June 13, 2016: Week 85
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!
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