Not a whole lot happened this week. We worked really hard to make this sakura (cherry blossum) tree for the ward. They are going to write down on a flower sticky note "how their faith has increased from serving others". To make this tree we had to bring a ton of cardboard from our apartment to the church. So it was two non-Japanese girls, wearing name tags, both with the SAME DRESS (which we bought together last P-day and wanted a picture together), Kema Shimai walking both of our mountain bikes base and me, carrying a ton of carboard, first on my back and later on my head. We were quite the specticale.
The base of this tree is a traffic type sign and we used cardboard for the shell and chopsticks for the boning, and then a glue gun and wrapped it with brown tape. There is a lot more crafting and engineering in missionary work than I thought, but it's fun. Kema Shimai always says "Dats a nice ____", so we just say "dats a nice tree" everytime we pass it. We are very proud.
So earlier last week, I met this girl on the train and at first I talked to her about English. She is studying it right now and was on her way to an English expert really far away. I told her about our English class and then asked if she had ever been to a church before. She said she hadn't but she had some interest in Jesus Christ. THIS NEVER HAPPENS. I was shocked. We rode an extra stop past where we needed to go to talk to her more, but exchanged Line information (because we are cool and have Line now - Line is a messaging system which is very popular in Japan). When we did the Free English Challenge a few days ago, I stopped this group of 3 girls who were cool, and this girl was one of them! It was such a crazy miracle!!!
We had a special Hula Night in Mission School which was way fun and successful! I asked different members to being pineapple and juice, and so many people came! It was so fun :) Sakamoto Shimai, who originally suggested it, loved it so much she wants us to do it every week. It won't be as big of an event, but we are happy to do it! Kema Shimai taught the class (obviously not me) and we are going to do a presentation next month :)
- schedule books are huge thing in Japan - they are way cool and come in all sorts of different colors and styles. They also are avaliable all year around. I got one in March and the beginning starts in March - maybe this happens every month? I just don't understand why there are so many - everyone only needs one schedule book...
- pencil cases, wallets and phone cases are also a big deal, they come in all sorts of patterns etc.
- pens with different colors inside the pen are also more common here
- Clothing sizes are different (no duh Sister Atkinson - let me explain!) Because Japanese people are smaller, I have to size up a little bit when I try things on, (or maybe I've just enjoyed the food here a little too much). They also use the British sizing for shoes, and it is pretty difficult to find anything above an American 7 or maybe 8 here. Kema Shimai has apparently bought some mens shoes before.
- Easter isn't really a thing. Because it is not a Christian country, not many Japanese people knkw about Easter, or what it celebrates. All the commercialism has just gone straight to Mother's Day. I kind of expected that of Japn - but apparently it isn't really a big thing in the church here either. There wasn't any musical number, or talks around the resurrection, or anything. I suspect they also don't have special Easter dinners or anything like that either... very strange
- Ovens aren't really a thing here either - or maybe we just really don't know how to use our microwave. We made banana bread this week which was delicious. There is kind of a setting that works more like an oven, but you still have to press it many times - it's a PROCESS.
Elder Choi (the same one who just spoke in General conference) visited our mission and gave various conferences around. It was so much fun and I learned a lot. He talked about how we need to open our mouth at all times and share the gospel. He also said that we should sing more - to be more happy and to feel the spirit more. If you are feeling sad or bored, etc., singing will help! Because of his conference, it is now in mission rule that we must sing in the shower.
Love you all so much! Thank you for everything!- Atkinson Shimai
Pictures- Elder and Sister Atkinson reunited again!- our same dress- Hula night- Dats a nice white board- Our Tree!!
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<b>Japan Tokyo Mission</b>