Monday, September 5, 2016

Happy Pioneer Day(or Karl Malone Day!)

July 25, 2016: Week 91
Area: Izumi
Companion: Bruce Choro

Hey family and friends! It's great to be able to talk to you all again. First of all, I want to wish my sweet mommy a happy birthday last Wednesday! I hope it was an awesome one! I love you so much and I'm so grateful for all that you have done and sacrificed for me! You are the best mom in the whole world! I can't wait to give you a hug in a couple of months! 

Also, another transfer is winding to a close and starting next week, I'll be in my final two transfers, so it's really starting to wind down. Its kind of crazy to think about!

Well I don't have much to write about this week. Every day kind of blended into one and was just full of knocking on doors and trying to talk to people on the streets, but no one really wanted to talk to us. It's kind of funny sometimes how much some people don't like us. I had a few people yell at me through the doorbell speaker telling me to just go home. Others will just open the door and see two white dudes smiling at them and then slam the door without saying anything. It's kind of hard knowing that we have something so awesome to share, but people don't really give us a chance. It was just one of those weeks for us. 

We did have zone conference on Tuesday which was pretty good. We learned about seeking the spirit while studying the life of Alma the Younger from the Book of Mormon. It was really cool being able to study about the life of Alma and what made him such a powerful instrument in God's hands. He was always so diligent and faithful to whatever task was given him and he always put his full trust in God. You could go on and on listing the good qualities that Alma the Younger had. It's no wonder that the biggest book in the Book of Mormon was dedicated to him. It was a really good conference where I was able to feel the spirit and kind of evaluate myself and find ways I can be better. It was a good time.

Also on Thursday, literally all of our appointments and stuff fell through meaning we had yet another day of nine hours of housing and finding and such. Luckily, Brother Ito, our former mission leader pulled through and randomly took the four of us to Costco for lunch. It was a super great time. Brother Ito is probably the funniest guy I've met in Japan. He served in Sendai as a missionary like 20 years ago or so and always tells us stories from his mission. He definitely has some funny stories. So we all got pizza and hot dogs and talked to him as well as with another recently returned missionary in the ward. It was hilarious though. I'll miss him a lot when I leave Izumi. 

When we showed up at Costco, we saw Bro. Ito wandering around the parking lot while looking at his phone. We were wondering what he was doing until he came up to us and said he was playing the new Pokemon game for smartphones. So I guess that game came out in Japan earlier than expected. Kelsey was right, literally everyone is playing. The other elders went to dendo at a huge park last night, but when they got there, they said they literally saw over 150 people playing it. That game sounds pretty nuts. 

Also that day I was on splits with Elder Uehara which was pretty fun. We were out finding when we rode past a park with some kids playing basketball and when we both saw it, we both stopped and looked at each other and were like "yep lets go play". We both really like basketball, so we were super excited. We played these two kids for a little bit and then were able to teach them about the Book of Mormon and give them each one which was cool. 

Other than that, this week has been relatively uneventful. It's interesting that Matthew wrote me about reading stories from our ancestors because I actually did some of that this morning. Obviously, since it was pioneer day, I decided to read about it a bit, but also got a talk assignment for next week and the theme is turning our hearts to our ancestors. I was thinking about what kind of blessings and benefits we can receive through "turning our hearts to our ancestors". I then remembered a few years ago for a a school project where I got to interview Grandma Sagers about her life and the things that she had learned throughout her life. I remembered how cool of an experience it was for me and how I felt much closer to her and how I was strengthened by her life stories. So, I think I am going to talk about that next week. I hope it goes well. So, like Matthew said to me, I hope that we can take some time during this time of year to reflect on and learn more about our ancestors that set the way for us. Their stories can strengthen our faith and give us greater resolve to live in a way to make them proud. I've felt that as I've studied. 

Well, that's all from me. I hope you all have a wonderful week. By this time next week, I will know what will happen with transfers. We will see how it ends up. Love you guys! Talk to you next week!

Elder Nathan Didericksen

Costco with Ito Kyoudai and Masaki Kun

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