As missionaries, it is always fun to try to guess where everyone will be transfered or what is going to happen. We call it "yogens", which basically means prediction. I knew for almost sure that I was going to transfer out of Urayasu - I have been here for 6 months and it is unheard of for sisters to get more than 2 transfers together. However Illya, our ward mission leader, was praying for us to be together for 4 transfers, in Urayasu. And backstory - if Illya wants to play basketball on a day, and he prays - it will be sunny. So Kema Shimai and my "yogen" was that we both stay in Urayasu, but another sister comes and we become a trio, or "san nin". We were half right - I will be transfered to Kawagoe, and will be in a san nin! And it is with my beloved MTC companion Barton Shimai! When you transfer, you give out your business card to the members and often write notes on the back of the cards. I knew I was transfering, so I wrote SEVENTY FIVE (In mostly all Japanese) and handed them out on Sunday. Even though I am excited to transfer, it is a lot of work. I am considering just becoming a resident troll in this apartment.
ASK AND IT SHALL BE OPENED
This last week we got another new investigator through Eikaiwa! She is so great - she has been coming to Eikaiwa for about 5 months (basically the entire time I have been here), and I have talked to her before, but the conversation never led anywhere. So because we felt like we should, Kema Shimai talked to her after Eikaiwa - asking why she has been coming this whole time etc. Obviously she likes English, but she ALSO said that she really loves the moral messages we do at the end (like take care of your body, share, don't lie etc. and you will feel happy). She said that she wants to be a better person because of them and she feels better after she comes. AMAZING. So Kema Shimai explained that these are all teachings of Jesus Christ and we can teach her more about that actually! I learned that sometimes all we need to do is ask. We are not here to persuade or sales pitch the gospel (which I understand, but it can sometimes feel that way in a country where everyone doesn't comprehend why they should care about religion or a guy named Jesus Christ). Our purpose is invite - invite the Spirit, invite people and invite change. I love my job.
- in Japan, backyards don't exist at all. In fact, I forgot that they exist until I saw an empty lot of weeds (which is very rare). Now to me, backyards seem like a waste of space - just go to the park!! why you gotta build your OWN pool?
- the dollar stores here are INCREDIBLE. You have probably heard of DAISO, but there is also Seria, 100円 Lawson, etc. They have super useful stuff for A DOLLA.
- the fashion here is different - lots of things I could say about that but basically skirts are normal and pants are a really big deal. There are just all sorts of cool baggy pants. along bell bottom lines, but all of it is larger and flowy, not just the bottom.
The elders investigator, Shehan, got baptized on Sunday! It was so amazing. He is from Shri Lanka, the island by India, and he speaks English, but not really any Japanese. This ward is really great at English, but it still creates a barrier. But everyone was really welcoming and lots of people gave him gifts. His testimony is so strong - the elders (because of time constraint) taught him most of the commandments in a single lesson. He didn't have any concerns about any of them because he just kept saying "if it is what Christ wants, I will do it". He is so incredibly converted to Christ that nothing else matters. I want to follow his example.
Thank you all for reading this week! I love you all a lot and appreciate your prayers for me and my family so much.
- Atkinson Shimai
Pictures- we found a Mexican resturant in Japan (they had miso soup instead of chips and salsa which we were bitter about, but it was still pretty good! we were so happy)- my desk- we finished the Sakura tree project! It was beautiful!- Hula night with the cutest little girls- Shehan's baptism- me when I first came to Urayasu and me now- Elder Morris's last mission school
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<b>Japan Tokyo Mission</b>