Thursday, June 30, 2016

Transfer 14! And happy Fathers Day Dad!!

June 20, 2016: Week 86
Area: Izumi
Companion: Watanabe Choro

Hey everyone! It was great to hear from you! I'm glad Kelsey's homecoming went well. I'm super bummed; I missed both her farewell and homecoming! I hope you all enjoyed being with friends and family this weekend. I really wish I could be there and celebrate with you!

Also, I guess it's being played right now, but game 7 of the NBA finals!? Thats so crazy! I wonder if LeBron will finally get a title to Cleveland or will Steph Curry just go off again? You will have to let me know how it goes. 


I want to start with wishing Dad a very Happy Fathers Day!! It's kind of easy to forget because they don't take very many holidays seriously here. I don't think I heard anything about Father's Day at all this year, I have no idea why. 

But anyway, I just want to say how much I love you, look up to, and appreciate all the countless things you have done for me throughout my life. Some of the best memories I have in my entire life are shooting hoops with you whether it be at the church or in the backyard teaching me how to shoot, playing baseball in the backyard where you taught me how to throw a change-up, or taking scenic jeep drives while listening to some good old classic rock with you. (I will always appreciate you for raising me on the right music!) I've always cherished the relationship we have had since I was a little boy. I'm proud I can say that my Dad is one of my best friends and that we can talk about anything with each other. It means so much to me that you have sacrificed so much time, effort, etc. to help me achieve my goals and dreams including waking up very early to rebound for me at the church and then going go to work right after. You are the best Dad in the world and I can't wait to be able to shoot hoops with ya, talk to ya, and take drives in the Jeep while listening to some good Creedence Clearwater Revival, etc. with you. I hope someday, I can be a father like you are to me. That's a lofty goal, but it is the thing that I'm aiming for, because If I can do that, I think I will have succeeded. Love you Dad! I hope you have a special day. Sorry, I didn't eat level ten spicy curry for you this year (that about killed me when I tried that last year) but I will make it up to you when I get back! Maybe I'll eat Natto for you. You are my hero Dad! I love you so much!

Well another transfer has come and gone and it went very quickly it feels like. I can't believe it's the start of my 14th transfer, meaning I only have 3 more! Kind of weird to think about. So with the end of transfers we received transfer calls. It was kind of different than usual however. We had another Stake Conference in Sendai yesterday because the church had a special broadcast for all of Japan. So we watched the broadcast that originated from the conference center with Elder Maynes of the Seventy, Sister Burton from the Relief Society, Elder Whiting from the Asia North Presidency, and Elder Bednar. It was a pretty good conference. Since a lot of missionaries were there for the conference, President Smith just told us one by one what was going to happen right after the meeting. So I'm staying in Izumi for technically my third transfer. Some changes happened in the district however. I'm going from the only American in the district to it being a one Japanese person district with the rest being American. I'm pretty excited to have some English speakers back in my apartment! It was cool to have straight Japanese for six weeks, but it tires you out, no matter how long you've been out on the mission. 

So my new companion is named Elder Bruce from Oklahoma. He has been out almost a year. I don't know much about him but It will probably be fine. And then Elder Uehara will stay and a half Japanese/American named Elder Murakami from Salt Lake will come in. So it should be pretty fun. I have to come to grips that I have to deal with Izumi's ridiculous hills for another six weeks, but I guess it will help me stay in shape. 

This week was pretty normal, and a little busy with splits and a baptism that happened in Furukawa. 

Tuesday was splits with Elder Otani, one of the guys in my apartment. He was feeling kind of sick though so we didn't really do a whole lot. The times we did work, we just knocked on doors and tried talking to people on the streets, but no one was interested. 

Thursday was pretty good. I did the last district meeting of the transfer which went well I think and then I went on splits with Elder Thompson who works in Furukawa. It was the first time working with another experienced American missionary in a really long time so it was lots of fun. And the dude's a spiritual giant who is super sensitive to promptings and follows them. It was raining like all day so we couldn't do a whole lot. One cool thing happened when we were walking to the apartment for lunch after District meeting. We were just talking about stuff when a guy suddenly turned a corner towards us and without thinking I just stopped him and started talking to him. It went really well and we were both able to testify about the gospel, give him a Book of Mormon and commit him to read it. We didn't get his contact info though but it was a really good contact. I hope we can run into him sometime soon. 

The highlight of the week was definitely Saturday. On Saturday morning, we did "nagashisoumen" which you basically get a few beams of bamboo, cut them in half, sand them and make it all nice and smooth, hook them all together, then run water and noodles down them and you just line up and snatch the noodles right out of the bamboo and eat it. I still don't really understand why its such a big thing here; it seems way too troublesome to just eat noodles, but it was a lot of fun and it was a pretty successful activity. Several families that we have never seen before saw the flyers we put out and decided to come. They got to meet us, the members and see the environment of the church and things like that. One of the families will actually start hearing the lessons from the sisters from the looks of it. So it was a really good summer activity. 

Then right after the activity, our district rode a bus to Furukawa to attend Brother Katou's baptismal service. It was a great service and lots of people came. The baptism was really good though. It was cool to see him be baptized. He will be a great member. President and Sister Smith also came and after the baptism, Brother Katou was talking to President Smith, telling him his conversion story. He said about a month before meeting the missionaries, he had a heart attack and was dead for a few minutes. While he was in between life and death, he had like a vision or dream. He saw a big white building bursting with white. He tried to enter in but the man at the door said he couldn't, that he wasn't ready yet and to go the other way. He did so willingly and then he woke up. A month later, he met the missionaries. That's so legit right! He was super prepared. I hope I can be led to someone like that before I'm done. 

After the baptism, President and Sister Smith drove me and my comp home. On the way there, President leans over to Sister Smith and says "Why don't we go to Costco and buy these guys a pizza"! So we went to Costco and had pizza and ice cream with the Smiths! It was super great. Costco pizza two weeks in a row! I could get used to this! It was so fun to have a night out with them; they are super great. 

Well, that's about all of the stuff I have to tell you from this past week. I'm curious to see what this transfer holds. I still don't really know what to do to build this area up. It's still pretty dead and its kind of giving me some stress trying to figure out how to build it up from the bottom. I hope and pray that Heavenly Father will bless us with something to keep us going and we can see His hand in the work. I hope you all have a great week! Enjoy the summer for me! Talk to you guys soon!

Elder Nathan Didericksen

Our Nagashisoumen Party

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Busy Week

June 13, 2016: Week 85
Area: Izumi
Companion: Watanabe Choro

Hey everyone! It was great to hear from all of you! I love to hear all of the updates on how the yard renovations are going and how you guys are spending your summer. It looks like a ton of fun!

It was a really good week this week. It was super busy with splits, conferences, and doing a baptism interview, but it's been a lot of fun. 

First of all, Monday night, my companion and I rode our bikes to downtown Sendai to stay with the Kamisugi elders because we had splits with the Zone Leaders the next day. It was really nice to go over there for a change; it was a nice change of pace. Also, I'm pretty good friends with those guys in that area so it was a really fun night.

The next day was super good. I got to work with Elder Mitabi who was in my district when I transferred to Kitakami about 10 months ago so it was a good time. It was also my first time to spend a whole day and work in downtown Sendai. It was the busiest day I've had in a long time. We taught five lessons and were able to visit several people, as well as talk to a lot of people by the Sendai Station. It was a lot of fun. Also, another plus from the split is that the Kamisugi apartment has a legit working scale so I got to see how my weight has been faring. I've been trying to work out really hard in the mornings and eat healthier since I got to Aomori and it's paid off.  I've cut down quite a bit and I'm almost back to my basketball playing weight!! And I was comparing my pictures to like last fall and I realized I had some pretty bad rice cheeks then! Yay for no rice cheeks now!

Thursday was another split but it was with the Furukawa elders who are in my district. We had district meeting and then Elder Shumway (a second transfer from St. George) and I went back to Furukawa to work for the rest of the day. It was super weird going back there. In fact, it was exactly a year to the day when I transferred from there to Izumi last year. I had forgotten how much that place reminded me of Grantsville, but it was super fun to be back in the inaka (country-side) again after spending the last 4 transfers in the city. Elder Shumway and I were out housing at night around 8:30 out in the boonies and it was super cool. We were surrounded by rice fields and there were frogs croaking everywhere. It was so peaceful and beautiful. It reminded me why I love Japan. To add to that, one of the last doors we knocked on turned into an investigator. He's a young guy in his early twenties and he listened and I gave him a Book of Mormon and we set an appointment for next week! He won't be my investigator, but hopefully it will turn into something! 

Also, I saw something really sad/funny while I was in Furukawa. We were waiting at an intersection when we saw this super old grandma straight up ride her bike right into a ditch. I thought I had just witnessed a grandma's tragic death to be honest. I wanted to run over and help her but I couldn't cross the street. But like most Japanese grandmas, she stood herself up, pushed her bike out of the ditch, hopped on her bike, and continued on like nothing had happened. It was hilarious! Japanese grandmas kill me. 

Friday was a pretty funny day. So I got back to Izumi from Furukawa and our mission leader wanted to take me and my comp out for lunch at the new Costco that was built a couple of months ago. It's super far and it happened to be like a million degrees and 100% humidity (at least it felt that way) that day so riding our bikes there was pretty hard, but to eat American Pizza for the first time in 20 months, I would do anything. We finally got there and went inside with Ito Kyoudai. It was super weird; it looks exactly like an American Costco. It was a little smaller but the same. I was a little disappointed though because It had a larger Japanese to American food ratio than I thought and it was super expensive. Way more expensive than an American Costco. Anyway, Ito Kyoudai bought a pizza for the three of us and it was absolutely awesome. It was the first pizza I've had in Japan that actually tastes like American Pizza. I was in heaven. I had like 5 slices. After we were done, we were headed out of the exit and my comp was kind of being slow, dragging behind us. I looked back to see if he was okay and yeah, he wasn't. I look back and he was spewing everywhere, puking up the pizza right in the middle of the food court. Our mission leader was like "yep he's not okay" and ran over to help him. I feel bad but I couldn't really move, I was laughing way too hard. Oh man, I'm so happy that wasn't me. So a nice Costco man cleaned it up and we hurried out of there. We all had a good laugh but it was pretty embarrassing for my comp. I thought it was hilarious.

Saturday was pretty cool too. I got to do my first baptismal interview! Furukawa has an investigator who was found at the start of this transfer and he's already prepared to be baptized. So, I went back to Izumi on Friday and then went back to Furukawa on Saturday. His interview was super cool. When I asked him the question about living prophets and what meaning that has to him, he said: "In this world that seems to be getting darker and darker, surrounded by evil, the prophet and this gospel is the only light." I was blown away. The way he answered questions, you would think he was baptized like 20 years ago. I was inspired by that guy; it was a super spiritual interview. So with that, he should be getting baptized this Saturday!

After the interview, we had stake conference in Sendai where Elder Choi from the area presidency came and presided. It was a super good meeting. He talked about raising your children in the gospel and teaching them from when they are young. He said the MTC should start from the home.
Sunday was the general session of Stake Conference. I said this when I went to Sendai Stake conference last year, but it is really cool to see that big of a congregation of Japanese saints. Elder Choi spoke again and talked about the things this area needs to do in order to have a temple built in Sendai. Elder Choi is really the man. He came to our mission a few months ago and since his conference, our mission has really started to change for the better. I wouldn't be surprised if the results are the same for Sendai stake. 

Then to end off the week, my comp and I went over to the Konno family's house for dinner. They are definitely the strongest family in the ward. They already have 2 returned missionaries, and another daughter who just got married in the temple to a recent convert here. It was a really fun night to be able to get to know them. 

Well that is about it from me this week. It was a super busy week, but I really like it that way. And this week is the last week of the transfer so I guess by next time we will know what happens. I can't believe I'm about to enter my last three transfers! Kind of crazy. 

Elder Nathan Didericksen 

Another Week in Japan

June 6, 2016: Week 84
Area: Izumi

Companion: Watanabe Choro

Hey family! Its so weird to think that I'm the only Didericksen out on a mission now. It was so great to see pictures and videos of Kelsey coming home. I was so excited for you guys. I'm sure you are having fun showing Kelsey around and all of the stuff she's missed out on this past year and a half. I remember I really enjoyed doing it with Matthew when he came home. Anyway, I hope you are all having a good time being reunited again. Don't forget about me!!! I hope you are all enjoying summer so far. I was thinking the other day how it's already been two years since I graduated high school.....what the heck! It definitely doesn't feel that long! 

My letter is going to be really short because frankly, I have nothing really exciting to tell you. It was one of those weeks where we couldn't meet with anyone and everyone we visited wasn't home so we didn't really teach very many lessons this week at all. And one of the recent converts in the ward, Brother Kumagai Toshikazu married another member in the ward in the Tokyo Temple this weekend so the entire ward went to Tokyo this week and no one was home. But, it is pretty cool to see how this recent convert changed his life. He was obviously a non-member when he met Yuri Chan, a member in the ward. They started dating and she introduced him to the church and the missionaries. Then he got baptized right before I transferred to Izumi last year. And after a year, he has already received his endowments and been married in the temple. They are a cute couple. Kind of a cool story. So with that, we spent all of the week going door to door and trying to talk to people on the streets all day every day, but weren't able to find anyone who was interested unfortunately. 

I don't know why, but people were being really cold this week. Kelsey talked about the Spanish finger wag last week and I guess there is a Japanese one as well. A lot of people would just give me the hand, wave me off, even if I just said hello to them. It was a little ridiculous. So this week, we experienced a whole lot of rejection on the streets. I was letting it get to me and I was getting really discouraged. (Sometimes you can only take so much after street contacting for 7 straight hours.) I kept getting voices in my head saying things like "why try, they won't listen to you" and "you're wasting your time." I know those voices and thoughts were definitely not from God but It was really hard to put them off. I was constantly praying inside my heart that God would give us something, just something little to help us keep going, to let us know that we weren't just wasting our time and trying to talk to these people in vain. Like usual, God didn't answer that prayer immediately, but he did in his own timing. After a few more rejections, right when I was about to call it and be done for the day, I decided to stop one last guy and he actually stopped and was willing to talk to me. After talking a bit, we found out he is actually Catholic (you never meet Christians in Japan)! We were each able to share how believing and following Christ has helped us and we were able to give him a Book of Mormon. Unfortunately, he doesn't live in Izumi, so he didn't become an investigator, but it was cool to see God answer that small prayer. It wasn't answered with finding a golden investigator or something, but it was answered through one person who was willing to listen to me for a bit and that was enough for me. It helped me keep going and gave me another reason to believe that God answers prayers. 

Last pday, we went over to the Sendai outlets where they have a bunch of designer stores from America like Vans, Forever 21, Gap, etc. It was the first time I've seen anything like that in Japan. Unfortunately, none of them were that good and they didn't have anything. Even if they did have anything good, nothing fits me here in Japan anyway so I guess I'll have to wait to buy cool stuff in 4 months. After that we played baseball in a park. It was fun to be able to put on a mitt and throw a ball for the first time in a while. 

Honestly, that's the basic jist of the week. Not a whole lot happened so I'll spare you from my rambling.  

I'm pretty excited for this week; it should be a lot of fun. Tonight I'm going to stay in Sendai because I have splits with Elder Mitabi, one of the zone leaders. I'm pretty excited to work in downtown Sendai; I've never been able to do that before, so that should be tons of fun. Then on Thursday, I will be going back to one of my old areas, Furukawa, for splits with a guy in my district. I'm excited for that. Furukawa is a silly place. Some of my craziest experiences on my mission happened in Furukawa like throwing a 6 month old pot of rotten soup in a river and running away or picking up a dead man's bones. It should be a great time! Then on Saturday, I might be going back to Furukawa again to do a baptismal interview! I'm a little nervous for that because its my first time and I heard the guy speaks really difficult Japanese, but I think it will be okay. Pray for me! So it should be a really fun/busy week. 

I hope you guys all have a good week and enjoy the start of summer. I love you guys so much! Talk to you next week!

Elder Nathan Didericksen

Apostles and Walk-up songs

May 30, 2016: Week 83
Area: Izumi

Companion: Watanabe Choro

Hey Everyone! It was so great to hear from you! I'm glad you had a great Bday Erin! Also, I hope you all enjoy Memorial Day. I don't think my Memorial Day this year will be as nuts as last year; nothing can top that. If you don't remember, I spent my last Memorial Day at a Japanese man's cremation where I picked up his burnt rib cage with a long set of chopsticks........ Yeah, I'm still forever scarred from that. Now every time I smell burning wood or incense, those haunting memories appear!  

Well this has been kind of a crazy week! I'll just start out with the highlight of the week which was the much anticipated conference we had with Elder Yamashita of the Area Presidency, Elder Gong of the Presidency of the Seventy, and Elder Gary Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in Sendai on Thursday. I can't believe I had the opportunity to hear from 3 people of that spiritual magnitude and with such a high position in the church in one missionary meeting. It was something I'll remember for the rest of my life. 

First of all, everyone in the entire mission came down from all over Tohoku to see this conference. We haven't had that kind of meeting since I was in my third transfer over a year ago, so it's very rare. It was so awesome to be able to see everyone again. One thing I realized on Wednesday is how grateful I am for all of the people that I've met here. I've met some people who have become life-long friends and who I am really excited to chill with after we go home and become normal people. It's weird to think that if I didn't come on a mission, I would have never known these awesome people existed. I was so happy to be able to see all of my mission buddies that I haven't seen for a while. It was pretty awesome.

But even better than that was the meeting itself. When the three General Authorities sat on the stand with President and Sister Smith, I could literally feel a power radiating from the stand. It helped me realize even more that those three are chosen servants of the Lord. Also, another super cool moment was when all of the missionaries stood and sang the EFY Medley to those sitting on the stand. The Spirit was so strong. You could see Elder Gong, Elder Yamashita, Elder Stevenson, and President all crying. You could really feel the love they had for us. There were a ton of missionaries crying too. It was a super cool experience. 

The talks which were given were super good as well. At times, I felt as if they were speaking directly to me. This transfer has been kind of difficult and a bit of a challenge. I've been feeling some disappointment and stress with being transferred to another dead area.  I've been wondering why I'm back in Izumi and why some things recently have happened. But one thing Elder Stevenson's wife talked about was that we are all where we are for a reason. It was received through revelation and was inspired by God. That I'm in the Japan Sendai mission for a reason, that I'm with President Smith for a reason. It helped me realize something that Kelsey wrote to me last week. Our missions won't be what we expect they will be, that the unexpected will happen. I may not understand it all but God does. 

I also felt so much power when Elder Stevenson spoke. It was so cool to see him get up without any notes or anything and to watch him just talk and teach while relying on the Spirit. It was so powerful when he left an Apostolic blessing on our mission. I really felt that they will be fulfilled if we do what is required. He promised that God's elect will be led to us through our obedience. He also said that no matter the burden we are carrying as missionaries, that we will be able to continue pushing on and that the burden will be made lighter. That was a promise that I really have been needing recently. It was such an amazing conference, a type of meeting that I will probably never attend again. I'm so thankful that I had that opportunity.

The next day, Thursday, was pretty good. I went on splits with Elder Uehara who lives in my apartment. He is a more experienced missionary as well, so it was really fun to be able to work with him. We were able to hand out quite a few Books of Mormon and knock on a lot of doors and talk to a lot of people. It was good. 

Friday was pretty awesome too. A guy in the ward invited us to go to the Rakuten Eagles baseball game in Sendai. The Rakuten Eagles are the professional baseball team in Sendai. It's funny; in English, the team name is the "Optimistic Eagles." I've never really heard a name like that for a sports team, but it's nice to know they always have a positive attitude. The game was really fun though; it felt great to be at a professional sporting event again. 

I have to tell you something really funny about it real quick. So in baseball, each player has their own song that they pick to play over the sound system when they walk up to bat. The song is special for them, one that pumps them up and gets them going. It may even show a bit of their personality. So with that in mind, every single Japanese player, when they steppeTd up to the plate, their songs were some Japanese pop music that makes you want to punch something (I really don't like J-pop). I thought that was pretty normal. But there was this one big black dude from America on the team named Zealous Wheeler. His walk up song was a bit different. It went from J-pop to a rap song called "Big Papa" by Notorious B.I.G (I think that's the guys name)! The only black guy on the team would walk up to the plate with blaring thug rap music. I was laughing pretty hard. He then preceded to hit a double. I felt a bit of American pride right there. It was a way fun game; It got me way excited to hit up a Jazz game or a Bees game in the next little bit. I never thought I'd ever get to the chance to go to something like that on my mission so it was really awesome.

The rest of the week was full of finding; knocking on doors and trying to talk to people on the street. We've still not been able to find anyone who will listen to us but we will keep trying. I'm learning recently that its not my job to force them to listen to me, I just have to open my mouth and invite them. I appreciate all of your support and prayers though in my behalf.

And it looks like the Didericksen family has some pretty exciting things happening this week! I can't believe Kelsey is coming home! I'm so excited for you guys! But don't have too much fun without me before I'm back. You'll have to send me plenty of pictures and tell me how it is picking her up! I wish I could be there! Oh well. I hope you all have a wonderful week! I can't wait to see you guys all together! Love you! Talk to you soon!

Elder Nathan Didericksen

Us with Fukutsu Shimai. She is a member who is like 96 years old and
still comes to church every week! She is awesome!

Baseball game

 The conference with Elder Stevenson and Elder Gong.
 I'm on the right side kind of in the middle.

A pretty field of flowers. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Transfer 13 week 2

May 23, 2016: Week 82
Area: Izumi

Companion: Watanabe Choro

Hey everyone! It was great to hear from all yall! This week seemed to go by really fast for some reason. I can't believe its already pday again! 

First of all, these hills in Izumi are killing me! If you live here, you are never on flat ground. It feels like I'm constantly climbing a steep hill every second of the day. I guess it's getting me back in shape just in time to go mountain biking with Matthew! If I'm not dunking by the time I'm done with Izumi, I'll be greatly disappointed.  Also, its super duper hot today! I feel like Imma die with the humidity. I'm not used to this heat after spending the winter in the arctic basically! Summer in Japan Round 2 is here!

Lets see, what happened this week?................

On Wednesday, we had interviews with President Smith. He told me he felt extremely impressed to transfer me back to Izumi even though I've already served here before. He said he tries his best to make sure missionaries don't go back to previous areas or have previous companions but he felt I should be back here. I don't know if there is a specific reason for me being here or not. I think there is and I hope I can find out soon!

It's weird to think that I only have one more interview with him before my actual exit interview....Yikes! But yeah, Wednesday was a good day because we had interviews and the first district meeting of the transfer, along with talking with Sister Smith. It was really nice to finally get to speak English with someone because I never really get the chance anymore living with 3 Japanese people. Now, I treat everyday I get to talk to an American like it's Christmas. It's made me really appreciate my own language and where I come from; it's given me a sense of pride (not bad pride of course)!

The rest of the week wasn't too exciting. Its hard to come up with exciting things to tell about when you just transferred to an area with no investigators so yeah....It was a week where every appointment we had fell through, all of the people we planned on visiting weren't home, and we spent most of the time on the streets or  trying to talk to people about the Gospel and how Jesus Christ can bless and help their lives. We are trying hard to find those God has prepared, but nothing so far. We've gotten close with a few people but they say they are too busy to meet with us again. We will keep searching though. It is interesting though because there is a Christian college in Izumi so we have been able to talk to a lot of people who are starting to study the Bible and Christianity for the first time in their lives. It makes it pretty easy to talk about Jesus Christ and God, a lot easier than talking to people who have been "buddhist" their whole life and have absolutely zero image of God or Jesus. So its been fun to be able to do that.  

Also, we have two pretty funny service opportunities we do twice a week. One you might remember me talking about last summer but we call it "Seaman Service" where we go to an old folks home and help out and entertain the residents there. The highlight is definitely talking to the seaman. He's this guy who's probably in his mid 70s or early 80s who has extreme short term memory loss, like super short term, like maybe 2 minutes at most. Back in his working days, he was the chief engineer of a big ship company so he spent his career sailing the ocean and in different countries. He is very proud of it and isn't afraid to tell us over and over and over (and over and over and over........). Its so funny, you'll be in the middle of a conversation with him and then he will suddenly start over with "Watashi wa Seaman Datta" or "I was a seaman! Big Ship Company, Chief Engineer!" He also talks about how dangerous he thinks America is and how everyone has guns and shoots each other, but how Japanese people can't have guns so if they get robbed on the ship they are screwed....... Then you start over with introducing yourself because he can't remember that you had already met 5 minutes ago, as well as every week before that. Like I said last year, you can predict where the conversation is going so you can kind of beat him to what he is going say just to change things up. Its pretty fun. I feel terrible having fun at his expense but he loves talking to us. I also had the awkward opportunity to give a shoulder rub to like a 98 year old Japanese lady there too. That was pretty weird but I guess its all for the sake of service!

The other service that was started here since I transferred to Kitakami from Izumi last year is the handicap place service. We go to the center and hang out with and help this handicap dude name Kikuchi San who is maybe in his late 20s or early 30s, but acts like he is 4 years old. That guy is a riot; he's pretty funny and says the most ridiculous stuff. The workers there are way nice too. Sometimes, Kikuchi San will randomly start staring at you and make really weird faces with his tongue out and everything while looking into your eyes. Its pretty awkward and makes you feel pretty uncomfortable, but you just roll with it and have fun. 

Well other than that, I don't really have anything else. I'm pretty excited for this week though. On Wednesday we have a meeting in Sendai with Elder Stevenson from the Quorum of the Twelve as well as Elder Gong and Elder Yamashita from the Seventy. It should be super awesome. I've never met an apostle before so it should be way cool. People of that stature rarely visit the Sendai mission, they usually go to Tokyo or Kobe or something like that so we are way blessed. Well, President Smith and Elder Stevenson lived in the same apartment for six months when they were missionaries in Japan so they are good friends; that might have something to do with him visiting. It will be way awesome though, as well as being able to see all of the other missionaries that I haven't seen for a long time. I'm super looking forward to it.  

This transfer is already almost halfway over which is nuts. The time is winding down fast!  I hope you all have a great week! I love you guys! Talk to you next week!