Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Missions give you some weird experiences

March 14, 2016: Week 72
Area: Aomori

Companion: Daniels Choro

Hey family and friends! It was great to hear from y'all! I'm glad you had a good week and are enjoying the weather! Spring is on its way! And shoutout to Kelsey on getting a baptism! That's so exciting! I can't believe you're already on your last area now! Enjoy it while it lasts!

This week was pretty good. Nothing too crazy happened, kind of just a normal week. We were able to teach a lot of lessons, but most of them were to members because the investigators are still lacking. 

On Tuesday, we were able to meet with a few members and do lessons with them which was pretty fun. Tuesday night, we had a fun time with Murakami Kyoudai. He was recently released as one of President Smith's councilors in the mission presidency. We've started doing this fun thing with him where we buy fancy bread and cakes from bakeries and then do a lesson while we eat food every Tuesday. It's way fun. He was telling us that he is one of the representatives to help coordinate the cultural celebration for the Sapporo temple dedication. Apparently, it's the first one in Japan; they didn't have one for the Tokyo or Fukuoka temple so he's going through tons of video from other temple cultural celebrations to see how to do it because he says he has no idea. I'm pretty excited to see the dedication and celebration on TV in August. I bet a Japanese temple culture celebration will be really awesome because they are very proud of their culture here. It's pretty cool. People are getting pretty excited because Aomori is in the Sapporo temple district as well, so they will have a new temple to attend.

Wednesday was good as well. The sisters found a pretty good potential investigator a few weeks back who was a 19 year old male so they passed him to us. They said he seemed way interested and that we could come back. We visited him like a million times and he was never home, so we decided to give it another shot but go in the morning and he was finally home! We were able to teach a bit about the restoration on his doorstep and then get his phone number. He was being a little shy and awkward, but we figured it was because it was the first meet. Plus, I figured the fact that he gave us his number meant he wanted to meet again and was interested. So we were pretty excited at the prospect of finally having a new solid investigator. However, I texted him last night to set up an appointment and he said he wasn't interested at all...... That was a major let-down. It's a little tough getting your hopes up for something that's finally going to go well and then they get shot down pretty quickly. Oh well I guess. We'll find someone soon. 

But on Wednesday night, we met perhaps the coolest dude that I've ever met in Japan. We stopped him while walking on the street and he was way awesome.  He is kinda like a hippie. He lived in Perth, Australia for a year and a half, so his English was really good. He was way down to talking to us and it was just a comfortable, easy going conversation. We introduced the Book of Mormon and gave it to him. He was pretty stoked. We tried to set an appointment with him but he said he wasn't from Aomori...... He came up from Wakayama near Osaka to sell mikkans which are basically small oranges. However, he wanted to meet with us before he had to go home next week, so we set an appointment for Saturday night. We were so happy after we met him, I don't really know why. 

The next day, we randomly ran into him again on the other side of town, which was fun. On Saturday, he called and said he couldn't make it to our appointment on Saturday night but asked if we were open around noon on Sunday. I said we had church and he said he wanted to go! I was so surprised! He didn't come to sacrament meeting because he had to work, but he showed up for the last 10 minutes of gospel principles. We wanted to teach him for the third hour but he said he had to go in like twenty minutes. We were able to teach a short version of the restoration, testify, and invite him to meet with the missionaries where he lives. He was so nice and funny. I'm super bummed he can't be my investigator, but hopefully he finds them in the Kobe mission. We are going to try and send him as a referral so we will see what happens. I'm grateful I got to meet him. I don't know why, but even though we barely even knew each other, I felt a love for him and a desire for him to find the gospel, a stronger feeling than usual. I just hope and pray that he will. Also, he added me on Facebook so I'll hunt him down after the mish! But why can't he just live in our area!? Dang it!

The last experience I want to share may be one of the weirdest/funniest/strangest memories from my mission. So last night, we were out streeting by the station and Elder Daniels wanted to stop someone to take our picture and maybe use it as a way to talk to people. So, we see this girl walking towards us wearing a short skirt, piggy tails with bright pink hair. When you see girls like that in Japan, it's best to avoid them. But regardless of that, Daniels Choro stopped her and asked if she would take our picture. I was like oh boy, this is gonna get weird, but it got a lot weirder than I thought, because when "she" answered, it was the deepest "yeah sure" that I've ever heard. Yeah, "she" was actually a dude. 

We thought we maybe heard wrong, so Daniels Choro asked "her" where "she" was from. "She" responded in a very deep voice saying Hirosaki. Yep, it was a teenage dude dressing up like a Barbie who knows what. I just lost it, I started laughing so hard and I couldn't control it so I walked away while Elder Daniels kept going. He got to the point where he couldn't handle it either so he looked at his camera and said, "oh never mind, I already have a picture! Thanks bye!" And then we ran away because we were laughing so hard and slightly disturbed at what we just experienced. You see some interesting stuff on the mission. Holy cow! I haven't had a ton of super crazy experiences when it comes to finding investigators and baptizing people, but I've certainly had a lot weird stuff like that! I'd much rather have the other! 

Anyway, I'll end with something I learned this week. I've been studying about personal revelation and why it feels like my prayers aren't answered and that I'm not being guided. Someone shared D&C 98:12-13:

12 For he will give unto the faithful line upon line, precept upon precept; and I will try you and prove you herewith.

13 And whoso layeth down his life in my cause, for my name’s sake, shall find it again, even life eternal.

It hit me that God doesn't always answer our prayers immediately or in the way that I want, but He wants to try us and see if we are willing to continue to work and "lay down our lives" and continue to seek and search for answers. I've had to learn a lot about aligning my will to Gods and accepting it. I've learned that we have faith for certain things to happen, but when they don't, we have faith in the fact that God knows best and He'll take care of it.

I love you guys so much! I hope you have a great week! Enjoy the warm weather! Talk to you next week!

Elder Nathan Didericksen 

Aomori harbor

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

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