Monday, September 5, 2016

Barbecue, basketball and a crazy cool lesson!

August 15, 2016: Week 94
Area: Izumi
Companion: Bruce Choro

Hey everyone! How are y'all doing today? Well my letter is gonna be pretty short today I think. One reason being that my entire family (except you Erin!) is off traveling in Spain and I don't want to waste their time with me rambling and also we just got done teaching a pretty crazy lesson so my brain is pretty tired.

Well this week was pretty non-eventful. Tuesday and Wednesday were pretty normal work days. We had one cool thing happen on Wednesday though. We decided to go finish housing the super rich neighborhood with the castle house, half believing we could meet someone else who would let us in. Who knows? Maybe that neighborhood is a gold mine?! So we were housing and getting rejected pretty hard, but when we knocked on another big house (just two houses down from Castle house), a woman came out and asked, "Are you Mormon?" You don't often get that when you first meet people. She invited us in to talk more! So we walked into her massive house, got to meet her husband and cute dogs and talked for a bit. She has been to a missionary Eikaiwa in the past so that's how she knew missionaries. Turns out she just wants to learn English, isn't interested in the message at all, but she was really nice and gave us some peaches and stuff. It was a great visit! I never thought we would get let into two houses when I first saw that super rich neighborhood! Its been a really nice area of town for us.

Other than that, we weren't really able to work this week. The ward had a bunch of activities and stuff, so we spent the majority of our time helping and going to those. It was super fun though. We had another basketball activity on Thursday which was pretty fun. We had some "investigators" come, which was fun.

Then that night we went to get ramen with the Elders quorum in the ward. It was fun to spend time with them and get to know them. The president is named Taketomi Kyoudai. He is from Okinawa and actually served in Sendai as a missionary. He was in Kitakami for a while so it was cool to talk with him about his mission and hear how it was 12 years ago. It was a good time!

On Satuday, we had a BBQ by the river that runs through Izumi. It was so awesome to just chill by the water, eat some food and have fun with the people. I got singed by the sun though. I always tell myself that I don't need sunscreen and that I'll be fine, but I forget that because I'm a missionary, some parts of my body has seen about as much sun these past two years as a brand new baby. I got burned pretty bad and I'm paying the price for it. I hope it turns into a tan! Kind of doubt it though...

But the highlight of the week was what just happened. So over a month ago, we got a self-referral from a guy named asking for a Book of Mormon. We've tried many times over this and last transfer to get ahold of him, but have never made contact, so we thought that it was just a fluke and kind of forgot about it. But last night, we decided to give it another try and call him and he actually answered! He said he could meet with us today, so we just finished meeting with him at the station in Izumi. 

He is from England, but has lived in Japan for 10 years. Surprisingly though, he doesn't really know Japanese all that well. And despite not really knowing the language, he married a Japanese women who he says is "good" at English but not "great" at it and has a daughter. He is a super nice guy though. We were able to share the restoration and answer his questions for like an hour and a half. He had some really tough questions though. He studied philosophy in college and a lot about Islam, so he is being influenced by a lot of different views. 

It was an awesome experience to be able to teach and talk to him though. I've never had a chance really to do that since being here in Japan. The majority that I've talked to don't really care about God or religion and if they do, they have so little knowledge about it that you have to take things super slowly. But this guy kept firing off question after question. I'm glad Elder Bruce was there because he kind of grew up in the Bible belt so he is very accustomed to sharing his beliefs to people like that. He did an awesome job answering his questions and teaching. It was fun to have a teaching experience like that, especially because it was in English, although at times it was pretty hard to actually do it in English. There were instances where I knew the Japanese word, but couldn't put it together in English. It was cool though. It just feels like the spirit is so much stronger when it is said in your own native language. 

I hope we can help him disregard all of the philosophies of men and the world that he is so worried about and to just take it to God and find out for himself. He wants to meet again this weekend, so we are really excited to teach him. It was cool to see missionary work from that perspective. I'm so used to finding all day and not really teaching people who know about Christianity, so it was a cool opportunity to do that.

Well, those are the highlights of the week. I hope you all have a great week! I'm doing good and trying to give it my best before it's all said and done in 2 months. I love you all! Talk to you next week!

Love, Elder Nathan Didericksen

Barbecue by the river

Japanese sunset

Got invited in and met the dog!

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