April 17, 2017


Urayasu, Japan


Keilee Kema

Transfer 3, Week 1: I can't stop dendo-ing

I got a new companion this week!!! Her name is Kema Shimai and she is literally the coolest.  She is half Hawaiian, and has lived all over the states but says she is from Texas. If she were a McDonalds item, she would be the Teriyaki Burger, because she is really sweet but also saucy.  She is Transfer 6, so we are both pretty young and don't know Japanese (as will be demonstrated in a following story)

This week we dendo-ed super hard.  On P-day, you are only supposed to dendo 3 hours, but we dendo-ed 5...and counting.  We have to tell each other to stop doing contacting etc, and take breaks.  We can't stop dendo-ing.

But in other news, I hit my 90 days this week!  Sister Nagano says that the first 90 days are the hardest.  They honestly weren't that hard - I grew a lot and learned a lot, but they were nothing compared to some other 90 days I have had in my life... I like to think that the hardest part of my mission was before my mission.

On Friday, we had to go to Koiwa for Zone Meeting.  Sister Kema forgot her train card, so we had to buy tickets all the way there for her.  The first train we got on weirdly stopped before the last stop, so everyone got off and waited for the next train.  One of the station workers came up to us and started "saifu" very excitedly and gesturing a rectangle.  We had zero clue what he wanted, and maybe thought our tickets? Then I realized I had left my wallet on the train, and one of the workers had retrieved it! (he was asking if I had my wallet).  Then when we were buying our next ticket, there was some complications and a lady was trying to help us and kept raising her voice trying to get us to understand the word "kippu" (which is ticket, but we didn't know that).  So we learned two words that day because of well-meaning Japanese people yelling them at us. (I told this story to a woman on the next train we took - who was very enthusiastic about her job at KFC because she LOVES chicken.  She was way fun)

Cultural things:

- Some people in Japan believe that blood types are connected to personality (kinda like astrology).  Like, some people are nice or smart because of their blood, etc.  (I don't know more specifics - if someone wants to send me more info, I am curious)

- You can attack these super useful hand guards to bike handlebars, to keep your hands warm. (you see them on older people's bikes)

- Mom friends are called mamatomo 

- Japanese people just eat hamburger patties - like it is regular meat. What?

- There are a lot of men employed as traffic directors.  They just stand in front of places where cars come out or in and direct everyone.  This seems normal, but there are a lot of them and sometimes there aren't always very many cars for them to direct.

- I have mentioned before that the English cracks me up.  Sometimes it's not even wrong, it's just random.  I will send a seperate email with example pictures from today.

So Saturday was a little crazy.  I got to meet Sister Doll's parents, Donna and Brian (they came to pick her up).  They are both great and Donna is so fun.  We had a great time eating lunch together and then through a series of many events - they dosekied for our lesson with Daima! (that big black African man that I mentioned many emails ago)  It was so perfect because Brian is a convert from the Lutheran church, which is the same church that Daima has most of his religious background in.  We did a church tour and sang a gospel style Amazing Grace because of course we did.

Sister Kema came up with our companionship motto for this transfer:  Fearless with Faith.  We have been doing a lot of finding this week and it has been great. The opposite of fear is faith, and through faith we can see so many miracles.  When we open our mouths and share what is meaningful to us, we will start to feel more joy. So doubt not, but be believing!

Love you all so much! Stay safe!- Sister Atkinson
Pictures- an English student brought us a garbage bag full of bread.  It was sketchy but delicious

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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