October 10, 2016: Week 102Area: Hirosaki
Companion: Livermore Choro
The week started out with splits in Odate. It was my first time working there since April of 2015, so it was pretty fun to be able to work there again for the day. I also got to work with Elder Mendoza who is in my district. We both started our missions together, so he goes home with me in a couple weeks. It was actually the first time in my whole my mission that I've gotten to work with someone who was in my group that came to Japan. So with that, we had a fun time reminiscing on memories and experiences we've had on our missions.
We had a good day of work in Odate. I had forgotten how tiny and old Odate is. Legit, like everyone there is over 85 or 90 years old! During the split, we had a service activity that the elders do every week. So, we went to an old person home (you know because everyone here is super old) and helped them out for a bit. What they have us do is give them drinks and stuff while they all wait for the workers to take them one by one to bathe them. It's a little awkward standing there while like 15 or so grandmas are staring at us, pointing, and talking about us because they don't think we can speak Japanese. They'll say things like we are some handsome foreigners or that I'm super tall. Anyway, after they are done being bathed, we get the privilege of drying their hair and combing it. I never thought I'd get the opportunity to style a Japanese grandma's hair while on my mission! I didn't really know what I was doing though, I was just moving the comb around in random directions through their hair and hoped it sufficed. So yeah, it was a good time I guess, a little strange though...
We were also able to teach their investigator named Ishikawa San. He is a pretty good guy who has been coming to church and keeping his commitments. He wants to get baptized, but he loves his Sake (Japanese alcohol) way too much. He is a little strange too. We were talking about the gospel and following up on his commitments and stuff when all of a sudden he turns to me and asks if I was circumcised or not...... I don't know, maybe that's his go-to question to break the ice with people he meets. Whatever floats your boat, I guess. So we had an awkward conversation with circumcision and were some how able to transition back to the gospel. So that was an odd lesson. But overall, it was a solid split with Elder Mendoza in Odate.
Thursday was a good day. We got up way early in the morning to go to a orientation/follow up meeting for the new missionaries and trainers held in Morioka. We rode the 2 hour bus down there and attended the meeting. It was a good time where I was able to see a lot of friends that I haven't seen in a long time. It also was a big goodbye because it was the last time I'll see them before I go home.
We also got to teach Kudou San again. We taught him the restoration all the way through and it went pretty well. He listens and accepts everything fairly well, so we are excited. We are meeting with him again this Friday. I hope it goes well!
Lastly, I finally got to watch General Conference which was great. We went up to Aomori and watched it with the other American elders who live up there. It was way good and I learned a lot, especially of how I can be of service and help people out when I get home. Since I will be kind of useless 'till school starts in January, it made me want to find those who are lonely or who need help and be there for them and help them out.
It was also way fun to hear Elder Stevenson talk about Japan and hear from Elder Yamashita who has visited our mission several times. Conference as a missionary always has a different feel to it. It's weird to think that was my last one that I will ever experience as a missionary. I'm excited to watch the next one with you guys and to sit next to Dad in the priesthood session though!! But yeah, it was a great weekend to hear from God's chosen leaders and to learn how I can be better.
Sorry for the short email, but those are the highlights of the week. This week should be another busy one. We are going back up to Aomori tonight for splits with the Zone leaders until Wednesday morning, then my last Zone Conference on Thursday in Aomori; so I'll be in Aomori like all week. It should be fun. I hope you all have a great week. Love you guys and see you in 2-ish weeks!
Elder Nathan Didericksen
|Massive thing of ice cream we ate on splits|
|We ran into a member from Kitakami when I was in Morioka!|
|District selfie using the selfie stick|