhere. And the sashimi is so fresh. You see them take out a fish, cut it up all fancy like and give it to you straight from the cutting board. It's so delicious too! A year an a half ago, I never would have eaten anything like that; I would have thought it was nasty, but it's really grown on me. If we ever come back to Aomori as a family, I can't wait to take you guys there. It's an experience!

Well that's about all of the exciting stuff from this week. We are still just trying to find some people to teach. It's been pretty disappointing at times. It's funny, because in Matthew's email, he quoted from Joseph B. Wirthlin and I've been studying some of his stuff this week. Matthew quoted one of my favorite parts saying God will always compensate us, even more than is deserved. We all have hard times and disappointments, but we learn to love our circumstances and as we try to learn from adversity, it will turn into a blessing. I feel Aomori is right around the corner to seeing success; we just need to push through the disappointments. Wish us luck!

I'm really having fun though. Even though the work is slow and disappointing at times in Aomori, I really like this area and my district. We are having a lot fun with each other! So it's all good.

I love you guys so much! I hope you have a wonderful week! Talk to you soon! 

Elder Nathan Didericksen 

Pday football game... the snow!

And the blizzards continue!

So good!!

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