March 28, 2016: Week 74
Companion: Daniels Choro
Hey y'all!! It was fun to hear from you as always. Easter sounds like it's been/is way fun! Everyone looked so snazzy in their new Easter outfits! I really want one of Dad's smoked hamburgers too!
This week was pretty solid. No new investigators, but we found about 3 solid potential people by talking to them on the street, which was great. But before I get to the week, I need to tell about transfers!
I can't believe another transfer has come and gone; this one went by so fast! I'm already in my 12th transfer; it's insane. And it was probably one of the most fun transfers of my mission. My comp and district were way, way fun. Unfortunately, basically the entire district is being broken up..... So I'm actually staying for my third transfer here in Aomori, but my companion, Elder Daniels, is transferring to Miyako after only one transfer here. I really enjoyed being with him. We were always laughing and we worked really well together. I'll miss having him around for sure.
So with that, I'm getting another new companion. This time, I'm actually training a brand new missionary, a Japanese missionary! I was so surprised when I heard that one! His name is Elder Kudo, but I don't know what part of Japan he is from. So I think I'm taking a five hour bus by myself to Sendai and then I get to go with President and Sister Smith to the airport to pick up the new missionaries! I'm so pumped for that! It'll be weird going there for the first time since I flew in as a new missionary!
And then on the apartment side of things, Elder Kugai is transferring down south and Elder Okamoto is coming. Our apartment had such a fun time this last transfer. We were obedient, but we were able to find that balance. Elder Robins and I will try our best to keep the fun in the district. I'm also kind of nervous about training a Japanese missionary; you never know what to expect. But I'm sure it will all be okay and I'm grateful for the opportunity. We'll see what the next six weeks bring!
So back to the week. Monday was way fun. We had district pday and it was Elder Daniel's birthday, so we all went bowling together, my first time bowling since being home. It was super weird wearing normal clothes and hanging out with them. I felt like a normal person again. It was kind of a small glimpse of what it might be like 6 months from now. Anyway, I was pretty rusty the first game, getting last place with a score like in the sixties or something. I was a scrub. But game 2 was a lot better; I actually won! It was a good day celebrating his birthday and having one last hurrah with the district.
Tuesday was pretty solid too. We went to an Eikaiwa student's house to help him do some spring cleaning type stuff. And after helping him with that, his wife made us curry with karage which was way good!
Later that night, we had an appointment with the Murakami family who live pretty far away from us. Since it was raining, we decided to take a train to another station and then walk from there to their house. We were in a hurry, so we quickly hopped on a train which I thought was the right one. Unfortunately, I didn't realize we were headed out of our area on the way to Hachinoe until like 20 minutes later! So we got off at some stop In the middle of nowhere, waited for the next train for like 30 minutes, rode it back to Aomori, and then rode the right train to Shin-Aomori. I'm so dumb! I've ridden the wrong train literally so many times on my mission! I guess I'm just not fit for public transportation! We finally made it to their house, but we were kind of late. They were nice about it though. It was a fun time at their house, I love that couple. They made us homemade pizza, watched a bit of the new face to face with Elder Holland, and shared a message. It was a good night.
Wednesday was probably the best day of the week. Elder Robins and I went on splits and we had a really good day. Last week, we really focused on the Easter initiative using the pass along cards and the video. We were able to find two potentials who gave us their contact Information!
The second guy that we found was kind of a miracle in a sense. We went to set up for Eikaiwa, but the other two elders were setting up so we we ran back to Main Street to see if we could find someone in ten minutes before Eikaiwa. We talked to quite a few people, but no cigar. With only like two minutes left, I stopped a man and told him about Easter and said we were sharing a message about Jesus Christ. He said he would be down to meet another time and gave me his contact info! It's amazing how God pushes you to the last minute and then that is when you see the prize! That was a cool little reminder for me to use every precious minute because you never know when you'll meet someone who will listen to you.
A couple of days later, Elder Daniels and I were doing the same thing and we stopped a kid with only a little time remaining and he listened to us too! He said he was interested in religion (and Star Wars; he told me how it ends......) took a Book of Mormon, and gave us his number! He said he's pretty busy with track practice, but I pray we can meet with him and teach him! We will see!
Easter Sunday was good I guess. Easter isn't really a thing here, even among members. I was so surprised last year on Easter Sunday and it was the same yesterday as well. I didn't hear the word resurrection, Easter, or even Christ, for that matter one time. I was baffled. The only mention I heard of it was Elder Robins' talk. He had a different assigned theme but spoke about Easter instead to try to let the members know that yesterday was a celebration of the most important day of all time. When he said "today is Easter!", I heard several members say to themselves "that's today?!" And stuff like that. I was so baffled that Christians here still have no real idea what Easter is. I guess that is just part of the culture. Oh well, I'll have a normal Easter next time! Christian holidays in Japan just aren't the same.....
But that is about it I think. It was a good week! I'm super bummed about the changes with transfers, but I will have to learn to like it. Hopefully, Elder Kudo and I will see some good things happen here. I love you guys so much! I hope you have a great week! Talk to you soon!
Elder Nathan Didericksen