September 26, 2016: Week 100Area: Hirosaki
Companion: Livermore Choro
Hey everyone!! It was great to hear from you all! I can't believe its already starting to snow in the mountains back home. I'm just hoping and praying that it won't get cold here before I go home because Japan's winters are super rough! We will see though!
This week was a pretty solid week! We have been busy running back and forth to appointments and meetings, taking trains and things like that. It's been fun with my second full week back in Hirosaki; I'm thankful to be ending my mission in a way that I was dreaming I would since the day I left this place.
Like I said last week, it's been so fun to meet with people that I grew to love when I was a bean here in Hirosaki. I never thought I would see them again, so it's been a wonderful blessing to be able to see them and be able to talk to them. I had another one of those experiences this week when I met my Japanese grandpa. He was the first investigator I ever taught. I remember my first full day in Japan, waiting in the room for my first ever lesson as a missionary to start. I was shaking and in a cold sweat, so nervous at the fact that I would be teaching a real person for the first time. I was scared who this man would be, hoping he would be patient with a brand new missionary who couldn't speak his language one bit. My fears were all calmed when the nicest, goofiest, kindest Japanese grandpa that I've ever met walked in the door. Over those three transfers, I had many opportunities to talk to Akimoto San and was able to build a really solid relationship. He is a rich man, but has lost everything (family, etc.) and he knows that money doesn't bring happiness, so he has made it a goal to help as many people as he can. (He is even financing someone to go to college in Nepal right now.) When he saw me on his doorstep this past Saturday, he got a huge smile on his face and gave me a big hug saying, "You came back!" It was an awesome experience. He has had some health issues and has had a rough year and a half since I last saw him, but we think that it is preparing him more for the gospel and helping him realize what is important in life. We had a good lesson with him about faith. I'm so excited that I get to spend four more weeks with him!
We were able to teach some of the other people we are meeting with. They are all going okay, but we are stuck on what to do to help them progress. They are all in kind of a stand still stage, so I hope that we can help them before it gets apparent that we need to drop them.
I'll tell one more highlight from the week. We were out on the street trying to talk to people (yo, I forgot how many super old people live in Hirosaki; I swear only 90 year old grandmas live here!) We were about to call it and go do something else after an hour or two of no success when I saw a man sitting under a pavilion so I decided I'd go talk to him. When I started talking to him he looked at me and said "I can speak English" in English! I was way surprised to hear that. His name is Tazawa Hitoshi and he has been living in Tokyo for 30 years writing English textbooks for schools in Japan, but recently moved back to Hirosaki. We talked to him about what we are doing and a bit about the gospel and he said he wanted to meet with us again! We should be meeting him this week! We're way excited and grateful for that miracle!
Sorry my emails are getting shorter, but I guess I can just tell you what went on this transfer in more detail in a few weeks cause my energy to write has gone way down! Sorry! I hope you all have a wonderful week! I'll try my best to make these last 4 weeks of this mission experience something to remember! Love you guys! Talk to you next week!
Love, Elder Nathan Didericksen