I live to see another week! This week was easier and harder at the same time: I'm getting used to everything now that there is a routine but harder because I think last week caught up with me a little bit. I didn't take any breaks last week but this week I hit a wall a couple times and had to take naps (which we just call Sister Nagano to let her know the situation and it's all fine). Not gunna lie - it's a little frustrating because my health problems are technically over and I don't know why my body can't just get with it! I still have to be patient with myself...which is the same thing I've been doing for the past forever...
I realized last week that I completely forgot to say where my area is! I am in Urayasu!!! It is so beautiful and the closest area outside the mission office area (President Nagano basically told me that I'm going to stay pretty close to Tokyo my entire mission - I love him. He can't keep a secret to save his life).
MORE CULTURAL/MISSION NOTES:
- most people know this one but here you drive on the opposite side and the driver seat is opposite too
- we don't have real ovens, it's a microwave with an oven feature
- we really do sleep on futons
- because missionaries have to obey ALL THE RULES, we wait for the lights in order to cross the street, even though it's 10 FEET
- we can't talk to people of the opposite sex on the street, train, anywhere. Unless they talk to us first (which has never happened). At first it seemed pretty weird because it seems like we are limiting our missionary work but now it makes sense for safety reasons.
- when you enter a house, you say "ojamashimasu" which means I am being annoying and disturbing you. This is polite to say.
- Japanese people like having reasons for things. For example, people are a lot more friendly when I try to talk to them, if I say that I want to practice my Japanese. So I have started telling more people about my cancer and they've been really nice about it.
Now the best part: the food. I got to eat a lot of good food this week.
We had "man" (pronounced mahn) at Yoshihashi Shimai's house and it was AMAZING. It is this sweet bean dumpling. I also had Indian curry with homemade nan at district lunch. We helped Yamamoto Shimai make her YEAR SUPPLY of miso soup on Friday. (it's the equivalent of Mormon moms making jam) It was so fun though and she knew a lot of English because she went to college in America. (actually a lot of the ward members know some English) On Saturday we went to help Sakamoto Shimai (bishop's wife) clean up Maihama Beach and afterwards went to the ward Mochi-tsuki (mochi making). IT WAS SO MUCH FUN AND SO YUMMY. One brother in the ward told me to try this mochi and soy beans called natto and laughed when I made a face because it was so bitter. I stuck to the sweet mochi dishes. And today I tried Takoyaki, which is a little piece of octopus breaded in a ball. It was yummy :)
On Sunday, the bishop gave a presentation during 3rd hour about the ward mission vision. He was talking about the 6 of us missionaries and how we do missionary work. THEN he said, "Like Atkinson Shimai. They found cancer in the MTC, she went home and now she is back. We want all our kids to be the same, that they want to go on missions so bad that even when bad things happen, they still want to go". The new missionaries from the last transfer did a short little intro in sacrament meeting, and I said a sentence about how I had cancer but it was still so funny.
I am trying to make all of you proud and do my best! I am having a lot of fun and I'm so thankful for all your support!!!
- Atkinson Shimai
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<b>Japan Tokyo Mission</b>