April 2, 2017


Nagasaki, Japan


Sister Macfarlane

Hello from Nagasaki! - Week 2

Wow so what a week! Things are definitely happening in Nagasaki!! First off, I got my bike the other day and it has been so fun riding it! The first day riding it however, I crashed into a van and totally scared a Japanese man, but we won't go into that, it's been fun! However, it has been taihen (Japanese for difficult) biking up the terrible saka (hills) here in Nagasaki. My legs are definitely getting stronger. If you've ever seen the hills in San Francisco, imagine that times 100 and you get Nagasaki. But it's okay because it makes up for itself when you do get to bike through the flat parts and you bike by beautiful sakura trees with petals flying around you and you look to your left at the bamboo forest by you and you see an ancient shrine with a traditional Japanese gate and you think how lucky you are to be living here. Japan is so so beautiful!
This week I also had my first chance to teach Eikaiwa (English class) it was so much fun and everyone was so excited to be there. We played a lot of fun games including pictionary and one of the phrases was "man slipping on a banana" and I tried my best to draw it and all of the Japanese people laughed at it so hard.
Finding people this week has been absolutely amazing. Sometimes we'll be going around at night and hear people off in the distance banging sticks and chanting in Japanese and it gets really creepy but then you find they're inviting good spirits or something, but then miracles will happen. Two really stuck out this week. Just by chance we knocked into one of the elders' old investigators that they've been trying to get a hold of for the past few weeks and he hasn't answered any of their calls and every time they come by he's gone, so it was a complete miracle that we got to him. We shared a quick message and invited him back to church and he said he would try to come back to church. What an absolute miracle! Me and Macfarlane shimai were so happy. Also one night we felt impressed to go down this one street and we found an adorable family there and the mom was so ready to go to church and take the lessons but unfortunately they were moving next week! So we gave them a card anyways and they said that they'll try to find the missionaries in their new town.
Yesterday was also Yuko's baptism! It was so amazing and such a spiritual experience. We all felt the spirit so strong and it was such a beautiful, peaceful experience. Getting to come to a booming area and seeing a baptism my first week really grew my testimony. Yuko's life has been changed because of the gospel. She finds so much joy in the gospel and she has so much faith. She is such a great example to me.
I absolutely love Japan! Even though sometimes you go to a 7/11 and buy a "hard boiled egg" and you open it to find that it's completely raw, sometimes you get to have yummy Japanese food with your mission leader in his home and he sings Edelweiss in Japanese to you. From talking on the street to a random mom and her 7-year old boy who sings and dances for you because he wants to show you what he learned at school, to getting to have a picnic with the ward members at a park named God's Island with tons of sakura around you, it's amazing. Just in the first 2 weeks, I've had so many good experiences.
Anyways last little thing, we had our zone conference this last Friday in Fukuoka and it was awesome! My mission president, President Egan, shared a great message about having what he calls a "PMA" and he says it's one of the most important things you can have in life. It stands for "Positive Mental Attitude". He talked about how it's our choice whether or not to be happy. He said both negativity and positivity are both contagious and we need to choose to be happy. Everything that is negative in our life can be turned into a positive. He related it to the Savior how He has gone through everything that we had. The Savior did not give up when He was going through His trials. Like the Savior we need to endure to the end. If we finish the race gritting our teeth, you just finish it, but if you finish the race with a smile, you'll have a pot of gold at the end of the race and it'll be so much faster. I just invite all of you to take any negative thing in your life and turn it into a positive. Also, don't forget that the Savior is always there and through the Atonement we can get better and more positive.
Anyways, I hope you all have a fantastic week!
愛しています! またね!
Sister Atwood


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