Friday, March 4, 2016

Sorry for the boring email...

February 29, 2016: Week 70
Area: Aomori

Companion: Daniels Choro

Hey everyone! How are y'all doing today!? Happy leap year day! Can you guys believe it's about March! Time is flying by! I'm kind of jealous of the warm temperatures in Utah; I would love some of that over here. 

This week was pretty good. It wasn't the most exciting week, but it wasn't bad. We did get to go to Morioka to attend a conference with Elder Choi from the Asia North Area Presidency and his wife, which was pretty good. I'll get to that later. 

Wow! I'm trying to think what else happened this week, but it's kind of hard to come up with anything exciting. On Tuesday, I went on splits with Elder Kugai. It was okay; not a ton happened. We tried to visit a couple of less actives, but they didn't really want to talk to us. We also had a lesson planned with Elder Kugai's investigator, but he didn't show up, so that was a bummer. So yeah... there's not too much to report on that split.

On Wednesday, Elder Daniels and I went out to try and find some old investigators' and less actives' houses. I think I've mentioned this before, but Japanese addresses are near impossible to find. On top of that, we were trying to find it in a huge blizzard. Unfortunately, none of the old Qs were home and after trying to find the LAs house for an hour, we finally found it, but they weren't home either, so that was pretty rough. But it was all okay, because afterward, we went to a really good bakery and had this huge cheese bread thing which was amazing, so it's all good.

Thursday and Friday, we were in Morioka for a conference with Elder Choi from the Seventy and Asia north area presidency. Thursday afternoon we boarded a bus and rode for about 3 hours to Morioka. We somehow managed to fit like 14 missionaries in a small apartment, which was crazy. None of us were able to sleep too well, but it wasn't so bad. The conference was good though. Elder Choi and his wife are from South Korea, but they spoke some English. There were some parts that were harder to understand, but for the most part, their English was really good. He talked about a lot of things that I've been thinking about and that I needed to hear. 

For example, one of the things he took a lot of time talking about was respecting the culture, even learning to like the food here that you don't like. He talked about how when he was a missionary in Korea and the foreigners wouldn't eat kimichi because they thought it was gross. (Kimichi is actually way good though.) He had to work with his comps to get them to like kimichi. He said one thing that I really liked. When it comes to the culture or your circumstances: "If you don't like it, like it!" He said life is a lot better if you learn this one lesson. He said we need to not fall victim to our own circumstances. He told a story when he was a mission president in Seattle a couple of years ago. Missionaries came complaining to him saying they couldn't talk to people on the streets because it was always raining and they didn't want to stop people in the rain. He told them to walk out in the rain, look up, drink the "water from heaven,' like it, and go talk to people. That was something I needed to hear. With all of the bad weather in Aomori, it's easy to make excuses and give up, but we just need to buck up and do it anyway. 

The conference really motivated and encouraged us to be better and recommit ourselves. Elder Robbins and I were talking after the meeting about how we've both been out a while and still haven't seen any crazy experiences to fortify our testimonies or seen any success at all and how we don't want to go home like that. Like Elder Choi said, we can create our own success if we are diligent and work hard. We just have to open our mouths and be bold and let God do the rest.

This weekend was pretty good. Elder Daniels and I have been working on doing the things we learned in the conference. We have been trying to literally talk to every single person that passes us, to not let anyone pass without letting them know who we are, whether it be rain, snow or sunshine. We've had some awkward moments, but oh well, that's not a bad thing I guess. We've had other good conversations as well where we were able to teach about the restoration on a doorstep or on the street which was good. 

Also, the sisters found a guy in college who is pretty interested in the message and passed him on to us. We tried to visit him yesterday, but he wasn't home. Hopefully, he'll be a new investigator by the end of the week. 

That's about all I have to report. We are just going to keep working hard and not get discouraged and we will find some people to teach. I'm grateful for this opportunity to work in this area and in Japan. It's been hard and trying, but I've learned a lot and it's helped me improve as a person and a missionary. I love you guys! Have a wonderful week! Talk to you next week!

Elder Didericksen

My two missionary sons

We were happy to get out of this for a couple of days!

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