January 23, 2017


Urayasu, Japan


Amanda Black

Transfer 1, Week 1: BEAN-CHAN DESU

I can't believe I'm a missionary again! It is truly such a miracle!  The flight was really long and I was all by myself but I was able to sleep a lot :)   President Nagano was very kind and both he and his wife are very concerned about my health and pressed me to take it easy and go back to the apartment for a rest in the middle of the day if I need to. (which so far I haven't but its good to have the option.

GUESS WHAT?!?!?!?!?! BLACK SHIMAI IS MY TRAINER!!! I was so excited and cried when I saw her even before I found out we would be companions.  For those of you who don't know, she is my doki (in the same group who were together in the MTC) and was in my district.  She has also had a rough time the past few months - after struggling with Japanese in the MTC, her first area she went to was only Portuguese so she had to learn a whole other language there.  We get along really well and I love her so much.

So I am a bean-chan (a trainee), and I'm not struggling that much.  I don't understand everything for sure, but I am steadily improving and able to contribute to discussions for the most part.  I was really worried before the mission about the language etc, but I suddenly wasn't when I got on the plane.

Interesting things:

- not many people have asked about my head, only 2 (but Black Shimai apparently has been asked many times)

- the Japanese food is waaay good :) :)

- everyone here is sooo cool, like fashionable (suteki)

- the shopping carts are really small (picture included)

- THERE ARE NO TRASH CANS!!! Even in the church! (except the bathroom for paper towels) So you keep your trash and throw it away at home.

- there are coins for everything less than around $10 (1000 yen)

- we sleep on futons and the pillows are very bad (I am using three of them because they are so thin)

- the toilet seats are always warm

- everyone is very polite

- sometimes the English writing on shirts and things was not checked at anyone who actually speaks English.  Which results in some omoshiroi (interesting) phrases... (see picture) XD

- the focus here is Mission School, where we teach English and prep for some English tests here in Japan.  Since a lot more people are interested in English, we can get them to come and perhaps interest them in taking the discussions.  It's a really good method but it makes dendo (missionary work) really interesting because we introduce ourselves as church volunteers who teach English.

I've gotten to do a lot of contacting and I'm getting better at it.  Besides accidentally saying that I came to Japan tomorrow (instead of yesterday) I'm doing pretty good. 

One thing I forgot we do as missionaries is pray. A LOT. I counted one time and it was like 20 times (not on Sundays) and not including personal little prayers.  But in the scriptures it says every time we pray before something it consecrates that thing to the Lord.

I'll include some more later.  Now for a STORY:

I kept having the prompting to put the keys Sister Black gave me in my bag. I would always forget and this happened several days. The other day I finally marched into the other room and said, "I keep having the promoting to get the keys so there, I GOT THE KEYS".

Sister Black laughed and said, "You know you have the only keys to the church right?"

"I did NOT know that!!! WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME?!?!"

So moral of the story, always follow the spirit.

I love all of you so much! Thank you for everything! がんばてください!

- Atkinson Shimai

Sister Atkinson
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