August 1, 2016: Week 92Area: Izumi
Companion: Bruce Choro
Well another transfer has come and gone and with that we got transfer calls yesterday. I felt like 100% sure that since I basically have spent two summers in Izumi already, I would transfer and finish my mission somewhere else, but I was wrong. I am staying in Izumi for at least another one with Elder Bruce. Actually, no one is transferring in the district really so it will be exactly the same. I was so sure I would be leaving, I have to change my mindset back to figuring out what to do in Izumi to help this area pick up. It should be fun to be with Elder Bruce as well as the other elders in my apartment for at least another round. We all just need to figure out how to help this area progress. It should be a good time. I might actually just finish my mission here being I only have 2 more transfers, but I guess we will see. It feels weird to be in my last 12 weeks though! It's sneaking up fast!
So I'll just get to the highlights of the week. Again, it feels as I get nearer to the end of my mission, the days just blend together and I don't really remember much of what has happened so I will do my best.
Tuesday was a pretty rough day. I did splits with the Furukawa elders and recently they changed things for doing splits. Now both companionships work in the leaders area, so they came here. My companionship for the day got the short end of the stick and we didn't have the bikes, so we basically walked around all day in super humid weather. That was kindof rough, not much to report there, but Elder Bruce and Elder Robb had a big thing to report on.
So a couple of weeks ago when Elder Robb and I were on splits, we decided to house this house that looked like a massive castle just for the heck of it. We were pretty sure they'd say no because that's what most super rich people say. The lady said through her answer box that her dogs were going to the bathroom and that she couldn't talk anymore, so I told Robb Choro he should come back in a few weeks when he's with my comp on splits. So that's what they did. They went back there around 8:30 at night and the lady came to the door and talked to them for a while on the doorstep. She would have let them in, but they said they couldn't go inside without a male present. At that moment, her middle aged son pulled into the driveway. When he did, the lady apparently yelled out "it must be God's will!" So they got to go inside the "castle"!! Elder Robb said that he and Bruce Choro looked exactly like those two missionaries from that Adele song parody video when they are like "Hello from the inside!!! and smiling in wonderment. They said the house was absolutely crazy with like 5 foot tall finely carved wooden elephants and super fancy furniture and everything! They talked for like an hour in this mansion. The lady and her husband seemed pretty interested apparently and the woman kept saying how she hoped me and Elder Robb could come back and that it was a miracle that we did.
We all about died when they came back and told us that story. I guess they seemed interested and said they would call us in the next few days but nothing has happened. I hope they are interested because you usually don't get invited into people's homes in Japan for nothing, especially a straight up castle. So I guess with me staying, I'll have the chance to meet them and hopefully turn them into investigators! That would be so cool if that works out! I'm super bummed that had to happen of all days that I'm on splits. Darn it!
Also, on Saturday, we had the annual softball game in Ishinomaki where the Izumi and Ishinomaki wards play a game of competitive softball. It was super fun to get out there and play. Izumi wins every year and we weren't about to let that streak be broken so we smacked them. It was awesome. I hit 2 or 3 doubles and threw a few outs at shortstop! It reminded me of the good old days playing baseball and pitching with Dad in the backyard. I tried pitching again and it felt pretty good. Part of me regrets quitting baseball so early. Obviously it would have been impossible to play with basketball happening, but it could have been fun. Oh well, basketball is way better anyway!
I also got super sun-burnt, like really bad. Usually I need one bad sunburn before I start tanning and I need a tan real bad. I've gotten so white as a missionary. Haha! It's a big contrast to my senior year during tennis season.
Lastly, I'll just share a cool personalish experience from this week. I fasted last Thursday, asking for help to understand why things were happening. I was getting super discouraged and just sick of never having any investigators and feeling like a worthless missionary. I had hit my wall so to speak, having had it with people telling me to go back to America and that I was wasting my time trying to convert a Buddhist nation. I was asking for understanding and for some guidance to know what to do. As I did this, I was reminded of an experience I had back in Kitakami almost a year ago when I was with Elder Trane. We were teaching a less active who wanted to leave the church because she had been offended by someone. She gave all these reasons why she knew she should leave. When she said all these things, my companion (who was a bean) asked her "But do you love the Savior?". When he asked that, the mood in the room changed and we could feel the Spirit and her countenance change. She said she did and that everything else doesn't matter. That was one of the coolest experiences of my mission and when I thought that, I was reminded why we serve missions. Sure we grow and learn skills that will help us. Sure we are called to baptize and bring in converts. But I felt that the main reason we go on missions is to show that we love Christ and that we want to show our appreciation and love to Him through testifying and teaching of Him to anyone. If they say no or if they tell me to go back home and that I'm worthless, it doesn't matter. I realized that all that matters is our love for Christ and what He did for us. When I realized that, I felt at peace. Nothing crazy has happened since then, but I can be at peace that if I do my best, then it will be okay.
Well, I hope you all have a great week! I love you guys! Talk to you next week!
Love, Elder Nathan Didericksen