Date

April 3, 2017

Area

Urayasu, Japan

Companion

Ashley Doll

The Nature of Dendo in Japan

I feel as though I have not expressed fully what it is like being a missionary in Japan. I will attempt to explain.

Christianity is not at all prevalent, and many people have a deep seeded fear of them because of Japan's history. There were a few "Christian" terrorist groups many years ago that killed many people on trains, as well as cults in general.  Thus, some people refuse to talk to us once they hear the name Jesus Christ and many others are against the church. Several young people have wanted to get baptized, but their parents are so incredibly against the church that they will and have kicked them out of their house and cut them off. Telling your parents that you are Christian in Japan is like coming out in America. We have a young man who is waiting to be baptized because he doesn't want to ruin his family relationship, and another young woman who got baptized a year ago and her parents still don't know, and if they did it would be very very bad. It is a very difficult and delicate situation.

Most of the dendo isn't like that though. Most people are nice, although not incredibly open to the gospel initially. That is why we use Mission School. Mission School is where we teach English to anyone that wants to learn, and have some special classes to prepare students for the English tests in Japan, Eiken and TOEIC. During Mission School, we pray at the beginning and end, and share a short spiritual message. We keep our teaching professional and don't force anything, but are more than willing to teach the gospel to those with interest. Statistically, 25% of Mission School students become investigators and 8% get baptized. We have already found a few investigators through Mission School, which is why we are working on building it so much!

The dendo is basically study, meet with members, talk to people on bikes or trains, visit less actives, and teach Mission School. We very rarely house because it is not effective. When we do find people to teach, we often start with the Plan of Salvation in order to explain who God and Jesus Christ is, as well as the why of the gospel, and to answer the great questions of life - where did we come from, our purpose in life, and the next life. After that, we move into how we know this, and how you can know for yourself  (The  Restoration) and then how we follow Jesus Christ (The Gospel of Jesus Christ). 

The Japanese people are wonderful, but we also meet many geijin  (non-Japanese) who are prepared to hear the gospel, including people from China and the Philippines. To me, this is an incredible testament to Heavenly Father's work in preparing His children, even though Satan has tried his hardest to tarnish Jesus Christ's name.

I have such a strong testimony that Mission School is inspired, and through it, we can not only strengthen the rising generation, but also share the gospel to those who desire it. I have already seen so many miracles from Mission School, and I am excited to see many more. I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to work in Japan for as long as I can. I love the people and I love this gospel.

--
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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