March 6, 2017


Urayasu, Japan


Ashley Doll

Transfer 2, Week 1: WE'RE NOT LOSERS

Hey everyone!

I got a new companion this week!! Her name is Sister Doll and this is her last transfer (even though she is in denial about it). She is way funny and we laugh all the time and dendo super hard. We both are pretty straight forward geigin Americans which made for an interesting first few days when we were getting used to each other. She also LOVES vegetables - in fact we went grocery shopping during the week during lunch because we didn't buy enough.

 Cultural Things

- in a family, it is common for the husband live in another city for work while there family lives someplace else (for example, Urayasu and Osaka - this is crazy to me)

- everything you put on toast is way expensive: butter, jam, peanut butter, nutella, cream cheese etc.- I found out why people call the green light blue! Apparently, the newspaper printed a picture of the new stoplights and the ink turned out blue instead of green and so everyone called it blue. (Still pretty ridiculous but interesting)

There were lots of awesome miracles this week! Aoi-chan is progressing great and we taught the Law of Chastity and the Word of Wisdom this week. She also came to church and had a great time, especially thanks to Mikina, an awesome member who was able to help explain everything and guide her through it all.

We also found a new investigator! This is a pretty big deal (at least for me). We always set the daily goal of finding one new investigator because as Black Shimai says, "WE'RE NOT LOSERS" (even though we don't find anyone). It's not from lack of effort - it's pretty normal, but that is why mission school is so great, because we can find a lot more effectively through English class. ANYWAY, we were on bikes, stopped at a light and this big black guy says hi to us in English and starts talking to us. (We can't stop men, but if they stop us we can talk to them.) So, we talk about the gospel and he is super interested - he is from Africa and Lutheran but hasn't been in 9 years. We explained the Restoration and how the Book of Mormon is just like the Bible but a record of the prophets in America. He got super excited and asked for the Book of Mormon!!! THIS NEVER HAPPENS. We didn't have one in English, but we are meeting him this week hopefully to give him one :) Doll Shimai says he might have just stopped us because we are pretty, but hey - if my beauty helps the gospel then great!

Random things:

- I love bread. I eat two slices almost every morning which means we buy a lot of bread. The loafs are so small in Japan though (8 per bag), and the four elders buy 2 bags for all of them. My companionship buys 3 bags, just for the both of us. I love bread. And today I found a bread plate for $3 and bought it.

- We biked pretty hard this week, lots of people to see etc. I have said for while that if Heavenly Father really wanted this work to move forward, He would give us all mopeds.

- I am understanding more at church! A lot of the words are good, the conjugations just are weird. Like I think I know that word but it sounds funny, mitai. There was one person's talk that I didn't understand at all, but my mind started wandering to something President Nagano said and when I asked Doll Shimai later, IT WAS WHAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT. I didn't understand what he said, but I got the meaning and I didn't even know! I love the spirit :)

- I got a Polaroid! I love it, it's so fun. All the Polaroid stuff is cheaper in Japan and so a lot of sister missionaries have it.- We went to seminary this morning which started at 5:45 (waay too early) and everyone was there - the youth and one or both parents!! Apparently this ward does that? But it was way different, there were probably 30 people.

That's about it. I gave a training (short message) on humility at District Meeting. Basically humility connects to every part of the gospel - we have to recognize God's will is better than ours (faith), we change when we are wrong and do better (repentance), and make promises to follow the commandments (baptism), and always pray for His guidance (Gift of the Holy Ghost). When Doll Shimai first came, she gave me so many improvement points all at once, that my first reaction was to be bitter. But when I prayed, I thought, "why am I mad? You want to be a better missionary and get better at Japanese right!?!" And now I love her suggestions. The purpose of this life is to improve, and we can't do that if we think we are perfect the way we are. We must humble ourselves and receive other's help and guidance.

I love you all so much! You are all so supportive and amazing <3

- Sister Atkinson

Sister Atkinson
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<b>Japan Tokyo Mission</b>
4-25-12 Nishi-Ochiai
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
161-0031   JAPAN


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