Date

February 20, 2017

Area

Urayasu, Japan

Companion

Amanda Black

Transfer 1, Week 5: You know you're American when... (with pictures)

Konnichiwa!

We had so much this week but lots of little funny stories for you all!  Also, Elder Holland came to visit over the weekend and it was really great to hear from him.  He is always very passionate about the gospel, and shared the story when Jesus visits the Nephites and stays with them longer because He had compassion towards them (3 Nephi 17).  I was thinking about something Black Shimai told me, which is that we drop everything for the people: food, sleep, time, everything - because we love them and that is our purpose. 

Little funny things:
- Valentine's Day is a big deal in Japan, and lots of people were making chocolates.  We decided we wanted in on this deal, and instead of buying a single bar of chocolate, grabbed the whole box like real Americans. Except this box did not have a code, because people do not buy the box, they open the box and buy a couple - so the lady had to MANUALLY ENTER our 10 bars of chocolate. I thought this was hilarious.
- This week Black Shimai decided I would lead everywhere on the bikes- I have been leading to places I have been before, but this was different.  And so one particular apartment took us 45 minutes to find, including going up in the elevator to 3 different apartments and asking many moms for their help.  Black Shimai insists that this would have happened even if she was leading, but I don't believe her.
- While waiting for a light, 25 middle school kids came to the crosswalk, and eventually noticed me - a geigin (non-Japanese person). One of the boys started talking to me in English (which he knew from the Philippines) and the other kids were trying their best.  I asked them questions and most of them gave blank stares but the boy was replying, and asking what we were doing there, and one girl grabbed my nametag for a closer look.  As the light changed, I said in Japanese, "I also understand Japanese" and all the kids FLIPPED OUT.  It was SO funny!!!

Aoi-chan is doing so well! This week we changed her baptismal date to March 19th because she really feels she wants to receive baptism soon.  Today we are going to start teaching the commandments, which we feel good about because she had so much faith, it's amazing.  Rebekah, our MTC's teacher's best friend, is going to doseki for us today! She is way awesome and fluent in Japanese and English.

We also finally got to have a lesson with Nemoto-san this week! She canceled on us 3 times because they were busy or sick, but we got to talk about the Restoration.  Taiju-kun, her son who is 6, really likes the Kodomo Book of Mormon and even prayed at the end of the lesson! We committed both of them to read their Book of Mormons every day and to pray after.

More Cultural things:
- jaywalking is legal. I don't really understand how this works because there is an abundance of crosswalks...but apparently it is.
- no one in Japan wears helmets - except of course for missionaries
- vending machines are everywhere, just on the streets by the sidewalk
- when you buy something at a store, and get a bag, the role the handles together and bow while giving it.
- in the dressing rooms to try on clothes, you remove your shoes before stepping inside (it is often carpeted), and in one place they had a face bag to put over your face while trying on tops!
- At the end of hills, there are often several bars to stop bikes from speeding down. I hate this - it's like a obstacle course that will one day kill me.

Anyway, I kind of gave my spiritual thought at the beginning this time, so I'll just say that I love you all! You are the best :)
--
Sister Atkinson
<a href="mailto:jenna.atkinson@myldsmail.net" target="_blank">jenna.atkinson@myldsmail.net</a>
<b>Japan Tokyo Mission</b>
4-25-12 Nishi-Ochiai
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
161-0031   JAPAN




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