This week was really chill but still fun. Black Shimai was fighting this nasty cold so we tried to split up our dendo and our study time in order to rest (which we can do now thanks to the schedule changes). She slept extra hours in the morning so I had a few really good study days which I enjoyed :) But she was still really bad on Saturday, so Sister Nagano ordered her to sleep as much as she could - so she slept the entire day and now feels a lot better.
This week we also had lots and lots and lots of spaghetti. The missionaries write down some basic facts when they come to this ward, including favorite food - and I wrote spaghetti. So every member we had a meeting with, we eat spaghetti. Black Shimai and I have started a mental rating of whose is best (although they all have been really good). Next area, I am going to change my favorite food so I'll get lots of that :)
I also had a lot of personal growth including: taking more responsibility in the companionship while Black Shimai was incapacitated (aka realizing I don't know how to do anything), failing A LOT at finding, and thought that an investigator could speak English and so I thoroughly confused her on the phone (while Black Shimai was sleeping so she couldn't help.
More Cultural things:
- napkins (or lack thereof): nobody, even restaurants gives you napkins so you have to eat really carefully (which is quite a challenge for me!)
- on the trains, you can't talk on a cell phone
- Japan is really good about recycling - which I love! (but it has been a struggle to take out the trash on the right days and has been a companionship goal for a couple weeks)
- strawberries are SUPER EXPENSIVE, like $4 for 8 small fake-looking strawberries
- masks are very common (like surgery masks), people wear them if they are feeling sick, or shy, or whatever
- there are these bikes called mama-churis, and the really fancy ones have built in motors that kick in when you need more power. So you see these really old grandmas biking casually up these giant hills.
My birthday was yesterday! Finally my age is starting to reflect how old I feel (although it will take a few more years...) It was a fast Sunday so I didn't get to eat yummy food but my lovely mother packed me an American cake mix which we are making tonight :) We had an awesome dinner at the Kawamuras, and our lesson with Aoi was great! We talked more about the Book of Mormon and how if they book is true, then everything else, like the plan of salvation, is also true. We also were able to identify the spirit together and she seems excited to pray about the BofM!
I have had lots of time to think especially deep thoughts this week and I thought I would share one of them. It is a common held belief that missionaries receive more spiritual guidance, miracles, and guidance from heaven in general. While we doing the Lords work, which He does have a vested interest in, I don't think that is true. I think we are just more likely to label thoughts and events as promptings and miracles, whereas other members/people might just attribute it to themselves, luck or a coincidence (WHICH IS UNDERSTANDABLE). As missionaries, we pray ALL THE TIME and think about God and His will ALL THE TIME. It is infinitely more likely that we would recognize His hand in our lives more, however I believe a layperson can do the same. As we start to recognize blessings, we will receive more blessings, as well as feel closer to God and His love in our lives.
I love you all so much! Thank you for the support and birthday wishes!- Atkinson Shimai
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<b>Japan Tokyo Mission</b>